Café Wolseley, Bicester Village

Regular readers of this blog (hey Dad!) will know I’m a big fan of Corbin and King restaurants. From Brasserie Zédel to Colony Grill there’s something about the slick service and always-solid cooking which keeps me going back.

The Wolseley is the jewel in the crown for owners Jeremy King and Chris Corbin, described on the website as an “all-day café-restaurant in the grand European tradition”. It’s an interesting choice then to open a Café Wolseley, a baby sister to the original, in Bicester Village.

We arrive at midday on a Sunday and the place is absolutely packed. We leave at 2pm and there are people queuing out the door. We’re told that the day before they served more customers than the Wolseley in London. Now it all makes sense.

This isn’t just a chance to make a load of dosh though – the same care and attention is present here too. The dining room is a real looker; we’re seated in the main one of three which has the giant Wolseley chandeliers to make you feel at home. Shayne Brady rarely gets it wrong.

A quick bite to eat is what we’re after so a chicken schnitzel with lingonberry compote (£15.50) is just the ticket. It’s a vast blanket of moist chicken, the breadcrumb coating softening just slightly after a good squeeze of lemon, wrapped in muslin, of course, to catch the pips. It’s the perfect plate of food.

A side of fries (£4.75) are thick, fresh from the frier and well seasoned. In a bid to be healthy we order a simple side salad (£4.25) generously doused in vinaigrette. A glass of house red, Vignes d’Oc Merlot, and all is right with the world.

We stop at their shop afterwards which sells candles, Riesling glasses and silver plated tea pots. You can also grab coffee and pastries to takeaway from the counter. They really have thought of everything.

Would we go back? Yes
This was not an invitation, we were expecting to pay, but when we asked for the bill it was very kindly waived