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BITE user comments - myPetersfield

Comments by myPetersfield

The Holly Bush, Shortfield

Used to love this pub when its star attractions were two fat dogs, excellent beer and a nice sandwich menu. And a covered area out back to smoke. Has now changed hands and seems to be suffering from ADHS, with everything imaginable going on behind the bar - wines by the glass, a huge Italian coffee machine that takes up half the bar, Pimms, cocktails, cream teas... pub itself has been mightily jazzed up in a vaguely retro way and is now aiming to be a pub/ restaurant/ cafe/ village amenity etc. etc. ...ultra- child friendly, the ambience of damp dog and smoky fire has been replaced with rustling kagoules and the merry cries of children... look, if this is the kind of thing you like, you'll really like it... me, I'll miss the old place but wish them luck all the same... hope it calms down a bit...

17 Jun 2013 10:17

The Bakers Arms, Droxford

Providing a masterclass in how to get it right, the Baker's Arms has been turned into the the kind of pub that any village and many small towns would kill for. Plain but comfortable and warm inside, with a nice assortment of furniture tucked into interesting corners, and in the winter, a good fire blazing away. Good lighting, no music, just a really pleasant and characterful space to be in. Friendly, attentive staff, good local beer from the Bowmans brewery (contrary to reports elsewhere, this place operates as a real pub, not just a restaurant), a short but decent wine list - and fantastic food. The menu isn't long but offers a decent choice of dishes from classic steak b�arnaise and chips to more adventurous cuts and dishes, mostly locally sourced, nicely presented and very, very well cooked. Food tends to the comforting, but it's not served in overwhelming quantities and as it also inclines to the lip-smackingly, plate-wipingly delicious, we weren't complaining. Good puds too.

20 Mar 2008 22:44

The Black Boy, Winchester

One of the greatest city pubs you'll ever visit. An old curiosity shop of a place, featuring a seemingly endless series of rooms, crammed with a variety of furnishings, stuffed animals and entertainments of all kinds. Grub is of the soup and sandwich variety, but fresh and very good, excellent selection of beers, friendly, warm and cosy in winter, fine big garden for the summer. Music on Mondays, 'Black Rat' restaurant across the street (owned by the pub) also looks worthwhile... Pleasingly removed from Winchester's well-beaten tourist trail. Lovely.

20 Mar 2008 22:39

Seven Stars, Stroud

Big flintstoned pub, just out of Petersfield on the Winchester Road (A272). More a cavernous family food barn than a pub, at first glance somewhat in the Wetherspoons/ Chef & Brewer style but offering a wide-ranging and decent menu of steaks, salads, pastas and many more interesting and exotic items. Several vegetarian options, many choices available as 'small appetite' versions which is a nice touch (kids classics of the 'dinosaur feet variety' also available if you ask). Hall and Woodhouse beers (really good Fursty Ferret when we dropped in). Decent table wine. Outside tables too. If you don't enjoy dining surrounded by family tables and lots of children, you won't like it. If you have those children and families to entertain yourself, however, you might appreciate it a little more.

5 Nov 2007 07:33

Five Bells, Buriton

Rising from the slough of mediocrity into which it had sunk, The Five Bells is showing every sign of reclaiming the status it enjoyed five or six years ago as a really great country inn. Roomy, comfortable traditional bar on one side, classy but equally comfortable restaurant area on the other. Menus are reassuringly short. Good range of ales - King & Barnes' Sussex going down well when we visited. Was once famed for its Sunday lunches and has that feel again now. We've only enjoyed a drink there but will return to try the food soon.

1 Jul 2007 21:16

The George, Petersfield

I meant 'beers', obviously...

17 May 2007 22:56

The George, Petersfield

Really rather snazzy - more a bistro/ bar than a pub, but roomy and comfortable enough to just enjoy a few beees. A handful of excellent ales (Deuchars, Hopback Summer Lightning and Sharp's Doombar when we were in), a terrific range of wines by the glass or bottle and a nice selection of brasserie-style food. The 'Burger Kitchen' looks good too, if you have a substantial gap to fill, as does Sunday brunch. Acoustic music on Friday evenings, something a bit louder on Sundays really looks like a very good place. Sofas and easy chairs around the bar at the front, tables and chairs at the back and an outdoor courtyard too. Best place for a drink and a bite in the centre of Petersfield, certainly, and really making an effort. Excellent.

17 May 2007 21:10

The Royal Oak, East Lavant

Not exactly a pub but a real treat all the same. Worth visiting just for the Royal Oak's own special marinated olives, prepared to a closely guarded recipe, but nothing that follows disappoints. Cracking food, excellent wines, including many by the glass, beers from the barrel, proper good service. Not cheap, but tremendous value all the same. Downside: can get noisy in the evening. myPetersfield recommends it as a top spot for a long lazy lunch, maybe followed by a stroll round Chichester.

27 Apr 2007 00:19

The Star and Garter, East Dean

Great menu which majors on fish but makes room for some interesting sounding game too. Big seafood platters caught our eye as we sat at the bar enjoying a glass of Ballards drawn from the barrel, as did several ways to enjoy mussels and a game grill featuring venison, pheasant and rabbit. Pub has been blasted back to bleached wood and brick in an appealing manner. Good-looking wine list. Much more a restaurant now than a pub but retaining lots of character

27 Apr 2007 00:15

The Trooper Inn, Froxfield

The Trooper styles itself an inn, but it would be hard to imagine anything further from a traditional boozer. Although it still maintains a bar, where they'll happily serve you a pint, and a small but decent selection of beers (Ballards, Ringwoods), this is very much a dining pub and pretty much an out and out restaurant, with room for a hundred or more covers in two non-smoking bars and any number of alcoves and annexes. Not that this need be read as a bad thing; in fact, the less you think of it as a pub, the happier you're likely to be. The specials blackboard changes ever day and features a great range of genuinely tempting dishes, running from British classics delivered with imagination through modern European to a good handful of Asian-influenced dishes, backed up by a substantial a la carte menu. Shellfish features strongly. Excellent wine list is supplied by the local General Wine Company. Place is warm and welcoming, a big fire going in the main bar and the walls dense with photographs and posters, hopbines and all that clobber. Stylish in a slightly Jack Vettriano way but hey, the food enjoys an excellent reputation, it's a nice space to sit in, the staff know their onions and few visitors are going to be disappointed. It really is a place you could comfortably bring your children and your aged P's without feeling the desperate ennui that normally accompanies a 'family restaurant' concept.

27 Apr 2007 00:10

The Spread Eagle, West Liss

Not yet a great pub, but the best that Liss has to offer. Decent beer (Ringwoods), standard pub grub, smokey. Big garden with plenty of children's entertainment and and a deck out front which is a treat in the summer, blazing fire inside for the winter. This should be a great pub, but still has a way to go. Under new ownership, worth watching.

26 Apr 2007 23:30

The Bluebell, Liss

Not lovely or ancient or any of that other stuff that can usually be depended on to turn our pretty heads, but an excellent range of beers (including our favourites from the Triple F brewery in Alton), lots of room and, most importantly, three large TV screens. So for those days when watching sport in the company of your fellow man (and occasional woman) is what tickles your fancy, we know of nowhere better in this area.

26 Apr 2007 23:28

White Horse Inn, Rogate

Solid village pub, decent, often imaginative food, great Harveys beers. Used to be a good bet for a quiet pint and a seat but was chocka the last time myPetersfield dropped by. Easy for the unwary to shoot past and then find nowhere to tie up, but actually there's a good sized car park right behind the pub. Deservedly popular.

26 Apr 2007 23:24

Three Horseshoes, Elsted

Ancient pub, great atmosphere, spectacular views over the downs from the garden, really very good. Food is classic British... Sussex lamb cutlets, Selsey crab, Scottish mussels, lobster salad, venison, Dover sole, and some extremely toothsome puddings. Beers are from the barrel, wine list is short but good. Manages to cater to both the real ale and the champagne crowd (it's within the gravitational pull of both Goodwood and Cowdray Park) while maintaining its own identity. This is a gastropub dating from years before anyone coined the term, and full of brisk confidence. A local great with which the myPetersfield team is blushingly smitten. Definitely a pub to settle down with.

26 Apr 2007 23:21

The White Horse Inn, Priors Dean

Big old pub in remote, somewhat bleak spot up on the downs. Name derives from empty pub sign which swings grimly out on the main road. Two bars and restaurant, lots of room outside and in. The two snug bars inside, candle-lit and cluttered with old furniture have a dark, Jacobean feel which, in winter, warmed by open fires, is wonderfully welcoming. Can seem less so on a summer's day, but a big sprawling garden makes up for that. A brighter and lighter restaurant has been extended at the back. Food is traditional pub stuff but done extremely well with excellent ingredients (Cornish scallops, Scottish mussels or O'Hagan's celebrated sausages), a good repertoire of standards backed up by regularly changing specials. Excellent range of ales including its own No-Name bitter. Has plenty of fans, including the poet Edward Thomas who was a regular and made it the subject of 'Up in the Wind', and celebrated chef and undoubted food enthusiast Antonio Carluccio. Excellent beerfest every July with food, bands, camping available for weekend revellers. and other events through the year (check the listings). Recommended.

26 Apr 2007 23:08

The Harrow, Steep

Unchanged since the Liberals last tasted power. Beer strictly from the barrel, pea and ham soup that your spoon will stand up in and ye treacle tarte of Olde Englande. Who could wish for more? In its own way, perfect. Downside: tiny, as others have correctly observed, welcome can be a bit chilly, service can be flaky (work experience from Bedales up the road maybe?), toilets would also have been recognised by Lloyd George. This is nitpicking however; in truth it's a great characterful pub.

26 Apr 2007 23:05

The Vine, Hambledon

Handsome old pub in the exquisite, chocolate box Hampshire village recognised as 'the Cradle of Cricket' and home to the Hambledon Vineyard. Nice mix of eating, drinking and plain loafing-about areas with a handful of shaded tables on a deck out back. Excellent menu but still a comfortable drinking pub. Good beers, including the Vine's own and a fine example from the Black Sheep brewery in Cumbria. The rolling road from the A3 through Clanfield takes you past Broadhalfpenny Down, the oldest cricket ground in England and still, surely, one of the most dramatically located (home of the feared Broadhalfpenny Brigands). The Bat and Ball, opposite the cricket ground, not half bad either.

26 Apr 2007 22:54

The Fox Goes Free, Charlton

Rangy, popular, comfortable old country pub. Stylish restaurant too, offering really exceptional quality and value - the myPetersfield review team was quite moved on its last visit by a piece of perfectly cooked belly pork at a very reasonable price. Excellent wines and beers, including the pub's own traditional Fox bitter at a refreshing 3.5�. Nice garden where you can sit under old apple trees and enjoy lovely views of the downs. Rooms available, popular with the horse crowd. Regular music nights and poker school. Quite terrific really.

26 Apr 2007 22:49

The Royal Oak, Hooksway

Genuinely ancient - the building dates back to the 1500s and it's been an inn for at least half that time. Visiting the Royal Oak isn't a 'heritage experience' though- it's a functional village pub in the old-fashioned sense, serving good beer and plain but decent food, much of it to walkers and cyclists passing through here between Chichester and the South Downs Way. Easy to miss - Hooksway is down a single track lane east off the B2141 Chichester - South Harting Road, south of Harting Down. Blink and you'll miss it.

7 Apr 2007 22:17

The Sun Inn, Rake

Not really a pub any more (though the parlour bar offers a couple of nice comfortable leather armchairs to loaf in and the canopied terrace out back is a real treat on a sunny day), more of a brasserie feel with a good range of steaks (ordered from a cold cabinet in the restaurant, cut and prepared to order), seafood, plenty of classics. Upside: Food generally excellent, decent beers (Greene King on draught) and wine list, commitment to 'slow food' makes a nice change, as does extensive range of dishes available half-size for kids, not just the usual chicken nuggets and dinosaur feet. Service friendly and attentive. Roomy, and recommended for larger groups. The terrace looks a good option, weather permitting. Downside: Music a bit intrusive at times. Not cheap but the food (and the meat in particular, from local butcher the Two Farmers in Liss) is really good quality.

23 Feb 2007 23:09

The Country Inn, Bepton

Real traditional community village pub. Not horsebrassed and whitewashed and generally chi-chied to death, but properly characterful, comfortable and friendly. Good beer, plain but tempting food (ham, bubble & squeak and poached eggs caught our eye), boules in the summer, big log fire in the winter, lots of room and distractions for kids in the garden. Community notice board, newspapers, book exchange... why doesn't every village have a pub like this?

23 Feb 2007 23:02

The Unicorn Inn, Heyshott

We visited before Christmas and found the choice of beers limited (Kings of Horsham only) but the quality of the beer fine. Menu looks good but the place is a bit staid and stuffy. On the plus side, the location is spectacular, right in the lee of the downs, with great views from the garden. Good place for a sunny spring or summer day, perhaps combined with a walk.

23 Feb 2007 23:01

The Halfway Bridge Inn, Lodsworth

Much more restaurant than pub but damned nice. Old on the outside, contemporary within - leather and whitewash - but not distressingly so. High standard of food and drink and exceptional olives - try them before you scoff (in both senses)...

23 Feb 2007 22:59

The White Horse, Easebourne

Good unspoiled country pub, battered leather armchairs, fires, pub grub of the old skool. Greene King ales. Top of the range pub dog. Best pub in and around Midhurst that we know of.

23 Feb 2007 22:57

The Hamilton Arms, Stedham

This is different. Combinines Thai restaurant with what feels oddly like a London local that has been bodily transported to the West Sussex woodland, complete with clientele, oddly enough. Worth visiting at least once a year, when the pub creates the fantastic Eastern Cultural Fair, taking over the woods and clearings opposite the pub, filling them with Thai and other eastern food stalls plus Asian entertainments and exotica, a little bit of Glastonbury landed in West Sussex.

23 Feb 2007 22:54

The Keepers Arms, Trotton

Change is underway at the Keepers' since it fell under new ownership. People are reckoned to fear change, but their fears will be proved groundless here. The entertaining but migraine-threatening interior of yore has been stripped back and toned down to a much cooler, lighter space while retaining the intriguing nooks and crannies which make it a great pub to visit with any number of people. Still a work in progress - the kitchen and restaurant will be revamped shortly and some highly promising accommodation is scheduled for later in 2007, a la The Hawkley Inn, its sister pub - but already a fine destination pub, with the expected quality menu (three starters, three mains daily) and some intriguing beers (Bowman's Quiver, newly produced by expertise from the former Cheriton Brewery was on offer when we dropped by).

23 Feb 2007 22:45

The Kings Arms, Fernhurst

Excellent food and wine which leans heavily on classics, but those classics include corn beef hash and ham & eggs as well as coq au vin and some really fine fish and game. Welcoming, sensible service. Proper bar too, not just a restaurant, where you can enjoy tobacco products, the day's newspapers and some good beer. Separate barn for functions. Simply a great traditional inn. Downside? Erm..

23 Feb 2007 22:42

The Thomas Lord, West Meon

Draws on its association with the eponymous founder of Lord's cricket ground and former resident of West Meon with plenty of cricketing memorabilia, but not overpoweringly so. More to the point, it's an absolutely tremendous country inn: roomy, comfortable, with a nicely weathered assortment of furniture, including big leather armchairs, many pulled up to fires which blaze through the winter. Friendly, chatty and, it would appear, a matey dog at every table, which may not be standard but was a nice touch on the day that we were there. Excellent range of beers, including favourites from the Triple F brewery in Alton. Tempting short menu, drawing on local suppliers - when we dropped by for lunch, smoked haddock stovie topped with a fried egg and a dash of chilli hit the spot very nicely. Good for lunch, dinner, or just idling away a few hours with beer and the papers. Lovely.

23 Feb 2007 22:39

Good Intent, Petersfield

Really very decent old school boozer. Gales beers, old-style but good-looking pub grub (O'Hagan's excellent sausages feature strongly). Old-fashioned atmosphere (in a good way), no smoking restaurant area. Provides a platform every Sunday night for most of the local bands, jazz on Thursdays. Recommended.

23 Feb 2007 22:33

The Hawkley Inn, Hawkley

Everything you want a country pub to be; walking boots, wellies, horses, bikes, great beer and cider, rib-sticking pub grub, fire, moose, big garden. All this and power showers too, in the very smart accommodation introduced at the end of 2006. Seven beers change every week, supplemented by the legendary Swamp Donkey cider (which never changes). Always plenty of local ales, I've personally never had a bad one and would walk several country miles any day for the fff Moondance. Small snug where smoking is more than tolerated (at least till June). Music at weekends, beer fest every year. Perfect pub in any weather, crowded at weekends, however, when food service can be on the slow side and the number of untethered children may test your tolerant, johnnieboden nature. A great pub, even better than I'm making it sound.

23 Feb 2007 22:24

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