Famous for its stunning national parks and picturesque port cities, if you’re searching for the perfect place to escape to this summer with your family and friends, Hampshire has a whole host of fantastic things to see and do that are sure to keep everyone happy.
After a long day walking through the naturally beautiful woodlands of the New Forest, taking a brilliant boat tour on the Southampton docks, or exploring one of Portsmouth’s marvellous museums, you’ll want to ensure you’re well fed. Here at Fed Up & Drunk, we’ve compiled a list of some of our favourite pubs and restaurants in the region so you needn’t spend all your time searching the county for the very best places to eat and drink.
From the moment you arrive, you’ll be captivated by The Chestnut Horse’s 16th-century premises, with its historic brick-and-timber exterior and atmospheric interior with exposed brick walls, low-beamed ceiling, open fires, and rustic wooden furnishings.
The bar offers a wide variety of drinks including local ale, spirits and wine to suit anyone’s tastes and the friendly bar staff are more than happy to whip you up a cocktail, like the Rhubarb Rockabilly with local Winchester gin, to whet your appetite.
High-quality locally sourced produce is at the forefront of the kitchen team’s creations. A typical à la carte menu might see guests starting with the signature black pudding, duck egg and spiced ketchup dish, or a luxurious Old Winchester cheese soufflé with truffle and a mushroom Mornay sauce. For mains, try the locally caught Chalk Stream trout with lentils, sumac, pomegranate and wild garlic, or duck leg confit with white bean, garlic and a poivrade sauce.
This intimate restaurant in the vibrant village of Milford on Sea, in the south of the New Forest, provides diners with creative and thoughtful food in a relaxed and informal atmosphere. Stunningly decorated, Verveine Fishmarket Restaurant can be found at the back of the fishmongers that provides its high-quality, fresh, and sustainably sourced fish.
You’ll be amazed by the quality and innovation of the food and by the perfect flavours and textures of all the dishes. Choose from creative dishes such as confit of rabbit with langoustine and pear, perfectly cooked turbot with the freshest spring vegetables, a playful pre-dessert of vanilla ice cream and mash (yes, you read that right), and a dessert inspired by the forest: smoked wood ice cream and edible twigs.
The award-winning breakfasts of the stunning Swan Hotel attracts not just the hotel guests but non-residents as well. For vegetarians, The Watercress Breakfast – comprising grilled halloumi, sautéed mushrooms, grilled tomatoes, hash browns and beans – is the perfect way to kick-start your day. Those seeking a meaty breakfast can opt for The Stanley, which includes eggs, smoked bacon, local sausages, hash browns, sautéed mushrooms, grilled tomatoes, beans and toast. The seasonal menu is served daily from noon using fresh and local produce including their very own Manor Farm beef, which is reared on the family farm. The kitchen team are also more than happy to cater to all dietary needs, with an array of vegetarian and vegan options available.
The chefs work tirelessly to make the menu unique and the menu also suggests the perfect wine to complement your meal, indicating the level of attentiveness the team has put into providing guests with a memorable experience all round.
Opened this year in February, The Olive Leaf has already established itself as a must-visit venue for locals and visitors to Hayling Island.
From the shortbread biscuits to the toffee sauce, everything on the menu is homemade and the menu is seasonally changing.
Try the roasted vegetable tarte Tatin with balsamic reduction and rocket or the Cajun blackened swordfish steak with rice and peas in a chilli and lime oil. And if you have room for dessert, then the dark chocolate and orange cheesecake is a must.
The separate bar menu is served throughout the day on weekends. This summer will see the addition of an outside bar, a pizza oven and barbecue in the spacious garden, as well as a converted caravan that sells Pepperelli’s ice cream, which any Hayling islander will tell you is the best.
Surrounded by rolling countryside and with lovely traditional decor, the Dog & Crook is the perfect village pub. Locally sourced ingredients are utilised by the talented team of chefs to create the array of mouth-watering dishes you’ll find on the menus and the bar features a comprehensive selection of local and guest ales, beer, spirits, fine wine and soft drinks.
Try the slow-roasted belly of pork with deliciously succulent and tender meat that will just melt in the mouth, accompanied by crisp crackling and fresh vegetables.
At the centre of the Kings Worthy community and known as Charlie’s by the locals, The King Charles is a family-run pub that offers a menu that caters for all dietary requirements, using locally sourced produce wherever possible.
All the dishes on the menu are presented beautifully and are full of flavour. The grand garden is the perfect place to spend a leisurely afternoon soaking up the sun and sipping a hand-pulled pint of ale. A newly installed children’s play area means that you can bring the whole family along to while away a summer’s day.
No matter when you visit the King Charles pub, you’ll be greeted with a friendly welcome, fabulous food and a fully stocked bar.
Harvest Home is a charming country pub surrounded by the beautiful Hampshire woodland. Rich with history – General Eisenhower and his troops camped out here before the D-Day landings – the pub is now the cornerstone of the community, with the famous Denmeade charity bike race starting and finishing at this venue.
Fans of real ale will feel right at home with the rotating selection of local ale. Throughout the week visitors can expect a different special offer; Thursday is curry night, with all-you-can-eat curry priced at £8, and on Friday you can treat yourself to a bottle of Prosecco for £10. The kitchen prides itself on using local and fresh produce, and the team’s Sunday roasts are renowned for exceptional value and exquisite taste. With its spacious beer garden, local real ale, delicious home-cooked food and beautiful surroundings, the Harvest Home will make you feel right at home.
For a more comprehensive collection of the very best places to eat and drink in Hampshire, pick up a free copy of our Hampshire Food and Drink Guide or check out our website.