KATHERINE MACALISTER ventures into the unknown to sample the magical delights of Oxford’s only outdoor pop-up restaurant .

Have you arranged to murder me?” Mr Greedy enquired nervously, as we crossed a railway bridge on foot, which led to another isolated path through the back of beyond.

He had a point – it was perfect mugging country. “ Why, have you done something I should know about?” I asked as we emerged finally into a field boasting a large allotment, pavilion and marquee, as well as The Field Kitchen itself, on this dusky Friday evening.

Welcome to Oxford’s only outdoor pop-up restaurant and luckily, with the British weather in mind, Rupert Whitaker chose his site well, setting up shop on Hogacre Common next to the Corpus Christi sports pavilion, off Abingdon Road, which doubles up as a restaurant during turbulent weather, ie the whole summer so far.

Open on Friday nights and Saturday lunchtimes throughout the summer, The Field Kitchen has created a word-of-mouth buzz unwitnessed before.

An adventure, an experience and a gourmet extravaganza all rolled into one, Rupert has sent Oxford foodies into frissons of excitement, so desperate are they to put this quintessentionally Oxfordian event to the test.

But if you fancy a teaser; eccentric, bohemian, tasteful and gentle would be the best words to describe our dinner that night, as well as bountiful of course, because The Field Kitchen’s food is local, home-grown, seasonal, simple and quite, quite delicious.

Unable to eat by candlelight in the meadow because of the strong winds and drizzle, we were ushered instead into the Edwardian pavilion, decorated with an evocative mix of tables, chairs, rugs, cutlery and glasses which make you feel instantly at home.

The menu is chalked up on a board, the only choice being between the meat and veggie main courses.

And so we ate radishes served French style with salt and butter, then sour dough bruschetta with soft goats cheese and sliced broad beans.

We tried both the fennel roast loin of pork with mash and braised baby gem, perpetual spinach and rainbow chard, as well as the home-made taleggio and sage ravioli in truffle oil, followed by gooseberry fool with lemon biscuits and coffee.

Wine is served in quarter carafes, and you book online beforehand, paying £30 a head up front, as well as downloading the map and packing your torch for the return trip.

As for the experience itself, it was magical. The ambience is quiet, the environment creating a sense of occasion all of its own, the charming and very pretty waitresses bringing plate after plate of delicious offerings, and we were putty in their hands.

Mr Greedy proclaimed his pork the best he’s ever had, the mashed potato was superb, and the ravioli had me groaning in a most unladylike fashion.

The bruschetta was a bit chewy, but the toppings so fresh they were oozing, and the fool a bit thick for me, but to be honest I couldn’t have cared less, having already fallen into a trance by then, seduced as much by the Irish looking fella seranading us quietly in the corner, as the evening itself.

If I had to describe The Field Kitchen in a sentence I’d say it was more like eating in a play than going to a restaurant, which is of course half the fun, and it doesn’t get any more ‘Oxford’ than this.

And as we wound our way back through the Oxford fields by torchlight, I wanted to run home, tell everyone about it and bring them all back the following weekend. Everyone should get to experience this, it’s wonderful.

As for Mr Greedy, he’s still with us, for now....

* See thefield kitchenoxford .com/book-now or call 07899 877161 Pictures by Johnpugsley@ mac.com