After months of domestic imprisonment, the twelfth of April had become a highly significant day as pubs and restaurants were allowed reopen, albeit outside, and everything in the world was hunky-dory once again.
It snowed. Is this some kind of sick joke Mother Nature? She's obviously a bitter and twisted teetotaller.
We didn't venture out until Friday. We also chose to go at lunchtime as I thought a balmy 9 degrees was more appealing than 4 degrees later on that evening. My choice was also based on the size of heaters so The Hollow Bottom it was.
Before The Lucky Onion Group acquired the pub, the previous owners had replaced a tiny unfunctional car park at the rear with some tiered decking, a "beach bar", a boules court and BBQ pit. Although I have to this day never seen either of the latter two used, it was an impressive space.
Two thirds of the space is covered with the rest open for people to soak up the spring sunshine in their coats and hats. We were undercover.
I had gone prepared with four layers and a scarf. However, after five minutes I had removed the scarf and two of the layers as the monster gas burner was making us feel like we were in Greece rather than Guiting Power.
The Hollow Bottom has a new menu which was long overdue. They tried putting their stamp on various pub classics when they first opened. Some really worked. The Ham, Egg and Chips is an impressive whole honey-glazed ham hock and has survived the cull. Others, like the chicken in a basket, really didn't work and have had the chop.
The menu consists of some light bites, including things like 1/2 Pint Prawns with Aioli and Chilli Whitebait. There are ten starters, twelve main courses, if you include the four "pub classics" and a selection of sides.
We ordered the Twice Baked Haddock Souffle, New Seasons Asparagus, Chives & Caviar Sauce and the Confit Wood Pigeon & Chicken Liver Pate to start, followed by the Cotswold Venison & Claret Pie (with a courtesy side of fries for the gravy) and the Spiced Rubbed Pork Belly, Spring Carrots, Pearl Barley Risotto & Apple Chilli for mains.
It was incredibly impressive.
This was seriously good grown-up cooking which the pub deserves. It was the kind of food you would expect to see at its sister pub, The Wheatsheaf in Northleach which has always been superb.
We may have to sometimes battle the elements and the part of your brain that questions why you would consider eating outside in freezing temperatures, but my god, it's good to be back out