A few months ago I was asked where was good for food in Wellingborough and I was stumped.
Despite spending my first 18 years on this planet living there, and a couple of years after I finished university, I couldn’t think of an answer.
Granted, there’s a few chain pubs, but you get those in every town.
I went back home earlier this week to visit my parents and suggested we went out for tea. A friend had said the Coach & Horses offered good, hearty grub, so there we went.
I’d been to the award-winning Oxford Street pub a few times before for a drink and you can’t help but notice the different beer logos plastered everywhere - and I mean everywhere - when you go through the doors.
The pub proudly has a memento from every beer they’ve sold on display and you could probably spend a day just looking at them. A chalkboard just to the right of the bar says they’ve sold a staggering 3,360 beers from 602 brewers since September 2008, to put it into context.
I had a pint of Contraption, a light ale, and we took our seats to have a look at the menu.
There’s nothing fancy about it, which was a pleasant surprise. Too many pubs these days try to be something they’re not, in my opinion.
The menu was littered with classics such as burgers, ham egg and chips, chilli con carne, fish and chips and more, as well as a pizza list.
My dad went for the monterey jack and spicy chipotle burger, which included bacon, an 8oz patty, red onions, onion rings and a spicy sauce. My mum fancied the fish and chips, traditional battered cod with minted mushy peas and tartare sauce.
I hadn’t had much of a lunch so opted for the ‘tower of power’, which can only be described as a pie lover’s dream. You choose two pies and they load your plate with mash, cheese, crispy onions, mushy peas, onion rings, gravy, anything else? Ah yes, pigs in blankets on sticks, just in case there’s not enough.
While we were waiting we looked at the gin menu, which is as extensive as the beer list.
Unusual flavours included Parma Violet, salted caramel, rhubarb and custard, chocolate mint, wasabi, plum and vanilla and Turkish delight.
Twenty minutes passed and the pub started to fill up - we hadn’t realised it was quiz night. The food came out and we didn’t take any time before tucking in.
My dad said his burger was delicious with a nice spicy kick and a good bun, which is often overlooked.
My mum’s cod was perfectly cooked with flaky white fish and a brilliant crisp batter.
My tower of power was mildly intimidating. It sounds like a lot of food on the menu but when it’s put in front of you in one stack, more than half a foot high, you don’t know where to start.
I shifted it all around to make it easier to eat and boy, it was good. I chose the chicken and chestnut mushroom pie and a steak and ale and both were full of flavour and filling.
Was it very good for my diet? Definitely not. Did it need the onion rings or pigs in blankets? Probably not. Did I care? Not one bit. Only a bit of mash and couple of pigs in blankets defeated me.
We paid up, a very reasonable £35 for the three meals excluding drinks, and headed back full to the brim.
Next time someone asks me where to go for food in Wellingborough, I know where I’ll be recommending.