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The Fox and Hounds, Starbotton

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.

29 Oct 2011 18:21

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Carlfy17 has been registered on this site since 29th October 2011