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The Westgate, Winchester, Hampshire
An historic pub commanding a prime spot at the top of Winchester high street, this late 19th-century Grade II-listed building has an impressive curved frontage. Inside, the décor is contemporary with stripped wood flooring, burgundy leather banquettes and grey painted walls adorned with botanical prints. At the rear, a sheltered walled courtyard with wooden tables and chairs provides some outdoor seating. The ten bedrooms are furnished in a chic vintage style with metal bed frames and white painted furniture. Food is a good mix of pub staples, such as doorstop Winchester cheese sandwiches and beer-battered haddock and chips, and more refined restaurant-style food such as pan-fried grey mullet with chickpea and cauliflower curry. Sunday roasts include 40-day Himalayan salt-aged beef sirloin.
There are many ancient buildings in this part of town, which gives you a great sense of being in England's first capital.
A short stroll away, you'll find The Great Hall and Winchester Cathedral, while Downton Abbey fans won't want to miss Highclere Castle (30 minutes by car).
By car: around 1 hour 45 minutes from Bristol, 2 hours from London and 4 hours from Manchester.
By train: direct trains to Winchester station from Southampton Central (20 minutes) London Waterloo (1 hour) and Manchester Piccadilly (4 hours). The hotel is a 5-minute walk away. thetrainline.com
Style & Character
Young couples or singletons looking to enjoy a Winchester city break will love this hotel. An entire wall, where breakfast is served, is clad in reclaimed, stripped Victorian doors - adding character.
Service & Facilities
There's an honesty basket of Haribos, Kitkats and popcorn that guests can help themselves to if they get peckish in the night.
- Free Wi-Fi
Room one (Deluxe) has lovely French windows that open on to a Juliet balcony. Original Victorian fireplaces are in many of the rooms, some with tiled surrounds.
Cosy Room, Comfy Room, Deluxe Room
Facilities include: ensuite bathroom with toiletries, hairdryer, tea and coffee facilities, flat-screen TV, fan/heating, free Wi-Fi
Food & Drink
The small plates are perfect for group grazing; the squash and sweetcorn fritters with avocado salsa were particularly good. The braised pork belly with smoked apple and celeriac purée with roasted heritage carrots and kale was melt-in-the-mouth delicious.
The Westgate: traditional pub serving classics and seasonal specials. Mains include sausage and mash, fish and chips, and buttermilk chicken burger. Open daily for lunch and dinner.