“ 75 Kingsgate Street, Winchester, Hampshire, SO23 9PE. Tel: 01962 85383 „
One of the nicest pubs in central winchester!
This pub has great character, mainly because its next to the cathedral, winchester college and has some lovely decoration. You sit at desks that are from winchester college and church pews from the cathedral.
Its split into lots of different small sections, so on a friday or saturday its quite hard to get a seat! Theres a small resturant section at the back and they serve nice posh pub grub there.
Theres sometimes some entertainment to be had watching the posh, underaged boys of winchester college trying to get served. Otherwise they dont have loud music as its not that sort of pub. Parking is a nightmare, theres nowhere in the local vicinity basically so your better off waling.
The staff are all friendly, and they brew some of their own ale in the cellar! You can get a range of beers here, and its quite expensive because of the location and the types of people that go there. Its a nice pub for dinner or for a few drinks but its not one where people get absolutely hammered like the rest of the pubs in winchester!
The Wykeham Arms - Winchester
I used to live in Winchester, many years ago, when I was doing my degree. For two of the four years I was there, my friend and I rented rooms right by the gates into Cathedral close, at the end of St. Swithuns Street. Within spitting distance of our lovely lodgings was the Wykeham Arms pub, which we frequented often. Even then this was not your usual student bar (although it was always full of them!) as not only was it close to the city centre and Cathedral, but also Winchester College (posh school!). In those days we only ever went for a drink and maybe a packet of crisps, but now it is a well know pub listed in many good food guides. As we met in Winchester, my husband and I returned here to celebrate our 19th wedding anniversary and to have a good old reminisce!
About the pub.....
The Wykeham arms is an 18th century coaching Inn that was named after William of Wykeham, the 14th century Bishop who founded the nearby Winchester college. Not only does it serve great food but it has a number of guest rooms avaiable for B& B. We have never stayed here so can't comment on this aspect of the Wykeham Arms although I have only ever heard good reviews about the accommodation.
The pub is always busy and it has a great atmosphere. There is a buzz from different groups chatting - no canned music here! There is an amazing collection of all sorts of items, historical and sporting, that are hung on the walls and perched on every shelf and corner giving it a real 'oldie worldy' charm.
The pub is set over series of different rooms that radiate off the central bar. You can sit at 19th century oak desks that were originally used in the nearby Winchester College, or an old pew. There are kitchen chairs and candlelit tables that make up this eclectic mix. All of the rooms have log fires and I have happy memories of sitting in the snug room at the back, drinking my Chinzano and lemonade!
This is a busy and popular pub and it is advisable to book a table, but we hadn't! It was a Monday evening and we just arrived hoping that there would be space for us. Luckily there was.
Very friendly, young staff showed us to a table in the snug (happy chinzano memories!) where our drinks order was taken. Wine can be ordered by the glass or bottle and they also brought us glasses of tap water.
While we were perusing the menu we were given some delicious bread to munch on. During our main course the young man serving us asked if we needed anything else and my husband cheekily asked for more bread - this he brought happily to the table with no extra charge.
All the staff that brought food or took orders were cheerful, friendly, polite and well spoken and we felt we received excellent service.
The Wykeham Arms has had many awards and was nominated as "Hampshire dinning pub of the year" by the Good Pub Guide 2008. They serve lunch or supper in which the chef claims to use high quality, local ingredients.
This pub has a great reputation so we were looking forward to the food. We knew it wasn't cheap ( the lunch time menu is less expensive) and this was a special occasion so we relaxed and enjoyed looking at the menu.
We were told that there was a set menu for the week which was £22 for three courses. This was a Moroccan menu which looked lovely but we decided to go for the al la carte.
On the evening meal al la carte menu prices ranged from...
£4.50 - £ 6.50 for starters
£10 - £18.00 for main course
£5.25 for dessert
I chose portobella mushroom ragout served on toasted brioche, followed by Pork loin with apple gravy, savoy cabbage and mashed potato. It was wonderful. Each course was cooked to perfection and tasted delicious. The portions were a good size but I do love my gravy, and this was so delicious, I could easily have asked for more!
My hubby chose a warm goats cheese starter with honeyed pears and walnuts followed by rump steak with a sauce ( I can't remember what it was!) served with mushrooms and hand cut chips. I did pinch a chip but I can't tell you how the rest of his meal tasted, however he said it was very good and his steak was cooked exactly as he had asked.
Then to desert - we were quite full, but in order to write a good review I felt I needed to plough on and experience three courses! I had a coffee crème brulee with choc chip shortbread. The brulee was delicious, not a flavour I would think of making. It was rich, smooth and creamy and the crunch on top of the burnt sugar was perfect. The shortbread was a little disappointing, tasting more like a bit of pastry rather than a crisp biscuit.
The other half had the white chocolate torte with a raspberry coulis. He thought it was great, but the little bit I tried was too sweet for me. All in all, a lovely meal.
Would we return?
Most definitely! Not only is this the best sort of English pub, it has character, and it has a welcoming, un-intimidating and friendly atmosphere. For me it is full of happy memories too!!
If you visit Winchester you must go in, even if it is just for a drink.
75 Kingsgate Street
Tel: 01962 853834
Licensee: Dennis & Ann Evans
Thank you for reading :o)
The 14 comfortable period bedrooms, combined with the charisma of this inn will make your visit a memorable one. The Wykeham Arms has an established reputation for its excellent home produced food and is a popular venue for locals and visitors.