Located in the small village of Hunsdon, just five minutes’ drive north of Harlow, The Fox & Hounds is a family-friendly gastropub known for its imaginative food and convivial atmosphere. The pub’s setting within the pretty Hertfordshire countryside makes it a popular spot for weekend drinking and dining among locals and visitors alike, particularly when the weather is fine.
The Fox & Hounds is owned by head chef James Rix and his wife, Bianca, who is in charge of the front of house. James previously worked alongside Gary Rhodes and was head chef at Tom Conran’s The Cow in Notting Hill prior to taking over the kitchen at The Fox & Hounds in 2004. The pair worked hard to restore the building, which is decorated in shades of blue and grey, and softened by rustic wooden tables and chairs, ambient lighting and gilt-framed mirrors and portraits. The pub also sports a wood-burning stove for cosy winter days and a pretty garden for alfresco drinking and dining during the warmer months.
The modern European menu changes with the seasons but favours rustic Italian and French flavours. The food is simple, but sophisticated, meaning you’re likely to encounter dishes such as pappardelle with a braised partridge and pancetta ragout, braised pigs cheeks with chorizo, greens and mashed potatoes or duck breast served with a duck fat potato cake, red cabbage and wild mushrooms. The kitchen also offers steaks, whole fish and seafood cooked in its Josper oven and vegetarians get a look in with mains such as pumpkin ravioli, spinach, sage butter and parmesan.
On Thursdays and Fridays, the pub serves Adnams beer-battered fish and chips to eat in or take away, and on Sundays whole ribs of beef are cooked in the Josper oven for a roast lunch. Drinks include all the usuals, from beers to wine, spirits and softs.