The Fox & Hounds Country Inn is a real traditional English pub found just a short drive away in the Gold Coast hinterland.
Residing in picturesque Wongawallan, at the base of Tamborine Mountain, this country inn was shipped over from England, and looks every bit like something you’d find in the land of the royals – right down to the red phone box and mini double decker bus gracing the entrance.
A fixture of Wongawallan since 2007, this iconic pub has far earlier origins, with most of its internal fittings coming from the Sussex Arms, originally built way back in the 1700s. That’s some serious history.
Inside, there’s a couple of cosy bars (one English, one Irish) adorned with an eclectic collection of British paraphernalia, ranging from medieval trinkets to football scarves and cricket bats. There’s also a couple of dining rooms (Scottish and Tudor-style) which are ideal for larger groups or private functions. And, naturally, no UK pub would be complete without the obligatory open fire place to stave off the cold on those long winter nights.
The food is in keeping with the theme, and the extensive menu includes the likes of bangers and mash, toad in the hole, and a Cornish pasty with all the trimmings. There’s also the Irish staple of beef and Guinness pie, plus beer battered cod and a Giant Yorkie (slow-cooked roast beef with veggies, Yorkshire pudding and red wine gravy).
Complementing this hearty fare is a wonderful range of beverages, including the Irish drops Guinness and Kilkenny, and England’s Old Speckled Hen and London Pride. There’s also a selection of traditional wines, apple cider, and a locally-brewed ginger cider.
Make sure you have the camera handy as guests here can have their photo taken with Queen Liz and her favourite corgi – or, at least, a rather lifelike replica. There’s also a palace guard keeping an eye on proceedings, and several knights in armour dotted about the place.
When the sun is shining, the spacious, grassy beer garden really is a lovely place to have a meal and a drink. Surrounded by leafy trees, the garden enjoys memorable views of the pub’s exterior, plus an authentic double-decker bus in the process of restoration. A small amount of accommodation is also available.
In a nutshell - For some hearty food, drink, and a slice of real English culture and history without the long haul flight, the Fox & Hounds is well worth a visit.
By Dominique Falk