My sister has been up visiting this weekend, and while I cooked dinner for us all on Friday, no one should be subjected to it two nights in a row. So we headed to The Magdalen Arms for dinner on Saturday. I was a little apprehensive about the veggie options because they don’t publish the menu in advance &, as you know, I’m fussy!
Fortunately I was in luck. Not only did they have great veggie food that I liked, I actually had choices! This is pretty rare for me so I tried to go for things that I wouldn’t ordinarily choose. The starter was the toughest, with the choice ranging from vegetable tempura (which my sister had & was lush) to a bowl of Padron Peppers. This was described by the waitress as peppers in their simplest form, slightly grilled with a little seasoning. I went for the peppers & I wasn’t disappointed.
They were green peppers so they had a strong flavour and some had a lovely warmth to them. They were delicious and light. A perfect veggie starter. I was so glad I picked them. For my main, I ordered the tagliatelle, which came with mushrooms and an olive oil & garlic dressing. Again, it was perfect. So often I’ve eaten risotto or pasta dishes that seem to have a fields worth of mushrooms in them and over power it. This didn’t it was tasty, light and a reasonable size. I was pretty pleased, especially as it meant that I had room for pudding!
Again, there was plenty of choice when it came to pudding and again, I went for something that I wouldn’t ordinarily have – Ice Cream. I didn’t want something that would make me too full, and they had a great choice of praline or chocolate caramel meringue. I opted for a scoop of both & I wasn’t disappointed. In fact, they were so delicious and the portion so generous that I failed to finish it (My OH valiantly stepped in & ate the remaining mouthfuls!) It was so tasty that I couldn’t wait to eat it & failed to take a picture! Oops! So here’s a picture of the bowl! Enjoy x
If you’re looking for somewhere to eat in Oxford that’s a bit different with a relaxed feel & great surroundings, then try The Magdalen Arms. The food is excellent & the service was great. I’ll definitely be going back!
On Bank Holiday Monday, I went to the Foodies Festival. I love a good food festival & had never been to this one before. Having read about it on Oxford City Guide, I thought it would be a great way to spend the day. Dressed for rain, well it is a British Summer, my OH & I set about to explore the wonders of the festival.
There were so many stalls to choose from it was difficult to know where to start! We decided on heading around the edge but we got distracted by the Drink Me Chai stand! I bought two tubs for £2 each & tried the mango flavour. I was very surprised that I liked it – I don’t normally like fruit flavours in things but it was really subtle & refreshing. The guys on the stall were great & very enthusiastic!
There was an amazing variety of fresh food stands from paella to jerk chicken to Indian takeaway. The biggest difficulty was trying to decide where to buy food from! When the rain decided to fall, we stopped at the Tregothnan Tea tent & had a very refreshing cup of tea. We then put a plan into action of how to eat the most samples in the smallest space of time! And there was plenty to try.
My favourite finds were the chutney, cheese & bread in the picture above. The cheese is lovely and not too strong, while the chutney is warming but not over powering. We also bought some Sipsmith Gin & got a free drink, which was delicious! I do love a good gin! Some of the other things we tried were a veggie pizza, a pie from Sweeny & Todd in Reading (though, sadly, no veggie pie for me!) and a candle cake. We also bought a Lancashire Bomb cheese, which we’re saving for Christmas. The only thing missing was some delicious macarons, but fortunately we stopped off at Chateau Gateau on the way back to the car & bought the beauties in the picture below. They are the BEST macarons I’ve ever tasted! It was a great day out & I can heartily recommend it.
I have two twitter accounts. My craft one & my work one. On my work one I follow a few local businesses. Gee’s Restaurant is one of them. At the start of the week, they tweeted about a competition. I’ve won a few things on twitter, Albert being one of them. This week I won a lunch at Gee’s! I was so excited! Despite living in Oxford for three years, I’d never ventured to Gee’s so this was to be a whole new experience!
I loved it! The staff were all lovely. Nothing was too much trouble but they weren’t overbearing. We were allowed to have 2/3 courses from the set lunch menu. All we had to do was pay for drinks. Deal. The surroundings are exquisiute! I don’t think I’ve ever been anywhere quite like Gee’s. They are relaxed enough so that you can relax but formal enough to make it seem like it’s a bit of an event that you’re there!
Naturally I opted for the 3 course! I started with the mozarella and tomoato salad. This was really tasty & the best bit was the tomatoes. They’d use different varieties. Then I had the Peppers Piedmontesse (without anchovies). I had no idea what it was & was a little surprised to see that it was a pepper with a tomato inside. It was delicious & it came with the lovely green salad in the picture above. I didn’t want anything too heavy as I’d eaten quite a bit of bread while we waiting for the starter (which was gorgeous, came with real butter & there was lots of it!) plus I had my eye on the deserts.
I had the Tiramisu. This was my choice because I’d never had it before and the other choices were sorbet (yuk!) & jelly (not veggie). I was not disappointed. It was amazing! Quite light & choclatey with not too much coffee.
I will definitely be going back. I wish I’d gone there for my birthday now! You can have such a lovely relaxing time, go somewhere fancy & it not cost too much. I liked all the food I had. When I asked about the main and whether it was vegetarian, the response was ‘no but I’ll ask chef to see what they can do’. Music to my ears!
Thank you so much for my free lunch Gee’s! I will be back! x
A little while ago I noticed that Alissa at Oxford City Guide was using the hashtag #supportlocalsaturday on Twitter. This is such a great way to remember to use independent companies while spending your hard earned pennies.
Today I pretty much out did myself. First port of call, after returning my library book, was to the local excellence market in the town square. Here I bought some soap from Beyond Bubbles. Then some potatoes, bread and pasties from local producers. My OH bought a book by a local author, MG Harris, from Mostly Books. I also took a trip to my local haberdashery Masons to buy some beads for something crafty I’m working on.
Then we popped into Oxford. We went to Comma Shop, which is a real favourite of mine. It is the perfect place for any stationery geek. And my OH bought me the awesome Slush Puppie badge! Then we went next door to the Magdalen Arms who were having a market. It was filled with handmade, vintage & retro goods. I bought some vintage tea spoons and some homemade jam from Porch Pickles. I can’t wait to try it!
After all that shopping, we headed to Oxfork. I could live here! They have amazing coffee & cakes and do the best fried egg sarnie I’ve ever eaten. We bought some of their coffee, their Simnel cake (it’d be rude not to!) and some Jeeves & Jericho Breakfast Tea. Perfect!
I feel really lucky to live in an area where there are so many independent places & I’m always more than happy to support them!