It felt like we had to wait an age for the Double Red Duke to finally open its doors. After the announcement in November 2020 that Sam and Georgie Pearman had acquired what was The Plough at Clanfield and would launch in February 2021, lockdowns and various restrictions delayed that until May 17th.
Even more exiting was hearing that they had secured the services of Hawksmoor and PittCue's Richard Turner to work alongside Head Chef Richard Sandiford. This could only mean two things, fire and an abundance of meat.
Of course the menu isn't just full of meat. There is a cheese & onion tatin, veggie mixed grill and a trio of salads for the herbivores amongst us, but there's no fun in any of that,
Unsurprisingly, and right up our street, there is a separate menu for steak cuts from where we picked a incredible chunk of medium-rare ribeye. I sat and watched the chefs cooking various ribs and T-bones over the flames from the 14-seater kitchen counter which felt like the front row of the world's best theatre. I always find open kitchens captivating and could sit there all day, especially watching these masters of meat at work.
Away from beef steaks, the "Large Plate" menu boasts wild fish on-the-bone, grilled rose veal chop, fried oysters & egg tartare, spit roast turbot (which looked amazing when it went by to another table) and half a chicken spit roast, as well as the classic fish & chips, pie & mash and the Double Red burger.
The "small plates" menu (nobody does "starters" anymore) is equally exciting and includes some exquisite Wood Roast Sea Scallops with Wild Garlic Butter, Milk & Honey Lamb Chops with Pea & Haggis Salad (I will try this when I go next) and some superb sticky and perfectly charred Apple Glazed Bacon Ribs, Apple, Tamarind & Fennel Slaw.
If you're feeling hungry, which we were, there's also a "snacks" menu at the very beginning featuring some wonderful light and crispy Dublin Bay Scampi and three different flatbreads. We chose the Courgette, Wild Garlic & Mint one to share but you would probably need one each depending on how many other dishes you choose and how big your appetite is.
There wasn't any room for a dessert. If I was staying the night, and home was just a short walk away up the stairs, I would have probably dipped for the white chocolate cheesecake or the sticky toffee pudding. However, if the choice is more meat or leaving room for a pudding, there is only ever going to be one winner.
If staying the night is an option for you, then the nineteen bedrooms are all as heavenly as you would expect. They each, like the whole of the interior, carry the Pearman stamp. There is an abundance of snugs where you can hide away from the world for an afternoon, and the magnificent Downton Abbey-famed Oxfordshire countryside is quite literally on the doorstep. What's not to like?
The Dodo Pub Co. today announced that will be creating a new pub in Witney.
The Part And Parcel will be located in the old Post Office in the market square with work commencing on the site very soon.
This will be the sixth Dodo pub. Their portfolio already boasts The Rusty Bicycle, The Rickety Press and The Up In Arms, all in Oxford, The Bottle of Sauce in Cheltenham and The Last Crumb in Reading.
To celebrate Summer, The Scenic Supper is hosting something a little different for the August Bank Holiday weekend.
"The Long Table" will take place over 2 evenings - Friday 27th and Saturday 28th August at Todenham Manor Farm, just outside Moreton in Marsh.
The Long Table will bring some important things ‘back to the table’ that we’ve all missed over the past 18 months... friends, family and laughter, all served over incredible food from the seven-course menu and cocktails to share at their feasting table.
Visit www.thescenicsupper.co.uk to book.
New to the Cotswolds, Pit Kitchen , is launching on Friday 2nd July and promises exciting menus, inspired by the best of London’s epic street food scene, and served in a beautiful rural setting. This inventive new alfresco dining hub is located on a picturesque hillside, owned by the Cornwell Estate, just outside Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire, on a popular walking route just off the A44.
Open until late October, Pit Kitchen will offer both a takeaway service and on-site dining. Pit Kitchen is the brainchild of brothers, Adam and James Thomas. Originally from Worcestershire, the brothers have 15 years’ catering industry experience between them. Formerly based in London, the brothers hit on the idea of bringing London’s incredibly popular street food scene out to a rural location. “We’re looking forward to introducing the locals to some of our favourite things; top sarnies and Middle Eastern cuisine! All cooking will be over an open fire surrounded by views to die for!” says James Thomas.
The family team (with help from consultant chef, George Uren of River Cottage, Axminster and The Pony & Trap at Chew Magna) has created small, seasonal yet budget-friendly, street food style menus prepared fresh each day at breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner.
The Pit Kitchen’s mantra is ‘a few things done really well’ with a focus on showcasing the finest fresh, local ingredients from the surrounding countryside (wherever possible). Count on a small, but delicious range of bold artisan sarnies made using Pit Kitchen’s own recipe focaccia, plus soups as well as first class coffee and sweet treats during the day. On Friday and Saturday evenings, the menu will be inspired by Hackney’s rich Middle Eastern heritage with a modern Cotswolds twist, meat and veggies cooked on open air wood fire pits for ultimate flavour, plus a handful of delicious sides. Vegetarians and vegans will also be well-catered for at every sitting and all dietary requirements including gluten intolerant and nut / dairy free are a given.
Other local suppliers include; Meat from Todenham Manor Farm, breads by Marks Cotswold Bakery, dairy from Ampersand Dairy and Cacklebean Egg Company eggs.
Drinks will include a top notch offering of a select choice of ever-changing artisan London beers available by the can; from brands including Small Beer Brew Co. and Gipsy Hill Brewery, as well as a selection of wines, and coffee from Adam & Oliver Coffee Roasters of Chipping Norton.
All drinks and dishes will be served from the counter ‘street food style’ in a refitted shipping container kitchen clad in reclaimed timber. For those choosing to eat on-site, long, communal tables are positioned to make the most of the views and edged by a wildflower meadow. In the evening, diners will be warmed by open fire pits, sheltered by sailcloth awnings hung with festoon lights.
From Friday 2nd July until late October on Fridays 12pm - 10pm and Saturdays 9am - 10pm Sundays from 9am - 6pm for breakfast, brunch and lunch with further days to be confirmed.
It will be walk-in only, no bookings and the takeaway service is also walk in only.
Visit www.pitkitchen.co.uk for more information,