The original city of Northampton was fully destroyed in a huge fire in 1675. However, the tragedy led to success as the subsequent rebuild was described by Daniel Defoe as being the best-built and most handsome town in the area, thanks to its open planning and attractive layout. The main rebuild was focused around the large market square, where many of Northampton's restaurants, cafes and shops can be found today. Visitors love the history of this town, with two important buildings that survived the fire being open to the public - Welsh House and Haslerigg House. Other attractions include the Art Gallery and Central Museum, Charles Rennie Mackintosh House and Abington Park just outside of the city itself. Visitors also enjoy the excellent dining scene in the area, with some great restaurants in Northampton itself and in the county beyond.
You'll find interesting cafes, bars and restaurants in Northampton's old streets which radiate away from the town square and bring to mind its original medieval trades, such as Gold Street, Silver Street and Sheep Street. See the beautiful five churches which managed to survive the fire, including the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, which was built around 1110. The city is compact and easy to meander around on foot and you'll spot plenty of interesting Northampton restaurants along your way, from cosy cafes through to larger Indian restaurants, stylish French bistros and classic English pubs serving delicious modern classics. The focus here amongst the restaurants in Northampton is very much on the quality of food and service, with comfortable, attractive interiors that encourage diners to relax and unwind. It isn't a pretentious city and this makes for a great atmosphere.
This pretty and historic city is always bustling with life and activity. From the busy Grosvenor Centre on Union Road through to Brackley Market in the upper town square, there are always plenty of shoppers around in particular, especially on market days. The restaurants in Northampton tend to open from lunchtime onwards to accommodate the trade, and some even throw open their doors from breakfast. You'll find something to suit everyone, from purse-friendly budget cafes serving hearty English breakfasts, through to stylish and atmospheric fine dining venues which entertain their guests with music and food theatre for an experience to remember! Some of the livelier Northampton restaurants stay open until later with a bar, extensive wine list and even salsa dancing for those who feel energised after their meal!
The city can get very busy at key times of year, including summer holidays, the Christmas markets and when there are events on at venues such as the Royal & Derngate theatre. This will often lead to coachloads of visitors arriving into the city centre, looking for pre and post-theatre dining - especially with all the special theatre menus on offer at Northampton's restaurants. Make sure you don't have to queue by booking your table at the best restaurants in Northampton on Quandoo. You can book up to 2 hours in advance and get your dining experience off to a great start. After all, who wants to queue when there is a menu to get stuck into!
The region has various special dishes which are relatively unknown beyond its borders. The local 'ock 'n' dough' is a hearty dish to enjoy for lunch. It features a ham hock cooked in a pudding basin with potato, onion and stock with a pastry crust. Once cooked and cooled, the stock cools into a jelly and the resulting pie can be cut. Another historic dish is the Long Buckby feast pudding which is traditionally cooked in August and uses leeks, beef and pork. See if you can hunt down a Towchester cheese cake too, which is richly decorated, very small and notoriously hard to find. When dining at one of Northampton's restaurants you could always ask your server if they have any on a specials menu, and no matter if they do or not, you'll find that the staff have a demonstrable passion for the local culinary scene and are happy to share their knowledge.
Some Quandoo community users have enjoyed particularly good traditional British cooking at local gastropubs, and others rate the South Asian restaurants highly. Maybe you've discovered a particularly good Victoria sponge recipe or the biggest scones imaginable at a cafe near the marketplace. Perhaps you've experienced an incredible regional Chinese dish, or an excellent rack of ribs and a Mexican cocktail? Whatever your discovery at Northampton's restaurants, be sure to share it with the community of fellow diners at Quandoo!