travel: a locals guide to winchester

Updated October 2016

Not so long ago I wrote about how blogging outside of London works for me.

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I probably spent more time advertising the benefits of Winchester than I did talking about my blogging experience (you can read that post here). Today, I wanted to share a small guide to my hometown. Not only is it an excuse to get out and about with my camera, should any of you head down for the fairly famous Christmas markets, you’ll know where to stop by after.

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Tea, Coffee & Cake

The most important in my eyes. Let’s start with coffee. Caracoli is probably my favourite for great coffee and highstreet people watching. It’s only small so worth noting it does takeaway too. Their barista has won a fair amount of awards! And my other favourite, having opened in 2016 is Coffee Lab. There are actually two, back to back, and their coffee and brownies are to die for. Cafe Winchester (formerly Ginger Two and SO, as photographed) is the place to head if the shabbiest of chic interiors is your thing. Their cakes and slices are killer, but if you happen to need lunch, their smoked salmon stack is to die for too! Not quite tea, coffee or cake, but if you’re feeling healthy, head to Rawberry  to grab a juice.

Brunch, Lunch & a Light Dinner

The Cornerhouse is the perfect brunch spot (and another favourite cake stop!) – a hangover favourite of ours. I’d recommend booking, but definitely worth doing. Their homemade quiche is spot on for lunch – a perfect place to lose a few hours.  Josie’s (formerly Black, White, Red) has become a firm favourite since it’s opening. Gorgeous eggs benedict and super coffee, their enormous pancakes are incredible. A recent discovery is the beautiful Forte Kitchen. Just another lovely spot for a good, laid back lunch (and more pancakes!). And lastly, want a sandwich worth eating? Voted number 9 in Buzzfeed’s Top 200 sandwiches to try before you die, the Earl of Sandwich. Perfect to take away and eat on a sunny afternoon in the Catherdral Grounds.

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Dinner

Cider, pizza and pie. A truly wonderful combination! The Stable, a growing group of restuarants, originating in Dorset, has got you covered. A big space and a lively atmosphere! And if pie is your thing, St James’ Tavern does a great Wednesday night pie night – just £10 for a pie and a pint. I’ve heard their brunch is pretty mean too. If you’re up for something a bit fancy, River Cottage Canteen, The Black Rat, Rick Stein‘s or Chesil Rectory might be up your alley.

Drinks

The aforementioned Black, White, Red is a regular spot for us if we want a nice glass or two, but an old favourite has to be Green’s Wine Bar for (what might start as…) a sophisticated few bottles. Easy going early in the evening, but lively into the early hours, their Saturday night music is an electro-swing mix and they make the best espresso martinis in town. Say no more! For a proper pub, try the Wykeham Arms. Opened in 1755 and hidden amongst the famous college walls, it really is a classic British public house. It has rooms and does great food too. For something with a twist, try The Black Bottle – a classy take on ‘vending machines for wine’. There’s no other way to put it!

Shopping

Weekly, Winchester hosts a range of farmers and vintage markets. They often take up the whole of the highstreet so they’re hard to miss. There’s always loads on display, you’ll never get fed up browsing! Tucked down Parchment Street is Forme which makes present buying for interior-lovers far too easy. And not to forget The Hambledon. It has to be the most Instagrammed shop in town. Just perfect in every way! I’ll let their website do the talking. For retro and vintage goods, try Consortium. I’m always lusting after something outside their shop!

And that’s just about it. Of course, Winchester has all your typical chain stores too – it’s not a highstreet destination as such, but has enough for errands and some more luxury treats (SpaceNK, The White Company, Joules and the like). Let me know if you visit!


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