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“There is no sauce in the world like hunger.”

Miguel de Cervantes

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Entries in Oxfordshire (2)

Sunday
May222011

Jamie's Italian, for a balanced perspective

“Don’t let facts get in the way of a good story” my Dad has always said, and I have to say I quite agree. It is common practice to take a bit of poetic license when recounting an anecdote, particularly if it will lend comic value.

If you read my last post on The Nut Tree Inn you may see where this is heading. In that post I did not so much exaggerate the truth as leave out certain facts that would have given context to the boyfriend’s mood that day. I did make reference to his efforts to keep me happy in the food department but, since the small window where he showed his frustration provides more humorous material, the reference was fleeting and is likely to have been overlooked.  Therefore, I thought it only fair to follow up that post with the details of a meal earlier that weekend; this time the jokes on me.

Another perk of the boyfriend’s job is that he travels a lot overseas and so he also stays in a lot of hotels. As a member of the Intercontinental Hotels group this means he clocks up lots of points towards free accommodation. One of the facts that went unmentioned in Tuesday’s post was that he kindly used one of his free nights to treat me to that weekend away.

Now the boyfriend knows well that I have a one track mind and if I am to be convinced to set foot outside London food will have to be fairly high on the agenda. And he almost always acquiesces to my demands, often going well beyond the call of duty to appease me. Our trip to Jamie’s Italian was such an occasion.

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Tuesday
May172011

Sunday lunch at The Nut Tree Inn

The boyfriend loves a good freebie. Actually, that’s a lie – he likes any old freebie. He once entered an online competition 3 times to win a Mars football; he doesn’t play football and they sat in the bottom of the cupboard for a year, along with all the mini bottles of shampoo and conditioner that he pockets when he stays in a hotel, until he realised he could get a few quid for them on ebay and sold them (the footballs, not the toiletries, which are still there despite my attempts to shift them).

I had thought that nine months working for a company who not only provides free breakfast, lunch and dinner, but free snacks, 20 per cent free time to spend on whatever he likes, free booze on Friday afternoons plus stock options and big bonuses would have cured him of this obsession, but a fortnight ago we went for a weekend away in rural Oxfordshire and what do you think was the first thing he did when we got to the hotel room? Yep, that’s right; checked the cupboards and bathroom to see what he could loot.

Another of the many perks of his job is that he has two memberships for the National Trust. This is a blessing and a curse.  Don’t get me wrong, I like visiting nice country estates and gardens every now and then, but I do not want  to visit every National Trust property within 100km of London simply because I can do so for free. On the other hand, a trip in the car to a country estate inevitably means pub lunch and, as it turns out, the home counties are choc-a-bloc with great places to eat.

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