NORTH WALTHAM, Basingstoke, RG25 2BE
Built as four farm cottages in 1624, a feature of the bar in this peaceful village pub is its collection of miniatures - over 1,100 so far, and counting. It's an easy place to get to whether travelling on the A303 or the M3. The Fox welcomes families, as you might guess from the children's adventure play area in the extensive beer garden which blazes with colour in summer when the pretty flower borders and hanging baskets are in bloom. In the bar, landlord Rob MacKenzie serves well-looked after real ales from Sharp's, Brakspear, West Berkshire and a guest brewery, and an impressive malt whisky selection among which you'll find the relatively scarce Auchentoshan, Dalmore and Singleton. Bar choices include a ciabatta bacon butty; and steak and beef sausage pie and mash. Rob's wife Izzy is responsible for the monthly menus and daily specials board in the tartan-carpeted restaurant, which list the house specialities of cheese soufflé, and Hampshire venison served with glazed shallots, field mushrooms, spinach, creamed swede, sauté potatoes and port glaze. Among typical main courses there might be sea bass with coriander butter; lobster and crab risotto; or, in season, pan-fried pheasant breast and confit leg in apricot and wine sauce with dauphinoise potatoes and steamed green beans. Home-made desserts are tempting too - there's pineapple Alaska; passionfruit crème brûlée; and bread and butter pudding with caramelised apples, toffee sauce and ice cream. The Fox's events calendar features monthly wine tasting dinners.
Tel: 01256 397288
Please quote 'The AA'.
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West Berkshire Good Old Boy, Brakspear, Sharp's Doom Bar, guest ale
All day all week
Children's play area.
Coach parties catered.