Muddy eats – The Red Lion, Cranford
Previously voted by you Mudsters as one of your favourite pubs, The Red Lion was Muddy approved instantly. It’s ran by Richard and Sonya who have over 50 years combined experience of bringing people together with great food and drink and when they say ‘great food’, they really mean it! They take hearty, homely pub food to a new contemporary level. This grub is seriously good stuff (more below) making this quaint village pub a Northants hotspot. The staff are lovely and create a welcoming and warm environment so you’ll not only be leaving with full stomachs, but also big smiles. They’re super keen to use the very best local produce, recycle all their waste and reduce their carbon foodprint in general, they pride themselves on this and we’re giving them a big Muddy pat-on-the-back!
Think mostly traditional with a hint of contemporary, expect low ceilings, open fires and cosy corners; everything an idyllic village pub has. The history of the pub stretches back over 400 years and the interior reflects this giving it old world character and charm. The hint of contemporary comes from the glass extension which houses the restaurant, it gives the pub a quirky edge and matches the contemporary twist given to the food. Top it off with coal fires, board games and a brilliant selection of drinks and you’re set for the night here.
Like most pubs, walk-ins are welcome, but it can get pretty busy here so if you want to eat in the contemporary dining area (which has cute, quirky tables and chairs) booking is recommended. You can enjoy the grub in the bar area too, or on warmer days, there’s the lovely beer garden which comes complete with a play area (littlies occupied? Tick!). Pooches are welcome here too so there’s no need to worry about leaving the dog at home.
SCOFF & QUAFF
Sonya, the chef, used to be at my local, The Golden Lion in Wellingborough, so we knew we were in trusted hands. She started out a few years back as just a normal everyday cook, like us; and built herself up to create dishes like the ones we had. I started with the scallops that were big enough for a main and Plus One had mussels in tarragon and chorizo, which Sonya had smoked with local Tea Lab tea. They were the best mussels I’ve had in this country (I obviously nicked half of his portion ; )! Next up was the belly pork (the crackling is to die for btw), which is the biggest and most loved dish on the menu, it’s just that good. I went for the salmon which was deliciously moist, and it was so big I had it for another meal the next day.
They’re all about supporting the locals and the wine, eggs, lamb, fruit and veg all come from Richard’s sister’s farm in Brigstock, she also helps in the production and care of these great local products so you’re truly being served the best ingredients. The drinks selection here is excellent, ranging from local producers to organic domains, choose from Real Ales & Beers, a good selection of Gins, Whiskeys and Wines and of course there’s a variety of non alcoholic drinks on offer too including local organic teas and coffees.
OUT & ABOUT
The pub is situated in the heart of Cranford, near Kettering (we had our second Muddy Awards at Cranford Hall) and the village is full of history. The Red Lion is the perfect stop after a leisurely amble at Twywell Hills & Dales, both walk and pub are doggy friendly. Cheers!
Good for: Families, people with with fluffy companions and anyone who fancies restaurant quality food. It’s a place with a friendly vibe and you’ll feel comfortable straight away, it has everything you’d expect from a quaint village pub and more.
Not for: I’d go so far as to say this pub would suit most people. But if pushed, maybe not for anyone expecting a quiet, silver service type experience. This place is really friendly, has a warm and welcoming environment and the food is amazing, but it’s not a formal dining experience (and all the better for it I say).
The damage: Slightly more expensive than your typical pub but reasonable for what you’re served. Starters around £5 – £10 and mains £14 – £20, with steaks around the £20 mark.