Test Valley in the west of Hampshire possibly has more pubs and restaurants than any other area of the county. Its peaceful rural setting is dotted with pretty villages, lovely countryside and the market towns of Andover and Romsey.
The clear chalk streams of the River Test, famous for the Test Valley trout, meander through this beautiful area, only adding to its charm. In Test Valley you’ll find many producers of quality local food, from locally-produced wines and real ale to oak-smoked trout, cheeses, meats and vegetables.
Many of Test Valley’s tea rooms, inns and restaurants serve locally-sourced produce and the many independent shops and delicatessens also sell speciality and gourmet food.
Pretty Stockbridge, once noted for the sheep and cattle driven through the town on the way to Wales, now boasts attractive independent boutiques, art galleries and gift shops.
Its delicatessen, traditional butchers and grocers, tea rooms, pubs and restaurants also led to Stockbridge High Street being voted ‘Best Foodie Street’ in the 2010 Google Street View Awards and to Stockbridge becoming a magnet for lovers of good food.
Lively Romsey, with its Abbey, King John’s House and Heritage Centre and nearby Broadlands, has weekly street markets as well as a thriving town centre with a good selection of restaurants, pubs and cafés.
You’ll also find popular weekly markets and regular farmers’ markets in Andover, where you can stock up on locally-produced foods.
Find out more about local food and restaurants from the Test Valley Food Trail, promoted by Hampshire Fare.
The annual Romsey Agricultural and Horse Show, in September, celebrates the best of the British countryside and also features a tempting Food Zone. Here you’ll find over 80 stalls selling game, jams, chutneys, cheeses, pies, pastries, cakes, cider, beer, wine, fruit and vegetables, along with cookery demonstrations and hands-on activities.
Trout and About, which takes place in Stockbridge in August, celebrates the best of local produce, including the famous Test Valley smoked trout and many more specialist foods.