Top 100 gastropubs 2022 revealed
Find out which of Northants' nearest gourmet pubs have made the cut.
After much scoffing and quaffing, the UK’s top foodies and pub pros have picked out their favourites in the Estrella Damm Top 100 Gastropubs Awards and we are frankly aghast at the lack of Northamptonshire’s finest hostelries gracing the list. But, hey, pack your passport, we’re crossing the county border (I know, pegs on noses) to discover where the top spots are within reach. You can be designated driver.
Fancy somewhere a bit closer to home? Scroll down for our top Northamptonshire picks.
The Kingham Plough (No. 76)
This pub-with-rooms offers innovative modern British dishes with Mediterranean influences from head chef, Jonny Pons. Local and seasonal produce featured as much as possible and the menu changes daily, but think Woodfired Giant Tiger Prawns and 12 hr Slow Cooked Pork Belly, Grelot Onion, Creamy Mash, Apple Jelly and Truffle Jus.
The Nut Tree Inn, Murcott (No. 58)
This 15th century, chocolate box village pub has held its Michelin Star since 2008 thanks to a menu that balances British gastro pub classics with modern twists. Try the Beef fillet from Aubrey Allen or Fillet of Gigha Halibut to whet your whistle, followed by a gooey Banana and Caramel Tart (pictured).
The Magdalen Arms, Oxford (No. 79)
This corner of Iffley has become a bit of a foodie paradise with this quirky pub at its centre. Alongside hosting flea markets the pub serves cracking seasonal dishes with a twist such as slow cooked lamb shoulder, dauphinoise gratin and pickled red cabbage.
The Olive Branch, Clipsham (No. 74)
We’ve been banging on about this place for as long as we can remember and for good reason. A previous Muddy winner, they were also featured in the Estrella Damm Top 50 Gastropubs last year at number 25. The kitchen has been overseen by Head Chef Luke Holland since 2020 who has carried on the mantle with a modern twist using homegrown and local produce.
The Stag and Hounds, Burrough on the Hill, Melton Mowbray (No. 98)
Just sliding into the Top 100 list, this village local has been at the heart of the local community for generations but its rep has been spotlighted since and owners Dom and Antonia took over a few years ago. Located in what’s known as the Rural Foodie Capital of England, local produce is king. and everything is beautifully executed and presented.
The Fox and Hounds, Charwelton
This is surely one of the loveliest country pubs in the county for cosying up by an open fire. Take your pick from comfy sofas in the dog friendly bar or rustic tables in the dining room and relish landlord Dave’s expertly curated wine list and chef Sarah’s sumptuous menu. There’s always fresh seafood on the menu (a bit of a treat in landlocked Northants) and it’s never ever boring. Want to know more? Check out our review here.
The Willow and Brook, Apethorpe
More of a dining destination than a pub, but we couldn’t leave this one out. Tucked away in the little village of Apethorpe, The Willow and Brook manages to be cosy and welcoming without being twee. Chef Jim is a whizz at whipping up delicate menus that can suit anyone (No-gluten? No-dairy? No problem), from seared lamb rump with black garlic mash to madeira-infused tofu or Cajun butternut steak. The flavours are sophisticated but not snobby, with many ingredients sourced from local suppliers. Read our review for the full Muddy lowdown.