Eat and meander in Winchester
A few years ago I did some tour guiding around the City of Winchester for a local language school, I had forgotten just how much I love this city. If it's your first visit make stop at the tourist information and collect a map otherwise you will definitely miss some real treasures.
Besides the Medieval Winchester Cathedral with its Morley Library, the Winchester Bible and Norman crypt the city is awash with military museums a ruined palace and a working corn mill.
If books are more your thing Winchester College Treasury is currently exhibiting about Keats and Winchester in the early 19th century, and then of course there are the links with Author Jane Austen.
I visited on Monday 11th November so had to take a walk to the cathedral to see the poppy tributes it was a bright but cold day but so worth the walk. I can remember a Sunday probably fifteen years ago, when I stood on the very same spot watching my son in a parade and being completely taken in by the moment a bugler played from the balcony of the cathedral.
I stopped and chatted to this street artist who had been painting this piece for ten days. If you want to read more about his work his web address is www.donlavelle.net
The City Cross (Butter Cross) once used by countrymen to sell produce hence its name.
But as a food blogger this post has to include where I ate, so here it is, somewhere you might not just stumble upon but definitely worth seeking out - Hotel Du Vin, the hotel was built in 1715 and has recently celebrated its 25th anniversary as the original hotel in the 18 strong group.
The hotel has an impressive exterior on Southgate Street, this 24 bedroom hotel is decorated boutique style but retains some of the original characteristics of a building just over two hundred years old.
Although there are plenty of eating venues in Winchester we shouldn't forget hotels offer great alternatives and welcome non residents for lunch and dinner service.
By the time this post is published it will almost be time for the Christmas markets to open so remember this post when the High Street is heaving and you want somewhere out of the hustle and bustle to eat or drink.
Hotel Du Vin - Winchester
Each Hotel du Vin offers and an à la carte menu that will be consistent across the group, but individual chefs are given the opportunity to create a fixed price menu that incorporates more locally based produce. I was happy to see some local brand that I recognised in the bar too.
I ate from the fixed price menu and can thoroughly recommend the duck carpaccio, pork belly and plum crumble although i'm not sure if I really needed to eat the crumble - eyes bigger than my belly!
Thank you Clare Lean for showing me around Hotel Du Vin and for taking time out your busy schedule to have lunch with me. I will be back soon with my parents as I know they will love it!
Hotel Du Vin
14 Southgate Street
My lunch was complimentary but not a prerequisite of a review.