With the husband away for the weekend and birthday money burning a hole in my pocket, I decided to take a trip down to Bicester Village in Oxford – having never visited before I was excited for the day ahead, and what a beautiful day it was…
Obviously I’d require sustainance to keep me going through all the shopping so I booked a table for brunch at Farmshop
Part of the Soho House group, Farmshop’s focus is on ‘British food, from old fashioned classics to hearty farmhouse fare’
The restaurant’s exterior is deceptively small – you enter into the rustic dining area and are met with a long marble-topped bar and a huge hessian-lined vaulted ceiling, as if you were in a barn
The space is split into different areas – front and rear dining rooms to the ground floor and a mezannine to the first floor – so although large, you still get the feeling of a cozy farm house
The laws of brunch mean drinking before midday is not only acceptable, but mandatory (that’s true, right?) With this in mind, I ordered myself a gin bramble and set about perusing the menu
Farmshop offers several different menus including breakfast (which is served until 11:30am), lunch, dinner & a Sunday roast menu. I chose the salt baked salmon with broccoli and lemon aioli from the lunch menu and added a side of rosemary roast potatoes
One thing I must say is that service is speedy! These guys don’t muck about and I’d say from being seated to my food arriving was less than 10 minutes! Great if you’re in a rush, not so much if you’re after a leisurely lunch…
My dishes arrived and I was pleased with the generous chunk of salmon, beautifully flavoured from the salt crust and perfectly moist. The accompanying broccoli was cooked al dente (no limp greens here!) and the zingy aioli was light and moreish, complimenting the fish nicely. The roast potatoes were a little pale for my liking – they definitely could have done with a more golden outer coating but were hot and fluffy inside none the less, with a sprinkling of fresh rosemary
In the mood for something sweet I decided on a slice of bramley apple pie with ice cream which arrived at the table as a whole pie!
Sadly it wasn’t all for me! Apart from being a little bit scorched at the edges, the majority of the pastry was crisp & golden and concealed a sweet cinnamon apple filling. I would have liked to have seen more chunks of apple and less of the almost apple-jelly like centre, but it was certainly tasty and the with the creamy vanilla ice cream this was a proper hearty dessert
I grabbed a House Press green juice from the bar before I left (gorgeously fresh with a strong hit of ginger) but they also have a sweet little converted horse box outside which sells them too, along with various other goodies that you can get to-go!
I enjoyed my lunch at Farmshop (despite the lady next to me having a 150 decibel skype call for the duration of my meal!) and although not the cheapest, I would definitely visit again on a trip to Bicester Village
Judging by how busy it was, if you want to guarantee a seat at a certain time I’d definitely recommend booking so you’re not disappointed
You can check out the menus and make a reservation here!