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Eclipse Inn, Winchester

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user reviews of the Eclipse Inn, Winchester

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

A locals pub, certainly when I visited. Friendly lot with a bit of banter. Various ales of which I had the doombar which was good. Bang in the town centre just round the corner from the cathedral. Worth a visit if thirsty and passing by.
d.franks - 23 Nov 2016 19:58
Opposite the Old Vine and very much in the middle of the touristy area , this is a lovely looking pub that dates back to the 16th century.

A free house with 4 hand pumps, no local ales with the beers from Sharps, Long Man Brewery, Hogs Back and Timothy Taylor. I had a pint of Landlord which was good.

Dark inside with low lighting, seating is arranged as benches in the front room with its small bar, to the rear is another seating area and the toilets. The punters were mostly eating, unsure the price of the food but the 2 plates I saw looked good.

Their is a lot of tables outside the front of the pub on the pavement, little sun trap area. Only stayed for one pint, decent enough pub.
lezford - 12 Sep 2016 14:28
A damn site better than it used to be in here for sure.
Decent selection of ales these days, and usually a smile from behind the bar.
The only downside is the pricing seems to be based on the Old Vine across the road despite hosting a very different clientele in general.
StoneBlack - 29 Dec 2015 22:07
Small centuries old pub in the centre of town. Most customers appeared to be taking advantage of the summer weather. Those inside all seemed to know one another. A few had been to the game at Southampton. I kept a reasonably low profile, given the result. Some of the language was a little choice. Staff were nice enough. Ales were Longman American Pale Ale, Butcombe Bitter, Sharps Doom Bar & Timothy Taylor Landlord. They were being dispensed in glass but were not the cheapest.
blue_scrumpy - 16 Aug 2015 15:36
Small centuries old pub in the centre of town. Most customers appeared to be taking advantage of the summer weather. Those inside all seemed to know one another. A few had been to the game at Southampton. I kept a reasonably low profile, given the result. Some of the language was a little choice. Staff were nice enough. Ales were Longman American Pale Ale, Butcombe Bitter, Sharps Doom Bar & Timothy Taylor Landlord. They were being dispensed in glass but were not the cheapest.
blue_scrumpy - 16 Aug 2015 15:36
Visited 4th July while The Hat Fair was on .Beer served in Plastic for non locals,fair enough as people were wandering round the streets with beer.TT landlord was ok ,uninspiring choice of ales on ,shame as it used to have a good choice.Maybe just an off day .
lowerbourneshot - 7 Jul 2015 08:50
A charming old pub with classic interior and a reasonable pint let down by some snobby cow behind the bar .
anonymous - 30 Mar 2015 21:33
Nice character inn in a central location. You can sit inside or out. Good ales too. Worth a visit.
Trev - 3 May 2014 08:56
Not a bad little boozer, recently cleaned up and back on the list of pubs for a Winchester crawl...the Ringwood Porter was on fine form during the Christmas break.
Small and cosyish inside, in better weather the outside seating is a pleasant place to sit and watch the hustle from the cathedral and city centre passing by.

It always was worth visiting but had become properly grubby a couple of years ago with a lot of neglect going on, and was the favoured haunt for the "off duty" Buttercross beggars for a while, though they thankfully seem to have vanished from the area in recent times?

An interesting comparison with The Vine just across the road, both are now worth a look though.
Steve_Smythe - 4 Jan 2013 00:08
try the food!!!!!!!!!
our first visit i had the short rib of beef,very tasty and so much on my plate that our dogs benefited,and yes they allow dogs in which is great.i challenge you to eat it all yourself!
now yesterday we went for sunday lunch,
roast sirloin of beef,roast spuds,homemade yorky pud,gorgeous gravy and,count these.....
cauliflower,celeriac,leek,cabbage,carrot,swede,parsnip,sweet potatoe,and broccoli.yes....9 vegetables,10 if you count the roast spuds!
all served on a red hot plate,by lovely staff.
by far the best sunday lunch to be found in winchester,and believe me,ive tried them all.....just a shame i never tried the eclipse first!
well kept ciders,nice atmosphere,lovely wood burner.
i can only rate this pub at 11 out of 10.
sud - 24 Sep 2012 09:43
Good little proper pub, with real customers. Far preferable to the poncey Old Vine.
Heatonian - 11 Sep 2012 21:54
Prime location like the Old Vine but oh dear. Should be called the Star Wars bar with the looks of some of the customers. 3/10.
roselily - 8 Sep 2012 21:35
Nice quiet pub around corner from Cathedral. Had a couple of ciders on tap (Thatchers Gold and Stowford)
WelshOwl - 27 Aug 2012 16:57
Not suer what Bernie5 means by the Landlord being a bit odd?, I visited this pub last Tuesday afternoon during a Pub Crawl of Winchester and found the Landlord excellant. He WAS the Landlord who had been there for 10 years. Beers available were Ringwood Best @ 3.50 which was excellant, also available was Doombar, Exmoor Gold and Black Jack. Nice quiet friendly pub with bags of Atmosphere and a nice woodburning fire. Best Pub I found in Wincheste by a mile. Will definately be back on my next visit and hope to eat there as well
Bitter_Man - 26 Apr 2012 16:06
Visited after a tour round cathedral. Good beer with an excellent lunch. Nice to find somewhere that does homemade food that lacks the pretensions of the gastro pub. A very enjoyable time. Good service although the barman was a little too camp for my taste.
greenwellie - 30 Mar 2012 23:55
Decent enough place whenever I went in there although the landlord (Not the beer) is a bit odd. Good atmosphere when the right people are in there... One or two less favourable characters go in there sometimes.
Bernie5 - 27 Feb 2012 15:10
I have always enjoyed visits to the Eclipse. Friendly staff, reasonable ales and a nice feel to the place.
toorantom - 2 Oct 2011 15:50
I must have gone into a completely different pub from everyone else. Sullen service, prices incredibly high, even for a pub close to the cathedral, out-of-date crisps! The 'Ringwood Best' was its saving grace, but with better pubs close-by, I won't be coming back here in a hurry.
Moz - 18 Sep 2011 13:55
Friendly little pub.

Good beer good atmosphere.
ericstadd - 13 Sep 2011 22:06
a lovely small pub set in the square of Winchester right next to the cathedral grounds. it has seating out the front and during the summer is a brilliant place to sit and people watch. very nice ales, at the moment there is "Ringwood best", "old thumper", "49er" and one more. They do lovely food as well although can get really busy in the summer as its all fresh produce cooked on site. bar staff are really friendly and helpful and the locals are all good characters, well worth a visit as its a little gem in winchester
tankardconsumer - 25 Jul 2011 17:19
Cracking Little Pub. Friendly service, Good Ale
nivramkram - 24 Jul 2011 20:49
A small pub close to the cathedral, had Ringwood old thumper which was very good.

Mixed range of customers, benches and tables for outside drinking.

beershot - 11 Apr 2011 14:59
Old Thumper was in EXCELLENT condition. Only had time for six pints then had to go back to work. The back room diner area is looking so much better. Liked the landlords hair.
wortman - 10 Dec 2010 00:34
Great little pub. They had Ringwood (read Marston's, or W&D to be exact) Old Thumper and Fortyniner, Doom Bar and Flowers Original. Tried the Flowers and it was 'spot on'!!! Recommended.....7/10 from me.
wolvesfan - 1 Dec 2010 16:34
This pub is a cult. Awesome. Impromptu music/folk sessions on a Saturday afternoon are pretty cool.
greenwellie - 24 Aug 2010 18:58
Such a tiny place place if you are claustrophobic but therein lies its charm as a small unchanged English pub.
wortman - 24 Aug 2010 01:41
This pub totally fits it's location and is a pleasant little place with "Old World" charm. Good beer, Ringwood Old Thumper was well kept. Barmaid needed to cheer up a bit though.
N.Barber2 - 14 Apr 2010 21:31
Small cozy pub, traditional with a good atmosphere and superb Old Thumper!
uriahheep - 16 Mar 2010 19:48
Nice atmospheric pub worth visiting for the excellent Old Thumper.
baxterfish - 16 Mar 2010 16:05
Great in every way exept the landlord, who is frankly a sour faced misery. Avoid if he is on.
domus1 - 8 Feb 2010 03:42
Great in every way exept the landlord, who is frankly a sour faced misery. Avoid if he is on.
domus1 - 8 Feb 2010 03:42
Not much I can add that hasn't been said already. Pleasant tiny pub located just in the square next to the cathedral. Everything about this pub is tiny - the lounge bar, the rear snug, the bar counter, the gents - even the barmaid was tiny!
Nonetheless, it's a pleasant place which inevitably soon fills up. The front lounge is far more atmospheric that the slightly tired looking room at the rear. There's plenty of black beams not only on the ceiling, but the walls as well. Decent selection of basic "pub grub" at reasonabale prices.
Beers were Ringwood XX porter, Old Thumper, Flowers and Doom Bar. Also Stowford Press and Thatcher's Gold ciders which was a pleasant surprise in these parts.
Blackthorn - 6 Feb 2010 15:41
A charming Tudor exterior which I am reliably informed used to house a rather dull and average pub. There have been some much-needed changes of late, as this now offers a cracking range of four cask ales (the ringwood Porter really was on song; I was happy to tell the licensee of this and he seemed genuinely pleased to have such feedback). The interior is clean but not pretentious. I expected something overtly baronial but fortunately that cliche has been avoided. The bar area was small, though comfortable as there weren't too many customers on my visit - just enough to create a pleasant buzz of an atmosphere. In fact this offers a quiet little bolthole away from the more bustling venues in the City and personally, I believe this should be welcomed.

TWG - 28 Jan 2010 13:47
Great location, wonderful little building. Tried the Ringwood Best and the Flowers Original over lunch. The Ringwood was served a little cold for my liking but apart from that the beers were good. Lunch food was great. Toilets were fairly bad. Overall I will definitely head back there for lunch and a pint if I am in the area again.
frolix22 - 30 Aug 2009 17:15
Old town pub with timber beamed ceilings and posts, old fireplaces, some exposed brickwork. The Tudor style black and white frontage is apparently much more recent.
Two small rooms, the bar is in the corner of the front, upholstered banquettes and settles here, old theatre flyers in frames and an enormous stuffed pike in a glass case (caught 1898 it says). The TV in the corner was showing motor sport but no one seemed to be watching. The rear room felt bleak and spartan to me and I'm not surprised nobody was sitting here, cut off from the bar and no windows. There is plenty of external seating to the frontage.
Beers were on handpump, Ringwood Best Bitter & Old Thumper, Pride and Flowers Original.
Maldenman - 3 Aug 2009 12:12
Terrific listed building in the cathedral close. Although not a sparkling choice of beers, fairly mainstream casks and kegs, they're decently kept but a tad cold for my taste. Mixed generally friendly clientele enjoy the characterful but scruffy surroundings. There is a smallish front bar and a tiny back area which should be getting renovated soon, lots of wood panelling and exposed (very old) brickwork. Quite an eclectic range of furniture in the back room, which is just how it should be. The ladies is upstairs but the gents is at the back in a sort of lean-to affair.

anonymous - 4 Apr 2009 14:28
Perfect pub for a lunch time pint.
Ekohawk - 31 Oct 2008 15:11
ok pub, neither good nor bad. Beer was ok but unexciting, Pride, Ringwood Best and Old Thumper, Flowers Original.
scarer - 12 Oct 2008 17:23
Visited on a sunday evening - 2 people in bar us. The beer was quite disgusting and warm (fosters - not hard to keep) We were not acknowleged at all and received very bad service. I will not be retuning here.
beermonster1984 - 16 Sep 2008 14:18
Typical example of favouring locals over the visitor. I am Swedish, but I live near Winchester and I brought a couple from Stockholm to the pub for lunch yesterday July 21. The place was empty but for two old ladies. We put our orders in first, the ladies five minutes later, then an old man came in and ordered plaice after another 10 minutes. The ladies got served way before us, and even the old man got his plaice before us although he ordered 15 minutes after us. The bartender insulted me by saying I should go to Marks & Spencer across the road if I wanted fast food. I had ordered slow-cooked casserole which is prepared in advance. My friends ordered sausage with mash. It does not take 35 minutes fry a few sausages. In two weeks I will take more friends to Winchester to see the cathedral, but I won't take them to the Eclipse. The bartender thought I was a tourist like my friends were so he got the kitchen to cook the food for the locals first. The bartender lost a good customer. The food was all right, nothing sensational, the service was beyond scandal. The bartender even forgot to serve us our wine because he was busy talking football with a few regulars. I won't become a regular. I will never come back to that pub.
soderlind - 22 Jul 2008 19:30
Went in here on a recent day out to Winchester and this is by far the best pub i encountered. Friendly landlord which is a rarity these days and a lovely pint of bitter well served. Proper pub with everything going for it.
nickthefish - 16 Jun 2008 17:12
I really like this little pub. Unchanged in the 25yrs I've been visiting Winchester and always sells Ringwood Old Thumper. Along with the Back Boy and Hyde Tavern, a must-visit.
baxterfish - 15 Jun 2008 15:16
Annual counting house for the Christmas Clog tour (in aid of Naomi House) Landlord and Landlady always very supportive. Excellent beer especially the Ringwood Porter. See you on 13th December 2008!
CaptainDave - 4 Jun 2008 14:42
Very quaint, good beers served by a very friendly barmaid, made my first visit to Winchester worthwhile and I will definitely be back for a nightime visit.
arferjob - 15 Oct 2007 22:02
An excellent find - 4 ales on (my Flowers was quality) in a good relaxed atmosphere situated over two bar areas.

Clientele were a mixed crowd but tended towards the younger, artier side.

Barring a very strong smell of lamb & mint (some kind of neuveau posh air freshener?), one of my favourite pubs of the day. Good work landlord!
Quinno - 23 Jul 2007 21:36
Tiny but really quite quaint. However, watch out for a bearded Aussie called Nick - an extreme blagger!
theswerve01 - 7 Jun 2007 10:05
Tiny traditional one bar pub (don't count the small set aside eating area at the back, that came later). Being small it's really cosey and strangers just seem to chat to each other cos they are standing /sitting so close to each other. Used this pub of a lunch time when i worked in Winchester and still go back when i can. They usually have a couple of strong draught ales on. Worth a visit in my opinion.
wortman - 22 Dec 2006 18:07
Old thumper and best were being served - fully of friendly locals on the Thursday night I was there
kevinn123 - 13 Oct 2006 08:43
Wilbur101 - many thanks for that info. I must be living in the wrong place as you get nicked for wandering around town with a pint where I come from.

Would definitely make a return visit and hope to in the not too distant future.
johnkn7 - 3 Aug 2006 13:27
Does real ale served in plastic glasses constitute progress? Discuss. Unfortunately, this was case on my recent visit. I'm hoping it was a one off because of the England v Portugal game.
johnkn7 - 26 Jul 2006 13:11
I love this little place. Charmimg, witty locals and staff, who are always ready to welcome and include newcomers into the (often surreal)conversation. Have spent many a glorious/afternoon evening supping in here, and always come out with more friends than I had when I went in. The prices are steep, but it's a sacrifice that I gladly make. Arthur is bang on the money. Check it out!
brunoteixeira - 28 Feb 2006 23:33
Small, scruffy, with mixed clientelle, some friendly some not. Landlord and Landlady leave a bit to be desired in the friendly stakes. Toilets need third world aid makeover.
Saying that it can be very pleasant in the summer to sit outside and wach the world go by .
bornandbred - 21 Feb 2006 17:25
Walking through the door was like stepping back to a happier time.
Only been there once but spent a delightful afternoon embroiled in friendly banter with a select group of hilarious locals (Clive grumpily complaining about the burden of having a fantastically large penis/a middle-aged bearded accountant lamenting the flammability of an old school friend - comedy gold) and a mildly insane barmaid.
Dont know if i caught it on a good day but that glorious saturday afternoon will always live on in my memory. Ahhhh, happy days.
Please dont ever change. Next time i'm in winchester It'll be my first port of call.
Arthurguinness - 10 Feb 2006 19:45
Nice local, with a very friendly barman and an assortment of types around the room enjoying their beer and conversation. The kind of place where people will look up and acknowledge a newcomer when the front door opens. I felt at home right away, and will be back in there as soon as I get back to Winchester.

The beer was good, serviceable stuff, with a few local brewers in with more familiar brands. All-around good place for a pint.
Hodsthorn - 23 Jan 2006 19:42
A classic town pub. Good ales and good locals who welcome an outsider into their conversation. No loud television, just an mix of people having a few drinks. My thanks to the fine gentlemen who showed how friendly a traditional pub can be.
Mr.Matt - 16 Jan 2006 14:47
I think the review 1st july by anonymous is referring to the Exchange, must have had a couple too many, or is just a pillock.
bornandbred - 18 Nov 2005 17:43
Big Screen? that msut be new and garden? It's got tables outside and you used to able to take your drink into the Catheral grounds (the Catheral now says you can't drink in the gounds). I'm not sure the last reviewer is taking about the same pub.

But anyway, lovely little pub on teh square. Always friendly and welcoming.
padsmcnulty - 18 Oct 2005 22:39
What a fascinating appraisal by the last reviewer. Reputedly haunted ... wow. Who cares. It's got a big screen, reasonable gardens and - until recently - had the foulest pub bogs in Winchester. The lager's OK, the barmaids tend to be fairly fit and there's a regular throughput of local college girls. Get a few tossers in the pub but I guess that's true anywhere.
anonymous - 1 Jul 2005 14:47
If you like great food, good traditional ales and cobweb locals then this is the only place for you. Reputedly haunted (although I have never wittenesed the lady in question), the pub stands on the site of an ancient monastery.

This place relly needs to be seen
anonymous - 17 Jan 2005 15:09
This used to be a fantastic place. Used to drink in here a lot between 1987-1990. I now live in Detroit, USA.

Greetings to all my old friends
Phil_Connor - 22 Nov 2004 17:37

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