Just beyond Potters Bar is the beautiful (and rather smart) village of Northaw which boasts a couple of pubs and some great walks – ideal for a Sunday jaunt.
On Fathers’ Day we enjoyed lunch at The Two Brewers, planning to have a walk in Northaw Great Wood afterwards. Like the village’s other pub, The Two Brewers is an old inn and has a more formal dining area as well as tables and cosy booths in the main part of the pub. It also has a very attractive garden.
The pub was taken over by the current owners in 2014 and, judging from the website and comments from locals, they’re making a big effort to put the pub back on the map with a new menu and chef and regular events. At 1pm on Sunday the pub was filling up and the atmosphere was warm and friendly, comfortably furnished without feeing too self-consciously ‘gastro-pub’. The staff were chatty and enthusiastic and we ordered a couple of starters to share, a child’s menu (£7.95) and roast beef (£12.95) for two from the comprehensive Sunday lunch menu. Our generous servings of squid (£6.50) and prawns (£8.50) were nicely cooked (although I couldn’t tell much difference between the ‘light tarragon mayonnaise’ for the prawns and the squid’s ‘lime and coriander dressing’). A small glass of New Zealand Riesling was a fresh and zesty accompaniment.
Our roast rib of beef was tender and full of flavour, served with roast potatoes, mixed vegetables and Yorkshire pudding – all good. My only gripe was that it could have done with more gravy. I love plenty of gravy and when I mentioned this as the plates were being cleared it was pointed out that you can ask for more and they’ll bring you a little jug. Our daughter’s breaded chicken with chips and salad seemed to hit the spot. Other options on the children’s menu are mini fish and chips with salad, chicken burger or butternut squash risotto with parmesan. Other roasts are tenderloin of pork and rump of lamb. There is also stuffed chicken breast, three fish dishes, duck breast and meat-free options.
We agonized a bit over dessert and went for the ‘Ultimate Petit Selection’ to share which included several small versions of things: vanilla and raspberry crème brulée, chocolate ripple cheesecake, Bakewell tart and rhubarb and custard pannacotta with hazelnut brownie. This was great value at £8.95 and they were all very good and clearly home-made. The children’s menu included ice cream and ‘a sweet treat’ which turned out to be jelly beans to the delight of our daughter.
The wine list is well chosen and varied, with ten whites and nine reds available by the glass in three sizes. As they’d recently hosted a New Zealand wine and food evening, additional wines were offered by the glass including the aforementioned Riesling and a Pinot Noir that was great with the beef.
We really liked it and plan to go back soon. Their next Wine and Dine evening features Chile on 20th July which sounds very tempting and we’d like to try some of their 38 tapas dishes which are served Monday to Saturday in the bar. We’ll be back in Northaw to try the other pub, The Sun, before long as well.
After lunch we had a stroll around Northaw Great Wood and once I’d driven us home, my husband headed upstairs for a late afternoon nap. I think Fathers’ Day was a success.