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The Angel, Burford - Restaurant Review

PUBLISHED: 09:59 16 December 2010 | UPDATED: 15:40 20 February 2013

The Angel

The Angel

In last month's issue pub critic, G. M. Ball, looked at how Freehouses are out-gunning tied public houses with better food and service. In this issue he finds one tied public house that is fighting back, with pretty good results.

Hook Norton is best known for brewing excellent Oxfordshire ale. Its tied public houses, on the other hand, are usually humdrum local boozers with the landlord's wife or boyfriend doing the cooking. Consequently, I was pleasantly surprised to see that Hook Norton's management have finally twigged that letting more of their pubs to tenants with a little food vision will likely sell them a few more kegs of ale over the long run.



Paul Swain, the new Landlord, has done the rounds in Oxfordshire pubs and his cheeky charm is winning over locals and tourists alike. The cooking is courtesy of David Latter and his wife, and although not likely to have their own reality TV show any time soon, they cook decent pub food that will satisfy most palates. The website correctly describes the food as: "a blend of tradition and individuality" or in other words: Mr. & Mrs. Latter can get creative now and again, so long as soup of the day, fish and chips, and, fish pie stay on the menu.



The individuality comes in the form of dishes like roasted breast of pheasant with grilled endive (a bonus point if you know what that is), and slow roasted belly of pork stuffed with brandy soaked fruits.



My party decided that we were feeling more traditional than individual and opted for: fillet steak on mash with red wine jus, which was tender and tasty, smoked haddock risotto, which was a little rich but flavourful, and dressed Cornish crab, which was particularly pleasing. A shared dessert of luxury ice cream rounded dinner off nicely. Paul ensures that service hits the right note, and he's happy to make food and wine recommendations.



The Angel is tucked into a side road off Burford's main High Street and shines a welcoming glow in the dark once the sun has gone down. The interior dcor is homely, with low beams and a large crackling fireplace, and there's usually one of the local's dogs stretched out in front of it. Curiously, the website says: "The Angel's restaurant makes good use of the space available." What this means in English is that the 16th century architects never banked on the room being used as a restaurant. Hence, the pine tables are crammed into a very tiny space, which is nice if you like the Swiss ski chalet feel, but awkward if you have a 36-inch waist or weigh over 15 stone, like yours truly*.



The Angel's location doesn't do it many favours, tucked as it is down a dark one-way Burford street. But it's slightly out of the way location and cozy cottagey feel make it all rather congenial once you're sat alongside the fire contemplating the menu, and whether you feel traditional or individual. The other drawback is the price: 100 for one starter, four main courses, one dessert and a few drinks is, I think, high for an Angel that's getting the basics right but can't claim to be transporting taste buds to heaven.



*Yes, I know I need to lose weight, please don't write in.




Typical Starters and Prices



Soup of the Day - 4.95


Seared Scallops with Grape and Mint Dressing- 7.50



Typical Main Courses



Fish Pie with Lemon and Parsley Dressing - 15.50


Slow Roasted Belly of Pork with Brandy Soaked Fruits and Mash - 15.00



Typical Desserts



Raspberry Cheesecake with Lemon Cream - 5.50


English Cheeseboard - 6.95




IMPORTANT FACTS



Getting there: On Witney Street, off Burford High Street.




Serving times: Lunch: Tuesday to Sunday 12-2pm


Dinner: Tuesday to Saturday 7-9pm



Bookings: 01993 822714



Website: www.theangelatburford.co.uk




G. M. Ball's second edition of the best selling Forty Classic Cotswolds Pubs is on sale now at all good bookstores, priced at 7.95.




Last month's column referred to The Swan at Swinford. This should, of course, have been The Swan at SWINBROOK. Apologies for the mistake.


Hook Norton is best known for brewing excellent Oxfordshire ale. Its tied public houses, on the other hand, are usually humdrum local boozers with the landlord's wife or boyfriend doing the cooking. Consequently, I was pleasantly surprised to see that Hook Norton's management have finally twigged that letting more of their pubs to tenants with a little food vision will likely sell them a few more kegs of ale over the long run.



Paul Swain, the new Landlord, has done the rounds in Oxfordshire pubs and his cheeky charm is winning over locals and tourists alike. The cooking is courtesy of David Latter and his wife, and although not likely to have their own reality TV show any time soon, they cook decent pub food that will satisfy most palates. The website correctly describes the food as: "a blend of tradition and individuality" or in other words: Mr. & Mrs. Latter can get creative now and again, so long as soup of the day, fish and chips, and, fish pie stay on the menu.



The individuality comes in the form of dishes like roasted breast of pheasant with grilled endive (a bonus point if you know what that is), and slow roasted belly of pork stuffed with brandy soaked fruits.



My party decided that we were feeling more traditional than individual and opted for: fillet steak on mash with red wine jus, which was tender and tasty, smoked haddock risotto, which was a little rich but flavourful, and dressed Cornish crab, which was particularly pleasing. A shared dessert of luxury ice cream rounded dinner off nicely. Paul ensures that service hits the right note, and he's happy to make food and wine recommendations.



The Angel is tucked into a side road off Burford's main High Street and shines a welcoming glow in the dark once the sun has gone down. The interior dcor is homely, with low beams and a large crackling fireplace, and there's usually one of the local's dogs stretched out in front of it. Curiously, the website says: "The Angel's restaurant makes good use of the space available." What this means in English is that the 16th century architects never banked on the room being used as a restaurant. Hence, the pine tables are crammed into a very tiny space, which is nice if you like the Swiss ski chalet feel, but awkward if you have a 36-inch waist or weigh over 15 stone, like yours truly*.



The Angel's location doesn't do it many favours, tucked as it is down a dark one-way Burford street. But it's slightly out of the way location and cozy cottagey feel make it all rather congenial once you're sat alongside the fire contemplating the menu, and whether you feel traditional or individual. The other drawback is the price: 100 for one starter, four main courses, one dessert and a few drinks is, I think, high for an Angel that's getting the basics right but can't claim to be transporting taste buds to heaven.



*Yes, I know I need to lose weight, please don't write in.




Typical Starters and Prices



Soup of the Day - 4.95


Seared Scallops with Grape and Mint Dressing- 7.50



Typical Main Courses



Fish Pie with Lemon and Parsley Dressing - 15.50


Slow Roasted Belly of Pork with Brandy Soaked Fruits and Mash - 15.00



Typical Desserts



Raspberry Cheesecake with Lemon Cream - 5.50


English Cheeseboard - 6.95




IMPORTANT FACTS



Getting there: On Witney Street, off Burford High Street.




Serving times: Lunch: Tuesday to Sunday 12-2pm


Dinner: Tuesday to Saturday 7-9pm



Bookings: 01993 822714



Website: www.theangelatburford.co.uk




G. M. Ball's second edition of the best selling Forty Classic Cotswolds Pubs is on sale now at all good bookstores, priced at 7.95.




Last month's column referred to The Swan at Swinford. This should, of course, have been The Swan at SWINBROOK. Apologies for the mistake.

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