'A charming mix of traditional and new, rustic and efficient' says our reporter. If the interior photo looks familiar, then you are right: the place owes much to the Hotel du Vin mini 'chain'. Lucy and Andrew, who acquired this old Test Valley fishing inn in 2004 and reopened it in 2006 having completely reconceived it, used to work with Robin Hutson, the founder of Hotel du Vin and of course with Robin’s co-director and sommelier, Gerard Basset. Robin remains their mentor; Robin’s wife Judy did the interior decoration and Basset masterminded the wine list.
The bar-dining area is rustic-smart with clean white napkins on scrubbed pine tables; the food OK – ambitious but given the prices perhaps in some respects not quite there; our reporter’s room – restful browns and greens and wide oak floor boards in the bathroom, excellent cotton sheets on a thoroughly comfortable bed – homely, restful, comfortable. Lucy and Andrew, as befits Thatcher lovers and Blair haters (‘If he comes through the door, I’ll turn him away’) are attacking this, their first venture, as proprietors with proper commitment and to prove it Lucy has learned to fly fish and shoot clays. Ask about their fishing weekends for novices and experts, individuals and companies. Ghillies and tutors to order.