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BITE user comments - John.T

Comments by John.T

The Lamb Inn, Nomansland

I think you can disregard 5 year old reviews. The Lamb always has a fair range of real ales & I have never had a bad pint there. Excellent HSB. This is a comfortable pub, well patronised by the locals. Make sure you book if you want food, especially at weekends. Certainly one of the best Forest Pubs.

1 Apr 2016 16:32

Horse and Groom, Woodgreen

An update on the pub. The latest chef is a young chap called Matthew. And he can certainly cook. I just hope Karen & the rest of the management can hold onto him.

The beer is still Badger & as always it is in excellent condition.

With the arrival of the new chef my rating for the pub goes up a notch.

16 Jan 2016 13:08

The Fox and Goose, Greywell

This is certainly one of the best pubs in Hampshire, 'said by one who has visited more than a few'.
The beer was in outstanding condition, we had the Alton & the Good Old Boy, two other real ales were also on offer.
The food was excellent, my roast beef was under a tenner & the roast potatoes were some of the best I have ever tasted.
From the moment you step through the door you get a warm welcome. Lovely old pub, open fires & a great atmosphere, it is certainly my type of place.

Rating. It's got to be at least a 9

24 Nov 2015 09:46

The Beaulieu Road Inn, Beaulieu

Two weeks ago I booked our small walking party into this pub for lunch. We arrived to find the pub serving beer in plastic cups & overrun with 200+ travellers. The sort with those two wheeled horse drawn carts.
Even worse we we told our booking had been cancelled by phone at 10.30am that morning. Of course we were not at home to take that call as we were happily on our way over the forest to the pub & looking forward to a hearty meal.
The manager informed us that our booking had been cancelled because of a problem with their ovens. When we arrived there was plenty of hot food being served. Miraculously they had been able to sort the problem.
It turned out that the travellers made a late booking on Friday, so anyone booked in for lunch on Saturday other than the travellers had theirs cancelled.

Of course I wrote to the hotel chain & complained about this treatment of local customers. We were offered a free drink when we next used the pub.

That will not be anytime soon.

21 Aug 2015 13:56

The Crown and Anchor, Chichester

A week ago it was our yearly visit to the Crown & Anchor. Really good to see a lot of the old staff had returned including our Aussie lady & her Irish boyfriend.

The landlady, Victoria is Russian & doe's an excellent job of running this pub. Once again a good selection of real ales all in good condition. Great food, I had the lobster. Love the views & all the staff were as attentive as last year.

An all round great pub with nooky corners & a wonderful ambience.

Can't wait to go back. It's still a 9 for me.

3 Aug 2015 17:28

Ship Inn, Owslebury

My last report on the Ship inn was back in Oct 2009. I was not overly impressed on that occasion. Since then like many pubs these days I gather it has been through a few different tenents.

As I remarked on before, this pub looks great from the outside. On a warm day after a bit of a hike from Shawford over the hills we were looking forward to a decent pint & a spot of lunch.

There was just one local in the pub eating lunch at the bar. We chatted whilst we waited to be served. After a few n minutes had passed My wife asked if there was a bell to summon the staff as we were gasping for a pint & the local pointed to a large bell at the end of the bar.

I gave it a clang, a mighty impressive ring it gave off as well, which duly summoned the buxom blonde landlady. She fixed me with a withering stare, stating I was speaking to my chef. Now personally if I was running the business I would have prefixed this with 'Sorry to have kept you'.

Still we ordered our beer, 'Morland & a guest ale' both quite decent plus lunch.

I must have riled her as one of my eggs arrived with a broken yolk & the lettuce had certainly seen better days. If I had been serving I would have apologised for the egg & asked if I wanted it changed.

We had definitely got off on the wrong foot. To be fair the rest of the food was good & fairly priced. Plus the beer was in good condition. But to be honest I did not feel at ease in the pub & was quite pleased when we left. I am sure the land lady is a delightful person but it will probably be another 6 years before I try the pub again.

3 Aug 2015 17:08

The Beaulieu Road Inn, Beaulieu

We used to avoid this pub like the plague. A shame as it is an ideal watering hole when on a walk.

In the last few years it has come on leaps & bounds. Now called THE DRIFT it boasts an impressive range of Ringwood real ales including its own Drift Ale. All the beer is in excellent condition.

One other claim to fame is that this pub turns out chips to die for. OK the prices might seem a little heavy to some people, last time there two weeks ago I had the standard ham,eggs & chips. £12.50. But it is really good quality.

The Drift is now one of those pubs we can recommend with confidence. Get in early & grab a table by the fire.

Almost forgot, the staff are also very good striking just the right balance of care without fawning. There is no service charge so don't forget to leave them a tip.

5 Dec 2014 12:39

The Malt and Hops, Hythe

Pointless postings. Whats the beer like. I went in once. 'No comment'.

23 Nov 2014 16:44

Horse and Groom, Woodgreen

Last weekend our group dropped in to the Horse & Groom. The stall are still great, Carol is still there at weekends. Also the badger beers are very well kept.

What bugs me is the constant change of chef. My last post praised the pub. Ok todays meal cost a tenner, I would sooner pay what I did in my last post & have something a little better. The menu was dumbed down. I won't go into any great detail, we shall go back, but next time I hope we have a better v& more imaginative cook/chef.

These days a pub can survive or fall on the quality of the food. I am sorry but my rating drops to a 7.

23 Nov 2014 16:38

The Kings Head, Hursley

We went to the Kings Head a year ago shortly after they reopened after the floods. It was excellent.

We went back last weekend. Beer still good four on tap. All very well kept.

The menu seemed a bit dumbed down but the food was good apart from one disgusting tasting ice-cream, made from parsnip. Also I definitely do not like a standing 10% service charge.

Friendly staff, though they should pay a little more attention to what was ordered. Brought out two identical dishes, one rare one medium. Waitress did not know which was which. Quite apparent once I cut in to them.

Rating, only a 6, as I really do not like an imposed service charge.

26 Oct 2014 18:37

Bridge, Shawford

It's a Chef & Brewer so don't expect high end food. Most of the staff were very friendly. The chap behind the bar who seemed to be some sort of supervisor was not very happy when three of us handed the Bellhaven beer back. It's not a good idea to argue with customers who have been drinking real ale for longer than they have been on the planet.

It was quite a decent pub 20 years ago.

26 Oct 2014 18:26

The Star Inn, East Tytherley

This pub has certainly picked up since the last review posted by Feed in feb 2012.

It is an honestly run Inn. Friendly welcome, excellent beer, three real ales on tap all from the Downton brewery. I had the Forest ale & that was perfect. As we had not visited the Star before I played safe on the food & went for the set Sunday roast. Good value at £9.95. Fresh veg & tasty beef. None of our party had any complaints.

The young waiting staff were attentive & keen to please. The fittings & decor in the pub would be considered dated by some. But this comes over as a pub that cares for it's customers. It even has it's own little library.
Worth a visit. I rate it an 8. A good pint & friendly staff go a long way to points in my estimation.

6 Oct 2014 15:41

The Crown and Anchor, Chichester

Back again on our yearly visit.The Crown & Anchor has really pulled it's socks up. I understand from the staff that they had new management take over in March 2014.

Now to the critical part. The staff were really brilliant. They were a mix of antipodean & europeans. I could not fault them one bit. They were genuine in their attention. I know things go around but if the management take as much care with employing their staff in future, I know we shall enjoy our next visit.

Now to the beer, 4 real ales on offer. All clear & chrisp.

Food fantastic, I had the crab salad, £15.00 but you get what you pay for. There were only compliments on our table. Thank you to the young Aussie lady from Sydney & her Irish boyfriend manning the bar. You made our visit very pleasurable.

A well deserved rating of 9

1 Sep 2014 19:50

The Brushmakers Arms, Upham

Since my last review we have been back twice & are returning again this weekend. The landlord goes the extra mile, even taking the mickey out of us by putting on a Pompey tablecloth. We are Southampton supporters.

Beer still great & in top condition, as is the food. Looking forward to Sunday.

Still rates a 9. Could have been higher if he supported a decent team. Saying that what happened to ours in the off season.

5 Aug 2014 21:32

The Haven House, Christchurch

I will start with the positives. The staff in the main were pleasant & hard working. Apart from one grumpy young barmaid. Good outside eating areas. We went there last Saturday the warm sunshine had brought the visitors out & the place was heaving.

Downside, the food! Very fast service about 5 mins after placing the order. A bit too fast as everything came with peas & chips, it all looked bland & I'm afraid it tasted like it. The only bit of green stuff I saw came with a burger. If you like McDonalds you may like this.

The beer, Nothing wrong with Ringwood's but this was not as well kept as it should be. 49er & best on tap.

O.K it's a great location but it is over rated. At best a 5 in my book.

20 Mar 2014 12:26

The Brushmakers Arms, Upham

It is a little over two years since we last visited the Brushmakers. It is great to be able to report that the pub was even better than last time we came. No grumpy young waitress , all the staff were brilliant.
The nitty gritty. Excellent food with real veg. I had the pigeon breast. The chowder got rave reviews. The local beer was in perfect condition. All this beside a roaring fire.

Definitely my kind of pub. Our thanks to the entertaining landlord, looking forward to our next visit.

If you like your pubs with a comfy feel & bags of charter you will enjoy Brushmakers.

My rating moves up to a 9

9 Mar 2014 08:15

The Red Lion, Southwick

I must admit that I had meant to book our walking group into the Golden Lion up the road. Some how I got confused & ended up booking us into the Red instead. This turned out to be a fortuitous mistake.

We had walked up from Wickham on a cold blustery day &in very muddy conditions. Just as well that we all carried shoes to change into.
The pub is warm & welcoming. The staff that received us were very friendly. The service was excellent.

The beer, on offer were HSB & two others, all in perfect condition.

None of us could fault the food, fantastic steak & ale pudding as was the lamb, both priced at £14.00 but worth it. No one had any complaints only praise. Our orders covered everything from the soup to desserts.
Definitely one I don't hesitate to recommend. My rating a 9

3 Feb 2014 10:08

The Foresters Arms, Frogham

After a closure of a few weeks the Foresters reopened with a new landlord. Still an excellent range of real ales on offer. Food not quite as exciting as that under the previous landlord. But not bad.
Still rates about an 8.

23 Dec 2013 14:40

The Bat and Ball Inn, Breamore

It seems that the Bat & Ball have lost their chef to the Horse & Groom at Woodgreen. I guess that may explain the drop in standard of the food.

23 Dec 2013 14:31

Horse and Groom, Woodgreen

I am amazed that it has been 4 years since I last did an update on the Horse & Groom. To tell the truth we did avoid it for a while earlier this year, I am afraid the menu & standard of cooking did take a bit of a nose dive.
I am pleased to say it is right back on song. They have recruited an excellent chef. I had confit of duck for just under £13.00, it was excellent. Fresh veg & beautifully cooked. Most things on the menu were under £10.00, very good value.
Carol, the blonde lady I referred to in a previous post is still there giving great front of house service. The beer is mostly Badger but very well kept so no complaints there.
Still one of my favourite Forest Pubs.

23 Dec 2013 14:25

Ye Olde White Hart, Hamble

This post actually relates to our visit in December 2012.
Excellent range of beer on offer including HSB &ESB plus two others. All in top condition. No complaints about the food this year, quite outstanding in fact. As normal the pub was packed. Very festively decorated, roaring open fires. The Olde Whyte Harte now rates an 8.5 with us.

16 Dec 2013 15:10

The King and Queen, Hamble

I choose this pub because the Olde Whyte Hart was booked full.
Now I understand why. We arrived at the King & Queen to find they had no record of our booking. In the event that did not matter as we were the only ones in the restaurant. And it remained that way. Three ales on offer, Otter, Doom Bar & Ringwood best. I had the Otter. The young barmaid placed the cloudy pint on the bar. One sip & it went straight back. Instead I settled for a fairly mediocre pint of Doom Bar. That's a reflection on the way it was kept, not the brewer.
The restaurant was cold though a young lady did light the fire. The menu was very uninspiring & things got worse when the food arrived. Because of the limited menu we went for simple choices. I don't really want to ramble on but there were so many little things wrong. My tagliatelle had so little sauce it was dry. I left most of it. Another of our party had white bait with no bread & butter. My wife had a salad when she asked for a dressing they had none. Quite honestly we were glad to leave.
Later we were told that they had no chef at the moment. If that's the case they had better hurry up & find one. But as far as I am concerned it is off our list. Next time I will book earlier to make sure I get a table at the Whyte Hart. My rating only a 4.

16 Dec 2013 15:00

The Fleur de Lys, Pilley

I am pleased to say that the Fleur de Lys has a new owner. I popped in for a lunch time pint a week back just to check it out. Not a great deal of choice for real ale drinkers, only Ringwood 49er on tap. Though it was well kept.
The decor has improved & there are plenty of comfy sofa's to lounge in. I had a long chat with the very enthusiastic chef.
I was impressed enough to take my wife & a couple of friends back last Friday evening for dinner. The menu featured plenty of game dishes. I decided to test out the chef & the quality of the meat by ordering the rump steak, cooked rare. It is sacrilege to order a steak any other way, 'as any decent chef will tell you'. At £17.50 I expected something pretty good. It turned out to be one of the best steaks I have every had. Well worth the money. The front of house is managed by a lady called Diane. She knows how to take care of her customers.

The Fleur is already becoming very popular & the knock on effect is that with their staffing level service may be a little slow on busy nights.
Also another real ale from one of the micro breweries would vastly improve the appeal of the pub to BITE readers.

I like the Fleur, it has a good feel to it now. Mainly due to the staff & the chef. Certainly worth a try.

My rating. 8.5

22 Oct 2013 10:58

The Fleur de Lys, Pilley

After a good go by the last landlords at making the pub a success, it looks like the Fleur is no more. For rent sign has gone up.

6 Apr 2013 09:50

The Foresters Arms, Frogham

I am sorry to say that today Sunday 31st March the Foresters Arms has closed its doors. Last week we had our last lunch at the pub complimented with an excellent range of real ales. We wish Michael Harding & his wife success with their new venture, a pub Nr Sherborne in Dorset. As yet there is no new tenant for the pub.

If you don't support them, these pubs will become a thing of the past.

31 Mar 2013 18:29

The Wheatsheaf Inn, Fareham

First of all I had a problem finding the Wheatsheaf on BITE as it was listed under Fareham. In fact it is in Titchfield.

Enough of my gripe. Our little walking party came up the Titchfield canal after a shore walk from Warsash. On the advice of a local that we bumped into, we chose the Wheatsheaf over the Queens Head & the Bugle. First impressions very good. Pleasant interior with a comfy snug & restaurant. Very good range of well kept real ale. Two Palmers, Flowerpots & one other whose name escapes me. Excellent reception from the lady serving behind the bar. Helpful & attentive without fawning.

We settled into the comfy snug room. We choose off the bar menu, fish & chips, burger & soups. All reasonably priced & all met with our approval. Nice touches two warm rolls with the soup & the butter served in individual bowls. Only downside, it was straight from the fridge. Apart from that minor glitch this was In fact probably one of the best bar meals we have ever had. The desserts were really good, decent size, beautifully presented & they tasted lovely.The waitress was great & we were really made to feel at home.

I am sorry that Whirly had a bad experience but that just goes to show that one can only judge on what one finds on the day. I hope that was a one off for the Wheatsheaf, as I would not hesitate to highly recommend this pub. I rate it 9 out of 10

3 Mar 2013 10:28

The Three Tuns, Bransgore

The Three Tuns rates alongside the best pubs I have eaten in. This is high end food not your basic pub grub so expect to pay the price. I had the wild duck at £14.95 & it was excellent. We only had one slight criticism & that was about the portion size of the salmon dish.

The range of real ales on offer is very good. My wife had the Black Jack an excellent porter. All the beer is in top class condition.

All in all a lovely comfortable welcoming pub with attentive staff. Also if you only want a drink there is a small bar that will accommodate you.

Well worth a visit. My rating an 8.5

3 Feb 2013 12:38

Folly Inn, Whippingham

The Folly is a strange pub. On entering it looks a bit dowdy. Only one real ale on offer IPA but it was in excellent condition. The welcome from the staff was very friendly & genuine. We had booked a table but it was in a busy area, my wife asked if they had another table. They moved us to a quieter part of the pub with no problem. The food is very reasonably priced & of a good standard. When you consider the amount of casual visitors that pass through the Folly they could get away with less. I can only compliment them on their high standards & good value. The pub may look a little care worn but they are certainly worth their plus 8 rating.

30 Jan 2013 21:37

The Old House at Home, Romsey

It is two years since I last reviewed the Old House at Home. After a refreshing walk up the Test Way in the snow we looked forward to renewing our acquaintance. Not a brilliant start as we introduced ourselves. Our table had been reserved for us at 12.30pm even though I told the person taking the booking that it would be closer to 1.00pm before we would arrive. Landlady informed us she could have let our table several times over. Having said her piece she calmed down.

So a quick appraisal is in order. The beer, a good selection & well kept ales. I had an excellent pint of HSB. I also finished my meal with a decent glass of Shiraz. The food is ok, nothing too exciting but then nether are the prices. The staff were also pretty good.

I was not as impressed as on my previous visit. THerefore my rating drops to a 7.5

20 Jan 2013 17:04

The Crown and Anchor, Chichester

Once or twice a year we visit the Crown & Anchor as it is a convenient watering hole on our circular walk from Bosham.

We have encountered a variety of situations over that period of time. Indifferent beer & food, surly staff & on one occasion we waited 30 mins for our meal as the lady chef had cut the top of her finger off. Lunch was also off though they did offer to make us a sandwich.

So last Sunday it was on our agenda once again. By now we take the pub as we find it, expectations are usual low. On this occasion we were met by very friendly & attentive staff. There were about 3 real ales on offer I had the guest ale which was perfect. The food received mixed reviews from our group but it wasn't too bad. It was served within 10 mins of ordering so full marks there. I don't like to tax the kitchen staff skills too much so I ordered a burger. 'It wasn't cooked all the way through'. Steaks rare, yes, burgers NO. Also the food is probably a little over priced considering the quality but this pub will continue to attract customers just for the fabulous location.

All in all an enjoyable visit, & well done to the staff for making it so. Just for the staff my rating a 7

18 Jan 2013 12:14

The Old Vicarage Hotel, Hinton

I am very wary of people who register to come on BITE, then give a place glowing reviews & are never heard of again. That goes for James242, Davedean123 & ec123. I am with atticus, be wary until you get a few unbiased reviews.

15 Dec 2012 15:18

The Lord Nelson, Hythe

The low rating on BITE for the Lord Nelson really doe's not do justice to this excellent community pub. Also I don't understand the review by Craig Alexander. If he got in the Nelson more often he would see it caters for all age groups.

Now for the real positives. Beer always in good condition. The standby is Ringwood best. This is supplemented by one or two guest beers. Last week it was the excellent 6X & one other 'sorry the name escapes me'. The food is well prepared & competitively priced, with fresh vegetables.

I love the decor of the Nelson, the artefacts are real, not bought in to create a retro pub. Love the compact bars. This is a pub you feel comfortable in.

My rating a 9

10 Dec 2012 11:57

The White Lion, Soberton

We checked this pub out yesterday. It was closed even though there was a menu sandwich board outside. It looked bit disorganised inside from a quite gander through the window. The house owner next door confirmed it was closed.

Hopefully it will be back in business shortly as it was a lovely pub in the past.

9 Dec 2012 11:07

The Oak Inn, Lyndhurst

I have used this pub? on & off for over 40 years. It's popularity with visitors has meant they have maximised the amount of tables to make the most of this. It is now very overcrowded & it can be quite a job getting out to go to the loo if you are unlucky enough to be sat against the wall.

I don,t like beer being served to the table, it feels like they are trying to control the clients. But then they obviously don't want drinkers clogging up the bar, space after all is at a premium.

Not for me any more, it is now a restaurant with prices to match.

3 Dec 2012 12:13

Turfcutters Arms, East Boldre

I am surprised that I have never left a review about the Turfcutters before. Over the years we have used this pub 100's of times.

Top pub with good quality food & extensive menu, well above the usual fare on offer at many other establishments & at sensible prices. Last Sunday most of us choose the Venison stew with dumplings. Really excellent.

The range of beers is not too exciting, but adequate. Ringwood best, 49'er & Doom Bar. The plus side is that it is very well kept, never had a bad pint there.

Another big plus is the New Zealand landlord. Great character who usually takes time to move through the tables for a chat with the clients. He even managed to smile after the All Blacks defeat
at the weekend.

Now a tip if you dinning on a cold day. Book a table on the bar side of the pub which has a large open fire. The dinning rooms to the left of the door as you enter can get rather chilly.

Thats my only gripe. This is a pub full of character, dogs & locals. If you want chrome bar fittings, a flat screen tv & a pool table choose another pub.

I love it. My rating 8.5

3 Dec 2012 11:56

The Crook and Shears, Upper Clatford

This is definitely my type of pub. Old world features, comfortable, cosy, warm & welcoming. Also a decent range of very well kept beers. The landlord & the other locals were also very friendly. Lunch was ordered & served in a little over 10 minutes. Most of us had the excellent slow roasted lamb. One of the big plus marks went to the vegetables. Perfectly cooked.

A small thing to mention is that the toilets are out the back of the pub across a small yard. Not a problem to me but might be a consideration for some.

I can only assume that the rather poor rating on BITE refers to earlier reviews when a different landlord had the pub. I have said this before, concentrate on the more recent comments to get a true reflection of what the pub has to offer.

This is an excellent pub that for me ticks all the boxes. I give it a realistic 9.

30 Nov 2012 10:11

The Junction Inn, St Denys

My first visit to the Junction since the fire. I timed my visit to coincide with the 'Meet the brewer evening.' What a great event. There are not too many pubs that provide 8 different real ales, sausages & faggots & all free. Very well done to Martin the landlord & his wife Dawn. Also to the Green King head brewer who did the talk. Very informative.

Now it is just stating a fact that you will never have a bad pint at the Junction. You have a selection of between 5 to 8 real ales on tap & many more bottled ones to choose from if that's not enough for you.

On the food side you won't be disappointed. Good value, good quality well above pub food standard & large portions. 'A bit too much for me'.

If you want to talk beer this is the pub for you, some of the most knowledgeable real ale drinkers gather here. No wonder it is a CAMRA rated pub.

I may be bias but for me this pub is heaven. I rate it a 9.5 it lost half a point because I have to travel a long way to get there. But there is a railway station, St Denys 200yds up the road.

16 Nov 2012 09:45

Crown Stirrup, Lyndhurst

I see it has been quite a while since the last post about the Crown Stirrup. It has had it's ups & downs with a couple of changes of landlord. The latest are trying hard to make the pub more of a success.
The range of real ale is rather limited, usually just one or two on offer but they are well kept so no complaints there. The food is really quite basic pub fare so doe's not really justify some of the prices charged. I have eaten there on several occasions but always make sure it is something simple to prepare. Last time I had the ham egg & chips. It was ok but nothing special. Two smallish eggs & thin probably processed ham. The baguettes are better value. Three of our group had ordered soup. This unfortunately was served in cold bowls, with cold rolls & was a rather small portion. After pointing this out the soup was topped up & warm rolls appeared.

The staff are attentive, try to please & the pub is quite a homely place. So I wish them well.

A current realistic rating would be a 7

16 Nov 2012 09:24

The Vine, Bursledon

I don't know what happened to my posting of a week ago but the Vine deserves a good plug so here it is again. This is a character pub with Craig & Sandra taking the place to a new level without destroying all the old features & atmosphere. I have no problem with well kept beers but like baxterfish it would be nice to have the odd micro brewery ale on offer occasionally. Craig mentioned that he was looking into this. The food is very good value. Only downside for some people would be the lack of parking. Do as we do, take the walk from the free Bursledon rail station CP, it's less than half a mile & you can work up a thirst on the way. Best pub in the area. My rating 8.5

28 Aug 2012 15:52

The Vine Inn, Burlesdon

An update on my previous post in Feb 2011.
Popped into the Vine this lunchtime as we have heard good reports about the place. The new owners are doing a really good job of putting the Vine back on the map. There are no major alterations to the interior which is a good thing as this pub is full of quiet corners & atmosphere. The beer is now on pumps with a good selection of well kept real ales. Ringwood, Directors & Doom Bar. There is also a good selection of reasonably priced food on the menu, dare I say it, better value than the Jolly Sailor.
Sadly the old black labrador 'Murphy' passed away just a few weeks ago. He was such a character there is a plaque to his memory in the bar.
I suppose the only downside for some people is the limited parking outside the pub. I suggest you do what we do, park by the railway station & walk. 'Parking is free' & the short distance to the pub helps to build a thirst.
If you love a traditional pub where you can chat, play darts & cribbage & receive a genuine warm welcome then this is your sort of place. I rate this lovely pub a 9

23 Aug 2012 18:10

The Castle of Comfort, Medstead

We called in during a walk in late June. Our merry band of walkers were descending the last mile towards Medstead when the unmistakable roar of a Merlin engine revealed a Spitfire heading straight towards us. Mike waved madly 'his dad was a Lancaster pilot in WW2' & to our delight he then did a barrel roll. What a great entre to the pub visit.

The C of C is my type of pub. No frills it's just honest, unpretentious, warm & welcoming. Just the sort of pub that has survived the passage of time untarnished by unnecessary modernisation. Several excellent beers on offer. The landlord put on a new cask & pulled off about four pints before considering it suitable for consumption. The menu is a little slim but this is not what this pub is about. They do the basics & the sandwiches are the best buy.

A great little pub with friendly & often quite eccentric locals. I'm bias but I give it an 8.

6 Aug 2012 17:08

The Jolly Sailor, Burseldon

First of all sorry to Topsaljohn. I should have commented on the beer on my last posting as that is the reason most of us frequent the better pubs. Many visits have past since my last posting on the Jolly Sailor. I keep going back for different reasons. The fantastic view, nostalgia & sometimes the half decent food. But not today. OK the beer. I had the Badger, well kept & very tasty. As was the Hare & the Tanglefoot. We had a lovely lunchtime session, I took 5.00 off Mike in a game of chess. Then 'Sorry Topsaljohn' the food arrived. I had ordered a starter, the prawns at 8.50. Just four prawns in a bowl, no salad, no bread & butter, just four prawns in seasoning with a dip alongside. My advice avoid the prawns, I would not have minded but they were not even tasty. I commented on this to the waitress, 'do you think this is good value, I said', Sensible girl said I am not allowed to comment.

Sorry Jolly sailor, I will be back but your rating drops to a 6. This is no reflection on the staff who must take all sorts of flack by working there.

25 Jun 2012 16:33

The Jolly Sailor, Burseldon

First of all sorry to Topsaljohn. I should have commented on the beer on my last posting as that is the reason most of us frequent the better pubs. Many visits have past since my last posting on the Jolly Sailor. I keep going back for different reasons. The fantastic view, nostalgia & sometimes the half decent food. But not today. OK the beer. I had the Badger, well kept & very tasty. As was the Hare & the Tanglefoot. We had a lovely lunchtime session, I took 5.00 off Mike in a game of chess. Then 'Sorry Topsaljohn' the food arrived. I had ordered a starter, the prawns at 8.50. Just four prawns in a bowl, no salad, no bread & butter, just four prawns in seasoning with a dip alongside. My advice avoid the prawns, I would not have minded but they were not even tasty. I commented on this to the waitress, 'do you think this is good value, I said', Sensible girl said I am not allowed to comment.

Sorry Jolly sailor, I will be back but your rating drops to a 6. This is no reflection on the staff who must take all sorts of flack by working there.

25 Jun 2012 16:32

The Swan Inn, Fittleworth

Oh Dear!. I did not realise that the Swan had gone down the gastro route. As well as all the old fittings the atmosphere has gone as well. And what have they done to the old open smokey fire we loved so much on a winters day.

OK, the food is very good & competitively priced. There is a good range of well kept real ales, you can't go wrong with Doombar.

But did we really have to put up with the the high pitched wailing of some 6 month old baby. Obviously the delight of the grandparents present but a distinct downer for us.

I am afraid the changed Swan is not the sort of pub I feel comfortable in. But it will suit the wine bar crowd from London. Also if you are going to play non stop music ditch the repetitive rubbish.

I have to give it a 7 but I won't be going back.

29 May 2012 17:37

The Trooper Inn, Froxfield

Most of the comments posted before mine reflect this pub/eatery. The beer is well kept, though the range is a little limited. The food is good but as previously commented on rather pricey. I paid 17.00 for three lamb cutlets. What I really objected to was that on the menu it stated that a party of 8 or more would automatically be charged 10% service charge. WE were a party of 10 walkers. I challenged this & was told the charge would be waived. I did not leave a tip so a comment like that on the menu is very counter productive to the staff.

Now this may not be very PC but I prefer to be served by waiting staff who have a command of English.
This was my first visit to the Trooper, some things it doe,s well but it is not for me. I rate it a lowly 6.

25 Mar 2012 20:45

Drovers Inn, Gussage all Saints

This is another pub that is punching well above it's current low Rating. I checked on line to make sure they served food on a Monday. 'Which they did'. On the Monday we visited the menu was somewhat reduced as the previous day was Mothering Sunday. Mind you what was left on was more than adequate.

O.K first impressions. Lovely old pub exterior. Bit disappointed with the interior, a little too modern with the black chairs but my wife added that they were very comfortable whilst I perched on an old pew. Very warming open fire 'always a plus point'.

The beer was excellent, we all enjoyed the Boondoggle.

Now to the food, Two of us had Guinea foul, which was perfect. Another had belly pork with a great side dish of crackling. No complaints from any of our party with regard to the food. Also I am pleased that all the veg is freshly prepped, no frozen rubbish and they have their own kitchen garden. The food is reasonably priced when you consider the quality you are getting.

So all in all we were impressed. My rating an 8.5 and we shall be going back.

19 Mar 2012 20:01

The Royal Oak, North Gorley

We last visited this pub about 3 years ago. Recently I heard it had taken a turn for the better, so we gave it another try. The good points, excellent beer Doom Bar & Ringwood's on offer beautifully kept.
I like the area with the sofa's, that could be cosy on a winters night. But we were dining at Sunday lunchtime just to see if they could cope. The price of the food is not too high, though almost 10.00 for fish & chips was considered a little rich by one of our party as the fish portion was on the small side. The roast potatoes fell well short of my expectations but the roast Sirloin beef I had was excellent at 12.95. Where they really fell down was on the excruciatingly slow service. It took 50 mins from ordering until it arrived at the table. Later we ordered some coffee paid for at the bar. That took twenty mins to arrive after a couple of reminders to the waitress & then it reappeared on the final bill.

The pub is clean & with very good toilets 'if that is important to you'. But there is an atmosphere & in all honestly I would choose the Foresters at Frogham or the Coach & Horses at Woodgreen over this one any day. I give it a 7

11 Mar 2012 21:17

Ye Olde White Hart, Hamble

In answer to Uriahheap, I felt the pub had many good points which to my mind added up to 7.5, and anyway my wife survived.

Leaving that aside we returned last Monday during our yearly meander along the Hamble river. As usual a good welcome. Plus a roaring log fire in both bars. The present landlord has been in the pub for about 9/10 years now & does make a real effort to please his clients. The beer was excellent, ESB, HSB & a couple of other real ales so no problem there. Food! Two of our party had the soup, no complaints there. I had the fish pie, OK but it did cost 12.95 & Roger had his usual cod & chips. Again rather expensive & a fairly meagre portion for the price. We will return but the price of the food warrants a better cook, no way could I call him a chef. Down to a 7 I am afraid.

14 Dec 2011 15:48

The Foresters Arms, Frogham

I notice that visitor 12 only registered on the site to make that adverse comment & has left no other reviews. We had lunch there a few months ago, perhaps not quite up to it's previous standard when I rated it at 10 but still one of the best forest pubs around.

15 Mar 2011 20:49

Red Lion, Chalton

I must admit I am very wary of reviews from people who have registered just to give a pub a glowing write up & nothing more is heard of them. I always look to see which other pubs reviewers have commented on, if none I take their single review with a pinch of salt.

Consequently our walking group will pop into the Red Lion this weekend for a pint to check it out for ourselves. But we shall be having lunch at the Five Bells in Buriton.

15 Mar 2011 11:42

The Woodpecker, Spetisbury

Our little walking group were enjoying the lovely countryside of the Stour valley & our day got even better when we stopped at the Woodpecker at Spetisbury for lunch. I can only echo the previous reviews, great staff, very attentive landlord who is really doing a great job. Good range of well kept real ales, I tried the 6p Handley, lovely pint. And the food, certainly the best quality we have ever enjoyed at the price. You will find it hard to fault this pub, from the real local atmosphere to the tasteful decor. Even the gents toilets are worth a mention & thats something I never comment on. Well worth a visit. My rating, an 8.5

13 Mar 2011 08:40

The Vine Inn, Burlesdon

A lovely quaint old pub that was run by an older couple that sold real ales straight from the barrel. We called in a few weeks ago only to find it was closed & available to rent.

I shall check the pub out again in a week or so to see if there have been any developments.

27 Feb 2011 12:30

Ye Olde White Hart, Hamble

Our little walking group have used this pub several times in the past. On Saturday we choose to eat here. The welcome was very friendly & the beer is always good. The ESB was superb. The two young lady waitresses were very good, attentive without fawning. OK the food is a bit pricey. Four of our party had soup which they all declared a winner & quite good value. My wife had the chicken burger which she suspected was not as fresh as it should have been. And sure enough the next day she had tummy problems. Putting that aside it is a lovely old pub & still somewhere that you can call in for a pint if that's all you want. I rate it a lot higher than the current 4.4, some one must have been really grumpy in the past. My rating a realistic 7.5

7 Feb 2011 11:25

Chequers Inn, Lymington

Our walking party popped in for lunch this Sunday. Although we have visited & eaten here several times before I have not previously left a review. The landlord mentioned is still in situ, get him talking about sailing. He has crewed on many of the yachts featured in the photo's which adorn the walls.

This is a popular pub & as usual it was a busy Sunday service. Most of the waiting staff are mostly East European with the exception of one fulsome local lady for who nothing was too much trouble. We arrived with two extras above our booking & they were accommodated without any fuss.

The food is reasonable & at a fair price for the area. The beer on this occasion was rather below par, only two Ringwood ales on offer & my pint of best was slightly lacking. Overall the pub still manages to maintain some old world character & create a decent ambience.

We shall return but on the next occasion I hope the beer has improved. My rating a 7

16 Jan 2011 20:18

The Brushmakers Arms, Upham

We took on board the previous review which stated that the dining area of the pub could be a bit cramped when making a booking at the Brushmakers. I could see that with a full house the chairs of one table would be right up against the chairs of the next table. Do like us, armed with that info make sure you ask for a table where you will not be too cramped when making a booking. Consequently we had no trouble.

Ok the Nitty Gritty. On arrival the young staff behind the bar were reasonably efficient but there was only a hint of a smile. On the plus side the service was quick & the real Ales 'of which there were several to choose from' including one of my favourites ESP were very well kept & the price of around 3.00 is pretty much the norm for these parts.

The food is certainly a cut above what is available from other local pubs, with the exception of the cottage pie which was under seasoned. The partridge was brilliant As was the crab. In all a good pub with an older bar area & modern dining room, open fires & really friendly waiting staff. This is one we shall definitely return to. My rating, just about worth an 8 & the bar staff managed a bigger smile when I left a tip.

10 Jan 2011 09:55

The Maypole Inn, Hayling Island

We were back on the Island for a return walk this weekend & this time booked the Maypole. This coincided with the Portsmouth Marathon but fortunately none of them were hanging around for lunch.
Once again we found attentive service, good food & well kept beer. So for me it retains it's 8.5 rating.

13 Dec 2010 19:55

The Coach and Horses, Compton

Sorry forgot to give my score. 8

13 Dec 2010 19:45

The Coach and Horses, Compton

This type of pub may well be gone in another 10 years or so. Enjoy it while you can. We called in at lunchtime today (Monday) rather quiet when we arrived, just one small open fire with two locals ensconced on either side. Extensive lunchtime menu, I was the least adventurous going for the linguine, The others went for the sweetmeats. It wasn't long before a few more locals turned up, look out for the lady with the trio of Bedlington Terriers. We think the landlady was either French or Belgian we did not ask but she was a gem.

Now to business, the real ale, brilliant selection actually too many to recall, all beautifully kept. The food was very good & surprisingly not too expensive. If you are in the area it is worth a visit to this quirky little pub. Allow the experience to creep over you, don't judge it on what you see as you go through the door.

13 Dec 2010 19:45

The Weld Arms, East Lulworth

We walked to the pub along the cliff path after a visit to Tyneham & it was freezing. One or two Hefty climbs sorted us out & we were ready for lunch by the time we arrived at the Weld. My wife commented on the outside toilets, bit of a shock when it is minus 1c outside but she added they were modern & very clean. We can echo the recent comments, lovely pub from the outside, a bit too modernised interior for my taste, I do like a bit of interest & history which relates to the pub. Good food, quickly served & really nice staff. Excellent beer, Coopers was on & I choose the Dorset Gold, it never fails to please.
All in all a pretty good pub, rates better than the 6.2 it had before my review. I give it an honest 8

28 Nov 2010 17:48

The Crown Inn, Shorwell

I have a friend who is due to visit the island & asked for my pub recommendations. I have just noted the recent comments on the Crown & as I take notice of serious reviews it will sadly no longer figure among my top ten.

20 Sep 2010 15:30

The Compasses Inn, Damerham

Our walking group stopped off for lunch yesterday. The Compasses is set in a beautiful area with lots of delightful walks on the doorstep. My report echo's much of what has been said in previous reviews. Good range of well kept real ales. Pretty good food, 'Christine loved the chicken', a bit stingy on the portion of vegetables which are charged separate from the main meal. The desserts were well received but overall I felt the food was slightly overpriced. I had the ham & it was not the best I have ever tasted. 'If you want really good ham,egg & chips try the Radnor Arms in Nunton.' Plus points, very good garden area & friendly staff. Downside, the pub just lacked a bit of atmosphere. I agree with the current rating & give it 7.5

14 Jun 2010 10:00

The Horseshoe inn, Ebbesbourne Wake

Our walking party booked into the Horseshoe on the back of the reviews I read on BITE. After 11 plus miles on a hot Sunday '6th June' we arrived at this delightful pub. Hamish must have upset the landlord in some way as we found him & his wife to be the real character of the pub. And the pub is great, a little over the top with all the hanging tools, lamps & other artifacts but it is genuine olde worlde & not fabricated. To business, the beer was perfect, I recommend the local Sixpenny ales. The food, vegetables perfect, the lamb had a little too much fat for my wifes liking. I had the faggots in onion gravy. Good but pricey at 11.25. A very nice pub, I give it an 8.5

8 Jun 2010 11:22

The Crown, Salisbury

We dropped into the Crown during a walk on Sunday 6th June. We had already had lunch at the Horseshoe in Ebbesborne Wake 'see my review'.
So it was just for a welcome refreshment stop on our journey. All I can say is the welcome was one of the best we had ever received. The beer brewed locally was first class & we loved Puzzle the lemon basset hound. I was even more impressed that the landlord knew all about BITE & was pround that they had a top billing on the site. Many thanks to David & Linda, I hope when we return later this year to sample the food that they are still in residence. I shall reserve giving a rating untill we have dined in the pub.

8 Jun 2010 11:07

The Old House at Home, Romsey

I had originally booked our walking group into the Olive Tree, my selection was based on BITE reviews. Unfortunately when we arrived there was only one real ale on offer & though the staff were really pleasant the place did not really suit our taste. So it was off to find something with a little more olde world character & we came to the Old House at Home. This was more like it. And I can say it is not full of old foggies & there was a blend of all ages eating & drinking. So if you like good beer 'really well served' & excellent food, 'well above pub grub standard' & yes it may be slightly above other establishments in price, but then you get what you pay for.
Not a single complaint from our bunch, just a request to return in the future.
My rating an 8.5

20 Feb 2010 19:43

The Red Shoot Inn, Linwood

It is a fair while since our walking group visited the Red Shoot. Today we returned and it is better than ever. OK if you are expecting two Sunday roasts for a tenner you have come to the wrong place. But then I don't mind paying a bit extra for quality. And that is what we got. My wife & I ordered sirloin steaks 'rare', they came to the table sizzling on individual hot plates & cooked to perfection. Cost 13.00 each but worth it. The rest of our party had venison 15.00 & the comment was 'almost as good as the Five Bells at Buriton.' 'see my other reviews for that pub.' Also the standard roast dinner got the thumbs up 8.75. Then you have the beer, enjoy the Tom Tipple & the Muddy boot, absolutely wonderful crisp & clear. And if you want more you can feast your eyes on the gorgeous waitressess. All in all a pretty good pub with plenty of ambience. My rating a genuine 9.

7 Feb 2010 18:50

The Ship Inn, South Harting

I booked our walking group into the Ship for lunch as the reviews on BITE put it marginally ahead of the White Hart in the same village. First impression, lovely old pub with great staff and a roaring open fire. Slight downside two pints of Palmers came up slightly cloudy so the taste was not crisp and clean. Switched to a pint of the Swift One but not really to my likeing. The rest of the real ales on offer were perfect according to other members of the group. The food. Acceptable but not outstanding. My wife commented that her cauliflower cheese lacked a bit of flavour, 'watery she called it'. On the up side one of our party had a bumper ploughmans which he was more than happy with. Other comments were that the soup was a rather small portion. All in all a decent pub and in spite of my rather lack lustre review I would return again as the pub has a comfortable feel with just the right ambience. My rating a 7

28 Dec 2009 12:34

The Jolly Sailor, Burseldon

Right, this is John.T's honest review of the Jolly Sailor. I am afraid that if T1000 gave this pub a 10 he needs to get out more. I myself have frequented the J.S for more than 40 years & as for Howards Way, well I was in that as an extra. But enough of my fame, back to the pub review.
The staff are hard working & attentive, they went out of their way to accommodate our unbooked party of 8. The view is superb as is the olde world feel of the pub. I know they have to move with the time's but I hated it when they originally opened up the bars. I accept now that it was done as tastefully as possible. The food is expensive for the quality which is a bit hit and miss. My vegetables were good, but my roast beef was tough. And then some of our party ordered the multi pudding dish for 9.00 & it was out of this world. Bit of a strange menu with the prices in fractions on the right hand side. Another plus the real ale is clean, clear & perfect. So to sum up, the J.S is still a great pub in a sought after location, if you are visiting the area you will love it. By the way, at busy times park below the pub at the Bursledon Railway Stn & walk up the steep path. Our walking party will be back at a future date but if your pennies are tight lunch in Hamble, only 5.00 for a Sunday roast at most of the pubs. I rate the J.S an honest 7.

14 Dec 2009 16:47

The Red Lion, Freshwater

Our walking group had been looking forward to lunching at the Red Lion for some years. Last Sunday it fitted our itinery so at last we got to try it. A lovely looking pub which is matched by it's interior decor.
We booked ahead & were given a table alongside the cosy fire. The welcome from the landlord & the bar staff could not have been bettered. Now to the nitty gritty. The Goddards beer was ok but I have tasted better. And the comments on the meals were much the same, it was o.k. but for an up market pub charging a little more than the average I expected better. My steak & mushroom pudding was once again 'O.K' but some of the vegetables were pureed & though reasonably tasty not what I expected. You can get away with a lot serving veg that way. A really nice pub but they could improve the meals. My rating a 7

8 Dec 2009 18:14

The Sir Walter Tyrell, Brook

Our walking group have visited the Sir Walter Tyrell on a number of occasions over the years. So lets get the reviews into context. This is a very busy pub on a fine weekend. Saying that we have never been treated discourteously. Yes most of the staff are non British but on our last visit we were served by two charming young men one of them French. The staff work hard and for the most part have been very pleasent. Also the food is good, reasonably priced & the service is quick. The Tyrell is a popular pub with forest visitors, consequently it is often very busy. My advice as a local is get in early & be nice to the staff. By the way, the beer is always well kept.
I give it a realistic 7.5

11 Nov 2009 12:52

The Crab and Lobster, Sidlesham

Our party of walkers were really looking forward to Sunday lunch at the Crab & Lobster. We arranged to meet some friends at the 'pub'? together we made up a group of ten. Set in a glorious location the setting in the bar was really inviting. Our table was beautifully laid out, beyond that the good turned to. I choose the crab salad, 'expensive at 17.50' but I expected a treat. I did'nt get it. All the food was hideously overpriced and nowhere was this backed up by any quality. When the waiter asked if everything was all right I replied 'not really', he did not ask the reason & he stayed away from our table after that. To sum up. A pretentious, overpriced establishment who only survive because of the well heeled locals must have more money than sense. I give it a 2. One mark for the table & another for the view, though the owners had little to do with that. 'Highly unrecommended'. And the beer was awful.

11 Nov 2009 12:29

Radnor Arms, Nunton

Our walking group dropped in whilst on a trek along the Avon way. Once again we took a chance by not booking. Not ideal on a Sunday. No problem we were found a table during a busy lunchtime service. Excellent staff, quick service, beautifully kept beer, 'there is nothing wrong with a good pint of Badger', very good food & the pub has that wonderful olde world ambience. I loved the relaxed atmosphere in a truely original pub.
My rating, a 9. Seek it out you will not be disappointed.

24 Oct 2009 15:49

Ship Inn, Owslebury

O.K, this pub is a bit like the curates egg, 'Good in Parts'. Our walking party had lunch there last Sunday. We were surprised that even though we had not booked tables were plentyful. To cut to the quick. There is a selection of real ales & they were well keep. The food is slightly overpriced but if it had all been perfect there would not have been a problem. I saw that the chef was West Indian and went for the Caribean Chicken. 'Which was perfect'. Cost 9.85. My wife had the beef which was like leather, I know I tried to chew a bit & I still have real teeth. Even though the pub was not unduely busy it still took 40 mins for the soup course to arrive. So to sum up. Not the pub I knew in the past. The heart has been ripped out as part of the refurbishment. No ambience left. And for goodness sakes don't order the coffee. What a shame as it still looks the business from the outside. My rating a generous 6.5

10 Oct 2009 18:04

The Black Horse, Great Durnford

Our walking group called in for lunch last weekend after a hot walk up from Old Sarum. Mike thought the landlord a bit off untill he found out that his nickname was Mr Grumpy. Don't let that fool you. The staff are great & it is the best pub around for miles. We loved the quirky nature of all the nick knacks & it is just a comfortable place to sit quietly with a pint of decent beer watching the world go by. On top of that really good food, 'you get what you pay for' well keep beer & attentive staff. My score an 8.

3 Jul 2009 18:48

Horse and Groom, Woodgreen

Just to let you know that our walking group did return a week later on a very busy bank holiday Sunday & the hottest day of the year so far. If anything would catch out the staff this day would. The standard did not slip,
well done to the blonde lady who runs the bar & the chef, brilliant service with a genuine smile. Your rating stay's at a 9.

27 May 2009 17:08

The Cartwheel, Whitsbury

It is sad that this pubs low rateing is based on early reviews. All I ask is that you base your appraisal on all those post 2007 because this is a great pub. Our walking group dropped in at 11.30am for a pint & liked it so much we stayed for lunch. My only gripe was that I missed out on the excellent Wareham faggot dish, as there was only one portion left. So I can only echo what others have said, great Ringwood beer, chrystal clear, lovely food & another pub where we were made genuinely welcome. Oh! & if you are into horses you will be in good company. Dessert Orchid came from these parts. My rateing an 8.5

18 May 2009 19:05

Horse and Groom, Woodgreen

This pub is a little gem. You should read & digest the rest of the reviews because it is not often that I would agree with all the previous comments. Our walking group dropped in at the end of a long walk & received a warm & genuine welcome. The food is very good with freshly prepared veg. The beer, a wide range of real ales beautifully served. And what a lovely old pub, full of unpretentious character. It rates in my top three New Forest pubs. Our group were so impressed we will be going back next week. I rate this one a well deserved 9.

18 May 2009 18:50

The Crown Inn, Shorwell

This was our second visit to the Crown at Shorwell. I can honestly say that this pub now rates well above the 6/10 it has been credited with. I think a lot of those reviews relate to previous landlords & their performance. Our walking group love the Crown. It still retains the old pub feel & creates a lovely ambience. I hope she will not mind me mentioning this, but the lady with the limp is a real treasure, always cheerful & helpful. The staff are very friendly, the beer is top class & the food is v.good & we did not have to wait long for it to arrive. One of my top 3 Isle of Wight pubs. I give it an 8 rating.

30 Apr 2009 12:40

The Smugglers, Milford on Sea

This is the sister pub to the Hare & Hounds at Sway, a tough act to follow.
Again we picked up on the Smugglers via the BITE reviews. There was not a single comlaint about the food from our party, the whitebait was highly rated as the 2nd best they had ever had. The best being served at the Hare & Hounds. A big thumbs up for the jacket potatoes & the lasagne. Two of us had the steak & ale pie, very good but not the best I have ever eaten. The vegetables were fresh & more were offered if we wanted them. The desserts were highly rated, top marks for the sticky toffee pudding & the crumble. You can't go wrong with the beer, an excellent range of well kept real ales. We set off on the second half of our walk quite replete. You will not be disappointed by the Smuggler, good food reasonably priced. I think it's rating of 7.5 is about right.

12 Apr 2009 19:45

Ye Olde George, East Meon

Our walking party gave both the East Meon pubs a visual once over & settled for the George as being a little more user friendly. We tried all the real ales on offer, the Badger & the Sussex bitter gained top marks & both were well kept clean & clear. The food is what I call top range pub grub. Good ingredients well prepared. Our group sampled a fair range of dishes from the menu, no complaints & the pricing was not too heavy and in line with the quality of the food. To sum up a very pleasant comfortable pub with excellent friendly staff who gave us prompt service with a smile. One of our group wanted to stay all afternoon he felt so relaxed there. Only one demerit point, my wife felt that the dessert menu was not too exciting & her raspberry creme brulee came close to contravening the trade discription act. As she put it, one raspberry does not qualify for its given name. I give it 7.5 points.

21 Mar 2009 18:14

The Maypole Inn, Hayling Island

Our walking group were keen to try the Maypole, could one of the top rated pubs in Hampshire really rate a phenomenal 9.7, this is our unbiased view & we visit top rated pubs on a weekly basis. First of all we had enjoyed a splendid walk from the Ship car par via the Billy Line to the South of Hayling island. Then we turned North & 2 miles later arrived at the Maypole on a busy Sunday service without booking ahead. For a moment things looked bleak, but with my usual luck our party of 5 secured a table. The staff were great, we were told that due to a mishap in the kithen they were running a little late with the orders. No problem our order was taken 15 mins later & the food was on the table 10 mins after that. I had the standard beef roast & it was perfect. There was one grumble that one plate of mixed veg between 4 was a bit stingy, but the vegetables were fresh & very well cooked. Another of our party thought the portions of food was rather small. Also the roast pork was not as flavoursome as it could have been. But these are still small gripes. The beer was excellent, I had the Butser & it was very well kept. Overall this is a very well run pub, maybe lacks a bit of old world character but I would recommend it to anyone. And it probably is the best pub on Hayling Island. I give it a realistic score of 8.5.

8 Mar 2009 19:04

The Trusty Servant, Minstead

The pub's current rating of 5.9 is a reflection of some earlier reviews when the pub was run by another landlord. It is better than that now but not enough to entice our party of walkers back. Plus points, the beer is well kept, an excellent pint of Ringwood Best. The food was rather poor & not up to the standard mentioned by the previous reviewer. Two of our party went for soup 'and left it ' I had a taste, grainy & with little flavour. I had a passable rib eye steak. It was cooked how I like it 'rare' but there was grisle in it and frankly not too tasty. I had expected more from Dexter cattle grazing nearby, from whence the meat came. There were uncooked stalks on my broccoli though I liked the hand cut chips. Not one of our party of 9 really enjoyed their meal. Perhaps we were expecting more of this pub as it has received good reviews in the press. To sum up, too expensive for the quality of food, attentive landlord & friendly staff. Afraid we will not be going back as there are better pubs in the area. My rating 6.5

28 Feb 2009 18:51

The Queens Head, East Clandon

Rather like 'Beersupper' I find some of the reviews for this pub rather suspicious. The one by Lenka reads like an advert. I can state that I have not yet visited this pub & will now take it off my list of prospective haunts. I am currently looking for the best pub in Surrey, as a Hampshire lad they seem to be lacking. Although the Kings Head 'Holmbury St Mary' looks promising.

23 Feb 2009 14:40

Cricketers Inn, Pirbright

Our walking group have been looking for a really good pub in Surrey, this is not it but as Surrey pubs go it is better than most. From the outside it looks the part, enter and the guts have been ripped out. Modern open plan, food not exciting but passable fare and the beer is ok. As mentioned before Fullers and a guest ale. But where is the soul of the pub. Maybe I am getting a little too old. At least it is free of a wide screen plasma TV. I don,t want to be too hard but if this was my local I would probably end up drinking at home. I am going to give it a generous 7, but I would not go back.

22 Feb 2009 14:56

The Royal Oak, Hooksway

As most of the previous reviews have said, this pub provides oddles of character, very good real ale, and passable food for the weary traveller.
Thrown in is a bit of quirkyness via the landlord & the serving staff. Make an effort, engage the staff in conversation, remove your walking boots and toast your toes in front of the open fire. We will call in again if we are this way in future, but not a pub that excites enough to seek out. Really good beer though. !!!

15 Feb 2009 18:43

The Half Moon and Spread Eagle, Micheldever

Today, after a relatively short walk along the Dever valley we called in at the Half Moon & Spread eagle. This I chose after refering to the BITE web site. We were in luck, the Sunday lunch was on at two for 10.00. And I can say this was excellent value. The roast potatoes were on a par with the best I have ever eaten, outside of cooking my own. The rest of the veg was just right, nothing out of a can. If I have a gripe my beef was slightly overcooked, but the rest of our party had no complaints with their choice. The real ale was Ruddles, ok but a wider choice would have been appreciated. The presence of very young children in the bar may put some people off. And they could lose the piped music. Even so my wife insists I give it an 8.

1 Feb 2009 18:40

Monty's, Beaulieu

I must admit I rather liked the sofas, unfortunately they have largely disappeared,
you will still pay well over the odds for a pint of beer or a glass of wine, and as another reviewer commented, certainly a pub for the tourist, few people would ever choose to come back, unless like me you work in the area & have little choice. Still you do meet some interesting people to compensate for the short comings of the establishment.

11 Jan 2009 21:31

The East End Arms, East End

All I can see is if you are looking for really good food, attentive & friendly staff then you can't do much better than the East End |Arms. Pay your respects to the old landlord in the public bar. He resides in a plastic pyramid. I will leave you to find out why. Lovely pub, very good Ringwood beer. Try the mussels, brilliant grub. my rating 9 out of ten.

11 Jan 2009 21:17

The Black Fox Inn, Milland

We called in at the Black Fox for lunch during our walk going south on the Sussex path. We choose the pub after refering to the reviews on BITE. It seemed to be the best in the area. The local Black Fox bitter was excellent. The young man working the bar & also dealing with the food orders was very pleasant and attentive. Unfortunately the food just did not cut it for the price. I had the Steak & Ale pie, this should have been exceptional at 12.95, it was'ent. The rest of our party were satisfied with what they had but felt the food slightly overpriced. Hard to knock the pub as the staff strived to please, but we probably will give it a miss in the future. My rating would be 7.5

10 Jan 2009 20:11

The Red Lion, Boldre

A party of 4 of us had lunch at the Oak, a pub I had recommended to many friends. It is hard for me to lower my rating for this pub but being honest I must speak as I find. Two of our party were perfectly satisfied with their main course. Two of us were not. My Hampshire rump steak was at best medium when I had ordered rare and it turned out to be tough. Not good for a price tag of 15.75. The lamb was also below par. As was one of the desserts, a crumble which was'nt. The staff were as usual attentive and very pleasent. Top marks for the rabbit & guinea fowl but leave the steaks alone. My pub rating down to 7.

15 Dec 2008 15:49

The Foresters Arms, Frogham

This pub has never let us down. We called in yesterday 'Sunday' after a hard muddy walk from Pickett Post. The staff were brilliant, found us a table for 7 even though they were busy with the pre christmas diners. Food promptly served with a smile. No complaints about the quality, I can recommend the beef & mushroom pie, an absolute delight. The beer as usual would satisfy any real ale buff. This is a little forest gem. One of the few top 10 rated pubs on my pub crawl.

15 Dec 2008 15:36

Five Bells, Buriton

We visited the Five Bells during a walk from Rowlands Castle to Petersfield. From the moment we walked through the door we loved this pub. Genuine character a warm welcome, crisp clear well kept beer, I tried the Hare an excellent pint. The food was superb, three of us had the locally sourced venison. We honestly thought it the best we had ever eaten. There is a comfy little lounge with sofa's and a beautiful little garden. If you like a traditional well run pub with excellent food you will love the Five Bells. My higest rated pub yet at 9.5 points.

30 Mar 2008 22:50

The Queens Head, Burley

This pub used to be a favorite haunt of mine back in the late 60s early 70s. Then it was Watneys red barrel & awful Whitbreads. The upside was the fantastic live groups at the weekend. Recently I have visited this pub twice. On the first occasion my wife & I had a light lunch. Mine was a delicious Hot chicken & prawn sandwich. A week later we called in with our walking group, we had booked the small private room. I ordered the haddock. Unfortunately this was well below par & the veg consisted of yellowing broccoli & a single carrot. The Ringwood best was not at it's best. The staff were pleasant enough in a flitting sort of way. Overall the food was rather uninspiring. This is a shame as on our first visit the pub was very welcoming with open log fire roaring away. Our second visit was on the coldest day of the year & the fire was out. We have crossed this pub off our list of return too's.

4 Feb 2008 13:49

The Star and Garter, East Dean

We called in at the Star & Garter last Saturday having worked up a good appetite walking the downs.The pub was very busy & we had prepared ourselves to eat in the garden as we had not booked a table. The landlord was very accommodating holding a table for us as another party were just leaving. We tried the local beer, 'Arundal Gold' not really to my taste as I prefer 'Ringwood Best'. The food was really good. I had chicken supreme served with perfectly cooked fresh vegetables. I had no quibble paying 13.50 as this was worth every penny. I know this is a gastro pub but the staff are efficient and friendly. The interior has been tastefully done and has created an old pub feeling, warm & welcoming. My wife reccomends the 'Sticky Figgy Sponge Pudding' positively orgasmic she say's.

14 Jan 2008 10:03

The Augustus John, Fordingbridge

We visited this pub whilst walking the Avon Valley. We had gleaned from 'Beer in the Evening' that this pub was rated for it's food. So even though this meant a couple of miles extra on our walk we made the effort to visit. We arrived rather late in the day, 2.00pm and were doubtful of getting anything to eat. No problem, the staff were exceptionally friendly, the locals were entertaining and the food was as good as it get's. They even tolerated our muddy boots. On the down side the pub is a bit open plan where as I like my pubs with nooks and crannies. Still with a good range of real ale and that food it ticks must of the boxes.

11 Jan 2008 12:29

The Hare and Hounds, Sway

I visited this pub with my wife just before christmas.
Even though this was on a Sunday and the staff were expecting to be very busy we were given a love'ly table in the bar window and our food 'which was excellent' was on the table within ten minutes. Top marks to the landlady and the very friendly staff. The food was very good and reasonably priced. Also I loved the ambiance of the place and the friendly chap with the old border collie. A warm and welcoming pub to return to. Top marks for their Ringwood Best.

11 Jan 2008 12:07

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