Notes from an Inspector - Bucks, Oxfordshire, Norfolk & N. Yorkshire
Published 12 January 2022

As we start to research the next edition of The Good Food Guide, an inspector looks back on dining out in Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Norfolk, and North Yorkshire.

'During the past nearly two years, lockdowns permitting, I’ve continued scouting around for interesting new or little-known restaurants and visiting those already listed in past GFGs. Of the latter, I can report that The Hundred, Ashendon, Buckinghamshire is consistently good as ever. I’ve never been disappointed by Matthew Gill’s cooking and a meal in October 2021 was suitably celebratory. Devilled kidneys were both succulent and bouncy, and the generously flavoured featherblade was aptly countered by the bitterness of braised chicory and a piquant pickled walnut. Throughout, the St John influence was discernible and welcome.

'Also on form at recent meals were the Mole & Chicken, Easington, Buckinghamshire, well worth its entry; and The Bell Inn, Langford, Oxfordshire, recommended for both its pizza bases (as evidenced by the salted anchovy and chive flatbread) and simple yet precisely cooked mains such as calf’s liver.

'Yearning for travel, I’ve also done a fair bit of motoring around the country. The Seaview Restaurant in Saltburn, long known for its excellent (beef dripping-fried) fish and chips, has recently built a more upmarket restaurant and is worth a look.

'New places worth investigating in Norfolk include the Soul Cafe and Restaurant in King’s Lynn, a highly popular Caribbean venue and certainly not normal for Norfolk.

'Currently, I’m investigating Coventry (surely a city of almost half a million inhabitants has at least one decent restaurant; the number of local Chinese supermarkets is a promising sign). I’ll report any finds.'