Marvelous Makeover for Winchester Pub

What a beautiful bank holiday weekend it’s been! England can be such a pretty place in the sun and it certainly seems to put people in a good mood. Hopefully everyone’s managed to soak up some sunshine and enjoy a few cold beverages…I mostly enjoyed mine at the Queen Inn, Winchester, where they had a fabulous bank holiday beer festival.

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The Queen Inn on Kingsgate Road, Winchester

Some of you may know that the Queen was recently closed for a refurbishment, well it’s now been open for about a month and I have to say it looks fantastic both inside and out! It is certainly worth a visit if you’ve not seen its marvelous makeover.

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Cosy corner

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Refurbished restaurant

If you’ve been to the Queen before, (many of you reading this certainly will be familiar with it!) you’ll remember that there used to be very little space between the bar and the back wall – this has all changed and it’s now ridiculously spacious by the bar! The new furniture and finishing touches look great too, check out these beer barrel tables…

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Love the barrel tables!

The Queen is known for its plentiful outside seating areas and these were looking great too with beer tents up especially for the bank holiday festivities. As for the beers themselves…I didn’t actually sample any but the boys tell me they were good, there certainly was a fine looking selection of locally brewed ales on offer.

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I’m a terrible blogger and have done my classic of enjoying a lovely meal and forgetting to take any photos – but I will say that the new menu at the Queen was really nice, lots of good hearty dishes. I’ve always loved their homemade soups and was pleased to see this was still on the menu, along with a ‘luxury fish pie’ – one of my favourite dishes – which I’m happy to report was done really well.

All in all the Queen is looking better than ever, you can’t beat its lovely location either – so why not take a sunny stroll along the water meadows and pay a visit? Let’s just hope this weather lasts!

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The nearby Winchester water meadows looking spectacular in the sun

You can find out more about what’s going on at the Queen on their website www.thequeeninnwinchester.com

Another Top Hidden Gem…The Plough, Sparsholt

Well The Plough at Sparsholt is hidden in the literal sense of the word, in that it’s a bit off the beaten track out of Winchester, but thanks to its consistently good fare everyone seems to know about it. It’s one of those places that always delivers excellent, hearty food. It’s a real gem of a country pub, serving Wadworth ales and lots classic tasty dishes. There’s a cracking selection of more adventurous dishes too, such as the fabulous pan fried fillet of hake with king prawns and creamy leeks that I enjoyed last night (…the start of a diet breaking evening!).

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The Plough on sunny day

What I really love about The Plough is the dessert menu…I’m actually not much of a sweet-toothed person but this place has all my favourites on one chalk board. There’s gorgeous New Forest ice creams – perfect for when you can’t manage a proper pudding! And I love their selection of classic desserts like bread & butter pudding, creme brulé, sticky toffee pudding…and this…

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Treacle Tart with Clotted Cream

 

The Plough’s treacle tart with clotted cream is to die for! It’s simply gooey, gluttonous heaven on a plate…so good!

Have I tempted you to take a taxi out to Sparsholt yet? …do it! The Plough always delivers!

Great night…diet totally ruined…back on track on Monday xXx

Party in my tummy

At the party in my tummy this weekend are nachos, chicken chassuer, mince pies, apple and cinnamon tart and good old fashion baked potatoes, washed down with mulled wine, Earl Grey and strawberry beer, elderflower wine and vodka sodas…Not all in one day I might add.

It’s been so crazy busy that I can’t even begin to tell you the stories surrounding the foodstuffs I’ve consumed this weekend, I’ll leave that to your imagination…

Have a good week and eat well!

My weekend in food

It occurred to me that I do my most interesting eating at the weekends, whether I’m out and about or attempting to create a little of my own kitchen magic. So I thought I’d start to report of my weekend nourishments, foodie moments and culinary catastrophes…and as it’s a Sunday, I’m starting now …

Friday’s used to be all about going out for me, but now I long for the opportunity to stay in and cook something lovely, possibly watch a film and wash it all down with a glass (or bottle!) of something equally lovely. So this Friday saw me and Tom creating that most indulgent of comfort meals, home-made burgers. The nearby shop stocks local minced beef, which I blended together with finely diced red onion and a few herbs and spices. Isle of Wight cherry tomatoes helped me make a salsa to spread on a lovely wholemeal bun, with salad and cheese…oh and a little extra indulgence, garlic mushrooms! I wish the film we watched had been as good as the burgers…

The Saturday was more of a wishful, food wanting day. As I wandered into Winchester, with the Christmas lights on the famous Christmas market now open, the city was absolutely crammed, with everyone of its eating establishments packed out with people – but I did manage to squeeze a quick visit to the newly opened Caracoli – an excellent coffee shop with amazing foods. I am big fan of it’s well-established Alresford branch, so popped into to the new Winchester to store to pick up one of their artisan scotch eggs as a treat for Tom.

Saturday night saw us catching up with a few friends in The Bridge at Shawford, where the boys enjoyed a rich winter special of pheasant with sweet potato mash and I had a rather nice piece of salmon. What was also great was the interesting selection of beverages behind the bar including Kopperberg fruit ciders and Liefmans fruit beer – just right for the walk between The Bridge and The Bugle Inn!

I’d like to say that night ended quietly there, and not that we ended walking home at 5.30am…but, we did, and that about brings me up to date on weekend food, aside from this morning’s bacon and mushroom sandwich (hangover heaven).

What’s next…well Tom’s pushing for a Rimjhim’s King Prawn Coconut Curry – we’ll see.

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-Update, he’s just brought me a cup of Earl Grey – love him.