Love Your Local: Fox and Hounds in Denmead going from strength to strength

Fox & Hounds landlord Stephen Pratt
Fox & Hounds landlord Stephen Pratt
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Many pubs are seeking to become different in a bid keep up with the times and attract more trade.

But the Fox & Hounds pub in Denmead is proud to offer something traditional as well as a modern environment.

The local was saved from development last year after the community pulled together to raise £300,000 to keep it going.

Landlords Angie Ryan and Stephen Pratt have since set about restoring the pub, bringing it up to date while keeping a vintage look.

It’s been kitted out with classic-looking furniture and other bric-a-brac has been added to add to the warm atmosphere.

And the days of the pub solely serving beer are over as there’s a restaurant.

Proud Angie said: ‘We’re rapidly gaining a high reputation for superb food and use predominantly locally-sourced seasonal produce delivered daily.

‘We have our own vegetable and herb garden to serve the kitchen, which our chefs love to use and our customers appreciate it too.

‘Everyone, be it person or pet, has a welcome place as well.’

Keen dog lovers, the staff encourage dog walkers, as well as cyclists, local organisations, and anyone else who fancies a pint or some lunch to visit them, offering activities for children and biscuits for the pets.

Angie added: ‘Whoever said that progression has to destroy tradition?

‘When the old mixes with the new, something truly unique is the result.’

The pub has been given £50,000 from the Bridging The Gap scheme, which is managed by the Solent Local Enterprise partnership and was set up in conjunction with The News, 
to support fledgling businesses.

There’s a healthy stock of local real ale on offer, as the nation grows more fond of home-grown beers as opposed to national brands.

Spirits, fine wines and malt whiskies are also available.

Research released to mark the launch of the Campaign for Real Ale’s 2016 Good Beer Guide shows that, of the UK’s 53,444 pubs, 37,356 now serve real ale, equivalent to 70 per cent.

The figure was a third of that when the book – which recommends the best pubs to visit across Britain – was first published in 1975.

And the number of UK breweries has increased by over 10 per cent for the third consecutive year, bringing a huge increase in the choice and availability of cask beer to drinkers.

A total of 204 new breweries have opened in 12 months, taking the total 1,424 – the highest since the 1930s-1940s.