Written by frangliz on 28 Jan, 2012
Although the village of Southwick is just a few miles from where I live in Southsea, I had never been there until recently. I rely on public transport and the bus service to Southwick was very infrequent; I believe it was withdrawn altogether in autumn…Read More
Although the village of Southwick is just a few miles from where I live in Southsea, I had never been there until recently. I rely on public transport and the bus service to Southwick was very infrequent; I believe it was withdrawn altogether in autumn 2011. My son's partner was born and brought up in Southwick, however, so soon after he passed his driving test he suggested taking us there. It was a Saturday in early December when a group of locals were in the process of erecting a Christmas tree on the green beside the church.The village of Southwick is unusual in that it is entirely owned by the Southwick Estate; all properties in the village are rented except for the Church Lodge. All front doors have to be painted dark red, but I'm really not sure why. The village has a church, two pubs, a shop with a post office, a community centre, a former brewhouse (now shop and museum) and a golf course. There was once a school but this has now closed down. Southwick's two pubs both serve good food. The Red Lion is a Fullers pub located at the northern end of High Street. It serves both lunch and dinner but is closed between 2pm and 6pm. There is a patio garden at the rear. Examples of mains are steak and ale pie or pork and apple sausages and mash as well as steaks, fish dishes, a ploughman's lunch and salads. There is a special section for vegetarian options. Side orders include chips, garlic bread, vegetables and salad. Sandwiches, baguettes and jacket potatoes are available for those wanting a light lunch. There are main courses for children startingx at £4.50. Desserts include cheesecake, ice cream and sorbets as well as hot puddings. Toilets are situated on the ground floor, but there are two steps which might present a problem for disabled visitors. We had lunch there and found both their roast and steak and ale pie to be excellent. The Golden Lion, also on High Street, has two bars and a restaurant, but food is not served on Tuesdays or on Sunday evenings. Food is cooked on the premises using locally sourced ingredients. Lunch is served from noon to 2pm and dinner from 6pm to 9pm, but the bar is open until 11pm every day except Sunday when it closes at 10.30pm. I haven't eaten at the Golden Lion myself, but apparently the food has improved a lot recently and there has been an excellent review in the Portsmouth local paper. The Golden Lion is famous for the fact that it became the unofficial officers' mess in the period leading up to D-Day when the leaders of the Allied Forces where stationed at Southwick House. It is said that while Eisenhower drank beer, Montgomery confined himself to grapefruit juice.Just behind the Golden Lion you will find Southwick Brewhouse, which houses a shop and a museum. It dates from the seventeenth century and was a working brewhouse until 1957. It supplied ale and brandy to the Golden Lion. Restoration work was carried out between 1979 and 1985. The brewhouse is an example of a Victorian domestic brewery with its fermenting vessels, steam engine and malt store accompanied by flow charts, photographs and posters. The shop sells British ciders and beers, including Suthwyck Ales, brewed locally. Cask ales are available for four or eight pint containers. Special events are held periodically, such as Welsh Beer Week. Opening hours are from 10am to 5pm Wednesday to Saturday, and 11am to 4pm on Sunday. Group visits of the museum can be arranged outside of these times.St James' Church is situated on High Street; its full name is St-James-Without-the-Priory-Gate. It is thought to date from 1040, but a great deal of restoration work has been done since then. The altar table is Elizabethan while the panelled gallery and the pulpit date from the 17th century. The original box pews were replaced by modern ones in the mid 20th century. St James is one of only two churches in the country that is a Peculiar, meaning that the chaplain is appointed by the village squire rather than by the bishop of the diocese. The church holds two services on Sunday mornings: Holy Communion is at 8.30am followed by Eucharist at 10.45am. St James is open every day and visitors are welcome. There are artefacts on display in the church from the Augustinian priory that was located immediately south-east of Southwick. The remains of a wall of the priory still exists on the edge of the golf course. The church can accommodate 150 people and is sometimes used for concerts. The west door of the church has access for wheelchairs.Southwick Golf Club is located on Pinsley Drive, just east of the village. The club's professional, Eddy Rawlings, offers advice to players of all levels. Membership is available on a full or pro-rata, flexible basis. Southwick Golf Club has an eighteen-hole course that extends around Southwick Lake; holes range from short par 3s to long par 4s. It is a 5884 yard course with a par of 69. There is a six-hole pitch and putt course as well as a short-game practice area. Some tee times can be booked in advance, and some early morning ones are reserved for members, veterans or ladies. The clubhouse has a bar that serves food and has views over Portsdown Hill. It can be hired for private parties. There is a skittle alley that has to be booked in advance, and members are offered a reduced rate. The golf club also has a shop selling a range of clothing and equipment.I don't play golf, but the lake situated in the midst of the course provides a delightful place for a walk. On the December morning we were there, it was quite quiet with just one or two people walking dogs and a few fishermen. You have to walk through a small wooded area and then cross a section of the golf course pretty sharply to get to the lake. We walked along most of the southern side, close to the water, and then turned back. If you carry on and walk around the northern side, the path leads away from the water's edge and passes close to the golf clubhouse. It was a beautiful sunny winter morning and the lake, lined with trees, made a very picturesque scene. To the north you can just see Southwick House, where the leaders of the Allied Forces had their headquarters in the period leading up to D-Day.Having enjoyed the walk along the lakeside so much as well as lunch at the Red Lion, it seemed a shame that it had taken me so long to discover Southwick. It is just north of Portsdown Hill, very close to Fareham and Porchester, and within easy reach of Portsmouth. Anyone visiting the area could combine a visit to Porchester Castle with a few hours in Southwick. Portchester would be the nearest railway station, but fast trains don't stop there and the only way to travel from Portchester to Southwick would be by taxi. A car is really necessary for visiting the area; it is worth going when the weather is fine for a walk by the lake. Close
Written by Joy S on 23 Sep, 2011
* If you want a family holiday based on outdoor activities, then summer is the best time to visit Hampshire. The New Forest though, truly comes into its own in the autumn time. It is at its most dramatic from late summer to…Read More
* If you want a family holiday based on outdoor activities, then summer is the best time to visit Hampshire. The New Forest though, truly comes into its own in the autumn time. It is at its most dramatic from late summer to autumn. When we were there, the heath was turning purple from the blooming heather and the trees were just starting to light up with autumn foliage. In winter it is colder, but the weather here seldom gets truly wild. You could explore Winchester all year round.* The food in Hampshire is very good - it does take food seriously in fact. 200 years ago the locals were nicknamed Hampshire Hogs after the excellence of their pork. This is celebrated every year in the fiercely contested Great Hampshire Sausage Competition. They have lots of farmers markets here - the one in Winchester is the largest and it is held every Sunday.* Be sure to explore the footpaths and traffic free tracks of the New Forest. Walking is good, but it is even better to cycle. There are lots of bike hire places throughout the forest. The terrain is mainly flat and there are more than 160 kilometres of way marked routes. We did this and had great fun. There are also lots of nice pubs to break up the cycling.* Watch out for the famous New Forest ponies. They are said to be descended from horses brought over on the Spanish Armada. They roam freely everywhere, including in the villages. Do not approach them though - they will kick. Also only picnic in "pony free" areas, the horses are very cheeky and will try and get your food no matter what. We saw this happen to an unsuspecting family - not a pretty sight!* The New Forest has an area of about 148 square miles. It can become very busy on a spring or summer weekend. Road traffic can be a problem on the narrow, unfenced roads, all of which have a 40 miles per hour speed limit to safeguard the animals.* Winchester has a lot of one way streets which are a bit confusing. Find somewhere to park here as soon as possible. The city centre is very walkable and most of High Street is pedestrianised. We did not use the car at all in Winchester. Close
Hampshire, in the south of England, is a great place to visit if you want a short break destination. The countryside is very green and pleasant and the climate is normally mild. The weather is warm enough here for wine growing apparently.…Read More
Hampshire, in the south of England, is a great place to visit if you want a short break destination. The countryside is very green and pleasant and the climate is normally mild. The weather is warm enough here for wine growing apparently. It is mainly rural and quite a special place to visit.There is literary interest here too. Jane Austen wrote often of the county of Hampshire's firmly middle class inhabitants. She is buried at Winchester Cathedral in Hampshire - you can visit the grave and memorial.I would also say there is nowhere else in southern England offering such a lot of wide open space. There are lots of family friendly activities here - the whole county allows for outdoorsy family holidays.Tucked away in one corner of Hampshire is the New Forest. This is a wild world all of its own. More than 90,000 acres of the New Forest were preserved by William the Conqueror as a private hunting ground. The vast woodland and heath remains ideal for walking, cycling and just generally exploring today.The New Forest has been a national park since 2005. It consists of heathery heathland mixed with ancient trees, creeks and coastline. It covers south-west Hampshire and extends into south-east Wiltshire. We mainly spent our time around Lyndhurst, but Lymington and Bucklers Hard are worth visiting. They will make you feel as if you have stepped back in time a couple of centuries. The whole of the New Forest though has a landscape that is timeless.Winchester, the capital of the county is beautiful. The architecture is beautiful, Winchester Cathedral is amazing - an absolute must-see and the whole place has a lovely, friendly atmosphere. Close
Written by LouiseTopp1 on 29 Sep, 2008
The New Forest was formed in 1079 by William I (known as William the Conqueror) as hunting grounds, mainly of deer. It is an area of historical, conservation & rural importance, & has kept many of the rustic practices passed by the Crown in medieval…Read More
The New Forest was formed in 1079 by William I (known as William the Conqueror) as hunting grounds, mainly of deer. It is an area of historical, conservation & rural importance, & has kept many of the rustic practices passed by the Crown in medieval times to neighbouring people. Most important of these is the ponies, cattle, pigs & donkeys in the open Forest by local citizens known as Commoners. The New Forest has also been an important source of timber for the Crown. It is an wonderful entertaining area for walking & riding. The "New Forest - Where to Stay Guide" in print by the New Forest District Council has all the information you need on lodgings of all types in the Forest. It used to be accessible free of charge from the Visitor Information Centres, but they now charge £1 for it. Phone the New Forest Visitor Information Centre (VIC) at Lymington on 01590 689000; the fax number is 01590 689090.Trains stop at Ashurst, Beaulieu Road (very out on the sticks!), Brockenhurst & Sway inside the Forest (these stations are on the same railway line) - National Rail Enquiries are on 08457 484950, their web site with timetables for the UK network is http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/.Local bus services are provided by Wilts & Dorset (Salisbury: 01722 336855; Poole: 01202 673555; Lymington - office hours only: 01590 672382), Solent Blue Line (023 8061 8233); Yellow Buses [Bournemouth] (01202 636000). National buses are National Express (08705 808080)The 40mph speed limit on open roads, has made the New Forest a safer place to cycle. To help defend this unique location & develop visitor enjoyment, an off-road & road based cycle network has been created connecting the main villages & railway station at Brockenhurst by the safest & most pretty routes. If arriving by train, bikes are offered for hire nearby to Brockenhurst Train Station. There’s also cycle hire canter’s at Burley & Boscombe. at Burley you can have short & easy traffic-free cycle routes in the most stunning New Forest scenery. The rides offer the very best cycling conditions for families, inexperienced & 'born again' cyclists! All routes can be extended to provide a dare for the most adventurous cyclists. Burley centre has a fully stocked cycle shop offering a complete range of cycles, accessories & spares aimed at recreational & family cyclists alike.The Cross, Village Centre, Burley, New Forest, Hants, BH24 4AB - 01425 403584Open 7 Days from 9am to 5:30pm38 Ashley Road, Boscombe, Bournemouth, Dorset, BH1 4LJ - 01202 399345Open Monday to Saturday, 9am to 5:30pm Close
Written by raehippychick on 16 May, 2005
Last September, we wended our way southwards to check out the fourth Emsworth Food Festival. At the approach to the town, we were stopped by a very pleasant young man in army uniform manning a barricade. If you aren’t booked up at a hotel in…Read More
Last September, we wended our way southwards to check out the fourth Emsworth Food Festival. At the approach to the town, we were stopped by a very pleasant young man in army uniform manning a barricade. If you aren’t booked up at a hotel in town, you will just have to park and ride in! After parking, we strolled along the harbour wall while browsing through the guide and planning our route on the map. There are five themed "villages" using the main car parks set aside for stallholders for the Food Festival, and stalls fill the main streets, going right down to a smaller car park area on the harbour, hence the need for park-and-ride schemes
As we were there for the whole weekend, we had no need to rush to see everything at once, so we began with the Village on the Quay. This was the place for seafood lovers like us. Although small, the area was filled with differing stalls flowing over with fruits de mer and a large RNLI van selling plenty of gifts and souvenirs. We started our day-long feast with a cup of fresh prawns and mussels from a small van, rather like the typical ice cream van but, of course, much fishier!
We ambled up South Street to the car park behind the Bluebell pub (which incidentally serves fabulous Dover sole). This is the largest of the car parks and houses the Veuve Clicquot marquee, in which different demonstrations were held over the weekend. It is wise to book for demonstrations as far in advance as possible, as they are extremely popular. A wine-tasting tent holds tasting sessions that do not need booking - just be prepared, as the queue starts well before the opening time. In between these tents are a myriad of stalls under the umbrellas of The Sussex and Hampshire Village and The Wine Village, all offering a wide variety of food and drink. Each business offers tastings, so if you don’t pace yourself. you will find you won’t need lunch, which would be a shame, as Emsworth has many delightful restaurants
Along with the victuals were local traders offering assorted cookery and wine-related products. We treated ourselves to a pair of tasting glasses etched with the Emsworth 2004 Food Festival logo, a lovely souvenir we use regularly at home - just to bring back memories you understand! To make the tasting event easier, little leather holders were available for the glasses, with a loop to hang around your neck and a small pouch that securely cradled the glass, thus leaving a hand free to make notes on the wines you tasted. We also bought, from the Wonky Foods stall, an ingenious bottle holder for some friends. It was basically a flat piece of wood about 2 inches wide, half an inch thick, and 10 inches long with a hole in it (see it at www.wonkyfoods.com). The idea is to stand it up on end and poke the neck of the wine bottle through the hole. It looks very odd seeing bottles suspended horizontally in mid-air apparently defying gravity, but these gadgets really do work. Christmas morning, we got a phone call from our friends who wondered why they had been given a stick with a hole in it! Luckily, when we explained, they were delighted and love having such a talking point for dinner parties
After sampling some organic beer, nibbling local cheeses, and enjoying the aroma from the Chichester College’s paella stand, we emerged near the top of the road at the town square housing the Emsworth Village, which was filled with more stalls and where a stage is erected for entertainment. Around the square were a number of food shops that were also giving away free samples. This is the area in which many French stalls are, and it was a joy to me as a true Francophile to be able to buy an assortment of saussicons and fromages to take home. Everything for sale was available to try beforehand, a good idea for the less adventurous who may not really enjoy that spicy garlic-cured meat bought in a moment of over excitement! For our mid-morning snacking, we had a wide range of cured meats accompanied by assorted breads, both French and local English
We paused for a while to enjoy some jazz in the square before heading up through the high street to the British Village, where more stalls abound along both sides of the street. We began to slow down as more and more people began throng into the town, and we paused more and more often sample the wares on offer. The British Village feels less like Sussex and Hampshire as it stretches along the High Street and into North Street, but it has a good range of cookery products and crockery, organic fruit wines, and of course, many more food stalls!
Having spent the Friday wandering around wallowing in the plethora of fine foods and drink, we retreated back to our hotel and spent the evening dining in the splendour of 36 On The Quay, quite possibly the best restaurant I’ve ever visited. That Saturday morning, we were served in our room with a continental breakfast of fresh breads, fruits, yoghurt, and coffee, which I ate while wrapped in a large courtesy bathrobe in the bay window overlooking the harbour. The sun shone down on the stallholders setting up by the quay for another day of hard work and fun. We had only booked one night at 36, so we left and drove out of the main festival area to the Brookfield Hotel. After checking in, we walked back towards town via the slipper pond to feed the swans and thus recreate a favourite part of my childhood. Emsworth swans are very tame and used to people hand-feeding them, but because of this, they can be rather alarming, as they rush up to anyone carrying a rustling bag. All too soon, my bag was empty, so it was time to say goodbye to my feathered friends. Back in the main part of the town, the festival was going strong, and we joined the crowd to watch Aziza, a group of women performing colourful traditional Egyptian dance. The rest of the day was spent trying even more food and drink; truth be told, a large part of the afternoon was whiled away in the wine-tasting tent. My best excuse for this is that it was a little cold and wet outside. Dinner that night was in the Brookfield Hotel, where we enjoyed a delicious table d’hote dinner especially created for the festival that included a chosen wine for each course
We had arranged to meet up with my mother and some old neighbours still living in Emsworth on the Sunday, so we took a light picnic and sat along the harbour wall watching people enjoying the brisk and windy day. When everyone arrived, we walked up to The Bluebell for lunch and sat in their small courtyard garden, where we dined on assorted fresh fish while listening to the babble of happy people, but could also just catch the mellow sounds music playing in the square. As we left the pub, I was delighted to see the fabulous Jambalaya Parade Band going past, playing wonderful foot-tapping music. A real touch of Mardis Gras in southern England!
Sunday afternoon, many of the stallholders had begun to pack and go home, so we spent the rest of the day back at the Brookfield Hotel recuperating enough to enjoy another mouth-watering three-course dinner. If you do decide to go for the whole weekend, I would recommend arriving early on Friday and leaving on Sunday afternoon, as we found watching the festival pack away gave us a rather melancholy feeling. But nothing could take away the magical sentiments we took away with us as we left on Monday morning. I realise I am probably biased as an ex-resident, but no matter where this was held, the whole experience would please any food lover. The Emsworth Food Festival is without doubt a very well-run, organized, and supported affair. Every establishment in town that could possibly be considered as being food related had a special menu, entertainment, or event. And those that weren’t food related joined in various ways, to show their support. Although food is the main theme, the entertainment is superb as well. The atmosphere was happy, friendly, and almost like a carnival. The weather was good, with only the odd patch of drizzle, but sadly not as good as the heatwave the year before
The festival website has an overheard quote from last year’s festival, which, I think, sums the weekend up: "… it seems like we are the centre of the universe." I am already booked to go back this year… roll on September! See http://www.emsworthfoodfestival.org.uk/default.html.
Written by mc8 on 19 Apr, 2003
We had a three day gap between our timeshare and the Elderhostel. We picked out Winchester and Oxford as our stops en route back to London. The B and B in Winchester was centrally located. We walked around, visiting Winchester Cathedral one day, and the…Read More
We had a three day gap between our timeshare and the Elderhostel. We picked out Winchester and Oxford as our stops en route back to London. The B and B in Winchester was centrally located. We walked around, visiting Winchester Cathedral one day, and the museums the second day. Then on to Oxford. Fortunately, we had figured out that we should park the car on the outskirts and bus into Oxford. We did so, took a bus tour of the city, visited Christchurch College, and then on to our motel seven miles east toward heathrow. Our adventures being lost would fill a separate chapter. We did finally find our motel; we did manage to turn the car in the next day at Heathrow, and we did contact our Elderhostel group there for a ride into London.
In London we stayed at Jurys Great Russell Street Hotel, four-stars and only two blocks from the British Museum. Service was fine at the hotel. We bussed each day to the Royal National Theatre [RNT] where we had lectures, ate our meals, and attended half of our six plays. The lectures were a pleasant surprise, being given by the managers of five of the divisions of the theatre operation. They were knowledgeable, personable, and quite forthcoming on the problems they face in the dynamic theatre situation in Britain.
Because our program was under RNT sponsorship, we had the best seats in the house each night. Our group contained only 22 people, so we got to know the people rather well. Some were experts on theatre, but were not overbearing about it. The high point was the elaborate production of My Fair Lady. We particularly enjoyed Noises Off. The other plays, A Winter’s Tale, Playboy of the Western World, Blue/Orange, and two short, early Albee plays were interesting but flawed (in our now highly critical but expert opinions). The acting was marvelous. All in all, we received a thorough schooling on the operation of a large, prestigious theatre complex.
We were able to spend some time at the British Museum. It has been remodeled, so the ground floor is spectacular. We were able to visit the special Cleopatra exhibit, which was well worth the trouble. The museum is so large, it would take a week to do it justice. Our two guided visits to the Tate Modern Art Museum and the Theatre Museum were interesting, but the time was not well allotted. We needed much more time on our own.
The trip home was uneventful – a long daytime flight, another overnight at the motel near LAX, then home before midnight May 26 (but 8am next day London time).