Definitely the best Indian restaurant in Winchester. The food and the service are unbeatable!! It is very small, however, and you will need a pre-booking. Expect to wait with or without a reservation on a weekend night. Traditional and specialty Indian dishes available, there is a large wine list and various liquors are on hand. Average price - £40.00 for dinner for two.
Favorite Dish: Starter: Meat Samosa and Poppodoms
Rice: Pilau Basmati
Main Meal: Chicken Tikka-Masala
Bread: Plain Naan
We ate here twice during our stay in Winchester. I can say that we were very pleased each time. I guess you can consider this a chain-restaurant, as there are about 10, mostly in SE England. They have a medium-sized menu, but their feature is their fresh seafood. We were surprised to find that fresh seafood was a rarity in England being that the country is an island.
A chain-Italian restaurant. Always busy. You will need a pre-booking to get in on any weekend nights. Pizza and pasta are served. Very large wine list, only one beer served. The food is good, but the service is almost always horrible at this location. Average price - £20.00 for dinner for two.
Favorite Dish: Any of their pizzas - they are Italian-style (meaning that they are personal-sized and thin crust).
When we first arrived to Winchester, we were terribly jet-lagged. We also had just survived an almost-catastrophe with my husband's company possible cancelling our trip at the VERY last minute (after we had rearranged our lives to leave the country). Anyway, so we checked into our hotel and needed something fast and easy to eat. We ventured out to the High Street where we found a familiar sign...Pizza Hut. Perfect! We wouldn't have to worry about what to order or HOW to order, since we were in a new unfamiliar country and we didn't yet know how things worked.
We went in and sat down at one of the tables, waiting to be served. After about 5 minutes of waiting, a waitress approached us and said, "Oh, I see you decided to seat yourselves!" in a very snotty manner. We were shocked to see that we missed the "Please wait to be seated" sign as we entered. Strike one in the trying-to-not-look-American book! We felt so stupid, but at home Pizza Hut is more of a fast-food place where you just sit down and eventually someone throws you a menu! We learned our lesson after that - to always look for a sign when we enter a restaurant.
Anyway, Pizza Hut has a pretty similar menu here as it does in the rest of the world. Thin, thick, pan and stuffed crust pizzas with a variety of toppings. They also have a pizza bar with comes with a salad and dessert bar.
One very good thing about Pizza Hut for us is that they are the only place in Winchester (and possibly all of Europe) that gives free refills on soda!
Favorite Dish: Pan tossed sausage pizza...pretty standard.
The Eclipse Inn is located in an area called "The Square", which dates back to the 14th century. The Square was the place where pilgrims would stop after visiting Winchester Cathedral to eat, drink, and maybe buy a few relics and souvenirs. The Inn itself was built in 1540 and although it's been restored, it has retained a lot of its historical character. The timbers, fireplace and oak beams are all original - and slightly crooked, which gives the place a lot of charm. It is a small and cozy pub, very casual, quite popular with the locals (we seemed to be the only tourists there), and the chicken pie I ordered (served with green peas, of course!) was really good. The staff was very friendly, and so was the pub's cat! So if you feel like going back in time for a few hours and enjoying an authentic pub atmosphere, I'd highly recommend eating at The Eclipse Inn!
The Cathedral Cafe is in a modern (horrid, imo) building tucked away (thank goodness) behind a wall. But it's really rather pleasant inside. I was served by a couple of giggly 'gels' of a certain age, the epitome of genteel English middle-classness right down to the pearls round their necks; they were sooooooo polite and helpful and pleasant!
The cafe serves coffee/tea/home-made cakes/soup etc and all proceeds go towards the upkeep of the cathedral (the staff are volunteers, I believe) so it's worth going there, even if only for a cup of coffee.
Favorite Dish: Cake, cake, cake..........v nice indeed (I had a Bath bun, but could have eaten several other types as well).
The Wykeham Arms is supposed to be the best restaurant in Winchester, but I have not yet had an outstanding meal there. Many of the rich parents who send their children to the college eat here and so it has a very posh atmosphere. The pub is good and it has a nice variety of beers.
I realise some people may find the Black Rat an unappetising sort of a name for a restaurant but believe me, the food is anything but unappetising, in fact it is quite superb. It has won numerous awards and been well reviewed in at least one national newpaper, and the plaudits are certainly deserved.
The restaurant itself is in an old converted pub and still retains that charm. There are all sorts of nooks and crannies which make it an atmospheric place for a meal. On entering, we were warmly greeted and shown to a table in what I suppose could be described as the main room. This friendly but not obsequious service was in evidence throughout the evening, they really have got it just right. I don't want to be fawned over when I am having dinner.
The restaurant website describes the cuisine as modern British, and this is what it is, done to a very high standard.
I started with a simple beetroot and gorgonzola salad, which featured three different types of beetroot (which I never knew existed) sourced from the nearby organic and delightfully named Secrett's Farm, as are most of the vegetables. On speaking to the maitre d' we were informed that wherever possible they source food locally, which is a practice I always like. My companions Cornish mussels were declared equally delicious.
For main course I had a delightful roast breast of mallard duck whilst my companion had the pork belly confit. Again, both were superbly cooked and simply gorgeous. Asking for advice on teh wine (I am certainly no expert) we were directed to a bottle of Chablis Alain, which I thought was good value at £27. No attempt was made to try and foist us off with a more expensive bottle, of which there are plenty on the extensive wine list, and it complemented the food beautifully.
Although not much of a sweet eater myself, the madelaines we shared as a dessert were very tasty and I rounded the whole meal off with a coffe and a glass of very drinkable fonseca.
The Black Rat is certainly not cheap (£94 for two as of November 2008) but I do not mind paying for food of this quality. definitely a place for a special occasion unless you are seriously rich, but worth every penny. Highly recommended.
Favorite Dish: I have only eaten there once but, as described above the roast duck was superb.
This tea room/restaurant is located in an upstairs room in the centre of Winchester - the stairs are quite steep. The decor is a little overpowering, with red and orange walls and twinkling fairy lights, but the food is reasonably priced and good. They serve breakfasts, lunches and afternoon teas.
Favorite Dish: I had cream of broccoli soup with a delicious hot granary roll for a light lunch, but they also serve sandwiches, jacket potatoes, pasta, quiches etc.
I suppose it is hardly surprising that in a place which so long played host to the Gurkha regiment of the British Army, and which still houses the Regimental Museum that there would be several Nepalese restaurants locally. This is the only one I have ever eaten in and it certainly is excellent. Having visited Nepal some years ago, I know the food here is as near authentic as you are going to get using ingredients sourced in the UK.
As you would expect from Nepalese people, who are amongst the friendliest in the world in my experience, the welcome and the service are courteous and delivered with a large smile. What is also delivered is some extemely good food. I have only eaten here once and had momos (very traditional Nepalese dumplings), followed by a delicious Nepalese curry. I am sorry I cannot remember the proper name for it but you will find it on the menu easily enough.
A great place, authentic food, great service, what more would you need?
Favorite Dish: The Nepalese curry, as described above.
Book a Sunday roast here ---the flavours, the portions and the flavours are typically British. We sat there in the intimate bar of the Eclipse and enjoyed a roast that took us back years ---succelent chicken, delicious gravy and huge roast potatoes. Mmm... Added to it were plenty of vegetables and (I like this touch) Yorkshire puddings. A piping hot meal and a hot plate!
The service was friendly ---both Sarah and her assistant worked hard at providing food and drinks to a cosmopolitan clientel.
Decor? Well, the timbered pub is full of character. At first we thought it was rather a mix of styles but as we sat there we realised that it works ---it is the Eclipse! At the end of the day a pub is only a good as its staff!
Outside, in the Square, there are tables for those who wish. We did feel a little put off by the number of smokers sitting there ---but it is illegal for anyone to smoke inside.
Favorite Dish: As above!
Remember that this is not a 5* restaurant but an honest English pub.
The Courtyard Cafe is part of Winchester's Guildhall. There is a large indoor seating area as well as an outdoor area. It serves light lunches, cakes and hot drinks. Lunchtime soup and a roll costs less than £4.
Favorite Dish: We just dropped by for tea and were tempted into having a chocolate brownie and a flapjack - both very good.
Family restaurant that operates under the Chef and Brewer chain belonging to the Premier Inn Stable. The Wheatsheaf in North Waltham was built in the late 19th century and is reputed to have been a coaching stop for author Jane Austen. This hotel has a vast bar area, lots of cosy seating with an extensive menu.
Monday to Friday: 7:00 pm to 11:00 pm
Saturday: 8:00 pm to 11:00 pm
Sunday: 8:00 pm to 10:30 pm
Favorite Dish: 9oz Rump Steak, Fries and tomato/mushroom – £9.55
Sweet potato Fries - £2.65
Lager Shandy - £3.20
It is a old pub so there are bear board and some nice modern gothic tones to the wall paper. It makes a nice addition to winchester as a good trendy modern venue that would not look out of place in london. They did not hurry the food and you get to choose your meal in the upstairs bar first. Very friendly and relaxed and worth a visit but be sure to book as it is already popular at the weekend.
Favorite Dish: I had the Salad of Campana Buffalo mozzarella, white peaches which was a nice mix. The Gressingham duck breast with sprouting broccoli and star anise which was full of flavour and the Peach sorbet with Russian vodka had a good slug or two of vodka for a nice kick.
Just sit, relax and drink good English beer overlooking the Test River.
Go on a sunny day and sit outside. The food is so...so