British Classic Dishes with a Twist @ The Folly, Towcester, Northamptonshire
Try these contemporary dishes at the award winning restaurant, The Folly!
One of our favourite past times is finding restaurants serving great tasting food in our local area. We tend to scan through the Northants Food & Drinks Awards latest list to see which restaurants might take our fancy and The Folly in Towcester was awarded “Restaurant of the Year” for the 2017/2018 Food & Drinks Awards. Well, we had to book this restaurant and see for ourselves. Since my sister and her husband were up for the weekend, we thought this would be the perfect time to sample their menu.
Restaurant of the Year 2017/2018 - Northamptonshire Food & Drinks Awards
The Folly is located in the market town of Towcester lying to the south of Northamptonshire. Situated along a main road, you can’t miss The Folly – a pretty thatched roofed English inn which houses this charming restaurant is opposite Towcester Racecourse. These are the typical chocolate box buildings you’ll often see in this part of the country in the small villages dotted around the countryside. There’s ample parking next to the restaurant and the restaurant also offers al fresco dining for those warm summer days. Seeing that The Folly would be busy during weekends, we reserved a table for a Saturday at 7pm.
Upon entering The Folly, there was bar area offering numerous wines, beers and liquors … great if you fancy a drink before heading to your table. We were greeted by the friendly staff, who then led us to a table by the fireplace.
The restaurant was full of character and very quintessentially English indeed! Built in the 1700’s, The Folly has retained the traditional wooden beams within the building, yet still modern with simple furnishings of wooden tables and colourful striped chairs. Sometimes these buildings can be quite dark inside, however this was lovely and bright with a cosy and relaxing atmosphere. The restaurant was busy when we arrived, fully booked actually so we would recommend reserving a table.
The Folly offers creative dishes of British classics with a contemporary twist, using local fresh ingredients. Browsing through the menu with a glass of red in hand, the menu selection caters for all with a separate Chef’s specials menu alongside. All the dishes sounded amazing, which made it fairly difficult decide what to choose. I could have ordered everything off the menu! Luckily our table ordered different dishes, so we could have a cheeky taste of each one! It’s only fair to share right?!
To start, I chose the rabbit terrine which was lovely and meaty with the subtle sweetness from the prunes sandwiched in between the terrine. The confit rabbit terrine was accompanied with pickled carrots and carrot purée with straw potatoes, which added texture to the dish. I’m usually not a fan of raisins in savoury food, although the golden raisin dressing drizzled over the starter was yum!
My sister went for the mature cheddar cheese twice baked soufflé with the waldorf salad and cauliflower purée – oh boy the soufflé was airy and light as if you were biting into a fluffy cloud. Never have I experienced such fluffiness in a soufflé. The cheddar cheese wasn’t overpowering and the circular thinly sliced green apple cut through the cheese adding a touch of sweetness; the waldorf salad really complemented the dish well. However, there was something missing from this dish and it was the parmesan crisp. It seemed that the kitchen had forgotten to place the crisp!
Now the boys had the meatier starter of pulled pork and black pudding hash, breaded poached egg, apple and lovage purée topped with a piece of crackling. Oooh did I have food envy. The immaculate poached egg covered with crispy panko sitting on top of the hash just looked divine. And the yolk had the perfect ooze – yolk porn! The hash was packed full of flavour, absolutely scrumptious.
After devouring our starters, we waited patiently for our main courses to arrive. Have to admit that the wait for the mains was too long. It must had been around an hour after the starter. As my eyes wandered around the room, I noticed other tables were waiting too. We realised it was a Saturday night and expected it to be busy, however an hour wait is too long no matter how many covers you have.
Finally the mains arrived and the we couldn’t wait to tuck in. Ian and I opted for the Chef’s special of seared venison loin, Parma ham and potato terrine served with parsnips, kale and a Port wine and redcurrant jus. The three pieces of venison were succulent and beautifully cooked medium rare and we loved the sweetness from the honey glazed parsnips. The kale had been lightly sautéed and the jus was perfect with the venison. The only thing I would say is the portion size was definitely smaller compared to the other mains. Considering the venison dish was £28, I expected the portion size to be similar to the others. Ian and I had finished our mains and the rest of the table were only half way through their meals.
My brother-in-law’s main of sirloin steak, triple cooked chips, onion rings, tomatoes and French beans with red wine jus was fit for a king. The sirloin steak was cooked to medium rare, very succulent, with a hint of garlic. The triple cooked chips had a lovely crunch on the outside and the the onion rings were delish and crispy. If you love steak and chips then order this!
My sister opted for the duo of lamb; press slow cooked shoulder of lamb with a herb crumb, rump of lamb served with dauphinoise potato, carrot, parsnip, baby onions and roasting jus. The slow cooked lamb was exquisite, so melt in your mouth. The dauphinoise potato wasn’t as creamy but was still delicious. This was a a great portion size and very filling.
Did we find room for dessert? Of course we did. Have to end the meal with a sweet dessert.
I ordered the chocolate fondant with whipped caramel cream and raspberry purée. There was a bit of a wait of around 20 minutes and when it arrived I was slightly disappointed. The fondant had collapsed … so not as well presented and there wasn’t much of an ooze of chocolate in the middle. Nevertheless, the flavour was there but just not executed as well.
My sister’s dessert of cinnamon panna cotta was beautifully presented with different textures of Granny Smith apple and finished off with chunks of honeycomb. Mmmmmm! This dessert was gorgeous and not overly sweet. The panna cotta was lovely and smooth and the tartness from the apple gave it just the right balance. Can you tell I had food envy? again!
The boys went for the more traditional British dessert of sticky toffee pudding. Heavenly soft sticky toffee pudding served with creamy vanilla ice cream, sweet butterscotch sauce and finished with a crisp hazelnut praline. Let me tell you, Ian didn’t want me to have more than one mouthful of his pudding!
Overall, the food was excellent and beautifully presented. The staff were polite, helpful and attentive. The only thing that let the meal down was the wait in between courses, which was a shame. We will definitely make a return trip to The Folly as the food was delicious and hopefully the service will be better. When leaving the restaurant, we did mention to the staff that the soufflé starter was missing the parmesan crisp. The kitchen apologised and offered us a parmesan crisp each to take home.
Tip: Highly recommend reserving a table
Price: ~£60 pp 3 courses with drinks
Address: London Rd, Towcester NN12 6LB
What restaurants would you recommend us trying next time?
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