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Review: The Hare, Milton-under-Wychwood

Devilled kidneys

Devilled kidneys

Just a quick one. Almost every Cotswold village now has a pub that has thrown itself over to evening meals and Sunday lunches for the country set, with varying degrees of success. You have to say this for the lot of ’em: they all aspire to cook fresh food, with plenty of local sourcing and surrounded with enough country paraphenalia that you can still imagine the squire striding in with muddy boots on and charging the ruddy-faced innkeeper to pull him a pint and rustle up a roast beef sarnie.

The Hare is one such, and a recent addition, popping up in the village of Milton-under-Wychwood in the last year or two. I like the decor, full of nice touches. There are hares everywhere. We came in for a Saturday lunch and left pretty happy. The food doesn’t quite hit the highs of the White Hart at Fyfield or the Kingham Plough, but you’d still be hard-pressed to grumble.

Ham hock pie

Ham hock pie

My starter is devilled kidneys on toast, which I never can resist. They’ve got some stuff right: the kidneys are nicely prepped and cooked, the sauce is reduced enough to be sticky and has soaked into some twangy sourdough toast. But it is basically a mustard sauce, and while tasty enough it really ain’t devilled without some tomato-y chilli-ish notes. Across the table we’ve got a twice-baked blue cheese souffle that is pronounced “a bit hefty” and not quite cheesy enough. My brother scores some very good slow-cooked fall-off-the-bone ribs.

Main course, a braised ham hock pie with a creamy parsley and white wine sauce. The puff pastry is excellent, and so is the yielding pink ham inside. Spot-on seasoning. Oooo… and that pastry really laps up the sauce too. Pretty much brilliant, dish of the day. Across the table, cod dishes are declared good.

I finish up with a glazed orange tart, which is really a slice of excellent creme brulee in pastry. It’s a good pub pud. You’re looking around £32 each for 3 courses, and as I say I don’t think you’d be disappointed. Perhaps like me you’d think that while you haven’t actually found an amazing temple of gastronomy, you’ve at least found a useful place to know if you’re needing a meal in the middle of the Cotswolds.

Tart

Tart

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