We ventured out to Buckinghamshire, were Chistopher is from, this weekend, roughly between London and Oxford. It doesn’t take long to get there, but the difference from the city is enormous. It is quieter, fresher air and a different pace. Exactly what we came for!
We met up with Ian and Anna to have a proper pub lunch at the The Royal Standard in Forty Green, one of those really English pubs and one of the oldest in the country.
There is plenty of woods and fields around the pub and outside there are plenty of benches to rest your legs on after a walk, and a few dogs are running around while their owner is enjoying a pint.
When you open the door you can’t help but notice the plaque on the door for the best pub of 2009. If you’re tall you might have to bend down to enter this old pub, but that is part of its charm. The bar is situated to the left and the kitchen is behind it, so straight ahead and to the right there are plenty of tables. The furniture is charmingly mismatched and worn. There is a fire going in the fire place and the heating is on too, so before you’ve had a chance to try the beer your cheeks are red. There are some dogs also inside and plenty of people around half one when we get here. We are lucky though an get a nice table in a cosy alcove almost immediately.
The menu doesn’t look very grand, it is just a printed sheet of A4, but there is plenty of hearty dishes to chose from. There are also some funny names, like Midsomer Murder resurrection pie, a nod to the series that have been filmed around here as well as other places.
We start with a drink and look at the menu, and after a bit of ambivalence we have finally decided. Even though Anna warns me for huge portions, I order both a Welsh rarebit and a side of chips. I mean, how huge can they be?! Ahem, enormous! The rarebit is two gigantic slices of bread, about two centimeters thick with plenty of cheese on top, and the side of chips is a whole soup bowl! Thankfully the boys have a good appetite and together we manage to clear all the plates.
Ian chose the homemade bangers with mash, that looks really good, and Christopher chose the rather old-fashioned suet roll with bacon. Anna ordered the Caesar salad and get a mountain of lettuce, bacon and chicken on her plate.
All the food is very good, and the portions very generous! It is nice hearty dishes prepared with love, and in this kind of environment, that is exactly what they should be serving. After the meal we went for a little walk which was much needed to digest the food. It was all in all a perfect Saturday in the country and in the evening I cooked a three-course meal in Christopher’s mother’s kitchen. What I made, I will show you tomorrow.