Sunday, 30 January 2011

Fox and Hounds Inn, West Burton

West Burton is a lovely little village in the Yorkshire Dales. It has a large village green, a beautiful waterfall and just the one pub, the Fox and Hounds. Tourist trade is obviously crucial to business in these parts, and in deepest, darkest January it wasn't exactly roaring. Pints of Copper Dragon Best were not a great start, smelling and tasting ok but staying resolutely cloudy to the finish. The unsmiling welcome from behind the bar didn't exactly help the atmosphere either. Things improved as a few more punters came in and we switched to much better pints of Black Sheep Best.

By the time hunger set in we were fairly well lubricated and the menu of sturdy looking pub grub looked appetising. What arrived ranged from the tasty and homemade to the bland and fresh from the freezer. My cumberland sausage, yorkshire pudding, chips, peas and gravy (about £8) was average at best. The sausage was a good meaty specimen but everything else seemed to be from the freezer camp. And the gravy was too runny.

Sausage, yorkshire, chips, peas, gravy

Chicken curry (yes with half rice half chips)

Some of my mates fared better, chicken curry and steak & kidney pie were both good, flavoursome and definitely cooked in-house. Puddings were all decent too, I couldn't fault the sticky toffee.

Sticky toffee pudding (half eaten, couldn't wait)

No other tables were occupied in the dining room for the duration of our meal. There were 6 of us, enough to create our own atmosphere but it would otherwise have been rather peculiar as we were regaled throughout by compulsory classical hits from Radio 3. The stereo next to our table was accompanied by this sign:

Weird?! Do they have very sensitive clientele at the Fox and Hounds? Is it a bolthole for spies, oligarchs and Hollywood celebs whose business must be kept from the prying ears of the general public? God knows but it's definitely one of the more unusual notices to be found in a pub dining room.

In summary, I didn't quite know what to make of the Fox & Hounds. There were some good things (some of the food and beer, the puddings, the setting) but plenty of bad (some of the food and beer, surly staff, weird signs). Maybe it would be better in summer...


Fox and Hounds Inn
West Burton
North Yorkshire


Lester Fontayne said...

Sounds grim. If you're in the area again I'd recommend either The Wensleydale Heiffer or The Streethead Inn, both of which are about 5mins drive from West Burton.

Dave said...

Thanks Lester. Heard good things about the Heifer, will have to check out The Streethead too...

chriscross said...

Glad to have found somewhere to post some comments. My sister and I booked a twin room - they confirmed in writing. Got there to be given a double - the owner's answer to this was to squeeze in a Zed-bed, which provided a rough night's sleep. Notices everywhere - one in the "new" shower told you to be careful with the door because regular "mis-use" by customers resulted in it falling off a lot! (It was a simple sliding door - God knows what people found to do with it.) Another notice told us not to open or shut the window because of house-martins nesting! I think they were more welcome than us! On paying in the morning the owner made no attempt to reduce the bill until I suggested it was a bit steep to expect me to pay full whack to sleep on a put-u-up bed and that youth hostels had provided me with more comfort in the past. He finally grudgingly agreed to reduce by £15 after haggling. Then he reminded me that I'd had the use of a £3000 shower!!! Well, he was robbed and should have got his builders back. One to be avoided in future.

Dave said...

Thanks for commenting chriscross. Weird place. Putting notices all over the place telling you not to do things is not how to run a pub with rooms.

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