We caught up with Neil and Helen Matthews, authors of the new local guidebook Slow Travel: The Chilterns and the Thames Valley, about their favourite local hangouts in Great Missenden and Prestwood.
FIRST-CLASS: THE STAMP
The old Post Office building at the station end of the High Street is now a smart, small and perfectly formed café, serving quesilladas, salads and pizzas, along with sme single origin tea and specially curated coffee. Check out the handmade multicoloured cotton products; cushion covers, coasters and elephants.
A FLUSHBUNKINGLY GLORIUMPTIOUS TIME AT THE ROALD DAHL MUSEUM
This is unmissable. There’s plenty about Roald Dahl’s life, and about writing, and there’s a great café – but, a chocolate door. Yes, it does smell of chocolate! And an excellent new addition is the statue of Matilda in the courtyard, facing down a statue of Donald Trump.
FRENCH, BUT NOT FANCY: LA PETITE AUBERGE
A wonderfully old-fashioned dining experience at the far end of the High Street. No music, no frippery, no fuss, just a small but well executed menu. Try the Coquilles Saint Jacques (pan-fried scallops), venison with red cabbage or the caramelised lemon tart – and sigh for our near neighbours across the Channel.
NATURAL BUZZ: PRESTWOOD NATURE RESERVE
Just outside the village centre, at the junction between Perks Lane and Hampden Road, Prestwood Nature Reserve is a peaceful place to spot local wildlife, flora and fauna. Depending on the time of year, you may see various wild bee orchid (June), sweetbriar (May) or the small blue jewel-like Chiltern gentian (August). Non-human visitors include badgers, foxes, voles and deer as well as a variety of butterfly species.
A LOCAL HERO
Halfway down Honor End Lane just outside Prestwood is another peaceful little spot. This is ironic, given that the Hampden Monument stands in honour of one of the key figures of the English Civil War – John Hampden, who was from these parts and helped Parliament to defeat and finally overthrow King Charles I.