You’ll probably have driven past The Sevens on your way into Northampton and noticed its massive renovation.
Previously The Rover, something that, in my view, always appeared a fairly bogstandard pub, has been transformed into a modern stylish ‘pub and kitchen’ which serves excellent food.
The Sevens is divided into two halves, with the main restaurant on the left and the pub to the right. The main bar links the two.
When we arrived, we were quickly shown to a table near a roaring open fire and ordered drinks (two Cokes, £1.95 each).
The interior of The Sevens is smart. Its clean white walls and deep brown wooden floors are split with sections of green tiling, which – intentionally or not – are a nice nod to the Saints who play just across the road at Franklin’s Gardens.
While we’d already looked at The Sevens’ menu online, when we arrived we discovered the restaurant was two days into a new menu. While not as extensive as the one we’d seen, this wasn’t a disappointment as the new menu was more detailed, concise and a lot better for it.
Being bombarded with pages of dishes at restaurants is a personal annoyance. I always prefer a chef confident enough to specialise in a small number of dishes. The Sevens’ menu offered five starters, five mains and four sides.
To start, I ordered crispy duck’s egg and sprouting broccoli (£5.50) while Alys ordered the beef carpaccio, served with pickled beetroot and shallot marmalade (£7.25).
For our main course, I ordered the pan roast cod, piperade, Parmesan gnocchi and baby leeks (£15.45) while Alys ordered braised shoulder of lamb, roast medley of vegetables, mint and crème fraiche mash with a lamb glaze. (£16.45).
Our starters promptly arrived. My duck egg was on a generous bed of salad with broccoli shoots, sprinkled with something to provide the crunch. The egg could have been a little warmer, but was otherwise perfectly cooked.
Alys’ beef carpaccio was sliced incredibly thinly and tasted great, accompanied with the sharpness of the beetroot and toasted pine nuts. Both main courses were equally impressive. My cod fillet had a crispy top and was perched on the sweet piperade which combined onion, peppers and tomato. The two leeks which crossed the plate were sweet and succulent while the gnocchi was well flavoured with Parmesan.
Alys’ shoulder of lamb was tender and cooked perfectly while the green minted mash was smooth and accompanied with generous pile of roast vegetables.
Feeling full, we decided to share a dessert, choosing the Baileys crème brulee (£5.95)
This arrived alight and we waited while the flames subsided and the top set. The dessert was accompanied with raspberry coulis and biscotti and was great.
The layout of The Sevens means it’s possible to enjoy a meal without any distractions from the main bar (which, when we dined, was the televised annihilation of West Ham by Manchester’s ‘finest’).
The restaurant was quiet which may have been down to us eating early and mid week. However, it’s equally plausible those who drive past it or live in the vicinity, simply aren’t aware of the standard of food it serves. You’ll genuinely be hard pushed to find modern British cuisine of a similar standard anywhere that side of Northampton.
The food is a little pricey, but after much discussion on the way home, we decided it was definitely worth it.
The Sevens, 157 Weedon Rd, ST James Northampton, NN5 5BS
VALUE: A little pricey
DISABLED ACCESS: Yes
COST OF OUR MEAL
FINAL TOTAL: £54.50
David’s star rating: 9/10