Ladies who lunch – The Fox & Hounds, Great Moulton

Alice and I pulled into the car park and surveyed the place. A quaint 16th-century white party tent is permanently situated within the grounds for parties, weddings and other occasions, such as the Summer Festival, which reputedly attracted almost 750 guests.

The words ‘Traditional Village Pub’ encompasses many things ranging from ye olde ales to roaring fires and dartboards. Beams and low ceilings are what to expect in this 16th-century village pub, which is stocked with real ales on tap and a range of multi-coloured bottles behind the bar.

In the bar was a group of ladies awaiting lunch. A sign said ‘Well-behaved dogs on leads are welcome’ and a relaxed black and white dog had brought his man to check that it was, in fact, the case.

I had booked a table for two and we were offered one in the bar, or in the dining room – we chose the latter and took our drinks through. I couldn’t resist the Southwold ale from Adnams and Alice chose a white wine spritzer.

I decided on a pasta dish; linguini with mushrooms and spinach smothered in the creamiest sauce possible. The menu contains several vegetarian options as well as fish and chips, sausage and mash, lamb shank and chicken. Alice chose the vegetarian chilli with rice, tortilla chips, cheese, sour cream and a serving of guacamole. Both meals were generously sized and consumed at leisure. Alice thought that there were perhaps too many tortilla chips, but enjoyed the rest of the meal; I just ate everything. Pasta and a clean white shirt is not a good combination, but somehow I managed to remain dribble free.

Puddings are listed on a blackboard and included some sleep-inducing favourites such as sticky toffee pudding, cheesecake, and half a dozen others including at least one gluten-free option. I chose to increase the calorie load by having a delicious brownie with ice cream and a dreamy chocolate sauce filling the rest of the plate: exit my clean white shirt as the sauce slithered from the spoon. The brownie was hunky, crisp on the top, and soft in the middle; the ice cream was rich and creamy, unlike some watery offerings I have endured.

Alice chose the whiskey crème brûlée which came with raspberry sorbet and a ginger biscuit made with oats and a sober amount of ginger. It was extravagantly rich. We simply didn’t have room for coffee.

Service here was welcoming and timely, although the food – being homemade and cooked to order – took a while, it was well worth it. The reputation of this place is growing, and deservedly so.

Incidentally, they also do a special OAP menu on Thursday lunchtime from 12-2.30pm with 3 courses for £10 or 2 for £8. The interior doors are all wheelchair accessible and there will always be someone around to lend a hand.

Final verdict? Welcoming, helpful and really excellent food.

The Fox & Hounds
Frith Way
Great Moulton
NR15 2HE

01379 677506

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