The Wheatsheaf, Braishfield - pub details
Tel: 0871 951 1000 (ref 22519) - calls cost 10p per minute plus network extras
- Food served
- Outside seating
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5 most recent reviews of 11 shown - see all reviews
Some good and some bad : This was my third visit. Lovely big garden, nice location, interior of the pub is interesting - lots of bric-a-brac without being too full of it. Gents didn't look dirty, but had the stale stench of a poorly kept-to cleaning regime. Much too expensive on both drinks and food, and service very slow on both as well. This has been a feature of each of our visits. Shame really, because if it wasn't for these two issues, we'd be back a lot more often.
runner11 - 12 Aug 2009 05:39
|Speaking terribly generally, real ale pubs seem to fall into one of a few categories. Some are resolutely boozers - bare floors, threadbare upholstery, a bunch of bar stools, and a choice of ales (the Fox in Twickenham sort of falls into that category). If they do food, it'll be of the rolls, crisps, and if you're lucky, ham, egg and chips. Then there are the olde worlde pubs, with thatched roofs, horsebrasses on the wall, and reasonably comfortable seating. Plus, there are the 'trendy' pubs - all polished wood floors, gastro-pub food (probably involving pies), a varied wine list, and, of course, ale (many of which will have cod-amusing names).|
Then, there's the Wheatsheaf. I can honestly say I've never seen the interior of a pub quite like this one. It reminds me of an eccentric (and rich) old woman's lounge - every nook, cranny, corner and surface has stuff on it - and interesting stuff (some of which is for sale - like the insect shaped lanterns). No two chairs are the same, and some appear to be antique living room furniture. Going into the bowels of the pub, you actually have what appears to be someone's front room, complete with bookshelves, chachkis and a bicycle. Heading out into the large garden, you'll find a chicken run and a couple of pig enclosures (free range, of course - more on that in a minute). It is eclectic, to say the least.
And I love it. I noticed four real ales on, none of which I had heard of. There were two definite session ales (at under 4%), and two slightly more robust offerings (at 4.0% and 4.5% respectively) - sadly, I cannot quite bring to mind what they were (shame on me) - I gather, however, these change regularly. There is also a good wine list (though I did not sample any wine). Needless to say, there was the normal lager selection all pubs seem obliged to carry.
The Wheatsheaf keeps its own pigs, and these are not pets. They are free range (there was a sow suckling her young in the mud as I watched), and they are used for all the pork offerings (and there are many) on the menu. They are justifiably proud of these pigs. My two friends and I visited today - a Sunday - and so we all three had the roast pork. Whilst one piece of the three was slightly dry, the rest was utterly superb. I had no idea that pork could have so much flavour. The roast was served with a Yorkshire pudding which looked dark, but was flaky and delicious, two large, unpeeled carrots complete with a bit of greenery at the top - these, I believe, were honeyed and were extremely tasty, some broccoli (still crisp and green), home made apple sauce and, of course, crackling. And it was all delicious, and there was plenty of it. Each roast was £9.95. Other main courses on the menu were comparatively priced, ranging from £8.95 through to £16.95 (or £18.95 for the Slimmers' Platter - "Our famous slimmerís platter: absolutely nothing on a beautifully glazed plate, garnished with a knife & fork!! Youíll lose pounds ! " Indeed.) They also do a gourmet burger day on Wednesdays - that's something I'd love to try.
The service was VERY friendly. When investigating the beer selection, I was offered tastes before I bought (which I took up), and advised what to expect from the brews. The young man who took both our drink and food orders was polite and endearing - he explained that he joined the staff a year before so that he could eat for free, the food is that good. He also remarked that he keeps running across little surprises in amongst the quirky stuff hidden in various shelves and corners.
There are only a couple of niggles, and one kind of goes with the territory - pigs have a distinctive smell. Fortunately, the do not put but one bench near the sty, so you are not sitting right on top of them, but had the wind been blowing in another direction, you'd have wanted to sit inside. When we ordered a coffee, this took sometime to come; because we were on a time limit, we ended up cancelling the coffee (which they did with good cheer). Apparently, they were having trouble with the machine. They could have told us.
The loos were clean, bright, airy and well decorated, though unremarkable (I cannot, of course, comment on the men's rooms). The pub has a decent sized car park.
All in all, this was an excellent country pub, complete with living country. The beer was well kept, with a good choice. The food was excellent. The setting was superb, if a bit malodorous at times. I'd love to spend longer there.
mattygroves - 2 Aug 2009 18:49
|I visited the Wheatsheaf on the last bank holiday Monday only to be surprised to see Gordon Ramsay and his family enjoying lunch on the patio. We were their for a couple of hours and so were the Ramsay's enjoying the atmosphere and the sunshine, like us they obviously enjoyed their food as they were in no hurry to move. We had a lovely meal and can thoroughly recommend their home grown pork, you can see their pigs roaming around the paddock, it's brilliant, proper food in a perfect country setting. This is a proper pub with lots of quirky bits and pieces around the place. The food was very good indeed and they served really good wine by the glass and local beer. The atmosphere was chilled and relaxed, they were playing jazz inside the pub but not loud, this added to the relaxed atmosphere. I would thoroughly recommend a visit, we have been back on a number of occasions since, sometimes to eat but also just simply to have a drink and a chat and have enjoyed ourselves each time, this pub is definitely on our 'to visit' list. I would highly recommend a visit and just cannot understand some of the other comments on this page, the prices are no different from any other place serving fresh food the wine was cheaper at the Wheatsheaf than another place we visited locally as was the beer.|
pollytthree - 5 Nov 2007 20:07
|"Blessed I was indeed to have this as my second local". I am with Bruce Reed in so many ways, and wholeheartedly endorse his recommendation of The Wheatsheaf. I've spent yet another wonderful day there today - having popped in for lunch but having been side-tracked by proper newspapers, great wine, fantastic food and a welcome for dogs that you don't tend to get outside the New Forest. A wonderful Sunday lunchtime walk (for anyone who visits Hilliers just outside Romsey/Braishfield, go across country away from Romsey, as this area is amazing in the autumn) was perfectly rounded with a wonderful lunch. My partner and I had the fresh pork (if you're shy of seeing your food on the plate, you shouldn't sit in the big window - all pork here is reared on the premises, so watching it frolick while you dine is not for those of a nervous disposition...) and the gumbo, which was a soup, a stew, something Cajun, something sexy and something truly delicious, both of which were absolutely fantastic, followed by a couple of glasses of their extensive wine selection (my partner drinks Pinot Noir and it is a relief to find a place that indulges her). Fabulous puddings - we destroyed the mini doughnuts, whereas I (*guilt*) couldn't finish a pudding and so "just" had the local cheeseboard, with quince jelly and local honey. And it was excellent. |
Keep it going, Wheatsheaf! This place has been in the BBC Good Food Magazine recently, on top of a host of other accoloades - Pete and Jenny, Landlord and Landlady, keep up the good work - you're definitely a 10/10 from us. I, my wife and our dog will be back. Just keep the big hairy Newfoundland from growling too much - wake him up next time!!!
lovejonny - 28 Oct 2007 22:14
|I wonder how this pub managed to win awards. Certainly when we ate there on 20th October the food and service was very disappointing. The mushroom soup was like a puree of dark field muchrooms and very bland. The Gumbo, for which they say they are renowned was lacking flavour and tasted just like a chunky vegetable soup. The vegetables served with the meat and fish dishes were soggy as was the rosti served with them. The treacle tart was old and dry. This was served with a very small portion of marmalade ice cream, also lacking in marmalade flavour. We did find a couple of strands of peel. Coffee like dishwater. The young waitress gave the impression that she was there under sufferance. No one came to ask if everything was Ok. |
We did expect more especially as they were pricing the food at a level above your usual pub food.
Would not recommend it.
anonymous - 23 Oct 2007 00:34
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