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.
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.