Hare & Hounds is a Michelin award winning pub located in Aberthin. Chef Tom Watts-Jones has been running the pub for just over 6 years now, but the walls are still full of photos from the pub's rich past of keeping locals’ thirst at bay for over 300 years.
Tom grew up in Aberthin, spending time playing in the garden of Hare & Hounds as a child. After training as a chef in London in award winning and Michelin starred restaurants, he returned to Hare & Hounds to bring his skills home to Wales, using the best local produce from the surrounding Vale of Glamorgan. Whatever the time of year, Hare & Hounds always use the best seasonal and local produce, and their menu changes daily to allow for this. Tom and his team of chefs write up their menus depending on what local produce is available; some may find this unusual, but it means that customers get to enjoy high quality food and can explore a vast array of different meals.
The menu is usually small, generally 5 starters, 5 mains and 5 desserts, but is definitely not lacking in flavour at this Michelin awarded pub. Hare & Hounds make sure to always have a veggie and fish option for their starters and mains, and in game season you can expect to see birds such as grouse on the menu. Local meat is a mainstay of their menu, just changing seasonally in how it is served. You can expect to see lamb from Torgelly Farm in Llanharry, and their Crispy Pig Cheek is always on the menu in some variation.
The pub is the proud holder of a Bib Gourmand from the Michelin Guide which honours ‘good quality, good value restaurants’. Sarah from Hare and Hounds said about receiving the award: ‘It was amazing, we'd only been open for a year and a half, and it was such an achievement. It's an incredible accolade, and we're very proud to have retained it for 4 years now.’ Unfortunately, it is difficult to tell how the award has affected business over the past year with the pub being closed through lockdown but Hare and Hounds made lockdown work for them by opening a bakery!
In March 2020 at the start of lockdown, Hare & Hounds didn’t want to let it stop them from serving up great food to their local customers. Borrowing a food trailer from a friend, they started selling bread, pastries and sandwiches to the people of Aberthin and Cowbridge. Chef Tom has always had an eye out for a building in which to sell from, and at just the right time, the building in which Tom’s Grandma Anna used to sell food from became available; it’s fate!
Everything in the bakery is made from scratch, even the ricotta and hot chocolate! The bakery is headed by Gareth Crimmins who has been the pastry chef at Hare & Hounds for just over a year, and Rowan Larcher, who has been the Restaurant Manager at the Hare & Hounds for nearly 2 years.
Head to the Hare & Hounds pub in Aberthin to try out their summer dishes - strawberries are coming into season and are normally featured on the menu at this time of year, or to the Hare & Hounds Bakery on North Road in Cowbridge.
Book a table at https://hareandhoundsaberthin.com/ or give them a call on 01446 774892
Too far from you? Check out their pub, The Heathcock, in Cardiff! https://heathcockcardiff.com/
For more information about the bakery, email firstname.lastname@example.org