You cannot beat sitting outside on a lovely May day, drinking and eating while soaking up the views of the gently rolling Northamptonshire countryside.
And that’s one of the attractions of The Boathouse in Braunston, near Daventry, which sits next to The Grand Union Canal .
As well as numerous tables in the beer garden and on a terrace opposite the canal path, the pub has plenty of places inside, some of which offer these splendid views for no extra charge.
The pub was packed early doors on the night I visited, probably because of its two-for-one main meals offer (you get the lowest priced meal free), but we still got a table without having booked. The majority of diners had left by 9pm as this seems to be a place to go more for food than drinking.
As well as the menus on tables, there is a large blackboard on the wall with specials of the day.
We skipped starters and went straight to main courses of salsa chicken with chips off the specials board for me (£10.15), Steak Americano (£15.45) for one friend and rump steak and scampi (£12.45) for my other pal.
The latter two dishes both came with onion rings included, which we thought was good, as many places charge separately for them.
Our meals were all generously-sized and tasty, although the steak wasn’t quite cooked to one friend’s taste.
Our attentive and chatty waiter cleared our plates away and enticed us to have desserts.
I went for the raspberry waffle-bocker which, at £3.85, was a whopping sundae of pieces of sweet Belgian waffle with raspberry ripple-flavoured ice-cream, topped with a raspberry sauce and a sugar curl wafer. I hadn’t realised it was a sundae and thought I didn’t like them... until I tasted this.
My friend went for the lemon tart, £3.75, which she said was suitably sharp and tangy with a soft pastry base. Meanwhile, my other pal loved the New York cheesecake, £3.65, on a buttery biscuit base.
Although The Boathouse is on the onskirts of the village itself, those beautiful views make it well worth a visit.
And if you should have your own boat, you can moor it up while you dine as there are spaces for four.
“Perfick” as former Northamptonshire reporter turned Darling Buds of May author, HE Bates, would surely have said about this idyllic spot.
DISABLED ACCESS Yes
COST OF OUR MEAL
FINAL TOTAL: £35.67 excluding drinks
Ruth’s star rating: 7/10