It’s a cold empty dining room but within minutes Wendy (the Bar and Co-Pub Director) is telling the couple in there that she has turned up the heating and after some discussion about it becoming colder she brings them a blanket purchased from an upmarket Oxfordshire woollen emporium, Filkins, and a hot water bottle. It is quiet, as is expected at this time of year, and another couple with dogs come into the room but move towards a warmer one. The couple are appreciative of a wonderful meal of homemade soup, confit duck with a sweet sauce and perfect mashed potato and a delicious apple tart with homemade ice cream. Another pair of elderly men sits at an adjacent table, drinking soft drinks and they have a meal while discussing local land ownership and details of holidays in tiger inhabiting countries.
Another five person party arrive in the dining room having booked a table and one of them is a European resident. It is a quiet January evening with only a few people in the main bar next to the warm fire but it is a varied group. Wendy recognises a picture of Nicola Benedetti on a concert leaflet one of the customers is perusing and says William’s wife – the Catering Director – is one of her cousins and they exchange stories of her good works and pleasant character. What a small world when a person from the west coast of Scotland comes to live in our area and is related to a world famous violinist. The soft drinkers compliment Wendy on their meal and it is noted that we are extremely lucky to have this quality of cooking on a cold January evening and the warmest of welcomes.