Everyone loves a good old fashioned English pub whether it be for cosy winter nights by the fire or heading to the garden as the warmer weather approaches.
It seems we are becoming increasingly spoilt for choice when it comes to really good pubs in Northamptonshire with an ever growing list of favourite places.
The Kings Head in Spratton is barely recognisable to a few years ago thanks to an extreme makeover.
Following the purchase of the pub in November 2012, the current owners closed it for refurbishment in April 2013 and reopened a couple of months later in June with a new contemporary look.
Pulling up to the pub which sits snugly in the heart of Spratton village, The Kings Head looks like any other ordinary pub.
However from the car park you start to see the new modern design features which have been added to the original building and the cosy coffee shop which opens in the daytime serving home-made cakes, scones and plenty more. Inside the main entrance sits the traditional pub bar and the Brasserie 23 restaurant.
Brasserie 23 won Restaurant of the Year in the Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards 2014/15 so we were expecting good things from our meal there.
We ordered drink, grabbed a comfy seat in the bar with a copy of the menu and sipped our wine out of huge decadent glasses.
The decor is beautiful inside and they’ve done a superb job is transforming the old pub.
Cosy candles, log burners and twinkly lights provide a lovely atmosphere in what is a very English pub with a contemporary twist.
The menu choice was tough as it all sounded delicious.
I’ve never seen beans on toast on the menu before at a restaurant so my husband went for this, while I chose the smoked haddock chowder.
It’s fair to say the starters were superb.
The beans on toast had been cooked with smoked paprika, ham hock baked beans on ham hock toast with sweet bacon jam.
The flavours were beautiful and so different to anything you’d normally see.
My stylist bowl of soup was perfectly portioned with a slow cooked duck egg yolk delicately placed in the middle.
It was creamy, rich and very tasty. It was even better once the yolk was broken and mixed in with the chowder.
The pub was starting to fill up by now and we were happy waiting a short while between courses for our food, relaxing and drinking wine.
The main courses came with me choosing the B23 beef burger with caramelised red onions, crispy pancetta and Tunworth Soft cheese in a brioche bun with chips and a green salad.
My husband had the pan roasted pork belly with carrot puree, carrot gnocchi, sweet roasted carrots and wilted spinach.
The chips were superb and the burger well cooked with a little cheese and pancetta to taste. My only slight moan would be it was smothered in mayonnaise which I don’t like but they offered to replace it (I declined as it wasn’t a major problem).
My husband was impressed with the pork belly and there were clean plates and full stomachs all round.
It’s only fair to test out the puddings so we shared a cookies and cream creme brulee with two little shortbread biscuits.
A delicious end to a really nice relaxed evening and award-winning food to match.
You pay for quality but this is exactly what you get at Brasserie 23 and well deserving of its prize award.
I certainly will be heading back to test out the coffee shop soon and will be adding it to our list of ever-growing favourites pubs in the county.
23 Brixworth Road
Disabled access: Tricky due to steps
Parking: Plenty in pub car park
Total cost: £69.10
Star rating: 9/10