The Lion at Wendlebury

This oh-so-lovely village pub recently re-launched with 13 charming rooms. Oh, and it’s 10 minutes from Bicester Village!

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You’ll be hard pushed to find another pub or ‘village inn’ operating continually since 1732. Some have been turned into houses, lots have been bulldozed and many are just derelict. The Lion, however, is the exception. And when we stayed, it was just as busy, I imagine, as it was back in the 18th Century. Full with locals, guests, and us, with both our dogs.

As you pull into the car park, you can spot the new investment: a purpose-built (but still totally in keeping to the main pub) L-shaped cottage which houses the brand new 13 rooms. From your car, you can spot the cute little beer garden with lots of lovely plants and a very inviting fire pit.

There isn’t a reception as such, as is the case with most pubs with rooms, which means your forced to walk round to the front entrance - which is when you see actually how charming The Lion, and Wendlebury is. The light sand colour of the bricks, the green opposite, the chocolate box cottages adjacent… it’s like one of those picture postcard moments. All a 10 minute drive away from Bicester Village!

The new rooms are so lovely, and actually rival most hotel rooms I’ve stayed in recently. Comfortable, bright, airy, clean… SUPER clean, and big! Dog friendly room are unsurprisingly on the ground floor, and ours had a great view outside.

They have that really well done shabby-chic feel, although it’s actually more chic: Farrow & Ball paint and Cole & Son paper line the walls, Feather & Black supplied the beds, and they have some of the most comfortable pillows I’ve ever slept on.

One of the first things I look at when I check in to a hotel room is the en-suite. If that’s nice, you’ll know the rest is going to be A grade. These en-suites are top notch. Big rain showers, contemporary tiles and Temple Spa toiletries. It would have been nice to have a bath, but it didn’t matter so much for one night.

Great for humans, and really good for dogs too (the house trained variety, obviously!) There was a little dog bed and some lovely treats waiting for our pooches. Such a lovely touch!

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Onto the food. Now, for two vegans it’s hard at the best of places to find something suitable, and unfortunately we forgot to give the chef advanced warning, so we had to improvise. But really we did very well! A smorgasbord of grilled vegetables and delicious homemade hummus, sweet potato gnocchi and a fresh and tasty quinoa salad. Oh, and obviously big, fat chips.

Since being there, it looks like the pub have updated their menu now for the new season, which includes a yummy vegan Thai vegetable curry, and also, for the meat eaters, a whole variety of grill produce, cheeses and more! Starters from £5, main dishes from £11 and desserts from £6.

Dogs, as usual in pubs, are allowed in the bar area and not the restaurant, but that’s fine with us. It’s often more comfortable in the bar areas. We have the area below, in front of the fire place.

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Room rates and facilities

Doubles from £130 a night, including breakfast and VAT. Families and dogs welcome.

Room categories: All doubles with standard, superior and two deluxe rooms featuring dual aspect windows and sofa beds for older children. Cots for babies are available.

For reservations call 01869 388228 or visit


Thank you to The Lion at Wendlebury for having us.