I love this place! It really is very quirky and has a lot of charm. It isn’t your usual Northampton pub and I guess that’s why I like it.
Friday night, Mr MAC and I decided to take a walk (in a bid to be healthy) ending in a drink or two at Olde England on the Kettering Road (see how easily our willpower is lost?!). We had both just finished work so thought it was the perfect way to wind down and relax.
I will admit that from the outside, you may be slightly put off Olde England as the downstairs seating area doesn’t look that appealing and it is rather cold (as a friend and I recently experienced!). The bar is also slightly bizarre and is more like a hatch in the wall; if there’s a large queue customers are forced to line up down the stairs. However, it is well worth a visit if you are able to sit in the main first floor area and for the wonderful array of drinks they have on offer!
This pub advertises on its front door “We do not sell larger” – something which may well appeal to your hardened real ale drinker and which keeps away a lot of the people you can regularly see on a Friday and Saturday night doing pub crawls down the Wellingborough Road – quite a bonus in my opinion! Instead, they have a great selection of local and humorously named real ales and ciders, a long list of fruity wines and meads and a few other entries like chocolate orange liqueur. A really interesting and appealing menu – the ales and ciders also change regularly.
After a while considering the menu, I chose a large glass of the raspberry and apple wine. It was described as being ‘medium dry, light and fruity 14.5%’. Mr MAC chose a pint of the straw pressed cider which was a hefty 7%. The round came to £7.10 so all in all very reasonable.
We sat in the main room which contains a lot of big wooden tables with some really striking wooden chairs. A perfect place for a big group of people as there is plenty of room for everyone. There is also a wood burner and candles on every table which creates a really cosy atmosphere. Some of the decor is a little suspect including fake boar’s heads and some questionable artwork however, they are all supposed to create the atmosphere of taking a step back in time and if I’m honest, I guess they do.
My wine really didn’t disappoint, it was very fruity. The only problem was it didn’t taste alcoholic so there could be a danger of drinking too quickly! My boyfriend’s cider had a very oaky, smoked flavour which he wasnt overly keen on but I did notice that his pint went down rather well without too many complaints!
Our table was already decked out with cards, dominoes and a cribbage set so we thought it would be rude not to play a few games of blackjack. I am ashamed to say Mr MAC well and truly kicked my arse but oh well, my excuse is that I was too busy thinking about writing this review so my mind was on other things! The pub has a large array of games ranging from Cluedo to Jenga so many hours can be spent there playing games reminiscent of childhood!
Our first drinks went down so well it seemed silly not to have another…so we did! This time I chose a large glass of cranberry wine which was described as being a tangy medium wine at 14.5%. Mr MAC chose a cider made by Mills Whites Cider called Blackberry Blush which was 6.5%. Somehow a packet of crisps sneaked its way in and the round came to £7.90 in total. Again, two thoroughly enjoyable drinks!
The owner’s appear to be doing the pub up as they go along with plans to open a new bar area and additional seating in the cellar later this year. I have also heard rumours that they plan to serve food in the not too distant future which I think will make this pub even more popular than it already is. Olde England seems to exist on a ‘word of mouth’ reputation so far but that does not mean it is doing badly, far from it! By 7pm last night all the tables in the main room were full with several large groups. I’d recommend to get there early if you want to sit up stairs as the place quickly fills up!
After we had finished our drinks we both admitted that we were a little tipsy and had played enough games of cards so it was time to bid Olde England farewell for the time being. All in all, a thoroughly enjoyable Friday evening – I would highly recommend a visit.