There are lots of restaurants that you might call hidden gems nestled around Hampshire, some you drive past and always wonder about going in, some you’ve heard about and never been to, maybe you went once years ago and haven’t been back…whether they’re in a rural location or simply a tucked away part of town, it’s time to start thinking about our local hidden gems!
These restaurants usually have longevity, outlasting some of the more prominently positioned establishments – relying on reputations built over the years and loyal customers. I’m hoping to publish a series of posts celebrating some great local hidden gems (suggestions welcome!)…I’ll start with one of my favourites, Keats in Ampfield.
Keats is a wonderfully traditional Italian restaurant located between Wincheser and Romsey, so it probably falls into the ‘driven past it and always wondered…’ category of hidden gems – but it is most certainly worth a visit. Run by the same very friendly team for something like 20 plus years, I cannot praise this place enough, I’ve genuinely never had a bad meal there. The freshness of the food is always excellent, the fish and seafood in particular – the staff are only to happy to tell you what they’ve got in fresh that day and recommend a good wine to go with it too.
Bear in mind when I say Italian, I don’t mean Zizzi, Prezzo or Pizza Express. Keats is all about traditional Italian classic dishes done well. The specialities would certainly have to be the fish, but also the chateaubriand for two – a firm favourite of my boyfriend and his brother, who enjoy it every time. The desserts are excellent too, my favourite is the crepe suzettes, which are always prepared in front of you in the traditional way.
I’m hoping to update this post with some foodie photos when I next pay a visit to Keats, but for now I hope this short entry has served to whet your appetite for some good old fashioned Italian food…
Visit http://www.keatsrestaurant.co.uk for a flavour of the place and book a table if you haven’t been!