If you follow my blog, then you will know that my talented husband is pursuing his doctorate at Cranfield University in the UK. His course requires several residential weeks spread throughout the year at the University. Each visit gives me the opportunity to discover new places to explore. When I’m looking for restaurants in an area that I’m not familiar with, I turn to Zomato. This online resource gives restaurant reviews, plus provides photos, and menus. Using this app has given me many successes in the past such as The Carrington Arms in nearby Moulsoe. On my recent trip, I discovered a pub/restaurant in the village of Wootton called The Legstraps.
Wootton is a village located to the south of Bedford and about 55 miles north of London. The village is home to around 4200 residents but major housing expansion will see this number rise sharply in the coming years. As with many British villages, there are quite a few pubs to choose from, but none with quite such an unusual name. A little research as to the name’s origin was called for. Evidently, farm workers used to tie string or leather straps around their trousers to stop rats from climbing up their legs during harvesting. There used to be a rack in the public bar for farmers to hang the straps up while they drank – hence Legstraps, or straps for short.
We arrived in the dark so it was hard to see the outdoor space. Entry from the side carpark took us into the pub area first. Traditional features such as stone floors and the low ceiling sit side by side with contemporary touches such as a wall with butterflies. The bar area had a variety of tables and sofa settings giving an eclectic and cozy feeling.
Having eaten a sizeable lunch on the day we visited, our appetites were therefore not that great. We decided to each go with a starter and then save room for a couple of the delicious sounding desserts. After taking our orders and returning with our beverages, our server delivered an additional appetizer for us to try. Deep fried filled mushrooms were presented on a slate tile with a wooden skewer. The piping hot appetizer was a welcome little extra.
David went with the soup for his starter, the days special being leek and pepper (GBP 5.25). The soup lived up to its name with a strong peppery flavor. The accompanying artisan bread helped soak up the thin but tasty broth. I tried the duck and chorizo hash that came topped with a perfectly runny poached egg (GBP 7.00). We also ordered the bread selection that came with a choice of olives, hummus or sun-blushed tomatoes (GBP 2.50). Careful thought has obviously been put into the presentation of all the dishes. My hash came in a miniature skillet on top of a large-rimmed white plate.
David soon devoured the gluten free dark chocolate brownie that came with chocolate earth and honeycomb ice cream (GBP 5.00) I ordered the trio of Chocolate salami, vanilla ice-cream and a shot of espresso. A rather tricky presentation for our server to deliver as the dessert came on a long slate tile. We rounded off the meal with a large cup of cappuccino that came with a chocolate mint.
We visited on a very quiet night with only a handful of other patrons in the pub and restaurant. While the lack of other diners didn’t exactly help the ambiance, it was quite nice to have the opportunity for an intimate dinner. Service was extremely welcoming and struck the perfect balance of being on hand if needed but not stopping by our table every few minutes to check if all was ok. I find meals out in the UK are far more leisurely and relaxed than in the US.
The combination of comfortable setting, excellent service, and varied menu options would certainly make us want to revisit The Legstraps again.
Address: Keeley Lane, Wootton, Bedford MK43 9HR
Phone: +44 1234 854 112
Hours: Closed on Monday, Tues to Thurs 12pm-3pm & 5pm-11pm, Fri – Sat 12pm – 11pm, Sun 12pm – 8pm
Additional: A private dining room can be hired for groups of up to 10. The whole pub can be hired for private events such as parties & weddings.
Don't miss out on any posts, plus make sure you get all the FREE DOWNLOADS and offers by joining the No Fixed Abode For Sue VIP Members group. A monthly newsletter plus access to the MEMBERS ONLY section of the blog. It's simple, just enter your email in the box below. Easy to unsubscribe at any time.