The Cotswold bacon and sausage in a locally baked brioche bap, celeriac remoulade, watercress, fig chutney and fried egg at The Yurt

News that The Yurt at Nicholsons has a new brunch menu had us scarpering down to North Aston like rabbits down a hole. And what culinary delights there were in store.

Always a pleasure, the combination of the idyllic tented setting, wonderful seating options both inside and out and Andrew Carr’s consistent and innovative cooking is a big draw.

The Yurt

And as the dishes rolled out en route to other tables while we perused the menu, our stomachs began rumbling in anticipation.

It was a birthday celebration, so we went all out, a few pastries (the cinnamon and raisin whirl was a particular favourite) with our delicious teas, coffees and fruit smoothies (£4.95) before the main event.

buttermilk pancakes with caramelised bananas at The Yurt

Then the buttermilk pancakes with caramel banana (or kitchen garden rhubarb) for £9.25 which were a given before we even arrived, a generous pile of perfectly fluffy pancakes drizzled in maple syrup, the bananas perfectly crunchy but soft and hot inside.

The superfood mezze at The yurt

There were also some equally exciting but more unexpected dishes to choose from. Take the superfood mezze brunch bowl with green tahini, chickpeas, lentils, pickled garden vegetables, foccacia and North Aston Dairy garlic yoghurt (£12.95), which sounded earnest, but delivered on every front, each component singing. It was also picture perfect, not too overwhelming in size, and tasted divine.

Halloumi and avocado bap at The Yurt

Then their roast halloumi with avocado and tomato in a locally baked brioche bap, tomato relish and rocket with an optional fried egg (£8.95), beautiful to behold, generous in portion, and it held together rather than oozing out the sides.

It was in close competition with the Yurt’s take on a full English (see main pic) – Cotswold bacon and sausage in a locally baked brioche bap with celeriac remoulade, watercress, fig chutney and a fried egg (£9.95), which having seen our neighbouring table enjoying was impossible to resist, the ingredients speaking for themselves.

Eggs Royale at The Yurt

The more traditional Eggs Royale – toasted English muffin with Smokin’ Brothers salmon, poached Mayfield’s eggs, watercress, lemon and hollandaise (£12.95) was perfectly executed, and ample with carefully sourced fish and sauce, to match The Yurt’s excellent sustainability credentials.

The wonderful GM Imani Brooke

So yes, a massive success and as brunch goes really hard to beat. We would highly recommend it next time you’re pondering where to go for brunch, and, come rain or sun, its wonderful staff always ensure a great experience. Praise indeed but then there aren’t many garden centres that can offer culinary riches like these!

The Yurt at Nicholsons is at The Park, North Aston, Bicester OX25 6HL. Go to