Pit Kitchen is an alfresco pop-up, situated in Chipping Norton, just before the village of Salford. Upon arrival, what looks like a street food stall, before four long benches all adorned in fairy lights, at the top of a big grassy field. It screams festival vibes.
The setting has something magical about it without being intrusive on the landscape, the wooden tables blending nicely into the backdrop. Did we mention the views? Outstanding.
Pit Kitchen was started by two brothers (Adam & James), passionate about bringing Middle-East inspired street food to the Cotswolds.
Whilst driving there, we wondered if it was too niche; Pit’s menu that we tried was small, and quite sandwich focussed. We felt it a bit out of the way to travel for a sandwich, but oh how wrong we were!
We tried one of everything from the exclusive lunch menu.
- Ham, fennel, anchovy, and dill mayo sandwich (£7.50)
- Oyster mushroom, chimichurri, and citrus mayo sandwich (£7.50)
- Pearl barley and lentil soup, with crème fraiche and salsa verde, plus a side of focaccia with herb butter (£6.50)
The focaccia has been a year in development, made fresh daily by Mark’s award-winning Bakery in Chipping Norton. They’ve been working on getting the perfect thickness, and they’ve smashed it – the density and taste are sensational. We had leftover focaccia from our soup, and couldn’t bear to part with it… so home with us it came! It’s also worth noting that sandwiches are all served in compostable bowls and made fresh to order.
The ham in our sandwich was sliced thinly, a lovely flavour and not overpowered by the fennel or dill mayo; the fennel added extra crunch but the ham was second to none.
On arrival, we saw something grilling over a wood fire and assumed it was meat, much to our surprise it was slow cooked oyster mushrooms! Known to be a good meat substitute, these mushrooms have hold and bite, and the combination of these with the chimichurri and citrus mayo offered a lovely zing.
Pit Kitchen is a destination, as much as it is a place for good food.
The soup was a generous serving, perfect for the gloomy weather – warming and comforting. The texture was thick but the crème fraiche and salsa verde cut through any heaviness. A member of the team said she thought the soup tasted like the view here, and we completely see why – rugged yet wholesome. The soup did divide opinions, however; Holly wasn’t a fan of the texture, but Rachel loved it, finishing the lot!
We left, soggy from the weather with the smell of smoke on our clothes, but with a sense of adventure in our spirit. And, for what it’s worth, the sandwiches were well worth the drive!
Salford, Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire
We dined as guests of Pit Kitchen, all views remain our own.