Family Sunday Lunch at The Fox Hole

I usually work from 8am until 8:30pm every Sunday so when I had the weekend off for my birthday last Sunday, I knew I wanted to book somewhere special. The Fox Hole* in Piercebridge near Darlington is perhaps a little further than we would normally travel (about 1 hour in the car from our home in Northumberland) however we were spending the morning in Durham so our journey time was cut in half. I am so pleased we made the journey and I will travel again to sample their Sunday lunch feast.

The Fox Hole is my sort of pub - exposed brick work, open kitchens, cosy corners and low lighting all offer a place I can truly relax with my family. The pub was bustling when we arrived at 3pm and our children weren't out of place with their armfuls of soft toys and toy cars - in fact they were made to feel extremely welcome.

I was immediately impressed with little touches that make dining with children a far more enjoyable experience - glasses were removed from the table straight away, we were asked if the children would like ice in their juice, straws were automatically added to their drinks and a board full of fresh bread and butter was brought over which certainly helped to keep the children occupied whilst we browsed the menu. These are little details that seem obvious but sadly aren't provided as standard at so many restaurants we've frequented over the years and really do make you feel like children actually are welcome rather than an inconvenience.

We were advised that Sunday lunches are usually served on a sharing platter and todays selection would include Topside of beef, Shoulder of pork with crackling, Organic lamb and Taste Tradition chicken breast. Food provenance is high on the agenda at The Fox Hole and all of their meat is locally sourced and of the highest quality - in fact their lamb is from Piercebridge Organics which is right on the pub's doorstep. 

Everything on the menu sounded amazing and I knew it was going to be difficult to choose so it was a relief when we were told we could have a bit of everything. Lunch is charged at £12.95 for one course for adults and children are half price. £45 for a Sunday lunch for a family of five of this standard is a very fair price. Drinks were very reasonable too - table water is served as standard and a large glass of merlot, a coke and three glasses of juice was a little over £7 - not expensive at all.

Now feast your eyes on what was brought to our table:-

We were absolutely blown away with our feast. Our meat was all perfectly cooked and melted away in our mouth. We tried to pick a favourite but couldn't - it was all absolutely divine - there was a good helping of crackling with the pork too which pleased hubby. We were given a mountain of the most delicious roast potatoes - I'm pretty sure they had been cooked in beef dripping and the pictures do not do their taste any justice. Our children were delighted when we handed them their very own giant homemade Yorkshire pudding from the platter. 

We were brought four bowls of vegetables between us, a variety of sauces (the horseradish cream was my favourite) and two jugs of gravy. There was more than enough food to go around but I'm pretty sure if we had wanted any vegetables or gravy topping up the staff would happily oblige.

Just looking at these photograph's makes me want to go back!

We unfortunately had to decline dessert which is rare for us, especially as sticky toffee pudding was on the menu. The apple, mincemeat and almond crumble with vanilla custard sounded very tempting too. We simply had no room though and would have ended up making ourselves ill if we tried to squeeze anymore food in, but going back to The Fox Hole to sample their desserts gives us a good excuse to return (you can upgrade your lunch to £17.95 for two courses - children are half price).

The staff at The Fox Hole were all very obliging - they all made an effort to say hello to us as we arrived and goodbye as we left and nothing was too much trouble at all. Table water was discreetly replaced when we were running low, napkins replaced when needed and nothing was too much trouble. They didn't even bat an eyelid when I started taking photographs of the glasses they'd just polished like a crazy blogging lady and automatically remained out of shot until I was done.

I am asked for recommendations of where to eat on pretty much a daily basis and I haven't been able to stop shouting about The Fox Hole. I can't think of a better place to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon with family and friends. If you make the journey, you won't be disappointed.

Sunday lunch is served between 12noon-4pm. 
Contact 01325 374 286 to make reservations or email


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