The Lion at Wendlebury Pub with rooms in Wendlebury, Oxfordshire

Prices from:
£90 per night

David Hancock says:

  • 18th-century inn; recently refurbished
  • Minutes from M40 and Bicester Village
  • Traditional bar; smart Orangery
  • Menu: pub classics & modern dishes
  • New rooms; fresh, contemporary feel
  • Great terrace for alfresco meals

Sticky FingersMuddy PawsGood for WalkingOutdoor PursuitsVisit a Stately Pile90 Minutes from London15 Minutes from the MotorwayPrivate Dining

Real Time Booking Available
Overview

The Lion at Wendlebury Wendlebury, Oxfordshire, OX25 2PW

The personal touch

Brakspear snapped up the mellow Cotswold stone Lion in late 2017 and have lavished money on the place, sprucing up the bar, adding a conservatory dining room, and developing 13 smart bedrooms in a new build out back. It’s in a cracking spot, a peaceful village location just a mile or so from the M40 (junction 9), only 2 miles from Bicester Village Shopping Centre, and within easy reach of Oxford. Rooms are the icing on cake and they are already proving popular with business folk, guests seeking some serious retail therapy at the Designer Outlet, and as a meeting point for family and friends due to its proximity to the A40. The heart of the 18th-century stone building remains delightfully unchanged, with the traditional bar featuring rugs on flagged floors, hop garlands adorn thick low beams, rustic stone walls and inglenook fireplaces (with wood-burners and blazing logs), an eclectic mix of tables and chairs, books and unusual objet d’art on shelves and walls, soft heritage colours, tasteful pictures and jugs of fresh flowers everywhere, which is a welcome detail touch. The light and airy, green oak conservatory dining room, replete with dried lavender strung along the central beam, blends in well and has direct access to the rear terrace. Club Cottage is a fantastic private dining space – two floors (seating 14 downstairs; 12 upstairs) and it has its own private patio off The Orangery.

Sticky fingers

Children are very welcome in the pub; there’s a kids menu; board games to play; and two family suites with sofa beds for older children, and cots are available.

Muddy paws

Canine companions are allowed in the pub (treats & water bowls) and they can stay overnight in any room (£20 a night each).

Alfresco

The extensive rear terrace is the place to sup a pint of Brakspear Gold on warm summer evenings. Colourful flower borders, smart wicker-style furniture, posh cream brollies and a raised fireplace add to the appeal.

What’s the Damage?

13 doubles/twin: £90 – £165.

What Else?

  • All credit cards taken
  • Alfresco dining
  • Private Dining
  • Disabled access to bar, dining room & 1 bedroom
  • Parking

 

Sleep

The Lion at Wendlebury Wendlebury, Oxfordshire, OX25 2PW

Do not disturb

Stylish rooms in the Cotswold stone new build at the rear of the pub were opened in May 2018; all 13 rooms (Standard, Superior and Deluxe) sport a fresh, contemporary feel and are kitted out with quality fabrics and furnishings. Expect super comfortable Feather & Black beds and mattresses, striking feature wallpapers from Cole & Son, soothing hues, tasteful lamps, fat radiators, velvet black-out blinds, and bright cushions and throws add an additional splash of colour. Home-from-home comforts come as standard – Nespresso machine, clock, retro-style phone, shaving/make-up mirror, up-to-date magazines, and generous supplies of Temple Spa Aromatherapy bathroom products. Smart bathrooms with white bevel-brick tiling complete the picture; all have thick towels and fabulous walk-in monsoon showers. Some have beams and glazed doors leading onto Juliet balconies.

 

What’s the Damage?

13 doubles/twin: £90 – £165.

What Else?

  • All credit cards taken
  • Alfresco dining
  • Private Dining
  • Disabled access to bar, dining room & 1 bedroom
  • Parking

 

Eat & Drink

The Lion at Wendlebury Wendlebury, Oxfordshire, OX25 2PW

Mastering the menu

(Starters: £5.95-£7.50; Main Courses: £10.95-£24.95; Desserts £5.95-£8.50)

Chef Conal Boyle offers seasonal modern British menus to suit the informal atmosphere of The Lion, the lunch and dinner menus being served throughout the bar and conservatory dining room, and on the summer terrace. Using local Cherwell Valley produce, it successfully combines comforting pub classics (beer battered haddock, triple-cooked chips, mushy peas; steak and ale pie), quality rare breed Yorkshire steaks, served with triple-cooked chips, watercress and garlic and truffle butter, alongside more innovative dishes. Perhaps choose local chargrilled asparagus with smoked tomato, olives, basil red onion and herb salad, or scallops with pancetta and pea puree to start, then follow with roast guinea fowl, sautéed potatoes, chorizo, spinach and saffron aioli, or lamb rump, parmesan polenta, pea fricassee, pea puree, and rosemary jus. Round off with rhubarb, rosehip and pistachio pavlova or a platter of farmhouse British cheeses. There are also lunchtime sandwiches, a great value weekday set lunch, and roasts on Sundays. Behind the bar you’ll find tip-top Brakspear ales, a raft of boutique gins and a short list of wines (15 by the glass), which includes a few special and great value bottles of Bordeaux.

Time to Eat

Breakfast: 7.30am – 10am
Food all day: 11am – 9.30pm (10pm Saturday & Sundays)

Time at the bar

11am – 11pm (from 10.30am Saturday & Sunday)

What’s the Damage?

13 doubles/twin: £90 – £165.

What Else?

  • All credit cards taken
  • Alfresco dining
  • Private Dining
  • Disabled access to bar, dining room & 1 bedroom
  • Parking

 

Food Trail

Take it back home
Tour the brewery that brewed your favourite pint, visit the shop on the farm that reared your delicious Sunday roast beef, and seek out the roadside stalls selling the local crab and samphire on the inn’s menu, the Food Trail features the local artisan producers and suppliers where you can buy to enjoy at home.

Change of scenery
Looking for a pub for lunch following a country walk, a different venue for dinner, or a good café for coffee, light lunch or afternoon tea, then the best in the area are listed below. If you find a new and exciting eatery in the area that’s worthy of a mention on the Food Trail, then please to do let us know – gabrielle@innplaces.co.uk.

1 Inn Location - The Lion at Wendlebury

2

Daylesford Farm Shop and Cafe, Daylesford, Kingham GL56 0YG

Known locally as 'Fortnams in the field' Daylesford Organic is so much more than an award-winning farm shop, with a cookery school, cafe, clothes shop and spa. The farm shop offers the best in organic and food produced with the best environmental and livestock husbandry credentials. They have their own bakery and serve up vegetables from their own market garden.

5

The White Hart, Fyfield, Abingdon OX13 5LW

Mark & Kay Chandler’s magnificent listed former Chantry house oozes historic charm and draws a discerning crowd for Mark’s delicious food. His daily, modern British menus champion local, seasonal ingredients, including fresh produce picked from the extensive kitchen garden. Great beers and ciders too.

6

Millets Farm Centre, Kingston Road, Frilford OX13 5HB

Established from a ‘pick your own farm’ with a shop, Millets has evolved in recent years to become an extensive retail operation, with a well-stocked farm shop (in-house bakery & butchery), a new Farmhouse Kitchen serving good food, seasonal pick your own fruits, and family attractions.

Out & About

1 Inn Location - The Lion at Wendlebury

Activities

2

Heythrop Park Golf Club, Enstone, Chipping Norton OX7 5UE OX7 5UF

Make sure your SatNav takes you via the Drive, Church Enstone, or you’ll find you can’t get in. Weaving through the 440-acre Heythrop Estate, this 18-hole features ancient woodland, lakes and streams – it’s a quintessentially English setting. Visitors are welcome and there are all kinds of other facilities, including a spa.

3

Shooting, Enstone OX7 4NS

This comprehensive clay shooting school, situated amid the pastoral scenery of the Cotswolds, at Enstone, near Chipping Norton, offers great facilities and caters for beginners right through to experienced shots.

4

Rally Driving Days, Tracey Farm, Great Tew OX7 4JS

Family-run and welcoming rally, performance car and off-road driving centre situated near Chipping Norton. Here, you can try your hand at rally driving in authentic conditions and in the safe hands of trained professionals.

Shopping

15

Burford Woodcraft, Burford OX18 4QU

Promoting contemporary British craftsmanship for over 30 years, the shop sells an extensive selection of creative wooden objects, furniture, sculpture, bowls, kitchenware, jewellery boxes, games and toys.

16

Bicester Village, Bicester OX26 6WD

One of the south of England's best-known and most popular retail centres, Bicester Village is where you can explore a wide range of chic boutiques stocking stylish lifestyle brands that are at the heart of world-class fashion.

17

Vintage & Paint, Stow-on-the-Wold GL54 1AQ

Nice interiors shop selling furniture, kitchenware, lighting, objet d'art and collectables They also sell Annie Sloan paint so you can have a go at creating this ‘look’ yourself.

19

Maybury, 4 Market Street, Woodstock OX20 1SX

Expect beautiful bedcovers, cushions and jackets and discover a striking collection of colourful furniture covered in vintage textiles and an assortment of rare and authentic rugs at this eclectic emporium in Woodstock, characterised by the irresistible, heady atmosphere of India and Central Asia.

20

Rosie B Home & Interiors, Horsefair, Chipping Norton OX7 5AL

All the items in this eclectic shop are personally sourced and chosen by Rosie herself. Situated in Horsefair in Chipping Norton, it’s a good place to get ideas and buy special gifts; you’ll find vintage and antique pieces for the home, mirrors, kitchenalia, glass and ceramics.

21

Iona House Gallery, 4 High Street, Woodstock OX20 1TF

Founded in 2002, this highly respected Woodstock-based art gallery exhibits paintings, sculpture, ceramics, glass, craft and jewellery from established artists and burgeoning talents. More than 100 English, Scottish and Russian artists are represented.

22

Aston Pottery, Aston, Witney OX18 2BT

Expect a varied choice of hand-stenciled pottery at Aston, near Witney - all of it manufactured and decorated on the premises. This is just the place to browse and buy, and there's a good and popular cafe, too.

23

The Old Pill Factory, 53 High Street, Witney OX28 6JA

Spread over two floors, the Old Pill Factory in Witney is the place to visit for furniture, glass, toys, clothes and garden pieces. You’ll find a group of dedicated antiques experts who are passionate about antiques and vintage homeware.

Places to visit

5

Hidcote Manor Gardens, Chipping Campden GL55 6LR

Hidcote is one of the country's greatest gardens, full of rare shrubs and trees, herbaceous borders and unusual plants from all over the world. In addition, there are superb views across the Vale of Evesham from the garden.

6

Blenheim Palace, Woodstock OX20 1PP

One of Britain's largest and most famous stately homes, Blenheim Palace offers a host of treasures to discover. There are guided tours of the staterooms and a chance to explore the estate's sumptuous parkland. A new Winston Churchill Memorial Garden and Footsteps Trail opened in 2015, taking visitors on a journey through the key achievements in the great statesman's extraordinary life and his early years in this area. Churchill's grave can be seen in the churchyard at nearby Bladon.

7

Rollright Stones, Chipping Norton OX7 5QB

An unusual circle of 77 heavily weathered, closely-set slabs of local Neolithic limestone, known as the King's Men, traditionally a monarch and his courtiers petrified by a witch. The Rollright Stones also include the Whispering Knights burial chamber, and single King Stone, which is on the other side of the road. They span nearly 2,000 years of Neolithic and Bronze Age development.

8

Rousham House & Garden, Rousham OX25 4QU

With the pretty River Cherwell flowing through the grounds, Rousham is one of Oxfordshire's loveliest mansions. Dating back to 1635, the house was remodelled over 100 years later and there is more than a hint of the Italianate about the garden with its cascades and ponds, groves, the Temple of Echo and the seven-arched portico known as Praeneste. A peaceful stroll along the tree-shaded Long Walk is a must.

9

The Oxfordshire Museum, Woodstock OX20 1SN

Based in Woodstock, the Oxfordshire Museum celebrates the delights of this varied county by focusing on local history, art, archaeology and landscape. There are events and activities for children and adults, four galleries of changing exhibitions and attractive gardens to explore.

10

Kelmscott Manor, Kelmscott GL7 3HJ

This beautiful house, built from lovely mellow golden stone, was the Cotswold retreat of William Morris and his family, friends and colleagues. Kelmscott is home to fascinating and important collections of textiles, furniture and paintings, spanning more than 300 years and reflecting the ideas and creative legacy of those who lived and worked here.

11

Minster Lovell Hall, Minster Lovell OX29 0RR

Shrouded in mystery and with a haunting, tangible air of the distant past, the romantic ruins of Minster Lovell Hall stand on the banks of the River Windrush. The village of Minster Lovell captures the essence of sublime Cotswolds' architecture.

12

Cogges Manor Farm, Witney OX28 3LA

Cogges Manor consists of a 13th-century house and 17th-century farm buildings. These days it's a popular heritage centre with a strong emphasis on horticulture, rural crafts and family-friendly entertainment. It's also just the place to help understand the origins of early rural life and put the past into perspective.

13

North Leigh Roman Villa, Witney OX29 6QE

This English Heritage site at North Leigh, near Witney, consists of a large, well-constructed Roman courtyard villa with a historically important, near complete mosaic floor, which can be seen through a viewing window.

14

Bampton OX18 2NE

Located on the edge of the Cotswolds, Bampton is a bustling village with many fine buildings and a good range of amenities, including the West Ox Arts Gallery, based in the town hall. Renowned for its Morris Dancing traditions, Bampton is also regularly used for village scenes in the hugely popular television drama Downton Abbey.

24

Pendon Museum, Long Wittenham OX14 4QD

This meticulously detailed model of the Vale of White Horse in Oxfordshire is a breathtaking spectacle. Everywhere you look there are quaint thatched cottages, olde-worlde pubs and exquisite churches. Pendon is where the English countryside comes to life under one roof.

25

Oxford

Just like London, Oxford can hold your attention for days. There really is that much to see and do. A walk through the ancient streets of Matthew Arnold's 'city of dreaming spires' is surely the best and most effective way to see this world-famous seat of learning. As well as the 12th-century Carfax Tower, with its memorable views, and the Botanic Garden - a quiet backwater in the heart of Oxford - there's the chance to visit many of the University's 38 colleges and even explore the familiar haunts of Colin Dexter's legendary detective, Inspector Morse.

26

Rycote Chapel OX9 2PE

Historic 15th-century chapel with beautifully carved and painted woodwork and many fascinating features, including two17th-century roofed pews and a musicians’ gallery.

Walking

www.walkinginoxfordshire.co.uk
www.oxfordshirecotswolds.org
The 102-mile Cotswold Way National Trail takes in some of the best scenery the region has to offer. There are thousands of miles of footpaths and the area has a reasonable claim to be a walkers’ paradise. The Oxfordshire Way starts in Bourton-on-the-Water in Gloucestershire and takes you to the banks of the River Thames in Henley. The route passes through a variety of contrasting landscapes and settlements including two Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty; the rolling Cotswold Hills and the Chilterns.

Cycling

www.visitoxfordandoxfordshire.com
www.in-gloucestershire.co.uk
www.aboutthecotswolds.co.uk
www.escapetothecotswolds.org.uk
Not too hilly, not too flat – Oxfordshire’s a good place to cycle, with lots of lovely scenery and a variety of routes for all abilities. There are several long distance routes, plus lots of bridleways. The Hanson Way starts in Oxford itself and follows the Thames Path to Abingdon and Didcot. The Cotswolds are particularly good for off-roading, with a network of tracks, but road cyclists won’t be disappointed either, as there are some spectacular hills and very tricky climbs.

Events

www.oxfordshirecotswolds.org
www.chippingnortontheatre.com
www.cogges.org.uk
Look out for a great many festivals, special events, sporting fixtures and cultural evenings in the Cotswolds region. Cogges Manor Farm (see places to visit) hosts traditional festivals and theatrical performances, while Chipping Norton’s theatre boasts an eclectic programme of live theatre, music, dance and comedy, culminating in the renowned annual pantomime. Among other annual events are the Blenheim Horse Trials, Countryfile Live at Blenheim, the Stroud Food Festival in September and the Cheltenham Literary Festival in October.

Getting there

Location, Location, Location

By Road: Leave M40 (junction 9) and head towards Bicester. At the roundabout turn left and follows signs for 1 mile to Wendlebury; The Lion is on the left

By Train: Nearest railway station is Bicester Village, 2.5 miles away

Address:

, Wendlebury, Oxfordshire, OX25 2PW

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