SquareMeal Review of
The Hundred of Ashendon
What was a 17th-century local watering hole has been impressively reborn as a cool-looking gastropub-with-rooms, complete with a full quota of designer fabrics, modern art and mismatched furniture. Local boy Matthew Gill honed his craft at Michelin-starred big hitters including St John and The Hand & Flowers, Marlow – and it shows in his terse seasonal menus and his liking for big, bold flavours. Starter plates of ‘pork terrine’, ‘red mullet soup’ or ‘celeriac, radish and Berkswell’ could lead on to ‘braised rabbit, white beans and chorizo’, ‘skirt steak with fries and aïoli’ or ‘mutton rump, purple sprouting and anchovy’. To finish, try apple pie and custard or ginger loaf with butterscotch sauce. Alternatively, there are bespoke banqueting-style feasts for big groups. Beers and wines do the place proud, while five charming boutique bedrooms await those who fancy a sleepover (ahead of a trip to nearby Bicester Village, perhaps).