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Exchange, Winchester

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user reviews of the Exchange, Winchester

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

This pub now takes the piss. The toilets are a disgrace. As the floor becomes soaked in the loos, it now spills out into the sloped, public hallway creating a hazard. As this becomes awash with piss it soaks into the floor tiles which are now lifting up. Not that the landlord gives two shits. There are never enough bar staff. The landlord sits with his mates looking down his nose at the people who pay him and his staff. When the sport is on it takes anything up to 20 minutes to get a drink and still he sits there watching his predominantly female staff get stressed and shouted at by his 'customers'. The behaviour of the customers is never challenged and I, for one, would remove his licence. The garden has an air of menace and is regularly flooded with drinkers in their late teens who have had too much but are not being supervised by the Licensee or their staff sufficiently.
To see how staff and customers should be treated in a sports bar, then look no further than The Mucky Duck in Hyde. It should be a lesson that if you treat your customers well, they will respond in kind, come back and look after your pub. If you don't, you end up with The Exchange. Not that, I expect for one minute, the landlord gives a shit.
I, and many others,
pubman72 - 18 Jun 2014 11:13
Often had a pub crawl in Winchester - but always passed this one by. Big mistake we've been missing out. Cant have been the beer goggles as we all agreed these were the most attractive bar maids we had seen. They did seem to like texting but they were very attentive and took orders immediately. We wanted to check out if the toilet comments were true and in part they still are. There was an overwhelming smell of bleach so someone had been cleaning for sure, but the bog door could not be locked or even shut and there was plenty of feacal matter around so do take care.
wrecker - 18 Apr 2013 20:47
I had to laugh at the last review by "trebles all round"

I haven't visited The Exchange for at least ten years, but the notorious gents toilets out the back obviously havent changed....
As I recall you couldn't get within two feet of them because the floor was awash with an inch or two of recycled Fosters...standard procedure was to stand at the high tide mark and at least try and aim for a receptacle, although obviously those with a cavalier attitude just went on the floor anyway.

It was always busy years ago and aside from the bogs I enjoyed chucking plenty of Stella down my neck as a youngster before grabbing some chips from the much missed Blue Dolphin and getting on the last bus in a daze, these days I'd rather be in the Hyde Tavern or Black Boy though...real ale and real toilets.

Steve_Smythe - 4 Jan 2013 00:30
Revisited recently as friends insisted on watching the football there.

They should get rid of the urinals as it seems everyone just pi$$es on the floor.

trebles_all_round - 31 Dec 2012 07:46
If there was an award for the most disinterested looking staff in a pub ever, this would win hands down.

Whatever you do, don't interrupt the barmaids while they are on their smart 'phones - you will find yourself instantly at the bottom of the serving pecking order. It helps if you are currently sleeping with one of them or they know you from university though.

Probably the reason that as soon as the football has finished the place completely empties. The staff make it well known that they hate the football anyway & your a complete nuisance for turning up to watch it because it requires them to put a shift in.

Toilets are a disgrace & downright dangerous.

Probably the only pub that caters for the footy in Winch but don't spend a minute or penny in there more than you have to.
geezershoong - 25 Sep 2012 10:56
Ideal for watching sport - burgers are pants, Sharps on tap was ok - without the TV's you would go elsewhere
parmantom - 26 Apr 2012 10:54
The rudest staff in Winchester. They probably don't mean to be, but they are as thick as s**t. Pub smells of piss - take a look in the Gents to see why. Could be a good pub. Never seen anyone in there who resembles a landlord or landlady.
beerman1234 - 16 May 2011 16:56
I have been going to this place to watch footie and play darts for a while, but I've had enough. The place is a total dive. It wasn't always like this..

Let's start with the barmaids. They are rude, moody, and generally unwelcoming. They appear to be constantly on breaks - eating and doing crosswords on the customers' side of the bar. They serve with an "I'm better than you" attitude, which, judging by the way they present themselves and behave, is totally misplaced.

The food is something else. A friend of mine ordered the nachos recently. The dish includes bolognaise type sauce and melted cheese. It had been heated in a microwave some time before reaching our table, when it was stone cold. We sent it back to the kitchen, and would you believe it - they microwaved the very same plate, same nachos, same sauce. And yes - still cold. I read about stories of food poisoning, and I am not surprised. You only have to walk into the toilets to see why..

They are a disgrace. There is a sign on the door warning you of a wet floor. Perhaps they just cleaned it? Guess again! The floor is covered (and I am not exaggerating) in urine. The full bucket of urine underneath one of the urinals gives you a clue as to why. The toilet bowl was covered with urine and foeces, and the door does not lock. It has been like this for over a year. I promise I am not embelishing this at all.

For the most part the clientele are respectable, but there are one or two charecters who quickly ruin it for everybody else. You will be amazed to hear, but perhaps not surprised, that these few are best mates with the bar staff.

I wonder why I ever went, or why I went back so many times. Not again. I'm voting with my feet and never setting foot in the place again.
jrfkingsgate - 26 Oct 2010 01:58
Great footie venue, great atmosphere for big games. Sadly the toilets are a disgrace and resemble the monkey enclosure at Marwell after they've been flinging faeces at each other.
El_Drako - 6 Sep 2009 15:08
I agree entirely with most of the previous comments. It could be a nice place except the staff, rudeness and sometimes the clientele make for a terrible experience in this pub.
Food poisoning is a shame and hopefully a one of mistake - however as for the surly barmaids this is a dead certainty!
I do however believe the market and Alfies are owned by the same chap so what does that say anout a captured market??!!
beermonster1984 - 16 Apr 2009 00:00
Intheory, as a sports bar (outsideTV, two large Plasmas - generally showing different matches so noone's left out - plus various other screens) you cannot beat it.

If only, if only, if only... they'd not turn the loud thumping music on 1 second after the end of the first half (turned off 3 minutes after the start of the second half when reminded) and once again 1 second after the FT whistle.

Call me old fashioned, but at half and full time I want the opportunity to lord it over the supporters of the battered opposition (or make excuses for my team's poor performance) and slag off the ref etc etc.

My advice... go there for the two 45 minutes of the footie. And then leave. Oh, and then only if you want to be served by surly barmaids who seem more keen on chatting with each other and texting their mates than providing a decent, cheerful service to their punters.
trebles_all_round - 6 Dec 2008 20:01
We eat there most Fridays without problems BUT on monday this week 04 August 2008 myself and a colleague shared calamari with tartare sauce and both spent the last two days off work ( we both threw up on Tuesday AM at work) - there is NOTHING else we shared before that.. some problem with the things we ate existed, would suggest the dodgy looking tartare sauce - these things happen infrequently but if I'm off more that 48hrs my doctor will report it to public health..... I'll be there on Friday lunch again no doubt but all places preparing food should NEVER let their standards slacken..... :(
dr_johnbullas - 6 Aug 2008 20:13
As i always seem to be on a trip down memory lane with Winchester pubs! is the "First in Last out" or the filo as it was known still a pub? Perhaps the poster who remembers Sharon K disco nights can help me out!!
winchesterclub - 14 Jan 2008 15:35
Thanks "anonymous" for remembering Sharon K I thought i was the only one of the old school left!!,never seen her since hopefully she kept hold of her record collection!.I can also remember her boyfriend a really tall bloke with grey hair?,also can you remember a guy called Nigel geeky looking bloke always in there on disco nights!
winchesterclub - 1 Dec 2007 10:10
Oh my god I remember the Sharon K Friday Night disco.
Now those were the good old days.
This pub has never been the same since.
What did happen to Sharon K?
anonymous - 30 Nov 2007 18:00
Avoid if you dont like being distracted by TVs!
One time they had 3 different sports matches playing on different TVs. You cant avoid them.
Also dont eat anything fresh there! The microwave stuff is probably fine but i had a salad that hadnt been washed, had mud on it and no dressing. The barpeople take it in turns to 'do' the food
chinois - 29 Aug 2007 11:53
A fairly modern yoof/sport hangout. Had a decent beer garden with a nice view.

Surprised to see 2 ales on (the Brakspears turned out not be available) my Summer Lightening was OK too.

Barmaid who served me looked thoroughly fed-up, regardless of how blonde she was.

Might be worth a stop if on a crawl, but there are plenty of other places in town.
Quinno - 23 Jul 2007 19:50
Friendly place and definitely the best place to watch sport in a pub in Winchester
anonymous - 29 Apr 2007 12:12
Used this pub a lot in the mid to late 90"s.before the big make over! .still a good atmosphere the beer was well kept and a varied mix of punters.Can any of you pre-makeover punters tell me what happenend to Steve the white shirted landlord & while i"m at it the Sharon K friday night disco!
A classic night all on vinyl!!!
winchesterclub - 16 Feb 2007 12:54
Good for a lunchtime drink and has a great garden. Beer kept reasonably well. However, unlike most contributors I'm not particularly concerned with the appearence of staff and would prefer that they are attentive.
johnkn7 - 25 Jul 2006 13:29
Fantastic proper pub and the best place by far to watch sport in Winchester. The pub has got the biggest plasma screen in Winchester weighing in at 65". Also has a 42" inside and another one outside for the big occasions. A smaller LCD and large projector screen make this pub a must for sports fans.
anonymous - 24 Jul 2006 20:01
The best place for footy in Winchester. Love those barmaids!!
frejek - 12 May 2006 17:25
Have to disagree with you for a change conniwot. Although I wouldn't use it on a saturday night, Sundays in the Exchange are always fun. The landlord is actually quite a shrewd man, he knows how the pub is going to work at different times. What the bar staff lack in attentiveness they make up for in appearance and friendliness.
Beer is getting better too.
bornandbred - 21 Nov 2005 16:36
Call a pub a pub. The Exchange is a decent local in the centre of town. Good music and nice garden in summer. Lets itself down a bit with the price of drinks and 'jock' clientelle.
anonymous - 18 Aug 2005 15:44
Spit and sawdust sort of place - but liked all the more because of this - can go for casual few beers without having to dress up!Garden is a real gem. Food is fantastic - generous portions and the best burgers in town.
anonymous - 9 Aug 2005 12:17
I have no complaints about this pub, the food is good, atmosphere is friendly and the staff treat you as old friends. The beer garden is by far the best in town and is wonderful for those warm summer evenings. Sports events also shown and as yet have never had a bad experience with a over enthusiastic football fan. Good food, good ale, great place!

anonymous - 8 Aug 2005 13:34
Nope. All wrong. Terrible place. Always full of twits, 18 yr old blokes and daft students. Barmaids can be quite nice if they're not too busy texting friends.
anonymous - 19 Jul 2005 13:17
A fantastic turn-around job by the energetic and friendly land lord Colin. Fun and warm interior, good music and fantastic beer garden with quality home made food and BBQs in the summer offering hand made burgers. Very well kept beer, good music and a favourite for watching sports. Very popular place but entry standards are kept high, so you're always in decent company.
anonymous - 15 Dec 2004 20:27

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