England is a great place for a variety of different food options, but one I’ll never get bored of is the traditional British pub. Pubs are ingrained into our culture, and there’s nothing quite like sitting in a beer garden on a sunny afternoon, eating cosy food and watching the world go by.
After a busy morning at Hollow Trees Farm during half-term week I was treated to a pub lunch at Hare And Hounds in East Bergholt, a beautiful village over the county border but still not far from me. There are several pubs in the village but we were drawn to this one for its large open garden and traditional feel. Also we were starving, and that will always be fixed when you’re dining in a pub!
Hare And Hounds offers a good range of beers and ales and a rather large food menu – it took us so long to order because of the amount of choice! There was lots of traditional British pub food but also other cuisines such as Italian and Indian. Lighter meals are available such as sandwiches but also full meals and desserts,all at reasonable prices. I was initially stuck on which ale to go for so the woman serving gave me generous tasters of each so I could choose which was a great gesture, and one that I haven’t experienced in many places before. In the end I went for Woodforde’s Wherry, a zesty amber ale that turned out to be an excellent choice.
For the main meal there were six of us and we ordered a range of different things – three Hunter’s chicken burgers and chips, lasagne, sausage and chips for the child, and I went for the seafood platter. The children’s menu was good and incorporated several child-friendly dishes, each served with chips and onion rings in a basket and a good portion size. The food we received was great as well – the lasagne in particular was beautifully presented, and adult portion sizes were perfect for those wanting a hearty meal to devour.
The seafood platter I ordered consisted of four varieties of seafood – whitefish, squid, prawns, and scallops – each deep fried and served with chips, peas, and salad. I’d actually gone for the seafood platter thinking it was the lighter option but luckily I’d become hungrier by the time it arrived as it was huge! It was really good though – the seafood was full of flavour and the chips were beautifully made. I’d order it again if I went back, and I was also quite enticed by the Hunter’s chicken burgers that the rest of my family ordered, who all said they really enjoyed the meal.
That day just happened to be the hottest day of the year so far so we decided to eat our meal in the garden, which was lovely. Inside looked like a nice space to dine as well but it was quite small and already fairly full. Sitting outside was wonderful though – the pub has seating both in the shade and in the sun and there’s plenty of benches which are nicely spread out to avoid overcrowding. There wasn’t a play area but the stepdaughter was entertained enough playing It with such a large space to run around in, and for the adults there was a pool table inside for entertainment. Facilities were generally very well-kept and I liked the bathroom décor in particular which was much more modern than I was expecting (if you’ve been to a lot of traditional British pubs then you’ll understand why).
I found dining at Hare And Hounds a really good visit overall and have no complaints – the staff were really friendly and there was a lovely atmosphere inside, with locals chipping into our conversation as well. I’d gladly go back, and I’d love to experience the pub as a drinking-focused location as well as eating as they had a good alcohol selection and I’d like to try a few more of their ales. If you’re in Suffolk and looking for somewhere to eat then I’d recommend you consider Hare And Hounds – there was no need to book and the experience was completely stress-free, making it the perfect bank holiday or summer afternoon treat.
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