WHAT WE OR­DERED

Berkshire Life - - Pub Review -

We came home from The Fox and Hounds with our tail be­tween our legs. Tak­ing a pooch there is not oblig­a­tory, but we are talk­ing about a hostelry which can rightly claim to be Great Bri­tain’s dog friendli­est pub, hav­ing won nu­mer­ous awards for just that.

But we, self­ishly, had left our lit­tle old lady snooz­ing in her bas­ket. We crept off to lunch, let­ting sleep­ing dogs lie. If that’s our shame then it’s shared by many of the hu­man cus­tomers en­joy­ing this fan­tas­tic pub in a lovely spot.

Ev­ery dog has his or her day, so we can al­ways go back, com­bin­ing the visit per­haps with a walk around the Hose­hill Lake na­ture re­serve just across the way.

If peo­ple could wag their tails we would. This is a happy place with staff who clearly love to work there and guests en­joy­ing a drink, de­li­cious food or even a dog bis­cuit if their own­ers are kin­der than us. Ladies who lunch, those out for a jaunt and the lucky ones who have this as their ‘lo­cal’ were all mak­ing the most of their visit.

Land­lady Jayne Til­s­ley told us about the nearby char­i­ties the pub has sup­ported over the years – and in­tro­duced us to her part­ner Miles Teece, who had nipped out from the kitchen. Then she set off to walk her own dogs. We tried not to think of our own miss­ing four-legged friend.

Any­way, the de­li­cious food took our minds off that. Big por­tions of su­perb pub grub in­cluded pies like steak and Stil­ton, usu­ally served with creamy mashed potato and but­tered sea­sonal greens (£13.50), al­though we swapped the mash for chips.

Veg­e­tar­i­ans will love the pan­fried hal­loumi with chick­peas and salad in a lime and chilli dress­ing (£12). This is a Wadsworth pub so you can ex­pect ex­cel­lent food and ser­vice, and it was. Home­made soup with

rus­tic bread Short­crust pas­try pie of

the day with veg

We made just two mis­takes. The first was to go for starters.

De­li­cious as they were, it meant that by the time we’d got through most of those mains we had no room for pud­dings, and could see the tempt­ing op­tions be­ing served at other ta­bles. If only we were Labradors which can al­ways find space for an ex­tra treat. The sec­ond er­ror was not to ask for a doggy bag to take home and share with the perky lit­tle lady greet­ing us with a happy dance on our re­turn.

Oh the shame!

The Fox and Hounds Sta­tion Road, Theale, RG7 4BE

01189 302295 foxand­hound­stheale.co.uk They have some fan­tas­tic events planned all the way up to Christ­mas and be­yond, so

do visit the web­site.

Big pies, ooz­ing flavour, are a pop­u­lar choice

Jayne Til­s­ley, dog walkerand pub land­lady

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