The Hare & Hounds is excess of only a pub with rooms; as an alternative, it looks like a boutique lodge.
Set within the village of Speen, simply off the M4, near the North Wessex Downs Space of Excellent Pure Magnificence, this former teaching inn reopened earlier this 12 months after months of restoration work and now boasts a pub, a stupendous eating room serving scrumptious seasonal native meals, a lined backyard terrace and 30 cosy rooms.
The pub is steeped in historical past and has shut hyperlinks to horse racing, with Newbury racecourse shut by. The equine theme is mirrored all through the lodge; I stayed within the “Bridle suite” within the Hunter’s Lodge, and there are additionally rooms in The Stables and The Paddocks.
Why keep right here?
In the event you’re coming to the racing at Newbury, The Hare & Hounds is the right place to remain. Even if you happen to’re not into racing, it might be an awesome stopover en path to the West Nation, the Cotswolds or the Chilterns. You’ll be able to assure a heat welcome, a snug mattress, nice service and a tasty dinner.
All the ground-floor rooms are dog-friendly and include a canine mattress, bowl and a Bramley canine field, so that you needn’t depart your four-legged good friend behind. Canine are welcome within the pub too, which has canine beds on the prepared in entrance of the wooden burner and canine treats behind the bar.
The good-looking Seventeenth-century Georgian constructing has been fantastically restored together with the outbuildings set across the courtyard automotive park behind it. Suppose Scottish lodge stylish, with tartan wallpaper, tweed banquettes with plump cushions and cushty log burners.
The Barn eating room is a big, ethereal area with uncovered beams and brickwork, and a flagstone ground. There are intelligent nods to its former use, with an previous secure divider used to part off an space. Outdoors, the lined backyard terrace with festoon lights can be an awesome place for a drink on a heat night, and there are patio heaters and sheepskin rugs for if it will get a bit chilly.
The 30 individually designed rooms are comfy and cosy with wool headboards and blankets, velvet chairs, fluffy bathrobes and highly effective showers. Some rooms have roll-top copper bathtubs within the bed room for an indulgent soak and opulent walk-in rainfall showers within the toilet.
Trendy and stylish, the rooms are effectively kitted out with the whole lot from Nespresso espresso machines to Bodum kettles and a few have mini Smeg fridges. There are generous-sized Bramley toiletries and a pillow spray beside the mattress to make sure a wonderful night time’s sleep. All rooms have complimentary wi-fi, Roberts radios and en suite moist rooms.
Consuming and ingesting
Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served within the Barn Eating Room seven days per week and the seasonal a la carte menu champions native suppliers and producers.
I began the night with a rhubarb cocktail within the bar accompanied by some scrumptious crispy lobster arancini with avocado, lime and basil puree. Dinner within the eating room was equally good; pan-seared scallops melted within the mouth, and the spiced monkfish tail with candy potato dahl was really memorable. My eating companion and I couldn’t end the grass-fed Chateaubriand with chervil hollandaise, however the useful workers kindly put the leftovers in a doggy-bag for our spaniel.
The service was impeccable, and with a great stability of quirky dishes and hearty conventional pub classics, like fish and chips burgers and rooster and ham pie, the menu has one thing for everybody. There’s an in depth wine listing and oenophiles will benefit from the enomatic wine dispenser which lets you attempt completely different wines by the glass.
There are additionally two personal eating rooms, seating 12, which might be superb for a particular celebration or company occasion.
Issues to do
Clearly the racing at Newbury is an enormous pull, however there are many different causes to discover the realm surrounding The Hare & Hounds. Downton followers can go to the actual Downton Abbey, Highclere Fortress, the place the sequence was filmed, which is simply ten minutes away. Historical past buffs may benefit from the 14th century Donnington Fortress, which is nearer nonetheless.
The historic market city of Hungerford is a brief drive away and is filled with attention-grabbing vintage retailers in addition to The Gallery Hungerford on Bridge Road, which has an awesome number of artwork. The Funghi Membership in Hungerford is nice for a espresso or gentle lunch, and the educated French proprietor has plenty of tempting goodies on the market, together with a implausible number of porcini mushrooms and French cheese.
And, if you happen to’ve introduced your canine with you, there are many good walks close by together with to Combe Gibbet, from the place you’ll be able to see 5 counties on a transparent day.
The Hare & Hounds, Bathtub Highway, Speen, Newbury, Berkshire, RG14 1QY. Double rooms begin from £125 per night time