Having lived in Northamptonshire most of my life – other than my university years – I’m always surprised when I come across a village with which I am unfamiliar.
But this week I decided, for the first time, to visit Loddington and enjoy a meal at The Hare pub restaurant.
Loddington is a pretty little village and it seems that The Hare pub is a popular place within the community. Visiting on a Monday night, I was expecting to see a fairly empty restaurant.
But we were met with the bustling atmosphere of an evening much later on in the week; something I took as a being good sign.
We had booked a table, which I now believe is advisable due to the pub’s popularity, and were greeted by the smiling and friendly barman (manager?) on arrival. We ordered drinks and I was immediately impressed by the fact that he offered to give my husband, Payat, a taster sample of an ale he ordered, to make sure he liked it.
When seated, we perused our menus, which I found to be lengthy but not overwhelming. It was well organised into categories to make things easier for lovers of beef, chicken, fish or vegetarian dishes. There were plenty of choices for everyone.
The cosy, traditionally-furnished restaurant had one very special display showing some of the cakes and puddings on offer, so Payat and I decided to share a starter to avoid the terrible scenario of not being able to manage pudding.
We opted to share some creamy garlic mushrooms (£4.45) and the waiter offered to split the portion and put it on two plates. We were both served plates of food which I would have happily enjoyed as a main course. We each had a length of warm baguette coated in a generous helping of mushrooms in a cream sauce and accompanied by a gorgeously crisp salad. We tucked in and found the food to be perfectly cooked, delicious and filling!
Next came our main courses. Payat ordered the steak and ale pie with mashed potato and vegetables (£9.95), while I went for the home-made lasagne (£9.25) with curly fries and salad.
The accompaniments came in little side bowls and we ended up feasting on a mixture of everything and the food was lovely. The salad was fresh, the curly fries were gently spiced, the mashed potato was creamy and beautiful, the vegetables were perfectly cooked and plentiful and the main dishes were of a very high standard too. A minor criticism was that the meat was a little dry in my lasagne, but apart from that it was delicious and Payat was impressed with the huge wedges of juicy steak in his pie.
After all that food we ‘chickened out’ a bit and decided to share a pudding instead of ordering one each. We finished our meal with a lemon cheesecake, accompanied by a small jug of cream (£4.75). The pudding was extremely well done, with a lovely biscuity base, a filling with a delicate lemon flavour and the nice addition of white chocolate pieces on top.
We left feeling extremely full, but very satisfied with the whole experience and determined to revisit some time soon.
Main Street, Loddington, NN14 1LA
FOOD: Tasty and plentiful.
SERVICE: Friendly and helpful.
DISABLED ACCESS: Access but no disabled toilet.
PARKING: Large car park.
COST OF OUR MEAL
FINAL TOTAL: £36.76 (including two pints of beer and a sparkling water)
Anna’s star rating: 8/10