6th November 2018

Northamptonshire’s Best Brunch Spots Guide

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Brunch has become my favourite meal of the day on the weekends.

It's the perfect lazy person's excuse to go out and eat after spending the morning in bed sleeping in. And I love nothing more than being able to sleep in past 9am on the weekends.

But without planning, October was the month where Josh and I went out to brunch almost every weekend. But as much as it's killed our bank balances, it's been so nice to discover new places to Brunch around Northamptonshire and you really don't realise how many brunch spots there are in the area until you step outside your doorstep and actually explore the options around you.

Plus, with busy work schedules, evenings getting darker and not wanting to go out for dinner, brunch has been great for Josh and I to get up and go out in the morning to get our weekend food fix and to spend some quality time together.

And I especially love supporting local businesses when it comes to eating out, so I thought I would write a blog post on the places we have recently visited for brunch:

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185 Watling Street

I am a frequent visitor of 185 Watling Street, a buzzing bar and restaurant in the centre of Watling Street (duh) in Towcester. We've been for lunch, dinner and for plenty of cocktails, but this was the first time we visited for breakfast, or in this case, brunch.

And it didn't disappoint.

The menu was full of variety, from traditional breakfast options, to plenty of egg options and healthier alternatives like granola and avocado - they even had bagels which I don't see often and I know I'll be back to try next time.

On this occasion, Josh went for their large Full English Breakfast which consisted of Cumberland sausage, Back Bacon, Black Pudding, Flat Mushroom & Plum Tomato, Hash Brown, Baked Beans and Sourdough toast with a choice of eggs.

Josh went for poached on this occasion and since he doesn't like black pudding, the waitress gave him the option to add an extra item of something else, which he went for a Cumberland sausage.

I went for something not as big, but still just as tasty: Smashed Avocado on Chargrilled Sourdough with Crumbled Feta, Poached Eggs and 5 Seed Dukka with an additional side of smoked salmon (because I am obviously a blogger, right?)

You can get avocado smashed horribly wrong if not done right, but 185 Watling Street were able to get the perfect texture and consistency with their avocado smashed.

Mixed in with the feta cheese, runny egg yolk from the poached egg and the seeds, you've got yourself a winner.

I was so full up afterwards, so it really was the ideal start to the day and the weekend.

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Dreams Coffee Lounge

When Josh and I were trying to figure out where we wanted to go for brunch next, coincidently, Josh text me saying we should go to Dreams Coffee Lounge literally the moment I was scrolling through their Instagram feed.

It was fate. We had to go.

Located on Giles Street, it's not hard to miss when you spot the mint green decor and the fancy calligraphy writing. And just like their slogan says: it's more than just a coffee shop...

It was obvious it was a popular place in the town, as we struggled to find a free table as we walked in - clearly, Dream's is well visited.

Our waiter felt a little inexperienced, as when Josh asked for the Eggs Benedict, he asked him how he would like his eggs done... an odd question, but we couldn't be too harsh on him as I'm pretty sure that would have been a question I would have asked someone back when I was waitressing!

Despite this, our waiter was really attentive and brought our food over within a good amount of time and it was a wonderful surprise as my Eggs Royale was HUGE!

3 toasted muffins, 3 poached eggs, smothered in hollandaise sauce with smoked salmon on the side - it was so flavourful and so rich, but oh so good!

I couldn't finish it all because it was so big, but it might have been to do with the big chocolate milkshake with whipped cream I had beforehand, which was just as delicious.

As a convenient brunch spot in Northampton town centre, especially being near so many independent shops, I would definitely go again.

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Zapato Lounge

Fun fact: Zapato is 'shoe' in Spanish, named after the obvious fact that Northampton is shoe town.

I was really excited about this visit, as I have been DYING to visit Zapato Lounge ever since it opened in the town centre.

But spontaneously, Josh and I decided to give it a go and as soon as we walked inside, I knew this was my type of brunch spot.

It's certainly a crazy and colourful place that still achieves in being friendly and inviting. From the vintage decor, the flourishing displays of flower pots and an array of seating options, I knew I was going to love it.

Plus, the whole venue is totally instagrammable everywhere you look.

I'm often a savoury person when it comes to brunch, but on this occasion, my eyes gleamed towards the triple pancake stack with crispy bacon and maple syrup - very much an American delicacy, but I was all for it.

And Zapato didn't hold back on the pancakes, or the bacon, or the maple syrup as it was swimming in it. Every bite was like a piece of heaven and every mouthful was bliss.

The coffee I ordered had a good consistency, with a smooth texture and a sweet aftertaste, thanks to the vanilla - making it the right amount for my flat white. I also appreciated the cool glass it was served in, however, you can't quite beat a good old-fashioned mug.

My first visit has made me really enthusiastic about visiting again and trying all the other menu options, as I was particularly jealous of Josh's chicken burger which looked mouth-watering. And on top of cool decor and delicious food, the staff were top notch and were incredibly friendly.

And kudos to Zapato for using my picture as their profile picture across their social channels!

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Ten Hands Cafe Bar

Another favourite brunch spot I'm regularly visiting in Towcester.

Ten Hands Cafe Bar is always a great place to meet friends over brunch and the staff are always really friendly, inviting and they certainly know how to make a great cup of coffee with perfect flat white/latte art.

Especially when they are served in their distinctive blue cups - I admire when independent coffee shops nail their branding and colour scheme.

But let's get to what the food is like - the brunch here is always flawless and I have never once complained.

My go-to brunch here is always the eggs benedict or the avocado smash, which I love even more considering their passion for using local produce.

The brunch and coffee are a little on the pricey side if you're looking for somewhere budget, however, I believe their coffee and meals are worth every penny.

I will always choose to go to Ten Hands Cafe Bar for brunch, lunch and a coffee catch up with friends.

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Bar Encore

I didn't think I would see Bar Encore on this list of places to visit for brunch, but I'm pleased to say that they have recently launched their new breakfast menu!

Bar Encore is situated right in the middle of Watling Street in Towcester and is known for its fabulous tapas and selection of drinks. My best friend and I went to visit on the 2nd morning of offering breakfast and we were very happy and content once we left.

They have selections of sweet and savoury dishes from stacked pancakes, porridge and muesli, to classics like Eggs Benedict, Avocado Smash and Smoked Salmon Bagel.

I had the eggs royale, which was surprisingly light, leaving me feeling not too heavy, but it still had incredible flavours. All washed down with two flavoursome coffees.

If you're near Towcester, Bar Encore is the latest brunch spot to check out!

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The Orangery at Delapré Abbey

If you haven't been to the Orangery at Delapré Abbey for your next brunch, you are missing out! Not only do you get to visit one of Northamptonshire's most beautiful heritage houses ad gardens, but The Orangery is so light, bright and feels like one big consevatory which is perfect when the sun is shining.

The Orangery is managed under the Tom Hewer Catering group who are responsible for all the food and drink inside and ensure the menu is constantly updated and full of local produce and ingredients.

Everytime I've come for brunch at The Orangery, I've gone away feeling so full and content and in need to walk it off around the grounds. You get a huge plate full of food which is great value for money.

Just look at our feast! You can find their menu here to browse before your next trip! They do Sunday lunch too!

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The Deli at Castle Ashby

What a delightful little spot! If you're a fan of all things local and love browsing in deli's or farm shops, The Deli at Castle Ashby is for you - but I never expected it to be on my best Brunch spot guide, in fact, we ended up having brunch spontanously and I wasn't aware of all the options that were available...

The Deli at Castle Ashby is located in the rural shopping yard at Castle Ashby and is full of local treats that you'll spend hours browsing over. Tucked away from the shop, you will find a cosy little seating area, where you can enjoy breakfast, lunch, cake and coffee and more! What is even more delightful is that the Deli is family run!

What was lovely, was when it came to order, one of the owners notified us that their Breakfast menu was give and take - basically, you could order pretty much what you want that's based at their deli and they will make it for you! It's a great concept, which means you don't have to stick strictly to what's on the menu!

Although they don't have a coffee machine, which means they lack in coffee options like lattes or cappuchino's, but I didn't mind, because you can get yourself a big cafitere of freshly brewed local coffee, which tasted SO GOOD. Paired with cute cups, I was won over.

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On this occasion, Josh mixed things up and asked whether he could have a sausage and egg sandwich on local sourdough bread, with the additional extra of crisps and side salad. Josh is normally a fast eater, but even he struggled to eat it all!

On the breakfast menu, I was intruiged by their Breakfast Deli board which consists of a freshly baked crossaint with local jam and lemon curd, followed by a very colourful board of selected cured meats, cheeses, salad and fresh guava! It was surprisingly fresh, light, yet filling!

I believe it makes an awesome and different brunch option and it means you can sample all the local produce we have available to us here in Northamptonshire over an enjoyable brunch!

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The Bread and Butter Factory

The Bread and Butter Factory is a delightful coffee shop that serves breakfast all day long at the end of the hustle and bustle of St Giles Street, Northampton.

The interior inside is light, airy and has plenty of spaces to sit whether for pleasure, or you fancy working with a coffee on your laptop (there's plenty of plug sockets). Last time I visited, I got to sit right at the front of their shop on a high stool overlooking Giles Street.

Their aim is to deliver healthy and delicious food, whether it be in their caf on St Giles Street, or via delivery - convenient if you work in Northampton town.

I had one of the best Avocado smash with poached eggs I've ever had - their bread is supplied by no other than The Good Loaf, which is obvious in how thick and fresh the bread is and what's even better, they serve brunch options all day long! Perfect if you're craving breakfast for lunch!

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*Disclaimer: I paid for all of these brunches. I haven't been paid to talk about them - I just really LOVE brunch!*

Brunch | Nicole Navigates

Matchbox Cafe Northampton

This is a truly unique cafe in Northampton that you need to come to if you fancy somewhere a bit quieter, but that still serves great food and drink.

Matchbox Cafe Northampton is literally a matchbox-sized cafe hidden away on Wellington Street on the right as you walk up Abington Street heading towards H&M (if you remember Maria's cafe, Matchbox Cafe has replaced that!)

You walk in and you're greeted by their friendly owner, you can nestle up on a wooden bench with some cosy cushions, literally order from across the room and you honestly feel so at home especially with all the fascinating artwork displayed on the walls.

On top of that, they do a banging Avocado Smash with a poached egg and make awesome coffee, with coffee beans supplied by Yellow Bourbon.

Have you been to any of these brunch spots in Northamptonshire?

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