Saturday 17 May
Dag and Diane took us out for another of those lovely wandering days in the sunny countryside. We spent most of it in the marvelous landscape gardens at Rousham, with only a few apricots for lunch, and then made a jaunt to Broughton Castle, though we could only see it from the outside, as the BBC had misinformed us about its open days.
We consoled ourselves with pints and a game of Aunt Sally (exclusive to Oxfordshire) at the friendly Lampet Arms in Upper Tadmarton. Then for dinner, we headed down to somebody else's arms, the Joiner's, for some hearty pub grub.
Some of us continued the bitter theme with half pints of Hooky's best (a local product), though others progressed to a bottle of Los Romeros Malbec, a very decent drop.
Our best starter was home-smoked duck, almost like pastrami, on salad with a drizzle of sweet "Asian plum" dressing. Not as good, since probably a premade product, were three tiny crabcakes of no particular virtue but spiciness, served with horseradish mayonnaise and salad.
Mains were heartier, and better, on abundant platters: one of ribeye steak, nicely grilled but thin in the British style, and another of mixed grill: 20 oz. of rump steak (ditto), chicken breast, gammon, pork steak (a bit overdone) and a nice pork banger. Both came with ample loads of chips, a couple of onion rings, and the ubiquitous salad.
And how we managed to finish all this, even considering the lack of lunch, we will never know.