Every good staycation involves a great pub. Follow Jessica Roberts‘ trail via the best pubs in Hampshire…
With ample coastline, parkland aplenty and hordes of pub owners waiting at the door to greet you and show you to one comfortable looking seat, it’s easy to see why Hampshire is home to some amazing eateries. If you’re thinking of heading to Hants anytime soon, here’s our guide to getting around one pub at a time. Welcome to our Hampshire ale trail…
With a home-from-home atmosphere, The Hogget is a lovely place to tuck into a hearty meal, surrounded by friends and family. A passion for cuisine is evident in every course, with dishes being beautifully presented and delicious to devour. Choose from the slow-cooked, sticky barbecue pork ribs, warm quiche of the day or the iconic gourmet bean burger – if you can choose, that is.
The only pub in the village of Upton Grey, this country pub is lovingly known by locals as ‘the Hodd’. Making the most of the charming countryside surroundings, there’s ample outdoor seating on the patio and in the garden, in addition to a cabana and fire pit, which allows guests to stay cosy and warm long after the sun has set. Simply put, Hoddington Arms provides appetising fare, delicious drinks and a plethora of events, all under one homely roof.
Headed up by a pair of artisan chefs, Three Horseshoes prides itself on serving up a variety of innovative dishes, alongside some classic choices which have stood the test of time. Their slow-cooked pork belly accompanied by crackling and a cider sauce is delectable, whilst their steak and ale pie encased in a suet and wholegrain mustard grain crust is sensational enough to draw diners back for a repeat visit. Modern yet quaint, this family run establishment truly encapsulates the meaning of Hampshire hospitality.
A city break in Winchester isn’t complete without a visit to The Bakers Arms. Conveniently located on the high street and within walking distance of all great sight-seeing locations, (the cathedral is a mere stone’s throw away) this pub also features a beautiful, award-winning terrace out front, which proves a great spot to indulge in some top-quality food and drink. Ingredients can be traced back to suppliers from neighbouring areas, and the menus change regularly to suit the season.
Quirky and characterful, this pub is a beautiful balance of style and comfort. Exposed brickwork and original fireplaces are complemented by plush leather seats and a medley of lamps which are dotted around the venue. If guests wish to enjoy the sunshine whilst sipping something refreshing, the pub boasts ample outdoor seating, both on the patio area and in the garden.
Housed inside a Grade II listed building and seated along the waterside, The Bugle is an AA Rossetted inn which is well worth a visit. Guest are treated to top-notch fare created using Hampshire’s home-grown goods, an abundance of drinks options including speciality rums and local real ales, and service which is both diligent and friendly. Their specials board is also well-known for offering up some great fish choices, provided by the day boats.
Formerly known as the Wool House, this brewery really is something special. Their aim is to promote craft beers, whether guests are after a tour of the brewery or wish to simply relax in the restaurant and sip through some tasty choices. Alongside their craft beers, the restaurant also serves an intriguing selection of Victorian-inspired food options, including beef rag and bone and pilgrim’s pale ale pie.
Set in the heart of the New Forest National Park, the views alone are enough to make a visit to The Three Lions worthwhile. The restaurant is family and dog friendly, and serves up a delectable selection of classical British and French options, constructed from a variety of regional elements. Anyone who’s visited this hotel and restaurant can reel off a glowing recommendation – all of which can be backed up by the venue’s abundance of accolades.
From the decor to the menu, this aptly named inn makes the most of its riverside location. The menu showcases a selection of fresh fish dishes, from the crispy whitebait and garlic mayonnaise starter, to the fish of the day in a Wadworth beer batter accompanied by chips, mushy peas and tartare sauce. In addition to tempting fare, the Fish Inn features seasonal beers on tap, making it an ideal location to pull up a pew.
Heading to the New Forest? Why not stay at the Filly Inn. Having beautifully retained its historic charm, this country hostelry welcomes walkers, cyclists and all manner of passers-by to put up their feet and recline in front of the open fire and sample from the vast selection of drinks at the bar. Those seeking something of more substance can peruse the menus, which features the likes of cod fillet with salmon mousse, and succulent chicken with spicy chorizo. Those with a sweet-tooth will be more than satisfied by the desserts menu – think indulgent chocolate brownie and refreshing lemon and lime tart.
Don’t fancy being the designated driver? There are bus ale tours running through Hampshire. Saturday 18th July is a confirmed day for the Alton Classic Bus and Country Pub running day. Hop on board a vintage bus and travel through the stunning Hampshire countryside, stopping off at pubs along the way. Sounds dreamy to me. Find out more here.