Village country pub making its mark on the Northamptonshire food scene
There is a new and exciting pub on the block and it's packing a punch with foodies looking for something a little bit different.
The Sheaf Inn is nestled in the heart of West Haddon, tucked between the village shop and a beauty salon. What looks like a fairly ordinary local pub from the outside, the Sheaf is hiding an abundance of charm behind its doors which reopened to customers in September year following a huge refurbishment project throughout the entire building. The historic inn had been shut for more than five years when new proprietor Luke Bavester took over after much-loved owners Derek and Annie decided to retire. The young chef has clearly put his heart and soul into bringing the Sheaf back to life with a modern new look, newly constructed beer garden and a menu to drool over. Walking into The Sheaf is warm and welcoming with a bar area which has two open fires and inglenook tables. A room in the middle is equally as cosy with another log fire which is roaring during the winter months.Beyond that is the main dining room with high ceilings and full of charm. A clever move by Luke and his team was to create the beer garden to the back of the restaurant.Having no outdoor space come the summer could have put people off but now customers can enjoy food and drinks in the sunshine throughout the day and into the long summer evenings.When visiting the Sheaf we took advantage of the sunshine pouring into the garden and enjoyed pre-drinks on the decking before coming inside to order food.Luke's menu is impressive and offers above and beyond your traditional pub grub menu. For starters we chose the roast beetroot tartare, shallot, fresh horseradish, goats cheese ice cream (£7). Not put off from having ice cream for starters, we were intrigued. The ice cream was a genius addition, enhancing the flavours and complimenting the beetroot perfectly. We also opted to try the roasted tomato arancini, parmesan crisp, confit tomato jam, pesto oil dressing (£7) which was perfectly cooked and had a beautiful flavour seeping through from the pesto. Starters were impressive which meant we were even more excited to see what mains would taste like.We opted for the pan seared monkfish tail wrapped in serrano ham, truffle pomme puree, wilted spinach, red wine jus (£17).My dining partner, who isn't even a huge fan of fish, raved about the flavour of the monkfish which was enhanced by the salt from the ham and the puree was lovely and rich, finishing off the dish perfectly.My local cornfed chicken kiev stuffed with wild garlic butter, wilted greens, truffled mac and cheese, chicken sauce (£15) was sensational.From the flavour of the garlic to the creamy mac and cheese, every mouthful was divine.Feeling full but yet further intrigued by the menu, we had to try the puddings. We chose the banana parfait, homemade peanut butter ice cream, salted toffee, banana crumb (£7) and the chocolate coffee and rum bonet (£5.50).Again, amazingly well executed, incredible flavours and beautifully presented. The meal was faultless and we were hugely impressed with the quality of the ingredients and flair of the menu. Service was prompt, friendly and attentive. The atmosphere is relaxed and chatty. The drinks flow from the ice cold prosecco, array of gins, extensive wine list and beers on tap. The Sheaf is foodie heaven and if you're looking for something a little different, you must try it. Prices are very reasonable too and with burger and a drink deal for £10 on a Monday, pizza nights buy one get one half price on a Tuesday and Wednesday and tapas nights every month, the team is working incredibly hard to cater for all budgets and tastes. The Sheaf has put the West End of West Haddon back on the map and I hope it gets the support it deserves from diners from miles around.