THE HARE and Hounds at wonderful Bowland Bridge has been a stalwart favourite for many for years – it's all the more surprising therefore that it has taken this reviewer 30 years to actually step over its welcoming threshold.Now a main entry in the 2012 Good Pub Guide, my faithful friend and I were drawn to this hostelry after a quick pint on the way at the famously glorious Masons' Arms on Strawberry Bank (a familiar favourite) which imperiously overlooks the valley and H and H.
And yet this is not to do down the Hare and Hounds; despite being in such close proximity, the latter has a totally different if nonetheless welcoming style and feel to the much-loved Masons.
The bar and restaurant area is modern and welcoming, the staff are courteous and helpful; the décor is a fine mix between country tradition and town wine bar feel; the tables are both intimate and rangey by turns.
The H and H has been refurbished recently to create an eclectic mix of old and new, with old pine and black slate floors and roaring log fires creating a relaxed and informal atmosphere. In summer months, guests can enjoy a beer or glass of wine on the terrace or in the beer garden which bask in the evening sun.
I enjoyed a stylish fish and chips with mushy peas and my guest had a lovely black pudding gateau style dish for a starter and a square of steak and ale pie in rich gravy for mains. Hot pots are also popular and a variety of seasonally changing dishes.
Chatting to a couple who had just sold a flat in Notting Hill Gate for a substantial six figure sum, we couldn’t help feel they had made the right choice swapping the metro-chic of the capital, for their new locale not far from the H and H. Jeremy Paxman might not be your neighbour, and other luminaries, but in such lovely surrounds, who cares?
The bar is open all day every day and food times vary; the new owners at this charming pub deserve every success; well worth the 30 year wait. Some bijou rooms are also available.