If you’re looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the city this summer and want to make the most of the stunning English countryside, there are few counties in the country that offer as much beauty as Hampshire. Known for its picturesque national parks and lively port cities, whether you’re breathing in the fresh country air while exploring the large open green spaces and woodlands of the New Forest that stretch out over the horizon, or you’re heading to Southampton or Portsmouth to explore the docks or visit one of the cities’ many magnificent museums, you’ll no doubt quickly be in need of a brilliant place to eat and drink. After all, what’s summer without enjoying a beer and comforting pub grub in a quintessentially English pub garden with all your friends and family!?
From Spanish restaurants on the waterfront to traditional country establishments, here at Fed Up & Drunk, we’ve rounded up 15 of our favourite dining destinations in Hampshire we think you should definitely check out in the next couple of months.
For an even more comprehensive guide to the best places to dine in Hampshire, pick up your FREE copy of our recently released Hampshire Food & Drink Guide here or read a digital copy of the guide here.
A beautifully restored traditional village pub nestled amongst stunning countryside surroundings, The Thomas Lord in Petersfield is known for its excellent range of real ale and delicious menu of great British fare. Seasonally changing to make the most of Hampshire’s exceptional produce, food at The Thomas Lord is served throughout the day and includes the likes of a full English for breakfast, a selection of sharing boards for lunch, and juicy rib-eye steak with hand-cut chips or vegetarian truffle gnocchi with woodland mushrooms and sunblushed tomatoes for dinner.
Visit during the summer and enjoy a delicious pizza cooked outside in the pub’s charming garden. The crispy ale-battered fish and chips is also an incredibly popular selection for diners of all ages, and the burger with sweet barbecue sauce is irresistible.
Situated on the outskirts of Winchester and awarded two AA rosettes in recognition of the pub’s commitment to unbeatable hospitality and quality, The Running Horse is a relaxed and welcoming destination that provides an idyllic place for anything from a catch up with mates over a pint in the pub’s spacious garden area to a celebratory evening meal with your family in the stylish, cosy dining room.
Visit in the early hours and start your day the right way with well-loved classics such as eggs Benedict, a full English breakfast, or Scottish porridge with golden syrup. The lunchtime offering includes the likes of chargrilled chicken sandwiches with garlic mayo and gem lettuce and beer-battered cod fingers with tartare sauce, whilst in the evening enjoy dishes like the mouth-watering pan-seared scallops, roast haunch of venison with butternut fondant and mushroom and goat’s cheese burger.
Nestled in the heart of the stunning Test Valley in the riverside village of Longstock, The Peat Spade is a charming establishment popular with those out for an idyllic fishing trip in the summer sunshine. Known for its warm welcome, scrumptious food, and beautiful rooms, this exceptional, elegant, and enchanting British pub makes the perfect spot for a peaceful weekend retreat to the countryside.
Centred on locally sourced produce, the ever-changing seasonal menus offer delicious dishes that will delight any palate. Whether you’re tempted by smoked salmon Benedict at breakfast, a freshly made sandwich for lunch, or a tasty main like rib-eye steak with hand-cut chips or halloumi salad with figs, beetroot, pecans and avocado, expect a varied choice of scrumptious British classics that will keep you coming back again and again.
A quintessentially English country pub, The Hawk Inn is beloved with locals thanks to its stunning views, impressive seasonal menu of British fare and welcoming atmosphere. Set in the village of Amport and surrounded by rolling countryside and thatched cottages, The Hawk Inn has everything you could ever ask for from a British country pub and then some.
Sit in the cosy lounge or outside on the pretty sandstone terrace and peruse the menu, full of a tempting selection of tasty starters, mouth-watering mains and delicious desserts. Expect to find the likes of venison Scotch egg served with apple and black pudding puree, classic beef, chicken or cod burgers, roasted butternut squash linguine, or tender confit duck leg. The ever-popular juicy steaks are also not to be missed, accompanied by hand-cut chips, roasted mushrooms, tomato and peppercorn sauce.
Resting on the banks of the River Avon and just a short, scenic drive from the New Forest National Park and south coast, The Mill at Gordleton in the village of Hordle is the ideal venue no matter what the season. Families will love the pub’s secret garden which boasts a range of sculptures and artworks on display, and the delicious a la carte menu never fails to please, showcasing a variety of mouth-watering, modern British dishes.
If you’re craving a rich and hearty meal, the braised mutton shepherd’s pie or juicy seared venison with Dauphinoise potatoes, spinach and cauliflower will not disappoint. Vegetarians are also well-catered to, with delicious options which include cauliflower and chickpea tagine and vegetarian sausage cassoulet.
If you’re looking for a brilliant spot to eat or drink, you really can’t get any closer to the action than at Hilton at the Ageas Bowl, located on the edge of Hampshire Country Cricket Club’s official grounds. From the hotel’s Lakeview Bar, with its laid-back atmosphere and excellent selection of wine, beer, and spirits, to Beefy’s, a modern British restaurant located on the upper ground of the hotel and known for its delectable ingredient-led dishes made with the region’s finest seasonal produce, Hilton at the Ages Bowl is the place to be.
Named after cricketing icon Sir Ian “Beefy” Botham and inspired by his passion for fine food and wine, if you’re searching for a selection of tasty light bites, freshly made sandwiches, satisfying British classics, afternoon tea, or even an unforgettable Sunday dinner, it doesn’t get much better. The restaurant’s extensive wine list has even been curated by Sir Ian himself, providing a selection of world-class wines to suit every palate, including Botham Wines. A plethora of other accompanying tipples are also available.
Just a short, scenic country stroll from the picturesque town of Fordingbridge, The Royal Oak in the New Forest is known for its fantastic food, friendly service, and cosy setting. If you’re visiting in the summer, bring your four-legged friend along with you and enjoy a refreshing pint in the pub’s well-kept beer garden with your mates.
A pub jam-packed with tons of character, executive chef Paul Somerville has over 25 years’ experience and has twice been crowned Chef of the Year at the Dumfries and Galloway Life Awards. Boasting a fantastic menu offering fresh, seasonal British pub food with modern flair, start an unforgettable three-course feast with the likes of beetroot and blue cheese risotto or crab and crayfish lasagne served with garlic bread. Then, for the main event, move onto tasty treats like the roast rump of lamb served with wild mushroom, Dauphinoise potatoes, and Port jus or fillet of hake and crayfish accompanied by new potatoes, seasonal vegetables and garlic butter.
Finish your meal with one of the pub’s fantastic dessert selections such as plum tart with vanilla ice cream and toffee sauce and you’ll no doubt be planning your return trip here not long after taking your last, delicious bite.
Enjoying a stunning coastal setting overlooking Southampton Water, Seashells Bar & Restaurant is a light and spacious restaurant boasting a gorgeous sun terrace which makes the ideal place to soak up the beauty of your surroundings while watching the boats come and go from one of the world’s most famous ports.
With food served throughout the day, enjoy a selection of dishes made with locally sourced ingredients which includes tempting dishes from their brand new vegan menu. During the day, choose from a varied selection of sandwiches with fillings such as tender roast beef with horseradish, bacon, lettuce and tomato, and chargrilled chicken with lemon mayo. Or instead, opt for something a little more substantial like classic and crispy battered fish and chips or their signature homemade beef patty served in a pretzel bun. In the evening, begin with the likes of pan-seared scallops served on a bed of celeriac puree before diving into the indulgent surf and turf dish which comprises juicy rump steak with king prawns, onion rings, roasted vine tomatoes and mushrooms. With such a wide and varied selection of menus and ever-changing specials, you’ll find yourself spoilt for choice.
Famous for being the home of The Mary Rose, HMS Victory, and HMS Warrior, Portsmouth Historic Dockyard also houses two exceptional eateries you need to check out, Boathouse No.4 and No. 7.
Boathouse No.4 offers lunch, artisan coffee and high tea, in addition to more substantial meals. While you peruse the menu, enjoy the likes of squid ink grissini with parma ham and herb pesto before tucking into starters which include tempting choices such as cod and chorizo fishcake or warming red lentil, sweet potato and coconut soup. Mains include local beer-battered cod with chips, crushed peas and homemade tartare sauce, and aubergine steak served with sweet potato fries and a fresh salad, while their Sunday lunches are also incredible, using locally sourced meat to create hearty plates that won’t leave you feeling hungry.
Alternatively, Boathouse No.7 offers a more casual place to dine, with a seasonally changing menu including the likes of soups, jackets, sourdough sandwiches and larger plates. There’s also an impressive selection of vegetarian dishes including mac and cheese with Sussex Charmer, leeks, semi-dried tomatoes and rosemary, accompanied by oven-fired garlic bread and chef’s salad, and sweet potato, spinach and cauliflower masala which is bursting with flavour.
Situated in the beautiful city of Winchester and housed in an 18th-century inn steeped in history just minutes from Jane Austen’s house, Winchester College and the Great Hall, The Old Vine is a stunning Grade II listed hotel, bar and restaurant boasting a varied menu that showcases the finest in seasonal and local Hampshire produce. Having received many awards in recent years including a bronze at the Beautiful South Awards for Excellence 2019, it’s easy to see why when you step through the doors to this inviting and characterful Hampshire establishment.
Start with New Forest wild mushrooms with garlic and thyme or venison terrine with red onion relish and toast and butter before moving onto a main which includes a range of meat-free dishes and a daily changing fish specials board. The Old Vine cottage pie and delicious roasted guinea fowl wrapped in prosciutto with leak and pea risotto, in particular, are always very popular options with visitors and locals.
Occupying an historic building in Botley with origins that can be traced back over a thousand years, The Old Mill boasts the benefits of 21st-century dining while retaining traditional charm in keeping with its historic roots.
Sourcing the finest ingredients locally, the pub’s exceptional chefs create stunning dishes that satisfy all palates. Start with the likes of pigeon breast served with spinach, apple walnut and caramelised red onion chutney before moving onto mains which include tempting options such as lamb fillet accompanied by Duchess potatoes, roasted vegetables, rosemary, mint jus and parsnip crisps and vegetarian risotto with roasted sweet potatoes, red onion, sweet peppers, mange tout and parsley. The pub’s impressive Sunday dinners also shouldn’t be missed, where you can choose from a hearty selection of locally sourced meats with all the trimmings and lashings of gravy.
Desserts like their indulgent warm chocolate brownie with fresh raspberries, Belgian chocolate sauce, raspberry coulis, white chocolate, and clotted cream ice cream make a memorable finish to a mouth-watering feast you’ll never forget.
A traditional restaurant located on Town Quay, La Regata brings an enticing and authentic slice of Spain to Southampton’s stunning waterfront. A popular foodie destination with locals and tourists and well known for its wide range of tapas and main menu selections, you’ll be swept up by the seductive Spanish atmosphere and enchanted by the venue’s vibrant and individual interiors.
Chose from a tempting selection of tapas dishes or select from the specials board which might include the likes of pollo chiciana, a chicken dish with king prawns and chorizo in tomato and chilli sauce, or fresh sea bass served with garlic butter and herb sauce. Other mouth-watering mains that are sure to delight the palate include vegetarian paella and the iberico lamb in a red wine and apple jus served with crispy capers and potatoes. And what finer way to finish a fantastic Spanish feast than with La Regata’s mouth-watering churros served with warm chocolate and followed by a scrumptious selection of Spanish cheeses?
When you visit The Lady Hamilton, located near Portsmouth’s bustling harbour and Gunwharf Quays, you’ll instantly be charmed by the venue’s cosy interiors and enticed by the tempting aroma of delicious home-cooked food. With a delightful menu that boasts a range of delicious pub classics such as battered cod served with chips and mushy peas and gammon steak with chips, salad, and a pineapple slice or fried egg, traditional British dining doesn’t get much better than this.
Whether you’re visiting for a light lunch or bringing the family for an impressive home-cooked Sunday roast complete with all the classic trimmings, you can’t help but be impressed by this unassuming but quintessentially English pub.
The go-to destination for an evening of entertainment in Hampshire, The Concorde club is the oldest jazz club of its kind in the UK. Occupying a beautiful old school house on the outskirts of Southampton, whether you’re after an intimate meal for two or a night out with your mates, this is the place, with a variety of different menus and settings.
Chill out in the laid-back ambience of The Fig lounge bar with a drink or a relaxed meal while you listen to the soothing sounds of live jazz or head to the Ellington Room for an evening of unforgettable entertainment and exceptional dining. When we visited The Concorde, we were impressed by their ever-changing menu which makes great use of the finest locally sourced Hampshire produce. To start, we chose the cod and crab fishcakes, which were perfected by a hit of chilli heat from the accompanying dipping sauce, before moving onto the mouth-watering braised featherblade steak which was accompanied by a medley of roasted vegetables and potato gratin.
Home to the recently opened Odyssey Restaurant, Bar & Pizzeria, a stylish venue where you can find a mouth-watering mix of pub classics as well as eclectic dishes showcasing flavours from around the world, Holiday Inn Winchester, situated just outside of the cathedral city of Winchester on the edge of the South Downs National park, provides the perfect escape.
Within easy reach of the South Downs National Park and some truly picturesque walking trails, this is a hugely popular spot for tourists visiting to make the most of the beautiful Hampshire countryside in the summer. Relax in the restaurant’s sleek restaurant and peruse the excellent menu, featuring mains like wild mushroom ravioli, rib-eye steak, and beer-battered fish and chips. Their rustic homemade pizzas, made using Laverstone Park Farm buffalo mozzarella are also hugely popular. Select from toppings such as roast chicken, rocket and walnut pesto or garlic butter, crayfish, and fresh lime.