6 of the best wine bars in Northants
Whether it's a hot date, night out with the girls or a mid-week quickie, the wine bar is back. Put the world to rights over a sharing board and a bottle of some fabulous vintage.
Ruby and Claret, Earls Barton
Winner of the 2021 Muddy Award for Best Bar in Northants and it’s not hard to see why – Ruby and Claret has got to be one of the most hygge-tastic hangouts we’ve been to. You can drop in for a cheese board and a spot of tapas, or book in for one of their special tasting and pairing evenings. But it’s not just about gourmet delights, cosy sheepskins and gorgeous interior style. R & B is a fantastic bottle shop too and owner Clare knows her stuff when it comes to fermented grapes, so if you need some help with what to pick for your festive do then you might want to book a personal shopping appointment so you don’t make any, err, hiccups.
M on the Square, Brackley
It’s hard to believe this elegant and buzzing cafe and wine bar, set in Brackley’s absolutely gorgeous Old Town Hall, first opened its doors just over a year ago as a second lockdown loomed on the horizon. But it’s gone from strength to strength, serving bottomless brunches and gorge-worthy sharing platters to accompany your tipple of choice. You can also hire the space for private events and even sleep in the Airbnb upstairs in the loft, so no need to allocate a designated driver. That’s my kind of wine bar.
John Franklins, Northampton
Our go-to cosy cafe for a lunch time cheese toastie (honestly, the best) is also the ultimate destination wine bar in Northampton’s Cultural Quarter, nestled cheek by jowl with the Royal and Derngate Theatre and serving moreish cheese and charcuterie platters and really good wines. We love that you can dash to your seat at the theatre in 30 seconds, or spill out after the performance for a spot of intellectual discuté. (What?!).
For the Love of Wine, Stanwick
A wine bar in a school?! It’s ok, you can come out from behind the bike sheds. For the Love of Wine is actually located in a gorgeous 1800s former school building, but the kids have moved on. Current owners David and Lorraine took the reins in 2019 and decided to zhuzh it up and install wine instead. Yippee! And cocktails, champagne, cheeseboards, coffee and cakes.
The Green Room, Brackley
This popular tapas and wine bar at the heart of Brackley old town (what, another one? Brackley is happening peeps) is one of our favourites for its relaxed and friendly vibes, bottomless brunches and fantastic tapas menu, not to mention the deliriously indulgent cocktail trees. But you’ll also find a decent wine and champagne list here too, for when you’re at least heading in with a sophisticated vibe.
New Lodge Vineyard, Earls Barton
It probably doesn’t get more local than quaffing your vino in the actual terroir the grapes were grown in. The beautiful New Lodge Vineyard courtyard in Earls Barton is open for cheese and wine every Saturday 10-4pm. Wrap up warm to enjoy the al fresco vibes, twinkling lights and stunning scenery and stock up on your Christmas booze while you’re here. You can even book for private events and tastings for groups of 14 or more. Santé.
The Fox and Hounds, Charwelton
We reserve the right to declare this much beloved country chic gastropub to also be a wine bar, with Landlord Dave’s slick credentials as a Le Manoir trained sommelier. His passion has very much infused the staggeringly comprehensive wine list here, and you can order almost all of the 150+ wines by the glass thanks to two special sciency systems used to keep wines fresh once opened (Verre du Vin and Coravin). And the best part? You can quaff to your hearts content along with a dozen fresh native oysters (Fri-Sun only) or if you’re dining, pair a glass with each course, Dave will be happy to give suggestions if you’re not quite sure where to start. We’ve also heard there are some new additions to the wine list for this season, including two orange wines, which are very on trend, minimal intervention, biodynamic and vegan and a demi-sec champagne designed to be served with desserts. That’ll pop your cork.