Best summer pubs to head to when lockdown lifts
Praise be, the pubs are opening - and just in time for summer weather! Here are the best pubs to enjoy a socially-distanced sip in across Hants and IoW. Cheers!
If the recent sunshine has you craving a G&T in a lush pub garden, then we have just the list for you. All these pubs reopened on Sat 4 July, but be aware that booking may be required – we recommend giving them a call rather than rocking up on the day.
The Phoenix Inn, Hartley Wintney
Nestled in the north of Hampshire, close to the pretty little village of Hartley Wintney, is The Phoenix Inn. This historic pub has a beautiful mature garden that’s perfect for chilling in on a sunny day. From it’s vine-covered patio to wide green lawn space – there’s plenty of room for kids to gad about while you sit quietly and drink plenty of G&Ts.
The Mayflower, Lymington
The Mayflower in Lymington, located right by Lymington River, has a gorgeous outside space and is just a stone’s throw from Lymington Sea Water Baths (perfect for a cheeky post-swim drink). Here you’ll find a pretty extensive wine menu starting at around £17 a bottle right up to £195 from its fine wine selection, plus a food menu that’s packed with local seafood such as Lymington caught crab.
The Watership Down Inn, Freefolk
The Watership Down Inn, is set in the heart of the picturesque Test Valley and surrounded on all sides by jaw-droppingly beautiful scenery. As well as boasting an acre of outside space with mature beech trees for shade, a fantastic menu that is packed to the hilt with local produce, it’s also just minutes walk away from the Bombay Sapphire Distillery, making it the perfect pitstop on a summer’s day out in the Hampshire countryside.
The Rockingham Arms, Romsey
This cozy New Forest haunt is just a good a spot to settle with a pint in summer as it is in winter, thanks to the large green garden, which houses a marquee and a thatched hut that you can book. There’s a fabulous wine list to peruse (as well as real ales for those who prefer grain to grape), and the Sunday lunch menu is one of our favourites in the area.
The Haven, Lymington
Okay, technically more a restaurant and bar than a pub, but the beautiful outdoor space at this Lymington hotspot means we’ll be headed there ASAP once it reopens. Order a large glass of wine and several dishes of the excellent local seafood and watch the sun go down over the marina. Bliss.
ISLE OF WIGHT
The Spyglass Inn, Ventnor
The Spyglass Inn won The National Pub & Bar Awards Best Pub in the Isle of Wight for 2019, and with its shoreline location and incredible history, it’s very easy to see why. Its enviable location makes it a great place to head on a balmy summer’s day and with the largest wine menu on the Island, you’ll be able to match the location with the perfect tipple.
Fisherman’s Cottage, Shanklin
At the bottom of Shanklin Chine you’ll find the picture-perfect thatched roof of The Fishermans’ Cottage, right on the shoreline. Opened in 1817, it was once the location of Victorian hot brine baths and has been attracting tourists to the area for over 200 years. Now, it’s open between March and November (usually!) serving up locally caught crab and lobster and offering stunning views of the Island’s unique coastline.
The White Mouse Inn, Chale
On the south of the Island, in the little village of Chale, is The Wight Mouse Inn. This family-owned pub has a huge southern-facing terrace and garden space that offers spectacular views over to The Needles and Tennyson Down. It also has its own playground and indoor soft play to keep the kids nice and entertained while you sit back and enjoy the view.
Have we missed any of your favourite pubs for summer? Let us know in the comments below!