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Set in a handsome hilltop village between Aylesbury and Oxford, this well-manicured pub/restaurant hybrid is the project of a City insurance whizz, who has tied it in with the farm down the road. As a result, The Pointer has access to all manner of (mostly) organic ingredients, while meat from the pastures also goes to the local butcher and village school – it’s a genuine community hub. Executive head chef James Graham learned his trade in some of the country’s top kitchens and it shows: sensitivity and attention to detail are paramount, whether it’s a hunk of home-baked bread, ham hock terrine with piccalilli or ‘Peter Rabbit’ accompanied by glazed carrots, baby gem and camomile broth. Fish is from further afield, of course, but items such as roast hake or pan-fried grey mullet still receive home-grown accompaniments (wild garlic and pea fricassee, asparagus and chive oil, to be precise). To conclude, the dessert menu might usher in lemon polenta cake or blueberry pannacotta with coconut sorbet. Excellent local ales are on tap and service gets full marks.
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