On the last Sunday in January I found myself hanging out with two delightful chaps who suggested I accompany them to The Blackhorse in Checkenden.
The Blackhorse is a hidden gem tucked away on a side road in this Oxfordshire town.
The pub is family owned with the 3rd and 4th generation now in situ. The Blackhorse was purchased by their great great grandmother back in 1905 for £35.00.
On this particular Sunday The Blackhorse was hosting a ‘soup’ contest.
The day was drizzly, cold and grey and to my utter relief there was a fabulous variety of soups entered so I could feel the warmth oozing instantly. The rustic vibe and varying pans all lined up in a row outside under the pub verandah were a treat for this shivering Aussie. I purchased my spoon and bowl and the slurping began.
The soups were of such a good standard that I feel it’s my duty to tell you what was in the running.
There was a curry parsnip and also a spicy parsnip soup. A spicy tomato, a rough spicy tomato and also a Bloody Mary soup. There was a ‘childhood cream of chicken’ and a celeriac, cider & stilton soup. This soup was served with a cheese n chive scone. There was a chilli beef, a crab & sweetcorn as well as an Oxfordshire vegetable & poultry broth.
I tried all 3 x French onion soups which were yummy.
There was ‘Jonny’s ‘spicy hot love you long time’ Thai soup and there was also a curried butternut squash. The green goddess soup with bacon and cheese was super tasty as was the Jerusalem artichoke soup.
However 1st place soup maker of the day went to Clare with her very delicious celeriac, cider & stilton soup.
There is a real sense of community at The Blackhorse and when sitting inside it almost feels like someone’s lounge room.
My companions vowed that they will enter the soup competition next year. Good luck boys you’re going to need it.
The Blackhorse will be celebrating 112 years in July 2017. If you happen to be in the area swing by and settle down for a pint or two.