The Herbie Best Pub Grub Award 2019
has to be
The Dolphin in Wallingford
£7.95 for a tasty proper pie and lovely buttery mashed spuds
What's not to like - well done them. (Their beer was good too.)
And now for something completely different. Nobody but yourself to cook up a meal at the
Best Away From It All Mooring
There you are, out in the countryside, away from roads and buildings. With luck it's sunny and you can sit outside the boat , maybe have a barbecue or a picnic then go for a stroll.Why not stay for a couple of days and just unwind. Lovely. This year we have two contenders for the prize.
Our first nominee is only an hour's cruise from our marina at Cropredy. We go up four locks, wind round a couple of bends and tie up on the long straight that leads to Claydon Bottom lock.
Here the towpath is wide and grassy, the hedgerow is full of all sorts of plants and the only sound you hear is maybe a tractor working in the nearby farm. At the far end away from the lock, the towpath hedgerow has a nice gap to let in the sunlight and gives a view over a farm pond. The occasional walker comes past and stops for a natter, and all is well with the world. We use this place for a short break.There may well be other boats around, but there is plenty of room for everyone.
Even more remote, but sadly taking a few days to reach from our marina is the wonderful Kirtlington Quarry moorings - this time not on the towpath side.
Here you can tie up to a tree and enjoy a spacious clearing at the edge of the woodland. After you've relaxed for a while a flight of steps twenty yards away entices you up the hill
and in barely five minutes you can be here:
overlooking the long abandoned quarry floor, now a grassy clearing beloved by the local rabbits and sprinkled with chalkland plants including some pretty orchids.
Two quite different Away From It All moorings but both fabulous places to unwind.
Winner announce tomorrow together with a new Award category that may well shock some of our regular readers - Best Low Alcohol Beers and Ciders