The Wavendon Arms Country Pub Milton Keynes has had a dramatic new look and, I was invited to review The Wavendon Arms new menu and trendy new interiors for the press launch. *Disclaimer – gifted meals & drinks*
Review: The Wavendon Arms Country Pub in Milton Keynes
When I’m not off jet-setting, checking out the pub restaurants in Milton Keynes is one of my favourite pastimes and, luckily The Wavendon Arms is one of a few country pubs near me! Located between Milton Keynes and Woburn Sands, The Wavendon Arms is the ideal pub for lunchtime get-togethers for my office as it’s only a short distance from where I work at Caldecotte. In fact, we had all enjoyed a farewell lunch at “The Wavy” for one of my colleagues a couple of weeks earlier on the 26th of April. When I received an invite to review The Wavendon Arms for the Press Night I was delighted, but I thought how much can the pub have changed in the space of two weeks…
It turns out, quite a lot can change in the space of a two- week refurbishment and I was awestruck by the brand new-look Wavendon Arms. The press event provided the perfect opportunity to review The Wavendon Arms brand new look and try out the new social dining inspired menu.
Externally, The pub has a fresh lick of paint in a dramatic shade of teal blue; a great feature to prevent people like me missing the turning for the car park. By now, from reading my previous dining reviews (ahem, The Black Horse Great Linford, you may know I’m renowned for this!)
The outside seating area has more of a terrace feel, with rattan furniture and newly painted benches. The press release also advised of The Wavendon Arms’ new cosy Secret Garden area with private outdoor seating and a Whiskey Room available to hire for events. Unfortunately, I was having such a good time at the press launch to seek this out so I will have to peruse on my next visit.
Inside The New-look Wavendon Arms Pub
A warm and welcoming entrance with palm-tree lighting and tropical wall art gives a little hint of what to expect inside.
I was mesmerised by the new look from merely stepping through the door as my eyes drifted to the opulent Art Deco electric blue bar area, which reminded me of the 1920’s Great Gatsby era.
Ambient seating areas with little nooks and crannies give The Wavendon Arms more of a social feel than the pub had before, emphasised by the extensive drinks menu.
The Wavendon Arms Drinks Menu
I had only ever thought of The Wavendon Arms as somewhere to enjoy a meal, but that has changed with the new look bar and seating areas. The cocktail menu has a wide variety of choice and is not just aimed at gin lovers, with cocktails priced between £7.95-£8.95.
The Pineapple Daiquiri and French Martini are my new favourites; the martini, in particular, is a great choice for an after-dinner tipple as it has a taste and smell similar to a Cherry Bakewell. Delicious! Special mention to our waitress Dee for recommending the French Martini!
Wavendon Arms Press Launch & New-look Rainforest Restaurant
Adam’s parents accompanied us to the launch and we all tucked into an array of canapés as we enjoyed our welcome drinks. The canapés comprised mini appetisers from the new menu, giving us a taste of the food to expect for the main dining event and included:
Lettuce Caesar salad wraps
Duck liver pate
Fish and lobster bonbons
I’m not normally a fan of pate, but the smooth and tasty duck liver pate has potentially changed that.
Eager to check out the new look restaurant, we soon polished off the canapés to be escorted to our table.
Once again, I really could not believe my eyes as I observed the new-look to The Wavendon Arms Restaurant. Two weeks prior, the walls were painted cream with wooden touches giving the restaurant a rustic feel. There was nothing wrong with the previous decor, but having seen the new look it definitely gives The Wavendon Arms a younger feel, which is likely to appeal to a wider range of age groups and diners.
The restaurant has a new rainforest look with foliage hanging from the beams, with forest green and teal blue velvet furnishings, brought to life with plant prints and animal pictures.
The gold touches complimented the look perfectly and I particularly liked the monkey hooks dotted around the dining and bar areas.
The Wavendon Arms Menu
The Wavendon Arms menu is ideal for sharing and social gatherings, with a variety of small plate options and dishes designed for two.
I’ve always loved social dining, enjoying small plate options such as tapas and mezze dishes as they provide an opportunity to try new dishes to tantalise the taste buds!
Mine and Adam’s first choice for a starter, Pork Belly Bao Buns had unfortunately already sold out…sad times! Therefore, we reluctantly made alternative choices. The starters and nibbles we enjoyed between us all were the Camembert with assorted bread, Lamb Koftas with goats cheese, Pate and a Pizzette (topped with wild mushroom, prosciutto, creme fraiche and Parmigiano Reggiano.
The Camembert was beautifully presented, topped with seeds and grated cheese, which really added to the flavour. I mean, is there really anything better than bread and cheese! The variety of warm bread accompanying the dish was tasty but could have benefited from additional slices, being a sharing dish.
I didn’t get a look in when it came to Adam’s koftas but he did say they were the perfect starter size, not too filling and went well with the creamed corn and goats cheese. Ash, Adam’s Dad described the pate as the best he’s ever had…enough said!
Though, when it came to my own dish, the pizzette, I couldn’t help but be disappointed. The topping was very limited in comparison to the bread, resulting in the dish lacking flavour and tasting a bit too doughy.
The small plates are divided into three main sections: meat-free, land and sea providing a wide range of dining options. Some of the dishes that caught my eye are the crusted fried brie (now served with chutney rather than cranberry), the chargrilled octopus and chorizo and, the seared wild Atlantic scallops.
For a lunch option, I really like the new addition healthier mains (dishes under 600 calories), particularly the poke bowls. If you haven’t tried one, poke bowls are really popular dishes in Asian cuisine, packed full of vegetables, lentils and healthy nutrients. I noticed how popular they are on my recent trip to Miami and I can’t wait for our next office lunch outing so I can try one for myself. The previous menu lacked the variety of lunchtime options so it always felt like you had to order a big meal. The new additions to the lunchtime menu also include Croque Monsieur, another favourite of mine (I told you I like cheese!)
For mains during the press event, we couldn’t resist trying out the trio of pork in the Iconic Sharers section of the menu. The dish is served on a long wooden board held up with two cans and comprises sticky pork belly, pastrami pork cheeks with roasted chorizo, crispy potatoes, crackling and apple sauce. The addition of crispy kale also accompanied this dish very well.
The trio of pork is a great sharer and one we wholeheartedly enjoyed, even if I did almost lose a tooth or two eating the crackling! Other sharer dishes available to order on Fridays and Saturdays include chateaubriand and an eight bone lamb rack.
Other dishes enjoyed for main were the four bone lamb rack served with dauphinoise potatoes, buttered green beans and minted jus and, the sea bass fillet with charred octopus, baby potatoes and baby spinach. These dishes are beautifully presented and without a doubt some of the best dishes on the menu.
The addition of charred octopus with the sea bass gives this popular pub main a unique twist and it looked fantastic on the plate accompanied by the eye-catching tomato and lemon aioli.
The rack of lamb stole my heart and I think this has to be a firm favourite, even if it probably is more of an autumnal dish. Very tender, the lamb just fell from the bone and is a very flavoursome dish indeed. The gravy jus pot came in very handy for use with the trio of pork too!
As you can imagine, at this point in the evening when our lovely waitress Dee (recognisable by her beautiful mermaid hair) came over to enquire about dessert we were all feeling rather full…
My summer dessert of choice Eton mess was no longer on the menu, so I opted for the blackcurrant mousse, which appeared to be one of the more lighter and refreshing desserts on the menu.
The blackcurrant mousse (whilst perhaps not a pudding I would normally order) was just what I needed after a heavy meal and is another beautifully presented dish.
Adam opted for his staple chocolate brownie, Angie enjoyed her first melting chocolate & peanut bomb, though appeared a little perplexed when the innards disappeared (much to our amusement!) and Ash was very pleased with his Rum Baba… At least, until I reminded him of his duties as the designated driver!
The rum baba is a sponge served with strawberries and drizzled with a mixture of rum and luxury syrup. I was surprised to learn this pudding has French origin, rather than Cuban, which would have been my first guess!
Dining at The Wavendon Arms Milton Keynes
Bringing together a whole host of world food trends, The Wavendon Arms has an inspiring new look and menu to appeal to a wide range of diners.
I was very impressed with the social dining and sharer dishes curated by Head Chef Gary Smith and, the new rainforest refurbishment decor will surely be a new source of inspiration for my Pinterest home board!
I still can’t quite believe what a transformation The Wavendon Arms has undergone over such a short period of time, but it just goes to show the passion and commitment of the teamwork put into this new look.
Whilst prices remain at the upper end of a country pub dining scale (starters around the £7 mark and mains £15 plus), the quality of the dishes, variety of the menu and stunning decor in my opinion, make The Wavendon Arms the perfect destination for a special evening out.
It is certainly somewhere I look forward to visiting for the new social aspects The Wavendon Arms has to offer and perhaps to try out a few more cocktails! As one of a few village pubs in Milton Keynes located near me, I will be able to bike over to really make the most of it!
I hope you enjoyed reading my review of The Wavendon Arms Milton Keynes and helped you decide what to order from the new social dining menu. I have provided the website details and information on how you can find your nearest Premium Country Pubs Collection below:
Fancy dining at The Wavendon Arms? Head on over to The Wavendon Arms website to check out the new menu and book your table (click here.)
Looking for the best pubs in Milton Keynes or inspiration for somewhere new to dine in and around Milton Keynes? Check out my other Milton Keynes Food Reviews or click sample links below: