One of the most difficult things about travelling as a family with a dog is finding places to eat. Often, dog friendly restaurants are cheap and cheerful. Or the more upmarket ones don’t cater for children. It was a bit of a relief to discover The Boxing Hare at Swerford, near Chipping Norton when we visited the Cotswolds on a short break. Fabulous food in a welcoming, family friendly atmosphere. They have a lovely dog friendly area too.
About The Boxing Hare
It’s always refreshing to arrive somewhere I’m due to review and be greeted by someone who can’t wait to tell me their story. Owner Anthony Griffith Harris kindly took the time to show me around The Boxing Hare and explain where it all began. Anthony worked with Nick Anderson 30 years ago in London. They eventually went their separate ways, parting on good terms and staying in touch.
A couple of years ago, Anthony was ready to open a restaurant outside of London. Nick approached him and The Boxing Hare was born. What’s lovely about the restaurant is that it’s very much a family affair. Anthony’s partner Stacey and Nick’s wife Kate are instrumental in running the restaurant too. Perhaps that’s what creates such a great atmosphere. Customers coming into the bar seemed to know each other, the owners and staff. Many hadn’t booked and they were already busy, so another room was opened to accommodate everyone.
Where possible, produce is locally sourced. Head chef Nick has gained two Michelin stars in the past, alongside three AA rosettes and 6/10 good food guide. Sous chef Kate is a pastry-making genius, who also makes delicious homemade bread and puddings. A homely environment, stunning food and years of experience combine to make dinner at The Boxing Hare a real treat.
Children and dogs at The Boxing Hare
On arrival, restaurant staff welcomed the children with open arms. Our table near the bar and an open fire was in the dog friendly area. Bubbles settled down next to us and was immediately treated to a bowl of water. Later on, the girls were given a dog treat each to feed to Bubbles.
For our mains, the girls ordered from a children’s menu. The only vegetarian option for children was macaroni cheese as is often the case. Lia decided to order this despite not being vegetarian. However, Libby is rather fed up of macaroni cheese having been offered it everywhere since becoming veggie earlier in the year. Instead, she ordered a cheese soufflé from the starters section of the adult menu to come as a main. Our meals arrived quickly but given the time of day, the girls were starting to get a little tired. So, they were handed some lovely colouring packs to keep them entertained.
I liked The Boxing Hare as soon as we walked in. It didn’t surprise me that the meals were excellent. Due to the time of evening, we decided against starters. My husband went for salmon as his main, which he absolutely raved about. I decided on a tarte tatin, served on a bed of salad with sun-dried tomatoes. As predicted, it was incredibly tasty. Lia’s macaroni cheese was probably the best I’ve tasted and Libby felt incredibly grown up with a soufflé, which she devoured.
For dessert, the children were able to order from the adult menu. They always get cross that children’s puddings aren’t as good as the options for adults, so this made their day. My husband and I both took a recommendation from the waiter and enjoyed a warm chocolate fondant. If you watched my Instagram stories of our evening, you will have seen the chocolate oozing out when I stuck a spoon into it. Fabulous. Libby chose an iced peanut butter parfait, while Lia went for honeycomb ice cream. It was a lovely way to end a genuinely delightful evening.