Even moar fudz

Yesterday I left Oggsford for the wee village of Denton, where one of my oldest college chums lives with his English wife. But on the way we stopped for refreshment at The Three Conies in the village of Thorpe Mandeville, a pub with good beer, great food, and (important at this time of year) an open fire.

It’s tied to the Hook Norton Brewery, which is okay because Hook Norton makes fantastic beers. There’s a selection of four cask ales:

Sadly, they were out of Old Hooky, one of my favorite pints, but the Flagship was very good.

There’s nothing like a good pint, a plate of haddock and chips, and an open fire on a drizzly day:

For dinner at my friends’ there was an appetizer of shrimp, washed down with a fine Condrieu; and,with the main course (stuffed peppers), I was given a choice of four great red wines (below). It was a very tough decision. I love Cote Rotie (Rhones are the best), but there were two spectacular Portuguese wines as well as the 2001 Viña Ardanza from La Rioja Alta, one of the two or three best Riojas I’ve ever had (I’ve previously sampled only the 2004 vintage). Kudos to the person who guesses which one I chose!

After dinner I had the luxury of watching a live (televised) football match: Juventus played Chelsea in the Champions League.  For those of you who follow football, you’ll know that Chelsea had a miserable showing, losing 3-0 in Turin.  And, this morning, Chelsea fired its coach Roberto di Matteo, a serious mistake given what he did for Chelsea last year.  When Abramovich (the gazillionaire owner of Chelsea) finds a replacement, it will be the ninth manager of his team in nine years.

39 Comments

  1. Galactor
    Posted November 21, 2012 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    You need to be careful in those Oxfordshire villages.

    There tends to be a rather high proportion of intriguing murders taking place, especially in and around Oxford itself, and while they generally get solved, it would certainly put a damper on any visit.

    • Bonzodog
      Posted November 21, 2012 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

      And a large number of the victims are academics!

    • teacupoftheapocalypse
      Posted November 21, 2012 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

      Ah, but the place not to live is the quiet village is Midsomer, where there is foul and bloody murder every week.

      Makes me wonder why people would want to live there in the first place. :)

      • teacupoftheapocalypse
        Posted November 21, 2012 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

        Um, “the quiet village OF Midsomer”.

    • js
      Posted November 22, 2012 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

      Intriguingly the murders in Oxford stopped around 2000 and then started back up around 2007.

  2. coozoe
    Posted November 21, 2012 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    You chose Cote Rotie.

  3. Posted November 21, 2012 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    I’m going to guess the Côte-Rôtie, ’cause that’s what I would have chosen :)

  4. krzysztof1
    Posted November 21, 2012 at 11:58 am | Permalink

    The fish and chips looks incredibly good!!

    • Miles_Teg
      Posted November 21, 2012 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

      Looks like a very small plate by Jerry’s standards. And just an appetiser for me… :-)

  5. gbjames
    Posted November 21, 2012 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    JAC: Do you get pleasure by tormenting me like this? ;)

  6. Filipe
    Posted November 21, 2012 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    (Oops, originally posted on the wrong page.)

    I’d go for Mouchão. Quinta do Vallado is also good but I prefer Alentejo wines to Douro’s. They tend have a stronger taste than American’s and people used to French grapes are probably used to.

    People are always surprised when I say I like visiting England for its food, but it’s true. I truly enjoy a pint of beer with fish and chips, and all those weird pies one can find there.

    • Posted November 21, 2012 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

      As far as I can tell, England’s contribution to the art of cuisine has more to do with her conquest of India than anything else.

      When my husband & I went there in 1969 the best restaurants (that we could afford, at least) were Indian. Coming from the frontier of upstate New York, as we did, Indian food was quite the treat.

      • Filipe
        Posted November 21, 2012 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

        I prefer my Indian food in India (I go to there quite often), eaten with bare hand on banana leaves.

        I really like pub food, strange as that may sound. I love going to the UK.

      • Jeremy Pereira
        Posted November 21, 2012 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

        English cuisine has changed out of all recognition since 1969.

      • Tumara Baap
        Posted November 21, 2012 at 11:23 pm | Permalink

        Indian food in U.K. is what Mexican is in the U.S. – the second local cuisine, if you will. I’ve even heard from friends that some pubs dropped fish & chips from their menus for chicken tikka masala.
        That said U.K. cuisine is now one of the finest in the world, and especially so in London. And by this I don’t mean a profusion of cheap ethnic eateries, of which there are plenty. But rather sophisticated local tastes are reflected all the way from their supermarket fare to their home grown chefs and haute cuisine. They sure took a clue from some of their old colonies and from continental Europe but are now a gastronomical force all their own. Any notion of British cuisine being all bland boiled chicken and peas is a worn myth.

      • Dominic
        Posted November 22, 2012 at 3:25 am | Permalink

        Boiled beef & carrots!

  7. Posted November 21, 2012 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    You’ve been robbed with that paltry amount of chips Jerry. I’d ask for my money back if I were you.
    The first photo on this link is more like a proper portion.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/wordofmouth/2010/may/20/how-to-fry-perfect-chips

    • whyevolutionistrue
      Posted November 21, 2012 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

      Agreed, but there were BIG chips! You can’t have too many chips (if you’re near a Five Guys in the U.S., order their “large fries” and see if you can finish them!

      • Posted November 21, 2012 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

        That looks more like it Jerry.

    • Hempenstein
      Posted November 21, 2012 at 11:33 pm | Permalink

      Amends for the paucity of chips are made by a real woodburning fireplace, and sadly they become fewer every day.

  8. Phil Knight
    Posted November 21, 2012 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    Before you come up to Scotland next week, I suggest you check what “fud” is a (coarse) slang term for to avoid an unpleasant misunderstanding!

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted November 21, 2012 at 11:58 pm | Permalink

      While in the free software world FUD stands for the propaganda (Fear Uncertainty and Doubt) that large computing vendors (who I won’t name here lest I start a Holy War) used to spread to persuade buyers to stick with their product.

      Come to think of it, [the other meaning of] fud is probably entirely appropriate to apply to that tactic.

      • Pete UK
        Posted November 22, 2012 at 5:32 am | Permalink

        Slightly OT, but it still makes me chuckle…

        I used to work at [name redacted by request], and instilling FUD about your competitors in the minds of your clients was the order of the day.

        Sometimes, though, your competitors help you. In the early 80s, the office systems company founded and named after Charles Wang plastered their new slogan on ads and billboards in the UK:

        “Wang Cares”

        I had to be shown a sample before I was prepared to believe it…

        • sailor1031
          Posted November 22, 2012 at 6:20 am | Permalink

          I well remember the classic Computerworld headline (front page no less):

          “New options for your Wang”.

        • Miles_Teg
          Posted November 22, 2012 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

          “I used to think Wan King was a province of China, until I discovered Smirnoff.”

          (a take off of the Seventies ads promoting Smirnoff vodka that had the format “[blah blah blah] until I discovered Smirnoff.”

      • Pete UK
        Posted November 22, 2012 at 5:35 am | Permalink

        I should add to my previous post that I could have been working for one of any number of vendors – we all tended to do it!

  9. Posted November 21, 2012 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

    Quinta.

  10. shazam
    Posted November 21, 2012 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

    When I lived in England as little as 14 years ago the food was, well, English.

    There is a remarkable difference since then… I’ve been back several times in the interim and watched the change occur… I like.

    • Miles_Teg
      Posted November 21, 2012 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

      English pub food *can* be okay. You just have to find the right pub. I often eat a disproportionate amount of Indian food in the UK. Chinese is my favourite but Indian seems to predominate there.

  11. Don Quijote
    Posted November 21, 2012 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    Being a Spanish heathen, I would have drunk all four.

    • Dominic
      Posted November 22, 2012 at 3:24 am | Permalink

      Being an English barbarian so would I, but I would guess the Vallado. I much prefer Spanish wines to French to make a sweeping statement.

  12. gravelinspector
    Posted November 21, 2012 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

    I’m slightly surprised that you didn’t take the option suggested by the name of the pub and tuck into a nice bunny. Roast or stewed.
    Or was that not on the menu on the day? … I wouldn’t be surprised – finding bunny for eating these days is a bit of a task.

  13. Arne
    Posted November 21, 2012 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

    As to football, a manager per year ist not all that extraordinary, it’s on the high side for manager turnover, but not totally unheard-of.
    And the new guy, Rafa Benitez has a record of a) beating José Mourinho’s Chelski when it did not fit into Mourinho’s wordview at all and b) being the only manager ever to get the full potential out of Abramovich’s 50-million-pounds-on-legs Fernando Torres.
    As to why Benitez is doing this, I suspect he is as of now the best paid manager in world football…

  14. Posted November 21, 2012 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

    I’ve had some very good fish and chips, but I suspect I’ve probably never had truly great fish and chips. Some of the best I’ve had in recent memory has actually been at Tom’s Chicago-Style Barbecue just a couple miles away from me — and this is in the same plaza that used to have a fish-and-chips place. That a BBQ joint had better fish-and-chips than the fish-and-chips place probably has something to do with the fact that there’s no longer a fish-and-chips place in that plaza….

    b&

  15. sailor1031
    Posted November 22, 2012 at 6:15 am | Permalink

    No contest – Cote Rotie!

  16. Blondin
    Posted November 22, 2012 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    Is Oggsford anywhere near Royston Vasey? I hear the local shops there are… interesting.

    • teacupoftheapocalypse
      Posted November 22, 2012 at 7:10 am | Permalink

      What’s this? We’ll have no trouble here!

    • bric
      Posted November 22, 2012 at 7:22 am | Permalink

      But strictly for local people

      • js
        Posted November 22, 2012 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

        What a bizarre series that was.
        Very strange and very funny.
        Their other series about the murders was good too.


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