Share a Glass with Bryn Jones from The Oxford Arms
The Oxford Arms is an award-winning XIX century dining pub in Kirtlington, which has been run by chef patron Bryn Jones since 2003. The emphasis is on local produce treated simply and with respect. With a warm log fire and an even warmer welcome, this is the perfect spot to treat yourself to a delicious meal - and, of course, a good glass of wine.
We had a chat with Bryn to see what's usually in his glass:
What is the best thing about running a restaurant in Oxfordshire?
It's a pleasure to work in such a beautiful and friendly village like Kirtlington. We have a very close connection between us and our customers and it's very rewarding to receive a lot of compliments about the food and wine. I am not a very good at giving interviews (hopefully better at cooking) and I would like to let one of our customers say on my behalf:
Just to thank you so very much for a wonderful Sunday lunch. It's always a treat to be cooked for by you, but this meal was particularly memorable. I guess that because you are toiling away at your stove so much of the time, you sometimes don't realise the remarkable (and consistently excellent) quality of your dishes, in which the flavours and textures of your fine local produce really sing. I eat out quite a lot in London, and get very irritated by expensive, fussy, 'showing off' cooking. What a relief to return to well-judged flavour combinations and real quality (that magnificent beef on Sunday, for instance) at very reasonable prices. I can only dimly imagine quite what hard work is involved in running a small eatery at a time of economic stringency; all I can say is that your industry, expertise and invariably warm welcome make eating at The Oxford Arms a consistent delight.
With best wishes,
Rev. R. S."
What's the worst?
Replacing a glass of wine with overly sugary drinks in "Dry January". Everything in moderation.
What is your favourite wine on your list?
At the moment Figure Libre Cabernet Franc, France from Domaine Gayda.
What's an unmissable food and drink pairing at The Oxford Arms
Confit of Gressingham duck leg with Toulouse sausage and Butterbean Broth (our "deconstructed Cassoulet").
What is your best-selling beverage?
Nostros Pinot Noir, Chile. It's very flexible wine and can be paired with a number of dishes.
Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?
Marie-Antoine Carême and Auguste Escoffier, the two legendary French chefs.
Marie-Antoine Carême who created, as known, Grand Cuisine at the end of the 18th century, and who was born the same day, the 8th of June, as my mother who was herself a good cook and encouraged me to go into the industry.
August Escoffier, who was "king of chefs and chef of kings". He simplified and modernised Carême's ornate style and elevated cooking to the status of a respected profession. One questions I would definitely want to ask him: "What happened in the Savoy Hotel in March of 1898?"
What would you cook, and which wine would you serve with it?
For the French chefs who are having dinner at our 19th century English dining pub in January I would choose...
Belgian endive and walnut salad with Roquefort for a starter pairing with PicPoul De Pinet, France.
For the main Roasted guinea fowl with Kelmscott bacon, cavolo nero and chestnuts. Wine paring is The Opportunist, Shiraz, Langhorne Creek, Australia
For the dessert Rhubarb crème brûlée pairing with Ice Cider, a unique English dessert wine from Somerset.
What's your favourite thing to drink now? What was it ten years ago?
Now is good wine, preferably red Burgundy. Ten years ago it was good wine too, preferably Claret.
What's your guilty pleasure beverage?
Martinti at the Dukes Bar in London.
If there was one beverage you could remove from the face of the earth, what would it be?
Lime and soda or any sugary drinks with meals.
Visit The Oxford Arms' website here