The Black Rat (above)
88 Chesil Street, Winchester, Hampshire, SO23 0HX
The Black Rat is a charming Michelin Star restaurant in a building that dates back to the 1700s. The menu is seasonal and incorporates fresh ingredients from local suppliers while the restaurant also makes use of an allotment behind the restaurant to grow their own vegetables and herbs. Enjoy dishes such as rabbit loin with wild chervil spaetzle and sea urchin butter, crispy rock oyster with smoked eel cream, and slow cooked lamb belly served with flowering sprouts and caramelised onions.
The Bush Inn
Ovington, Alresford, Hampshire, SO24 0RE
If you’re looking for dinner with a beautiful setting then The Bush Inn in Ovington is the perfect spot. This traditional 17th century pub sits on the banks of the River Itchen and offers outside seating in the serene and pretty riverside garden where it would be tempting to spend the whole afternoon. Expect seasonal dishes created using fresh produce as well as traditional classics. The menu includes twice roasted pork belly with seared fresh scallops, Hampshire lamb cutlet with buttered vegetables and port gravy, and fresh Cornish Haddock in 6X batter with hand cut chunky chips.
The Pub With No Name (The White Horse)
Priors Dean, Hampshire, GU32 1DA
Traditional and set in a beautiful location, the Pub With No Name – AKA The White Horse – serves delicious food made with locally sourced ingredients and has an enviable selection of Real Ales. Delights on the menu include a traditional steak and ale pie served with colcannon potatoes, home cooked honey glazed ham with free range eggs and hand cut chips, and a huge variety of O’Hagan’s sausages, such as beef and Guinness or wild boar and calvados, served with parsnips crisps and gravy.
The Pig Hotel
Beaulieu Road, Brockenhurst, Hampshire, SO42 7QL
The Pig in Brockenhurst is somewhere you’ll want to visit again and again, not just because of the delicious menu, but also due to the friendly staff and relaxed, cosy atmosphere. The menu changes depending on what the kitchen garden produces and what the forager, who you can accompany, finds, but expect goodies such as Dorset coast Pollock fillet and Hampshire chorizo, roasted breasts of New Forest wood pigeon, and a meal at The Pig would not be complete without their famous Piggy Bits (above): black pudding balls with piccalilli smoked chipolatas and spiced onions.
The Yew Tree
Hollington Cross, Andover Road, Highclere, RG20 9SE
The Yew Tree is a favourite with the Country Life team due to its traditional English pub atmosphere and its beautiful countryside setting close to Highclere. The outstanding food is also a big draw: the menu is inspired by the English countryside and thus graced with fresh fish and game sourced from local rivers and forests. Dig into roast cod loin with potato her and River Exe mussel chowder, Burghclere venison burger with red onion compote and skinny fries, and sirloin of Bromham beef with roast mushroom, baby onions and chunky chips.
The Chesil Rectory
1 Chesil Street, Winchester, Hampshire SO23 0HU
01962 851555 www.chesilrectory.co.uk
This restaurant sits in a 600 year old grade II listed Medieval house, making it unique and full of character. The menu at the Chesil Rectory is modern British, offering classic dishes with a twist, which goes nicely with the refurbished building which has retained many of its original features. Enjoy guinea fowl with turnip fondant and roasted beetroot, braised ox cheek with confit root vegetable with potato puree, and sea bream with crab tortellini and crisp cabbage.
The Harrow Inn
Kettlebrook Ln, Petersfield, Hampshire, GU32 2DA
This family-run 17th century village pub offers not only delicious food and a fantastic range of ales but also a warm and friendly atmosphere. It has also twice been named the ‘Unspoilt Pub of the Year’ by the Good Pub Guide and has appeared in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide. Menu specialities include ham off the bone, hot scotch eggs, and rare roast beef sandwiches.
Testcombe, Winchester, SO20 6AX
This renowned pub (where, importantly, dogs are welcome) sits in the heart of the Hampshire countryside on the banks of the River Test, which ensures tranquil surroundings to accompany a delicious and relaxing meal. The menu changes daily but highlights of late include smoked haddock and spring onion fishcakes, chicken roulade filled with smoked chedder and spinach, wrapped in bacon, and roasted duck breast served over sweet potato mash.
The Thomas Lord
High Street, West Meon, Hampshire, GU32 1LN
It comes as no surprise that The Thomas Lord has won two AA Rosettes in both 2012 and 2013. Located in pretty West Meon, this traditional village pub is well worth a visit. It’s beautiful gardens include an abundant vegetable garden and a chicken run with 9 chickens,the menu is delightful and comes with a variety of ales to choose from at the bar. Tuck into butter roasted monkfish with Jerusalem artichoke and pickled cockles, lamb burger with cucumber and dill relish, or their beef, onion, mushroom and bacon pie served with mash, root vegetable crush and gravy.
Tunworth Road, Mappledurwell, RG25 2LU
The Gamekeepers country inn offers contemporary and locally produced dishes to be enjoyed within its cosy interior or from their large garden which has stunning views over green fields. The menu includes chargrilled fillet of beef with blue cheese and pink peppercorn butter with Dauphinoise potatoes, chargrilled handmade sausages on bubble & squeak, and slow cooked shoulder of Hampshire lamb cooked in Guinness wth herbs and served with fondant potato and seasonal vegetables.
* Follow Country Life magazine on Twitter