Saturday, 27 May 2017

Hare and Hounds, Vale of Glamorgan restaurant review 2017

I had no intention of blogging about my most recent visit to the Hare & Hounds.

I’ve already been as gushing I can be about this Vale of Glamorgan country pub here and here.

But, I can’t resist sharing some more love for their ingredient led, seasonal cooking.

There are no foams, smears, spherifications or other gimmicks; just flavour packed, technically accomplished, simply presented food that’s served by a knowledgeable and friendly front of house team.

This time we visited for the Spring tasting menu evening where seven courses, a glass of fizz and extras cost £55 a head. But, you can have the tasting menu anytime if you pre-order.

A glass of prosecco was fragranced with a light strawberry syrup.

Snacks comprised of a light and fresh asparagus soup with ricotta, airy Hafod cheddar gougeres and super short and rich cheese biscuits. 

Oysters are a mainstay at the Hare and Hounds but this is the first time I’ve ever eaten them cooked. The pairing of briney beer-battered molluscs and smoky romesco sauce was a big success.

Bread was as good as ever - a burnished complex wholemeal sourdough and cheese-twanged focaccia were served with creamy home-cultured butter. 

Next up came one of the standouts of the night. The shortest of pasty cases cradled silky bechamel sauce studded with Wye Valley asparagus and turbo-charged with savoury Hafod cheddar. 

A runny confit egg yolk dialled up the indulgence of the plate even further. 

A copper-coloured lobster and crab bisque, heady with the earthy intensity of brown meat and liquorice twang of tarragon, nestled a dainty raviolo filled with sweet lobster and crab meat and chive. 

I’m not the biggest bresaola fan as it lacks the fatty richness of other cured meats. But, this was the best example I’ve had. Cured in the pub’s cellar for four months, the tender beef was spiced with juniper and pepper. It was elevated by slow-cooked sweet tomatoes, a smoked tomato puree and peppery rocket leaves. 

My favourite dish of the evening comprised of a flaky hake fillet and soft leeks blanketed in a buttery and delicately lemony hollandaise laced with pieces of meaty mussel and fragrant laverbread.

A rack of sweet and tender milk fed Torgelly lamb was joined by a disk of lamb shoulder, a chargrilled asparagus spear, intense wild garlic puree, roasting juices and a richness-balancing sharp mint sauce. 

A fragrant rhubarb granita cleansed the palette before dessert. 

Souffle is another fixture on the menu at Hare and Hounds and with reason; they’re always frigging amazing. The perfectly risen cloud-light pud was fragranced with fresh strawberries. A scoop of uber-creamy vanilla ice cream was plonked into the middle. Oofh.

Petit fours maintained the stonking standard to the last mouthful. A homemade jammy dodger combined the shortest and butteriest of biscuits with tangy jam. A rich chocolate mousse was balanced by a boozy as heck cherry and a crisp biscuit base. 

As you can tell, I love the Hare and Hounds. If you haven't visited yet then I highly recommend pre-ordering the tasting menu.

The details:

Address - Hare & Hounds, Aberthin, Cowbridge CF71 7LG
Web -

Telephone - 01446 774892


  1. 3 star food hygiene rating(generally
    satisfactory) really puts me off. Last tested FEB 2017.

    1. Cannot understand why somewhere that is 'Generally Satisfactory' could bother someone so much.
      Let me point out that I accept there are many places with better scores and for that matter, plenty score worse.
      To get a better view what do things look like when you delve into more detail?

      'Food Hygiene and Safety Rating'
      (Good = High standard of compliance with statutory obligations and industry codes of recommended practice, minor contraventions of food hygiene regulations. Some minor non-compliance with statutory obligations and industry codes of recommended practice.)

      'Structural Compliance'
      (Fair = Some non-compliance with statutory obligations and industry codes of recommended practice. The premises are in the top 50 per cent of premises and standards are being maintained or improved.)

      'Confidence in Management'
      (Some = Satisfactory record of compliance. Access to and use of technical advice either in-house or from trade associations. May have satisfactory documented food safety management system. )

      None of these ratings should set any alarm bells off.

    2. I have to say I agree with Anonymous 2 - 'Generally Satisfactory' and the further details outlined don't worry me at all.