Harlestone has always held special memories for me having spent many a Sunday afternoon running around in the woods on long family walks followed by a Gallones ice cream from the van over the road.
I must have driven past the Fox & Hounds in Lower Harlestone hundreds of times, yet I’ve rarely been inside.
We went for a meal once but didn’t have a great experience. However in recent years I’d heard good things about the pub and thought it was about time to give it another go.
From the main road, winding through the small village, the Fox & Hounds looks incredibly cosy.
The outside lighting is very inviting and is enough to draw in you on a cold November’s evening.
The pub has the wow factor as soon as you walk through the door. The decor is modern and warm with cosy inglenooks, open log fires and rustic touches including hunting cushions and pheasant artwork.
The staff were very welcoming and we chatted to the woman behind the bar about what kind of wine we’d like.
We opted for a lovely chilled glass of Romanian white on her recommendation and a glass of red Cabernet Sauvignon.
We took our wine and had a good read of the menu on one of the sofas in the bar area.
It was hard to choose what we wanted because it all sounded very appetising.
As well as the seasonal dinner menu there were also daily specials from “the land and sea”.
We narrowed it down and were shown to our table in the restaurant where there was another log fire on the go and a relaxed atmosphere.
The staff couldn’t have been more attentive and gave us everything we needed quickly and with a smile, even stopping for little chats along the way.
For starters I had the heirloom tomato tart with creamed goat’s cheese and fried basil.
The flavours were beautiful and included red onion and pesto around the edge. The only slight niggle was the pastry was a bit soggy.
My husband chose the salt and szechaun pepper squid with cucumber ribbons and garlic aioli.
Again the flavours were superb and the quality of the squid was very good, topped off with the flavoursome aioli.
The starters were impressive so we were eagerly awaiting our mains which promptly arrived at our table.
I had king prawn, crab and chorizo linguine with tomato, garlic and chilli.
There was a small and large option so I went for the smaller portion because I always end up leaving large pasta dishes in other restaurants due to the volume.
The portion size was perfect and there was plenty of prawn and chorizo, rather than it just being bulked out with pasta. Delicious!
My husband chose the garlic and buttermilk battered halloumi with twice-cooked chunky chips, homemade pea purée and tartare sauce.
He loved it and the halloumi wasn’t really salty like it can often be.
Perfectly cooked and could be described as posh pub grub with a twist.
I was tempted by a treacle tart for pudding but they’d sold out which was probably for the best as we were very full.
We were very impressed with everything about the Fox & Hounds and will definitely be heading back to sample more of it.
DISABLED ACCESS: Good
COST OF OUR MEAL: £54.10 (including drinks)
ALICE’S STAR RATING: 9/10
Telephone: 01604 821251