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Restaurants in Hampshire - Featuring Hampshire Restaurants

Geography, location and locally available produce tend to determine the dining scene of any region; the food served in restaurants in Hampshire and other eateries is no exception. Hampshire is a county of contrasts, in terms of landscape and the wide range of home grown produce that it supports, and its innovative local menus reflect this diversity.

Close proximity to London, fuelling demand for more cosmopolitan eateries and cutting-edge cuisine, is also a major influence. In addition, the New Forest's recently acquired status as a National Park (March 2005) has helped increase awareness of the numerous excellent restaurants, pubs, teashops and cafés in the area.

The county of Hampshire boasts an abundance of great places to eat and drink: top-notch, gourmet restaurants with comprehensive wine lists, gastro- pubs with innovative menus (as well as interesting ales), European style café-bars, traditional family restaurants, country inns serving no-fuss pub grub, welcoming rural tea rooms and cafés, as well as popular chain restaurants.

Question is where do you start? Fish and seafood restaurants serving ‘catch of the day’ signature dishes are generally a safe bet; so too are the many establishments where the menus focus on the use of locally raised produce such as venison, feathered game and fungi from the New Forest, seafood from Hampshire’s coastline and freshwater fish from its rivers (the River Test is arguably England’s most famous trout river); strawberries from the Hamble Valley … truth is you’ll be spoilt for choice!

If you’d like to sample some of Hampshire’s home produce at one of the many restaurants, pubs, hotels, guest houses, tea rooms and cafés that serve local specialities as the mainstay of their menus, look out for establishments that have achieved a Hampshire Hospitality Award. This recently introduced benchmark for quality throughout the region was piloted by Winchester City Council and Test Valley Borough Council on behalf of the Regional Tourist Board. The assessment considers levels of service as well as the use of quality home grown produce and local recipes. Try, for example, the award winning Blues Sandwich Bar, Southgate Street, Winchester, famous for its bacon sandwiches! Other Winchester award winners include: Hutton's Brasserie & Bar (Winchester Hotel), Worthy Lane; Cathedral Café, Inner Close; Courtyard Café, The Broadway; The Chesil Rectory, 1 Chesil Street; The Old Vine, 8 Great Minster Street; Lainston House Hotel, Sparsholt; The Forte Brasserie & Tea Rooms, 78 Parchment Street; and Hotel du Vin, 12 Southgate Street.

More Restaurants in Hampshire & Dining Ideas

The following eateries are just a few further suggestions to whet your appetite:

Basingstoke:
Galletto: 18 London Street, Town Centre, Basingstoke, RG21 7PG,
Tel. +44 (0)1256 352622: a family restaurant with a fine reputation for good food (including desserts to die for!), intimate atmosphere and friendly service;

Lymington:
Egan’s Restaurant, 24 Gosport Street, Lymington, SO41 9BE, (just off High Street), Tel. +44 (0)1590 676165: good value fish restaurant, pleasant atmosphere;
The Nurse's Cottage, Station Road, Sway, Lymington, SO41 6BA, Tel. +44 (0)1590 683402: a great find in the heart of the New Forest, this superb restaurant also has guest accommodation available;

Lyndhurst:
Beaulieu Road Inn, Beaulieu Road, Brockenhurst, near Lyndhurst, SO42 7YQ, Tel. +44 (0)23 8029 2342: country pub with family appeal, large garden, play area and paddock; serves modern British cuisine, kids’ menu;

Portsmouth:
The Still And West, 2 Bath Square, Old Portsmouth, P01 2JL, (located close to HMS Victory), Tel. +44 (0)23 9282 1567 - pub dates back to 1504, nautical memorabilia, locally caught fish on the menu, real ales;
Sally Port Tea Rooms, 35 Broad Street, Old Portsmouth, PO1 2JD, (located in a seventeenth century building on a cobbled street in Portsmouth’s Old Quarter), Tel. +44 (0)23 9282 1860: serves traditional English teas with home-baked cakes, scones and crumpets;
Char Bar, 25 The Broadwalk, Port Solent, PO6 4TP, Tel. +44 (0)23 9220 1471: cook the meat or seafood yourself on an individual barbecue attached to your table;

Romsey:
The Wheatsheaf, Braishfield Road, Braishfield, Romsey, SO51 0QE, Tel. +44 (0)1794 368372: character, real ale country pub serving award-winning seasonal dishes including local game and fish;

Southampton:
Bouzy Rouge, 12 East Bargate, Southampton, SO14 2DJ, Tel. +44 (0)23 8022 0545: a family-run restaurant serving French cuisine with a contemporary twist; good reviews, booking advisable;
Banana Wharf: Admirals Quay, Channel Way, Ocean Village, Southampton, SO14 3JT, Tel. +44 (0)23 8033 8866: located at the prestigious Southampton Marina, Banana Wharf is billed as the place to ‘meet, eat and drink by the water’; extensive all-day menus and very relaxing;
Los Marinos, 31 Town Quay, Southampton, SO14 2AQ, Tel. +44 (0)23 8033 5045: great tapas menu as well as à la carte; waterfront terrace with al fresco dining;

Winchester:
Wykeham Arms: 75 Kingsgate Street, Winchester, SO23 9PE, Tel. +44 (0)1962 853834: traditional character pub serving pub grub, decent wine list;

Hampshire Fascinating Food & Wine Facts

 Historically, Hampshire has always been open to global culinary influences, particularly in the trading ports of Southampton and Portsmouth. Today, the whole region offers a delicious diversity of world cuisine: traditional and contemporary British, French, Indian, Mediterranean, Oriental, American, Australian, the list is endless.

 Food has traditionally played a central role in the history of Hampshire, from the bumper strawberry crops loaded on to special ‘strawberries trains’ headed for London, Manchester and Glasgow, to the 20,000 oysters donated, every Lent by the monks of the Benedictine Priory of St. Andrew in Hamble to their fellow brethren in Winchester.

 Britain’s first UK commercial vineyard was established at Hambledon, Hampshire, in 1951.

 Hampshire is famous for its watercress which has been grown commercially in the natural spring waters of southern England since the beginning of the nineteenth century. (This natural ‘super food’ is cram-packed with antioxidants and health boosting nutrients!). The start of the British Watercress season is marked by the annual Watercress Festival held in Alresford, Hampshire (next Watercress Festival, Sunday 13th May 2007).





Restaurants in Hampshire
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