It’s hard to find a decent dog-friendly breakfast venue in Milton Keynes. Even harder to find one with a view. But venture 15 minutes out, The Navigation Inn in Cosgrove is where your search ends.
Dating back to 1822, this Victorian inn at Thrupp Wharf has been carefully restored and extended to create one of the best dining options Milton Keynes has to offer – all the way from breakfast through to dinner. Overlooking the Grand Union Canal and surrounding countryside, it also offers spectacular views to enjoy.
I find an open kitchen a good sign of fresh food and competent kitchen staff, and it’s no different at The Navigation Inn. On offer is a wide range of freshly prepared Mediterranean-inspired served daily from 8am.
With high ceilings, timber beams and exposed brickwork, the interior is cosy, but minimally so – and unless you’re tucked away in the bar area, you can enjoy the views from pretty much anywhere inside. In good weather though, just head on to the terrace or the picnic tables in the lush garden.
We started out in the bar area, arriving early in the morning while it was still a little too chilly to sit outside. With Doodles in tow, the bar area it was.
What makes dining at The Navigation Inn a much more pleasant experience when you’re accompanied by your pooch is that, unlike many other pubs in and around Milton Keynes, you don’t feel as segregated from the rest of the action. It was quiet in the bar area but we had a good view of the restaurant.
As for breakfast, of course it was the full English for me while Mr. O opted for a sausage brioche bun. While the food was definitely fresh and succulent, I was not a huge fan of the overly crisp bacon and the greasy hash browns. Also while the first cup of mocha was a delight, I may have got second degree burns from the second cup which proved scorching hot.
With breakfast over and the sun out in all its glory, we moved to the terrace for drinks. This is where you truly appreciate the beauty of the surroundings. As the lunch crowd started flocking shortly after 11.30, we realised just how popular a hub The Navigation Inn is. Fortunately, with bags of space inside and out and seating for 80, it never feels packed.
Seeing diners slowly take up the seats on the terrace, the patio and the garden, we couldn’t help but think just how much fun it would be to visit again in summer. As we took our leave, we were sure it wasn’t a ‘goodbye’ but a ‘see you soon’. Probably with Doodles in tow and before rush hour so we can get the best table on the terrace.
Thrupp Wharf, Station Road, Cosgrove, MK19 7BE
T – 01908 926270