journalism, writing

Review: The Fox Inn, Thorpe Waterville

First published in The Peterborough Evening Telegraph newspaper, Friday 9th July 2010.

If you’ve ever driven out of the city along the A605 towards Northampton, you’ll have seen The Fox Inn standing boldly by the side of the road.
Situated in the 14th century village of Thorpe Waterville, the pub’s car park, exterior, kitchens and toilets have recently undergone a modern refurbishment.
Inside a modern open plan, light and airy décor creates a relaxed and welcoming ambiance.
We were seated in the restaurant, which for a Tuesday night, was relatively full, with a party amongst the diners.
The staff were friendly and attentive, and our three courses took 90 minutes, just about right in my opinion.
As a pub alone it features in the Good Pub Guide 2010 and offers Wells Eagle and Bombardier amongst other ales.
I plumped for an IPA at a reasonable £2.70 a pint, while my girlfriend who I’ll call Des (only once as it will lose it’s humour rapidly), as in designated driver, had a lime and soda.

The Fox Inn restaurant exterior
The Fox Inn restaurant, Thorpe Waterville, Northamptonshire

The menu offered plenty of variety, all freshly cooked, plus set menu options, and for starters I went for the crispy duck spring roll, while my partner chose a grilled goat’s cheese salad from the set menu.
The spring roll was tasty and not too heavy, the accompanying salad was crisp and fresh, finished off with hoi sin sauce.
The goat’s cheese starter was equally good and made me frankly quite jealous, so we negotiated a small cross-table exchange, which can end in an embarrassing mid-table mess, but tonight the mission was a success, as was the goat’s cheese.
The portions throughout were just right, presentation was good, clean and simple.
For main I had the grilled fillet of sea bass, whilst my partner had the traditional fish and chips with mushy peas.
The bass came with new potatoes, broccoli and a mustard and cream sauce (normally served with basil pesto and salsa verde), which wasn’t too overpowering, whilst the fish was soft and well cooked.
The fish batter was light and crispy, with good chunky chips and mushy peas, which I can’t be doing with, but I’m told were good.
For dessert, as we were pleasantly full by this point, we shared a Baileys cheesecake, with warm chocolate sauce and kiwi fruit. The cheesecake was creamy, but light, which was complemented by the warm sauce.
Overall it was good value, our bill was only £42, a reasonable price for a good level of quality and service, enjoyed in a relaxed atmosphere.

4 out of 5

Restaurant information:

The Fox Inn, Thorpe Waterville, Northamptonshire, NN14 3ED
Open for breakfast from 10am, garden area, disabled access, caters for business meetings with wireless Internet access and projection facilities.
Phone for Reservations 01832 720274, website: www.foxinnthorpewaterville.co.uk

Menu samples:

All food is cooked freshly to order.

Starters/Appetisers

Soup of the Day £2.95
Garlic Mushrooms £4.95
Crispy Duck Spring Roll £5.95
Garlic Ciabatta £2.95
Whole Ciabatta and Marinated Olives £3.50
Crispy Whitebait in breadcrumbs £4.95
Pigeon Breast £5.95
King Prawns £7.95
Smoked Salmon £5.95
Bruschetta £4.95

Grill Selection

Meat Mixed Grill £13.95
gammon steak, rump steak, lamb chop, pork chop and pork sausage, served with hand cut chips, mushrooms, slow roasted tomatoes, onion rings
10 oz Sirloin Steak £12.95
served with hand cut chips, mushrooms, slow roasted tomatoes and onion rings
Gammon Steak £9.95
topped with fried egg, served with hand cut chips and onion rings

Main

Seafood Mixed Grill £14.95
Ask for Chef’s selection of the day served with garlic roast potato, broccoli, rich beurre blanc sauce
Grilled Fillet of Sea Bass £12.95
Served with buttered new potatoes, broccoli, basil pesto and salsa verde
Braised Pork belly with Crackling £11.95
Served with dauphinoise potato, caramelised apple. honey roast parsnips, wilted spinach and red wine sauce
Traditional Fish & Chips £8.95
Served with hand cut chips, mushy peas, tartare sauce and lemon wedge
Pot Roast Lamb Shank £11.95
Served with creamed mash potatoes, honey roast parsnips, wilted spinach and red wine sauce

Desserts

Brioche Bread and Butter Pudding £4.95
slices of brioche spread with apricot jam and served with warm custard
Baileys Cheesecake £4.95
served with kiwi fruit and chocolate sauce
Lemon Tart £4.95
served with crème fraiche and raspberry coulis
Chocolate Brownie £4.95
served with ice cream and chocolate sauce
Selection of Cheeses £5.95
served with celery, apple, grapes and biscuits

3 course set menu and party menus are available.

Details correct at 6th July 2010.

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