Foodie friends Jenny, Joan and Mandy visited The Limping Fox, a friendly family-run pub in Thames Ditton sited close to Long Ditton Recreation Ground.
This is a lovely, welcoming gastro-type pub, spotlessly clean and with friendly staff keen to make the dining experience as good as possible. There is a cosy feel to the pub, even though it is larger inside than would be guessed from the outside. The design of the pub, with tables set in a U-shape surrounding a central bar, makes it feel intimate. To one side of the front doors there are comfy sofas around low tables, where those coming in for a drink can sit in comfort. The décor is eclectic, with stools at the bar which wouldn’t be out of place in my old school’s Science labs. Comfortable, attractive pre-loved wooden ecclesiastic chairs sit around the wooden tables. The walls are a rich turquoise and boast original pictures (which are for sale) painted by local arts groups.
Dog portraits hang alongside the front doors, over a jar of dog treats for visiting dogs. The family dog was not there, but he usually greets every customer with a friendly wag of the tail.
The central bar was well-stocked with an extensive choice of gins (including some local Thames Ditton gins) and whiskeys as well as locally-brewed craft beers.
It was too cold for us to sit outside, but the garden is family-friendly, with a wooden climbing frame and plenty of seating – some on the decking and others on the grassy area. Children are welcome in the garden and pub until 8:00pm.
The menu changes regularly and caters for all tastes, from traditional pub-type fare (fish and chips/cheese burgers etc.) to more sophisticated dishes such as roasted hake with south Indian spiced white beans, duck breast with braised chicory, poached pear and duck fat chips, and game pie.
Children are catered for, with a Kid’s Menu at £5.95 and there is a separate Sandwich Menu at £7.95 providing unusual fillings, all served with skinny fries and garnish.
We opted for one course – a vegetarian celeriac, onion and wild mushroom goats’ cheese tart with green veg; the duck breast mentioned above; and beer-battered fish and chips with crushed peas and hand-cut chips. All dishes were cooked fresh. They were hot and well-arranged on our plates. The pastry on the vegetarian option was crisp and light; the duck breast well-cooked (as requested) and the flavour of the pears blended well with the scrummy thick-cut chips. Our only observation was that it would have been nice to have had more vegetables. The generous-sized cod was thick and flaky in a crisp beer batter with no sogginess or fattiness to ruin the texture. Delicious! The crushed peas were a tasty alternative to the usual mushy peas and the hand-cut chips were enormous and very tasty.
The prices are in line with similar gastro-type pubs – an average of £6.00 for Starters (Hoi Sin duck boa bun/smoked mackerel/charcuterie etc.); Main courses averaged £15.00; and Desserts (blackberry and cassis cheesecake/caramel parfait and chocolate sauce/ice creams and sorbets/cheeseboard) averaged £5.00.
All in all, this is a great place to eat if you want to try something a little different or a new twist on an old favourite. The atmosphere is welcoming, the food delicious. This is a real gem hidden in the streets of Thames Ditton!
The Limping Fox,
15 Rushett Road,
Tel: 020 8224 2047