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The Hare & Hounds - Youngs (Bar, Restaurant)

Picture of The Hare & Hounds - Youngs in Barnes & Sheen, London

216 Upper Richmond Road West, Barnes & Sheen, London, SW14 8AH
Cuisine: Gastro
Tel: 020 8876 4304 | Email to The Hare & Hounds - Youngs | Transport: Kew Gardens | Write review

The Hare & Hounds - Youngs Review

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Here’s a secret for you. I’m not a ‘foodie’. Sure, I like eating, I like going to restaurants, but you’re looking for someone to show off to about your poached Andalusian crabapples, I’m not your girl.

‘Did you have a nice time last night?’ ‘Yes, the candied bone marrow was divine.’ That’s not a conversation I’m ever going to have. More likely I’m thinking, “Is it nice? I don’t know. What’s it supposed to taste like?”

The humourist David Sedaris shares a similar thought in his comic essay Today’s Special.

Describing a meal at a swanky New York restaurant to celebrate his boyfriend Hugh's birthday, he writes: ‘I'd order the steak with a medley of suffocated peaches, but I'm put off by the aspirin sauce. The sea scallops look good until I'm told they're served in a broth of malt liquor and mummified litchi nuts.’

Call me unadventurous, you certainly wouldn’t be the first, but I’m with David. In my experience, a menu with snooty ingredients comes hand in hand with stilted dinner conversation, polite yummy noises and panicking about splashing the table cloth.

What I find worrying is that the number of decent places that serve good food you can get stuck into with your elbows on the table is shrinking fast. It seems every pub on the corner has got pretensions to the latest scenester restaurant, and places like this make me sad.

East Sheen's Hare and Hound isn't one of those places. The vast bar was welcoming and comfortable from the start. It has to be a good sign that despite there being plenty of empty seats, the punters were crowded around the bar, chatting to the staff.

The reason there were so many empty seats became clear once super friendly manager Louise had guided us outside. Wow. Behold, London's best beer garden.

Sprawling and recently remodelled, it's at once stylish, comfortable and busy as it was, it never felt crowded. It seemed made for the balmy London evening when we’d chosen to visit.

When it came to ordering, we took our cue from the weather, and chose the menu's more summery offerings. We ate creamy risotto balls and lightly battered squid, followed by an endless squash, pea and goat's cheese risotto (again) and a massive chicken & bacon salad.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s a proper restaurant with proper restaurant standards, more than a few steps up from your traditional chicken in a basket pub fare. But still nicely simple, hearty and served in big portions. The only small niggle was when my far foodier friend commented that her salad could have been livened up by at least one extra ingredient.

We had no real complaints, though. The garden was too lovely for grumbles.

With live music every Saturday, quizzes on a Wednesday, a stash of kid’s toys, and flat screens for the footie, the Hare and Hounds isn’t trying to be something it’s not. It sticks to being a great example of a community pub, and does it really well.

Then there’s the smart sectioned off dining area, attractive private-hire room with it’s own bar, in fact there are so many things going for it. But with a garden like it has, it feels wrong to go on about the less important featues. Like reviewing Shakespeare and going on about his talent for crochet.

My lasting memory of eating at the Hare and Hounds will be sitting outside until the sun was replaced by candlelight, picking over a cheese plate and sipping on Shiraz.

If I'd gone to review the Hare and Hound on a rainy day, would I have found it as thoroughly charming? Maybe. I’ll have to go back in winter and find out. So see you in November guys. (Who am I kidding, I’ll see you in the first week of September if we’re lucky. This is London after all.)
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Customer Reviews for The Hare & Hounds - Youngs

Average (based on 3 votes): 3 Atmosphere: Value: Quality:

The following customer reviews are not endorsed by Fluid London and are simply those of users who wish to publish their independent experiences of The Hare & Hounds - Youngs.

“I was surprised by the lack of pork on our Sunday roast of pork loin with crackling The pork was very small and the crackling was soft Plenty of vegetables to make up for lack of meat,but then I did not order a vegetarian meal Not impressed”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
Sue, Putney (1 months 20 days ago)

“I wish this was my local. Make sure you go one of their summer bbqs while it's still hot!”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
Tania, London (8 years 3 months ago)

“Had a really bad experience at this pub.....a friend and I went in to eat, only to find (apparently) no serving staff, and a barman who couldn't care less when we indicated we needed service. The waitress finally surfaced, and we asked again for menus and attention. We waited, and waited...and waited. In the end, we walked out and went to the excellent Sophita Thai restaurant up the road. Both waitress and barman calmly watched us leave without a word. No stars at all for this appalling pub.”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
Janine Phillips, London (13 years 7 months 17 days ago)

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Additional Information

  • Cuisine Type: Gastro
  • Dress Code: Not Specified
  • Group: Youngs

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