Nine fab local places for a decent cocktail
Even though it only opened late last year, G&T’s, Gin and Temple on St Giles Street has already got rave reviews. Serving the finest flavoured gin and tonic combinations and offering customers advice on how to pick the best to suit, owners Max Taylor-Smith and Cillian Hickey are well educated and are passionate about the venture. It focuses on the drinks while providing a relaxed atmosphere around the large variety of citric, spicy and floral gins. Spread across two floors, the lounge offers customers gin masterclasses for £30 and soon to arrive will be a cocktail masterclasses. Hosted by experts from local distilleries, you will leave well-educated whilst enjoying a memorable evening in a relaxed, intimate environment that unleashes your creative side. Also offering a small selection of beers, spirits and soft drinks, there is a drink for everyone.
Fox & Hounds Harlestone:
Located close to woodlands (Lower Harlestone), Fox & Hounds is a quaint, historic pub where you can enjoy a well-deserved drink after your walk around Harlestone Firs, you can even bring along your 4-legged friend with you (only into the bar mind!). There’s plenty of outdoor seating, perfect for those summer nights we’re hopefully soon to be expecting *crosses fingers*. Aside from a decent food menu, there’s a lush cocktail menu where you can take your pick from classic options like mojitos or try something different such as their Clover Club, an updated martini with edible flowers, yup, totes posh right? It gets even better, between 12-7pm enjoy 241 cocktails, Monday to Friday, so more of a happy day than a happy hour.
Zapato Lounge (Lounges):
Located in loads of cities all over the UK, with several in Northants (Wellingborough, Corby and Northampton), the lounges are quirky interior designed bars and restaurants. Monday to Friday between 5pm till 7pm all Lounges offer any two cocktails for only £9.50, as well as occasional specials food choices in different lounges, depending on what they’re trailing. The lounges also offer a gluten free and vegan food menu, and they’re dog friendly, so you can bring your pooch whilst enjoying something to tickle everybody’s taste buds. Join them on Tapas Tuesdays where £10.50 gets you 3 dishes and a well-deserved glass of wine. If you’re a morning bird, their delicious Lounge or Veggie breakfast for just £7.50, Monday – Friday gets you a cup of tea or filtered coffee ready to set you up for the day. But more importantly, they do very decent cocktails for a chain!
Sat next to The Derngate theatre on Guildhall Road, John Franklin’s is a versatile café and bar (depending what time you visit) offering a selection of beer, wines and cheese – perfect for a catch up with friends and family or even a first date before catching a show at Derngate. There’s a generous choice of cocktails including their gin favourite Berry Good and you can enjoy with something from their Deli counter, which offers cheeses, chutneys and cured meats that are locally produced. Thursdays are fizz day where glasses of prosecco are £5, all day, so don’t wait for the weekend to celebrate. For £20 for 2 people enjoy a delicious cheese board and a gin between Sunday and Thursday.
Haycock and Tailbar:
Calling themselves a ‘cocktail and supper room’ Haycock and Tailbar is the perfect mix of good food and marvellous drinky poos (the cocktails are exceptional!) With a large and very eclectic selection of them, this is a great place to try something new. The team claim to be happy to hear about your likes and dislikes, so your opinion is always welcome, plus if there’s something you want that’s not on the menu, they’re always open to suggestions and will try their best to recreate the cocktail of your dreams! We asked for a measurement breakdown for ours but they were giving nothing away!
A once sophisticated cocktail bar (maybe not so much now, but still decently mixed drinks), it’s located in the heart of St Giles Quarter in Northampton (opposite Borja below). With a quirky design of multi-rooms, it allows its guests to either relax in the lounge, or dance like no one’s watching in their ‘Back Room Club’ to the music of their top DJs. They also offer a cocktail master class, so if you fancy your hand at cocktail making then get yourself to Sazerac with a group of girlies for a fun and exciting lesson in the art of le cocktail (leave the car at home)!
Malt and Bass:
Priding themselves on being quirky and original, Corby based Malt and Bass is a welcome addition to the town! With an interesting interior and good selection of cocktails, Malt and Bass should meet your expectations. They aim to let you enjoy the classic relaxed environment of a bar, paired with awe-inspiring flavours for spectacular looking drinks! They claim to begin from the appearance of the drink and work backwards to the taste, allowing them to come up with some fab designs! A good mix of quirky and fun!
This Northampton venue offers you the chance to sit back and relax in a private booth whilst a waiter brings you and your friends the drinks of your choice! They offer a variety of cocktails from the classics we all know and love to the ones designed by in-house staff. They provide a good mix of relaxation and fun, with more intimate, private booths and seating areas right by the dance floor, so a boogie is never far away! They cater to groups of all sizes so there’s nothing they can’t handle when you fancy a night out with a chance to try something new!
Located on Castilian Street around the cultural district of Northampton, this cocktail bar can be a bit hit and miss but we once had a very good cocktail there. Friday offers 241 deals all night on all cocktails as well as 2 cocktail pitchers for £20. There are VIP tables available to book and exclusive hire too, which may be more your thing as it does have some quirky interior style maybe more appealing without the hordes of weekend clubbers (but sometimes you might want a bit of that).
Contributor: Ciaran McGonigle