Quite a few more to come, Best Gadget, Best Pint, Best Cruising stretch, Scariest Moment, and more, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves, what about our decision on Best Rural Mooring (or perhaps we should call it stopover). Oddly, Kath can’t recall the Swinford one I posted about yesterday – perhaps we imbibed well that day. No matter though, because our winner is not that one. Maybe it was the may blossom
or the wild flowers in the hedge like these Speedwell
or maybe it was just the perfect spring day, but
our winner for best rural mooring is Slat Mill Lock.
So now to something completely different.
Pub grub near the canal.
This year I thought it might be fun to compare some very different types of cuisine.
We didn’t eat out whole lot this year, but a couple of meals spring to mind.
1. A bust-a-gut special
A pub we know well for it's generous portions surprised even us this year. The Wharf at Fenny Compton does huge portions of their home made pies – we knew that, and very wholesome they are too, if perhaps not exactly good for slimmers, but even we were surprised at the size of this pud, which took four of us to try to eat (and we still had some left over). here’s jacob and Grace making a start on it.
Some may call that obscene, and I wouldn’t argue, but eating about a tenth of it was nice.
2. Naughty Breakfast
When we go on a cruise down the Oxford, it’s inevitable that we end up at Banbury on our last night out before returning to Cropredy. So to set ourselves up for returning to our mooring, clearing the boat, packing the car and driving home, we have started fortifying ourselves with a proper breakfast on our last morning. Wetherspoons is only a five minute stroll from the town moorings, so that’s where we go.
I should add that our normal breakfast is fruit and muesli or granola – Kath has hers with yoghurt, so this full English is a special treat. Actually, the ‘Spoons breakfasts are very good value especially now that you can have endless cups of coffee.
3. Posh Nosh
Previous winners, the Great Western at Aynho have never let us down and this year we enjoyed a cracking evening there in the genial company of Oakie, and had a meal as good as the company. Rene the chef there knows a thing or three about cooking. The only complaint you might have is that compared to other canal pubs, it ain’t cheap, but you get what you pay for. I can’t actually remember what I ate there this time, but you can be sure it was very good.
4. A new find
There’s a boat on the Oxford canal with an advert for The Three Pigeons pub (Banbury) on it, so we’ve known about the pub for quite a while. This year we decided to seek it out and it’s a good ‘un. You can walk there from the canal in about five minutes. There’s a pretty walled patio for eating / drinking outside in warm weather and the inside has been given a very tasteful refurb. The pub seems to be staffed entirely by pleasant and efficient young ladies (although I think the chef is a geezer), and they look after you very well. We’ve eaten there a couple of times and it’s always been good. The most recent time we ate inside and I had some pork medallions in a fab mustard sauce. I recall finishing it and saying “Well that’s a sure fire contender for a Herbie Award”, and so it is. Try their (very tall) burgers too.
5. A Traditional hotel meal
“What about your trip down the Thames?”, I hear you ask. Well we mostly moored in the sticks and self catered but as we moored at the end of the garden at the New Inn Hotel in Lechlade, we thought it would be churlish not to eat there. It has the feel of earlier times somehow and the menu is sort of traditional too. I ate a slow cooked blade of beef with proper gravy and the veg were done just right. The staff were attentive too and we were made to feel welcome. My mum would have liked it.
Well there’s five to choose from. It all depends on your leanings I suppose. I know a lot of boaters concentrate on value for money. calories per pound? There again we all like a proper treat now and again. Or maybe I should also have included Lechlade’s extremely good Fish and Chip shop, but it hardly qualifies as pub grub. Perhaps these days we should have an award for best takeaway.
I’ll consult SWMBO and give you our winner next time, when we’ll delve into Best Gadget On Board. That always throws up some odd ideas.