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Way Inn, Basingstoke

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user reviews of the Way Inn, Basingstoke

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

The Way Inn closed its doors in late January 2014, courtesy of Enterprise Inns who fell out with the licensee because he had the temerity to stand up to them. During his tenure Enterprise refused to honour their obligation to maintain the exterior of the pub. Odd, then, that since his departure the pub has been given a complete makeover. What is even more odd is the decision to revert to the original name - the Rising Sun - especially considering the terrible reputation the pub had under that name. Still closed at the time of writing (early May 2014).
JimT - 4 May 2014 13:43
Looks a bit rough but don’t let that put you off. It’s a large, unpretentious, pub with various seating areas. I had a couple of excellent pints of Oakleaf Hole Hearted (a new barrel had just been put on so good timing on my part). It has a large seating area outside, the tables were in a bit of a state but pleasant enough on a warm evening. The locals may seem a bit scary but all seemed friendly enough to me.
Doob - 21 Jun 2013 09:52
A juke box, wow.
fiftyfive - 2 Feb 2011 09:12
Excellent choice of real ales here. There is a jukebox as well.
Passing_By - 11 Jul 2010 07:22
Much extended from the old long thin place I remember from years ago. The front bar has been opened out and is quite a pleasant and comfortable place for a pint or three while persuring the old film posters, although there is continual music from an admittedly impressive jukebox. The back room appears to be largely given over to food and there is a garden out the back. Four pumps with two mainstreams, one going that way and one smaller brewers ware, that is Abbot, Deuchars, Landlord and Palmers, in pretty good condition. Close to the station and thankfully a bit away from the desolate town centre. Mixed bunch of customers ranging from Popley chavs to middle class diners.

anonymous - 4 Apr 2009 14:05
i spotted this pub in the good beers guide 2008 and just had to say i think this pub is great, the food is all freshly cooked, so you dont get that microwaved taste on your pallet. also the range of Ales and other Drinks are exceptional for the size of the pub. i have been visiting the pub for years, and it is a remarkable job the landlord has done in order to change it from the tip it was ( the rising Sun) to what it is now(the way Inn). The bar staff are great, as they are well mannered and always seem to have a smile on their face. and it all seems to be well run! The cleanliness of the pub is superb, and the pub always looks great. I would highly recommend this pub to anyone in the area as it is a lovely establishment, that seems to be well run!

Just to rectify the previous comments:-
-The music has now been put to a lower level and it is easy to hold a convo with it in the background.
-The wait for the food is not that long considering that everything is fresh! and Tastes amazing.
- And the Bar staff customer service is great, as they seem to lways put the customer 1st at the bar.

10/10 on this pub

Thanks.
JeffDunham2008 - 11 Dec 2008 15:51
I visit this pub for a drink when I'm in Basingrad, I've never eaten there but the food looks acceptable and I'm told it is generally OK. It's not a gastro pub thank god, so the portions look generous.
More importantly the beer is fine, I tried TT Landlord last time and it was as one should expect.
Yes, there are some young (and occasionally boisterous) customers but as an older customer I have never found it a problem, even tho' on the last evening I visited we were warned that there was a student party coming in.
The pub does what a pub should, keeps good beer, has a good atmosphere, serves reasonably priced food and is perfectly acceptable as a local.
8100bob - 2 Nov 2008 13:11
I used to like this pub but I'm afraid I probably won't visit again. The food service is erratic and sometimes I'm left waiting too long for food that prooves to be sub-standard. The staff are friendly enough but it often seems like nobody is in charge and the place is in thinly diguised chaos! Perhaps that accounts for the inconsistent levels of customer service too.

I agree with another reviewer - the landlord must be deaf if they think that the music is at an acceptable volume. My friends, family and I have all commented on this to staff on previous visits but even if they turn it down it soon goes up again.

The prices are reasonable and the other patrons are usually a vast improvement on the other pubs in town, but lately it's felt like a much younger place and I think it's ruined the pub. If I wanted to sit surrounded by overactive teenagers throwing apples at each other and shouting at the tops of their voices, I'd go find a student bar :-( Word seems to have circulated that this is the new place to be for that age group and it doesn't make relaxing surroundings. I'm barely 30 myself, but at least I can conduct a conversation without throwing beer mats accross the pub at members of staff.

It's a shame. As I said at the beginning of this review, I used to love visiting the Way Inn. I don't know why things have changed so much, I don't believe the landlord has changed (I still see him pass through the bar from time to time) so perhaps it is just that he is considering a change of direction? Maybe it's a staffing issue, maybe it's just the way things go in the pub industry. Either way I think the Way Inn has gone sadly downhill. Maybe management should pull their finger out and address some of the issues! I've noticed a huge sway in opinion amongst my friends and colleagues.

Come on Way Inn - get it together!



chirk - 14 Sep 2008 20:29
Good range of beer available, my Palmers 300 was in decent nick.

The inside downstairs seemed a bit dingy, better up the steps, bit more natural light coming in. Beer garden functional but well-done.

As noted in other reviews, the music was a little on the loud side, landlord must be deaf.

I'd recommend a visit, I shall be back soon.
Quinno - 17 Feb 2008 23:38
Very welcoming pub with an open fire and the staff are very friendly. They do food as mentioned in other reviews but I haven't tried any so can't comment however the menu looks good. There is a footnote to the menu recommending pre-booking before eating especially at the weekend.
We go for the beer though. They have a good selection of well kept beers, Timothy Taylors Landlord, Deuchars IPA, Abbot Ale and Speckled Hen (I think!). The landlord even gave me a couple of beer glasses upon request for the first 2 beers as they are my favourite beers and to find them both in one pub is a bonus.
Also a big plus is the absence of TV's so no sky sports hurrah! The jukebox has a great selection of music to suit all tastes from young to old which is all you need.
They are also in the 2008 Camra Good Pub Guide.
scarer - 26 Jan 2008 21:09
I have been a regular visitor to this pub, but today was my last visit.

Some friends were at another table and the staff attempted to deliver an order for someone else, which they rejected. Unfortunately they still managed to tag the incorrect order onto the back of the correct order, which was left as there were a few of us waiting at the bar, who we believed may have ordered the lasagne that was waiting on the table along with the food the rest of us did order.

Sadly, when the staff realised their mistake, they accused me of deliberately posing as another customer in order to get the lasagne, which is ridiculous as I was sat at another table when they delivered the food and they were, presumably, referring to the attempted delivery, which was turned away and NOT accepted (by me or any of my freiends).

I've put up with a lot from this pub, at lunchtimes you often have to wait a good 15 minutes to get served, but I do accept some reasonable customer service and, perhaps, a bit of recognition of the money I've spent.
Pilling - 19 Dec 2007 14:33
Was told the food was great in this pub and went along for a visit. Was a bit disappointed. Menu sounded good but the food was not all that. Reasonably priced tho. Will give it another go. Maybe i caught the chef on a bad day. But still have friends telling me its good. Was quite empty when we went in.
anonymous - 11 Oct 2007 11:15

This is my absolute favourite pub in Basingstoke. Thankfully, you won't find any yobs at this establishment. The clientele is definitely more upscale (than places like the Queens Arms) without being haughty.

The food is good, the staff is friendly, the jukebox has a nice selection and the patrons are cordial. One thing that is also very good about this pub is that non-regulars are not made to feel like outsiders. I recommend this pub for the many ex-pats, contract workers and other foreigners that are living in or passing through Basingstoke.
Reggaebird - 10 Oct 2007 18:48
A ten minute walk from the train station, so, if you've got a lot of time to waste afore the next train, go here. Facade is old fashioned but beautifully clean with good food. It's ok!
anonymous - 17 Aug 2007 15:13
From the outside there doesn't seem to be much going for this pub (apart from the proximity to the train station) and as you walk in it seems SO noisy. But from then on, it just gets better. Good range of beers, friendly and attentive staff who'll even advise about the beer selection, and simply amazing pub food. This is cordon bleu food at pub grub prices. Highly recommended.
Trev - 5 May 2007 14:34
nice pub, good ales, music a tad loud at quiet times mind. overall good place, made it look good. recommended. well done. must try the food so it seems.
anonymous - 10 Apr 2007 16:29
Really good pub at the "other end of town" not far from the train station.This pub has had a good makeover from the old "Rising Sun" days with one large bar and a seperate dining area behind this.They had Hobgoblin,Deuchars IPA and Adanams Explorer on all in good nick.The food gets a good review and comes in good size portions. Well worth a try if you are fed up with the usual chain pubs in town and the Ming-Mongs that frequent them
PS. Any pub that has a framed photo of Margo and Jerry from "The Good Life" on the wall can"t be all bad can it !!!
winchesterclub - 23 Feb 2007 09:51
Very very good! I like this pub as the staff are polite and personable. Good beer and friendly locals. RECOMMEND!
bish80 - 12 Nov 2006 02:45
Im a bit confused about the rating for this pub when its got such good comments! Definitely deserves a much higher rating than this. It is clean, fresh and comfortable, with fun & friendly staff. The food is really nice with extremely generous portions and the whole feel of the place is very comfortable and welcoming. The garden looks like it will be a real asset during the summer months. Definitely worth a try if you havent already.
anonymous - 9 Oct 2006 16:03
The old 'rising sun' did take a bit of a slide in recent years; it needed decorating. But hey presto it's been done for the better and it looks and tastes great. Smarter, cleaner and much more roomier, a split level look makes it a different pub/dinery altogether. Full Marks.
wortman - 1 Oct 2006 14:01
Having visited myself, I am amazed that this is the same pub, it is an amazing transformation. The ales were on amazing form and this is a very welcoming pub to go in. As said, it is very hard to believe this is the same pub as the old Rising Sun - it is so so good now! Definately a 10 / 10
Alexh1982 - 2 Sep 2006 12:59
Farewell Rising Sun (some might say "Good riddance ...") and welcome to the Way Inn. Opened about a week ago, the Way Inn is about as different to the old RS as it's possible to imagine. Contrary to rumours, it's not a gastropub but a smart new CLEAN pub that retains some of the features of the old place but is now somewhere that you would be quite happy to take friends or family (unlike before). The front bar has been extended and is a lot more airy and light. The top bar now has a glass partition, through which you can see the main bar, which further enhances the light effect. The patio has been smartened up and the large grassed area is still there, possibly awaiting some landscaping. That's a guess. And then there are the toilets. Those of you who experienced the old versions will welcome the smart new ones. 10/10.
Cask ales at the time of my visit were Hopback Summer Lightning, Greene King Abbot Ale, Adnams Explorer, Timothy Taylor's Landlord (which I tried and was in first class condition) and Deuchar's IPA.
Food is available (there's even a Kids' section on the temporary menu) and the pub has an on-site chef. I won't go into details of what's available but there's a good variety from basic pub grub to salmon fillet and Rib Eye steak
The Way Inn is a welcome addition to the pub scene outside of the Top-of-Town circuit in Basingstoke which for many is a no-go area on Friday and Saturday nights. Thoroughly recommended.
The Way Inn is situated on Chapel Hill, Basingstoke (near the railway station). Telephone: (01256) 321520.
JimT - 12 Aug 2006 13:23
JimT - 12 Aug 2006 17:49
Farewell Rising Sun (some might say "Good riddance ...") and welcome to the Way Inn. Opened about a week ago, the Way Inn is about as different to the old RS as it's possible to imagine. Contrary to rumours, it's not a gastropub but a smart new CLEAN pub that retains some of the features of the old place but is now somewhere that you would be quite happy to take friends or family. The front bar has been extended and is a lot more airy and light. The top bar now has a glass partition, through which you can see the main bar. which further enhances the light effect. The patio has been smartened up and the large grassed area is still there, possibly awaiting some landscaping. That's a guess. And then there are the toilets. Those of you who experienced the old versions will welcome the smart new ones. 10/10.
Cask ales at the time of my visit were Hopback Summer Lightning, Greene King Abbot Ale, Adnams Explorer, Timothy Taylor's Landlord (which I tried and was in first class condition) and Deuchar's IPA.
Food is available (there's even a Kid's section on the temporary menu) and the pub has an on-site chef. I won't go into details of what's available but there's a good variety from basic pub grub to salmon fillet and Rib Eye steak
The Way Inn is a welcome addition to the pub scene outside of the 'drag' in Basingstoke which for many is a no-go area on Friday and Saturday nights. Thoroughly recommended.
The Way Inn is situated on Chapel Hill, Basingstoke. Telephone: (01256) 321520.
JimT - 12 Aug 2006 13:23
The Rising Sun is no more. It will be re - opening soon with a completely new look and a new name - The Way Inn. Rumours have said it'ss be a gastropub as opposed to the traditional one, but we'll have to wait and see.
Alexh1982 - 22 Jul 2006 10:24
Mind you, not bad going. See the post I wrote in March 2004 about rumours of renovation. Not bad, only a two year wait!!!!
Alexh1982 - 15 Apr 2006 21:32
I have been informed that this place will be closed for a little while. Richie, who Jim Turner mentioned in a post below will be leaving and a new manager will take over. The shutdown will to facilitate a full overhaul of the pub and turn it around. I look forward to visiting when the work has been completed, and I'll give it a score that matches the improvements.
Alexh1982 - 15 Apr 2006 21:31
So what happened to the facelift then Jim?
anonymous - 1 Jan 2005 22:51
I'm pleased to report that at long last the pub is undergoing a facelift. There's a new manager, "Richie" who is determined not to stand any nonsense from the present leaseholder (who is mainly to blame for the state of the place).
The insides have been painted and new carpets are in evidence. The exterior is soon to be repainted and the loos are being improved.
I had a good pint of West Berkshire Brewery "Good Old Boy" just recently and I hear that Wye Valley Brewery "Over The Sticks" is on at present. Worth giving the pub another try if you've been put off going there by past bad experiences.
Jim Turner - 13 Apr 2004 17:42
I've heard this place is to be renovated. Not before time really, you have to wipe your feet when you leave at the moment.
Alexh1982 - 25 Mar 2004 09:04
Quite possibly the worst pub in Basingstoke. Very unfriendly and very nasty. If you like a pub that hasn't been decorated or looks like it hasn't been cleaned for about 20 years this is the place for you. It is quite disgusting. Very rude staff and very obnoxious regulars alike. If you're just passing through and want a quick one, forget it, you'll regret it. The highlight of the pub's evening is when the regulars play Ultimate Jenga for money, and when World Rally on Eurosport comes on the telly.
Alex - 15 Nov 2003 09:31

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