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Muddy eats – The Red Lion, Cranford

Winner of Best Destination Pub in the Muddy Awards 2019, this is a BIG Northants foodie hot spot! Check out why...

red lion pub cranfordTHE LOWDOWN
Winner of the Best Pub in this year’s Muddy Awards, The Red Lion Cranford has already had your seal of approval. It’s run 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. The food is a huge hit with almost everyone who visits, 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 footprint in general, so we’re giving them a big Muddy pat-on-the-back for all of that!


Think 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.

beer garden red lion cranford

It was a cold September day when we visited so everything was closed outside

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.


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.

I revisited the pub for lunch recently as they have lots of deals on, and it’s clearly working! The pub was really busy for a lunch time and you can kinda see why. The dressed crab was huge and came with crusty bread AND chips! Personally I would have liked some dressing on my salad but I have noticed some places don’t do it these days; maybe picky customers…

My guest had the pie which they buy in from Mark Coles butchers in Kettering. One minute it was on her plate and the next it was demolished, so I think it’s safe to say she loved it! The gravy was delicious and I dipped in throughout my meal which is probably all sorts of rude!

Sonya and Richard are all about supporting the locals, and the eggs, some of the wine, 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.


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 but modern 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 (some great evening meal deals below)!



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2 comments on “Muddy eats – The Red Lion, Cranford”

  • Julie Garrett April 25, 2019

    The Red Lion at Cranford is my most favourite place to eat, and i have never had a favourite before. The food is first class, more than that it is just such a friendly place to be , can’t recommended it enough.

    • annaloudearden October 21, 2019

      Sooo friendly too!


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