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Anyone who reads Muddy regularly will know I’m a massive fan of LASSCO Three Pigeons. I used to visit the LASSCO Brunswick House when I lived in London and would leave open-mouthed at the incredible antiques and curios inside, so it was a whoopingly joyful surprise to find I’d moved to an area with another LASSCO. I’ve spent the last few years enjoying the cafe and mooching around the gorgeous fireplaces, downlighters and stuffed hogs.
Recently The Three Pigeons had a serious jig around and is now set up not only for breakfast and lunch and Sunday lunches, but also dinner on a Friday and Saturday. I imagine when this takes off properly they’ll extend the evening eating, but for now it’s a weekend experience.
If you’ve never been to The Three Pigeons, it’s in Milton Common, a 10 minute drive from Thame or Great Haseley, just off Junction 6 of the M40. Frankly it’s position is not one of beauty, but of course once you’re inside it really doesn’t matter, particularly at this time of year.
I went in a few Fridays back, in early January, and as you’d expect it was very quiet (though I’ve heard it was very busy last weekend so word is obviously slowly leaking out). , It’ a very different experience eating here than a high street restaurant, not least because you’re sitting bang in the middle of the most extraordinary interiors that are constantly changing as they are sold and replaced.
The guys who are running the restaurant side of things, Ed and James, have come from the LASSCO Brunswick House and Chelsea Harbour restaurant respectively, so they definitely know what they’re doing. Until recently they were commuting from South London daily – DAILY! – for quite some time but finally they have a more local place to rest their heads now, so they are obviously in it for the long haul. Say hello to James Ngu the chef, owner of Most Impressive Sideburns (SE England).
The menu is small at the moment, with only four starters, four mains and four desserts to choose from. It’s always a bit of a punt to be so bijou, but I rather like the confidence of it, and actually I’ve never been a fan of too much choice on a menu, as it kind of paralyses me. Perhaps one more option would be a good call, just to make sure all tastes are catered for, but it wasn’t a struggle for us to find something tasty on the menu.
I chose garlic soup for starters, and Mr Muddy had black pudding and cauliflower salad, (both good value at £5.50 and £5.80 respectively), followed by grey mullet and puy lentils for me (divine) and game pie with savoy cabbage for Mr Muddy (amazing). Presentation, as you can see, was excellent.
For dessert, we went for baked custard, and a brownie-based cheesecake and chocolate sauce. They were good without being knockout, but the price-points are so reasonable at £4-5, you still feel like you’re getting value for money.
The Muddy Verdict:
Good for: locals looking for a change from stripped oak ‘gastropubness’, families thinking about good brunch or lunch options, interiors nuts who appreciate eating in gorgeous surroundings.
Not for: those who prefer village idylls or gorgeous outdoor spaces.
£££: Very reasonable. At £5-6ish for starters, £10-14 for mains and £4-5 for desserts, it won’t break the bank, so you, um, can spend the money you’ve saved on the antiquities.
LASSCO Three Pigeons, London Road, Milton Common, Oxfordshire OX9 2JN. Tel: 01844 277188. www.lassco.co.uk