The Fox & Hounds, Harlestone, Northampton – Review
The Fox and Hounds in Harlestone holds many fond memories for me, its always been our go-to place for celebrating. There was the one time where I had Duck & Waffle (don’t knock it until you’ve tried it) when it was my 30th Birthday.
Then, a few years later it was the venue where we celebrated our engagement with heaps of food and Prosecco. Therefore, I’m sure you’ll understand when I say that I was absolutely delighted to be invited to preview the stunning new decor and revamped menu.
The Fox and Hounds is nestled in the village of Lower Harlstone, a short drive from the famous Althorp Estate. It’s a venue where you can expect all the charm of a country pub, with a stylish new twist and enough menu options to cater for everyone, including smaller plates for children, plenty of gluten-free options and a whole new dedicated menu for Vegans.
After we had explored the venue and admired the very “Instagram Worthy” decor, it was time to settle down, and deliberate over the menus and extensive wine list.
To start we opted for the following:
STICKY PIG SHARING BOARD – Copper Marans scotch egg & golden beetroot piccalilli, sausage roll & brown sauce topped with seeds, pork belly on smoky creamed corn, crispy pig cheeks, apple sauce & crackling.
TRUFFLED HONEY BAKED CAMEMBERT – With walnuts, sticky fig, rye, and sourdough bread
HOME-MADE SOUP OF THE DAY – Which was carrot and coriander
First and foremost, I need to start with the Sticky Pig Sharing Board, if we were on a famous TV program, perhaps we would refer to this as the “Show Stopper”. A vast wooden tray was placed before us, laden with what I’d describe as the best sausage roll I’ve ever tasted. Each serving was generous, the pork belly and creamed corn were delicious, the crispy pig cheeks surprised us all (in a good way) and I couldn’t wait to devour my share of the giant scotch egg.
Moving on, it’s worth me mentioning that the marriage between baked camembert, the sweetness of figs, and the crunch of walnuts is something that works perfectly. Whilst I’m the first to admit soup might not be the most enticing option, the carrot and coriander soup was flavorsome but not overpowering. Served with plenty of bread to mop up every last bite.
For the main event:
WEST COUNTRY STEAKS -(21 Day aged) Served with twice-cooked chunky chips, our signature caramelized onion, stilton & panko crumb tart, confit tomato, and parsley butter.
ROTISSERIE STICKY GLAZED PORK BELLY – Outdoor-reared heritage breed Smoky creamed corn, roasted butternut squash, golden beetroot, cavolo nero mashed potato, red wine jus, and crispy crackling.
PAN-FRIED PUMPKIN GNOCCHI – Roasted butternut squash, wild mushrooms, sage butter, amaretti biscuit crumb, and goats’ cheese.
After devouring a generous feast of pork, cheese, and bread, we somehow found room for a pub classic, superbly tender steaks, served with twice-cooked chips. The Fox and Hounds serve The West Country PGI status beef, derived from prime steer heifer cattle. It has been carefully selected for its consistency, producing steaks of excellent flavor and succulence
I found myself wishing that I was able to recreate the pan-fried pumpkin gnocchi at home. I’m a huge fan of sweet and salty, although it can be tricky to get this “Just right“. The amaretti biscuit crumb and the goat’s cheese added what I’d describe as the ideal amount of salty/sweet tang. Whilst I didn’t try any, I understand that the sticky glazed pork belly, served with rich creamy mash potato, butternut squash, and crisp crackling was just as enjoyable.
Somehow, despite working our way through two hugely satisfying courses, our insatiable appetites led us towards exploring what the mouthwatering desserts had to offer
ICON SHARING DESSERT PLATTER – Three tiers of decadent dessert; blood orange sorbet, passionfruit & caramelized fig, honeycomb ice cream, bruléed banana & fresh berries, blackcurrant mousse & mango coulis, home-baked brownie, French almond macaron & pecan praline ice cream.
MELTING CHOCOLATE & PEANUT BOMB – Sticky toffee pudding, peanut buttercream, ice cream & hot salted caramel sauce.
VANILLA CRÈME BRÛLÉE – With amaretti biscuit.
I’m very sure that I was blessed with a second stomach reserved for dessert, no matter how full I am, somehow I battle on and always find the space. I watched in awe as the huge dessert sharer was placed in front of us, laden with ice creams, rich dark chocolate brownie, berries, and a light whipped mousse.
I’m a self-confessed chocoholic, so naturally, I went for the melting chocolate bomb, filled with peanut butter ice cream, sticky toffee pudding and floating in a pool of hot caramel. G chose one of the lighter options of a small Vanilla Creme Brulee and a hot drink, which is ideal if you fancy something small but sweet to round off the meal.
The interior has been finished to a very high standard, the menu has been carefully considered executed to the tee by the chef staff, and the front of house staff went above and beyond expectation. I can also confirm that Fox and Hounds now serve Afternoon Tea, I can see myself returning again very soon.
You can visit the Fox and Hounds Here: Harlestone Rd, Lower Harlestone, Northampton NN7 4EW
You can book online and view the full array of Menu’s: Here
Disclaimer – I was kindly gifted a meal and drinks in return for an honest review, as always I only recommend venues I genuinely love.