Friday, 10 July 2015

THE HARE AND HOUNDS - Stoughton




We've known of this pub for some time, in fact my Dad's even been here, but I hadn't. We'd first spotted it after a trip to The Barley Mow in Walderton, and it's been on the list of pubs to visit ever since. Well today we did it. It was my turn to choose where would go, and since it was such a beautiful day, I fancied a country pub where we could sit out and enjoy the best of British countryside.
There's plenty of seating outside, making it a perfect good weather pub. We ventured inside and grabbed drinks and menus from an olde world bar, always makes me think about Hobbits, then back out to nab a big round wooden table all to ourselves.


The menu was just the right size with plenty on there to suit most tastes. Dad went for gammon, egg and chips and I went for half a smoked chicken. Half a chicken can often be a bit of a nothing meal, it is what it is, but I was intrigued by the smoke factor. Said chook was accompanied by skinny chips, I shan't say fries, salad and aioli.
On such a perfect day in such idyllic surroundings, we didn't really care how long the food took to come out. I had a sense of "Last of the Summer wines" as we sat chatting and sipping on our cold drinks.


After precisely the right amount of time, our food was delivered and lovingly placed before us, along with the old standard, "Can I get you any sauces with that?" If you're interested in that sort of thing Dad had ketchup and I was fine with my aioli. fitting with the rest of the day, the food was just right, perhaps we inadvertently wandered in to a Goldilocks parallel universe. If we did, I recommend you visit at your earliest convenience. The smoke flavour of the chicken was subtle, but it was there and the chips were of a good quality and bountiful in number. Dad was happy to be served up a proper peace of ham, and to keep things interesting, his meat was sent out with thick cut chips. Even in The Goldilocks universe variety is the spice of life.


When I had finally worked my way through my chip mountain, we were loathed to leave, such was the perfection of the moment, but eventually, leave we did. This leads well in to the most important of questions which must be asked upon departure. Would we go back? The answer is an uniquivicable yes, but, and there is a but. If the sun was shining I would be happy to sit outside The Hare and Hounds at every opertunity, but I can't help feeling it wouldn't be such a magical experience if the rain was falling and the wind blowing. I'm confident it would still be wonderful, but it would be hard to equal the events of Friday 10th July. Incidentally, when my Dad visited last year it was in fact raining so they were forced to sit inside. It was a Sunday and he is prepared to vouch that their roasts are also very good indeed.
Final note. The below mark for atmosphere is based on sitting outside on a beautiful day.


Atmosphere   9
Service          9
Food             8
Value            8

Verdict          4*

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