Head Chef at The Bull, Charlbury

There was a time not so long ago when if you went to a countryside boozer for lunch, you got the option of scampi-in-a-basket or a plate of Walls’ bangers and mash. All washed down with a Babycham or a pint of Carling Black Label. Oh how times have changed. But the leap that this little nook of the Cotswolds has made since the Faulty Towers’ days of countryside dining, would make Jonathan ‘Jump for Jesus’ Edwards blush.

Aubin Founder, Pete Williams had the 'hard' task of completing this Friends of assignment, read more to get his inside view.....

I have the good fortune to live a short dog walk from the Bull, so I was giddy with excitement last week at the prospect of having lunch with George to talk all things pubs, food and beer.

The geniuses behind the Bull at Charlbury @thebullcharlbury have stuffed their kitchen full of River Café and Dorian trained chefs, all conducted in elegant symphony by the Head Chef visionary that is George Williams @fedbygeorge Not only is George a culinary whizz, but he is one of the most affable blokes you will ever meet, and an absolute privilege to have lunch with.

At Aubin we are driven by making classic products absolutely brilliantly. We are all about making the best t-shirt, your favourite jumper, your go-to pair of shorts. We never aspire to be fancy or over complicated. Just super high-quality products made in great factories by highly skilled and decent people. It’s quite a basic concept really, but extremely difficult to do well.

And you could say the same about my favourite food. It is simple food, done brilliantly. It’s not too try hard and fancy. But it all starts with the best possible ingredients you can lay your hands on, prepared by the best of the best. And it is this secret which lies behind why the food at the Bull is so blow your taste buds good.

Farm to table, field to fork, all too often just marketing flim flam. But The Bull actually has it’s own farm just down the road for crying out loud! Listening to George eulogise about the impossibility of delivering in London what they can do at The Bull purely because of geographical proximity to where it actually grows out of the ground makes the saliva pour down my face.

This week it’s the radishes which have just started to rear their purple bottoms out of the soil and soon it will be the courgette flowers – so delicate that if you don’t have them on your plate within an hour or two of picking them, they wilt like a ten day old lettuce leaf.

By the time the asparagus starter arrived I was ready to gnaw through my thick and sumptuous napkin so desperate was I to get my chops round what was coming out of the kitchen. And it didn’t disappoint. Nor did the skate, the freshly dug new potatoes or the chicken pie (for which the Bull is renowned).

The thoughtful, almost soulful approach to what is served is really quite humbling. And it’s single minded approach to English pub dining delivers every time.

So, my strong advice is, book a room, do breakfast, lunch and dinner there, wash it all down with some fine tasting booze and if you time it right, the courgette flowers will be in full bloom.

Peter Williams

Follow George on instagram at Fedbygeorge

To make reservations at The Bull ( we recommend it!) go to