Being based in the Cherwell Valley (or the Oxfordshire Wolds apparently!) and so near to the Cotswolds, we are pretty much spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing a decent venue for a good bite to eat.
In the immediate vicinity of Cherwell Valley Today’s HQ, we have numerous excellent eating opportunities, but my dining companion-Inspector Morsel-and I spent last Friday evening venturing out to the beautiful village of Paxford not far from Chipping Camden to enjoy a mouthwatering meal at The Churchill Arms. We had planned to travel on the latest addition to the family-a Ducati Diavel Strada-but wedge heels and fast motorbikes simply do not mix so watch this space for our next adventure when I will be more appropriately dressed!
The Churchill Arms is a 17th century pub, but has a distinctly contemporary feel with exceptional food and varied wine and ale choices. The décor is fresh and elegant and the atmosphere as we walked in was very welcoming with bar area buzzing and most of the tables for dinner already taken by what looked like very happy and satisfied customers.
Family and local life are at the heart of this pub which serves firm British classics, taken to the next level by Head Chef and Proprietor Nick Deverell-Smith and his team.
With lovely, attentive staff and a menu of scrumptious delights to select from, it was tricky to know what to choose.
What did we order?
A crisp, summery New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc went really well with the delicious bacon and tomato arancini which were duly delivered from the kitchen as a little pre dinner taster.
For starters we opted for the smoked haddock soufflé with chive veloute and Cornish crab with avocado, grapefruit curd and coriander.
Both were deemed divine after the first mouthful and we were understandably excited about what was to follow.
Inspector Morsel loved his crab starter and then moved swiftly on to the Cotswold Lamb rump with local heritage tomatoes, asparagus and basil pesto. Unable to resist, he also added a side of mash which was perfectly creamy and fluffy and the perfect accompaniment.
I opted for the Churchill’s Gnocci with heritage tomatoes and basil pesto. Delicious and tangy, this went really well with a side salad.
Puddings were a real challenge, but we went for the vanilla cheese cake with gooseberries and the strawberries with cream and toffee meringue. Both delightful and traditional but brought bang up to date with various contemporary tweaks that worked so well.
We completely over estimated how full we were and greed got the better of us when we ordered coffees with hand made truffles.
Utterly delightful-these beautiful chocolatey trinkets coated in fine cocoa powder were a step too far-we managed one each with what was the best cup of coffee we have enjoyed in a very long time, but under strict instruction from Inspector Morsel the other two were duly wrapped in a napkin and secreted in my clutch bag to be enjoyed later…(and they were!)
A beautiful place, wonderful staff and truly delicious, exceptional food. What’s NOT to love about The Churchill Arms in Paxford?
To book visit www.churchillarms.co
Ring 01386 593159