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“First time visit” 4 of 5 stars
Review of The Bolton Arms

The Bolton Arms
91, The Street, Old Basing, Basingstoke RG24 7DA, England
01256 819555
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Ranked #2 of 5 restaurants in Old Basing
Cuisines: British
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Reservations, Late Night
Description: Originally built as a farmhouse circa 1490, this Grade II Listed building was extended during 1550, 1650 and latterly 1720, as shown below. The sympathetic renovation of 2008 uncovered a wealth of period features such as vaulted ceilings, oak beams and central brick fireplace, all of which have added to the intimate ambience of the three clearly defined areas : Roschild’s Restaurant (fine dining); The InnBetween (snacks and nibbles); The Village Bar (quality wines and beers). In addition, there is an attractive landscaped Beer Garden at the rear of the property For the historians, Old Basing was the site for the longest siege of Oliver Cromwell’s reign where Roundhead met Cavalier during the 23 month siege of Basing House which ended in November 1645. A large proportion of the ruins were used to build the houses in The Street with musket ball damage still being visible. The site of Basing House is open to the public for most of the yearThe InnBetween at the Bolton Arms was built from the bricks of Basing House and is renowned for sitings of “The Cavalier” ghost that has been seen on many occasions. It is rumoured that upon his arrival in Old Basing Cromwell beheaded one of his generals in the original part of the building as “encouragement” to others !Following Oliver and Richard Cromwell’s Protectorate period the House of Stuart was restored to the throne in 1660 when the lands of Basing were returned to the Paulet family. A “Dukedom” was specifically created and bestowed upon Charles Paulet as a show of gratitude for his loyalty to the Crown. Charles Paulet became the first Duke of Bolton, hence the name of the pub. Charles Paulet was later elevated to the position of Lord Bolton by a simple clerical error when called upon to address the House of LordsThe InnBetween was the original Dame School for the area prior to the education system being established. Between 1720 to 1740 two spinster sisters offered rudimentary lessons to local youngsters between 8 am to noon for a penny a week - prior to the boys going to work in the fields and the girls commencing house chores. In the evening the schoolhouse became the local hostelry Conveniently situated in the quiet and picturesque Conservation Area of Old Basing, the Bolton Arms is less than two miles from Basingstoke town centre. The village is surrounded by beautiful Hampshire countryside of open fields and riverside walks and is next to the cricket green, archery and bowling club, tennis courts and children’s recreation ground. If these pursuits appear too energetic, however, you can relax while spotting the many species of wildlife and birds that are found in the area ?
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“First time visit”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 27, 2013

We met our son and partner here a week ago on a saturday night. It was the first time we had visited and we were not disappointed. We booked the main restaurant for the a la carte menu. When we first arrived we realised that a huge party had booked and initially we all thought "Oh No!" This wasn't mentioned when I called to make a reservation which it probably should have been as some of us need to be assured of a relaxing and quiet evening! (However they were all really quiet and well behaved!!)

We were celebrating two birthdays and the staff and owners were very attentive and we received good service. The food was excellent, and I am not easily impressed! We would definitely go back and would recommend the restaurant.

  • Visited June 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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92 reviews from our community

87% Recommend
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
17 reviews 17 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 23, 2013 via mobile

Really good roast, great beef, tasty potatoes very nice thick gravy full of flavour. Excellent value. Will definitely be going back.

  • Visited June 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“Poor management skills, food (salad) portions tiny... Never again!”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 21, 2013

I live near by and was recommended by a work colleague to try out The Bolton Arms. I went with an open mind (I never make reviews about bars/restaurants I go to by the way). I ordered the chicken and mango salad at £9.95 and my friend ordered Scampi for a little more at just under £11. We was told the wait for food would be 1/2 hour so that was fine. When the food did come, you can imagine by surprise when it was merely a sandwich plate size with a small bed of leaves and 4 pieces of chicken and tiny cubed squares of mango. I questioned it with my friend thinking maybe I had ordered a starter portion by mistake... Nope, that was the standard portion size. We were back checked by a waitress after we had both finished our meals (my starter). I am not a complainer however felt for the portion size was taking the michael a little bit. We proceeded to head towards the bar to pay and a really polite bar girl spoke to me and said she would get someone to come over. I can only presume this was the female owner... She was very quick to defend herself in saying that's the standard portion size and the kitchen were happy with what was sent out before I had even mentioned what my issue was. I was merely comparing how they can charge that price for that dish in comparison to something that costs £1 more and the portion size was huge. We then had a chap come behind us who must of been the other half (owner) who again quickly defended himself in saying we have sold this dish for 2 1/2 years and never had a complaint. I find that hard to believe, and I would say the ingredients to that dish would of cost no more than £3 tops. Apparently mango is very expensive - this must constitute why I only got a small splattering of mango chucked over the top in small diced squares. As I mentioned, I never complain however I am more annoyed with the attitude and quick defence they both kicked in. They said they would take it on board, however they were just trying to get us out as quickly as possibly not willing to discuss any further or do anything about it. We might look young, however I will make sure I recommend this pub to no one. The attitude of the management stunk and it was going straight over there heads. The foods itself was bland and breaded scampi was from Iceland at best. I certainly won't be going back due to the fact they made me so angry in dealing with what was just a comment about the portion sizes. Surely, customer feedback should help a business in growing? My feedback will be to make everyone aware how rubbish my experience of The Bolton Arms in Old Basing was.

  • Visited June 2013
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wokingham, United Kingdom
12 reviews 12 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
“Very nice place to eat - would recommend”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 9, 2013 via mobile

I ate there last night with my partner. It is a very nice place to go and eat, the chicken was slightly dryer than I like hence not a 5 star review. I will definitely be returning though. Not a lot to criticise, a nice pub in a nice location with nice food. What more can you ask for.

  • Visited June 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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Aberdeen, United Kingdom
1 review
“First rate food and service. We occasionally visit Basingstoke and were advised to try the Bolton Arms.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 7, 2013

We can't thank the staff enough for their kindness to the disabled. They always go out of their way to make us feel welcome and that we are not a bother.
We recommend it to everyone we know who go to visit. The atmosphere is amazing and can I say that the young staff are delightful and awfully good-looking too.
I notice that there seems to have been a bad review. I suspect that it may be someone who holds a personal grudge as I couldn't find anything at all to complain about.
Looking forward to returning in the near future. Thanks, Bolton Arms, for everything.
from 2 old fogies in Aberdeen.

  • Visited April 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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