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Hare and Hounds, Crowton
How it rated
Quality of service faultless
Value for money good
Ambience homely and welcoming
Speed of service just right
Quality of food excellent
A WARM welcome and a mouth-wateringly flavoursome feast sum up my experience at a country pub near Northwich perfectly.
My companion and I arrived 10 minutes before dining started on a balmy Thursday evening and were soon ensconced in the cool pub garden where we could make a start on the epic task of reading the menu.Gina Bebbington
The Hare and Hounds, in Crowton, has an excellent reputation that proved to be very well deserved when I visited the Station Road establishment.
My companion and I arrived 10 minutes before dining started on a balmy Thursday evening and were soon ensconced in the cool pub garden where we could make a start on the epic task of reading the menu.
The choice was vast and even I, a notoriously fussy eater (I don't like cheese, which causes all kinds of problems with menus), was spoilt for choice in both the starter and main course departments.
In the end, I opted for a starter of fried tomato and basil on toast and a sumptuous main course of minted lamb shoulder in a redcurrant sauce.
The portion size was fantastic and provided plenty to get your teeth into and each plate was beautifully presented.
My starter was made up of triangles of toast with plenty of juicy tomatoes that combined perfectly with that distinctive and delicious basil flavour.
My companion chose smoked salmon served with salad, bread and butter for her starter, which she thoroughly enjoyed - I sampled some too and half wondered if I'd made the wrong choice, because it was very enjoyable.
I was worried that such a tasty starter would be a hard act to follow but my fears were completely in vain.
My shoulder of lamb, with plenty of meat just falling off the bone, arrived smothered in a beautiful redcurrant sauce, which honestly makes my mouth water just remembering it, and plenty of side dishes of potatoes and seasonal vegetables.
However, the veg selection included (horror of horrors) cauliflower cheese!
Even the smell of cheese is enough to make my stomach wobbly but the waiter understood our predicament and took the offending dish away, reappearing just moments later to ask if we would like some cauliflower without cheese.
We said we would and were soon served with a side dish of the vegetable cooked and seasoned to perfection.
My companion tackled lemon chicken in a creamy lemon sauce for her main course, which she thoroughly enjoyed.
For dessert (why not?) we both tucked into a roulade - I chose a refreshing lemon roulade while my companion (who had had her fill of lemon by this point) went for chocolate.
The bill for our three courses came to about £45, with the starters costing about £5 each, the mains about £13 and the desserts just under £4 each.
I would highly recommend the Hare and Hounds for the excellent quality of food, impressive service, which was friendly and perfectly paced, and the lovely homely atmosphere of the dining room.
An evening of culinary enjoyment that was worth every penny.