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Eat, Sleep, Drink


Drinks ikfxy3

We have a working theory in the office – all the best things in life start with a C…


From a humble bar of Dairy Milk to the mastery of the esteemed Belgian makers, Chocolate is never not desirable. Its unique mouth-feel plays a large part in the appeal; soothing, encompassing, sweet and just a little bit sinful. The wonderful specimens produced by Dragon’s Den stars ticks another ‘C’ box as each batch contains fresh Cream, meaning it needs to be kept in the fridge. Hardly a hardship when the taste payoff is so meltingly moreish.


If we had our way, we’d be smothered in Cashmere head-to-toe from November through to March, Even better, Cashmere with a Conscious. Recycled cashmere is widely available and if not recycled, ensure you are buying from somewhere which has an ethical design ethos. This Cosy beauty from the commendably conscious gets the message across with added style and joie de vivre.


Memorable quotes about the unique joy of Coffee are legion but in the autumnal months, it is this by Antony Trollope which speaks most compellingly to our souls; ““What on earth could be more luxurious than a sofa, a book, and a cup of coffee?”. Coffee snobs may insist on single estate and fret about water temperature and we respect them for that, but equally, making good coffee shouldn’t be a chore. Fill up your Cafetiere with a great ethical blend (like who source sustainably from independent farmers and also use recyclable packaging.


Specifically, scented Candles. Natural scents are a must, as is natural wax – no nasty carcinogens, please. Whilst the summer months call for light, crisp florals, an autumn/winter candle needs to evoke warmth through judicious use of spice-rich, smoky notes. We are currently obsessed with, the Swedish B Corp beauty brand who have just launched a seasonal pair; Takka (from the Swedish for fireplace) and Nordyls (Northern Lights) with its intense otherworldly fragrance accord, all magic and mystery.


Or even better, a Cocktail served in a Coupe glass garnished with a maraschino Cherry. That said, a pina Colada is never not a pleasure (but should generally be restricted to just the one). We love a warming bourbon-based drink at this time of year and have been enjoying experimenting with recipes from Kentucky Owl and their new Wiseman Bourbon; all soft wheat and spicy rye notes. Try it in a Manhattan (pictured) for Mad Men glamour vibes or mixed with soda and a dash of cherry bitters, garnished with lemon peel, poured into a highball glass.


Now that decent vegan and vegetarian options are available, we no longer need to qualify our firmly held conviction that – to paraphrase Pepys – a person who has bored of cheese has bored of life. We would like to make a cheese-related joke here, but that would be cheesy, right? Sorry! The tangy, creaminess of it…yum. What is a meal worth if it doesn’t end in a cheeseboard? Once again, no judgement here; be it Babybel or Brie, if it’s cheese we are here for it. That said, Oxfordshire and the Cotswolds both have outstanding makers, and at OX we love to support local. Try selection (for real indulgence we recommend the Truffle Gloucester –*chef’s kiss*.)


Not to denigrate Cremant, Cava – ok, at a push Prosecco – or any of the excellent English Sparkling Wines that the discerning drinker should be aware of, but let’s hand it to the French region for defining a genre and creating the definitive celebratory drink. Cheers to that and bring on the party season.

*Eagle-eyed readers will mention we haven’t yet used the ultimate C-word. Shhh, that will come next month.


Screenshot 2024 04 04 at 10.49.03 wtartn
Fri 5 Apr 2024

Nestled in the heart of Witney’s centre, Bella Italia's newest establishment shines as a beacon of Italian culinary delight. Located conveniently next to the town’s Cineworld, the venue beckons both moviegoers seeking a pre-show bite and weary shoppers in need of a lunchtime break.

Russell and Atwell making chocolate k2ozmo
Tue 2 Apr 2024

Depending on your viewing habits, you may know Steve Russell and Giles Atwell as those chocolate guys who got a five offers of investment when they showed their wares on Dragon’s Den. However, if your Thursday evenings are occupied elsewhere there’s a strong chance that you know them best as purveyors of fine, fresh chocolate.

Spiced sweet potato soup topped with a crisp bhaji unwaws
Tue 2 Apr 2024

The Woodspeen is a restaurant and cookery school set in a lovingly restored 19th century farmhouse, over the border in the West Berkshire countryside. As the seasons change, so too does the menu. It frees the chefs to flex their creative muscles and get the very best out of ingredients while they’re in their prime.

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Mon 25 Mar 2024

Hooky on Tour

Bringing Free Beer and Cheer to a Pub Near You

Hook Norton Brewery will be bringing their 175th Anniversary celebrations to their pubs in a unique way over the next few months.