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Fab Sunday lunch alert in Waddesdon!

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I wasn’t intending to write about today really – it was just a walk out with my family – but Brill, in mid Bucks, is such a quaint village and I had such a fab lunch down the road that I thought it’s worth telling you about.

Brill is only a couple of miles north of Thame but it has a very rural feel about it, with its 17th century windmill perched proudly on the hillside, a red telephone box in the centre of the village and elegant brick houses at every turn.

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We took a walk that I won’t bother to tell you about, because we took lots of wrong turns and squelched through very muddy fields for about four miles  – all good fun but not worth repeating!

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But there are plenty of walks to do around this lovely, hilly area. Here’s a circular walk  you can try.

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We tried to get into the local pub, The Pointer, for lunch (see my review here from last year) but it was too busy. Great for the pub, not so good for us. So we tried The Pheasant just by the windmill, which like The Pointer, has undergone a transformation in recent years. Full too.

So we decided, since the kids were starving and liable not to behave anywhere too formal, to go to The Long Dog pub in Waddesdon, about 15 minutes away. I’d taken my two youngest children earlier in the year for lunch  (see the review here) and liked it well enough.

Today though, I thought it was really great and definitely worth nudging you about it you happen to be at Waddesdon Manor or in the general area.

It was packed for lunch and we managed to squeeze in at 2.45pm.

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The kids were given pictures of ‘long dogs’ to colour in and, um, then another one – the Muddys are crazy with the crayons.

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We settled into our settle (ooh, I’m enjoying all this alliteration, I hope you are too!) and had a really delicious, good value Sunday lunch. I had crackling pork belly (£14) and demolished the lot, followed by treacle toffee pudding (I know, I know).  A kind of yin and yang approach to life: do exercise, stuff face.

Of course, there are lots of good pubs doing good Sunday lunches, but the reason I loved The Long Dog today was because it felt like a proper pub. By that I mean it wasn’t pretentious or overly ‘gastropubby’, it had a real mix of locals, walkers and drop-ins, and it felt relaxed and confident and child-friendly (which was a very good thing as my children were off-the-dial mad by the end of the afternoon).

Possibly The Long Dog is coming into its element now, with its fires and warm wooden interiors as the days draw in, rather than competing with showier pub gardens of the summer. Whatever the reason, I like the result very much. Give it a try and let me know if you agree.

Best for: families, relaxed gatherings, jazz lovers (they frequently play live music here).

Not for: those looking for a more formal eaterie, or gardens to explore.

£££: Reasonable. We had 3 adult meals, 2 kids meals, 4 desserts, 3 apple juices and a £24 wine for £95. I reckon that’s pretty good.

The Long Dog, 116 High St, Waddesdon, Bucks, HP18 0JF. Tel: 01296 651320. www.thelongdog.co.uk

 


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