This seems like a good enough time as any to talk about boat races, considering the crazy upset in the annual Oxbridge race on the Thames this Saturday! An anti-elitism activist swam in front of the boats, an oar got broken and a bowman passed out… and Cambridge won what some people called a hollow victory. Who knew boat racing was so exciting? I definitely didn’t, even after my first taste of it at the Henley-on-Thames event a few weeks ago.
I took my parents to this town about an hour away from London because… well, if you go to Cambridge, you might as well partake in their traditions, right? And what’s more traditional than a hundreds-years-old competition between the two best colleges of the country? Oxford and Cambridge competed in this private event as a prelude to what would happen in London, and we were there to see it. Well, kind of.
It turns out that my parents were game enough to get all the way to Henley, but then as soon as they weren’t sure whether there would be a restaurant to actually view the races from, they decided they would sit down in the first nice-looking place they saw… whether or not you could actually see the races from it.
That nice looking place this time around was The Angel on The Bridge, a three-story pub with a gorgeous outdoor seating area. We occupied a table there and then didn’t end up leaving until the races were half over.
The food is standard pub food – though fresher and of a heftier portion than average.
My dad ordered Fish & Chips, his first since arriving in England. It was a good choice to wait for it – just look at how big this dish is! Just it alone was probably enough to feed all three of us. Besides being huge though, it was also delicious. The breading was crispy and thin, and the meat had the flaky texture of fish done well.
The crayfish salad was equally impressive for the same reasons. That’s a lot of crayfish!
Unfortunately, nachos weren’t quite there. I guess, considering how long it takes northern states in the U.S. to get good burritos, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Mexican food in a tiny town in England wouldn’t be up to standard. But, as the song goes, two out of three ain’t bad.
Looking back at the pictures, I guess I can’t blame my parents for caring more about the view than the race. And the trip wasn’t all spent ignoring our actual purpose for being there – we did see some folks doing practice runs, and we did stick around to hear a result or two. All I remember, or care to, is that Cambridge lost some and then won some and… I don’t know – what a pretty day!
The Angel // Thameside, Henley on Thames, Oxfordshire RG91BH // telephone: 01491 410678