Five of the very best places to eat dinner in Winchester
These five spots won't let you down if you need a good meal in the city.
Winchester is making its way as a real foodie destination. With new cafes, bakeries and stalls popping up all the time, it’s hard to know exactly where to head for a good meal. As a Winchester local, with ahem, a true love for food at every turn (goodbye, diet). I’ve put together a list of some of my favourites for dinner here and given some ideas on what to try there:
1. Hotel Du Vin
The Hotel Du Vin in Winchester is undoubtedly the very best place in town to stay the night, that’s a given. However, it also holds a special secret for locals and tourists alike. By secret, I really just mean an absolutely stunning courtyard that's perfect for al-fresco dining.
Start your meal with a sensational cocktail (HDV is renowned for them) and follow it up with the roquefort, pear and walnut salad for a Summery main course. If you want something a tad more substantial, the moules frites and the steaks are excellent, too.
This lovely spot by the Cathedral is best known as a café by day but it has a fantastic, innovative menu by night as well. Expect to receive excellent, attentive service and a varied British tapas menu that is good for sharing. The menu does change from day to day, but you can expect things along the lines of braised curried cauliflower, rabbit ragu tagliatelle, smoked salmon with beetroot and more.
3. The Ivy
The Ivy Brasserie is the newest hot spot to hit Winchester high street. Whilst it is a chain, they’ve done everything in their power to make it feel special and it’s just a gorgeous environment to be in. The first thing you’ll notice as you walk in is how at home you feel. The décor is art-deco-esque and almost anti-trendy in a way that’s classic and timeless.
The cocktails are excellent aperitifs (I had the gin spritz) and they help enormously to wash down a very tasty salmon and crab starter. The piece de resistance, however, is 100% the chocolate bomb dessert. Gooey, encased in lovely ice cream, and lathered in hot caramel sauce. I mean, need I say more here? Just go and get it.
We can’t talk about the Hampshire food scene without mentioning The Black Rat, Winchester’s only Michelin star restaurant. Surprisingly informal and low key, this stalwart restaurant does an excellently priced lunch menu as well as à la carte supper options. The menu changes daily but if you get the chance to try the lamb kofta it is absolutely outstanding.
Piquant is a brand new tapas fusion concept on the high street. Independently owned, serving up British-American tapas sharing dishes such as baby back ribs, chicken wings and charred corn. It also has a popular bar during the evenings so is a perfect spot if you want somewhere a bit ‘buzzy’ to continue your night.
And finally… if none of these options float your boat and you want something a tad more casual, don’t discount trying Overdraft for tacos, live DJs and craft beer.