“ Address: Northampton Road / Brixworth / Northampton / NN6 9BU / England „
My hubby and I have just spent a rare day together with no children and where did we head - Northamptonshire.
We hadn't been to Brixworth before but wow is it quaint, it's a beautiful typcial English village. We were lucky and blessed with sunshine which glistened on the lovely old buildings. The village of Brixworth also has one of the oldest saxon churches and is supposed to be the most beautiful north of the alps! set in a picturesque landscape of rolling Northamptonshire. Brixworth is close to the Pitsford reservior which is also well worth a visit perhaps before stopping at the George for a meal!
The George Inn is a lovely old building in the heart of Brixworth, it has a car park which holds quite a few cars. The pub has a lovely conservatory, bar area and restaurant area plus an outdoor eating area so there is plenty of space. The Pub claims that it was used by Cromwell and that the landlord was locked down in the cellar!!
We chose the conservatory to eat in as it was lunchtime and a beautiful day to enjoy the sunshine. We were welcomed by friendly staff at the bar and seated immediately.
The menu's were excellent, all homecooked food - and you could tell it was! They have a lunchtime special which is £6.50 for two courses or £10.50 for three courses pluse tea and coffee on the latter option. The main menu is extremely reasonable too with starters ranging from £3.99 to £4.99, mains ranging from £7.50 to £10.50 with steaks up to £17.99, puddings ranging from about £3.99.
There is plenty of choice from the usual lasagna, gammon, pies and chicken to fish and ploughmans. There is also a good choice in the starter menu with whitebait, prawn cocktail, mushrooms or Brixworth pate! The pudding menu is written on the board so I guess that may change from time to time, there was cheesecake, lemon pie, chocolate gateau and cheese board.
The food was amazing - that's why I had to do a review!! for such reasonable prices comparable with the usual national chains the food was all home cooked and tasted delicious. I had scampi, chips and peas which was delicious. My hubby had the Brixworth ploughman special which I helped to taste test!! it came on a huge cheese board filled with various cheeses, pate, olives, cranberries and onions, ham and a small amount of salad (a little more salad might have been nice) it also came with two lovely warm bread bagettes. The pate was delicious.
I then had the New York cheesecake which was also delicious served with cream, it was melt in the mouth and just the right amount.
We both felt the atmosphere was lovely and friendly the staff were more than helpful and the whole place was clean and well kept. The toilets were also nice although not very many for the size maybe.
Overall I would recommend this as a lovely place to eat or just stop by for a drink, we will definitely be going back again.
The villages that lie to the north of Northampton are some of the prettiest in England and some of the least well-known. Tucked into the triangle formed by the A14, M1 and A45 is beautiful countryside that few people even know exists. We have villages so cute that they can easily hold their little heads up against the competition of the Cotswolds and they have the added advantage of not being full of camera-wielding Japanese tourists.
When my husband and I needed to move to the area 5 years ago we had to think long and hard about where we wanted to live. We chose Brixworth, one of the larger and slightly less snooty villages, mostly because it had facilities. Many of the smaller villages have no pub, no shop, no school, maybe a church and possibly a phone booth but that's about all. By contrast Brixworth has schools, a doctors' surgery, several shops, a library, a chippie, a community centre and a village hall. Most remarkably we have not one but three pubs, all standing within staggering distance of one another on the same road.
Lest this all sound like a bit too much excitement for us country folk, I would have to say that our first impressions were that all three pubs were absolutely rubbish. That was until the George was bought by a new owner and underwent a massive and very expensive refurbishment almost a year ago.
It says a lot about how little interest we have in pubs that we hadn't been in until last month. I'd just taken a friend to visit our village jeweller (I didn't mention we had a jeweller, did I?) and as we left I suggested we go and have a drink in the pub before going home. The George was the nearest and had a nice outdoor terrace so we headed over. Walking inside to order drinks I stopped dead in my tracks. It was as if the alien body snatchers had visited. From the outside it looked like the same pub but the interior was from another planet than the old George. It used to be a place of unfortunate blood red walls, scruffy youths with pool cues and nothing more interesting than pub basket meals.
I had been told that The George had changed. My hairdresser (oh yes, we have TWO salons in the village!) had said it was worth a look a couple of months ago but that hadn't prepared me for the makeover at the George. The Coach and Horses just up the road has woodchip wallpaper, paintwork that looks like it hasn't been touched in decades, low ceilings and all the ambiance of a transport café. The Red Lion has such a 'Spit and Sawdust' look that I've never bothered to battle through the dozens of desperate smokers gathered at the entrance in order to find out whether my prejudices are justified. With these for neighbours, The George now looks like a supermodel hanging out with a bunch of Primark chavs.
The bar area is light and airy with lots of gorgeous wooden flooring. There's a large, bright conservatory dining area as well as another large dining zone at the back of the pub. Close to the bar is a wood burning stove with a couple of leather armchairs and on the other side of the fire there's a bit leather sofa that looked very inviting. We chatted to the barman, a friendly and pleasant chap once you got over his lip piercing, and he told us that everyone who goes in for the first time seems to react the same way I had. We ordered two lagers and took them out to the terrace so my friend could smoke but it was a bit too cool for lingering so she polished off her cigarette and headed back in to sit by the fire. We took a look at the menu and decided to return the following day for lunch.
We hadn't booked a table so we were really pleased to get a nice table for four in the conservatory. The table was set with two chairs and a high-backed wooden bench seat. The menu we'd seen the day before had been changed for the Sunday menu which was slightly different. They do a choice of three different Sunday roasts and are obviously keen to encourage people to have those ahead of some of the other dishes. As a non-meat eater this left me with not too much choice - either a cheese and vegetable 'crumble' or fish and chips. My husband and friends were staring open-mouthed at the size of the plates and the amount of food being served at the table next to us and decided that they probably couldn't do justice to the roast dinners. We all - like a small flock of hungry sheep - chose fish and chips and then expressed our individuality by being difficult about the vegetables; one garden peas, one mushy peas, two mixed veg.
My friend Linda had checked out the toilets the day before and insisted I go along with her to have a look. She's very picky about such things and I'll admit we had a massive bleaching session on all the loos before she arrived to stay for the weekend. The ladies toilets were indeed spotlessly clean and had one of those fabulous Dyson Air Blade hand dryers.
Back to the table and we waited quietly whilst all the staff flitted back and forth smiling and saying hello. It doesn't sound like much but it is nice when the staff don't ignore you. We sipped our drinks and talked about what a lovely job they'd done on renovating a tired old pub and making it into something so fresh and stylish.
When our food arrived you could tell that they'd really taken a bit more care than your standard pub-grub. The fish was delicately placed across the bed of thick chips. Neither the fish or the chips were greasy and the batter on the fish was a dark golden brown and was very light and crisp. For the two of us not having peas, the chef had put a small mound of salad garnish on the plates where the peas should have been to balance the appearance of the plates. A big chunk of juicy lemon was placed to one side. The peas and mushy peas were served on the plates but our vegetables were served in individual side dishes and included cauliflower, thin batons of carrot and even some roasted parsnip.
I'm usually very wary of pub fish and chips. Considering it's a national dish it's surprising how badly some places can ruin it. There were no complaints from us at all. The balance of batter and fish was perfect, the vegetables were cooked to perfection and our plates when we finished were so clean you could imagine we'd licked them (don't worry - we didn't).
On to puddings and the waitress came along with her notepad to read them all off. There were about six options and we'd seen several of them being carried past us earlier in the meal. I ordered a lemon cheesecake, my husband had the sticky toffee pudding and Linda took the 'Strawberry Swan', just to be awkward because the waitress seemed a bit scared of that dish and claimed she was always worried that she'd 'break it' because it looked so delicate. Linda's husband Graham resisted the puddings. We ordered coffees to follow.
My cheesecake was lovely but probably 'bought in' rather than made in the restaurant. I don't have any trouble with that. Linda's Strawberry Swan was indeed a work of art - though we almost persuaded the waitress to tell her it had flown off to the local reservoir. With a strawberry mousse base, meringue wings, lots of whipped cream and a white chocolate head and neck, I could see why the waitress had been nervous of serving it. By the time I thought to ask my husband for a taste of his sticky toffee pud, it had all disappeared so I guess we can say it was pretty good.
Over coffees the owner dropped by to see how we were doing and to chat about the restaurant. I knew they offer a Sunday quiz night and wanted to find out if it was something that just two of us could show up for and she was very welcoming and encouraging so maybe we'll go back soon. My husband had a long chat with her about The George and she explained that she's spent an awful lot of money doing it up - which is very plain to see - and had worked hard to totally transform the place. Since it's only a 2 or 3 minute walk from our house, we'll certainly be going back to support the business again. Finding a place like this on your doorstep is a godsend - but could prove to be an expensive habit.
Sure enough we went back two weeks later when some friends came to visit with their young baby. They are still at the 'terrified of going out unless the baby kicks off' stage of parenthood and weren't sure that they wanted to go to the pub. Hubby went over a few days before and explained the situation, asked if there was somewhere they could put us where the baby wouldn't disturb everyone else and they offered us the 'Snug' - a small room with just four tables which we were able to have to ourselves. When we arrived they'd provided a high-chair for her and our friends were able to relax and spread out with all their baby paraphenalia. I'll admit we did get a bit forgotten being tucked away in a side room and had to venture out in search of drinks and ketchup once or twice, but it was rather nice to effectively be given our own dining room. There was a bit of a problem when it came to nappy-change time and neither parent nor any of the restaurant staff could figure out how to turn the lights on in the disabled toilet, but other than that everything was just perfect.
Delicious english homemade food accompanied by quality wines and ales in a relaxing atmosphere.