The Hare and Hounds has had a troubled time in recent years, having closed for a while following the ill-fated “Cheerful Soul” established by the winners of Raymond Blanc’s “The Restaurant” TV show. Nice enough food, a bit pricey was our view at the time – but in any case the place closed after a year – leaving a wonderful traditional 16th Century building empty.
We were happy to hear it was reopening, and even happier when we found out the owner was Anthony Burnham who has made such a success of the his other gastro-pub in Marlow – The Two Brewers. Time to find out if he could transfer that successful formula over…..
We visited on a Friday evening, and on entering there was already a good atmosphere around the front bar, and it was tempting to stay there rather than move through to the table… so we did, for a pint of Rebellion. The bar staff were very friendly and we had a chat with general manager Sophie.
Its worth adding at this point that we found this friendliness extended throughout our meal from the serving team – they all seem to enjoy working there!
The menu had sufficient choice without endless variations on a theme. There were 9 mains to choose from – perfect for me since i usually lose interest once the choice gets beyond 10! A copy of the menu can be found on their website .
Our first choice of starter was seared scallops with black pudding (£8.50) This dish was particularly attractive in presentation as can be seen from the photo. A classic combination of flavours that I would happily order again.
Soup of the day was cauliflower(£4.95) which was very tasty indeed.
The first of our mains was Pork Tenderloin, Streaky Bacon, Creamed Mustard Cabbage and Pommes Anna (£17.95)- the whole meal tasted great and looked it too. The bacon had a really “pork scratching” taste – I assume it was fried in pork fat perhaps- which was fantastic!
Our other main course was Pan fried calves liver, pommes puree and garlic jus. (£18.50) This also came with caramelised onions – and was delicious! You might want to ask for some separate veg if you feel the need to have some greenery with this meal, since by default it had none.
There’s fun to be had with the desserts, we picked two of the more playful items.
First up was Deconstructed Tiramisu (£6), taking the ingredients of the classic dessert apart, and presenting them in a different way -the fun is in identifying each element, so give it a try!
We also had the Special Miniature Ice Cream Cones at £6.95. You can see from the picture how these arrived – what a great presentation, and probably more important- good quality ice cream containing big tasty chunks and sauce.
To go with this there is a really comprehensive wine list- of around 50 wines with more than 20 available by the glass including the fizzy stuff. We enjoyed La Marca Prosecco at £5.50 a glass (or £19.95 a bottle), which at that price doesn’t need the excuse of a special occasion to enjoy. I also sampled a glass of Pinot Grigio rose and a Rioja… all in the name of reviewing of course!
In summary, Marlow now has another great gastro-pub in the Hare and Hounds. A lot of thought has gone into the interior layout, the menu, the extensive beer and wine choices – and it all comes together really well. We would certainly recommend you giver it a try. Keep an eye out for special events that are being planned too, we’ll make sure to keep you up to date on these as they happen.
The Hare and Hounds, Henley Road, Marlow, Buckinghamshire SL7 2DF – Telephone 01628 483343
Food Serving Times: Monday – Friday 12pm to 3pm & 6.30pm to 9.30pm / Saturday: 12pm to 10pm / Sunday: 12pm to 9pm