Chloe Horner couldn’t look more content as she ventures out behind the counter of her new cafe in Charlbury, because it has taken off beyond all belief.
We are there for brunch; a simple weekday offering of BLTs, HLTs (with halloumi instead of bacon), fresh cinnamon buns or muffins baked that morning, and some incredible coffee.
Lunch is when the main menu kicks in, stuffed with exciting dishes such as pizza (with Swiss chard, lemon and ricotta), sandwiches, and some wonderful salads.
And with pop-up evenings running some evenings (tickets are like gold dust), when a more sharing plate mentality pervades, Chloe has definitely hit the ground running, despite only opening earlier this month READ ABOUT IT HERE
So BLTs it was, some mighty fine coffee, and they were perfect – rustic, delicious, plentiful and made with love. Because Chloe’s trick, apart from being un unfeasibly good cook, is her ingredients.
So this was no ordinary BLT. She makes the sourdough (like focaccia) by hand, using Bruern flour (made in a local farm), aioli made with organic Hampton Gay eggs. The leaves, basil (for the pesto) and tomatoes all hail from Kitchen Garden People (based at FarmED), and the bacon from Salt Pig based in Chippy using mature free-range local rare breed pigs. And that’s just one sandwich!
“We’ve got through 8kgs tomatoes just in BLT’s” she tells us after we mentioned how good they tasted.
But then that’s Chloe all over, her ingredients singing on the plate, and boy did they sing!
As for the Missing Bean coffee, available with countless different milks, it was strong, nutty and served in crockery reminiscent of my gran’s repertoire and my parents 60s ware.
And judging by the constantly shifting, enthusiastic and eclectic crowd, this is the place to be for a quick catch up, work space or much needed coffee, thanks to its incredibly chilled vibe. It’s a charming setup.
In short, Chloe’s is thriving. But then it was always going to be, Chloe known far and wide thanks to her beginnings at The Magdalen Arms, Oxfork, The Chester, home supper clubs and FarmEd, her reputation slowly building to a time when she could open her own place where sustainability, seasonality and local produce take centre stage.
One thing’s for sure Chloe’s is certainly part of Charlbury’s culinary renaissance. Lucky them
Brunch runs from 10am-12noon, but bear in mind that Chloe’s is SHUT IN AUGUST, so get your appetites sharpened for September. It’s worth the wait!