The Fox Inn Pub with rooms in Letchworth, Hertfordshire

Prices from:
£85 per night

David Hancock says:

  • Vibrant ‘gastropub’ with new rooms
  • Smart, contemporary look and feel
  • Cracking bar; tip-top beers
  • Modern British food; great cooking
  • Country-smart rooms; dog friendly
  • Just minutes from the A1

Sticky FingersMuddy PawsVisit a Stately Pile90 Minutes from London15 Minutes from the MotorwayPrivate Dining

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Call this inn 01462 759250

Overview

The Fox Inn Letchworth, Hertfordshire, SG6 2AE

The personal touch

The 18th-century Fox is the sister inn to the Nye family’s flagship property on the North Norfolk coast, The White Horse (see Inn Places entry), and is part of their thriving Anglian Country Inns portfolio of pubs and eateries, with the nearby Hermitage Rd Bar & Restaurant in Hitchin and The Crickers at Weston featured on the Food Trail. This classily refurbished village pub is the local boozer, chock-full on big Rugby days, and a popular dining destination for sound modern British cooking, with crowd-pleasing menus championing pub classics (with a twist) in the bar, delicious roasts on Sundays, and more imaginative dishes on a seasonally-changing carte. Expect a cool and contemporary feel throughout the spruced up bar and the light and airy dining room, which has a conservatory extension that is ideal for private parties. Rooms were added in October 2016, when the Nye’s saved the village post office next door from closure, and they are the icing on the cake. Eight country-smart rooms are beautifully kitted out and include dog-friendly Garden Rooms with their own terraces overlooking the parish church.

Muddy paws

Children are welcome in the bar and dining room (smaller portions) and overnight; £10 for a cot and £15 per child sharing a family room

Sticky fingers

Four-legged friends are allowed in the bar and welcome overnight in the Garden Rooms (£10), where dog beds, towels, treats and bowls are standard. Good local walks from the pub door

Alfresco

There are two garden areas; one to the rear (away from the road) and benches overlooking the village green. Garden Rooms have their own small private terrace with table and chairs

What’s on?

The Fox Sunday Supper Club (chefs talk through dishes); Cromer Crab night; annual beer festival in June

What’s the Damage?

8 doubles/twin £85 – £115

 

What Else?

  • All credit cards taken (except Amex)
  • Alfresco dining
  • Private dining (new conservatory)
  • Disabled access to bar and dining room
  • Parking & Tesla Charging Point

Gongs
AA 2 Rosettes

Sleep

The Fox Inn Letchworth, Hertfordshire, SG6 2AE

Do not disturb

With very few good places to stay locally, other than chain hotels, the Nye’s decision to buy the adjoining shop and post office was an inspired one. Not only have they preserved the amenity for the village, it allowed them to add eight rooms to the business, using former storage rooms out back and reconfiguring the upstairs space. The result is very impressive; all are country-smart in look and feel, with contemporary furnishings and quirky detail touches; note the striking butterfly and animal wall coverings and the modern wooden bedheads, for example. All are very comfortable with big cosy beds topped with quality linen and vibrant throws and cushions, high-spec TVs, and spotless tiled bathrooms with walk-in showers. The triple-aspect room at the top has a roll top tub in the room (soak and watch the TV), while the five chalet-style Garden Rooms (away from the village road) have private terraces and they are ideal for those travelling with their canine chums. The Fox English breakfast will really set you up for the day.

Creature comforts

Aromatherapy toiletries; fresh coffee; homemade biscuits; fresh milk; air conditioning

Gadgets

Pure clock radios; telephone; freeview TV; free wi-fi

What’s for Breakfast?

Pastries, cereals & toast; bacon bap; Letzer’s smoked salmon & scrambled eggs; Eggs Benedict, Florentine or Royale; Fox full English & Veggie breakfast

What’s the Damage?

8 doubles/twin £85 – £115

 

What Else?

  • All credit cards taken (except Amex)
  • Alfresco dining
  • Private dining (new conservatory)
  • Disabled access to bar and dining room
  • Parking & Tesla Charging Point

Gongs
AA 2 Rosettes

Eat & Drink

The Fox Inn Letchworth, Hertfordshire, SG6 2AE

Mastering the menu

The Fox has nurtured a fine reputation for being the best ‘gastropub’ for miles in recent years. Menus showcase the best regional ingredients and offer something for everyone, from the imaginative lunchtime sandwiches and exciting pub classics, all given a modern twist, to the more serious dishes on the evening carte. Meats are sourced from local farms and the fresh seafood comes straight from the Norfolk coast, often in the boot in James Nye’s car en route home from the White Horse, namely Brancaster mussels and oysters (try the latter in tempura batter – delicious), and fish is landed in Lowestoft.

On the menu

(Starters: £4.95-£11.95; Main Courses: £13.95-£19.95; Desserts £6)

Curried mussel & saffron chowder; ham hock terrine, smoked bacon & tomato jam; Brancaster Staithe oysters

Baked hake, celeriac puree, bourguignon sauce; venison steak, confit smoked baby onion, blackberry jus; duo of pork, pancetta wrapped tenderloin, pig’s cheek cannelloni, black cabbage, braised heritage carrots, jus

Salted caramel fondant, malted milk ice cream, candied peanut praline; banana frozen parfait, dark chocolate ganache, honeycomb, lime curd

Bar menu

(£4.95-£11.95)

Sandwiches: chargrilled rump steak, rocket, chimichurri; smoked cheddar, ale chutney, baby gem & tomato. Light bites to share: beef bresaola & black olive tapenade croutes; soda battered cod cheeks scampi, yuzi aioli. Salads & burgers: Cajun chicken burger, smoked chilli, red pepper relish & chips

Sunday Roasts

(£13.95-£15.95)

Priors Hall Farm roast pork loin or rosemary and garlic roasted Sacombe Hill Farm beef sirloin, both served with roast potatoes, seasonal vegetables, red wine gravy

Time to Eat

Breakfast: 7.30am – 11am (8am Saturday & Sunday)
Lunch: 12 noon – 2pm (4pm Sunday)

Dinner: 6.30pm – 9pm (not Sunday)

Bar food all day: 12 noon – 9pm (8pm Sunday)

Local, local, local

Free range eggs – Hillview Farm, Royston (www.hillviewfarmshop.co.uk)

Pork – Priors Hall Farm (www.priorshallfarm.co.uk/farmshop)

Beef – Burton’s Butchers, Saffron Walden

Venison & seasonal game – Sacombe Hill Farm, Watton at Stone

Free range chicken – Murdochs Farm

Mussels, oysters, crabs – landed local to White Horse in Norfolk and delivered to The Fox

Behind the bar

The Fox may thrive as a ‘gastropub’ but it remains a true local boozer with a relaxed vibe in the spacious bar, and the pub is renowned for it’s summer beer festival and big rugby weekends gathering around the TV. As such, you’ll find five tip-top beers on tap, including Adnams Bitter, Fuller’s London Pride, Woodforde’s Wherry and two guest beers. There’s a shelf of boutique gins, a good range of juices and soft drinks, and a good global list of wines (14 by the glass).

Bar snacks

Soda battered cod cheeks scampi, yuzu aioli; Glamorgan sausage, red pepper and tomato relish; beef bresaola, black olive tapenade (all £5)

Time at the bar

11am – 11pm

What’s the Damage?

8 doubles/twin £85 – £115

 

What Else?

  • All credit cards taken (except Amex)
  • Alfresco dining
  • Private dining (new conservatory)
  • Disabled access to bar and dining room
  • Parking & Tesla Charging Point

Gongs
AA 2 Rosettes

Food Trail

Take it back home
Tour the brewery that brewed your favourite pint, visit the shop on the farm that reared your delicious Sunday roast beef, and seek out the roadside stalls selling the local crab and samphire on the inn’s menu, the Food Trail features the local artisan producers and suppliers where you can buy to enjoy at home.

Change of scenery
Looking for a pub for lunch following a country walk, a different venue for dinner, or a good café for coffee, light lunch or afternoon tea, then the best in the area are listed below. If you find a new and exciting eatery in the area that’s worthy of a mention on the Food Trail, then please to do let us know – gabrielle@innplaces.co.uk.

1 Inn Location - The Fox Inn

2

The Cricketers Damask Green Road, Weston SG4 7DA

Cracking community local serving up pizzas, pints and playgrounds – everyone is welcome from families and dogs to walkers, cyclists and cricketers. Good fresh pub food served all day, best enjoyed in the sheltered garden with country views.

3

Hermitage Rd Bar & Restaurant 20-21 Hermitage Road, Hitchin

Expect to be wowed by the bar and dining space hidden away above a coffee bar (all-day cakes and bagels) and gift and homeware store (Hermitage Rd & Co). Stripped back in New York loft style, the cavernous space offers a cool bar for some great drinking, and delicious modern British food is delivered from an open-to-view kitchen.

Out & About

1 Inn Location - The Fox Inn

Activities

2

Hitchin Lavender, Cadwell Farm, Ickleford SG5 3UA

This farm visitor attraction has about 25 miles of lavender rows, which you can walk through, picking your own fresh flowers as you go. There’s also a 17th-century barn offering lunches and homemade cakes.

3

Lee Valley Park EN2 9HG

10,000-acre, 26-mile long linear park running through the northeast of Greater London, Essex and Hertfordshire, from the Thames to the town of Ware. Among the highlights are the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

4

Letchworth Golf Club SG6 3NQ

Established in 1905, Letchworth Golf Club lies in picturesque, undulating countryside. This is a classic parkland course with firm, fast greens and tight, tree-sided fairways. Regarded as a fair challenge for golfers of all abilities and skills.

5

Standalone Farm, Wilbury Road, Letchworth SG6 4JN

Situated in Letchworth Garden City, Standalone Farm is where you can find all your farmyard favourites, including sheep, cows, goats, pigs and ducks. Expect regular feeding, cow milking demonstrations and tractor-trailer rides. Great fun for the whole family.

Shopping

6

So Unique, High Street, Stevenage SG1 3DW

Independent ladies fashion boutique in Stevenage Old Town’s High Street. Expect fashion accessories, handcrafted giftware, arts & crafts, fragrances and fair trade products.

10

Rosita Lollipop Gift Shop, 2 Payne’s Park, Hitchin SG5 1EH

Hard to beat, Rosita Lollipop in Hitchin is where you’ll find beautiful vintage-inspired clothes, gifts for men and women, whimsical jewellery, handbags, shoes, greeting cards, books and toys. Rosita Lollipop is also an independent label and designer of children’s and women’s clothes.

11

Ruby Room, 23-25 Railway Street, Hertford SG14 1BA

Situated in Hertford, Ruby Room is a women’s fashion boutique based on the ethos of offering quirky, independent shopping, fun fashion accessories and gifting in an artistic, inspiring yet personal style.

Places to visit

12

Hatfield House, Hatfield AL9 5NQ

The present Jacobean house dates back to 1611 and was built by Robert Cecil, first Earl of Salisbury and Chief Minister to James I. Take a tour and you’ll find the estate includes extensive grounds and surviving parts of an earlier palace.

13

Cambridge

One of Britain’s finest cities and a world famous seat of learning, Cambridge lies on the River Cam. University colleges include King’s, noted for its choir and splendid Gothic chapel, and Trinity, established by Henry VIII. If time allows, take in the museums with their exhibitions on polar exploration and the history of science and zoology – among other themes.

14

Shaw’s Corner, Ayot St Lawrence AL6 9BX

This former rectory was the home of the celebrated Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw from 1906 until his death in 1950. Shaw wrote many plays at the house, now owned by the National Trust, and in the garden is the revolving hut where he could think and write without noise and interruption.

15

Greensted Church, Chipping Ongar CM5 9LD

The oldest wooden church in the world and possibly the oldest wooden building in Europe, St Andrew’s, near Chipping Ongar, is still used for services every week. The church was featured on a British postage stamp in 1972.

16

Howard Park, Letchworth SG6 1RY

A popular venue for picnics and very pleasant walks in the shade of tall trees, Howard Park is situated in the heart of Letchworth. The park was part of Ebenezer Howard’s plan to create the world’s first garden city.

17

Waterford Heath, Vicarage Lane, Waterford SG14 3LU

Former sand and gravel quarry near Hertford, work was undertaken in the early 1990s to restore it and create a community nature park. Expect a range of habitats, including grassland, scrub, plantation woodland and a small area of ancient, semi-natural woodland.

Walking

www.walkinginherts.co.uk
Hertfordshire is not perhaps the most obvious destination for walking, but take a look at the map and you’ll find a county packed with potential for enjoying the great outdoors. There’s everything from hidden valleys and large country estates to quiet villages and secret riverbanks.

Cycling

www.cycle-route.com
Hertfordshire is up there with the best of them in terms of cycle trails and off-road routes. Beyond the northern fringes of Greater London is a network of easy tracks and trails to enjoy. Try the off-road canal path between Broxbourne and Ware or St Albans northern route via Harpenden.

Events

www.visitherts.co.uk
Hertfordshire’s many festivals and events stretch right across the cultural calendar. There’s the Hitchin Beer Festival with over 100 ales; Rhythms of the World, when Hitchin plays host to musicians the world over for a very special festival; and world-class performances at the Cambridge Corn Exchange

Getting there

Location, Location, Location

By Road: From A1 (Junction 9) follow signs to Letchworth and take first left (Baldock Lane), signposted to Willian; The Fox is on the left by the green in 1 mile
By Rail: The nearest stations are Letchworth (2 miles) and Hitchin (2.5 miles)

Address:

Willian, Letchworth, Hertfordshire, SG6 2AE

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