I was going to write a big long sob story about my lack of service here, right after I got back to my hotel room, but instead I wisely consulted an English friend first. I seem to remember that when I visited the UK a few years ago, he kept getting up to order beer at the beer window, which I thought odd at the time, but didn't remark on it or remember.
So I get to the bar here, sit down, and say I would like some lunch. He said I have to sit down at a table for it, but here's a menu. He said I could order beer at the bar however. So I did. It was quite good. To make a long story short, it seems that in most (or all?) pubs in the UK, you order your beer and food at the bar but eat sitting at a table. You keep getting up to order more beer. They bring you your food at the table. Not like a restaurant, that's for sure.
So after sitting at the table and watching the waitstaff go by several times, I flagged one of them down and said I would like to order. She said that I must go to the bar. Ooooooohhhhhhhhhhh, so THAT'S how it's done. As soon as I followed the rules, my experience improved dramatically!
Anyways, the fish and chips are possibly the best ever, and the mushy peas were quite fresh and green, not gray and old. The beers I chose were fantastic. After the Wykeham Arms, I ate fish and chips two more times elsewhere, and the other places just didn't measure up.
Also, the Wykeham Arms is decorated all over the interior. Every square inch of wall is covered with something really neat. You get a sense of the history here. Great pub!
Having grown up in Winchester I can honestly say this is the go to place for taking friends, dates and in-laws who need impressing. Utterly timeless with polite, knowledgeable staff, a classy but simple menu and a great range of beers you really will not find a better place. Clientele range from the odd tourist to Winchester College staff and in-the-know locals. Quintessentially English in the greatest possible way.
Damn good. Very damn good indeed. The pub part is really charming with great beer and wine. There is a small beer garden for catching the afternoon rays and a really homely feel to the whole place. I stayed in a single room which was situated across the street. Very comfy and quiet. There were a bunch of us and, after hours, we were let into a lounge over the road to finish the few bottles of wine that we had left. Breakfast was very good. The chef probably trying a bit hard to be artistic with the fry-up. I mean, there's only so much you can do with a full English without looking like a div. Price was very reasonable for the location and overall quality and I would definitely recommend.
Great pub. From the outside you would never be able to tell what the pub is actually like. Inside however is great. There are several rooms both for dining and drinking. In the two main pub rooms, there are schoolhouse desks for tables, mostly for two people with a few for larger groups. There is one private dining room and two more dining rooms that were close to packed on a Tuesday night. There is also outside dining and and drinking in the back. This pub is old school, with decorations from Winston Churchill pictures to many, many pewter mugs hanging on the walls and ceiling. The lighting is just right with friendly bartenders and a classic "John Crapper" wooden toilet, at least in the Men's Room. We had to wait to get a seat for dinner until 9:00 PM but it was worth it. The food was not cheap, but it was very good.
If you are anywhere near Winchester you must make a trip to the Wykeham Arms! It is a wonderful 18th century coaching inn that can be found along a cobbled road, just through a brick arch that forms part of the perimeter of Winchester Cathederal. It is opposite Winchester College, and many an Old Wykehamist can be found supping a pint in this ancient pub. It gives you a really homely feel, comforting and solid. At it's very best on a crisp, cold and misty evening, the sort that Winchester seems to do so uniquely and mysteriously well. The glazed, double front door is curved, which warms my cockles (I have a thing for good windows/doors!). Inside the roaring open fires are almost always well-stoked. The furniture is composed of a cacophony of old school desks complete with ink wells and names scratched by pupils past and church pews with well worn surfaces. There is a notice near the front door 'politely' asking patrons to refrain from using their mobile phones inside, and rightly so, anything remotely modern jars and grates against the atmosphere, traditional and clingingly unchanged over the decades.
There are tables in the bar area, which are usually full, with numerous people standing at the bar too. Chose either direction immediately on entry and you will wind your way through the bar to the tables of the restaurant. You need to plan your visit tho, not a place to pop in, hoping for a table, Saturday evenings in December will be getting booked up soon and this is no joke! The food here is wonderful, the menu is a delight of English cuisine, try to come hungry, it would be a true shame to make a trip here without sampling all three courses. The waiting staff will happily suggest wine from their exhaustive wine list to compliment your meal. Expect to get little change from £100 for 3 courses and wine for two.
You can stay here, they have 14 rooms and what a wonderful plan! This is not a place to drive home from :)
And now onto the important stuff. their crowning glory - Sausages! At 6pm, and this is something locals set their watches by and no mistake, a huge cauldron emerges from the kitchen, accompanied with napkins and a variety of sauces. They sell sausages at the bar, 60p each if my memory serves me correctly, hot, steaming, tasty and glorious. My goodness, this is how all pubs should be!
Dogs welcome in the bar, yeah!!! Just watch your snags :)
Lovely old pub. School desks as some of the pub tables, complete with inkwells. Food seems good, although only eaten here twice.
The place to go in Winchester. Traditional and historic. Food was fabulous with extensive wine list. Yes it was expensive for a pub but worth it as it's so much more personal than a hotel. If Carlsberg made pubs this would be it!
This place is a MUST visit if you are in Winchester! If you are in town nearing the shop's closing times, make the short and pleasant walk through the cathedral and make a stop in the Wykeham Arms. Instantly warm when you go in (from the fire) and always busy, at 6pm out come the sausages! Simply buy them at the bar with your drink (I think a £1 a sausage?) make sure yoou get some mustard and enjoy! Really eclectic pub, with trinkets everywhere, covering the ceiling -its a must visit. They also do a great a la carte menu with some seating in a small restaurant section adjoined to the main bar. All in all very Winchester!
HOO RA Henry. Seriously, though I like this place - it has a quaint charm of its own. Take a walk down the cobbled streets of Winchester and soak up the eccentricity of this sweet little pub. Only problem is the wine is served in little glasses too - big mistake that!!!!
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