Tucked away up a lane in Cowbridge, not far from its sibling Ale and Food House, is this little haven. With whitewashed stone walls, a log burning stove and an open kitchen, it’s bustling and welcoming. Even before you walk through the doors. you’ll see a handwritten chalkboard with that day’s menu.
Good to know
The Hare and Hounds Ale and Food House in Aberthin has served its community for over 300 years. Its food has won widespread praise for its skilful locally sourced, seasonal approach, winning a Bib Gourmand from the Michelin Guide and acclaim from The Good Food Guide, the Good Pub Guide and the Michelin Eating Out in Pubs Guide.
Its sister, The Heathcock, pulls off that rare trick of feeling like a country pub in the middle of a city, where the best local produce is teamed with locally foraged and homegrown vegetables.
The Bakery is a lockdown success story, born out of pandemic turmoil. Owners Tom and Sarah have always been known for their bread. When restrictions bit and it was impossible to serve their usual menu, they borrowed a friend’s food trailer and started selling their goods to appreciative locals, laying the ground for the Bakery.
What to order
It’s very much a working bakery, with smells of baking filling the air. Dough is proving in the fridges, and the open kitchen is busy because when they say everything here is made from scratch, they mean it: curing their own salmon, making their own ricotta, producing their own sausages and black pudding- even the brown sauce in your sausage bap.
There’s something reassuring about that. This is a very different proposition from its big sister’s hearty nose to tail menus, but the links are plain. This is another celebration of the Vale and its natural larder, which is among the best Wales has to offer.
You can pop in for a snack- something as simple-sounding as jam on toast is their bread, their butter, their jam- or something more substantial. Expect a menu of quiet pleasures, like bacon rolls and huge pork pies or seasonal Spanish omelettes and salads, and of course you can pick up jars of their homemade preserves or local cheeses.
In an ideal world, there’s somewhere like the Hare and Hounds Bakery in every village: somewhere dedicated to feeding you well, and doing everything their own way.
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