The Hare & Hounds

48 Pickwick Road, Corsham SN13 0HY

01249 701106

Parking: Ample

Wheelchair access: Available


Food: 8/10

Decor: 4/10

Service: 8/10

Choices: 7/10

TripAdvisor rating: 4

THIS pub changed hands in 2018 and is now part of Pub Leisure, a small family-run group with two other local outlets. Managers ​Gemma Ewles and Matt Gale say they have big plans for the future in Corsham, and are upfront online that the fabric of the pub, flagged on TripAdvisor as 'an old coaching inn serving local and guest beers with home-cooked food', is undergoing a thorough refurb under the new regime.

The same is true of the menu, which now offers far more than the 'things with chips' we found before which, while nice enough, weren't very exciting.

We visited on a Sunday looking for a hearty lunch and more than found one, as well as friendly faces and helpful staff.

The menu is the same all week, with the sandwiches replaced on Sundays by roasts, so if you don't want a traditional Sunday lunch you've plenty to go at. There's veggie and vegan options, they can convert some dishes into gluten-free on request and children have their own choices.

We ate in the rear lounge bar/restaurant area, which was child and dog friendly. It is clearly in need of the promised updating decor-wise, but we hope they keep some of the character touches like the etched hounds on the window glazing, although the number of stags heads could do with reducing by about half.

We went for one Sunday Best, offering roast shoulder of lamb or belly pork with roast potatoes, a Yorkshire pudding (who says you can only have them with beef?) and a large pig-in-blanket (£14.95) and one Sunday lunch, where beef, chicken or a veggie option comes with roasties and the Yorkie (£10.95, prices vary according to how many slices of meat you choose).

Both meats were delicious and beautifully cooked, with generous portions. The Yorkies were light and crispy and so were the roasties. Serving the gravy separately, instead of poured on for you, would have stopped both losing their crispy edges quite so quickly.

A dish of veggies offered broccoli, cauliflower cheese, red cabbage which tasted as if it had apple in it and pureed carrot which may well have included a dash of orange.

Portion size was perfect, a good serving each. The cabbage and carrot were smooth and flavoursome while the other two had lots of bite - some people might have found them undercooked but I'd rather have to chew my veg and get its flavour than have it soggy and tasteless.

We finished up with two portions of chocolate and coconut torte, which came with good quality vanilla ice cream (£5.95). I didn't detect much coconut flavour, but who cares, the chocolate was sublime and the base full of crunchy nuggets.

Our meal, with a pint of Doombar and an apple/pear/elderflower soft drink, came to £44.70, great value for such good grub.

Looking at TripAdvisor before we visited there were some negative comments about long waits, as well as the need for a refurb. We ordered and ate in under 90 minutes, which we found perfectly acceptable in a busy establishment, and were served by polite friendly people, who even bothered to double check our bill, because they'd forgotten we'd had two courses. What more can you ask for?