But first, in response to countless requests, here’s that Banbury tart from the Chipping Norton post. I had no idea Banbury tart looked like a Cornish pasty either.
Yes, it made it home to the plate.
Salford is a tiny village, somehow packing in a church, phone box, war memorial, overgrown tennis court, a phone box (with defibrillator), and a pleasant pub with polite staff and roaring fire.
But hardly any customers. At 1pm on Saturday lunchtime, two old boys at the bar drinking lager, two beers on the pumps. Ruddles and Green Jack. What’s wrong with Hooky ?
The Golden Best (“That’ll be £1.90, altogether“) had clearly been on for a few days and was starting to “fizz”. It wasn’t totally undrinkable, but I couldn’t drink it. On the usual principle of never taking back a half in a village with a gibbet on the village green, I snuck out when they weren’t looking.
If a third of your custom on Saturday lunchtime is pub tickers you’re in trouble. Use it or lose it Salford.
Ten miles north-east, past the Rollright stones (now a micro pub) and Hook Norton (now Hook Norton), Bloxham has an edge-of-Cotswold appeal on its main street.
A rambling public school (whose school boys ought to learn to walk quicker),
the gorgeous looking Joiners Arms that looks like it ought to be a Donnington house,
and the Red Lion , yet another from Oxon’s collection of “How did that get in the Guide pubs“. The pub sign is, again, a giveaway;
Again, it’s clearly the vast range of exciting beers that has propelled the Red Lion into the Guide.
The Young’s Ordinary looked a bit better but again lacked freshness (NBSS 2.5). I really wish I’d been allowed to go for the Marstons 61 Deep on keg like the diners would have done if they weren’t drinking lager. At least this place was packed.
I’m afraid the interior was so dull I couldn’t bring myself to take a photo from my perch at the bar. Use your imagination.
But finally, in Bodicote and the Plough, an example of how to do it.
Starting with the sign;
A real Oxon local, with horse brasses, over-excited locals and professional drinkers at the bar.
A rather magical drop of Wadworth 6X (NBSS 3.5), just as it was down the road in Adderbury this year.
As you can see, some quiet pubs on Saturday lunchtime in Oxon, reflected in beer quality. I noticed two mainstream bitters on keg (Bass and Marstons), clearly a worrying trend.
On the plus side, Witney up next.