My favourite places: Emma Deeley
Super-stylish Emma Deeley, who owns The Tythe Barn in Launton with her husband Will, shares her favourite hidden gems found in Bucks & Oxon. Where first?
The Tythe Barn, in Launton, has some big fans here at Muddy (associate editor Kerry Potter even got married there) – owners Emma and Will Deeley are superlative, experienced party planners, with faultless attention to detail. And we aren’t the only ones who think so with the rustic-luxe venue recently scooping up the regional award for ‘Countryside Wedding Venue of the Year’ 2019 in The Wedding Industry Awards.
With such a gorgeous venue (major interiors inspo), we thought Emma would be the perfect person to tap for her favourite spots in Bucks & Oxon. Turns out we were right, put this lot on your go-to list pronto!
Bicester isn’t renowned for great places to eat but there’s this great restaurant called The Copper Kitchen, it’s quite a tiny little place on Sheep Street. It’s family-run by locals Kush and Keryn and serves really good, fresh home cooked meals with a bit of a Polish influence.
My husband Will doesn’t like fancy restaurants (he’ll always say ‘it’s a bit winky wanky in here!’) but when we came to The Copper Kitchen he loved it, it’s just home cooked food done really well. The chap came out afterwards and chatted to us about the food, asking if we liked it – it has a really nice personal feel. It’s definitely one place you wouldn’t expect to find in Bicester.
Beautiful Birds, Piddington
The beauty salon is run by Sascha, who’s local, and it offers all sorts of things, facials, nails, aromatherapy. The salon can accommodate about five or six people and it’s a bit different as you can have an afternoon tea or early evening tapas and Champagne with your treatments.
I’ve organised it for some of the girls who work at the Barn before – you choose a treatment and then Gillian, Sascha’s mum, makes the cakes and food which is all laid out when you go in. Every half an hour one of you pops off to have a treatment. You just spend the afternoon chatting, drinking, eating cake and getting your nails done, it’s a really lovely thing to do!
The Milk Shed, Weston on the Green
I think The Milk Shed is just great, it’s set in really unusual surroundings, in a warehouse-type area, it’s nothing grand but the food is really good. Over the years my reasons for going have changed a bit, I would go there when the kids were younger as it’s very relaxed with comfy sofas at the back, pens and crayons. It’s ideal because you can have a really great meal but take the kids along with you.
Now my children are a bit more grown up it’s the sort of place I would go to meet friends for brunch. I always have this delicious homemade quiche with a salad or for breakfast there’s a lovely sourdough with egg, bacon and avocado. It can get really busy at lunchtimes sometimes and you think ‘Oh no!’ because you can’t get a table.
The Pointer, Brill
I come here a lot with my family or to meet friends for dinner, it has really lovely food and rooms which I often recommend to wedding guests at the Barn. It’s a very cosy and friendly pub and I love the decor. I’m interested in interior design and I think it’s really stylish. There are a few different zoned areas, a great big fireplace and lovely cosy armchairs and sofas to sink into.
You can eat food at the ‘pub’ bit at the front, or there’s a restaurant at the back which I’ve taken our staff to for a meal. There’s a garden too. There are always lots of locals in here too which I like. My boys went to Ashfold School and I see a lot of the parents here, it’s a really friendly atmosphere. Brill is so lovely too, it’s a typical English countryside village.
These are places I go to a lot if I need things for the Barn or my own home. They are quite different, The Old Flight House and is quite a sophisticated shop, a bit posh, with a really lovely café, whereas Brackley Antiques is the sort of place you go for a real rummage but you can get some fantastic finds, plus it’s right next to Waitrose, kind of underneath, so you can pop in on the way out and get something for the kid’s tea.
LB’s Lebanese Cuisine, Summertown
Whenever I’m down Oxford way, I always go – I’ll even take a detour to pop in! It’s not really a café, just a shop that sells Lebanese food which is AMAZING. I’ll go in and ask the owner to put a selection in a Tupperware box and bring it back for dinner for Will and I. The falafel balls are delicious, so is the Baba ghanoush and the pita breads that you can get with all the different dips – there’s a really delicious mint salad too.
We do a little supper club every six weeks or so with friends, but because we all get back from work and don’t want to cook, and agree it’s all about getting together, we’ve made a deal that whoever hosts has to get a takeaway. We’ve had fish and chips, Thai, but for my turn I came here and bought a selection for a big spread of Lebanese food. It was gorgeous.
The Tythe Barn, Charbridge Lane, Launton, Bicester, Oxfordshire, OX26 4SR. Tel: 01869 321 442.