Althorp Coaching Inn
“It’s a hidden gem that’s nestled within Northamptonshire that, if never told about, I would have never found by myself, but so glad that I’ve now discovered.”
I heard very good things about the Althorp Coaching Inn and I certainly wasn’t disappointed. Althorp Coaching Inn is a beautiful country pub based in Great Brington, Northamptonshire, one which is very local to where I work, yet somewhere I had never heard of until now. Walking through the courtyard to get to the restaurant, you’re greeted by a wonderful display of fairy lights over head in a very inviting courtyard and enclosed garden. Althorp Coaching Inn are known for their historic holestery, their British food, real ales and fine wines, so we couldn’t wait to treat ourselves for a spontaneous date night!
It was easy enough to book our table over the phone and since we booked a few days before, we were lucky to get a table for 8pm on Friday night. We both had a look at the menu prior to arriving which got our appetites excited (my partner even knew what he was going to order straight away!)
When we arrived, we failed to notice that there was car parking behind the restaurant, so we had to park outside the restaurant on the main road; something that I’m usually quite skeptical of, so perhaps clearer signs for parking would had been better, but it wasn’t going to ruin our experience.
At first, we saw how busy it was in the bar area, which at first, put us off and made us quite anxious that our meal was going to be interrupted by noisy Friday night drinkers. But as we walked in, we were escorted by the waitress to our table in a separate area - the bar was ideally located in between the dining area and the drinking area to separate the two - something which we both commented on as a positive as it meant we could enjoy our dinner without being interrupted.
The restaurant area is small, but intimate. But we couldn’t get over how rustic and vintage the restaurant was. It reminded me of a thatch cottage in the French alps, with vintage books, a blaring fireplace and low lighting making this a very atmospheric, romantic and peaceful dining area.
We were served by an extremely friendly waiter, who made the french vibe come to life even more with his french accent! He was a highlight to the evening, as he entertained us, he made us laugh and he was able to take our order He gave us the menus and asked us what we wanted to drink without hesitation. My partner went for a pint of San Miguel Beer, whilst I went for a Warner Edwards Rhubarb Gin and lemonade - a huge win for me as many restaurants tend to not serve this! A very positive start so far…
My partner already knew what he was ordering prior to looking at the menu. Meanwhile, I knew what I was ordering for starters but I struggled to order my main dish. Personal tastes meant there was not much on the main menu that particularly struck out to me, despite there being plenty of option to choose from.
We were given plenty of time to choose our starters and mains, so we didn’t feel pressured or obligated to choose quickly. My partner asked what the soup of the day was, which our waiter informed us was a vegetable soup straight away. But my partner opted for the Hummus with warm Garlic and Rosemary bread, whilst I went for the Field Mushrooms filled with Goats Cheese and Pecans with a Red Wine Reduction.
My starter was mouth-watering tasty! The creaminess of the goats cheese, the softness of the field mushroom and the crunch of the pecans complimented each other greatly! My partner was very satisfied with his starter, eating every last bit in a flash - a good sign that he enjoyed it!
There was plenty of time between our starters being cleared up and our mains arriving for us to enjoy our drinks and to have conversation between each other about the week’s antics - we again, commented how nice it was to actually talk and hear each other. Our table was decorated with roses and candles, which made the evening even more atmospheric.
Our mains arrived, which shortly after we were asked if we wanted any other sauces which we kindly declined. I eventually went for the safe option of the 10 Oz Sirloin Steak with Mushrooms, Tomato, Chips and Salad whilst my partner went for the Chicken wrapped in Parma Ham on Pearl barley and Vegetable Risotto with Red Wine Sauce.
I asked for my steak to be cooked Medium-Rare, however, it was a little bit more rare to my liking. However, I can’t deny it was a very succulent, juicy and flavorful steak - it was so big that I struggled to eat the whole thing! Everything that was presented on my plate was more than satisfactory.
My partner enjoyed his main and commented how tasty his chicken wrapped in parma ham was. Only comment he made was about the Risotto being a bit dry compared to what he’s had in the past. But overall, he said he really enjoyed it and would have it again.
There’s always room for dessert, right? In the words of my partner: “dessert doesn’t go to the stomach, it goes to the heart!” And both our desserts both definitely went to our hearts! I ordered a Maltesers Cheesecake, which was a firm and definite choice, whilst my partner went for the Chocolate Brownie with Chocolate Sauce and Dairy Vanilla Ice Cream. Mine was creamy, chocolatey, sweet and everything that I would have expected from a Maltesers Cheesecake and more! My partner commented how much he loved his Chocolate Brownie as it was rich, moist and the vanilla ice cream complimented it greatly - his only comment was he wished he could have more!
When receiving the bill, we were both relatively surprised at how much the entire bill added up to as we were expecting to pay a lot more. For three courses and two drinks, we felt the price was fair. But what really made our experience worthwhile was the friendly staff, the ambience and picturesque location.
Overall, I know that we have found our new favourite restaurant to go to for date nights! It’s a hidden gem that’s nestled within Northamptonshire that, if never told about, I would have never found by myself, but so glad that I’ve now discovered. It’s definitely an ideal place to go prior or for Valentine’s Day.
Find Althorp Coaching Inn at Main Street, Great Brington, Northamptonshire, NN7 4JA or call 01604 770651