Northamptonshire Restaurant and Dining Guide

Picture Northamptonshire: castles peeking through mists, old market squares echoing with tales, and serene countrysides where battles once raged. While swords no longer clash, there's a new skirmish in town – the dash for the tastiest dish. It’s no secret that this county’s got some proper gastronomic gold. Ever pondered how Northampton's The Royal Oak cleverly pairs history with a modern palate? Or perhaps you've tasted the vibes at Corby's Oakley Hay Beefeater? But it’s not just about the big cities; gems like The Blitz Tea Rooms in Kettering, Duke of Wellington in Wellingborough and Daventry’s The New Inn are a nod to the past with a cheeky wink to today's culinary world. If you ever considered the unique blend of Northamptonshire’s rich past and today’s buzzing food scene, this guide is like having a chinwag with an old mate, sharing those must-try places. Get ready to dig in and uncover these delights, because honestly, there's no place quite like Northants on the plate!

Northampton: A Feast Amidst the Cobbles

Dive into Northampton, and you're instantly swept up in a dance of contrasts. The town's historical tapestry - from shoe-making prowess to its Roman past - has seamlessly weaved itself into a modern, snazzy culinary canvas. And oh, what a spread it offers!

Has anyone mentioned the good old La Terraza Tapas Bar to you? It's this snug spot where the town’s history feels alive. Their Vieiras? Think scallops, a drizzle of sweet potato purée, and a side of candied bacon - sheer brilliance. Meanwhile, the Pollo Manchego’s fusion of Serrano ham and Manchego cheese sauce? Well, it's proper lush. Meanwhile, Nuovo Restaurant is whipping up a storm with a zesty twist on Italian. Their Linguine Bottarga, tinged with chilli and squid ink crumb, is an absolute gem. And let's be real, nothing screams 'trendy' louder than Pollo con Tartufo in a laid-back Mediterranean courtyard. Fancy a bit of that, eh?

But if you're craving some real British brawn, Hops and Chops has you sorted. Their Wild Boar Sausages are dead good. And the Clint Eastwood burger is a wicked pick for a hearty lunch.Now, ever heard the tale of the roaming Roman Centurion at The Royal Oak? While there's that ghostly allure, Vicky's creamy Blue Stilton sauce atop slices of chicken breast is the real star. It's this blend of the quirky and the quality that makes Northampton's gastronomic scene so inviting.

But food isn't the only art form here. Wander over to the picturesque Abington Park and its museum, or lose yourself in the design marvel that is 78 Derngate. And, of course, a trip isn't complete without a dive into the town's culture at the Northampton Museum and Art Gallery.

Corby: Industrious Appetites and Eats

Corby boasts a rich tapestry of history, one that's intricately woven with its eclectic food scene. Did you know that this town, initially synonymous with the steel industry, seamlessly transitioned from fiery furnaces to fiery grills?

At the heart of this buzzing food scene, you'll stumble upon gems like Oakley Hay Beefeater. They've been dishing out platefuls of goodness since '74. I mean, who can resist their Flame Grill Combo? A mouth-watering assembly of ribs, chargrilled chicken, sausages, and more. Their Beef Lasagne, layered with beef ragu, egg pasta, and a mature Cheddar cheese sauce is a hearty affair you wouldn’t want to miss. Fancy a bit of old-world charm? Sondes Arms is your spot. Set in a 16th-century coaching inn, the vibe here is as snug as your favourite jumper. Think Homemade Curry, its steamed rice and mango chutney adding a delightful dance of flavours, or the Pie of the Day - crispy puff pastry sealing in surprises.

For a taste of la dolce vita, swing by La Fonte Italian Restaurant. Those Pan Seared King Prawns – oh mate, they're lush! Garlic, butter, cherry toms, all getting chummy on a plate, and the Calzone Classico is the kind of pizza that dreams are made of.

And while you're savouring Corby’s plates, don't forget to soak in its places. Rockingham Castle, an architectural marvel from William the Conqueror's era. Then there's Kirby Hall, a striking testament to England's Elizabethan prowess. And if a leisurely stroll post-feasting is your thing, the verdant expanses of East Carlton Country Park are a top shout.

Kettering: Boot-Made Memories and Bites

Kettering brims with a sort of charm that's both nostalgic and nosh-worthy. A town steeped in heritage – from its Roman roots to a bustling boot and shoe industry – it's no wonder the place wears its history with pride.

Nipping to modern-day Kettering, the scene is proper lively, especially when it comes to grub. Take Kushboo for instance, with their freshly ground spices and absolutely top-notch flavours. The Kushboo Mosalla, a delightful dance of barbecued spring chicken with minced lamb, and the Shahi Lamb, marinated and cooked to perfection, are dishes that'd make anyone's tastebuds tingle.

On the hunt for something homey? The Olde Victoria nails it. A traditional family pub that's got killer dishes like the Duo of Duck. Just imagine pan-roasted breast with a confit leg bon-bon – pure magic! Their Roasted Haddock Loin is a proper game-changer too. Delish! But here's a curveball, a fancy a cuppa with a side of 1940s nostalgia, The Blitz Tea Rooms and Jazz Lounge. Beyond the tunes and vibes of yesteryears, their Land Army Ploughman's Lunch is a hearty feast, and their Decaf Breakfast Tea is a proper brew.

It's also worth exploring Kettering beyond its plates. Boughton House stands tall and proud as one of Britain’s top stately homes, while Wicksteed Park whisks you away to the good ol' days of theme parks. And let’s not forget Rushton Triangular Lodge, a charming gem by Sir Thomas Tresham.

Wellingborough: From Iron Age to Modern Day Delicacies

Wellingborough, known for its rich history dating back to the Iron Age, has continually played host to a cocktail of cultures. But did you know that it's also a low-key gastronomic hotspot in Northamptonshire?

First stop: Duke of Wellington. Close your eyes and imagine a restored 18th-century pub, chuffed to be next to Stanwick Lakes. The Fillet of Hake pairs perfectly with the crispness of panko cauliflower and a cheeky hint of chilli salsa Verde. Oh, and their Pulled Pork Burger is a pure genius, loaded with cheddar and crispy bacon, it’s the real deal.

Next, we're nipping over to June Plum Food, the independent Jamaican joint with a serious passion for flavours. Their Curry Goat's a total game-changer. And the Ackee and Saltfish? Let's just say, it’s so on point, you'd think you’ve taken a quick hop over to the Caribbean. Still peckish? Yumeijin offers up a unique experience, blending all five flavours in their dishes. Their Mussels in Miso Sauce is like nothing you've ever tasted, while the Lamb in Szechuan Sauce hits just the right amount of spicy.

After a bellyful of treats, stretch your legs a bit at Irchester Country Park or pop over to The Wellingborough Museum to peek into Winifred Wharton's collection. Or if you are fancy a nature stroll, Glamis Meadow and Wood is your shout.

Daventry: Where Past Meets Plate

You ever think about Daventry and just get a massive craving? Nah, just me? Alright, but let me give you the lowdown on this old-school town's top nosh spots, and we'll see if you're on the same page. Back in the day, Daventry was a right important market town. Its history goes way back - Roman road meets canal, proper old-school. A mashup of Roman roots and thriving markets, Daventry has always been on the map for more than just a pit stop. But how does the culinary scene stack up to this storied past? Spoiler alert: It’s mint!

Roll up to The Countryman - it’s like stepping into an old mate's living room, all snug-like with a menu that keeps it real. If you're fancy fish and chips, their Home Beer Battered Cod Fillet with proper mushy peas is bang on. Or maybe you’re feeling the Slow-cooked Belly of Pork? It’s melt-in-your-mouth lushness. What’s lush and historical is The New Inn. Sitting canal-side, it's a wicked throwback to early canal days. The Hunters Chicken is an all-time classic, and their Spinach & Ricotta Cannelloni is seriously peng. Lastly, for those cheeky snack times, hit up Maria's Kitchen. You'll get sucked into its chill vibe, and their Pasta Verdi is the bee's knees. And if pork’s your jam, their Pork “a Alentejano” will have you coming back for seconds.

For a post-grub stroll Daventry Country Park is your jam, or scale Borough Hill for views that are pure fire.

Northamptonshire's food scene is where tradition meets a banging contemporary flair. While our ancestors might’ve savoured pies in the heart of Northampton, today, there's a cheeky twist on these classics. In Corby, dishes are a nod to the past, but with flavours so fresh you’d think they’d time-travelled. Kettering serves up nostalgia on a plate – is it history or gastronomy? Probably both. Wellingborough and Daventry? It’s not just about the grub; it's a whole mood. The backdrops are pure eye-candy, making every bite a bit more memorable.

So, why’s Northamptonshire nailing it? Maybe because it honours its roots while not being shy to toss in the new. Heading out for a bite here isn't just about filling the belly, it's a trip down memory lane with some unexpected pit stops. And let’s be honest, isn’t that the best kind of adventure? So, next time you're pondering where to get a top-notch meal and a side of history, you know where to head!

Must-Try Restaurants in Northamptonshire