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St Patricks Day – Who, What, Why and When?! Saint Patrick's Day, or the Feast of Saint Patrick, is a cultural and religious celebration held on 17th March, the traditional death date of Saint Patrick, the foremost patron saint of Ireland. Nowadays, St Patrick's Day is a global celebration of Irish culture. It particularly remembers St Patrick, one of Ireland's patron saints, who ministered Christianity in Ireland during the fifth century. St Patrick's Day is celebrated in countries with people of Irish descent. If you are Irish, you are likely to take part in that time-honored tradition of wearing green. If not, you risk punishment by pinch, an especially popular custom on schoolyards and around office water coolers. Thus, wearing green on Saint Patrick’s Day is not only widely practiced, it’s virtually required! It’s hard to imagine the holiday without green. But for a growing number of people, taking part in the holiday means wearing orange. According to this increasingly popular tradition, Protestants wear orange and leave green attire to Catholics. Thus, the colour you wear actually depends on your religious affiliation. While this colour tradition is not well known, it has deep roots in Irish history. Protestant Irish have been known as “orange” ever since 1690, when William of Orange (William III), the king of England, Scotland, and Ireland, defeated King James II, a Roman Catholic, in the Battle of the Boyne near Dublin. King William’s victory would ensure Protestant dominance on the island and has been a source of tension ever since. Although the “Orange” in William’s name actually referred to a province in southern France, the colour reference stuck. This is why orange now appears in the Irish flag — to symbolize the Protestant minority in Ireland. Thus, “Orange Protestants” have been around for quite a while, but wearing the colour on Saint Patrick’s is a relatively new phenomenon. Ironically, Saint Patrick himself would have been surprised by all of the fuss. Patrick wasn’t even Irish; he came to Celtic Ireland as a British missionary. More importantly, Patrick did most of his work in the fifth century, at a time when Christians were simply Christians, long before any division was evident between Roman Catholics and Protestants. Therefore, some believe that Saint Patrick belongs to the whole church, not just Rome, and people of all colours and creeds should take part in the festivities. Will you be joining us for a pint or 2 and maybe a delicious meal? Book your table now
Published in News & Events
Thursday, 13 February 2020 12:37

Mothers Day

What Is Mothers Day All About?

Mothers Day this year falls on 22nd March - how will you be showing your mum what a great mum she really is?  

Mothers Day – A brief Insight

Mother’s Day is a day for many people to show their appreciation towards mothers and mother figures worldwide. It is an annual event but is held at different dates in the calendar, depending on the country.

What Do People Do?

Many people remember their mothers and mother figures on Mother’s Day. Mother figures may include stepmothers, relatives, mothers-in-law, a guardian (eg. a foster parent), or a family friend. There are many different ways to celebrate Mother’s Day. They include (but are not limited to):

Giving cards, flowers, or cakes.

Family gatherings or visits.

Family breakfasts, brunches, lunches, and dinners either at home or at a restaurant.

Personal phone calls, particularly from children who live away from their mothers and/or mother figures.

Mother’s Day poems and messages.

Gifts of chocolate, jewelry, accessories, clothing, hobby equipment or tools, handmade items, or gift vouchers.

Mother’s Day is celebrated in different countries, including China where carnations are popular Mother’s Day presents. Some groups in Samoa organize elaborate song and dance performances throughout the country. They celebrate the contributions that mothers make to Samoan society.

Public Life

Mother’s Day falls on different days depending on the countries where it is celebrated. It is held on the second Sunday of May in many countries, such as Australia, Canada and the United States. It is held exactly three weeks before Easter Sunday in the United Kingdom. Sundays are usually non-school and non-working days in these countries.

Mother’s Day is an annual public holiday in countries such as Costa Rica (August 15, on the same day as Assumption Day), Georgia (March 3), Samoa (second Monday of May), and Thailand (August 12). Restaurants and cafes may be busier than usual as some people take their mothers out for a treat.


Early Mother's Day celebrations can be dated back to the spring celebrations to honor Rhea, the Mother of the Gods, in ancient Greek civilization, according to some sources. Later, Mothering Sunday in the United Kingdom was traditionally a day for people to visit the church where they were baptized, although it now also celebrates motherhood in modern times.

The modern-day origins of Mother's Day can be attributed to two women – Julia Ward Howe and Anna Jarvis, who were important in establishing the tradition in the United States. Around 1870, Julia Ward Howe called for Mother's Day to be celebrated each year. It continued to be held in Boston for about 10 years under her sponsorship, but died out after that. Other sources say that Juliet Calhoun Blakely initiated Mother’s Day in Albion, Michigan, in the late 1800s. Her sons paid tribute to her each year and urged others to honor their mothers.

In 1907, Anna Jarvis held a private Mother's Day celebration in memory of her mother, Ann Jarvis, in Grafton, West Virginia. In 1908, she played a key role in arranging a church service that attracted 407 children and their mothers. A Mother’s Day International Association was founded in 1912 to promote the holiday in other countries. Mother’s Day has grown increasingly popular since then.

Many people believe that Mother’s Day is now largely commercialized, with card companies, flower shops, jewelry stores, gift shops, restaurants, hotels, and department stores advertising promotions and special deals for this event. Anna Jarvis, in her lifetime, unsuccessfully filed a lawsuit to stop the over-commercialization of Mother's Day.


There are various ways to show an appreciation for mothers and mother figures on Mother’s Day. They include white carnations as one of many!


How to treat your mum?

If you are looking to treat your mum this mother’s day, book a table in our gorgeous restaurant – we will be releasing some mother’s day specials closer to the date, or choose from our delicious Sunday Menu – don’t skimp on puddings or cocktails!

Published in News & Events
Thursday, 13 February 2020 12:30

Valentines Day Dinner

What is Valentine’s Day All About Anyway? Each year on February 14th, people exchange cards, chocolate or flowers with their special “valentine.” St. Valentine’s Day is named for a Christian martyr and dates back to the 5th century but has origins in the Roman holiday Lupercalia. But who is this mysterious St Valentine and where did these traditions come from? The Legend of St. Valentine The history of Valentine’s Day–and the story of its patron saint–is shrouded in mystery. We do know that February has long been celebrated as a month of romance, and that St. Valentine’s Day, as we know it today, contains vestiges of both Christian and ancient Roman tradition. But who was Saint Valentine, and how did he become associated with this ancient rite? The Real St. Valentine The Catholic Church recognizes at least three different saints named Valentine or Valentinus, all of whom were martyred. One legend contends that Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. When Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for young men. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Valentine’s actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death. Still others insist that it was Saint Valentine of Terni, a bishop, who was the true namesake of the holiday. He, too, was beheaded by Claudius II outside Rome. Other stories suggest that Valentine may have been killed for attempting to help Christians escape harsh Roman prisons, where they were often beaten and tortured. According to one legend, an imprisoned Valentine actually sent the first “valentine” greeting himself after he fell in love with a young girl–possibly his jailor’s daughter–who visited him during his confinement. Before his death, it is alleged that he wrote her a letter signed “From your Valentine,” an expression that is still in use today. Although the truth behind the Valentine legends is murky, the stories all emphasize his appeal as a sympathetic, heroic and–most importantly–romantic figure. By the Middle Ages, perhaps thanks to this reputation, Valentine would become one of the most popular saints in England and France. So, there we have it! Some ideas as to why we celebrate this day of love in February! Book your table for lunch or dinner Valentines Day Dinner now
Published in News & Events
Friday, 17 January 2020 18:10

What Is Burns Night and why celebrate it?

What do we know about Burns Night and why do we celebrate it? As our first traditional Burns Night Celebration approaches, we got to thinking that we don’t actually know much about it – I mean, why haggis? Who was Burns? So, here is a little guide to enlighten us all! What is Burns Night? Burns Night is annually celebrated in Scotland on or around January 25th. It commemorates the life of the bard (poet) Robert Burns, who was born on January 25, 1759. The day also celebrates Burns' contribution to Scottish culture. His best-known work is Auld Lang Syne. Why Haggis? Burns's ode To a Haggis is recited before the haggis is carved and served to guests. That’s why it’s important! What does Neeps and Tatties mean? While it is eaten all year round, haggis is particularly associated with Burns Night, when it is traditionally served with "neeps and tatties" (Scots: swede, yellow turnip or rutabaga and potatoes, boiled and mashed separately) and a "dram" (i.e. a glass of Scotch whisky). What does Haggis taste like? It should taste like a gamey loose meat casserole. Suffice it to say it's a mix of ground meat and oats, which is stuffed into and cooked in a sheep's stomach. So if you like the sounds of a great 5 course menu, pipers, poems, music and a dram (or 4) of Whiskey – all with a Black Tie dress code, then dust off your kilt and book a table at only £40 per head, by emailing: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call in and speak to Danny Lucas, the General Manager. PROGRAMME OF EVENTS Introduction by Master of Ceremonies – Andrew Nicholson The Selkirk Grace Halesome Farin’ Cock-a-Leekie Soup Address to the Haggis – George Nicholson accompanied by the Piper and Head Chef John Young Haggis (Warm reekin rich wi Champit Tatties/Neeps) Steak Pie Cranachan A Tassie O’ Coffee Interval Wi a Hundred Pipers an A’ an A’ (Well one Piper playing a Medley) Speeches The Immortal Memory – George Nicholson Let Kings and Courtiers rise and fa’ This world has many tongues But brightly beams abin them a’ The star o’ Rabbie Burns To the Lassies – Duncan Nicholson Nae gentle dames, tho ne’er sae fair Shall ever be my muse’s care, Their titles a’ are empty show; Gie me my Highland Lassie, O! Frae the Lassies – Samantha Pittom I’ll sell my rock, my reel, my tow My gude gray mare and hawkit cow; To buy myself a tartan plaid To follow the boy wi’ The White Cockade. Medley of Songs Auld Lang Syne Close

Published in News & Events
Monday, 02 December 2019 12:02

Beat The January Blues

2020 has finally arrived, the festive season has been wrapped up and put away for another year and it’s now time to focus on YOU.

New goals and new resolutions have been set and it’s time to start planning an exciting new year ahead – holidays, special birthdays, date nights and family time will all be valuable moments to cherish and enjoy.

Whether it’s a date night, family day out or a night out to celebrate; the South Northants countryside offers such beauty and we often forget about some of the enjoyable and exciting things we can do right here in our back-yard, so don’t let the January Blues get hold of you. Get out and enjoy the plethora of activities and attractions in and around us.

For the kids:

If you’ve got little ones (or grandchildren) and you’re wanting them to burn off as much energy as possible on a great day out, there’s a ton of activities out there! For the younger ones, why not take them to The Old Dairy Craft Farm in Upper Stowe for lambing season and their lambing barns will be open to keep the kids happy. Towcester Museum is another great day out for both young and old.  Pottery painting is a terrific and relaxing way to while away a few hours. Cre8 - Pottery Painting, just a few minutes away in Towcester, is now open.  Alternatively, Hazelborough Woods in Silverstone is a stone’s throw away and a great place to explore and run around in the great outdoors.  Don’t forget to wrap up warm, pack some snacks and come and see us for a great meal afterwards!  We have a great tried and tested Children’s menu – book a table today by clicking here

For the grown ups:

If you’re preferring some adult time-out, head to the stunning Cannons Ashby (NT) for a tour of the house and gardens.  Alternatively, if you’re keen to wrap up and get outdoors into the fresh air for a lovely walk, you have a multitude of choices here in South Northants, but our favourite is Everdon Stubbs – a beautiful wood, owned by the Woodland Trust – with free parking!

This January we have lots of enticing dishes to warm you up and keep the cold at bay, including steaks and Sunday roasts. We have daily specials, which is Chef’s opportunity to utilise an array of local, fresh and in-season produce… so don’t forget to check the special’s board before you place your order!


Keep an eye on what we are up to by clicking here

Published in News & Events
Monday, 02 December 2019 11:51

Twelfth Night - Myth or Utter Rubbish?

Take your Christmas decorations down by 12th night or else…….           

Twelfth Night this year is 5th January but why is it so important to have your decorations by this date?

Long ago it was thought that leaving the decorations up would cause a disaster. People believed that tree-spirits lived in the greenery (holy, ivy etc) they decorated their houses with. The greenery was brought into the house to provide a safe haven for the tree-spirits during the harsh midwinter days. Once this period was over it was necessary to return the greenery back outside to release the tree-spirits into the countryside once again. Failure to do this would mean that vegetation would not be able to start growing again (spring would not return), leading to an agricultural disaster. 

It was also thought that, if you left the greenery in the house, the tree-spirits would cause mischief in the house until they were released. 

Today people still feel uneasy about leaving the Christmas decorations up after Twelfth Night. Despite decorations now being made of foil or paper, and even though the tree-spirits are long forgotten, the superstition still survives. 

Did you know?

  • ·Until the 19th century, people would keep decorations of holly, ivy, box, yew, lauren and mistletoe up until February 2nd, Candlemas Day, the end of the Christmas season, 40 days after the birth of Jesus.
  • ·The Three Wise Men are not included in the nativity scene until January 6, Three King's Day. The nativity scene is traditionally not taken down until 2 February, Candlemas.
  • ·In the reign of Victoria decorations came down on Twelfth Night and generally were burnt.

So there we have it!  We will take ours down by twelfth night, just in case………….

Published in News & Events
Monday, 02 December 2019 11:44

How To Lay The Perfect Christmas Table

You’ve decorated your tree, wrapped the presents and ordered your food – you’re all ready for the big day! So many people leave creating the Christmas table to the last minute and because it’s Christmas Day, the old baked bean table cloth isn’t going to cut the mustard (or bread sauce in this case!).

Here is our fool proof guide to a stress free, perfectly presented Christmas table to impress your guests this Christmas!

  1. The Night Before Christmas…

It’s best to dress the table the night before, this gives you plenty of time to hunt down missing cutlery and crockery, to check glasses are free of watermarks, and means you won’t be thrown off pace whilst basting the turkey if your guests arrive early!

  1. The colour of your Christmas…

Having a definitive colour scheme or theme makes the table look extra special and refined.  Our Restaurant Manager; Jennifer Henshaw, suggests that you ‘start with a simple base – a plain table cloth or runner is best. This can be enhanced with a mixture of tones – frosted pastels, Scandi red and white, silver and burgundy or copper are all on-trend combinations this festive season’. ‘Alternatively, if you can’t decide on a colour scheme, a key interior trend for this year is organic and natural decor, so why not try experiment with earthy colours and highlighting with gold tones to keep it effortless yet elegant this year.’ ‘For a more traditional setting, opt for festive colours such as red and green and complement them with raw materials such as wooden-handled cutlery or wicker placemats.’

  1. Perfect Place Settings…

To do this, first you’ll need to know how many courses you are serving. Put the plate for the main course at the centre of the setting. Then stack the starter plate and soup bowl (if opted for) on top. ‘Cutlery should be placed either side of the dishes, arranged in the order in which it will be used – first course on the outside working inward with knives and spoons on the right and forks on the left,’ advises Jen. Where your napkin sits will depend on how intricately you plan to fold it. If it’s just a simple arrangement, place it to the left, ideally on a side plate that you can also use for bread, or if you’re feeling extra creative and you plan on some serious napkin origami, pop your masterpieces in the middle of each place setting.

  1. Craving a Centrepiece?

Depending on the size of the table, you might already be struggling to fit on all your glasses and crockery. If that’s the case, avoid cluttering it up further with tealights and other decorations. However, it’s always worth squeezing in a centrepiece. Just remember, bigger doesn’t necessarily mean better. Familiar festive accents such as wreaths, flowers and candelabras work as sophisticated centrepieces,’ says Jen. ‘However, having said that it’s all too easy to over crowd smaller tables (which is something I discovered when I revamped the restaurant earlier this year). Adding height to smaller tables with candles is an easy yet effective way to add an element of Christmas magic – opt for sturdy pillar candles which can be found in a variety of complementary colours and sizes.’ 

  1. Place Names… 

Welcome your loved ones to the table with a handwritten place setting. This could be as simple as a card, or you could double up and create small gifts for your guests. Perhaps a small succulent with a chalkboard label bearing their name? Or a personalised bauble or cracker? Feel free to let your imagination run wild – just make sure, whatever you settle on, that it works with your overall theme.


To Book Your Table this festive Season, please click here.

Published in News & Events
Monday, 02 December 2019 11:28

Which Knife for Which Job?

Which knife do I choose?

It can be a nightmare buying knives – you want to get value for money but there are so many types to choose from how do you know you are getting the right knife for the right job?

We like to think of ourselves as experts when it comes to choosing the perfect knife for each job so we have created a handy guide to knife choice – especially for you!

Try chopping a tomato with a carving knife. Now try chopping it with a paring knife and you’ll soon see that each knife was created with a specific purpose in mind. This doesn’t mean that you need to buy every single knife under the sun, but that you should consider what you enjoy cooking most often and tailor your knife collection to suit your needs. Some knives are great multitaskers, some are best used to fulfil their fish-boning destiny!

  • ·Chef’s Knife – A great multitasker for chopping, slicing and dicing
  • ·Paring Knife – Peeling and de-seeding
  • ·Utility Knife – Tackles tasks too big for a paring knife and too small for a chefs knife
  • ·Bread knife – Slicing bread!
  • ·Steak Knife – Effortless eating of steak and meat dishes
  • ·Fillet Knife – Filleting meant and fish
  • ·Boning Knife – removes bones from meat
  • ·Carving Knife – Carving slices of meat
  • ·Cleaver – Forcibly cutting through joints and bone
  • ·Santoku Knife – Chopping, slicing and dicing

If you are starting from scratch or wanting to grow your knife collection – this is the order we recommend that you do it in…

  1. Chefs
  2. Paring
  3. Utility
  4. Breasd
  5. Steak
  6. Fillet
  7. Boning
  8. Carving
  9. Cleaver
  10. Santoku
  11. Vegetable
  12. Mezzaluna
  13. Cheese
  14. Sashimi

We will be writing more about knives in the future and we will be holding some Knife Skills Masterclasses in 2020 – keep an eye on our news page and follow us on Facebook to keep up with dates and developments!


Book your table by clicking here today

Published in News & Events
Monday, 28 October 2019 15:41

Autumn Menu Release

As the seasons turn, so does our menu

Autumn; The time of harvest and gathering together

The early mornings are now darker and the temperature is dropping… but the leaves are turning beautiful vibrant shades of red, orange and yellow to remind us of how beautiful the autumn season is, despite the grey weather.

As we start to dust off our scarfs and pack away our flip flops, our eating habits tend to turn to heartier, warming food to comfort us during the transition into the cooler months.

Across the country, farms and orchards are bustling with activity, with October being the prime time to harvest and gather crops before the harsh cold weather kicks in.

To mark the turn of the season, we have launched our new Autumn Menu, created using the finest ingredients from our fantastic local suppliers.

Our experienced team of chefs have taken advantage of the delicious seasonal flavours and produce the local area has to offer, to create a tasty new autumn and gluten free menu, we know our customers will love.

When we asked our General Manager, Danny, what his favourite dish from the new autumn menu is, this is what he had to say…

Baked Camembert to share is my favourite dish on the new menu…. It is studded with smoked garlic and rosemary. Served with homemade bread and a red onion chutney (v) (gfa) and it’s utter creaminess makes it the ultimate in comfort food. Yummmmm!

Alongside our new menu, we also offer our ever-popular specials board that includes seasonal dishes, sourced locally by expert suppliers.

Book your table by clicking here today

Published in News & Events