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Picture of The Brave Old Oak
Image posted by Blackthorn _
Submitted on Tuesday, 11th September 2012
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The Brave Old Oak, Towcester

104 Watling Street East
NN12 6BT
Correct details

Pub Type

Town Centre Pub (Marstons)

Served areas

Reviews of The Brave Old Oak (Average Rating: of 10) Add Review see review guidelines

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Blackthorn _ left this review about The Brave Old Oak

A good-sized, L-shape pub located in a central position on the High Street, it has quite a cosy and refined ambience in spite of a couple of TV’s showing the sport. Barman seemed friendly enough, and they were reasonably busy even on a recent early evening visit.

It’s essentially all one room, although divided in to a number of different sections. The man bar area is at the front and this is carpeted apart from wood strip around the bar counter. It’s quite cosy with a few black beams on the ceiling and a free standing brick chimney breast in the centre, although rather than a fire it contained a Father Christmas and a few bits of tinsel and such like – a tad early in October I thought. A number of pictures were on the wall, many of vintage racing cars from the nearby Silverstone track and also several of oak trees which seems appropriate given the pub’s name. Much of the walls were clad in wood panelling and many of these had crests or shields on, although I’m not sure of the significance of these.

Beyond this towards the rear of the pub is a very large fire-place to the right with a black chimney hood and beyond this again is a snug area comfy old sofas and floor to ceiling wood panelling making it somewhat reminiscent of a hotel drawing room, although a plasma in the corner showing the football spoilt the ambience somewhat. Fortunately it was in a cupboard so could be hidden from view when not in use, but why it wasn’t when nobody was in thee watching it I’m not sure. The final room top the left was a little more contemporary with a wood strip floor and a carved wooden fire-place and a stack of logs ready for the colder weather. A beer garden was at the back although I did not investigate this.

The food menu offered a decent enough selection of “pub grub” dishes and was divided in to sections such as Hand Helds, Burgers and Mains & Grills. Options here included Beef & Ale Pie, Fish & Chips, Scampi & Chips, etc., and these were mostly priced around the £7 - £8 mark. My initial choice of Chicken Jalfrezi was unfortunately unavailable as they had run out of rice – quite why they couldn’t have popped to the Co-op a few doors away I’m not sure. Perhaps this should have warned me about the level of skill in the kitchen. Instead I opted for the Beef lasagne with garlic ciabatta and a dressed side salad. The lasagne was quite a small portion and had been pretty much incinerated in the micro-wave, so much so that I could have done with a steak knife to cut though parts of it. The dressed side salad consisted of a few leaves that were going brown around the edges, and the dressing was notable only for it’s absence. It was I suppose tasty enough, but this is one of the worst meals I have had in a pub for a long time.

Beers on tap were Jennings’s Bulls Eye, Hobgoblin, Pedigree and the seasonal Pumpking. The solitary cider was Strongbow, unfortunately. Had I not eaten in here I would probably have thought it was a half decent pub and given it least a couple more marks, but there’s really no excuse for serving such shoddy food, especially when you’re charging £7.50 for it.

On 28th October 2014 - rating: 5
[User has posted 1749 recommendations about 1684 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Steve of N21 left this review about The Brave Old Oak

Old Towcester High Street pub, apparently dating from the 1500’s on the northern edge of the Market Square which looks like it was formerly different buildings. Nice wood panelled walls and beamed ceiling interior well described below and the dining room section to the left was not suffering from overly loud muzac on our visit so we chose to sit and eat in this section. It functions as a typical Marston's beer/food pub and as such only the same Pedigree (again doubled up) and Hobgoblin were available, but the service was pleasant and efficient and the food was decent reasonably priced pub grub.
So hit the spot for what we needed.

On 15th May 2014 - rating: 7
[User has posted 1704 recommendations about 1653 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Bucking Fastard left this review about The Brave Old Oak

Marston's tied house in a very old building ,which is worth having a wander around.The front door is low and so are many of the ceilings,with the bar offering the best chance to crack your head.To the left in what was once an adjoining building is a raised front lounge with a carved wooden fireplace,standard tables and a large banquette on one side.Above the fireplace was a flatscreen and the muzak in this section was a little too loud,so go right of the bar to get the best of the interior with fine wood paneling containing heraldic symbols,a very large and impressive inglenook leading to a pool table and access to courtyard seating and a seperate small walled garden.
Three handpumps with Pedigree doubled up (£2.90,in decent shape) and Hobgoblin,and a value pub grub food menu.Cheap rooms also available .Given the lack of decent real ale boozers in town,this is one of the better bets for a few beers.

On 8th July 2013 - rating: 7
[User has posted 2079 recommendations about 2079 pubs]

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Pub location see interactive map of local area
Map location corrected by john mcgraw
Northampton, 9.64 miles, 3 hr 6 min walk (show)
Wolverton, 11.11 miles, 3 hr 34 min walk (show)
Milton Keynes Central, 12.28 miles, 3 hr 57 min walk (show)
Latest updates View all updates for The Brave Old Oak, Towcester
28th Oct 2014, 09:12
Review submitted by Blackthorn _
15th May 2014, 17:11
Review submitted by Steve of N21

Pub Details

Pub details supplied by members of this site to the best of their knowledge. Please check with pub directly before making a special trip.

  • Accommodation : Yes last updated 15 August 2013 by Bucking Fastard
  • Bar Billiards : No last updated 27 October 2014 by Blackthorn _
  • Beer Garden : Yes last updated 15 August 2013 by Bucking Fastard
  • Function Room : Yes - According to Facebook page - last updated 21 July 2015 by Dave McNally
  • Hot Food : Yes last updated 15 August 2013 by Bucking Fastard
  • Pinball : No last updated 27 October 2014 by Blackthorn _
  • Pool Table : No last updated 27 October 2014 by Blackthorn _
  • Real Ale : Yes last updated 15 August 2013 by Bucking Fastard
  • Real Cider : No last updated 27 October 2014 by Blackthorn _
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