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The Westgate Scandal...

I believe once upon a time, there was a similarly named scandal in the United States - but it was something to do with water rather than beer...

Anyhow, having left the pensioner’s paradise of the Crown and Anchor, I continued my wander passed the Victorian gothic styled Guildhall...


I came across the Overdraft micro-pub and I thought about going in - but as I had been in the Southampton one - I decided against it - bad choice as it turned out...



...as I walked past the impressive forecourt to the Great Hall, I opted to try The Westgate instead...


It has quite an impressive facade on it’s street corner location and until recently bore the title ‘The Westgate Hotel' above it’s frontage, but now just has ‘The Westgate’.  Instead of a hotel it now seems to call itself ‘a prestigious pub with rooms’.

Again it took a while to win the battle against Winchester’s Friday afternoon traffic and get across the road to the pub,  but looking at the interesting array of beers on the bar as I en…
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King’s Crown...

My Winchester wander continued, past another vacant pub...




...and Handy Villas....

...to the Winnall Industrial Estate  and a visit to the Red Cat Brewing Co. where I did my CAMRA Brewery Liaison Officer bit, catching up with recent developments etc.  The day’s winter beer theme continued with a half of their award winning Mr M’s Porter, which was very good.

And that’s as good as it got today - I should have stayed there and sampled some more ’never boring' Red Cat beers, but a pub blogger's job just isn’t that easy, and there were other pubs to visit.
It was a nice sunny day and back in the centre of Winchester,  I looked for somewhere to eat my ‘homemade’ lunch.  Thinking the quadrangle area in front of the Cathedral would be a nice peaceful and aesthetic location, I was disappointed to find it had been turned into a building site as the contractors were in the process of dismantling the temporary Christmas ice skating rink. 
Finally I found a bench in Abbey Gardens, and wi…

GHGTTP Awards 2018 (Reviewed from the Bottom of the Garden).

Apparently it is ‘de-riguer’ (which is French for something...) for pub bloggers to review the year's 'pub achievements' and hand out prestigious awards...


...ok, if you insist...

But first, as 2018 was my introduction to the high octane world of pub blogging, a quick recap....

It all started as I sat in the hermitage early in 2018, my compost heap was gently steaming in the first light of dawn,  and I was reading my Beer magazine, when my attention was grabbed by an article about a group of pub bloggers and their exploits in visiting Good Beer Guide pubs the width and breadth of the land.  This had apparently brought them fame in the pages of this respected journal....

...I looked at their blogs and was ‘affected’ (in a nice sort of way) by their wit, knowledge, sheer athleticism (not to mention the adulation of their followers), and thought...

...I can’t do that...

...but I can visit (relatively local) pubs and jabber on incoherently about them on a blog.

Deciding this w…

What a Goal (House)....

Another Winchester wander and straight off the train the first port of call is the old prison (11a Jewry Street Winchester) ....


...not as a 'Norman Stanley Fletcher' you understand, as this is the Winchester Weatherspoons, The Old GoalHouse.

As you can see from the photo above it has an imposing facade which it practically shares with the church next door...


The building was the prison governors house,  part of the old prison which is thought to date back to the 1200s.  This Spoons is bedecked with information about historic Winchester and it's famous characters, including (but not limited to): King Alfred; Charles Peace, Diver Bill , Mary Tudor, Rick Stein and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall *
Read more on the Weatherspoons website.

*Ok the last two are more recent famous people two arrive in Winchester and don't yet feature in Weatherspoons Winchester historic hall of fame. 

It's great to be able to rely on Weatherspoons for that morning visit when most other publi…

A Poet & Hack Christmas

The wise men of the pub blogging world tell us that it is most unwise to venture into the public house at this time of year, when the 'once a year' brigade, take over the place with their loud Christmas jumpers and competitive conversations comparing the size of their Christmas bonuses...

...when admission on Christmas and New Years Eves is by ticket only, for the customer's 'elf and safety' of course, and most of your beer is spilled down your (or someone else's) front in the rugby scrum at the bar....

...by the look of their most recent pre-Christmas posts, the wise pub men know what they're talking about...

What better antidote to this could there be, than to take a short walk down the garden path from the hermitage to the pub shed local, The Poet & Hack...

The peace and tranquility of the snug, is a rare atmosphere, very much in keeping with the true meaning of Christmas (no it's not a stable), but not often found in the noise of Christmas' …