It's been a long time coming, but finally Towcester has a restaurant to shout about. I've been keeping my fingers crossed that the renovations to The Old Folly pub would result in something good, and I wasn't disappointed in any way. Last night's midweek welcome was warm and friendly, and the three of us sat at the polished wood bar with our drinks before being ushered to our table by the smiley waitress. Usually my heart sinks at the thought of sitting at a bench seat as I have a bad back, but this one was furnished with enough cushions to make it very comfortable indeed.
But what about the food? If you call yourself a 'gastropub', that raises certain expectations. I'm glad to these were fully met in the Old Folly's case. We had the pulled ham hock and a (perfectly runny) poached egg to start with, along with the (large) salmon and dill fish cake with salsa. The ham hock was meaty and perfectly seasoned, with just a touch of chopped cornichon and some chervil. The fish cake was well made and tasty, and the salsa fresh and crunchy. I had the special - tuna steak on warm salade Nicoise - and asked for the tuna rare, which is always a good test for chef skills. It was beautifully pink - just exactly how I like it. The men both had the pressed pork belly, which went down a treat too. We didn't have room for the creamy rice pudding and Armagnac soaked sultanas, which was a big regret. Maybe next time! We finished with peppermint tea served in different coloured teapots - a nice touch - and the bill at £66 for 3 was pretty reasonable for such good food. It's such a relief to have something this good close to home. We will return often, and I urge everyone local to try this new venture. We need it to stay for a LONG time.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.