“ Address: Southam Road / Napton / Southam / Warwickshire / CV47 8NQ / United Kingdom / Tel: 08721 077 077 „
While driving across country the other day from Worcester to Northampton via Stratford Upon Avon we decided to stop somewhere for lunch and that is how I came to eat probably the best steak for under £10 that I have ever had, in fact I can only really recall a couple of occasions when I have had a steak to compare with this one and on neither occasion did I pay less that £10 and on neither occasion was I on British soil.
Napton is a small village between Southam and Daventry and The Bridge is located on the A425 just before you enter the village on the Southam side. It is what I would describe as a traditional white pub building from the outside; it is located very close to the canal and obviously gets some of its business from canal users as there are mooring points along the bank for overnight stays. There is a parking area which would hold I reckon about 25 cars and signs up warning that you are not allowed to park overnight without prior permission. There is a reasonably large grass area at the back and some rather dilapidated swings that might pass as a children play area but has certainly seen better days, in fact a similar thing can be said about the whole pub both inside and out. There are also a number of tables outside for when the summer sun is shining and also a couple of tables at the front of the pub however these are a stone's toss away from the main road and not somewhere I would choose to sit, the ones in the rear are at least a bit more secluded. On the plus side the grass area is large enough for children to run around in safely and even play ball games.
Inside the bar area has a couple of open fire places but again the decor looks a little jaded as does the rather random furniture, there is also a large eating area to the rear of the bar area in a separate dining room and this was quite large with a number of tables. We chose to eat our meal in the bar area as the restaurant was quite busy and looked like it was full of a mini-bus party of old people from a nursing home. I have to say I was not impressed by the decor of the place and it was rather lacking in atmosphere however these short comings are more than compensated for by the food which is excellent.
Each day they have a special and on a Tuesday this is the 8oz sirloin steak for £6.95, on other days it is fish and chips or a pie day, these are all displayed on a boards out from with the special changing each day of the week so every Tuesday is steak day. You could also choose from the lunch menu which was made p of baked potatoes or baguettes with prices from about £4 to £6 or the main menu with a wide range of meals from the £6.50 mark for a burger up to £11.95 for the steak when you are not there on a Tuesday. I opted for the steak and her indoors opted for the Halloumi Burger which is one of two vegetarian options. I was quite impressed with the range of options on the menu ranging from the quite traditional pub fayre to the slightly different, in addition there were a range of starters and desserts all around the £4 park which sounded nice on the menu but we did not try.
My expectations were not high so I was delighted when my medium / rare steak arrived and truly it was perfect, it cut easily and almost melted in my mouth and was cooked evenly throughout. There were no chewy bits at all and it was a good quality piece of beef. Although it was not advertised as such I could taste the pepper that was on the outside of it to flavour, it was not a pepper steak so if someone did not like such a thing they may not have been best pleased but really liked it and it was only a light dusting of a few bits of pepper. It gave the steak a bit of bite. It came with a perfectly acceptable side salad and some finely chopped and sautéed mushrooms. The chips were your standard frozen thick cut variety that were cooked perfectly fine but a little bland, it would have been nicer to have had some homemade fresh ones perhaps. There were a range of sauces available for an extra payment but to be honest it did not need them. The serving sizes were large enough, especially for a lunch hence the lack of a dessert for either of us. The halloumi burger contained sweet potato and broccoli along with the halloumi on top and a nice tangy relish which I did try, again this was a really tasty well cooked meal. I was nearly tempted myself by the water buffalo burger (locally reared apparently) just out of curiosity but maybe that is for next time.
The service was fine although you did have to wait a bit to get served when first arriving mainly because the young girl behind the bar also served the food so was rather busy at times but additional help did arrive at one point. The service was friendly and it was a pleasant meal. The drink selection looked good and it does have a cask marque so stocks real ale I assume although I was on the soft drinks as I was driving.
For me the quality of the food and the friendly service certainly outweighs the deficiencies in the decor of the pub and at £6.95 for a quality steak like that I would go back to use it again especially on a Tuesday when the offer is in place.
For more information and to check out the full menu then he website for the pub is www.thebridgeatnapton.co.uk.
Thanks for reading and rating my review.