Table Talk: The Crown, Oxford

"....It also has a real woodburning oven and it's all overseen by Fiona Cullinane, a chef I have known for some time, who is one of the very best British, originally Scots, rural cooks."

- A A Gill

"So much for the country-refusenik’s battle cry, ‘But the food’s sooooo filthy in the sticks’. Oxfordshire is awash with great grub. There’s Lady Bamford’s The Wild Rabbit pub. My new local, The Bull Inn at Charlbury, is getting rave reviews. And, for the last month, brilliant chef Fiona Cullinane has been clearing out the shed. Literally. For on 12 June, Cullinane takes up residency in The Potting Shed Café. In a corner of Asthall Manor near Burford, the 18th-century stone shed, ivy-clad cricket pavilion and grassy space in between are where Fiona will be feeding folk using veg from the manor’s walled garden. After lunch, stroll round the On Form exhibition; 270 works in stone are dotted about the gardens. Time to feast the eyes and walk off the tucker."

- Alice BB, Town & Country

"Fiona worked for me for a week as a chef providing three meals a day and snacks for 12 writers and editors attending a literary retreat. She worked in challenging conditions and was a total star. Not only is her food outstanding, but she is a delightful person and the kitchen quickly became the most popular place to hang out. Fiona devised the menus with an emphasis on healthy, seasonal ingredients that were not expensive and she created magic in the kitchen. Her charges were very reasonable and I can’t imagine running another retreat without her and Rory the dog!"

- Emma Haynes, Writers' Retreat, Asthall Manor, Blue Pencil Agency

"Fiona, Lorraine and team were a joy to work with. Above all the food was outstanding, locally sourced ingredients which wowed our guests with its delicious flavours. The buocollic surroundings, simple country flowers and vintage place settings were perfect for the relaxed summer party we wanted and so enjoyed. Simply the best."

- The Winser family, Chadlington (Sunday afternoon birthday lunch with 30 friends at The Potting Shed)

Asthall: A Hidden Cotswold Gem 

"Nestled in the Windrush Valley the village of Asthall sits snug and sleepy alongside the river which meanders off to the next village through sun kissed fields and passed grazing cattle and sheep. Quaint Cotswold stone cottages give way to large homes on the cusp of the village including Asthall Manor, a 17th century building with beautiful gardens that hosts ‘on form’, a sculpture exhibition set through out the grounds of the house every two years (2018 is your next opportunity to see it!) The Manor holds classes and events such as yoga and art workshops, and also plays host to The Potting Shed Cafe, tucked in the corner of the walled garden opposite the house....."

- Rosie Jacobs, Independent Oxford

"Last summer we had 200 people for a special 50th, 21st and 18th party and were lucky enough to get Fiona and Lorraine to do the catering. It was an absolute pleasure to work with them beforehand discussing menus and logistics.  They came up with lots of original ideas using fresh local food and the menu we plumped for was mouth-wateringly delicious.  The rave thank you letters we received after the party were a testament to their culinary flair and organisational skills. 

We recommend Fiona and Lorraine whole-heartedly."

- Anna & Philip Greenacre

Fiona Cullinane at The Potting Shed, Burford

"The Potting Shed Café will open its doors once again during Asthall Manor's on form sculpture biennial this June and July.

Chef Fiona Cullinane and her team are looking forward to welcoming guests to the café, which is set in the idyllic walled garden of Asthall Manor. Fiona will transform the 18th Century stone potting shed in to a "charming eating area" - the old wooden table provides the perfect showcase for the array of imaginative salads and indulgent cakes on offer every day. A pretty outdoor area offers the perfect place to enjoy views of the Windrush Valley and watch the bees at work in the wild flower meadow....."

 - Crumbs team