The sign outside tersely states ‘Ale, Cider, Meat’ – indeed, this singular hostelry makes no bones about its priorities. Tired of chains & generic pubs-by-numbers, the owners set out to provide something more primordial when they reopened a gritty Victorian boozer in 2009. The Southampton Arms is dedicated to showcasing small UK breweries & cider-makers, & the bar staff are an informed bunch who’ll happily wax lyrical while pulling one of 18 ciders & ales on tap: from the esteemed likes of Dark Star, Redemption or Millwhites. ‘Meat’ finds its way into hearty bar snacks: maybe plump Scotch eggs, sausage rolls, or roast joint of pork ready to be sliced into baps. The look is gloriously dressed down & retro, with worn-in stools & a cosy fireplace. It’s the kind of place you could bed in for the evening with friends, not emerging until the early hours.
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