If I go into a pub in the winter and there is a fire, I am a happy customer. I walked into the Red Lion at Stoke Poges to find four fires going and a great range of drinks at the bar. On a drizzly, grey day that’s always a welcome sight. I was there to try out their lunch offerings and after sitting down in the restaurant, which was lovely, bright and airy but still with brick fireplaces and exposed beams, I tried to make some menu choices.
A few Fridays ago I headed off for a one night stay at The Maytime Inn at Asthall (near Burford, Oxfordshire). Sometimes I think a weekend away is better than a week away. Taking a Friday afternoon off to escape somewhere, far enough away that you're somewhere different but not so far away that you're forever travelling, to spend a short time relaxing or doing something new is always good idea as far as I'm concerned. Asthall is a very picturesque
The Dundas Arms in Kintbury had a bit of an overhaul a few years ago; a bit of redecoration, a spruce up in the garden and more. It has recently come under new management and I was invited to try out their dinner menu. I had been for lunch a few days before and I liked what they served (classic Ploughman's and sandwiches) but I wasn't prepared for the dinner menu (and food) to be quite as good as it was.
I was in one of those terrible dining
The Crab and Boar near Newbury is in a lovely location; surrounded by rolling Berkshire countryside. Inside the pub it’s slick and modern but comfortable too. There are plenty of big squishy chairs and sofas to relax in around the bar and the layout in the restaurant means you get the background hubbub of noise without feeling like people can overhear you. A few weeks ago I was invited to try out their evening menu and I was looking forward to
I've driven past The Pheasant at Lambourn plenty of times but had never actually been in. I went a few weeks ago to try out their dinner offerings. It's in such a lovely location; rolling fields all around and because it's Lambourn a subtle equine theme throughout the pub. I thought they had a really good selection of wines by the glass (5-6 red and white) and some fantastically expensive bin ends too; something for everyone. I went for a pinot nero
The Yew Tree at Highclere is just down the road from me and I'd heard that the refurbishment had really opened up the previously, slightly dingy inside. I really like how open it looks now with books piled high all over the place. They have just developed the garden out the back and I think it'll be an amazing place for a summer afternoon; they've got a fresh fish counter ready for you to choose what you want and get it straight on the BBQ.
I'm pretty sure I'm not the only person who likes tea and cake at any time of the day and I have a particular preference for them served together between the hours of 2pm and 4pm. I love it when you can try an afternoon tea with a difference; I have tried a gentlemen's afternoon tea before complete with mini pork pies and sausage rolls, one that included soup and another with mini ice cream cones. The afternoon tea at Buddha Bar Knightsbridge has
I love a trip to London. If I get the good train it's less than an hour and it's a great excuse to see some friends who live in the big city. I always try to go somewhere I haven't been before rather than returning to somewhere I've already tried. There's always something new going on! My most recent trip up was organised to make the most of a restaurant offer from Bookatable. I didn't actually know until I investigated that there are all sorts of
I like heading to Oxford for a day out; it’s not too far away and there are plenty of good places to eat and drink. I don’t know it terribly well so always tend to head to the areas I know rather than spending the day seeking out somewhere new. I recently used Quandoo for the first time to find somewhere to eat in Oxford; there were so many places I hadn’t heard of it was a bit of a job to choose where to go! Turl Street Kitchen sounded like
I’m not sure how many of you lovely readers of my blog are in or around Newbury but I think I speak for everyone when I say that (finally) it seems as if Newbury’s culinary scene is improving. We had a few nice restaurants in the town centre, (The Square and Petit Square spring to mind but both now closed), the family run Italian (Valle D’Oro) and many country pubs but we went through pretty slim pickings in Newbury town centre for some time.