Katherine MacAlister reviews The Milk shed's Thursday night pop up supper club

The flames fanning up from the brazier outside The Milk Shed in Weston-On-The Green were a fitting welcome to Lucie Greenwood’s new pop-up Thursday night supper clubs.

Running right up until Christmas, this recently announced weekly dinner series, is wonderful news for those of us who struggle to get there during the daytime, and I had booked a place before the ink had even dried on her menus.

Banbury Cake:

Those interested can book according to the dishes available on each set night which is novel and an added enticement..

Which night to choose though is therefore a hard decision, every evening offering two delicious and tempting main course options.

From confit of duck with cassoulet beans, frisee salad and persillade croutons, to the venison bourguignon with horseradish and herb dumplings or the slow cooked lamb shoulder with pomegranate, garlic yoghurt and mint relish, the selection is mouth-watering.

The prices are even more appealing – two courses for under £20.

But last Thursday’s menu of smoked haddock, potato and corn chowder with crispy pancetta and roast tomato foccacia, or the roast munchkin squash with caramelised onions, parmesan cream and pangrattata, had me scurrying to the car quicker than Starsky and Hutch with a wild goose chase in sight, although sadly I’m still practising hoisting myself through the window.

For those of you who’ve been, The Milk Shed is a wonderful breath of fresh Cornish air, smack bang in the middle of the Oxfordshire countryside, set up in a rather run-down former farm ice cream parlour.

Now a comforting, colourful and fun cafe, The Milk Shed is a far cry from it’s more pretentious gastro pub and restaurant neighbours, and the food is everything.

In fact, Lucie’s reverence to cooking is renowned as reflected in her innovative and experimental touch in the kitchen, where she introduces a constantly changing, esoteric and tasty list of recipes to her menus, often influenced by her coastal roots, travels and current food trends, without compromising on ingredients or sustainability.

That saying, you can bring your baby, mother or lover, preferably not all together, to eat brunch, lunch, tea, pop in for a coffee and slice of cake or enjoy one of Lucie’s legendary ice creams.

Think brioche French toast with maple syrup, fresh banana, and Greek yoghurt, green eggs and ham, with baby kale salad and salsa verde; The Milk Shed club sandwich with charred chicken breast, pancetta, gruyere, slow roast tomatoes, basil mayo and rocket or the equally enticing Basque squid stew with toast and aioli.

It’s lazy day food, which shouts out for a newspaper and an afternoon off.

Banbury Cake:

As a result the seaside-inspired pastel coloured interior is constantly full, people flocking for miles.

Which, in turn, rather detracted from the experience, keen punters often waiting at the back for a table at weekends, making it far less relaxing than The Milk Shed was ever designed to be.

Did I stay away as a result? Maybe.

Thursday night changed that irrevocably

Lit with tealights, once inside, it was a charming welcome.

The menus included numerous pre supper snacks and we ordered them all between the six of us, from smoked almonds to Iberico croquettes, these were extra and ranged from £6-£3 each.

A good way to ease our way in as beer and wine was available to buy on the night.

Then onto the mains, the chowder or the squash?

Both were enormous, filling and Alpine in both size and contents, the chowder a vast blue bowl of salty smooth fish and potato soup, the focaccia left untouched as I struggled to finish it.

The munchkin squash arrived whole, stuffed with oozing, cheesy breadcrumbs and veg - moist, juicy and packing a punch.

This was an Arctic explorer’s fantasy supper - proper winter fare all washed down with a few bottles of house red.

How we had room for dessert I have no idea, but as two courses were £19, it seemed rude not to.

The salted treacle tart and clotted cream , a plate of delice cheese and biscuits, and the armadillo affogato with espresso or PX sherry, were all chosen and shared.

The tart was moist, sticky and fragrant, the affogato’s ice cream ready and waiting to be melted by the hot coffee, and the cheese was eminently edible despite our expanding waistlines.

Two monumentally tasty, simple and heart-warming dishes, mightily fine value for money, a charming atmosphere and a novel concept all rolled into one.

But beware, word is already out, so book now, because unsurprisingly some dates have already sold out.

The Milk Shed, Manor Farm, Weston on the Green, OX25 3QL

01869 351357