The Old Vine, Hampshire

This stay was particularly special for me, because I was a chorister in Winchester Cathedral from the age of 7-13, and a pupil of the nearby ‘Pilgrim’s School’. I have very fond memories of Winchester, where I spent so many of my formative years, rehearsing and singing eight Cathedral services a week. It was important therefore to find the right place stay in the City, to ensure a memorable weekend.

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Impressive Winchester Cathedral

Ideally located opposite Winchester Cathedral’s imposing West End, The Old Vine is a pub, restaurant, and hotel with bags of charm and character. As a guest, you will be right in the heart of England’s ancient Capital, with a view of the 900 year old Norman Cathedral and it’s famous stained glass window. This grade II listed 18th Century Inn is also moments away from first rate shopping, restaurants, bars, and a bustling night life, not to mention famous Winchester College, the University and other historical sites, making it the perfect place to base yourself for a weekend in this beautiful City.

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The Cosy downstairs bar

For those wanting to stay in house, The Old Vine has it’s own cosy bar and restaurant,  which put an emphasis on locally sourced produce. Over the years, they have won a whole host of impressive awards, making it a popular spot for locals and visitors alike. The cosy candlelit bar serves a solid selection of ales from nearby breweries, and is included in CAMRA’s Good Beer Guide 2106.

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The Old Vine is small and perfectly formed, with only three double rooms, one twin/double room, a luxurious top-floor suite, and a beautifully appointed self-contained apartment (the Designers Guild Annexe) that’s perfect for families. The staff are as friendly and helpful as can be, and I was shown up to the ‘Zoffany room’ and given some useful information about the hotel, and the City. I love it when staff show care and attention to guests and go out of their way to spend time explaining things, it always sets you off on the right footing. The spacious room was furnished with an elegant sleigh bed, antique furniture and paintings of the nearby Cathedral Close in gold frames, giving it a wonderfully traditional feel. The fresh flowers were also a lovely touch. It’s all about the detail.

In a world where anodyne hotel chains have become so popular, and guests check in to  bland, identical rooms, it is so refreshing to see that there are still some establishments  that exude such a lot of personality, class and charm.

Come morning, a breakfast tray was sent to my room at no extra charge, resplendent with fresh organic, local produce, starring two fat and juicy Hampshire sausages and perfectly cooked boiled eggs. I opened the wooden shutters, and as the warm rays of winter sun shone in, bathing me in perfect light and I luxuriated in the comfy bed gazing up at the smart period coving and feasting on a hearty breakfast like Bertie Wooster, all was well with the world.

To book your stay at The Old Vine, visit http://www.oldvinewinchester.com, or call +44 (0) 1962 854616.

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