Thursday, 28 February 2013

The Angel

The Angel is a lovely restaurant in a sixteenth century coaching inn located in the Buckinghamshire village of Long Crendon. I have actually had lunch at The Angel three times since we arrived in England. The first time was for my birthday last October. My husband took the day off work and took me to The Angel, which specialises in seafood, for a surprise as seafood is my favourite food...yes...even more than chocolate!

The Angel, Buckinghamshire

On arrival, you can choose to sit in big, comfy leather couches, next to a log fire in the bar and have a pre lunch drink whilst perusing the menu. A tray of complimentary croutons and olives were bought out for our enjoyment. Now I love food, nearly every food, but I have never enjoyed an olive. I have always been slightly jealous of friends who would devour them by the jar. A friend in Shanghai used to bring kilos of them from Australia to satisfy her olive cravings. I felt I was missing out and have spent years trying every olive offered in the hope of being converted. I popped one of these in my mouth...mission accomplished...these olives were delish!


There are different dining areas, all with their own character and atmosphere. A lovely bright conservatory, with crisp white tablecloths overlooks the sun terrace.

Dining Room

The exposed original wattle and daub walls form a feature in light and airy middle room.

Dining Room

The a la carte menu is a selection of fresh and seasonal produce with fish being the star, the blackboard featuring the day's seafood selection. On my birthday visit I had a beautiful, light dish of Salmon, cod and prawns with tomatoes and snow peas. 


After our meal a selection of hand made chocolates was presented to me for my birthday which was a very nice touch!

Birthday treat

When we paid the bill we added my email address to their mailing list of events and special offers. We were happy to see the February lunch special of two courses for £10 or three for £14.95...bargain. There was a selection of three entrees, three mains, all of which sounded great and/or a dessert from the a la carte menu so we went back for a Friday lunch date.

Haddock and Leek Risotto

I chose the Haddock and Leek Risotto on sautéed spinach as an entree, which was delicious and perfectly cooked. My husband had the Chicken Liver Parfait with Red Onion confit and toasted brioche, which was half eaten before I could take a photo! 

Fish Pie

We both chose the Angel Fish Pie with Cheddar as our main, which was full of beautiful fresh fish, including salmon and cod, in a lovely light creamy sauce. Great choice! We told our girls about our delicious lunch when they came home from school. My seafood loving tweenager made me promise to take her to lunch in the half term I was 'forced' to go back to The Angel! 

We shared the Risotto for entree, with staff happy to split the dish. The tweenager devoured a serve of the fish pie for main, I chose the Pork and Black pudding with apple mash option which was very nice. We then shared a Sticky Date pudding with honeycomb ice cream for dessert. The tweenager makes a pretty good Sticky Date pudding herself, but this one was spectacular, very light and fluffy. I was lucky to get a few spoonfuls!

Sticky Date Pudding

Three visits, three beautifully presented meals. Nice atmosphere with good service...and it's close to home..perfect!

The Angel has extended the Monday to Saturday lunch special into Spring, with a Monday to Thursday dinner option of two courses for £15, three courses for £19.95. Both menus will change weekly and will offer local meats and fresh fish. A great meal at a fantastic price in a lovely setting. The wine list is quite extensive and is available by the glass. A selection of local bottled beers is also available. Water is provided and a selection of warm breads is offered to start your meal.

The Angel Restaurant
47 Bicester Road
Long Crendon
HP18 9EE
Phone: 01844 208 268

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Hughendon Park

I love getting out and about on the weekends with my family and discovering the amazing walks that England has to offer. One of my favourite finds is Hughendon Park, part of a historic estate that was once home to former Prime Minister, Benjamin Disraeli. Lots of grassy areas for the dog to run and play with beautiful views over the parkland for us to enjoy. 


Just off the A4128, there is parking near the church, if that is full, head up the hill and there is plenty more.

Dog walking

The dog loves to play fetch and there are heaps of sticks to throw if the ball gets lost. 


Kids are encouraged to get in and enjoy the environment.


We wandered along with this stream to our left, lots of space for all to enjoy.

Doggy Fun

The dog was happy to find some doggy mates to run with. All the dog walkers we have met here are really friendly....the dogs are too!


The walk is beautiful, with lots of benches to sit and enjoy the environment. It will be a perfect place for a picnic in the spring!

Avenue of Trees

We turned right and headed up the hill, found a gorgeous avenue of trees, then walked back along the crest until we found some gates leading to woodland.

Pet cemetary

We came across a little pet cemetery...seems dogs have been enjoying these grounds for many years. I later discovered that the tombstones were erected by Coningsby Disraeli, nephew and heir of Benjamin Disraeli, in memory of his dogs.


A path meandered through the woods, with Hughendon Manor on our right. A nice way to spend a chilly, clear winters day. We came across a junction with three choices, left, right or straight ahead. We turned right and went up a small hill, past the stables and ended up at the carpark where we had started! Lucky as it wasn't planned, we had intended to turn around and come back the way we had come. So we ended up doing a big loop around the property which took about an hour. Nice family outing and the dog could join us too! I look forward to having a look around the Manor, which is part of the National Trust now that it has reopened for Spring. Love how our dog walks become history lessons!

Hughendon Manor
Valley Road
High Wycombe
Buckinghamshire HP14

Check it out and get maps of the full walk at:

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Goodbye Dragon...Hello Snake!

I loved the build up to Chinese New Year in Shanghai. The colour, the foods being prepared, the vibrancy, the mass migration as people started the long journeys home to be with family.


A celebration, a time for new beginnings, we were privileged to be a part of it.


I really missed the lead up to Chinese New Year this year. The Waitrose CNY displays of 'Chinese' food such as Pad Thai and Massaman curry did little to add to the meagre atmosphere. Really least use Chinese foods for a Chinese celebration. I would even have preferred Sweet and Sour Pork to Thai and Indian!

Yu Yuan

I really missed the amazing fireworks displays from our apartment's 29th floor balcony!


We were so lucky to spend the day celebrating the outgoing year of the Dragon and the incoming year of the Snake with our extended family in central London.


Chinese treats for all.


Amazing home made dumplings! A huge feast was had!

Cutty Sark

We all went for a walk, to work off some of our feast. We wandered by the Cutty Sark.

Painted Chapel

Visited the amazing Painted Chapel at Greenwich.

Old Royal Naval College Chapel

We chanced upon a practice recital at the Old Royal Naval College Chapel...what an amazing place to rehearse!

Mean Time

We reset our watches at Greenwich, after standing on the Meridian Line of course!

London View

Gazed over the amazing city of London!

Cutty Sark

We then wandered back to our cousin's house for a feast of Shanghai Noodles before heading home, satisfied that we spent Chinese New Year, not in China but more importantly with our family!

May your Year of the Snake be prosperous and full of good fortune!

Friday, 8 February 2013

The Six Bells

Friday Lunch date is back! After being interrupted by Christmas, New Year, school holidays and business trips, my husband and I have resumed our Friday lunch dates. Our initial plans were thwarted when we went to a highly recommended pub without a reservation...It was obviously good as it was packed! Off for a stroll to find Plan B! We came across The Six husband had been there and shared a pint or two of real ale with a friend so we thought we would try out the food. It's a cute old pub, built in 1560, lots of atmosphere, old beams and roaring fires but on a chilly grey day was still very light and airy. Lots of cosy areas tucked away so has a nice intimate feel to it.

The Six Bells, Thame

The menu had a great selection, from nibbles to starters, sharing platters, light meals and more substantial mains. Meals are prepared using locally sourced, seasonal produce. My husband and I are quite partial to a nice home made pate so we shared the Chicken Liver Pate with pear compote and toasted sourdough to start.  The pate was delicious and smooth, the pear compote a perfect companion and it came with just the right amount of bread!

Chicken Liver Pate

A selection of 'Small meals' was offered and as we didn't want a big feast we both chose the small serve of Honey Dew battered cod fillet with triple cooked chips, home made tartare sauce and minted pea puree (mushy peas). I'd hate to see the large size as the small size was fairly large...I couldn't finish mine! Good rendition of Fish and Chips. It seems we are on a quest to find the best Fish and Chips in the country!

Fish and Chips

My husband was impressed with the care taken of the 'well kept' ales on offer and the information provided! He sampled a few and confirmed that they were indeed 'well kept'! I can confirm my lime and soda was refreshing! Someone has to drive!

The Ale Trail

Was a lovely place to sit and spend some time together after a busy few months. Nice atmosphere with friendly staff, we'll have to head back in the summer as they have a beautiful decked garden area. Family friendly, you can even take your dog!

Dining Room

I'm sure you can tell how good a place is by the cleanliness of it's bathrooms...these were spotless and I love the fact that the porcelain in the bathrooms comes from Thomas Crapper, the man who gave us flush toilets and possibly adding the word 'crap' to our vocabulary!

Thomas Crapper

The Six Bells
44 Lower Hight Street
Phone: 01844212088