Restaurant Of The Week: Cecconi’s Bicester Village
Let’s be honest, it’s a bit late for creative Christmas shopping. Scouring antique shops, local boutiques and craft fairs was a lovely idea in October, but when it came down to it, life got in the way. So now, a week before Christmas, it’s time for a supermarket sweep-style take-down of the shopping list. Where better than designer shopping destination, Bicester Village? While you’re there, check out our restaurant of the week, the newly-opened outpost of Cecconi’s.
Restaurant Review: Cecconi’s Bicester Village
Bicester Village is under an hour from London on a direct train from Marylebone station, in which time you can plan the tactical shopathon around the boutiques. Homeware from Soho Home, The White Company, Bamford and Lalique, perfumes from Penhaligon’s and a diary or two from Smythson’s; your lucky friends and family members won’t know what they’ve done to deserve such spoils. We won’t sugar-coat things though, all this spending is exhausting, there are fellow last-minuters to navigate and stress levels are high. You’ll be needing a calm and cosy spot to recuperate and recover, with some comfort food and a (very) strong drink. The village is home to several fine restaurants, but our pick for a festive feast is the brand new outposting of Mayfair favourite Cecconi’s.
Founded in 1978 by Enzo Cecconi, general manager of the famous Cipriani in Venice, Cecconi’s has long been a buzzy stalwart of Mayfair’s glitzy streets, popular for chic and discreet booth-style dining, flawless service and indulgent Italian cuisine. You’ll find all three at the new Bicester location, the first outside of London.
Very much a place to see and be seen, but what to eat? Check out the handmade artisanal pizzas if it’s fast fuel you seek, play favourites with the seasonal specials or go for all-out comfort with the famous pastas including their signature Spaghetti Lobster. Summon up some salmon tartare starter, then make a break for the baked gnocchi (a knock-out). If you’ve room for pudding, you have to try the lemon meringue pie or the affogato (not to be forgotten) or even the vanilla panna cotta.
If you came by train and can indulge in a festive mix (or six), check out the cocktail menu, packed with sophisticated drinks that will make you think you’re back in Mayfair (just don’t miss the last train home).
THE FINAL WORD
A one-stop-shop Christmas shopping destination with a fine Italian supper to round off the day? We’ll tirami-see-you there.
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