The annual trip west of the M40 into Cherwell, the unexceptional but cosy area between Banbury and Oxford.
An area lacking tourist clout but full of posh villages like Duns Tew, making a first appearance in the Guide since the Iron Age.
There’s been some good pubs round here over the years; the Crown & Tuns in Deddington was in the first 25 Beer Guides and the villages are attractively nondescript.
Duns Tew is down the road from Great Tew, home of the Falkland Arms, a rather gorgeous pub where I was once charged a less than gorgeous £10 for camembert in a box.
The White Horse is an altogether more straightforward village pub.
We tipped up at opening time to find a group of youths smoking in the drizzle.
An authentically old school posh Oxon interior.
Before I’d got within ten feet of the bar I was asked what I wanted.
Give me a chance ! I hate being rushed when you haven’t got a clue what’s on the bar.
Something odd from Cornwall, something well known but hard to keep at its best, and something off.
A half of Landlord it was. Not a good half (NBSS 2), but what a glass that is ! A bizarre half-pint jug with a pheasant motif, straight from the 1970s.
A posh village pub geared up for evening dining, I felt uncomfortable and out of place, and wondered why they didn’t just put Hooky on.
Your average city dweller would think it was all very quaint, and it was, but it wasn’t a place for the casual drinker. Two lads at the bar (who weren’t drinking the ale) were watching kitten videos on their I-Phone, which made me feel even more left out.
Quaint loos, complete with ancient Guinness adverts,
and the inevitable Baylis & Harding, always the sign of a non-pub.
We were stared at as we said “Thanks” and left, allowing them to return to their kitten videos in peace.