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Dolphin, Botley

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user reviews of Dolphin, Botley

please note - reviews on this site are purely the opinion of site visitors, so don't take them too seriously.

No longer a hungry horse
Has been run by Steve and his team for past 3 years
Great Venue inside and out
Has free parking for 3 hours for customers
Outstanding menus that change each season along with succulent special boards
It is also the centre of the community with community events during the weekday
Repeated visits always impress
Botleytrue - 28 Nov 2021 10:53
Wonderful building - an imposing 3 storey Georgian (built sometime in the 1700s) edifice which has been listed. This was originally a coaching hotel. There's plenty of space inside providing comfortable seating, though much of it is a little worn and basic. The bar has been knocked through to create a long space extending almost to the back. The only windows are at the front, so the impression is more of an airless working men's club or holiday park entertainment's bar. This is compounded by the pub being a Greene King Hungry Horse serving value for money chips and stodge. It is difficult to tell what are original features, and what is fake. The exposed beams are fake, and are not in keeping with the age or style of the building. It is a pity the interior does not match the expectations of the exterior.

I found the pub to be the most comfortable and spacious of the three in Botley, but once inside, the least attractive. The beer is the cheapest in town. There were three cask pumps, but only two were on - Abbot and IPA. The IPA was drinkable, but wasn't cool and wasn't fresh. The pub says it has WiFi, but I couldn't find it on my phone during my visit.

Botley is an interesting looking village, and the three pubs are all acceptable, and serve food. Being close to the Hedge End shopping complex, any of them would be OK for a quick lunch before shopping. But not for anything special. The Dolphin is probably the most down to earth and family friendly, the Bugle the most upmarket and characterful, and the Brewery Bar the freshest looking.
SilkTork - 28 Mar 2015 19:46
Yep! a Hungry Horse. Loads of cheap grub and large portions. Pool table, darts. It's big, so no trouble getting a seat to look at the SKY Tv and you can even watch the match on the screens behind the bar which has a couple of ales on at cheap prices. There's a good crowd of locals who follow the 'Saints'. Not the best pub in town but worth a visit.
BARRY2771 - 5 Jul 2014 16:33
A bit of a dump, rubbish beer the night I visited. Over the road was better and friendlier.
odbod - 14 Sep 2010 14:57
Not bad, typical chain style but the beers reasonable. Food is cheap but nothing special, look for the independant pubs for better food.
leon_t - 24 Jan 2008 16:50
The pudding challenge involves eating a pudding and not throwing up within 30 minutes.
So far no one has succeeded.
chopin - 23 Jan 2008 17:37
I love it here. Great service. quite a local pub but being a hungry horse there is cheap food and you cant leave without trying the pudding challenge.
back2reality18 - 18 Jan 2008 18:14
This happened well over a year ago; however it was only published in The Daily Echo at the time of the court case. All staff are completely new now and the Landlord is pleasant and continuously coming up with new ideas regarding Food, Entertainment & Sports which have proved to have been succesful. I would have probably agreed to some of the comments on here over a year ago but certainly not now.
anonymous - 22 Oct 2007 12:40
Is this true? I was always reluctant to go into this pub, something about it just didn't feel right.
Now I know why.
anonymous - 12 Sep 2007 15:22
No previous reviews have been posted on this pub which is a surprise considering the owners have just been given a fine in excess of 42,000 for breaching hygiene regulations and for continuing to serve food after being told that the kitchens are discgusting and should be closed.
Typical greene king. All they did was sack the manager and sat it was his fault, not theirs, even though they had been warned time and time before the coyrt case.
Now they've put another manager in charge but this one is just another g.k.idiot whose probably just as stupid as the last.
anonymous - 23 Aug 2007 00:48

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