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An Evening in Winchester (Part 3)

Published: Aug 11th, 2009 | Author: The Beeralist

This post follows on from the previous part of my write-up of a recent evening out in Winchester.

The Wykeham Arms

Wykeham Arms, Winchester

Wykeham Arms, Winchester

After the disappointment of the Green Man being shut it was good to find a pub that was actually open.

The Wykeham Arms is located just south of the cathedral in Kingsgate Street. It’s just round the corner from Wykeham College so technically outside of the old city I believe.

An Eldgridge Pope pub when I first started visiting 20 years ago, the Wykeham Arms has been through a chequered beer history. From the Royal Oak and Thomas Hardy IPA, and then the Bass years, the Wykeham Arms was eventually taken over by Gale’s a few years ago. The Gale’s beers – especially HSB suited the dark interior of then pub. When Fuller’s acquired Gale’s in 2005 the Wykeham Arms effectively became a Fuller’s pub although one or two Gale’s beers are still stocked alongside London Pride and ESB.

From an atmosphere perspective though not much has changed over the years. The pub has always attracted the money with its location in desirable streets close to the college and the cathedral. But I feel it’s never been snooty about it – not a thought that everyone agrees with. It is however a shame they never show the 6 Nations and other key rugby games on the TV in here any more – the vibe in the pub during games was electric.

The interior hasn’t changed at all either. It’s very traditional – wood panelling, and bric-a-brac hanging from the ceiling. The links to the college are represented with photos and framed exam results.

Some of the tables are old metal-framed desks bolted together. And note the truly curved glazed door as you come in from the street – expensive to reglaze I’m sure.

I’ve already mentioned the glorious HSB (see also a previous posting about Gale’s beers) but the Wykeham Arms provided my first opportunity to taste Gale’s Seafarers – a very drinkable summery pint, but nothing remarkable. Sensibly I had this before my pint of HSB.

Gales HSB pump clip at the Wykeham Arms, Winchester

Gales HSB pump clip at the Wykeham Arms, Winchester

The collection of old Gale’s (and other) pump clips on a high shelf is an interesting distraction. See the really intricate HSB one here (click on the thumbnail to see the picture in Flickr).

You can probably tell that I would recommend this pub to anyone who finds themselves in Winchester.

But we have one final destination to cover tonight – the Black Boy. So a quick walk across the top of the water meadows and up the hill past the old canal wharf and we’ll be at the best pub in Winchester.

Write-up continues here.

Giles Coren always writes outspoken articles and he certainly didn’t mince words about a trip to the Wykeham Arms. Read the article here.

Read about the pubs we got to:

And the ones we didn’t get to:

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