As you walk into Hare and Hounds in the quaint village of Framfield, you sense you’re entering a family run business with experts who know the pub trade inside out.
So it’s no surprise to discover that Phil and Annie Saunders spent 31 years at the helm of the hugely successful Marine Bar in Eastbourne, creating a unique experience for their regulars [Google Christmas Lights Marine Bar and you’ll see why they hit the headlines with their incredible annual display].
Phil and Annie retired 3 years ago, but were persuaded back when their grandson took up the family trade. Says Phil with a trademark twinkle in his eye:
“After 31 hectic years, we managed to stay retired for three years, but we missed the buzz of running a busy pub, and when Ross started his training we wanted to support him in any way we could. We made the decision to take over at Hare and Hounds to pass on our knowledge to Ross and to equip him with all the experience he needs to learn the trade.
“The end goal is for Ross to run the pub and hire his own team, we’re here to teach and support him, and help him make it a success.”
That’s where The Wellington Pub Company came in. The Saunders-Buchanan family were introduced to the company and never looked back.
“We always wanted to run a country pub, and when we saw Hare and Hounds we fell in love, even though it needed a lot of work. We’ve transformed the beer garden, redecorated inside, and introduced a brand new menu.”
“Everyone we’ve dealt with at Wellington Pub Company has been professional and friendly,” continued Phil, “It’s unusual in this day and age to work with a business that actually has an active interest in your success. That appeals to us because that’s exactly what we are about too.”
And as for Ross, he has big plans for the future:
“I want to promote the food at the Hare and Hounds. We make our own pies, we trim our own steaks. We know exactly where all our ingredients come from. And we make the most of the wonderful local producers that East Sussex has to offer. My dream is that Hare and Hounds becomes a foodie destination – somewhere that’s friendly, pours a great pint and serves a fantastic home cooked menu.
“The Wellington Free of Tie lease enables us to tailor the business exactly as we want to, being able to forge relationships and trade agreements with exactly who we want to on terms that suit us as operators.”