“ Main Street / Ecton / Northampton / NN6 0QF / England / Tel: 01604 414521 / Fax: 01604 400334. „
Second time we'd been to TWE, and thought it not so good the second time. I had a raviolli dish which cost about £15 but must have cost about £1.50 to produce - straight out of a packet from a Tesco store. Not very impressed. Didn't help that people on the next table were engaged in a 'shag, snog, marry' quiz, the first word very loud - surprising in a posh restaurant. Staff were friendly but a bit casual for me. We spent £33 per head and I expected a bit more food- and service-wise. Puddings were good and steak and chips had decent reviews. I wouldn't go back but my family probably would. They need more veggie options.
Very poor food, over cooked fish on both dishes one costing £20starter had missing ingredients only when I pointed it out to the waitress did she say sorry and return from the kitchen with the missing relish..Shame as the pubs is beautiful. Emailed my complaint but have never had a reply. Hopefully they are to busy recruiting a new head chef!
A friend and I went for a light lunch at TWE today, we decided on the pate as you cannot usually go wrong with it. However when it arrived it was as grey as concrete and the consistancy of mousse, they say you eat with your eyes but that would not work at TWE. The toast or rather warmed bread that came with it consisted of three tiny triangles that would not have made up a half a slice of bread. I will not be eating here again EVER. If you could give no stars that is what I would have chosen.
Its really sad to see so many bad reviews, I have been to TWE twice and on both occasions have been met by welcoming staff, a sumptuous meal and wonderful atmosphere. I always find when you are enjoying good company you are not looking at your watch timing the chef. I have tried to book tonight but it is fully booked :( but will be booking again soon.They have a broad choice of meals and wines available, and the live music in the adjoining bar was great. We really made the night of it instead of sloping off home early.Hope you all have a good night there too.E Tubridy
Called into TWE for lunch with my wife. NEVER EVER AGAIN. arrived Monday 02/08/2010 approx 1 oclock , waited ages before being served with drinks when my wife ordered chicken salad and I a burger. We waited 40 mins and i then asked the waitress how long it took to cook a burger, she promptly returned to the kitchen and immediately returned with our food .I guess talking about exploits over the weekend was more important than us . when the food arrived it was disgusting,burger reasonable but not good enough,chips were awful, poss reheat from yesterday, the lettuce I am sure was rescued from the slop bin,the bun appeared to be days old. Now to the chicken salad,how the heck can you ruin this dish,well TWE managed it fine, it was awful. My own fault being at thi place as i was warned by numerous people not to go there. The refurbishment is superb but with only 2 other people the atmosphere was pretty dire. To the owners I would suggest a complete staff review, the chef and waiting staff need training and educating in customer care. Talk to the customer and NOT WITH EACH OTHER. A terrible experience. The cost of this debacle was astronomical compared to much better pubs. Never again and i simply cannot find a low enough rating
Truly awful. Dropped in for a Sunday roast at 4pm. There were only four other diners and we were far outnumbered by the many staff who though polite were sloppily dressed and generally loafing around - clearly no supervision. The table was sticky, drinks took an age to be served, the lager tasted off, the olives came with two pre-chewed stones among them and the pork came without crackling as they had run out but failed to inform us before taking the order. The meal had the taste and appearance of having been cooked and plated in advance then reheated with instant gravy on top. Fish was ok, but couldn't wait to leave before bothering with a dessert.
I visited TWE recently for a friend's birthday celebrations and I will not be coming back for various reasons. As a group we were only offered a shortened menu, this would have been fine however the meals themselves seemed to echo this trend. It was over priced and quite frankly not enough on the plate. What I ate was lovely but I could have ordered two meals, I just had a plate of meat with no accompaniments. The dish I ordered should have featured goat's cheese; this was a small melted blob with no real taste. We asked if we could move to the bar after our meal, upon arrival we were told we would be unable to actually purchase any drinks as we had settled our bill! A big let down for a place with much opportunity, I was looking forward to eating here but have been bitterly disappointed.
I'm vegetarian too, only been to the world's end once but I can safely say it was a really decent meal- had a mixed board of goats cheese, olives, breads, salad, onion marmalade and dressings- it was marvelous, and there was plenty of other choices too. "Rustic" is the word when it comes to the food so if you're not into that then perhaps not great for you, but then again there's a decent selection of pizza dishes which anyone would like. Looking forward to going back.
As a vegetarian I was disappointed with the menu as i only had a choice of 3 pizzas and on the specials menu, 1 pasta dish. The pizza I chose was supposed to be goats cheese, spinach, red onions and beetroot and was missing beetroot and had hardly any goats cheese on it. It was also far too large. Vegetarians - dine elsewhere!
Please note that despite Dooyoo listing this as the World's End Hotel and Restaurant, it is in the 'restaurants and cafes' section and is not intended as a review of the hotel.
Where and What is The World's End?
The World's End - or TWE as they brand themselves - is described as a 'Bar, Restaurant and Rooms'. It's located in the village of Ecton, just off the A4500 between Northampton and Wellingborough in the East Midlands.
Two years ago we relocated from Suffolk to Northamptonshire and have been hunting for a good place to eat out ever since. In a region where most of the options are pub food that struggles to rise above the truly mediocre, I think we might have found a new favourite.
How I discovered The World's End
An old friend called to invite me for dinner in July and as he was staying in one of the hotel rooms at TWE, we agreed to meet there and check out the menu. I was so impressed that I went back with my husband and a friend for another look. When we had visitors from Sweden last weekend we tried the ultimate test could they cope with a small child in the shape of 21 month old Rebecca, a young lady with very strident views?
Is it popular?
My first visit was a Tuesday night and we were amazed to discover the restaurant was fully booked although the staff kindly squeezed us in. There were also another 20 people eating on the deck that day. This was the first hint that TWE might be something special as most places in the area would struggle to drum up more than a couple of old men with their dogs on a Tuesday. My second visit was on a Wednesday night and again the place was very busy. On a Saturday night (our third visit) I very much doubt youd get in without a booking made several days in advance.
How will I recognise it?
Take a look at their website for some photos. From the outside, TWE looks like any of scores 'olde worlde' Northants country pubs. It's a pretty looking place built from the local honey-coloured stone. It has a very large deck area outside with sun-shades and café tables. The deck is very popular when the sun comes out and they can turn on the heaters (evil environmentally-unfriendly contraptions) when the weather cools down. The car park is large but generally pretty full. Directly in front of the car park there's a more recently built extension which houses most of the guest rooms.
What's it like inside?
It couldn't be less like a country pub. There's a distinct absence of black beams, cobwebs and 'tat' hanging off the ceiling. What is it about pubs that they seem to think you'll enjoy yourself more when there are 140 cracked Toby Jugs hanging above your head? TWE has had a major refurb and the designers have created an astonishingly stylish environment within a traditional shell. Think light wood floors, spot lighting, leather sofas etc.
If you enter through the main door you come first to a reception desk. From here you can turn right to the restaurant or left to the bar. Pass through the restaurant waiting area to get to the accommodation.
The waiting area is next to the small bar which serves the restaurant and has two big leather sofas and a coffee table. The end wall is oddly decorated with stacked logs in an effect you'd associate with a lean-to on a Swiss chalet.
Moving through to the restaurant you'll find it in two areas - a mauve section and a cream section. The dining room looks a bit like an oversized IKEA room layout - there are solid light wood tables and leather coated high-back chairs. They have cream carpets which look very stylish but I couldn't help thinking it was a daft floor covering for a restaurant. The room has a high ceiling and I'd guess it may have been a two storey building before. One wall is picked out in very funky wallpaper with a design that looks a bit like a Lucien Day interpretation of cow parsley.
The main restaurant has 20 tables and can seat 80 people. They generally aim to seat a maximum of 120 people per evening in one and a half sittings. You can tell that I quizzed the waitress can't you? She probably thinks I'm a food inspector! However, if there's no room in the restaurant, you can order the same food and eat it in the bar or out on the deck so there's no need to panic if they don't have a table.
There's not really a strict 'starter - main - dessert' feel to the menu. Instead they have divide the menu into:
* While You Are Waiting - breads and olives from £1.95 to £3.95. The garlic breads are large pizza size.
* Little Dishes -a wide range of starters or small main courses from £3.95 to £6.50
* TWE Grazing Boards - a wooden board with a variety of smaller dishes, a bowl of olives and a chunk of bread to eat with them.
* Stone Fired Pizzas - absolutely enormous square thin-crust pizzas- £8.50 to £8.95.
* Old Comforts - Traditional dishes such as cod and chip, bangers and mash and burger and chips. Prices from £7.95 to £12.95
* Big Dishes - bigger and fancier than the little dishes, these include several meat dishes, a main course pasta and various steaks £9.95 to £16.95 with supplements for the steak sauces
* Leaves - main course salads for £8.50 to £9.95
* Desserts - I'm not absolutely sure of the prices as they aren't shown on the standard menu, but I think all the desserts are £4.95.
If, like me, you are the type of person who likes to check out the menu before trying a restaurant for the first time, I believe the entire menu with the exception of desserts is on the website at www.theworldsend.org.uk
In addition to the standard menu, there was an extra page of 'specials' the first time I visited but no specials the second or third time. To be honest, there was so much good stuff to choose from on the main menu that I wouldn't have needed any more and probably would have just confused myself.
There's also a wine menu with fairly standard restaurant prices with wines from around £12 a bottle upwards. By the glass, the choice is very limited.
What did we have?
Im going to focus on our second visit when talking about the food.
A bowl of mixed olives - I forgot to order them when they took our original order and by the time they arrived, we'd already got the starters. So if you think you NEED olives because you might have a long wait for the starters, you are probably wrong.
My friend Marion and I both ordered two 'little dishes' whilst my husband went for one 'little dish' and an 'old comfort'. For their first course, hubby and my friend had grilled goats cheese on ciabatta with fresh figs and balsamic syrup. It did cross my mind to wonder where hubby had picked up so much sophistication because he certainly never gets goat cheese at home - horrible nasty stuff. He left his fig (which meant I got it) and whilst he loved the 'cheese on toast' he was pretty confused about the 'black sticky stuff'. I suspect boys don't 'do' balsamic.
My starter was a salmon and crayfish tail cake on rocket, with lime and sweet chilli dressing. I'd had this before so I knew I was on to a good thing. The 'cake' is a glorified fishcake, slightly smaller than a tennis ball and packed full of salmon and crayfish in a potato base. It's deep fried and bread crumbed and served on (not enough) rocket. The sauce was good but tasted like it might have come from a bottle.
(On my most recent visit I also ordered this dish and was really disappointed that it was about 90% potato inside. I called the waiter over to say that this wasnt up to the normal standard and they quickly replaced my dish with an alternative. I was glad that Id complained and they dealt with the issue very nicely.)
Main courses - hubby had the 'locally sourced sausages, mash and onion gravy' - so not too much need for me to still fret about his sophistication on that course. Marion and I both ordered the small size 'Thai fragranced mussels and chunk of local rustic bread'. This dish was easily big enough for a main course and came with a finger bowl and a bowl for the empties. Hubby was happy with his bangers and mash although he did admit that my quorn sausages with Bisto veggie onion gravy (that's a close as he gets at home) were almost as good.
The mussel dish was a bit of a muddle. The mussels themselves were lovely but the sauce which really should be mopped up with the bread just didn't gel together at all well. The bread was full of cumin seeds which fought with the overly spicy thin sauce. Whilst the bread, the sauce and the mussels were each great on their own, the combination just didn't work well. But that didn't stop me finishing every last bit.
We all had puddings - well it would be rude not to, wouldn't it and I was doing research for my review. I had lemon tart with raspberries and mascarpone. The tart was sharp and intensely lemony, the raspberries were fine but I can do without the mascarpone. Hubby had a cheesecake and Marion had a chunk of chocolate pudding so big that she could still be there, finishing it off a week later. Our only complaints were that we just didn't have room to do them justice.
I've felt on both visits that this is the kind of place that doesn't expect you to spend a fortune if you don't want to. You could have just one or two courses, or sit out on the deck and share a pizza - they are a friendly and unpretentious bunch of people and I didn't feel at all bad about going for two 'little dishes' and skipping the more expensive mains. I've gone down this route both times.
The Staff and Service
Most of the more experienced staff - i.e. the ones who knew what they are doing and don't look like they were school kids - seem to be from Australia or New Zealand. My mind boggles to think how they washed up in Ecton. They are very pleasant and professional. We had a number of different waitresses during the evening and I didn't get a real sense of continuity of service. One waitress when asked what beer they had, had to go and check with the bar because it was her first day and then struggled to recall three beers.
The service was calm and efficient - the food arriving at the right pace to not leave you hungry nor feeling rushed. They have plenty of waiting staff and they circulate frequently to check if anyone is looking for further service. The only major delay we had was trying to get the bill. All the food was attractively presented although sometimes the dishes came at different times for each of our party.
And the damage?
Three people, three courses, two glasses of wine and two pints of beer, large bottle of fizzy water - £68 and a few pennies. I thought that was pretty good.
And how about Rebecca?
For our most recent visit I phoned ahead to check if there would be any problem about bringing our friends daughter along. They were quite happy to have children, even on a busy Saturday night, and although they dont have high chairs, they cleverly placed us at a table with a bench on one side so she could sit between her parents. Despite her attempt to trip up one of the waiters whilst he had both arms full of food, we didnt feel awkward about having her there. As the evening progressed and the restaurant filled up, the occasional squeal from Rebecca was hardly audible in the busy restaurant.
TWE has twenty rooms including one that's been set up for disabled guests. From memory - but check because I might be wrong - they do a special offer on Saturday and Sunday nights where you can get a room at a cheap rate if you have dinner first. I believe it's about £40-50 including breakfast. Give them a call and check if you are interested.
They also have meeting rooms if anyone needs a business venue.
Would I recommend?
Yes, the atmosphere is great, the service is timely and the food quality is excellent - but I'd advise you to maybe avoid the mussels or check what type of bread you'll be getting first (e.g. if it had been a garlic or tomato bread I think they'd have got away with it).
The World's End, Ecton, Northamptonshire, NN6 0QN
Tel - 01604 414521
Fax - 01604 400334
Email - email@example.com
Website - www.theworldsend.org.uk