This is the first post in a new series of local pubs in the area. If you are a frequent reader of our blog, you’ll probably know that we’re not strangers to the local drinking establishments. We have many favourites depending on our occasion or event.
We’ve recently ‘discovered’ the Fox and Hounds, Stakes Hill Road in Waterlooville.
About half a mile from the town centre, The Fox and Hounds sits near the roundabout which joins the top of Frendstaple Road with Stakes Hill Road. The pub has a sketchy early history, but records showed that a ‘beer house’ was recorded in the 1851 census. In the early 1930s, the original pub was demolished and a new one was built; the site of the old Fox and Hounds is now front car park (the pub has some pictures on it’s wall of the old pub being demolished).
We first stepped into the Fox and Hounds back in the summer of 2013 and were instantly struck by how friendly everyone was. Run by Sara and Alan, they have worked hard to make this pub, which from what we have heard, had a rather dubious recent history, into a really family-friendly pub. The staff we met on this occasion – Helene, Kelly and Dan were all super-enthusiastic and it is quite obvious that their job is more than ‘just a job’.
Now, onto the pub itself. The interior is large and open-planned and has the look and feel of a regular pub. Although it hasn’t got the trendy make-overs that have swept through many pubs we go to, it certainly doesn’t detract from the warm homely feel it has. You have to remember that, unlike the majority of pubs we go to, the Fox and Hounds is rather unique in the fact that it’s not owned by an umbrella company. Yes, Sara and Alan actually ‘own’ the pub and therefore is not backed by huge investment and crucially it’s is not dictated to from a head office.
There is a pool table, darts, the obligatory jukebox and a lovely, recently refurbished child’s play area and seating outside. Everywhere is clean, and well-looked after. The food choices are standard pub fare, very good sized portions for a great price.
The main selling point for the Fox and Hounds in our opinion is that is super family friendly. With the abolition of the smoking in public places, pubs have had to work hard to attract other customers. The Fox and Hounds is one of those pubs that has done just that. Weekends have the kids-eat-free-with-adult-meals, there is the already mentioned outdoor play area and they organise family fun-days. These are very popular.
The most recent event was their Halloween kids party; we paid £2 per child, the boys dressed up in their best Halloween costumes and turned up just as the DJ was setting up his decks. We grabbed a table, ordered a drink and lunch and the boys just went off and had one of the best afternoons ever. The boys played party games, were given food and cakes, each and every child had a balloon model made for them and in true party tradition were given a party bag on leaving. The DJ was superb, the boys had a really good 3 hours away from a computer screen and we just sat and soaked up the happy friendly atmosphere. I can genuinely say that we all had a great time. I believe there will be a Christmas party and hopefully we’ll be able to attend.
Here’s what our children through of the Halloween Party (press the ‘Play’ button to watch the video).
The Fox and Hounds also runs many events and parties for adults in the evening and although we’ve not been, it is quite a popular venue to see local bands.
Whatever the recent local history may have been, the Fox and Hounds really is a pub to take your family or if you’d like a lively night night out with your friends.
It’s a genuine local pub which is including as much of its local community as it can.