A couple of Saturdays back we wandered over to Great Tew, mainly to visit BakerGirl (see my previous post), which, sadly, was about to close down. Being lunch time we decided to have a bite to eat at the local pub, The Falkland Arms.
The Falkland Arms Pub
Walking into the pub made me think of a “proper” English pub (from a Southern African’s view anyway). Low ceiling, a bit smoky with a lovely log fire in the fireplace – something necessary on a cold Saturday. A cosy and welcoming space.
On a previous visit to Great Tew and a short walk my wife had commented that she could “smell that the food was good” without even going into the pub. It was no disappointment.
The menu offered more than a normal pub menu, prepared on site from fresh ingredients. Indeed, the Falkland Arms prides itself on the use of local produce and support for local business.
We were too late to sample the chicken pie. Beef features very low in our diet preferences, though the beef pie was tempting. We chose a lighter option in the form of fish cakes. Served on a bed of french fries with creamed spinach, the salmon and chive fishcakes were “full meal” sized and well cooked and presented. Accompanied by a glass of wine for my wife and a glass of cider for me, they made an excellent Saturday Lunch.
Note to self – take food photos. Sorry readers, though I had two cameras, the food photos didn’t happen. May be we need another visit?
The meal cost just on £40. Arguably expensive for a pub lunch, but good value as a better quality meal. No complaints from us on that score.
Stay at the Inn
The Falkland Arms offers B & B accomodation in 6 rooms in their 16th century building. These look good and, if the accomodation is anything like the food, would be a great weekend getaway or a base to visit Oxfordshire.
A Bit of History
There is evidence that there was human habitation in the Great Tew area in the Bronze age, and the remains of a Roman Villa have been found nearby.
Th Falkland Arms pub, itself, has carried the name since 1830.
Following on from our 3 Counties Saturday, with a visit to Market Harborough, we decided to tag along and visit Holistic Harborough to see BOB (Brett’s Own Brews) and Betty (the coffee shop on wheels, pictured above) in action.
Bretts Own Brews – It’s All About the Coffee
Of course the coffee is the main event for Betty. Take your pick of the usual – flat white, espresso, cappucino or latte. I have to admit to being spoiled – I drink their excellent house blend and dark blend every day as filter coffee.
Brett’s Own Brews coffee is 100% Arabica, sourced from reputable Fair Trade suppliers and roasted in the UK. Take your pick of regular milk, or a selection of non-dairy milks, such as oat, almond or soya.
If you prefer your tea, choose from a number of biodegrable pyramids from Tea People.
Keeping it Sustainable
Bretts Own Brews is a strong supporter of sustainability, using Vegware cups, which are compostible, and bamboo stirrers. That goes even to the point of separating the compostible rubbish in the bin and sending that to a recycler.
Plastic packaging, not totally avoidable in a commercial food environment, is kept to a minimum.
And A Snack Alongside Your Coffee
There is a good range of snacks available from various places:
Sourdough based biscuits from Modern Baker, specialists in healthy baking.
Cakes, brownies and flapjacks from Nat’s Kitchen. I love that lemon tart!
Though we saw some sun, it was a cold day, due to a cold wind. The Square in Market Harborough is, however a great spot for a small festival of this type. People on their way to do their shopping and the like have little choice but to pass through the square and see the festival stands.
Though small, the festival attracted a number of interesting stands covering health, hemp and similar clothing and plastic reduction. A great idea was the Festival Bookshop in its distinctive blue Citroen van.
I’ll let the photos tell the story.
And the Next One
I believe Bretts Own Brews will be at the the Holistic Harborough events in June and September, as well as a number of other markets.
Given a sunny day, they should be good events.
One to pin to your board
Grab A Mug
Love your coffee? Drop in and check out this selection of coffee mugs from my store.
I use these myself to drink my Bretts Own Brews house blend coffee every morning.
They are a quality mug. Mine has now lasted around 3 years of daily coffee and dishwasher treatment.
Call it a tour of the neighbourhood. It started out as a quick drive to check out a bakery and have some coffee. It ended up as a three county tour, featuring coffee and good food.
Brunch at the Bakergirl in Oxfordshire
Our daughter and her partner invited us for a drive to check out Bakergirl, in Great Tew, in Oxfordshire. That was a good way to start a Saturday!
We indulged ourselves, somewhat, having a taste from a range of ham and cheese and bakewell croissants, cheese and tomato foccacia bread and Chelsea buns. All washed down with some good coffee.
This is definitely good artisan baking. There is no way you will buy baked goods this good at the supermarket. The local area seems to agree, as there was a continual flow of people queuing to buy, and the cafe was full all of the time we were there.
We left with a couple of loaves of sourdough (the best bread!) and a couple of cinnamon buns.
With a bakehouse in nearby Wroxton, Bakergirl operates from a coffee shop in the Oxfordshire village of Great Tew. But pick your time – they’re open Thursday to Sunday.
Betty & Market Harborough in Leicestershire
Over our treats, our companions, our daughter & partner, commented that they were taking Betty to an event this coming weekend, and were going to check out the site in Market Harborough, an hour’s drive away. We decided to tag along.
Having worked out the layout of the square, and established that there is ample power and easy access for Betty, we took a wander around.
Coffee shops were not hard to find, as you might expect in a busy town centre. One caught our eye.
Capulus et Artem looked like an interesting little spot, offering “Clumsy Goat” coffee. It turns out that Clumsy Goat is a UK coffee supplier with an interesting story to the brand name, to do with goats eating coffee beans. Check it out on their website.
We took away a couple of cups. Not the best I’ve had, but not bad.
Capulus et Artem offers tattoos upstairs, with a small coffee lounge downstairs.
If you are around Market Harborough, in Leceistershire, on the 13th April 2019, you may enjoy Holistic Harborough in the The Square.
Holistic Harborough is a celebration of things holistic – vegan, vegetarian and related “free from” foods.
If you go you will see BOB and Betty, and, maybe The Beast!
BOB Betty and The Beast – Just Coffee
Perhaps a bit of explanation…
BOB is my favourite Brackley based coffee company Brett’s Own Brews. Focused on delivering great coffee in as sustainable way as possible, and supporting UK based suppliers, they concentrate on sourcing fairtrade coffee, which is roasted and packed in the UK. Expect single use coffee cups which are completely recyclable. Also expect vegan options of cream and milk with your coffee.
Betty is Bob’s first babe – a fully equipped 3 ton mobile coffee shop.
The Beast is the twin cab used to move Betty, as she is a heavyweight!
So, Come next Saturday, BOB and The Beast will will take Betty to Holistic Harborough. Drop in and see them!
Lunch In Towcester, Northamptonshire
Getting home took us past Towcester, so we decided to drop in for a late lunch at the The Olive Tree in Towcester. The Olive Tree has a much bigger sister restaurant in Milton Keynes.
The Olive tree is a restaurant offering Turkish and Mediterranean food. And we were not disappointed.
To us this is not a restaurant at which you order a meal, so it “Mezze with Extras”. A couple of hot mezzes for two, with various sides, including whitebait, shared between the four of us. It does confuse the waiters sometimes! An ordering mistake (on our part) also left us with a great plate of lamb and chicken. Though it was a somewhat bigger than we had planned, it was a superb meal, and not hugely expensive.
If you are around Towcester I would highly recommend the Olive Tree. Go and check it out for yourself.
And That was Three Counties in a day.
What an interesting Saturday – bouncing through three counties to enjoy good coffee, cakes and Turkish food.
That’s actually one of the beauties of living in the UK – you don’t have to drive far to find somewhere interesting and good food.
And do drop in on the Brett’s Own Brews Website, and perhaps have a look at the shop. It’s currently available in the UK from the shop, but drop them a line if you want to order from outside the UK.
I like to spend time around light aircraft. So the Flight Deck Cafe at Turweston Aerodrome is a great way to spend time, having a meal, or just a cup of coffee and cake.
With its big windows you can enjoy your food and watch the aircraft taking off and landing. On warm summer day sit on the balcony and just enjoy the place. The aerodrome is well situated to service the local towns. It can be quite busy, especially at weekends.
The menu offers a good selection of light bites and brunch plates. We have, over time, tasted a good portion of their meals and never had any complaints. Try an all-day breakfast – that’s great. Burgers, well stacked, are also good. It’s always worth having a look at the specials board.
The Flight Deck always has a selection of tasty looking cakes. Don’t want a meal? Just enjoy a coffee and cake. And, of course, the aeroplanes.
Some of the items on the menu are gluten-free and / or vegetarian. We have always found the staff very helpful with special dietary requirements
Check out the website for the cafe. Or their Facebook Site. Have a look at a couple of our favourites below.
That’s a vegetarian brunch, made by request. Tomatoes, mushrooms, avocado and rosti
A Flight Deck Cafe Hamburger. With bacon and very tasty.
While enjoying your meal, also enjoy the view of aircraft landing, taking off and doing circuits. When the weather is good Turweston airfield can be quite busy.
Aircraft on the apron at turweston. The Cessna Citation jet is one I have rarely seen on my occasional visits.
Watching the aircraft movements from the Flight Deck Cafe. This appears to be a student doing “touch and go”
Seen from the Flight Deck Cafe – taxiing in.
Turweston Aerodrome visit to the Flightdeck Cafe. Photos from the balcony at the cafe.
The photo of the flight centre was taken on a winter breakfast visit to the cafe. Be sure that we’ll be back come spring and summer.
After a busy and interesting morning walking around the market, it’s time for lunch. Camden Market offers plenty of choice, whether you want to sit in a pub, or retaurant, or, like us, explore the street food. We checked out a few places, but wanted something different. Then we spotted the Yorkshire Burrito stand.
On various visits to the market we have enjoyed many dishes from simple fish and chips to exotic Chinese and Vietnamese dishes. This was something unusual.
Okay, in England we know that they do things differently “up north” :). But what is a Yorkshire Burrito?
Put simply, it’s a good old Sunday roast, in your hand.
Take a large Yorkshire pudding. Add some stuffing and a few spinach leaves. Take your choice of beef, chicken or cauliflower cheese, add it to the Yorkshire pudding along with a splash of gravy and, most importantly, some crispy roast potatoes. Carefully roll it up and seal it in a panini toaster (or something like).
What a different way to do the traditional roast! And very tasty too.
We tend to think of “street food” in terms of exotic foreign dishes, so it’s great to see something very English as a street dish.
Actually, talking to the guys running the stall, it was only their second day. They had sold out early on the first day, and were heading that way very quickly when we visited. Good luck to them – it’s a great idea!
It has been a while since we visited The Green Room in Brackley, though we used enjoy a frequent weekend breakfast there. By chance we have now had two breakfasts there in a week. I have to say there have been some improvement in recent months.
When we arrived the place was busy, with the downstairs seating area full. It was a pleasant day, so we chose the one remaining table in the garden, rather than sit upstairs. As the photo shows, the table was rather small for a full breakfast for two! That was our choice, so no complaints – we could have had more table space upstairs.
Green Room Breakfast
The breakfast menu has always had a wide range of options, from simple toast and marmalade to the traditional Full English fry up. Vegetarian and high protein options are there and the staff are always willing to adjust the plate to suit your own tastes. My family doesn’t know how to use a menu – something is always changed!
Our breakfast started with a great cappuccino and dairy free hot chocolate, made with soya milk, which my wife assured me was good.
My full English was well cooked and tasty. For those who don’t know it a “Full English” is a fry up consisting of bacon, sausage, eggs (poached or fried), and often includes beans, hash browns and black pudding. A big test for me is how “clean” the plate is. Sometimes the full English is served with a lot grease on the plate. This is a no-no for me. I am happy to report that my plate was clean free of stray grease and well presented. As the photo shows I opted out of the beans! My wife’s “vegetarian with a bacon cheat” was similarly a well presented meal.
During the day, once breakfast is over (11:15 on weekdays, 11:45 on Saturdays) The Green Room offers a selection of interesting meals. Not your normal “pub food”, and always something imaginative. I have always found something good to eat there.
This is also a good spot to stop for a coffee. And there is always an interesting looking range of cakes on the counter.
Tapas is on offer during the evening, though I have not yet tried that. The Green Room also has an extensive range of gin, carefully paired with the right tonic. Enjoy that at the bar, or with your dinner.
Would I go back to The Green Room
Without question I would go back for breakfast or lunch. We do aim to try their Tapas at some point soon.