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The Hut (Beefeater), Chandlers Ford

It's a Beefeater restaurant. They do have beer, and it seems well kept 'considering', but it's not really the place's point.

2/10 as a pub, pleasant enough so 6/10 as an eatery.

8 May 2013 13:12

The Wykeham Arms, Winchester

While it's certainly endearingly quaint to sit at school desks while quaffing a superb but expensive pint, such seating arrangements may not to be everyone's taste, not least because the seats are immovable. Most of the place is given over to food, so for drinking it's a desk in the bar area if one's free, or stand. There's a handful of benches outside at the back, with pleasant views of the residents' car park, doubtless quite pleasant nevertheless if the weather's suitable. Don't expect to see much change from a tenner if you ask for a pint and a large glass of wine.

On our visit (5pm Sunday), the staff were more attractive than useful, and it took an age to get served. The food is excellent but pretentious (served, for instance, not on plates but on wooden chopping board affairs), and rather overpriced: they seem to be aiming at the proper restaurant market (you can easily spend £15 or more on a main course), but you can't get away from it being a glorified pub.

To fit in with the rest of the clientele, you may wish to avail yourself of an old school tie and sports jacket. Dogs are welcome. Overall, good for a special occasion meal, and worth a visit for a pint, but I wouldn't make it a regular casual venue. Wetherspoons it ain't -- in both good and bad ways.

8 May 2013 13:01

The Tump Inn, Wormelow

Friday 10 August, later evening. Having heard good things about The Tump, I went in with my daughter for a pint and some food. Entering into what we found to be a raucous bar area, we stood there looking hopefully for a member of staff, while a gaggle of loud and lumpen locals were served ahead of us by the one person apparently in attendance. We stood, and stood, unable to attract any attention. If the bar girl did see us, we must have been of less interest than the jokes of her mates and the sport on the big-screen TV.

"Oh well", I said, "let's try the restaurant bit." So we weaved through the bar, down some stairs which a sign indicated led to the restaurant. Leaving the noise behind, a doorway with a handful more stairs down brought us out into a dimly-lit, low-ceilinged dining room, containing maybe twenty dark wood tables laid out with cutlery and wine glasses. Just one of these was occupied, by a late-middle aged couple apparently on their dessert course. They did not look up. The silence here was as eerily deafening as the bar had been literally.

So we waited. And waited. I coughed politely.

Nobody appeared, even to check on the couple -- who, I now realise, might in fact have been stuffed and mounted, just to make the place look less deserted (on a Friday night, remember). That would fit right in with the atmosphere.

I tentatively moved towards the other entrance, presumably to the kitchen; a solitary balloon proclaiming 'Happy 50th Birthday' floated gently away across the floor at my passing. My peering into this brighter area revealed no living human. I cleared my throat again, to no avail. "Excuse me!" I called in that quiet way one might in a library (a library would have been noisier).

Nothing. Wait.

A little louder: "Anyone home?"

Silence. Wait.


As if by magic, no shopkeeper appeared.

We left.

So I'm afraid I can't tell you anything about the quality of the beer or the food.

23 Aug 2012 15:23

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