More Bloomin' Sausages!

Tuesday 15/11/2005

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Diary and Notes

There seems to be a bit of a sausage thing going on here. Ever since I finished eating a different dinner every day I've had two blogs so far and both were about eating sausage. Today's blog is no different - I seem to be becoming some sort of sausage guru.

So what is it today? Boudin noir? South African boerwors? Aussie snags?

No, today I have come south to the university city of Oxford for a one day workshop on particle swarms and any sausages I mention will be of the British variety.

There are two reasons for me writing a blog today - firstly to continue the sausagey theme that seems to have recently developed, but mainly because I wanted to compare Oxford to Cambridge where I spent a while on a similar sort of thing (see 25/92005).

In the spirit of fairness I should admit that I am already somewhat biased. I like Oxford, I used to live here years ago, it is in my opinion a lovely city and well worth a visit. As such I was quite looking forwards to coming back to an old stomping ground and sampling a pint of the local booze (Morrell's is always excellent if you can get it).

So how was Oxford?

Please don't be annoyed anybody from Cambridge but I am still convinced this is a much better place to visit. Oxford is just more fun. It was a shame I was only here for one day, I could have happily stayed longer.

I met some of the other science dudes who were at the meeting for a beer in an old pub called the Lamb & Flag for a few pre-dinner snifters. We sat and chatted about particles and swarms and sank a pint or two then set off for some traditional British food - sausages and mash.

Like many towns Oxford is blessed with a bangers and mash restaurant - a fairly recent invention that displays the British love of a good banger and some sloppy spuds and gravy - I too am not averse to such things and was only too happy with the choice.

But this was no ordinary bangers and mash restaurant - by official reckoning it was the best. The Big Bang as it is called serves what are officially the best bangers and mash in Britain (as voted by Restaurant magazine August 2005). The Oxford bangers also won the gold medal for best sausage and of course it was these that were for me.

So how was my bangers and mash?

Not bad, not bad at all. A little more would have been good. Two sausages are not enough for any man for dinner let alone a sausage lover like me. I wont say they were the best sausages I've ever had but they were certainly in the top ten - lightly spiced with sage and very meaty. The mash with horseradish was also pretty good too - not to mention a pint of Hook Norton beer. All in all well worth a visit.

So I am currently reccommending The Big Bang if you fancy some sausages. it's a little expensive for what you get but this is Oxford. The guy who runs the place was also a bit of a character and obviously was well into what he was doing. Afterwards we all strolled off for a few more beers and then our comfy beds. Much better than my first night in Cambridge and better sausage too.

The Big Bang
124 Walton Street
tel: 01865 511441


  • Oxford Sausages
  • Horseradish Mash
  • Peas
  • Fried Red Cabbage
  • Gravy (though they called it 'onion jus' because we're down South where gravy is considered common)


    And just because I'm comparing Oxford and Cambridge I should point out that unlike my trip to Cambridge the accommodation here wasn't so bad . The room was pretty small but had a toilet and shower attached and even had a proper light. The bed was comfy and the building old and dripping with history (there were even priests). I took a few photos from my window of the view. Also, unlike Cambridge it didn't cost a fortune. Whereas my horrid pokey place there had been £70.00 this was only £20.00. No breakfast though, not a sausage.