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Eat here: The Milk Shed, nr Bicester Village

img_8198You probably don’t need another excuse to break for the border and head to Bicester (Bicester Village for a bit of early Christmas present shopping anyone?!) but I’m feeling generous so I’ll give you one anyway.

I had a meeting at Bicester Village last week (by which I mean coffee with my friend Jude at Villandry) and we then zipped over to The Milk Shed at Weston-on-the-Green to meet another friend, Kirsty, for *cough* a meeting (ok, ok, lunch) as it’s only 10 mins from the Village.

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And what a fab lunch it was! The Milk Shed is a very cool, very unexpected little café/ice cream parlour/deli/gourmet shop based at Manor Farm and owned and run by Lucie Greenwood, who previously ran her own event catering company for several years. Now in it’s third year, the café has really got into its stride and the food is blinking brilliant.

Don’t come here expecting a (yawn) jacket potato (unless it’s the most dip-dang-tastic jacket you’ve ever tasted) because Lucie and her team cook what they love, and what they love is exciting, delicious food that will slap your taste buds around and make you desperate to tell a friend immediately what an absolute find this place is.

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You could sit here all day and work your way through the menu (and one day, I fully intend to) locally roasted coffee, gorgeous banana pancakes, a crispy bacon sarnie, daily lunch specials (like chorizo and butterbean stew, or grilled mackerel on toast with chunky tartare); exciting salads, The Milk Shed’s signature club sandwich (charred chicken breast, pancetta, Emmental, slow roast tomatoes, basil mayo and rocket since you ask), deli platters, sticky clementine cake… I know, I know, your legs have given way haven’t they?

Breakfast is served all day and there’s a children’s menu – and children are very welcome, it’s a relaxed open space with plenty of room for buggies, there were lots of mums and kids the day we ate here.

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Lucie regularly posts pictures of her latest creations for the lunch menu on her Facebook page, and it’s the best food porn ever! Grilled mackerel with pepper salsa and crunchy spiced almond yogurt; Pinā Colada French Toast with pineapple butterscotch; Leek, ham and Emmental crepes with Dijon bechamel… Seriously, I can be 50 miles away and I’m tempted to just hop in the car and drive over for lunch!

For lunch Kirsty (*ahem* work colleague) and I both had the mega Milk Shed salad plate with basil mayo and herb grilled chicken (£10.95) and it was delicious – chicken marinated and cooked beautifully, mayo packed with flavour and there were loads of scrummy grilled veggies making up the salad.

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Jude had warm peperonata on toast with buffalo mozzarella, pea shoots and toasted seeds (sorry, she ate one of her slices of sourdough before I could nab a photo – you just can’t get the staff). Luckily she’s a fast learner and with a bit of help from Kirsty they styled the shot perfectly, see…

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I was the only one piggy enough to tackle dessert (when will people learn that this is research – I don’t do it for the love of pudding, seriously, it’s brutal work out here on the frontline of over-eating). Warm chocolate and peanut butter brownie (£3) who in their right mind could say no to that?!

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The cakes all looked great – soft, moist and flavoursome. But what really got us excited was the ice cream – gorgeous creamy Jersey ice cream homemade right here (Lucie bought the machine and all the gubbins and taught herself) and check out those flavours!

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So if you’re planning a trip to Bicester Village soon, or you’re looking for a gorgeous quirky café to hold your next girlie lunch meeting with friends colleagues then add The Milk Shed to your list! It’s also worth mentioning that just opposite the café is a sweet little interiors/gift shop called Heart & Soul Selling hand painted furniture, vintage finds, chalk paints, gifts, and well worth a mooch!

THE MUDDY VERDICT:

Good for: girlie lunches, cake-munchers, ice-cream lovers, demon-shoppers needing sustenance who just fancy a change from the Village eateries. Plus there’s a lovely outdoor area if you want to enjoy some of the last warm(ish) October rays.

Not for: Posh noshers. It’s an excellent café on a farm, cosy with battered old pine tables and comfy chairs, not white tablecloth territory.

££: Towards the higher end for café food. Mostly around the £9-£10 mark for mains. But portions are generous, ingredients top notch and I guarantee you’ll love it.

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The Milk Shed, Manor Farm, Northampton Road, Weston on the Green OX25 3QL. www.themilkshedstore.co.uk

Note: The Milk Shed is closed on Mondays.

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