469 Luton Road, Kinsbourne Green, Harpenden, AL5 3QEThe Fox is one of those pubs that have surfaced on the mainstream of casual eating in the UK and are taking an increasing share of the market, evidenced by their growth in numbers and the popularity of what they have to offer. If this results in a 'type' there is certainly no harm in that. Contemporary pubs such as these usually share a number of characteristics. An important feature is space, preferably a restaurant where you are comfortable, not over-awed, and not sharing elbow space with the next table, however sociable they may be. Good, too, to have a garden, optional al fresco eating out space, and by no means least a roomy and well stocked bar where you can actually get served without undue delay.
The Fox is one of those pubs that have surfaced on the mainstream of casual eating in the UK and are taking an increasing share of the market, evidenced by their growth in numbers and the popularity of what they have to offer. If this results in a 'type' there is certainly no harm in that.
Contemporary pubs such as these usually share a number of characteristics. An important feature is space, preferably a restaurant where you are comfortable, not over-awed, and not sharing elbow space with the next table, however sociable they may be. Good, too, to have a garden, optional al fresco eating out space, and by no means least a roomy and well stocked bar where you can actually get served without undue delay. After all, drinking should be taken seriously.
If a pub offers all of these, and is in a good location, there is little reason in today's economic climate why it should not flourish. The Fox provides ample evidence that this is true. But of course there are other factors, not least of which is the food and drink. The term 'gastropub' covers a multitude of blessings, and it is possible to see influences of brasserie, bistro, restaurant and even café at work within the great gastro umbrella. So expect to find no one single cuisine, but a blend designed to provide something for everybody, no matter what their treat may be.
To set the right note of fashionable sociability there are sharing plates, rustic breads with roast garlic, olives and virgin olive oil, or Mediterranean mezze of hummus, roasted vegetables, feta, fregola, tzatziki, spinach and ricotta pâté with warm flatbreads. Amongst the starters there is always freshly made soup; the like of lamb koftas with mint yoghurt, kohlrabi, cumin and carrot salad; gambas with garlic, rocket, aioli and rustic bread, and sardines on bruschetta with red onion, plum tomato and gremolata are also to be found. Look, too, for scallops in the specials section.
The salads - sorry, that should read 'leaves' - offer crispy duck, mouli, carrots, hoisin, spring onions and plum sauce, and for the seafood enthusiasts some prawn, avocado, pecan, mango, watercress, bacon with orange and pomegranate vinaigrette are well received.
These days no self-respecting gastropub can afford to be without its pizza range; expect to find a classic margherita of tomato, mozzarella, oregano and basil, the rustica with roasted Mediterranean vegetables, goats' cheese, cherry tomatoes and rocket, or the piccante with pepperoni, chorizo, tomato and jalapeños. Pastas include linguini with tiger prawns, crab, chorizo, chilli, tomato and white wine, or the tagliatelle with slow cooked Bolognaise and parmesan.
Indian spiced salmon fillet, wilted spinach and sweet potato with aubergine and mango chutney is popular, a sign of the times and improving taste in eating. The smoked haddock fishcakes with curry Hollandaise, tomato, coriander, mango and red onion salad is worth trying too. For hearty eaters there is a good rib-eye steak, smoked paprika and tomato butter with watercress and frites. A wide range of supporting dishes include Belgium frites and mayo, and cabbage, leek and peas. Desserts are some of the best you'll encounter with apple, blackcurrant crumble and vanilla custard and sticky toffee pudding with vanilla ice cream, and there is also a selection of cheeses to set the buffs alight.
The Fox stocks a wide range of beers, both well-loved draught ales and bottled from further afield. The wine list covers plenty of territory from traditional clarets to Pinot Grigio, and champagne by the glass or bottle is always available. Service is cheerful, brisk and totally in keeping with the friendly nature of a good English gastropub.
For up to date information please refer to their Website. Please note that the E-Mail Contact is for enquiries only, not for bookings.
English, Gastropub, Modern British
: 12:00 - 22:00 (last orders)
: 12:00 - 22:30 (last orders)
: 12:00 - 21:00 (last orders)
469 Luton Road, Kinsbourne Green, Harpenden, AL5 3QE [Map]
£12.50 (2 courses), Mon - Fri
£12.50 (2 courses), Mon - Fri, pre 7 pm
(Avg Price is the average cost per person for two courses, coffee, half a bottle of house wine and tip/service)
REVIEWS OF Fox, The
Ron Bennett (11 August 2010)
Having left London late Sunday morning to drive back to Shropshire, we couldn't bear the thought of eating at a motorway service station. We left the motorway on chance hoping to find something acceptable in close proximity. How lucky we were to find The Fox, the welcome we received was first class and the food superb. Well done The Fox!
Gerry Doyle (27 March 2008)
I ate there a couple of weeks ago and enjoyed the experience. It's expensive but the food and wine were of good quality. The service was helpful and friendly. I will certainly go there again.
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More Info for Fox, The
- Children welcome
- Air condition
- Groups allowed
- Outside seating
- Cover charge
Not included, 10% (optional) for 8 or more
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