The Fox & Hounds in Ladysmith has all the makings of a real British pub - dark tudor decor, ordering at the bar, bangers & mash on the menu....
It's quite unassuming from the front - so keep an eye out for the pub sign on the building or the sandwich board on the sidewalk.
But once you're inside...
...this is where you feel you've crossed the pond (to the UK, not YVR).
The pub is finished in a Tudor style with a low ceiling, dark stained beams and coasters mounted 'round the bar. The room is L-shaped with a large section at the far end that could accommodate private parties.
The menu reads very British too - nicely in the middle of old-school and the gastro-pubs of today.
The Fox & Hounds has plenty of traditional pies (steak & kidney, chicken & vegetable, steak & stilton, shepherd's...), plates to share (Ploughmans, Sussex, Scotch Eggs) and main courses (fish & chips, bangers & mash, madras curry...).
Add to the regular menu their Sunday roast dinners and your pub experience is complete.
The taps at the pub have a well rounded selection as well - from Guiness, Kilkenny and Fuller's to local Nanaimo brewery, Longwood. Beyond the taps there are ciders (proper English ones), wines, sherries, ports and a selection of single malts.
Our first round included a Hacker-Pschorr Weisse Bier, a Schofferhofer Grapefruit Radler and, as I pretend to be in Wimbledon, a Pimm's No.1 Cup.
On the food front we kept it mostly traditional.
The fish and chips (& salad, with English salad cream) were great. We opted for the Halibut (but there's cod available as well). The piece of fish was thick with a lovely thin batter and both it and the chips were crispy. The traditional pies are quite large....because pictured below is the small serving! Check the menu for the "smaller" servings if you're not famished. The pie was chock full of chunks of steak in a rich gravy with a pastry topping (also served with salad-cream topped greens).
A special of the day was the fish bake (think pie, sans the crust) - in a lovely, creamy sauce. The bangers and mash were also great - two huge English sausages (made locally) perched on a pile of fluffy mashed potatoes with a generous serving of gravy.
And the Farmer's Ploughman was enough to satisfy - a half melton-mowbray pie, a half scotch egg, Guiness bratwurst, cheddar cheeses, pickles, salad and bread (just outside of the pic).
We were so surprised the first time we came to the Fox & Hounds - it's generally hard to find a traditional English pub outside of England - and then to find it in Ladysmith! But now that we know it's there - it's a dinner destination when we're in the area.
If you're missing a nice pub experience and are nearby Ladysmith - check these guys out.
The Fox & Hounds
11 High Street, Ladysmith, BC
Everyday 11:30am-10pm (kitchen closes at 9:30pm)
Facebook: The Fox and Hounds