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Beer of the Week (w/e 26th May 2024) with Bucking Fastard on the Pub Forum

Wonston Arms, Winchester

Stoke Charity Road
Postal town: Winchester
SO21 3LS

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Reviews (Current Rating Average: of 10) Add Review see review guidelines

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Pub SignMan left this review about Wonston Arms

Located in a quiet little village just a short detour from the M3, this is a very pleasant and well presented local’s pub, with a reputation for well-kept beer that saw them land the CAMRA National Pub of the Year award in 2019. The pub has a two bar set-up, which has been opened out a little, but still retains the feel of having separate rooms, thanks to the positioning of the servery and a large pillar (with a label on it reading ‘Pillar of the Community’!) that effectively creates a doorway between the two spaces. The main bar area is quite a dark, cosy space to the front of the pub, with the servery to the rear and a mix of practical and more comfortable seating throughout. A fireplace to one side acts as a nice focal point for the room and there are plenty of photos, paintings and the like adorning the walls, creating a traditional pub feel. To the right, is a slightly larger lounge bar, carpeted throughout and with the servery to the right, where all the handpulls can be found, albeit, obscured by a large group of bar blockers on this visit. The bar has a timber fronted counter, dark wood bar back and a hop lined canopy with pheasant tail feathers interwoven. There are a few tables with low stools plus a sofa and armchair towards the rear, whilst the walls are half panelled with plain uppers decorated with a beer can display, framed cigarette cards, a few bits of art and a blackboard detailing Friday curry nights. Large patio windows to the left look out to a good sized garden with gravel and decking surfaces under a large shelter which houses long tables with bar stools (a couple of mannequins have been posed here in case you’re unsure what to do or need some company), a few picnic benches and some beach-hut style structures. A bagel van in the car park was providing the afternoon’s food option and the locals are happy to shuffle their cars around, should you find you’ve been boxed in.
We were given a warm welcome by a very friendly landlord, who talked us through some of the beers available. The cask options on this visit were Branscombe Branoc, Red cat Porter, Northern Monk Eternal and Redemption Kazbek, and I found myself with a cracking pint of the Branoc which went down far too quickly. There was a good crowd present on a Saturday afternoon, creating a typical rural pub buzzy atmosphere.
I thought this was an excellent pub with top quality beer and service that would most definitely encourage repeat visits. The place has plenty of comfortable seating options, a nice garden and friendly customers, which all combine to create a very memorable pub experience. I hope to have the opportunity to visit this place again some time soon.

On 26th January 2022 - rating: 9
[User has posted 3126 recommendations about 3126 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Graham Coombs left this review about Wonston Arms

Very much still the community local but it continues to evolve, with a large wooden bar-type construction now occupying much of the garden. The interior is tricky to describe, with furnishings seeming to be people's cast-offs and random decorations in all directions, but still manages to feel homely. The little bar still has 4 handpumps, on this occasions serving Goddard's Ale of Wight, Moor Revival, Gun Extra Pale and Tring Brock Bitter, while another innovation is a large range of craft cans. Somehow it just works!

On 26th September 2021 - rating: 8
[User has posted 3353 recommendations about 3290 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Quinno _ left this review about Wonston Arms

Mid-range country pub that was saved from closure a few years ago and has taken on a new lease of life under the current licensee. Internally it has had a makeover but it retains a cosy charm, even if the walls are a bit whitewashed for my liking. Enter to a disconcerting slant which I assume is the internal staircase jutting in. To the right of this is a small discrete area. To the left is the main bar area with four pumps at the far right of the bar, containing on this occasion Wells Bombardier, Sharps Doom Bar, Goffs Lancer and Bettridges Jenny Wren (good nick) and Goddards Scrum (excellent shape). There is a dartboard located here as well as a wood burning stove. Carpeted throughout. Screens were showing football and cricket at a sensible volume. Gravel side beer garden with a telephone box as well. Got chatting to the landlord, a good egg and a genuine pubman. As mentioned below there’s no regular hot food at the pub but there are drive-up vans and food deliveries during the week – quite novel. Perhaps overall it's a just a little bit on plain side to be a modern classic but the warmth, cosiness and beer choice make it a worthwhile seek-out. 8.5

On 11th November 2016 - rating: 8
[User has posted 5197 recommendations about 5180 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Moby Duck left this review about The Wonston Arms

A great little community pub tucked away deep in the Hampshire countryside, recently and tastefuly renovated. I turned up 10 minutes after opening time and was first punter through the door so had time for a good chat with the friendly and enthusiastic landlord.The interior of the pub is traditional but light and fresh in feel, four pumps on the bar and the policy is two nationals and two from localish brewerys,the choice on the day was Wells Bombardier Glorious English, Sharps Point Break, triple fff Moondance and Goddards Ale Of Wight which was top notch. There is Sky Sports advertised which I felt was slightly at odds with the general nature of the pub,but this is the 21st century and wasn't in your face.there is no food from the pub itself but has pop up food as the landlord describes it, one evening a fish and chip van parks up, on another night, a pizza van and so on.All in all I was very impressed with this pub and would love to call in again.
A word of warning, the pub is closed Mondays and open only evenings during the rest of the week days.

On 17th July 2016 - rating: 8
[User has posted 1889 recommendations about 1862 pubs]