Hare & Hounds Newbury deserves a round of a-paws

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Inside the 17th-century Georgian Hare & Hounds, located in Bath Road, Speen, you’ll find a pub serving your traditional English pub tipples, as well as cocktails; a restaurant offering an a la carte menu, Saturday brunch and Sunday lunch, and 30 boutique bedrooms named after the equestrian world and historic dignitaries (some with rolltop bathtubs). Best of all you can bring along your four-legged friend.

Myself, my sister and her shiba inu stayed in a dog-friendly room during our stay, which was beautifully finished with contemporary countryside-inspired interiors with nods to the local area – and the room screamed dog-friendly.

There was tasteful wallpaper featuring silhouettes of hounds as well as small portraits above the bed, a hook on the wall in the shape of a dog’s backside to hang things on, and Suki (the shiba inu) was greeted with a dog bed, cosy blanket and a little pot of treats.

Don’t worry, the little details haven’t been spared for the dog.

Owners can find a good selection of toiletries by Bramley in the bathroom, bottles of sparkling and still water, as well as alcohol in a decanter, a coffee machine and pods, a large flat screen TV, a retro radio and pillow spray for a good night’s sleep.

Hare & Hounds recommends a field nearby if you want to take your dog for a short walk, Newbury town centre is about a 30 minute walk away, and Highclere Castle is just a five mile drive away.

But for us, the best part of the stay was the food and super friendly service. We arrived on a Sunday and the restaurant was bustling, presumably with locals looking to enjoy Sunday lunch, and we quickly realised what all the fuss was about.

There’s a wide offering on the Sunday Roast menu. On the winter Sunday roast menu there were the likes of crispy lobster arancini and Sussex Charmer cheese souffle for starters.

Brick Lane grilled seabass fillet and parsnip and pecorino risotto were on offer among the ‘classic’ mains.

And then there’s an array of roasts; two types of beef, dry aged rump cap of British beef or 28 day aged sirloin of British beef, two types of pork, roast loin of English pork or roast porchetta of Suffolk pork, balloting of Norfolk turkey, rosemary roasted leg of West Country lamb and salt baked celeriac steak, sunflower seed and tarragon crumb – I’ve personally never seen a roast menu like it.

The sirloin roast, served with a humongous Yorkshire pudding, winter greens, braised red cabbage, roast roots and smoked beef fat roast potatoes and gravy comes highly recommended – a side of cauliflower cheese also doesn’t hurt.

The main restaurant at Hare & Hounds isn’t dog friendly, but the bar area is. While eating in the bar area lacks the atmosphere of the restaurant, cosying up to the double sided fireplace in the bar area on a cold and wet Autumn day makes up for it.

Special mention to Damien, the restaurant manager, who made our meal that bit more special with his great service. He kept the fire stoked for us, kept making sure we had everything we needed.

While we joked the only thing missing was a crane to lift us back to our room after eating too much, I have no doubt if we were being serious he would have made it happen.

Hare & Hounds lead rate is £125 per night B&B. To book, visit https://www.hareandhoundsnewbury.co.uk/

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