A Chiltern Classic
PUBLISHED: 08:31 13 May 2010 | UPDATED: 17:08 20 February 2013
In the first of our news series, writer and walker Steve Davison leads the way on a circular walk from Turville, taking in splendid views, a little history and some great pubs!
Youre truly spoilt in Long Crendon. The village teems with character cottages at every turn thatch and wonky timber frames, wattle and daub and climbing roses and everything that speaks of Merrie England. And amid it all is The Angel.
Its done its fair share of making merry, one imagines, in its 400 years as a village inn. Now its a restaurant rather than a pub, with chef owner Trevor Bosch satisfying the local demand for fine food. People search out The Angel from far afield too, with its four B&B rooms attracting weekenders from the capital and beyond.
The interior is divided into little rooms with white walls, scrubbed pine tables, wooden floors, lamps and pretty cottage trimmings. A little conservatory has crisp napery over tables and chairs. At its heart is the bar with comfy leather sofas.
Half of all diners choose fish, I discover. The Angel is famous for it. I lure Trevor from his stove during the evening and ask why. People love it when its fresh, and they dont like cooking it at home, he says. Ours comes fresh daily from Brixham and is always popular. The specials board has several fishy options each day, from seabass to heaps of mussels or lobster thermidor in season and whatever has been caught overnight.
Our starter came from the vegetarian options: caramelised leek tart glazed with goats cheese on a wild mushroom ragout (7.25). Fabulous flavours here, with mushrooms humming in a super sauce and creamy cheese.
The fish specials board offered Thai spiced tiger prawn risotto, salmon gravadlax with spicy crayfish salad, deep fried Cornish squid with chilli salsa... this chef knows how to ring the changes. But I chose the simplest: whole grilled lemon sole with minted new potatoes, salad, and cockle butter (21.25). The sole was moist and delicate, and the pretty scattering of cockles added a pleasant extra flavour.
My dining partner chose rump of local lamb on curly kale with ratatouille, dauphinoise potato and rosemary jus (20.50). Flavours were satisfyingly deep and rich and the meat was as tender as can be.
For those who can resist desserts Chocolate Fallen Angel (warm chocolate brownie with chocolate orange ice cream and decadent chocolate fudge sauce, 6.25) is likely to weaken the resolve. But what we found irresistible was an Assiette of Angel Desserts to share (13.95). In came the fallen angel along with glazed lemon tart, strawberry panacotta, passionfruit and mango cheesecake, and a raspberry-packed crÑme brle topped with a dainty shortbread biscuit in the shape of an angel. With lots of berries to lighten the richness, this was the ultimate sweet treat.
The wine list is intelligently sectioned with useful tasting notes, and packed with varied styles from artisan producers to the top names. The house white, a pleasing chenin blanc, was a snip at 3.90 a glass.
The Angel also has a set lunch menu (two courses 14.95, three 19.95) and dinner (19.95 and 24.95), Monday to Friday.
The Angel, 47 Bicester Road, Long Crendon, Aylesbury HP18 9EE, tel 01844 208268, www.angelrestaurant.co.uk