The Fox & Hounds at Bredon is a picture postcard black and white thatched village pub. Bredon is actually in Worcestershire but it has a Tewkesbury postal code (GL20). Consequently the Fox and Hounds is not listed in the 1891 and 1903 licensing books of Gloucestershire. The Fox and Hounds had a long association with the Hardwick family. Gerry Hardwick was landlord from 1948 until his death in 1969. His widow took over the lease briefly before their son, Mike Hardwick, became landlord in 1971. Mike retired in 2004. On his retirement Mike told the Gloucestershire Echo: “My parents took over the Fox and Hounds in 1948. It was just a beer and cider house then. They began to build it up and made cups of tea and bacon sandwiches for the fishermen at six o’clock in the morning, before they went fishing. My job was to clear everything up.”

In 1974 Whitbread produced a book entitled ‘Inn and Around’ which featured ‘250 favourite Whitbread pubs’. The Fox and Hounds at Bredon was included on page 139:

The Citizen, 27th November 1980 – A taste of the adventurous (Country Cookery by Christine Collins): Most of us have our own idea of the perfect English pub. Perhaps we look for a pleasant village setting, nearness to water for sailing, good food, an old and attractive building maybe even one with a thatched roof.

All this can be found at the Fox & Hounds in the Avonside village of Bredon. Looking as if it is stepped straight from the pages of a picture book on English country life, the Fox & Hounds is set in the centre of this old village. Dating from the 16th century, it has always been a ‘local’.

Worcestershire author John Moore, known for his stories of life in the ‘Brensham’ (a pseudonym for Bredon) and the Bredon Hill area, uses the Fox & Hounds under another name as the ‘local’ in his tales, and landlord Michael Hardwick tells me that many of his old friends still meet in the oak beamed bar. Michael took over the management of the Fox & Hounds from his father in 1969. Originally the pub had consisted of just one bar with the family accommodation beyond and above. They served no food ,it was simply a local.

At first when he took over Michael carried on in much the same fashion, although as he began to be asked for bar snacks he started to experiment with bar food. Beginning with simple grills prepared behind the bar, he later developed this to a wider menu as his customers began to ask for more. Soon he was devising sauces to accompany his more adventurous cuisine until he decided it was time to do the thing properly.

The principal reason why I visited the Fox & Hounds was to talk to Michael about the menu I had seen whilst having a drink with friends some weeks previously – venison marinade in red wine, finished with port and orange zest and garnished with croutons; entrecote stilton, entrecote steak with a stilton sauce, or wild duck with celery and walnut stuffing. They sounded so imaginative that I wanted to know more.

Taken from the Fox & Hounds website. With thanks.

The Fox & Hounds is now a Donnington Brewery pub.

Image courtesy of House & Property Portraits. All rights reserved 2024. for more info.

Map Reference SO 923372

Owner in 2004: Enterprise Inns / Whitbread Pub Partnerships

Landlords at the Fox & Hounds include:

1904-1906 Joseph Peare

1906 (September) Joseph Viner (‘of Eckington’)

1948-1969 Gerry Hardwick

1971-2004 Mike Hardwick

2005 Chris and Cilla Lambe

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