I’ve been to The Fox Goes Free for a meal before, about 4 years ago and it was very nice back then. Since then I think I’ve only ever had a quick bite at lunch time, but again that was at least a couple of years or so ago. It’s a place I pass by fairly regularly on a cycle ride so I though it was high time to return for a meal.
It’s fairly dark inside with lots of nooks and crannies. There are about 5 different areas to sit and that’s not including the front and rear outside gardens. The interior has dark wooden beams and some of the seats are old church pews with others being the sort of chairs which have a box on the back where you place your hymn book.
This was a Friday afternoon and we were lucky enough to find a table near to the fire. For most of the day there had been a cold mist and the sun was finally burning through but there was still a little nip in the air. We received a very warm welcome and given an a la carte and a bar menu each. There was plenty to choose from, starters, salads and mains.
I chose slow cooked belly of pork – it’s one of my favourite dishes – served with a caramelised onion & wholegrain mustard mash and apple cider cream sauce. The fat just melted in my mouth. This was served with green beans, carrots, broad beans, peas still in their pods and topped off with two lovely pieces of crackling which were delicious.
Geoff enjoyed his plate of ham, egg and chips plus a pint of their own beer which he really enjoyed! I had a very nice glass of Rioja Tinto Navajas which was lovely, smooth and full bodied.
I was rather full up but those who know me know that I can rarely say no to a dessert. We both chose home-made treacle sponge and custard. I normally prefer cream but I must say that the custard was very nice, runny, smooth and vanillary – if there is such a word. The sponge was light and fluffy. We finished the meal with a nice hot black coffee served with a chocolate orange. And yes, I managed to eat that too.
The Fox Goes Free have specials most night such as Mondays being curry night, Tuesday fish night etc., There’s also The Fox Shoot – don’t worry, not real animals – which starts off with a bacon sandwich, tea/coffee, followed by clay shoot and tutoring and dinner at The Fox afterwards all for £60. A great gift for someone perhaps?
The pub is a 15th century building which held the first English Women’s Institute back in 1915. Upon the walls are a few old photos of people who lived in the area and one which was of a family who once lived at The Fox. One of the young lads in the photo died when his brewery dray bolted back in 1890.
There are beautiful views across the downs and plenty of walks nearby – these photos don’t do it justice as it wasn’t a clear day. Not far away is the Weald and Downland Open Air Museum and West Dean Gardens – which is a favourite stop of mine for coffee and cake whilst cycling – both are worth a visit. If you go to the very top of the hill almost opposite the pub you can see Goodwood Race Course and again, some lovely views across the downs.
The Fox Goes Free is a lovely, old quintessential pub which also have bed & breakfast rooms. It is definitely a place we shall return to and gets a thumbs up from us.
Living life, loving cake
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