During this time of year, shopping and dining come hand-in-hand. There’s nothing quite like sitting down for a bite to eat with a glass of fizz in hand as you take the weight off your feet after lugging around as many shopping bags as you can.
Luxurious Magazine’s Sabi Phagura caught up with Lauren Gurvich King, head of the retail sector at the recently opened Café Wolseley in Bicester Village in Oxfordshire. It offers exclusive Wolseley-branded homewares, souvenirs and tasty foodie delights to take home.
Here she shares with us how the Wolseley brand expanded beyond Mayfair and reveals what sets the new all-day café-restaurant apart. This new retail-dining concept from Café Wolseley is here to stay.
LM: Thanks so much for taking the time out to speak to us, Lauren. Can you tell us about the new concept behind Café Wolseley at Bicester Village?
LGK: Café Wolseley is our latest venture with an all-day café-restaurant open for breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner, along with a takeaway counter and shop. Taking reference from the London flagship, Café Wolseley offers an all-day menu in the European Grand Café style, consisting of both Wolseley favourites and the addition of new elements. We are also very excited to have a dedicated space for The Wolseley’s growing retail collection. The offer includes homeware items such as candles, crystal glassware and antique silver, along with the likes of shortbread, chocolate truffles and a full range of teas and coffee.
LM: What are the main differences and similarities between The Wolseley in Mayfair and Café Wolseley in Bicester Village?
LGK: Location, of course, is key, but just like our flagship site in Mayfair, Café Wolseley at Bicester Village retains all of the iconic design elements, attentive service and beloved menu favourites for which The Wolseley has become renowned.
LM: As the head of the retail sector of Café Wolseley, what do you think sets the new space apart from other cafés and restaurants?
LGK: We have taken inspiration from the iconic classic European institutions such as Demel in Vienna, which bring together a restaurant, patisserie and shop. Café Wolseley seamlessly offers an exceptional all-day menu whilst also giving customers the opportunity to take The Wolseley experience home. And for those who find themselves a little short of time, The Counter allows you to take away a coffee or cake to enjoy on the go should you wish. It’s the combination of all three elements, and the ambience and service at each, that sets Café Wolseley apart.
LM: Can you describe the retail collection and what it means to the Wolseley brand?
LGK: Over the years, we have received so many requests to extend The Wolseley experience into the home. We are frequently asked whether it is possible to buy our well-known coffee, teas, teapots, tea strainers, wines and more. It, therefore, seemed to make sense to go even further with a full range that would allow us to finally fulfil those requests. And so, it was with great pride that we launched The Wolseley Collection, giving our customers a chance to take a piece of our Mayfair establishment home. With its unique collection of classic homeware items, the finest confectionery, wine and artisan tea and coffee, it is a perfect representation of our brand.
LM: Café Wolseley offers a variety of menu choices. What are your favourites?
LGK: I love our pastries and cakes but of course have a very special affinity for our Shortbread which we also sell in a gorgeous Wolseley Chevron tin-they are the perfect mix of sweet and salty and crumbly and buttery!
LM: Which items from the Café Wolseley retail collection do you think make the perfect Christmas gift?
LGK: Our collection is wonderful for gifting needs – we have something for everyone at all price points. Our chocolate truffles and hot chocolate are the perfect stocking fillers, while our glassware is a beautiful solution for your festive table. Furthermore, our silverware has such wide appeal to tea and coffee lovers and fans of all things British heritage.
LM: How does the interior design of Café Wolseley in Bicester Village differ from The Wolseley in Mayfair?
LGK: Our design team did a fabulous job of capturing all of our well-known Mayfair Art Deco details including our Wolseley Chevron floor (where we got our collection packaging design inspiration), gold gilding detail, bold oversize chandeliers and comfortable leather banquette seating.
LM: If you were to describe Café Wolseley in three words, what would they be?
LGK: Timeless, classic and distinctive.
LM: Having visited the café, we can certainly vouch for that! Tell us, what’s next for Café Wolseley?
LGK: We are launching new products in February 2019, including a divine Wolseley Caramel tea, Salted Caramel Shortbreads and more! Watch this space….
LM: Which boutiques in Bicester Village will you be heading to for your Christmas shopping?
LGK: I love shopping, especially at this time of year. Some of my favourite stores are Anya Hindmarch, Acne Studios and Gucci!
Café Wolseley – Where and How?
Café Wolseley is located at 145 Pingle Drive, Bicester Village, Oxfordshire OX26 6WD. For more information, or to make a reservation, visit cafewolseley.com, or call 01869 220 676.