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How to turn a Bicester Village shopping break into a family holiday

When mum wants to go to Bicester Village!

Sophie Vokes-Dudgeon

If a short break at Bicester Village has ever appealed, but you know the kids would rather do anything than spend their weekend traipsing round shops while you search for bargains, then The Lion at Wendlebury could be the perfect answer. Located just 10 minutes from outlet shopping heaven, The Lion is a charming gastro pub with rooms which is so lovely, kids not keen on shopping (and even reluctant husbands) will barely notice you’ve orchestrated an entire mini break around the Gucci end-of-season bargains you just can’t live without!

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Kids can stay in family rooms, or older ones are free to sleep in separate, next door rooms at this recently-renovated pub hotel. The interiors are stunning – plush velvet curtains, headboards which would look perfectly at home on Instagram and high spec shower rooms create a feeling of luxury.

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The rooms are gorgeously comfy and cosy

Meals are served in the dining room behind the main pub area. Breakfast is a self-service continental option or if you prefer, a table service cooked version is available (the eggs benedict got a big thumbs up). Dinner feels a treat - on a warm summer’s evening you can dine in the courtyard, but the internal area is again, interior designed to feel like a boutique hotel.

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Kids' menus make sure children are happy – with mini roasts a novel addition. Adult meals offer options to even the fussiest of eaters including full vegan choices. Close to the village of Bicester, there are plentiful other dining options near by too. The Chinese cocktail lounge and restaurant, Toho, was unexpectedly lavish, and while cocktails and Chinese were an intriguing combination, the food outstanding.

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The Lion's dining room is used for breakfast and dinner

Another reason The Lion is a great choice if you fancy splashing some cash at Bicester is that you can arrange personal shopping experiences for free – meaning the traipsing is less intensive for weary children. You also quaify for a VIP card just by being a guest of The Lion, entitling you to 10% off all your purchases.

And there’s so much else to do within a close proximity that non-shoppers can’t complain. The Cotswold’s Lavender Farm is just an hour away in the car – it’s the perfect destination for stunning photoshoots. And Blenheim Palace is full of family fun – from a huge maze you can literally lose the kids in for hours, to a butterfly house, adventure playground, mini train and delicious afternoon teas. Truly something for everybody.