Into Oxford – mainly for a haircut and a wander up to Little Clarendon Street o have a nose around Oddbins. Behind the hair salon in the covered market is a great cheese shop (limited myself to a slab of Montgomery Cheddar), a bread shop who hadn’t received any mince pies that morning (scandalous said the old man in the queue, settling, eventually for a Bath Bun as his weekly treat) but David John the pie and butchers shop was well stocked (two purchased). I nipped into Pret on passing and added another to the haul. At the end of Little Clarendon Street is Taylors
“Oxford’s Gourmet Sandwich and Deli Company” the plate full looked home made but I neglected to ask and then, after Oddbins, a trip into Marks and Spencer. A half-dozen box of ‘normal’ mince pies almost made it into the basket but next to the fresh bread stand was a 4 pack of Marks & Spencer “The Collection Handcrafted Ultimate All Butter Mince Pies”; although what ‘handcrafted’ indicates is anyone’s guess.
On return home it was one of the M&S pies that slide onto the plate. Thin and a tad expensive (£4 for 4) but good pastry and mince meat filling, but does that sprinkling of crunchy sugar on the top lend too much sweetness? A second, as one mince pie is never enough, and a crumbly well-filled pie from David John fell next. The mince pie count gets upped to 49.
In the photo below the pies are (clockwise from top) – two mince pies from David John, almost identical to (cut and bottom pie) two from Taylors, one from M&S (left) and star decorated (centre) from Pret.
The Great Oxford Mince Pie Haul of 2014