FINGERS crossed, the summer weather will be kind to us and we'll be dining al fresco well into the evening.
Certainly, at The Royal Oak in Cogenhoe, the focus will definitely be outdoors on Friday evenings from this month, when the outdoor pizza oven is fired up for Pizza Night.
A range of freshly cooked, traditional pizzas will be on offer - to enjoy outside in the garden and outdoor seating area or, if the elements are not so kind, in the pub's stylish and contemporary restaurant and bar.
It's all part of The Royal Oak's relaxed and traditional approach - something that played a major part in it being a finalist in Food Pub of the Year category at the Carlsberg UK Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards last year.
Pizza Night is likely to appeal to families and groups of friends, and the full menu is available alongside pizza for those who want it. New arrivals on the menu for summer include the starter Italian burrata salad with melon and a hint of chilli and for dessert, roasted peach and Amaretto muddle with a hint of raspberry. Among the main courses, perfect for summer, is salmon and roasted pepper tray bake, and spring Barnsley chops with a mint marinade.
The bar has a good stock of well-kept ales and there's a wide selection of wines and spirits.
Popular any time of year, but another special treat outdoors if the sun is shining, is vintage afternoon tea. The sumptuous spread, served on traditional china, is proving popular for baby showers, hen nights or simply groups of friends enjoying an afternoon together.
Find out more at www.theroyaloaknorthampton.co.uk or call 01604 890922 for details and bookings.