The Chequers

by Jo Kenny

Look everyone, blue sky! Let’s go to the country!

Well, at least that was our thought process last weekend! When I flung back the curtains on Saturday morning to find glorious sunshine I knew our task for the day was to savour it. It’s been a while since we discovered somewhere new to eat and so we ventured off down sunny, country roads which lead us to Chipping Norton in Oxfordshire.

Chipping Norton the Chequers

The Chequers Chipping Norton pub review

The Chequers can be described as one of those brilliantly stereotypically English pubs. One of *the most* stereotypical at that. The walls are coated with deep bottle green and decorated with animal heads. There’s old books and coin collections, dining tables fashioned from pool tables and a gathering of very well-to-do punters with Defenders and horses parked outside.

The Chequers Chipping Norton Menu

The menu reflects the affluent location with lunch offerings including duck confit and calves liver along with some hearty daily specials. Just as I was about to take the when-in-Rome approach, the waiter (his spidey senses must have been tingling) blurted out, “We do a burger as well you know.”

Oh really? Goodbye posh lunch.

The Chequers Chipping Norton review burger

The sun really wanted to get involved in my photo, I figured he was allowed to on such a nice day! The burger came in a really lovely bun: it was almost like a french stick in the sense that it had that chewiness, but was soft enough to bite into. The freshly ground steak burger arrived beautifully plump and pink, and any juices that seeped out soaked into the bread, which is any meat fan’s idea of heaven.

The Chequers Chipping Norton review mustard mayo

The unsung hero of the table was the mayonnaise. I asked for some, thinking I’d get bog standard Hellmans. Instead I received a big helping home made mayo infused with English mustard. It was intensely good, and I think even better than the usual dijon style! No ketchup required, I had a great time dunking my perfectly crisp fries into this.

I don’t usually have dessert for lunch but the options looked so good we had to share one! We went for a cranachan sundae, a Scottish dessert apparently that the waitress was very enthusiastic about so we took her advice.

The Chequers Chipping Norton review Sundae

I was surprised it didn’t come with ice cream, but after a few mouthfuls I didn’t miss it. It’s layers of red berry compote, whiskey infused cream and crunchy, honeyed oats. Almost like a naughty breakfast! Very light and tasty, the waitress was right!

The Chequers Chipping Norton sundae review

Prices aren’t the cheapest but the portions are large and the quality is very good, both in the food and the service, so you’ll be getting your money’s worth. This pub is great for a relaxing weekend meal, and if you have any foreign friends or family looking to experience a taste of England, this is the place to consider taking them!

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