Blimey, I’m catching up a bit.

In fact, I’m about to put Northamptonshire to bed, the best place for it.

Award yourself a half of Doom Bar if you knew where Charwelton is.

Daventry” is close enough.

Not quite Clun, but I was able to stand in the middle of the A361 to take this shot of the medieval packhorse bridge.

Yes, it’s the Crowland of the Midlands, a treasured position.

Only one jogger passed me out on the Jurassic way, where the eponymous film was shot in 1992.

Northants is an understated county, with much to be understated about.

190 of the village’s 220 residents came out to say hello, perhaps wondering if I was going to take on the vacant Rector’s post.

But I’m not.

I suspect the Fox and Hounds gets more visitors than the Church of the Good Shepherd. Use it or lose it.

It’s not the best Northants pub in the Guide, not even in the top 50.

A bit too “Bucks”.

But the welcome was warm, and if everyone else was eating at least they knew each other and said “ello“.

And they all wore hats indoors, cos that’s how you get ahead.

I made the classic mistake of ordering the North Cotswold homebrew, which fluctuated wildly between NBSS 2.37 and 3.07. And back again.

I’m sure the barman was trying to warn me off. The next Old Boy had the Sheep.

The barman showed folk through to the dining room, but had my number sussed and didn’t ask if I was eating .

I only had a high table and a supply of County magazines to entertain myself, but sometimes that’s enough.

Miss Jane Fortescue-Spenlock married Master Charles Foddlesham in Canons Ashby, it probably tells me.

I was more interested in the adverts in the surprisingly colourful Daventry tourist brochure.

Go on. Treat yourself to a weekend in Daventry. I dare you.

For once in my life” gave way to “Let’s stay together“, and two octagenarians loudly discussed their hatred of turkey.

You don’t HAVE to do Christmas at all” I seethed, silently.

And then returned to the thin glass from hell.


  1. When you refer to one of the beers you see on the bar as ‘homebrew’ (partly in jest, I’m guessing), does it mainly mean that it’s a smaller local brewery that you’re trying out for the first time? Or is there an element of you sensing that it is indeed a new, small brewery, possibly a little inexperienced, selling beers that might turn out to be a bit ‘amateur’ compared to the more familiar breweries?


    1. “Homebrew” is my term for the dull tastealike beer produced by 90% of the small brewers lauded on CAMRA pages.

      It’s rarely bad beer, or weird, just dull. Since no-one else will name good and bad, I’ll put Weltons in that camp.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I agree with you about Weltons Martin, but not about the 90%.

        There’s plenty of good “new wave” beer to be had out there if you open your eyes and stop summarily dismissing it, before even trying it. 😀


    2. The latter, I would say. I suppose Martin feels an obligation to go for the unfamiliar, just as with new GBG pubs, rather than sticking with the Sheep.


      1. It is largely home brew though. There’s 2,000 odd breweries and I only see them as one-offs in free houses or at local beer fests.

        The quality on the bar is a lottery because 90% of drinkers stick to reliable choices; it’s just the ones who expect a different line-up each day make a lot of noise in CAMRA media.

        Let me be specific. I haven’t had a really good Old Dairy beer for5 years, it’s always a 2.5/3, and I always go for their beer as I remember how good it was when they launched.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Definitely the latter, though I’m normally the one who will go for the better known beer as I expect it to be faster-selling. Turns out Black Sheep was the stock beer here, and I’m a big fan of Black Sheep, so my error. The thin glass is the pub’s…


      3. I find those that have grown significantly over a decade or two to a reasonable size – such as Titanic, Slaters and Lymestone – to brew good beer but maybe 89% of the new little ones – such as Uttoxeter, izaac Walton and Vine Rugeley – to be no better than homebrew.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. It’s very often the ones that brew largely for their own pub that are weakest.

        Slater’s can be a bit wishy washy though the sexist beer that had to change its name was generally reliable.


  2. A blast from the past! In the mid to late ‘90s, we used to stop here on the way to my Grandma’s, as it was about half way.

    They had Bass in those days.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, definitely.

        I also remember some truly terrible food in alternative pubs that we tried along the route. Fox and Hounds was definitely the best.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. “I’m about to put Northamptonshire to bed, the best place for it”

    There’s soooo many things I could type here; but I won’t. 🙂

    “Award yourself a half of Doom Bar if you knew where Charwelton is.”

    I did, but I’m going to feign ignorance to avoid the half of Doom Bar.*

    * – Kidding. No bloody idea where it is.

    “to take this shot of the medieval packhorse bridge.”

    Are packhorses considered midieval because barge travel came along soon after?

    “where the eponymous film was shot in 1992.”

    Surely they filmed it at the Jurassic Way in Stamford? 😉

    (and eponymous? – you’re making us work for our reading that’s for sure!)

    “wondering if I was going to take on the vacant Rector’s post.”

    We were worried about our paper lady being replaced for December. But luckily some old gent has decided to do it (but much later in the day).

    “Use it or lose it.”

    Words I tell my darling wife every week.

    “cos that’s how you get ahead.”

    (slow golf cla… on second thought; groooooan).

    “The next Old Boy had the Sheep.”

    No comment. 🙂

    “I was more interested in the adverts in the surprisingly colourful Daventry tourist brochure.”

    Hmmm. In-house cleaning. Surely that’s code for getting rid of all the blood ‘n stuff after a family ‘row’. 😉

    “You don’t HAVE to do Christmas at all”

    Yup. Save it for Thanksgiving, like we do. 🙂


    Liked by 1 person

  4. Surprised about the Old Dairy, Martin. We did have an excellent pint of OD at the Ypres, back in February, if you remember. Perhaps Old Dairy needs a good landlord, like Jeff to bring out the best in it.

    I agree with your point about CAMRA wanting an ever changing line up on the bar, but despite the inevitable duff beers there are still plenty of good ones out there.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Your memory is holding up better than mine, Paul?

      You’re right about the Ypres, of course, though I was driving that day unfortunately 😉

      What I’m saying is that excellent beers like Landlord, Old Dairy and Harvey’s can seem very drab when you’re only pouring one pint an hour rather than a dozen, creating a vicious circle that leads folk like Mrs RM to the keg.


  5. Hi everyone…

    Well, its been 6 years since my brother (David Webster) took over the fox and hounds with his lovely wife Sarah.

    David and I have long shared good food and nice drinks from around the world. I moved to Australia back in 2010 and ended up working on the gold mines. Having returned back to the UK in 2015 and caught up with my brother to find later his taking of the Fox and Hounds in 2016, I was intrigued. David had previously worked down in Surrey and met many famous people. He also managed bruce Forsyth’s daughters restaurant. After many years of running successful restaurants and meeting his wife whilst based at The Ramblers Rest in Chipstied Surrey, he decided to bring his own thoughts, experience and prowess further north. Since his time based at the Fox and Hounds, there has been many proud visitors. Many couples, individuals who have taken on board Davids experience within the drinks industry. With his knowledge of food and drink, he really has a raw nature of what works. Even after having the privilege of eating the whole menu from taking photos, the tastes, textures and sensations are an experience that you need to experience for yourself. Whether one is my brother or not, I will always tell him if it works or not, and by god, you must try this place. I have eaten here many times before… Paying of course…. Each time is a calming, atmospheric and atmosphere that you would think you are on holiday. Dont try it, OK…. But I guarantee you, you will be missing out.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for writing, Robert. Best wishes to David and the Fox when pubs and restaurants open next month.

      Northamptonshire pubs are often excellent for food, and next time I pass I’ll pop in.


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