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“High Quality food in a nice countryside location”

The Wellington Arms
Ranked #1 of 2 Restaurants in Baughurst
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $21 - $55
Cuisines: Barbecue, International, Gastropub
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions, Local cuisine, Business meetings, Romantic
Dining options: Lunch, Breakfast, Late Night, Dinner, Reservations
Description: Eating at this homely yet sophisticated pub (with a menu so local that the eggs, chicken, honey and ham are bred and made on the premises) feels like being in the dining room of a dear friend. Muddy wellington boots welcome. (The Times, May 1st 2010)DescriptionYou get a real thrill walking into Baughurst’s Wellington Arms. It’s tiny – only twelve tables – and the busyness and passion emanating from the kitchen hits you immediately. Owners Simon Page, who does front-of-house, and Jason King, who cooks, are like a couple of kids who’ve found themselves running their own sweet shop. They love what they do and their enthusiasm is infectious. They’re not amateurs, though – far from it. Jason is an Aussie who worked in the best places in Melbourne before meeting Simon in Hong Kong. They decided to relocate here to Britain and ran a catering company before taking on the pub in 2005 on the sort of mad whim that marks some of the best dining pubs and makes them so truly individual. Opening a restaurant didn’t appeal. “We couldn’t have afforded it,” says Jason. “We had enough to buy a short lease from the brewery and that was all. But I didn’t want a restaurant anyway. That smacks of a glass-fronted box on a high street. We wanted a place where you could come in your wellingtons if you felt like it, where we could create the kind of space we wanted and cook the kind of food we liked without any rules. The pub is so small and such a personal kind of place that we do sometimes feel as if we’ve opened up our living room to people,” he says with a grin. The table and chairs – all Edwardian and as carefully sourced as the food – make you feel as if you’re at your granny’s, except that granny never paid this much attention to detail: twinkling tealights of amber glass (lit even during the day in the colder months), linen blinds, perfect pats of butter and neat salt and pepper holders. As you read the blackboard menu you are cocooned in homeliness: jars of honey from the pub’s own bees, homemade jams and chutneys and teapots with cosies knitted by Simon’s mum line the bar, and there are boxes of eggs from their own chickens on the counter, all for sale.The food is a mixture of British fare (despite being from Australia, Jason is a stickler for running an English venture and using local produce) with a few splashes of exotic colour and some original spins on better known dishes. You might find the potted local trout with homemade pickle and toast soldiers, venison and field mushrooms in red wine with rosemary dumplings, free-range pork with crabapple jelly, Moroccan chicken stew and candied quince and almond tart. Rural, homegrown and local is written all over it. This is honest food, beautifully executed.With their own chickens, bees, pigs, fruit trees and vegetables out at the back, Jason and Simon care doing what many people dream about but never pursue. Thank goodness they’re allowing us into their living room.An extract from The Gastropub Cookbook - Another Helping by Diana Henry. Published in Great Britain by Mitchell Beazley in 2008.
Basingstoke, UK
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“High Quality food in a nice countryside location”
Reviewed March 1, 2013

The Wellington Arms is located in picturesque open countryside about 15 minutes to the north east of Basingstoke. This gastro pub has to be somewhere that people are willing to travel to as there is virtually no passing trade, and very few homes nearby. It is however worth the effort as you are rewarded by well prepared delicious food in a cosy and comfortable environment.

There is parking in the small car park at the rear of the pub and a small number of spaces at the front. The pub sits in beautifully tended gardens where vegetables, herbs and other ingredients are grown for the kitchen. Chickens, sheep and pigs are also reared here, and therefore provides a real connection to the food on your plate.

Inside, space is at a premium, there aren't many tables so reservations are a must, but its very welcoming and smartly decorated. The service is good, friendly and unpretentious.

We were a party of 6 of mixed nationalities out for a business meal. There was ample choice of starters and main courses from the well balanced menu. The menu itself is not actually printed, it is on a blackboard which is on a wall quite close to one of the tables which means that you have to hover around the table to read the menu and make your selection. This would certainly be an irritation for me if I was at that table.
The food is very well presented, and delicious. Our starters included scallops, cheese soufflé, winter vegetable soup, warm prawn salad. Our main couses ranged from pheasant stew, T-Bone steak, confit duck, and sole. Most main course do not include side dishes which you therefore pay extra for as you do for bread. The portion sizes were generous, but we all managed to find room for dessert, again, plenty of choice and equally delicious. .

The wine list is well thought out, reasonably priced and has a fairly good selection of wines including organic wines
All in all, good food, cosy atmosphere and friendly servce. Our bill was 283 pounds for 6 and that included 3 courses, drinks and a 10% discretionary service charge.

My tip would be to book in advance and select a table away from the blackboard and entrance. It is well worth the journey

  • Visited February 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank MGSBasingstoke_UK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Norwich, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
21 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Resting on their laurels!”
Reviewed February 27, 2013

We had supper at The Wellington Arms and I must say on the positive side that the food was locally sourced, beautifully presented and very tasty. Since I last visited 3 years ago they have built a lean-to extension on the side, which has been tastefully done. However, I don’t think the meal offered great value for money in these current austere times. Be warned that the main dishes do not all come with vegetable, so you have to pay extra for the side dishes. (Top tip order sides to share). Also we were overcharged for our drinks and food, which was adjusted when challenged, so do check your final bill closely. Finally, services is added to the bill at 10%, which is not clearly advertised, so if you are paying cash make sure you factor that in. I didn’t get the impression that the Gastro Pub was seeking, or wanting customer feedback, but rather resting on their laurels!

  • Visited February 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
4 Thank Merlin1990
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Basingstoke, Hampshire
Level 6 Contributor
71 reviews
55 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Good but slipped a bit since last visit”
Reviewed February 25, 2013

Sunday Feb 24, 2013
This was my 2nd visit to this pub restaurant. Had been there previously and absolutely
loved the cheese soufle and their fillet steak so were excited to finally get another
booking.
On this visit which was a Sunday they had taken the steak off the menu and were
doing roasts.
This is a very small place and fills up quickly so be warned to book ahead.
There were 4 of us and for starters we had the scallops and cheese soufle
Both were delicious and the scallops were cooked to perfection. I had the scallops
but tried some of my partners soufle and I would have happily made a meal of that dish.
For mains my partner and I had the beef roast and were disappointed. While it
was ok, it was not exceptional and we found the meat a bit chewey and tough.
Another party member had the pork roast which was absolutely delicious and moist
but had a huge layer of fat on the outside which was offputting to the person that
ordered it.
Vegetables were good and plenty of them. The spinach with garlic was fabulous.
All in all probably better than the average roast but not quite as good as
I was expecting. I would go back, but I would call ahead and be sure they have
steak on the menu instead of beef roast.

  • Visited February 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank poohbos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Travelmerchant
Level 5 Contributor
44 reviews
25 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Seductive combination of sublime slow food + vibrant atmosphere”
Reviewed February 18, 2013

The WA is no ordinary country pub slap bang in the middle of walking country. It appears as though people who can afford to go anywhere come here for their lunch on a sunny Saturday.

As we made our way through the car park to the front door, we walked past an assortment of luxury cars. Just beyond were the WA's clucking chickens and happy piggies roaming around in the fields.

As soon as you enter, it's clear that you can't just drop in for a bite to eat at the weekend. Every table is taken in this small but perfectly formed gastro pub. Despite the cars outside, this isn't a pretentious joint. We were met with a warm welcome and the atmosphere was buzzing.

Our food was sublime. Fresh, local (literally from the back yard), seasonal ingredients, cooked to perfection. Our starters were partridge with penne and mussels. Mains included roasted Brixham brill and venison pot pie. All the dishes were delightful to look at and eat!

What really convinced me of the quality of food here (as if I needed convincing) was the dessert. We went for an apple syrup sponge pudding and custard. Rather than something that tasted like a well made version of a school dinner pudding; along came the lightest, softest sponge that tasted like nectar, with homemade custard (eggs from those happy chickens outside - have I made my point about how local the produce is??).

The attention to detail in this place is easy to spot: from the wine and beer list, the Aesop toiletries in the loos, to the fact that the diners next to the front door get blankets in case it gets a bit draughty.

People have suggested that the food here is expensive and it is, but it's worth it. You're not paying for pomp and ceremony, just great food, done brilliantly in wonderful surroundings. Our bill came to £81 for x2 starters, x2 mains, a dessert, a coffee, a beer and a soft drink.

My only niggle with this place was the service. It's good but not outstanding like everything else. The young girl who served us was perfectly sweet but was slightly inexperienced and we were given polite hints at the end of our meal that it might be time to leave (it was the end of the sitting)....It's hardly a complaint and I'm obviously being overly critical!

Tips: Book a table in advance. Take your time over the food and book at the beginning of a sitting. The Saturday lunchtime sitting runs till 3.30pm and the evening sitting starts at 5.30pm. All the tables are good, but try and avoid getting the table under the blackboard (everyone has to stand near your table to read the menu). The best table for a group is the one in the corner, under the tea pot lamp, next to the bar. The best one for a couple is the table in the pretty extension, in the corner next to window.

If this is a destination pub for you, try a walk around Baughurst or at nearby Goring.

  • Visited February 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Travelmerchant
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Highclere, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
27 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Great food”
Reviewed February 17, 2013

This is a very pretty, cosy restaurant. Tables are packed quite closely. The special offer lunch - 2 or 3 courses is excellent value (can't remember the prices but below £20.00). Everything is sourced locally or grown/reared in their garden. Our food was lovingly prepared and was delicious but service was a tad lacking. We were billed incorrectly; charged as separate dishes rather than a special offer lunch but it was rectified.

Will definitely return soon.

  • Visited August 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank LSC28
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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