Category: Eat Out
I can always tell it’s Mothers Day. The daffodils are out, there’s warmth in the sun and my summer-long yearning to chiii-ll by water begins.
I’ve no preference over what kind of water. Riverside is heaven: a mellow stream, weeping willows and the occasional swan, but hum-huu… the sea is dreamy too, salty air blowing away those winter cobwebs, seagulls, yachts and platters of local seafood. And lucky me, because Hants is heaving with waterside eateries — be it river, estuary or crashing wave.
What’s a girl to do when she’s too goddam fat to review another restaurant without fear of a hernia? Call Rachel, fellow elasticated trouser wearer and brilliant Muddy Berks editor, that’s what! Rachel was deputy editor of a national newspaper before she joined us over at the frothy side, so she really knows her stuff. Here’s her review of the André Garrett restaurant at Cliveden near Taplow and if it tempts you, it’s worth knowing that if you live within a 50-mile radius (just into Hants then) you can sign up to Cliveden’s new Dining Card and enjoy a 10% discount off food and drink; special events plus celebration vouchers for Champagne, a boat trip and room upgrade.
Are you keen on the bean? Would you fight for flat-white, give a beso for espresso? We’ve teamed up with our good friends at The Little Kitchen Company to offer a free coffee or hot drink with every brunch/lunch ordered for all Muddy Hants readers. On the outskirts of Winchester, this bistro has all the quirk and charm of a city-centre indy cafe but with easy out-of-town access and oodles of parking.
Stop Press: our friends at The Little Kitchen Company are offering a free coffee to all Muddy Readers when you order brunch or lunch. Just show this page when you visit!
To most of us — raised on Friends and Central Perk and Rachel-Ross’ will they won’t they-ing — brunch culture holds a special appeal: an easy amble to your neighbourhood cafe for flat-whites, poached eggs and papers.
All this disappears in a puff of petrol fumes, when you motor your life and worldly possessions from SW1 into deepest Hampshire.
It’s been a long winter so let’s be honest, a short-break would not go amiss. The brilliant Debbie, aka. Ms Muddy Sussex, found this stunning winery across the Hants/Sussex borders in the sprawling South Downs. Have you popped over to Muddy Sussex yet? Oh, but you must! Over to you Debbie…
Ever keeled over on a settee hugging a bottle of Pinot Noir? No, me neither <cough>.
Hidden away in a corner nook of The Crown Inn, I am nibbling crunchy scotch eggs with a glass of Pietas Red to hand. Life is sweet. The space wins an easy ‘dix points’ for atmosphere and decor; it is not loud, it is not kitsch — never segueing into rustic theme-park territory — but understated, modern and thoroughly British: all cow-print rugs, exposed flint, vintage maps of Hampshire and a delicious wood fire, much needed on this bone-cold Thursday lunchtime.
There’s nothing like planning a mini-break to ease the February blues. If quirky, vintage-chic is your thing, then can I recommend Devon’s Glazebrook House? Brand-new, buzzing and only a short motor down the A303. Thank you Sharon Ryan, aka Ms Muddy Devon, for this review.
I’m going to have to learn to get a grip when I blog about hotels. Seriously, what is it about going off-piste and being someone else’s guest for the night that sends me giddy?
There’s no mistaking this snug drinkery’s spit-and-sawdust origins; you can easily imagine cheeky, peaked-cap chappies winking at you from the bar. This is, after all, Winchester where past and present are often confused: as I write in the city library, a Norman Knight passes on his way to the Gents. There’s a very 21st century re-enactment outside my window so forgive me if I’m distracted by burly men in chainmail…
Have no fear though, you won’t be greeted by suspicious locals, or warriors, at The Green Man.