Northamptonshire is blessed with beautiful countryside, stunning scenery and some great pubs dotted throughout.
We are lucky to have lots of gorgeous village pubs in the Northants countryside, the only problem is getting around them all.
I'd heard very good things about The Narrow Boat in Weedon over the years but never got round to going so it's been top of the list to try for a while.
I visited one hot Wednesday evening for a friend's 40th birthday so we really wanted it to be a special occasion.
We were also in need of relaxation after a long day in the office and running around after little children ahead of bedtime.
The pub is in a brilliant location located on the A5 Watling Street just outside Weedon with plenty of parking and easy to find.
Although it's a busy road, once inside you feel miles away from the busy world outside.
The pub, which also has seven en-suite rooms, is right on the banks of the Grand Union Canal so we were looking forward to a sunny drink in the garden.
First impressions were that The Narrow Boat is certainly beautiful inside. It would be lovely and cosy on a winter's day.
Upon arrival, the service was pretty slow. There was no one there to greet us where you're asked to wait, despite booking a table, so we stood at the bar for some time waiting to be served.
Eventually, cold drinks in hand, we headed to the garden for drinks to look at the menu which seemed to be no problem with waiting staff who said they would sort us a table when we were ready.
The garden is stunning with amazing views over the canal and beyond to the rolling fields.
There is plenty of seating too and it was all very relaxed. I could have sat there all evening taking in the views...and the wine.
When we were ready to eat we went back inside to sit in the conservatory area so we still had the views over the garden and a nice breeze from the double doors that were open.
Top marks to our waitress. She was fantastic, very attentive and friendly.
For starters we shared some nibbles on the 'three for £10 offer'. We went for halloumi sticks, hummous with crisp sourdough slices and the onion bhaji.
Everyone is going mad for halloumi right now so it was good to see it on the menu and of course it tasted great!
The downside was there was only one stick each so left us wanting more.
The hummous was a little claggy for our liking and probably not enough bread for the amount of dip in the pot.
We were happy to nibble though and it was probably a good thing we weren't too full for our main courses.
Other starters included celeriac, apple and watercress soup, grilled tiger prawns and watermelon and feta dressed sunflower leaves.
For main course, we chose the half rotisserie chicken hand cut chips and coleslaw, a 9oz beef burger with cheese and chorizo and a Narrow Boat Margherita with olives and mushrooms.
All three dishes were cooked perfectly and hit the spot.
The chunky chips on the side of the chicken and burger were a highlight on the table and the burger, which came in a toasted brioche bun, was one of the best pub burgers I've ever tasted.
The flatbread pizza was nice enough but fairly basic and one of our diners was slightly underwhelmed by it.
Other mains included grilled rump of lamb, roast loin of wild boar, hot smoked salmon and grilled halloumi and roast vegetable salad.
We shared a pudding - it would have been rude not to as we were celebrating - so went for the malted milk cheesecake.
Funnily enough, it tasted just like the classic biscuit you'd eat as a child! Delicious.
Thanks to the waitress who obliged when I asked her for a candle to celebrate the big occasion we were there for.
We had a lovely evening and it definitely ticked all the boxes for a relaxing evening with good food, good friends and fanstastic views.
Service from the bar and kitchen were slow at times but overall The Narrow Boat is a great family-run pub to suit many occasions whatever the weather.
Chron rating: 7.5