Touring the Banburyshire pubs on a bike: The Moon & Sixpence

In support of village pubs around the area after the pandemic Miles Doughty is touring them by bike. Here is his latest column.

By Philip Hibble
Friday, 9th October 2020, 5:22 pm
Updated Friday, 9th October 2020, 5:24 pm
A map of the route.
A map of the route.

Pub pedals 14 – The Moon & Sixpence

Magical moon rise

I was keen to make the most of the sunshine before the impending rain, so it was straight from work to cycle to check how another local pub was doing in the pandemic. As usual it was down into Chacombe then up through Williamscot and Cropredy. The hill up to Great Bourton is easier than the one to Mollington and I was soon in Hanwell. The ironstone cottages make the village one of the most picturesque around although the Duke of Suffolk in the 16th century wanted something unique so had a “castle” built out of brick with ornamental battlements and complete with a fish ponds fed from the village spring, which gave the village its name. The grounds are also more recently home to the Hanwell Community Observatory boasting 3 telescopes and hosting events to promote astronomy. Sadly, these are not currently running.

Miles Doughty at the Moon and Sixpence.

The pub is one of the lovely ironstone buildings and was renamed the Moon and Sixpence by owner Bradley Hilton (being formerly the Red Lion). After a complete closure during lockdown, the pub fortunately re-opened on the 4th July to celebrate their twelfth anniversary. Focussing on food, I immediately chose the salt and pepper squid which didn’t disappoint. The chunky pieces were crispy yet tender with tangy Thai chilli sauce and a surprising mango salsa with smoked salmon. The Adnam’s Ghost Ship beer, with a citrus, hoppy flavour, went particularly well with it and came in a classy stemmed glass. Conscious that the light was fading the chump of lamb will have to wait for another day.

The route on to Warmington took me past the Falcon and the Plough but probably best not to overdo it on a work night. I pedalled home as quickly as I could, past the magnificent manor and quaint cottages around the village green and pond where even the ducks were in bed. Turning towards Farnborough, I was delighted to find myself on a new road I had never cycled and came into the village with great views of the Hall owned by the National Trust although sadly still closed. As I headed down into Cropredy then home was treated to a gorgeous moon rise. Despite the weather I hope you’re still getting out on your bikes -just don’t forget your gloves and lights.