Winchester is packed with heritage and culture, from its eleventh century Cathedral and Arthurian Round Table to the annual Hat Fair street art festival. But you’ll find many foodie temptations in this vibrant city as well.
Winchester is associated with celebrity chef, Raymond Blanc, who owns a brasserie and patisserie in the city centre. At Brasserie Blanc, in Jewry Street, the menu features culinary delights such as wild mushrooms, Barbary duck, Toulouse sausages and cider-poached pear.
The Cathedral area is another focal point for food lovers, with a wide choice of lively cafés, brasseries and bars, and near the Winchester City Mill - which straddles the River Itchen – you’ll find the Black Boy pub, the Black Rat restaurant and the award-winning Chesil Rectory.
Food markets offer the chance to sample delicious local products, such as fresh fruits, vegetables, sausages, breads, meats and cheeses. Winchester has some of the biggest and best, with its weekly food markets and twice-monthly farmers’ market, the largest in the country, offering anything from ostrich meat to crabs fresh from the Solent.
And don’t forget Winchester’s pubs, from the lively city centre hostelries to family-friendly inns in the nearby towns and villages.
To find out more about Winchester you can take a guided tour or specialised walking tour, book a free personalised tour by a local ‘greeter’ or call into the award-winning tourist information centre for more ideas.
If you’re heading outside the city, the elegant Georgian town of Alresford is only eight miles away. Alresford is best known for its watercress, since Europe’s largest grower Vitacress Salads Ltd was founded there in the 1950s.
Alresford’s annual Watercress Festival is a one-day extravaganza of food, cookery and music, and from there, year round, you can take a nostalgic trip on the Watercress Line heritage steam railway to the market town of Alton.
Summer is a good time to take advantage of Winchester’s foodie temptations. You can combine your visit with one of the many festivals, including the MAYfest and Winchester Film Festival in May, the annual Winchester Writers’ Conference in June and the Hat Fair and Winchester Music Festival in July.
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