The Fox is located in the quiet hamlet of Chetwynd Aston in Newport. It is a grand Edwardian-style pub set in beautiful rural surroundings.
The Fox is full of character features and has many different dining areas of different sizes and shapes that surround the large central bar. Having recently undergone a refurbishment inside and out the pub is looking extremely vibrant and fresh. Inside the subtle changes to colours and textures run throughout and include a New England style wooden pitched roof. The vaulted ceiling in the large dining room really stands out with the new colour scheme, this room is stunning and leads straight out onto the outdoor dining area with amazing views, which is particularly popular in the summer months for al-fresco dining. The interior still has that country house feel that has always made The Fox feel inviting and relaxed.
The exterior has also undergone a change of colour with a coat of cool grey and surrounding woodwork highlighted in slate blue.
Back inside the always well stocked bar has even more to offer with an extended gin selection, now offering around 80 different bottles to choose from! If gin isn’t your thing there’s also a huge selection of about 100 whiskeys and 40 rums to work your way through, as well as a mixed selection of ales and a vast array of wines. The bar is located in the centre of the pub where there is always a welcoming atmosphere, with plenty of bar stools its a great place to relax if you just want to pop in for a drink, you can even order a few nibbles to enjoy with your drink or while you wait for a table.
For starters Nik chose the Pheasant, Rabbit and Prune Faggot and I ordered the Baked Goat’s Cheese in Walnut Crust.
Nik’s handmade game faggot was very substantial, the game meats had a rich deep flavour that worked well with a hint of sweetness from the prunes and the smooth celeriac purée complimented the big flavours from the faggot and the light wild mushroom gravy perfectly.
My goats cheese was soft and warm with a lovely fine crunch from the crushed walnuts, it was served with pickled cranberries which added a slight tartness to the dish and a crunchy apple salad, overall a great dish which I would definitely order again.
Our main courses took a little longer to decide on as there were so many dishes we were tempted by, Nik finally opted for the Venison, Rabbit and Pheasant Suet Pudding and I selected the Warm Crispy Beef Salad.
Nik’s suet pudding was a good hearty dish, he said it was wonderfully rich and the moist suet pie case was packed full of delicious game meats and tasty gravy. It was served with a generous helping of buttered greens, sweet carrots and parsnips. Nik said it was outstanding and probably one of his favourite dishes he’d eaten.
My salad looked amazing when it arrived, it was so colourful and a generous portion. I have to say it did taste as good as it looked, there were so many different textures and flavours so every bite was different, there were warm strips of crispy fried beef in a very light batter, slices of peppers, thin curls of carrot, red onions, spicy toasted cashew nuts, oriental leaves, crispy thin slices of crunchy fried lotus root and much more – all topped with a delicious sweet chilli sauce.
We were both rather full after our mains but thought we could manage to squeeze in a dessert, there were a good range of tempting dishes to choose from. Crème Brûlée was Nik’s choice and I had the Mulled Cranberry Frangipane Tart.
Nik’s Crème Brûlée had a thin caramelised sugar topping that cracked satisfyingly to reveal the cool creamy custard beneath. It was served with homemade shortbread and fresh Strawberries.
My tart was served with a scoop of cinnamon ice cream and a heap of mulled cranberries, this was a fantastic end to my meal, the warm tart was deliciously moist with a slightly crispy pastry base and topped with crunchy almonds, the juicy cranberries added lots of flavour.
The staff were friendly, polite and attentive and nothing was too much trouble.
The menu changes around every 6 weeks with new dishes added alongside the regular favourites. There is also a Sunday lunch menu with a selection of roasts. At lunchtimes as well as the main menu you can also chose from a tempting range of sandwiches or some light bites dishes.
Children are welcome and there are a selection of children’s meals on the menu. There is even a selection of classic games available to keep your little ones entertained.
Dogs are allowed in the front bar and you will even find a jar of dog biscuits to reward your loyal companion.
On the table of magazines and newspapers you will find a basket of reading glasses which you are welcome to lend if you have forgotten yours. It seems they really have thought of everything, great attention to detail.
Once every couple of months the staff at The Fox head off on a walk into the country, you are welcome to join them, this usually happens on a Saturday around 9am but before you head off on your 5 mile walk relax with a coffee and bacon butty, on the house! Check facebook for the next date.
The Fox has always been consistent with the high quality of food that they serve and there is always a welcoming and lively atmosphere here – pop in and see for yourself!
Reviewed by Fleur & Nik Abel