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Go Wild(wood) in half term at Rushden Lakes

Rushden Lakes is one place that can make half term go that little bit quicker. Aside from The Wildlife Trust BCN Nene Wetlands visitor centre, who have got it covered with various activities the kids will love, it’s got loads of shops to appeal, whatever their age (or gender), and a whole host of grub that they’ll enjoy! Although Feb Half term can be windswept outdoors, the Rushden Lakes complex itself offers a calm from the storm. Even if shopping isn’t your thing, there’s a great choice on offer for those in need of tasty vittles. For those of you, calling in from nearby Stanwick Lakes after a breezy walk with your little un’s (having stood around for as long as you can bear watching your little angels charge around the sandpit at minus temperatures), Rushden Lakes will offer you all the restoration you need. We’ve been a few times for fun and frolics on the lakes, to a whole host of various other shenanigans, including shopping AND eating. Our first time eaterie was at the yummy Bill’s, this time we went for a more italian flavour at Wildwood (the smallest Mudlet LOVES her pizza and pasta, and almost all other carbs to be honest). The premise of this restaurant is pretty simple really: friendly staff serving good food, in a chilled out place where people feel relaxed.

The bright and airy restaurants are good venues for most occasions, but Rushden Lakes (in our very own Northamptonshire) offering, has stunning lakeside views where you can watch the dog walkers and swan pedalos sail by!

They offer a decent selection of pizza and pasta (the prawn linguine was delish), grills and seasonal specials and there are light bites to accompany cocktails if you don’t want a big meal. There are also sharing plates, which I’m not always a fan of as it’s often fried ‘brown’ food, but at Wildwood there was fresh pizza, marinated peppers and glazed ribs that we actually fought over!

There was a good choice of burgers, always a winner with teens in tow, and both 17 year olds wolfed them down in minutes. The restaurant is very sizeable, there’s enough space to celebrate a special event with 30 of your closest friends or a couple of buggies (I remember the frustrations of tiny spaces with a pram and screaming toddler).

Attention to detail is pretty good too for such a chilled out vibe. The seabass was presented well, but more importantly tasted lovely and there were two good sized fillets!

If you’re looking for warm hospitality and decent quality, good value food (around a fiver for starters, a tenner plus for mains), Wildwood definitely ticks those boxes. I went back when it first opened, and to be honest, I wasn’t overwhelmed by the food, although I liked the restaurant’s vibe, but as it had only just opened I thought I’d give it a few months to bed in before going back, and I’m glad I did. I don’t know if it’s a different chef, or just practice, but it’s definitely improved and hit its stride, I’d heartily recommend a post shopping trip visit! And just to get a second opinion, the Mudlet gave her feedback below!

Lily Bea aged 13

I really loved Wildwood, it has great sized portions and amazing food. The views were really nice, as were the staff and the building itself. It seemed good for kids and adults, and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a good family restaurant with a friendly atmosphere. The location, as with any building in Rushden Lakes, is fantastic because of all the shops and businesses surrounding it, meaning anyone could make a perfect day out shopping and using the other entertainment facilities; then finishing it off with a delicious meal at Wildwood. 

 Rushden Lakes

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The Urban Guide to the Countryside - Northamptonshire