Reviews - Pub review

By William Grobel

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Chitty chitty bang bang Chardonnay

Jac Roper
Jac Roper
The Bull & Butcher Turville, Oxfordshire. Snuggled in the Chiltern Hills under the watchful gaze of Cobstone windmill lies Turville - the...

The Bull & Butcher Turville, Oxfordshire.

 Snuggled in the Chiltern Hills under the watchful gaze of Cobstone windmill lies Turville - the quintessential English village-cum-film set. The 12-sided, late 18th-century windmill was home to the inventor Caractacus Potts, in the film of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. The rectory and St Mary the Virgin Church were the domain of Dawn French in TV's The Vicar of Dibley; indeed the whole show was based on Turville. And the village has featured in other TV programmes such as The New Avengers, Good Night, Mr Tom and Midsomer Murders.

 The pub is a charming original structure with wooden beams, low ceilings and large fireplaces. It is divided into the Well Bar, which features a 50ft well beneath a glass tabletop, and the more intimate Windmill Lounge. There is a substantial beer garden at the front of the pub allowing ample room for weary walkers to rest their legs, warm up and enjoy the fine range of beers, wine and food. Lydia and Hugo Botha, the tenants of this Brakspear pub, offer a specials menu with four starters, four mains and two puddings, in addition to the main menu. The theme is traditional English country pub fare with a twist. Ingredients are seasonal, local and fresh and the portions are generous.

 Starters include crayfish tails on a shell of salad with a lemon-lime mayonnaise (£7.95), cured meat platter served with olives and grated Parmesan (£7.95), and grilled goats cheese with sweet balsamic dressing (£6.95). Our main courses of Chitty Chitty bangers and mash (£10.95) with three types of sausages, a deliciously peppery steak and ale pie (£11.95) and oven-roasted chicken breast with a cranberry & orange sauce (£12.95), could not be faulted. The presentation was contemporary, with wooden platters for the meat starters and square white plates for the mains, but without any poncy drizzling, minimalist portions or architectural degrees needed for the assembly. The service was speedy and friendly. Prices were justifiably on the high side, but, overall, the atmosphere, history and location of the place added to what was a superbly-cooked and delivered meal.

 PubChef rating​ (out of 10)Ambience:​ 9 Value for money:​ 9 Flavour factor:​ 10, Overall impression:​ 9 BEERS:​ Brakspear's Bitter and Special, Hooky Dark Ale from Hook Norton Brewery, Addlestone's cask-conditioned cider. MAIN COURSES:​ £10.95 to £14.95 WINES:​ 11 whites and 16 reds, 3 rosés, sparkling wines and Champagne. Wines include a Ramsay Pinot Noir (Californian) and Blush Pinot Grigio, from Sartori, Italy. ANOTHER THING:​ This award-winning pub features in the Michelin Restaurant Guide and the Michelin Eating Out in Pubs Guide.

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