We’ve had so much going on lately that the thought of someone else cooking for us has been most appealing. On Sunday we were invited to spend time enjoying a family meal at The Lion at Wendlebury. Situated between junction nine of the M40 and Bicester itself, it’s practically on our doorstep and we were looking forward to trying their dining experience.
There’s plenty of parking available at the side of The Lion at Wendlebury and it also boasts a large pub garden to the rear. I’ve previously visited with a friend a couple of years ago for lunch on a weekday, and it’s clearly a popular destination. When we were there on Sunday there were a number of other groups, both with and without children of varying ages. It’s always nice to dine in nice surroundings, where children are also welcomed.
The Lion at Wendlebury prides itself of providing dishes using locally-sourced ingredients and a menu which is regularly changed to keep in tune with the relevant season. There’s also a children’s menu available with one, two and three-course meal options available.
I have a rather fussy eater of a nine-year-old son, which can sometimes prove challenging when eating out. Not only that but when we arrived to spend time enjoying a family meal at The Lion at Wendlebury, he’d decided he was in ‘one of those moods’ that I hope I’m not alone in experiencing with children! Thankfully, our waiter was understanding and finally, we all managed to win him round and got him smiling. We ordered some drinks and our waiter also brought water and a jug for us as well.
My son picked garlic bread as his starter, my OH went for the soup of the day, in this instance, tomato and red pepper, whilst I opted for the pan-roasted Atlantic scallops.
I was allowed a little taste of the soup, and it was full of flavour and the red pepper really came through well. My scallops were divine as was the pea velouté. We all gave the starters a big thumbs up both on presentation and taste.
For our main meal, my son decided on the battered haddock and chips which came with tartare sauce and pea puree. Being the fusspot that he is, he asked for mayonnaise, which was quickly provided, although he did try the tartare sauce and liked it, which is another step forward for him. My OH and I both opted for the roast chicken from the Sunday lunch menu, which came with bacon and sage cauliflower cheese, buttered savoy cabbage, glazed root vegetables and roast potatoes. The roasts also came with a huge Yorkshire pudding, much to our delight, as I’m very much a Yorkshire pudding with any roast kind of person.
You always know when my lot are enjoying their food, the conversation stops and everyone gets absorbed with the meal in front of them. The portion sizes worked for all of, the chicken was moist and the cauliflower cheese was just wonderful. I do love a good roast dinner, even more so when I haven’t had to cook it, and enjoying a family meal at The Lion at Wendlebury is something we’ll definitely have to do again.
Anyone who knows me will have looked at the desserts menu and would have known instantly which one I’d pick. I’m a sucker for sticky toffee pudding, and if that’s ever an option, then I become blind to anything else. My son went for vanilla ice cream and the OH opted for the lemon bavarois.
The lemon bavarois looked almost too pretty to eat, and even though I’m not a citrus fan, I did have to try a little bit and I had to agree with the OH who thought it was very good. My sticky toffee pudding was just as good as I’d expected and the milk ice cream was the perfect accompaniment for the butterscotch sauce.
The service was excellent which is always appreciated when dining out with children. The grumpy nine-year-old who had walked through the door, left happy, full and smiling, which meant we’d had time to enjoy our food, relax and enjoy the whole experience.
We’ll look forward to returning soon. Have you been for a meal at The Lion at Wendlebury?
disclosure: we were given complimentary meals and a round of drinks in exchange for an honest review