No matter if you’re visiting Northamptonshire to experience some serious horsepower at Silverstone or just to take in the county’s beautiful countryside, you’re bound to get hungry at some point. Luckily for your flourishing appetite, there are great restaurants all over Northamptonshire. We’ve assembled a list of some of the best to help you narrow down your options.
Les Olives, Northampton
A study in rebirth, Les Olives occupies the building that once housed a Greek restaurant, famous for being one of Northampton’s worst. Les Olives is held in considerably higher esteem than its predecessor, known throughout Northampton and its environs for a lively atmosphere and authentic tapas. The food is unfussy and straightforwardly excellent, just how tapas should be. Meat and fish sing with the flavours of chilli, garlic and olive oil and the cooking is inch-perfect, making it look effortless and incredibly appetising. The main difficulty is leaving enough room for dessert but if you do manage it, you won’t be sorry. The wine list is packed with Spanish favourites, and celebs including Girls Aloud and Atomic Kitten have popped in to choose from the 40 plus tapas on offer.
Eat Saigon, Northampton
It may not look like much from the outside, but that’s true of many excellent Vietnamese restaurants and Eat Saigon is exactly that. Its relaxed vibe and truly authentic menu make it the perfect destination for groups looking for somewhere chilled but reliably great. The menu ranges from Banh Mi (Vietnamese baguettes) to an excellent goat with lemongrass and chilli and all the traditional Vietnamese favourites you’d expect. Portions are big and prices are small, which makes for a winning combination.
The Church, Northampton
The Church offers fine dining in a truly exceptional and unique environment: a Grade 1 Listed church on Northampton’s Bridge Street. The former St John’s Church is a dining experience like no other, light flooding in on diners through the huge windows, while gnarled beams traverse the ceiling above. The menu sees local fare and British cooking interspersed with more international flavours such as Thai pork belly, Moroccan tagine and steak haché burger with Argentinian chimichurri. Desserts include hard-to-resist combinations such as a white chocolate and peanut butter tart or the Asian sensations of a coconut and lemongrass panna cotta.
The Walnut Tree Inn, Blisworth
Venturing just a short while out of Northampton into the small town of Blisworth reveals a little gem in the shape of The Walnut Tree Inn. The building previously provided shelter to weary travellers on overnight stopovers and there’s still a warm welcome to be had today. The bright, relaxed dining room is as inviting as the menu, which on first glance seems to lean heavily on traditional pub grub, but really is a cut above. The produce is locally sourced, eggs and poultry are free-range (from down the road in Stoke Bruerne) and the head chef is a man who knows his way around a piece of meat.
The Dining Room, Northampton
The house at 78 Derngate is more than just another address in Northampton. This house was designed by the renowned architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh and is the only one of its kind in England. Next door at 82 Derngate is the adjoining Dining Room, the restaurant that carries on the art deco theme of number 78 and uses it to create a unique setting in which to enjoy high class cooking and local produce. The Dining Room serves lunch and afternoon tea, both of which are very popular with visitors to the museum next door, so booking is required. It’s in the evening, however, that it comes into its own, presenting itself as a smart dinner destination for special occasions or romantic nights out.
For a base for your culinary adventures, try the Mercure Daventry Hotel, which has an onsite spa and is near Silverstone