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Fox and Hounds, Starbotton

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user reviews of the Fox and Hounds, Starbotton

please note - reviews on this site are purely the opinion of site visitors, so don't take them too seriously.

Landlord still going for the title of "Most miserable landlord in Yorkshire", almost worth going just to see him (if you can find a time when he opens the pub of course!). Apparently pub up for sale and he can't wait to leave.
graham2 - 2 Jun 2014 13:01
Just got back from an amazing week in the Yorkshire Dales and stayed in the lovely village of Starbotton, even the weather was excellent for this time of year (late Oct). The only black spot on the whole holiday was Mr Senior the landlord of The fox and Hounds. As one reviewer here put it the Basil Fawlty of the Dales, disagree, at least he smiled!
My father and I nipped in for an early doors pint as he opened at six last Friday and was given a very “look warm” welcome, no ”where you from, “here for a few days”, even a cheery smile would have helped. Was very surprised to see two welcoming signs at the door, No Dogs and Remove muddy boots. Not really a good commercial move on the middle of a national park. Mr Senior made no effort to speak to us while we were there, we were joined by one other person in the hour we were there and one table set for two.
Because we had our two Springer Spaniels with us we had a great meal at the Blue Bell Kettlewell on the Saturday night, and was greeted by the landlord who couldn’t have been more warm. As we walked our dogs at 9.30pm passed the Fox and Hounds. It was bouncing. Had five people in there!!
Again on the Sunday evening at about 6.30pm my father and I nipped in for a couple before dinner. I had noticed on our first visit that my phone was showing that the pub had WiFi, showing the name of Fox and Hounds. When I asked could I lock onto it I was told in a very blunt manner “No”, was taken aback at this as we had just been in Spain few weeks prior and without exception every bar lets you use their Wifi, as is the case of most of the pubs around the area of Mr Senior. I was then treated to an excuse that was of Oscar performance, said it was his sons and he paid for it. All this while he was playing games on his laptop at the bar!! So why is it labeled Fox and Hounds, why not leave it as Sky or BT what ever??? Again the welcome was as frosty as ever, but I was going to get some conversation this time, wish I hadn’t by the we left. He proceeded to tell us that 70% of the village was not locals anymore and that the majority of houses are owned by millionaires from big cities. The locals that were left didn’t support him and he was sick of the lack of support and was looking to close down. He said he wouldn’t get anything for the business (not doubt because he had run it into the ground) and would sell the building to a builder and make 1 million. Shows a great amount of corprate responsibility to provide a service to his local village and area, just as long as he is rich ha! A little note to add here is that Mr Senior’s opening hours are “flexible”, we over heard him talking about Doweton Abbey and was hoping the couple for dinner on Sunday we out by nine so he could see it
The final straw for us was last Wed night, my parents, my and wife and I went in for a drink at 8.30pm and doubled the amount of people in the pub. Walked in, took coats off, sat down near the fire, and then stood at the bar to get our round in. Mr Senior was deep in conversation with a local chap, with half a coke, and another chap drinking a canned Guinness. I must have stood there for at least a full minute, to be completely ignored, not that he couldn’t see me through the amount of people there and four of us doubling the total in his pub. After a very uncomfortable amount of time I thought “sod it”. We walked out to Mr Senior getting all upset and he would now serve us. Happened to mention on the way out that he could multi task.
We thought it might be us but after talking to lovely chap walking his dog in the village, who was a local said he would never go in as the landlord was rude and he wouldn’t except dogs. We had two further nights in the Kettlewell and heard lots of negative stories about The Fox and hounds and the management, shame because Starbotton deserves a decent pub and eatery. While said landlord is there neither will happen.
Foot note- The Beer wasn’t bad but left a sore taste in the mouth, not the beer the atmosphere created by the landlord.

Carlfy17 - 29 Oct 2011 18:21
Used to go to this pub years ago when we visited the Dales the food was really good then.
Went during a recent vist to the area and it has really changed and not for the better
The beers were ok but the food was fairly ordinary pub food which was ok but it was seriously over priced for what it was
The barman was a miserable oaf who didn't have a good word for anyone and whatever you do don't ask for a bowl of chips he fetched the police to the last ones who asked for chips

Skippy100 - 16 Aug 2011 14:57
made the mistake of stopping at this pub for lunch, it was the worst pub lunch I have ever had the misfortune to have

beer was fine but food was terrible
popelli - 13 May 2011 19:36
Very interesting to read these comments as I was the LANDLORD back in the early 60's. We lived in a cottage at the back of the village and I used to go in to buy cigs but the then Landlady was a widow who was positively rude to customers as she had a police widows pension and the pub rent was £1.50 per week so she looked on it as her 'home' she didn't want customers and her rudeness worked ! as seldom did anyone go in. Well one day on buying my cigs she told me she was leaving to go to Sheffield and after discussing this with my wife we decided to approach Wm Youngers to see if we could take the PUB. They said yes (I'm not sure if anyone else applied) well it was filthy and my pregnant wife was in a bit of a state when there was a knock at the door and there stood all the ladies of the village with mops and buckets, cloths and dusters etc and they set to and cleaned that pub till it sparkled. Sorry to hear all these comments but I can tell you it's a hard way to earn a living and a lot of these guys are just 'playing a part' of how they believe a Dales' Landlord should act I bet none of them are true Dalesmen anyway so you're not getting the genuine article - a mere player who struts and frets his part upon the stage and then is heard no more........
kenB - 9 Nov 2010 16:47
Unfortunately 'hunt for beer' is wrong in what he says, concerning dogs in pubs.
It is the law that dogs are not permitted in 'food preparation areas' (ie kitchens) it is not illegal to have them in dining areas.
The best pubs let dogs in and this definitely isn't one of them.
Scottie_chorlton - 7 Nov 2010 09:49
Whilst noting Scottie's comments on my previous post I must disagree with what he says.We visited the Fox and Hounds again last Saturday-after feeding time and the landlord could not have been more friendly-he pulled an excellent pint of Black Sheep and chatted to us for half an hour about his experiences in the licensed trade.He is exactly the sort of person I would like as the landlord of my local,which,sadly has closed down,largely due to an incompetent miserable landlord.
Scottie may be assured that I have visted literally hundreds of pubs in many parts of England (it's my hobby) and a properly run pub will not allow dogs into dining areas for hygiene reasons-it's the law.
huntforbeer - 1 Jun 2010 11:15
This pub has received poor reviews for a reason - the landlord - not because we're all 'whingers'.
I suggest Huntforbeer goes and tries all the hundreds of country pubs which serve food in this country - but where dogs are more than welcome (often in another part of the pub.)
Many of these are far superior to The Fox & hounds in Starbotton - an are doing better business because of this.


Scottie_chorlton - 29 Apr 2010 16:33
Beer was good - unfortunately the landlord was a taciturn, unhelpful, ignorant sod. A bad advert for Yorkshireman (quite a few people would say a typical advert of that breed) - seemed almost glad to announce that he couldn't / wouldn't provide food of any kind to 7 Saturday afternoon visitors because "he were on 'is own" ... yet either he or someone else was able to rustle up sandwiches for a couple who seemed like they were actually staying there. Well, if he doesn't want the trade and treat all customers as guests (because we are just that) then he deserves to go under. We should have eaten at either of the Kettlewell pubs beforehand where the barfolk were good adverts for Yorkshire as was also the case in Grassington.

Pow - 19 Apr 2010 19:52
I was astonished to read some of the comments about this pub-we popped in on Easter Saturday and found the landlord very friendly,he joked with us as he pulled an excellent pint of Black Sheep and apologised for the delay in serving us as the pub was very busy-we would certainly go again.
So far as banning dogs is concerned I suggest that the whinging complainer checks the Food Hygiene Regulations about allowing animails on premises where food is served-for obvious reasons it is not permitted
huntforbeer - 6 Apr 2010 14:05
Avoid at all costs
The landlord (assuming it was he) is a fat, oafish Yorkshire git who, in the face of pouring rain, was very rude to my wife told us that there weren't any local taxis and refused to fill her water bottle as it wouldn't fit under the tap. We couldn't go in as no dogs allowed (some business model in the Dales) and he then had the brass neck to abuse us in the car park for not spending any money. Too true, and you won't either if you have any sense. Hopefully the business will go bust and somebody decent (like all the other people we came across in pubs in the Dales) will take it over.
Nuclear_Pete - 16 Nov 2009 16:42
I must have been in on a good day because the beer & the food was alright but I did think the food was a bit expensive for what it was.
sootythebeerbear - 13 Oct 2009 02:38
This is a poor pub for one reason - the landlord.
He'll serve men always before women, he comes out with racist and sexist language. And he has dead foxes on his wall.
He really is a 'character' in the worst meaning of the word.
The food is massively expensive and is poor.
The soup was packet.
For some reason this country pub doesn't let dogs in.
The beer is ok.
Go to Kettlewell instead.
Scottie_chorlton - 26 May 2009 11:34
We obviously went in here on a good day. We'd just walked up the valley from Kettlewell and wanted a pint, nothing more, before walking back. The Black Sheep was perfectly fine and the chap behind the bar (who may or may not have been the landlord) was as civil as you could want. We didn't eat but there were plenty who did, with no apparent distress. It certainly looks the part of a Yorkshire Dales pub

The only downside was that he'd somehow run out of tea--and as it was a Civil Service social club hike, this was a bit of a problem :-)


Royed - 28 Sep 2008 22:34
A more miserable landlord you couldn't hope to find in Yorkshire (and that's saying something) As I entered he was moaning about the bank holiday trade, and saying (some what inappropriately) that if he had to employ foreigners he would shut completely. I should hope he takes his own advice. He could actually learn a thing or two from our Polish workers who work hard are always polite and helpful. He wouldn't do chips on their own, so we paid £4.95 for a tiny sandwich (chips are extra). The landlord beer was decent though.
It's awful that pubs are shutting down these days, but hopefully the good places will survive - this I fear is not one of them!
Scottie_chorlton - 25 Aug 2008 14:18
I admit I'm drawn to Faulty Towers type establishments, perverse but true. So after researching the pubs in the Kettlewell area for a holiday in the Dales I happened upon this pub on this site. A chance for some humour!
Sadly, I have to say that the beer was excellent (Taylor's Landlord – and I do mean on top form), the food was very good (steak & ale pie) and the chap behind the bar – who seemed to be the landlord, we didn’t ask – an affable sort without being in your face. We drove past it two other times in the early afternoon and on both occasions there were a goodly number of folk sat at the tables out the front with plates and beer glasses – not thermos’s and sandwich boxes.

Herb - 26 May 2008 20:55
I stopped once early on this year. The beer was cloudy and the place lacked any atmosphere. I haven't bothered to go again. The "Buck" up the road or the pubs in Kettlewell offer far more congenial surroundings and their ales are always well presented.
Greywolf - 29 Nov 2007 17:31
Nothing's changed, Minesabitter - hot and bothered on Monday, we joined a group of thirsty souls waiting outside at midday just in time to watch Wharfedales answer to Basil Fawlty zoom out of the car park; good job he had his hands on the wheel otherwise we'd have had 2 fingers for good measure I'm sure! Good job there's choice now up at the Buck - great food and ale and a WELCOME!
oldandjustabitp - 13 Jun 2007 01:14
My wife and I have stayed here quite a few times, we find it excellent. The owner and his wife our very pleasant and hard working. The bar is cosy and you always have a good chat. The rooms are excellent as are the breakfast. It is in a very good location for walking. We would certainly recomend Starbotton.
buzza - 20 Sep 2006 18:16
Shut at 4pm on bank holiday Monday with folk turning up and at least 6 people drinking outside on a lovely sunny day, landlords comment 'yeah I'm shutting now, don't know if I can be bothered to open tonight'
Deplorable behaviour there should be a law against it, as a landlord/landlady/ licensee of a country pub especially the only pub in the village they should have a responsibility to open. He didn't even call last orders or time, just locked the door! My wife wanted to use the toilet nearest one 1.5 miles thanks a bunch.
Minesabitter - 30 Aug 2005 13:44

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