The Narrow Boat at Weedon is off a busy section of the A5 which sees cars zipping by on their way to and from Northampton, Towcester and Daventry.
But for those who take the time to indicate and pull off, The Narrow Boat offers an unexpected and charming little oasis of tranquility.
Hidden away from the busy A-road, and behind the pub/restaurant, is a manicured beer garden overlooking narrowboats moored on the canal and set against a beautiful rural backdrop.
And inside is a spacious, comfortable restaurant with a nice, calming atmosphere.
I visited The Narrow Boat most recently on a Sunday afternoon with my wife and our two-year-old daughter. Those with a youngster of this age know that some places are better then others when it comes to catering for families with small children but when it came to The Narrow Boat, the staff proved attentive and helpful.
Alongside the main menu there is a Sunday Roast Menu, a specials board and a children’s menu – all offering a wide variety of choices, from the usual hearty pub fare to finer cuisine.
Ever the traditionalists, I chose the Roast Rib Eye of Herefordshire Beef (£12.95) and my wife went for the Roasted Loin of Free Range Pork with Apple Sauce and Crackling (£11.95) – both came with an accompaniment of Yorkshire pudding, seasonal vegetables and roast potatoes. Our daughter had beefburger and chips.
I find a good roast can be gauged by the quality of the roast potatoes and a first sample certainly boded well, with a crisp exterior and a fluffy consistency inside.
I also cannot fault the beef – while I wasn’t asked how I liked it cooked, it came slightly pink which suits me perfectly. And the vegetables were also to my taste, cooked but with a bit of crunch texture-wise. My wife was equally pleased with her meal and our daughter (a fussy eater at the best of times) demolished the burger and put a big dent in the chips. I’m not a big dessert man but the Toffee Apple Crumble with Movenpick Caramel Ice Cream (£6) which I had was a nice way to round off a meal – not too large but full of flavour; a stylish little twist on the classic apple crumble.
The lemon posset and lime cheesecake which my wife chose also proved popular and a selection of ice cream flavours for the little one is always a sure-fire winner.
The food is of a high standard but the abiding memory for me was the way the staff were tuned into our needs with a two-year-old – they brought a box of colouring pencils and and an activity sheet which can be a godsend of a distraction in any restaurant.
For more information visit www.narrowboatatweedon.co.uk.
VALUE: Not cheap but not horrendous
FOOD Very good
DISABLED ACCESS Adequate
PARKING .........Limited COST OF OUR MEAL
FINAL TOTAL: £53.70
David’s star rating: 8/10
By David Brennan