Taking the Lead: The Greyhound on the Test Sets the Bar High in Stockbridge

Nestled on the banks of the River Test in picturesque Stockbridge sits The Greyhound on the Test. And for those in the know, it's not just the catch of the day that makes this place a winner. Anglers and foodies’ alike delight in the menu, facilities, the interiors and the ambiance. Under the stewardship of Lucy Townsend since 2012, with a well-earned reputation, The Greyhound on the Test remains a celebrated destination, where timeless charm, good taste and award-winning food are always on the menu. Hildon have enjoyed a long working relationship, and the team have had many outstanding meals here.

Beautiful summer day looking across the River Test in Hampshire

We were lucky enough to catch up with Lucy recently.

Sustainability is a growing concern in the hospitality industry. How do you balance sustainability, with the needs of the business? Do you feel your customers appreciate the costs associated with sustainability.

Sustainability is something that we take seriously at our restaurant, and we know it's a concern for many businesses, including ours. We're located in an old building, which means keeping it warm can be a challenge. However, we've found ways to reduce our energy usage, like turning off lights and appliances when we're not using them. We've also made changes to our menu and work with local street food suppliers to offer our customers high-quality food with fewer choices. While we'd love to go solar, our building's age makes it a bit tricky, but we're exploring options for the future. We're always looking for ways to be more sustainable, but we also know that we need to balance these efforts with the needs of our business. We hope that our customers appreciate our efforts and understand why sustainability is so important to us.

Can you tell us a little about the locality, how this contributes to the overall experience? Stockbridge is a wonderful town situated on the River Test. It's a popular destination for fishermen from all over the world, especially from May to October. We are fortunate to own just under half a mile of fishing area along with a pub. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have been utilising our outdoor space more often. This has encouraged people to dine outside more frequently. To cater to our customers, we have started offering street food during the week, which is sourced from local vendors. Our goal is to create a more family-friendly atmosphere and keep the indoor restaurant primarily for our residents and diners.


How does the use of local and seasonal produce enhance the unique experience for your clientele, and how have they respond to your sustainability efforts?

Our menu is designed to reflect the seasonal availability of fresh, locally sourced ingredients from our suppliers. We take pride in sourcing all our produce from suppliers that are located within a 20-mile radius of both The Greyhound and Wilds Catering. We strongly believe in the importance of supporting local suppliers as the seasons change, and we are delighted that our clients share our passion for using locally sourced ingredients. Each dish on our menu has a unique story behind it, from the source of the meat to the trout caught in the nearby river. We are committed to maintaining a close relationship with our suppliers and understanding the origin of each ingredient we use. At the end of the day, we bring these fresh ingredients back to our kitchens to prepare and cook them to perfection.

Given your long and successful partnership with Hildon, could you highlight the shared values that you believe Hildon Water and The Greyhound have in common.

I have been working with Hildon for the past 20 years and I wouldn't switch to any other company. I consider myself lucky to have known the founder, who supported me in the early days when I knew very little. I am still learning, and with the new team up at Hildon, they are showing the same respect for the local area, just as Mr. Heppe did. It's nice to see the business growing while staying true to its values.

Tell us about what else is happening in 2024.

Wilds Event Management is growing fast and we are having to bring in new staff members due to taking on more wedding venues and lots of great parties.

We have always loved the chance to open something in Winchester, so we are doing pop-up night at The Winchester Orangery. This will help us test the waters and see what the response is before we commit to anything.

We’ve recently just opened a brand new venue called The Glass House at Houghton Lodge Gardens, just down the road from Stockbridge. It’s a tearoom and shop in a stunning setting, and we’ve got lots of events planned too – so watch this space!

Restaurant table laid with two bottles of Hildon natural mineral water