The Hare & Billet ~ Blackheath, London
A good Sunday roast is a tradition us Brits love and a good Sunday roast, in your local pub, is even better. All the joy of the lunch without the mess and clearing up afterwards, perfect! So, we decided to walk up to our dog friendly ‘local’, and enjoy a spot of lunch. When I say ‘local’, The Hare & Billet isn’t really local, it’s about a 15 minute walk from our house.
Or 25 minutes when you have a nervous dog and Barney, who loves to sniff and pee on every tree trunk, bush, wall and bin we pass!
We are trying to get Sandy more comfortable with walking on lead and to being in public places, which is great, as it means more lunches out for us!
Dog Friendly Pub
The Hare & Billet is very popular, opposite the Heath and the Hare & Billet Pond. In the 18th Century it was a coaching inn and was quite isolated on the Heath, but now it is in a popular spot, where, in the summer, you will find people sitting across the road on the grass enjoying a pint or two.
We have been to The Hare & Billet a few times, as it really is a lovely pub. Family and dog friendly, with a great atmosphere and delicious food. The decor is modern, comfortable and cosy but it still looks like a proper pub.
However, we usually book in the restaurant, where dogs aren’t allowed. As Sandy’s confidence is getting better, we decided to try a table in the bar area, where dogs are allowed.
On Sunday you can’t book a table in the bar area, but they do keep tables for walk in customers. As it gets very busy, very quickly, we aimed to get there at opening time, to find a quieter table, so Sandy wouldn’t be too nervous.
Sunday Roast And More
We walked in and it was already quite busy, with a few families already settled in, one with a black lab, and another with a little dachshund, so it really is dog friendly. We found a table, with a cosy corner that Sandy could settle into and it didn’t take us long to choose what we wanted, straight in with a main each, saving ourselves for dessert!
Hubby was very hungry (and a little bit hung over) as he hadn’t had any breakfast, so he went for the full works, Slow Roasted Pork Belly, with crispy crackling and apple sauce, served with roast potatoes, yorkshire pudding, seasonal vegetables and gravy.
I chose, yes, you might have already guessed, Pan Fried Sea Bass with chorizo, samphire, new potatoes and a lemon vinaigrette. I do enjoy a roast, but because of my ME/CFS I have a made certain dietary changes, and tend to eat more fish nowadays (and yes, sometimes it is a complete pain, but overall, I find that the dietary changes I have made, have really helped my recovery.)
As we sat enjoying our drink, Sandy settled down next to me and seemed very relaxed. She even enjoyed some treats. There are dog treats on the bar and dog water bowls around the bar area.
Just look at the crackling on the pork belly! Delicious! The food is fresh, seasonal and really tasty.
Hubby asked for extra gravy, we both like our roasts to be swimming in gravy! So, he was pretty impressed when a full gravy boat was brought over, it completed the meal for him. From all the sounds that were coming from his side of the table, I would say, he really enjoyed it all.
My seabass was perfectly cooked, with a lovely crispy skin, the chorizo added an additional flavour which worked really well and the new potatoes were spot on.
As we had walked to the pub and not ordered a starter, we felt it was only fair that we try a dessert.
Hubby decided on Sticky Toffee Pudding with butterscotch sauce and vanilla ice cream. After being so disappointed with the last one he is on a mission to find the best sticky toffee pudding around. I chose the Triple Chocolate Brownie with vanilla ice cream (can you see a pattern emerging here? :lol:).
Well, hubby wasn’t disappointed this time, he demolished it pretty quickly and I have to say it did look really good, with plenty of butterscotch sauce. I was a little disappointed with my brownie, it looked as if it had just come out of the fridge, and it was pretty solid.
For a first time eating in the bar area, on a busy Sunday lunch time, with the dogs, it all went really well. Sandy was really settled, they both had a chew while we had our food and it felt very relaxed, for us both, with the added bonus of no washing up!
The Walk Home
As we headed home, well we had to walk off all that food, we were both agreeing how much Sandy has progressed. This time last year I would never believed we would be able to walk up to the pub and enjoy a lunch with the dogs. In fact, Sandy was so very nervous that I thought we would never be able to take her anywhere. Our brave girl, continues to grow in confidence and she even had a little play with Barney on the walk home.
The Hare & Billet offers everything you’d expect of a great British pub; friendly staff, delicious food, comfy, cosy decor, an extensive range of changing seasonal ales, beers and lagers, a perfect location and a great atmosphere. Oh, and in 2016 it was winner of ‘Time Out’ Love London Awards for best pub in Blackheath.
So, if you have a day in Greenwich Park (only 10 minute walk away) or Blackheath, make sure you pop in and enjoy all it has to offer. We might see you in there!
Do you have a favourite pub to enjoy your Sunday roast in, is it dog friendly too? Let us know in the comments, we’d love to hear about it.