I never thought I would belong to a car club – let alone the Aston Martin Owners’ Club. I passed my driving test when I was 18 but for various reasons never drove again until I was almost 35…. By which point I needed a course of refresher lessons. I got my first car last year – a cute little Ford Fiesta – but have still only driven around locally.
My boyfriend on the other hand loves cars, and always has. He’s currently on his second Aston Martin – which we recently took a spontaneous drive up to Edinburgh to collect. Last year we took part in a couple of events for the Aston Martin centenary, which were really good fun, so he wanted to do more of the same this year. There is an owners’ club which organises events, ranging from pub meet-ups to exhibitions at car shows, and I renewed my boyfriend’s membership of the club at Christmas. Since we now live together I discovered that for an extra tenner, I could become a joint member – and since some events are restricted to members (others are member plus guest) I thought it would be worth doing. Maybe I should get a bumper sticker made for my Ford Fiesta saying “My other car is an Aston Martin”!
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The first suitable event that we came across this year was a nice little pootle through the countryside, followed by a pub lunch, in the area where my parents live. I was going to visit a friend nearby and see my grandparents that weekend anyway, so we decided to go along.
We drove through some very pretty little Wiltshire villages ending up at the Dove Inn in Corton. They had reserved some parking spaces for us (a good thing as they seemed to have a pretty small car park) and had laid out tables in a horse-shoe shape. We’d been asked to choose our food in advance as we were quite a big group; their menu is on the website and regularly updated which is not actually that common for independent pubs!
I found it hard to choose what I wanted to eat as there were so many delicious sounding dishes; in particular the board of dressed crab, crayfish tails, trout fillets, salad and chips (£14.95) which I saw someone eating and almost regretted my choice, while my immediate neighbour had the slow-cooked braised lamb shank (£14.95)which smelled wonderful. But it was a Sunday lunchtime on a cold winter’s day so I chose roast beef. I wasn’t expecting much- I’ve had a few pub roasts that are quite disappointing with either dry or fatty beef but this was possibly the best roast beef I’ve ever had. It was cooked rare, thinly sliced, with a little bit of fat on the edge which I left but otherwise perfect. I had one giant Yorkshire pudding, some very tasty gravy, a small portion of cauliflower cheese and some carrots with a hint of honey (and other vegetables I could serve myself). Plus of course roast potatoes – my only complaint was I wanted more!
For dessert I had apple tart (£5.75) which was also very good but not as outstanding as the beef – or as good as my boyfriend’s chocolate and hazelnut torte (£5.75) – thin layers of cake and mousse with a chocolate glaze. I was also very intrigued by the fruit tiramisu as that seemed very unusual, but didn’t see anyone eating it.
I couldn’t find anything to fault about this pub or our meal if I tried – it was a lovely end to a nice morning’s drive.