The Saracen’s Head
This privately run 17th century freehouse near Althorp is a past winner of ‘Best Pub Restaurant’ in the Carlsberg Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards. Its head chef William Mountain won Best Young Chef in the same awards.
The Saracen’s Head is run by Duncan and Sarah Evans and their extended family, and they have created a superb atmosphere amid their pub’s gnarled beams, ancient wood columns and exposed Northamptonshire stonework.
A welcoming, relaxed feel pervades, and this village inn is making a big effort to be the hub of the community: the function room hosts local debating society events, yoga and more (including weddings), while paintings by a local art group adorn the pub’s walls. The traditional red phone box in the corner is another point of interest – how the previous landlord got it through the door is a mystery!
The menu impresses with a selection of locally sourced ingredients such as Long Buckby rump steak, game from nearby village Flore, and fruit and vegetables from the pub’s own orchard and kitchen garden. These will soon be joined by ultra-local pork – at the time of writing The Saracen’s head team are planning to get their own pigs to keep in the pub orchard.
There are a number of gluten-free dishes available, while real ale lovers will appreciate the choice of three beers.