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Old Gaol House, Winchester

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user reviews of Old Gaol House, Winchester

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

6 beers on the handles, can't recall exactly what I had now but it was new to me and the barmaid was helpful in finding a dark beer. It was curry club day (Thursdy) so the drink and a great curry was less than £7. Got quite full around lunchtime with all ages and strands of society present which made a good atmosphere. Staff friendly and service was good. While other pubs are closing, Wetherspoons have found a recipe to keep plenty of people happy
Feed - 5 Feb 2016 18:54
Clean toilets, very handy on the way to the station.
Beer range inconsistent, recent evening visits have seen more on the floor than anywhere else.
Could be worse, but not worth seeking out IMHO.
StoneBlack - 30 Dec 2015 00:14
I had just time for one pub in Winchester yesterday morning. So the Old Gaolhouse was my choice. It's a Wetherspoons with a reasonable selection of ales - Wolf Granny Wouldn't Like It, Ringwood Forty Niner, Greene King IPA & ABbot, Bragdy Conwy Sufin' IPA, Flack Manor Flack Catcher, Hogsback Tea, Banks's Central Session Room IPA, Longdog Brindle & Triple fff India Brown Ale and ciders - Cornish Orchards Farmhouse & Blush, Orchard Pig Marmalade Cider & Hogans Hazy Daisy. Service was good for me. But it did get much busier when a few awkward customers came in wanting to discuss dietary requirements and other issues for their breakfasts! One of the best pubs in Winchester and better than the average Wetherspoons.
blue_scrumpy - 16 Aug 2015 14:49
When visiting a new town, I try & track down a spoons for some town history lessons on the walls & this one does well.

Would have stayed for more drinks, but driven back-outside by their ferocious air-conditioning. I'd foolishly dressed for a summers day on a summers day.

Take a duvet.
geofff - 19 May 2014 14:54
Like every wetherspoons, everywhere.
Mappiman - 14 Jul 2013 18:04
An alright place in the evenings, usually heaving with a young crowd and there is normally a half decent selection of ales on.
Staff do a good job and service is usually quite fast considering the bar is a fair old size.

A recent daytime visit was a tad different, a couple of tables of rough looking types arguing amongst themselves while one of their friends were fast asleep at 4pm.
Most amusing of all though was the bloke who had his half empty glass cleared while in the toilet, and was so far gone he couldn't remember what he had been drinking when offered a replacement...quality!

Basically alright, does not come into its own when half empty though.
Steve_Smythe - 11 Nov 2012 17:59
A fairly standard Wetherspoon. Quite large, with little nooks and crannies. Decently kept - clean and with most things in place. Food OK. Visited during the Autumn Beer Festival and the bar staff hadn't been advised on what to do so there was an attempt to charge me for three pints when I had the three thirds for a pint deal, but it was eventually resolved. Very busy at lunch time, and we struggled to find a table, but pleased to see that everything was cleaned away very quickly at the end of the rush period.
SilkTork - 1 Nov 2012 19:56
Adnams Broardside was on offer for St Georges week @ �1.99, when I visited on Tuesday which was very good as vwas the GK IPA at �2.49. A typical Wetherspoos but mad very welcome by the Bar Staff. Very well patronised for a Lunchtime/Early afternoon. The pub had SEVEN Fruit Machines and one Quiz machine of which NONE were played during my stay. Flat Screen TV on the wall and several smaller areas of the main Bar for people that wanted to be Quiet. Good value for money and will definately be going back next time i am in Winchester for a Pub Crawl. Well worth a visit.
Bitter_Man - 26 Apr 2012 15:46
Spent a very pleasant weekend in Winchester and had lunch both days in this boozer. The beer was excellent, Ruddles at �1.90 a pint went down very well thank you. I tried a couple more, one of which had Zulu in the name and was just as good. The pub grub was pub grub, hot tasty and filling and the staff were friendly, polite and somewhat overworked. Several people in my party liked it enough to return on the second day which must be a good recommendation.
wilf880 - 30 Mar 2012 17:45
Was closed for refurb and full of builders last night, had to go to the nearby O'Neils for a few pre-firework pints.

I've always found to place to alright, can be very busy and take a while to be served some weekend nights, but the staff are generally quite cheerful and the bogs are clean, there are far worse places to go in Winchester than this but some people just cant get over the stigma of drinking in a Spoony's for some reason.
FLO - 6 Nov 2011 13:16
Had breakfast in here on Sunday and wish I hadn't bothered as most of it inedible - beans cold, eggs cold, bacon undercooked! Coffee machine also out of action and they were offering instant coffee instead! Place absolutely filthy, sticky floors and grotty toilets - possibly the grubbiest Spoons I've ever been in. FFS Get some Cillit BANG in or sack the cleaner!
brightonbrawler - 12 Sep 2011 14:30
I went in there on a Sunday for breakfast.
It took nearly 15 minutes before the only member of staff behind the bar took my order. I was told the meal would be served in about 10 mins. It took 20 mins before it finally arrived and it came with a very dirty knife. The beans were completely dried out and the black pudding had been cremated, resembeling the texture of a biscuit. I asked for a refund but even that took another 5 mins. No one seemed concerned why I wanted the refund.
Apart from that it was generally a really awful place that I'll never go anywhere near again.
6stringsandthetruth - 13 Jun 2011 10:16
Strangely derogatory remarks about this tavern, I noticed most are outdated. I suggest you give it another go and make up your own mind. lovely pub, great selection of brew, delightful workers, and very well-prepared and tasty food.
freakthemighty - 29 May 2011 17:57
Visited there today for the first time in about 6 years. I can sum my experience up in 6 words... Beer rubbish, food cold, tables filthy.
robfrancis - 21 Apr 2011 14:18
It is a Wetherspoon pub selling cheap beer so acts as a magnet to draw all the local low life and DSS spongers on a Saturday.

Looks a bit unkempt but has a large selection of beer on offer, not particularly well kept however.

Walked past at about 2230 on Saturday to find a ambulance and four police cars with blue lights flashing and police handcuffing people outside the place, may not have been directly related to the pub but it has that sort of atmosphere.

Daytime drink only I think.
beershot - 11 Apr 2011 15:10
This pub is a typical "Spoons" pub.
A good selection of beers at good prices and value for money food. Unfortunately like most of the other "Spoons" the bar staff are poorly trained, there are NEVER enough of them behind the bar and the service is appauling.
I will only go in there if it is very quiet as the performance of trying to get served is just not worth it.
Flybywyre - 18 Oct 2010 09:25
Typical 'Spoons outlet (the old 'McDonalds concept) but the Courage Directors was in excellent condition. However, being a 'Spoons in only warrants a 2/10 from me. Also no Sky Sports to watch the Footy results!!! SORT IT ON MARTIN!!! You wont get yer Knighthood treating us mere mortals like that!!!
wolvesfan - 29 Aug 2010 15:22
Typical 'Spoons with the usual mix of ne'er do wells and students. Good selection of beers, lots of Ringwood. Food was distinctly average but the staff very friendly.
N.Barber2 - 14 Apr 2010 21:27
Visited mid week afternoon and found it not to busy. Plenty of good ale, afew pints of which was most welcome after climbing High Street, followed by a couple of single malts that 'spoons have on offer.
The interior is low ceilinged and a comfotable place to be, The older customers were hardly riff raff judging by their dress and discourse. More like Telegraph/ Times / Guadian types
bee578 - 10 Sep 2009 12:15
One of the better spoons. Good selection of ale. It's a bit rough, as are some of the customers but makes for an interesting pub with a good mix of clientele. 6.5/10
tommyn11685 - 2 Sep 2009 11:13
lets get 2 things straight.
1. its a spoons, and with that you dont get the music, but you do get the value for money thats missing in most of winchester, i mean, when most places are charging �3+ for a beer in the city centre...�1.79 for a large selection of ale!! (up to 12 last night!)
2. its worn, it is 10 years old!
i love this place, its non-assuming, and in all honesty, i dont care the loo's are from the 1970's, find a spot, with good company and soon the surroundings don't matter, if you cant see the appeal, its a pub that caters for the masses, i agree, but, its friendly, the 10 am scumbags have reduced, and the staff actually give a damn, which is refreshing.
domus1 - 23 Apr 2009 21:15
Thought at first this wasn't on "beer in the evening" as I got no match on "gaolhouse". Yes this is a typical Wetherspoon: huge range of interesting ales, many just �1.99 (or �1.49 with a Camra voucher). Good central location. A bit scruffy near the main doors, but lots of more salubrious areas to the side and towards the back. Friendly staff. Food not tried; maybe next time.
Trev - 3 Apr 2009 22:32
Found a great seat in a very busy pub. Bar service was slow, but food was served quickly and had no problems with it.

Would visit again.
petergoesrock - 20 Feb 2009 12:22
Stopped in here last week during UK holiday trip. We stopped in here first thing in the morning for a pint before our day trip/crawl through Winchester. A pleasant enough place for a couple of pints, the locals and staff were friendly and offered suggestions for other pubs in the area. Doom Bar and SA Gold were decent. Would stop in here again next time in Winchester.
fr21555 - 16 Feb 2009 19:33
A big rambling spoons. Staff here seemed much more on the ball than in other JDWs, friendly and talkative rather than just grunting the price at you. Good range of beers which were also pretty well kept. Mainly middle aged men in (a Monday night) plus a few younger couples. No uncleared detrius on the tables, again very unlike spoons. All round a worthwhile place for a pint or two.

anonymous - 16 Feb 2009 11:21
Had a meal in here this week. Yes, quiet slow service, the tables weren't cleared very quickly but the food was passable for the price and the pint of Ringwood 49ner was actually very good.
Ekohawk - 31 Oct 2008 15:23
Filthy dirty ;
cheap nasty beer, in very dirty glasses- even the bar man (after six attempts to find a "clean" glass) was clearly embarrased.
Sore throats a plenty - YUK!

Cheap, and need of a refurb.
Toilets a disgrace.

secretreveiwer - 10 Jan 2008 15:24
Wetherspoons. Cheap. What more is there to say? The beer festival here sees a good selection of real ales.

Largely popular with students and those looking for lengthy, cheap drinking sessions.
bazza9 - 5 Nov 2007 17:06
The scruffy end of the 'Spoons spectrum - refurbishing all these pubs is gonna cost mullet man a fortune.

Food was OK, all the guest ales were from Itchin Valley, but didn't sample - pub 9 of the day meant a pint of lemonade along with our Pikey Platter in order to get us through to closing time.

Quite obviously chavvy, and I thought Winchester was one of those posh places you hear about.

Needs a damn good clean really, but I've been in worse.
Quinno - 23 Jul 2007 20:49
fat_beer_badger - 1 Jan 2007 22:51
the sort of place where you'd catch an STD from standing on the carpet.
wilbur101 - 15 Dec 2006 10:01
Another dirty Wetherspoons pub. Same goes for the clientele.
Dantheman - 7 Nov 2006 22:58
Wetherspoons pubs tend to come in for a battering on this site, sometimes deserved, mostly not. This place however is a truly hideous example of theme-pubbery gone wrong, and especially sad in arguably one of England's most beautiful towns. Full of council-estate scum mingling happily with coke-sniffing public school kids, old fat alcoholics smoking dog-ends, illiterate immigrant workers.

I wonder if this place is deliberately gloomy and badly lit.
DoctorEvil - 31 Oct 2006 14:56
This is a lousy pub. Gloomy atmosphere and uninterested staff. When last visited they only had 'Pedigree' and 'best' on. I agree with all the other comments as to its crapiness. Would never visit again.
wyndham - 20 Sep 2006 19:23
Has got to be one of the worst Whetherspoons there is.
Stoney - 13 Sep 2006 16:25
utterly disgusting and dirty...

avoid- ive seen cleaner toilets in turkey! one can only imagine the state of the beer lines and glasses...

Filthy dump.
anonymous - 8 Sep 2006 15:36
cheap nasty beer, and surrownded by students making a pint last all night, (though somehow managing to get completly smashed?) then puking up all over the place..
Filthy toilets;
no idea what 'inspected regularly' means?? vomit and SH*t everywhere!

derisry place- cheap beer attracts cheap people (sorry!)

imagine The SUN newspaper offering two weeks holiday in spain for a fiver- thats the crowd....

anonymous - 8 Sep 2006 15:34
Thanks mate. But like all good hypocrites, what I say and do are two completely different things. I've been reviewing like a c*nt since the 2 May. Just couldn't resist it!

Keep up the good work.
anonymous - 31 Aug 2006 11:28
Ah Conniwot, with changing landlords, breweries and beers there's always a place on this site for faint praise, criticsm or giving some shithole a real good slagging (see Gaolhouse) I do hope to see some reviews in the future, too many bloody Wykeham wannabees out there!!!
bornandbred - 26 Aug 2006 12:52
Will2 is wrong. The longest bar in Britain can be found in The Falcon near to Clapham Junction railway station. Can't really think of much else to say about this place as this is a bog standard 'Spoons' and 'sross' has said all that needs to be said.

johnkn7 - 25 Jul 2006 13:21
Many a pub feels like a khasi, but few can live the dream. Not so this tip - trailing bits of toilet paper throughout the bar. I kid you not, there was bits of bog roll strewn all over the floor on Sunday. In fact the whole place was filthy - ashtrays overloaded with crap.

75 per cent of drinkers were under 18; it was like a sixth form student union, other than the few murderous looking thugs trying to pick up something to send them to a real gaol.

This'll be my last post to the site; don't want to end up like Stonch - re-reviewing everything and boring everyone to death in the process. But I really have saved the worst till last. The Old Gaolhouse Winchester. a pub crying out for a raid by the coppers or environmental health.
anonymous - 2 May 2006 14:03
was visiting a friend in winchester and ended stopping off here for food an drink a lovely pub for food and drink excellent food service cooked perfect
adamsgirl - 1 May 2006 13:49
In a city that is host to such fantastic pubs like the Black Boy, Hyde Tavern and Wykeham Arms, there is absolutely no reason why you would want to go into this dingy, pikey-infested place.
sross - 17 Apr 2006 21:33
Is Will2 sure? longest bar in Britain? Can't see it myself.It's places like this that make the Wykeham lot smug and takes trade away from decent pubs. I'm all for progress unless it looks like this, you can tell how many steps back it's gone by the Neandrethal '10 o'clock club that congregate every day. One to avoid.
bornandbred - 21 Feb 2006 17:21
Think there is some conspiracy against Wetherspoons pubs. Food is good, beer is good, service is good, atmosphere (craic)is ok. Not too distinct from any other Wetherspoons pub. Apparently this pub has the longest bar in Britain.
Will2 - 8 Jan 2006 23:16
Well this was the student pub to start out on if you were enrolled at King Alfreds College (before it reached university status). Back in 2000 i used to reside above this pub in one of the street facing rooms. This was where a local busienss man (iforget his name) used to cram students in at 10 a penny like sheep. But hey those were student days for you. Besides the furniture didnt last long and the poor cleaners had a hell of a time.Too many parties! Good times. Oh yeah the pub. Cheap, Cheerful. Great �free house beers... spitfire, thumper, christmas specials. yum. Bit smoky though. They should akll be like the weatherspoons in bristol. Totally non-smoking. It is such a relief to not have ash in your food or pint! and to not smell like you just rescued 15 cheerleaders from a wet leaf burning competition that had spriralled out of control.
simonelliott - 25 Nov 2005 10:10
Probably one of the worst Wetherspoon pubs around. Dark, dingy, dirty, local drunks from opening until closing and the local chavs. Avoid unless you are out for a Saturday night and want some cheap drinks.
anonymous - 16 Aug 2005 11:26
Actually, it did used to be the city gaol. However it's now a dingy dark pub where you're likely to stick to the carpet. During the daytime it's populated by the local aged alcoholics and weekend evenings see the student/child crowd pour in for cheap drinks. But even the kids don't stay for long - just a few to get them on the way before heading off to somewhere not so grim. DON'T even think about trying the food here.
wilbur101 - 6 Aug 2005 07:36
Not old and not a Gaol House. Rather, a tacky airport terminal-style pub in your high street. They sell cheap booze, which means the average age rarely exceeds 17. Except when I'm in there - miserable old bastard that I am.
anonymous - 22 Jul 2005 12:47
This is an ok pub if you want a cheap meal with a group of friends and to get drunk cheaply. However, the place lacks any atmosphere, with no music or sports shown. The staff dont seem that bothered about giving good service either. Instead they are just interested in getting drinks out as quickly as possible.
anonymous - 5 May 2005 13:48
Popular and busy, good service, good food and contray to previous posters comments, never any sign of trouble! Well worth a visit.
Bison - 12 Mar 2005 10:59
Cheap beer, large bar, very popular at weekends and not always populated by the sort of people you'd willingly make eye contact with on a late night tube. Thursday, Friday, Saturday expect many drunk people intent on physical contact of one sort or another. Go with lots of friends, and manage their expectations.
anonymous - 15 Dec 2004 16:51
Popular Wetherspoon pub with usual reasonably priced Whetherspoon food and beer. However, a good selection of beers does not always mean that they are served at top condition.

ManAged35 - 27 Jul 2004 13:20

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