It began with Bacchanalia and ended in Golden Slumbers – an apt summary, in the names of two boats I boarded, of a lively day of revelry on and beside the River Thames, in Oxford.

The Folly, the delightful restaurant at the bridge so named, was the focus for our fun. Thither we were transported upstream, glasses of chilled prosecco in hand, from our Osney base. Could any means of transport be bettered?

At the tiller of Bacchanalia was Folly (and boat company) owner Giles Dobson. He managed two hours into a leisurely lunch with us before departing on family duties ­– swimming with No 1 Son.

In so doing he missed out on the main course. I did say leisurely!

That Rosemarie and I were guests will perhaps already be apparent.

Our invitation was to sample the best of The Folly – the seven-course tasting menu of the splendidly monickered new Spanish chef, Francisco Jesus Perez Castro.

This followed a lunch a week before with our friend Orde Levinson, who lives beside the restaurant, at which the excellence of Francisco’s cooking was shown.

There were four of us on this occasion and, since the sun shone, we ate on the pontoon over the water with a delightful view through the arches of Folly Bridge to Christ Church Meadow.

Can there be a restaurant with a better view in Oxford? Only perhaps Quod in High Street.

My meal began with a simple, but sensational, Caprese salad – see below – composed of multi-hued heritage tomatoes, olive tapenade, basil oil, mozarella and pine nuts.

Accompanying this (for all of us) was home-made bread with three flavoured butters: smoked, paprika and truffled.

Orde and Rosemarie both had scallops with edamame, chorizo crisps and romesco (a Catalan nut and red pepper sauce).

Orde’s other guest, Jan, had a creamy chicken liver parfait, then teamed up with Rosemarie for a shared main course of a rib of beef, with triple cooked chips and salad.

There was a whole kilo of beautiful medium-rare meat, in the polishing off of which Orde and I were invited to help too, once we had finished our main courses of grilled chicken turbot with samphire and red onion vinaigrette.

Rhubarb crumble, raspberry cheese cake with white chocolate, and chocolate fondant with banana ice cream all graced the table at the close, along with bottles of a pear liqueur and – another of Orde’s discoveries – a Canadian dessert wine made from frozen grapes.

The tasting menu at lunchtime was a favour granted for us, since it is usually served only from 6pm, at a price of £59 per person and an additional £29 with wine pairings.

We began, unusually, with something sweet, a connolo (Italian biscuit) with chocolate, mozzarella and strawberries.

Hard on its heels came tuna tataki, the fish lightly seared and served with a citrussy soy and yuzu sauce, pickled enoki and minty red shisho. A tangy German riesling (Dr Oppenheim, 2016) accompanied it.

Piquant pleasure was succeeded by more robust flavours in pork cheeks, with truffled mushroom fricassee and crisped potato ribbons. Spoons came out for the gorgeous, winey sauce. We drank a gutsy French red (Claude Val, 2016).

Back to fish next and hake with dill and sherry, cooked, wrapped, in a water bath – Heston-style – to emphasise its flavours. Ajo blanco (almond soup), olive oil, grapes and asparagus featured. Wine was ever-popular Picpoul de Pinet (2016).

A mid-meal sorbet followed. It featured mango and curry power, which sounds very odd but worked extremely well, setting us up for the main-course feast that followed.

This featured a big chunk of confit pork belly and slices of parma ham-wrapped ballotine of pork loin with a chicken mousse stuffing. Creamed mash, Savoy cabbage and apple puree wee perfect accompaniments, as was the French gamay (Fleurie Belle Grace, 2015).

A pudding of spicy poached pear, cardamom custard and rhubarb sorbet (with Elysium muscat) completed this heavenly lunch.

This threatened to segue into tea as we boarded Golden Slumbers on a pleasure trip with paying punters to Iffley. But resisting sandwiches and cake, I stuck firmly to coffee.