Just a few minutes drive from Northampton and you hit the beautiful countryside full of quaint villages and picture postcard properties.
Kislingbury is one of those places.
To the west of Northampton, Kislingbury is a beautiful village filled with thatched cottages and a pub to match.
The Cromwell Cottage sits just off the main road and was once known as “the restaurant over the bridge” due to its location.
Oliver Cromwell once used it as a hideout from the Cavaliers and decades later the restored pub welcomes hundreds of hungry diners through its doors each week.
We arrived at the Cromwell on a sunny Saturday in search of a good pub lunch.
We drive past the pub on a regular basis and it’s one of those places that always looks inviting.
The car park was pretty much full, which is always a good sign.
It’s warm and welcoming as you walk into the pub, although very dark for a summer’s day.
The bar and lounge area are filled with flickering candles and atmospheric lighting which would be really cosy in the winter and I was eyeing up the big log fire in the centre of the bar.
With it being a warm summer’s day, but a little windy to sit outside, we headed for the lighter and brighter restaurant.
We were shown to our seats by friendly staff and promptly given menus and a drinks list.
The decor in the restaurant is modern, clean and fresh.
According to the chef, the food at the Cromwell is lovingly prepared and designed to be unpretentious pub food.
Dishes on the menu seemed familiar and it turns out that the Cromwell is linked with the Fox and Hounds in Harlestone.
This was a good sign because we’ve eaten there before and the food was fantastic.
Our Saturday lunch date started with breaded brie and sea salt and dill squid.
The brie (£5.95) was an impressive size and was coated in a pumpkin seed crumb with an apricot and cumin chutney.
It was beautifully gooey and worked really well with the additional flavours.
The squid (£4.95) was also very large, perfectly cooked and served with aioli and cucumber and spring onion salad.
For the size and quality of the starters, they were very good value.
The restaurant was filling up and everyone was enjoying the relaxed atmosphere.
The staff were attentive and friendly – a smile goes a long way.
For mains my husband tucked into beer-battered line-caught cod (£10.95).
The fish was served in the most traditional way possible with chunky chips and homemade minted pea puree and tartare sauce.
The fish was tasty although my husband thought it was a little greasy and wasn’t too keen on the skin which had been left on one side.
I ordered a flatbread with mozzarella, cherry tomatoes and fresh basil (£7.95) with an extra topping of bacon (£1.50) and a side of fries and aioli (£3).
It was essentially a posh pizza and chips. The toppings were plentiful and was a good choice for a lunchtime as it wasn’t too heavy.
We were far too full for a pudding sadly but there was plenty of things to tempt you including salted caramel chocolate pot, Eton mess and chocolate brownie.
Paying the bill at the end was a bit of a task due to the staff being busy but were happy to finish our drinks in the sunshine outside.
The food at the Cromwell is superb, beautifully presented and excellent quality.
All in all the food and drink is a little on the pricey side but then you pay for what you get and if you want high quality pub grub in gorgeous surroundings then the Cromwell is the perfect place.
Disabled access: Good
Parking: Plently of parking in the car park outside