Touring the Banburyshire pubs on a bike: The Rose and Crown pub in Charlton

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, 30th October 2020, 11:56 am
Updated Friday, 30th October 2020, 12:00 pm
Helen, Clare and and Jessie.
Helen, Clare and and Jessie.

Pub Pedals by Miles Doughty

For my cycle ride this week to find out how the pandemic was effecting another local pub I was joined by 9 years old Jessie - the youngest cyclist to join me to date, and the squeakiest! Her brakes were really noisy! We set off with mum Helen and friend Clare, trying to avoid hills, but the one after Marston St. Laurence is big (for a 9 year old) and unavoidable. Jessie was absolutely determined and chattered her way through Cockley Brake Woods to the top for great views back to Middleton. The ride through Farthinghoe to Charlton was nice and gentle so we enjoyed the views and the antics of the planes from Hinton airfield which Helen was particularly envious of as a qualified pilot.

We were soon in the midst of Charlton’s lovely limestone 17th Century buildings, which include the Rose and Crown pub. Unfortunately, the thatched roof is leaking so landlord Elvin is eagerly awaiting new thatch! Thankfully the pub is doing well. Inside we were drawn into the beautiful beamed bar by a roaring open fire that was perfect to enjoy drinks. My pint of St Austell’s Tribute was a zesty orangey flavour pale ale balanced with biscuit malt. It was soon followed by similarly citrusy but slightly darker Timothy Taylor’s Landlord.

A map of the route.

With an extensive and varied menu, plus specials, choosing food was not easy. The halloumi Jenga with Korean barbeque was tempting - highlighting the Malaysian chef’s talent. However, I eventually opted for a heap of crispy samosas with sweet chill sauce which were very tasty. The others went straight for mains ordering jungle curry (another Asian specialism), vegetarian lasagne and pizza. I went for the special linguine with a fabulous prawns, langoustines, clams and a good hint of chilli.

The shortest route home (shown on the map) is via Kings Sutton, and wanting to avoid the busier roads, I had hoped to take a bridleway to Purston. However, after a getting very muddy trying it earlier in the week we headed back the way we came, enjoying the downhill that Jessie had powered up. Jessie made it all the way home without asking “are we nearly there yet” too many times. She was very chuffed having cycled twice as far as ever before. I hope you have been getting out a bit further each time too. Back next week with another pub pedal.

Helen, Clare and Miles and Jessie.