The Navigation: Friday night out for Pub Grub and Real Ale

The Navigation Inn on Wilford Street lies right next to the Castle Gate Lock and on the city side of the bridge over the canal.

This Friday we were hunting around for somewhere to grab a bit of food and a pint, and remembered this place so we came along to see if we could get a walk in table

We were in luck, it was pretty busy but not as rammed as some of the pubs down near the Canal Wharf, and to be honest that made for a much more relaxed and gentle experience

They have a small section for drinking and eating down alongside the canal where you can soak up the sun and watch the boats pass through the lock. They also have a courtyard at the back of the pub with tables and awnings, plus some heaters (quite useful at the moment)


On the way in through the bar we got a glimpse of the board listing out the Real Ale that they had on offer at The Navigation on this day and what beers were coming next.

It is worth noting that the beer gets drunk quite quickly at the moment so what we started off supping was replaced by some of those ‘On Soon’ beers as we drank our way through the evening!


I understand that food wise at the moment they are cooking up a small selection of mains that may change during the week and also a selection of small plates and bites or nibbles.

I expect that once things start to ease off and we can all get back inside the pub for a bit more normality that the menu will expand again

On Today’s Menu at The Navigation were just the four options, a Scampi and Chips dish perfect for a Fish and Chip Friday situation, a slightly posher Chicken with Pancetta and Leek dish, and two curries one hot and one mild providing spice for all tastes 🙂


Since it was a Friday and it is almost a tradition I picked the closest thing that they had to Fish and Chips ordering the Scampi which they described as ‘Traditional pub fare, Scampi Chips and peas, served with tartare sauce’

It was nothing fancy but was just what I wanted, it was almost finger food as you could dip the scampi or your chip into the pots of smooth mushy pea mix or tartare sauce. In moments when I was trying to sup beer, talk and eat at the same time that was exactly how I tackled it

I did revert to using the eating irons when I was mopping up those big hunky hand cut chips as they needed a little more effort to cut them up.

Loved the chips, smaller than a wedge and bigger than a French fry, and best of all they really were handmade. Nice crisp coating, solid potato bite inside and perfect for dipping and waving around as you converse without droppage

I am no expert when it comes to Scampi but these ones seemed really decent, nice and big, juicy and plentiful. More on the plate than I have had more often than not. All in all really good scoff for £8.95

The Navigation were also offering snacks and smaller bites which mostly seemed to be variations on Nachos and Chips. Lets be fair though both of those genres are excellent snacks with beer.

I liked that they were offering Cheese and Crackers which they even had a description for ‘Jacobs crackers served with mature cheddar and pickles’. If I had a glass of red wine on the go I would totally be up for that.

If you were really going out on the posh limb of the tree you may well have been tempted by the ‘Whole crispy Whitebait served with a Lemon mayonnaise‘ if you did you probably we also having that ‘Chicken with Pancetta and Leek dish’


So as we all know by now I had scoffed down a plate of the Scampi and Chips, but my mate Martin and ertswhile MyFoodHunt companion opted for the somewhat simpler sounding option of ‘Handcut Cheesy Chips’

These looked pretty darned good too, the same glorious thick cut chips I had just eaten only these ones were smothered in melted gooey cheese.

I commented to him at the time that I thought he had got the best deal chipswise and I would not have minded having these with my Scampi (even if they would not really have gone with the them)


The first beer sampled off the Real Ale list was this Jorvik Blond which was relatively easy drinking at 3.8% ABV. It had a bit of body and a decent enough flavour, good enough to warrant sampling several pints more during the evening


The second beer we ended up drinking (accidently) was this rather darker effort called Twist and Shout from the more local Lenton Lane brewery. I don’t often end up choosing this type of beer but I don’t mind one every now and again. Apparently this one uses ‘7 different malts, for a classic silky stout feel’


All in all we quite enjoyed our time at the Navigation, the new hosts were very friendly and accomodating and even checked in to see how we were getting on with our Stout (I think they saw that my mate wasn’t keen lol)

I have not been in here for ages, possibly not since Annie’s Burger Shack left! The place is still more or less the same, it was just that we had forgotten about the place as it’s a little off to one side.

It’s well worth a visit though, nice beer, decent bit of pub grub and if you are lucky you can see a few boats passing by.

The Navigation Inn is Located at 6 Wilford Road, you can check them out on their website and on their Facebook page

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