Oxfork is a ‘pop-up’ restaurant that has been in action earning growing support and acclaim since last year.

As its styling suggests, the enterprise puts in an appearance at various venues. Last week, it was in The Rotunda attached to Grove House, in Iffley. This unusual building —which I have often glimpsed from a distance but never previously seen close up — was built in 1962 to house the impressive dolls’ house collection built up by Vivien Greene, the wife of the writer Graham Greene.

The Oxfork team — Drew Brammer and chefs Chloe Horner and Becky Craven — decided to celebrate this connection with an evening dedicated to the celebrated novelist. It featured readings from his work and a menu reflecting the tastes of the 1940s when his reputation was at its zenith. They might, had they thought, have found an equally apt theme in food for love, Greene having supplied an introduction to Norman Douglas’s Venus in the Kitchen. But bulls’ testicle pie — one of the aphrodisiac recipes therein — might not have had the appeal of the Woolton pie, with which we started our meal (if we disregard the egg sandwiches, sardines on rye bread and delicious slices of sausage roll which, enjoyed earlier on the Grove House lawn with amontillado sherry, were almost a meal in themselves).

Invented at the Savoy and named for the wartime Minister of Food, Woolton pie is, in its original form, a rather dull dish packed with carrots, swedes and turnips. As jazzed up by Chloe and Becky, ours proved a much more acceptable affair featuring tomatoes, courgettes, broccoli, celery, cabbage, peas and potatoes. Its flavour had much in common with minestrone soup. The flaky pastry topping was particularly enjoyable, as a consequence of being made with butter— an unthinkable luxury during the war.

As you will probably recognise from the photograph on the right, the next course was a ham and cheese salad. Actually, it was styled a ‘ploughman’s’, a name that was not dreamed up until the 1960s, as a means of promoting British cheeses, I think.

This was a far cry from the sort of salads we children of the fifties remember. Here the salad cream was home-made, not Heinz, ditto the chutney. The diced beetroot would surely have got the thumbs up from Helen Peacocke (who writes about this little regarded vegetable today) — as it did from me. The ham was lean and flavoursome, having, I was told, been boiled in Diet Coke, before being further sweetened, pricked with cloves and baked. The smoked cheddar was soft and pungent.

Though some of my neighbours were happily drinking wine, this hardly seemed appropriate to me. Rosemarie and I enjoyed bottles of award-winning St Peter’s Organic Ale, brewed near Bungay, in Suffolk. Light and citrussy, it nicely hit the spot.

Though I vowed to dodge the trifle, I found after sampling a few strawberries from the top that I could not resist the creamy interior, wherein lay raspberries, gooseberries and flaked almonds.

The rock cakes that came with the coffee were intended to be forbidden to me, too, but I found that once nibbled mine had to be eaten to the last crumb.

Many more meals like this and I shall find myself substantially . . . well, rotunda.

For further information about Oxfork — who will soon be opening a cafe in Magdalen Road — go to www.oxfork.com There is also an interesting programme of events at The Rotunda. For information see the website (www.grovehouse.info).