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A smart, white-painted exterior and eye-catching front terrace make this Running Horse feel more Ascot than Winchester hinterland. It’s a thoroughbred, modern-day confection of bar-cum-restaurant dressed-up in pub clothing, with the obligatory open-plan interior. The chalkboard bar menu (pork and leek sausages with mash and onion gravy, say) and one token real ale give a nod to its pub origins, but smartly turned-out staff, chic furnishings, a restaurant with well-selected wines and some fashion-conscious cooking reveal its true leanings. A duo of spring lamb (rump and braised shoulder) comes with a ratatouille terrine, basil-scented mash, carrot ribbons and red wine reduction, while cod fillet might arrive rolled in dry spice and teamed with bacon and savoy cabbage, mussel cannelloni and a lime, coriander and pink peppercorn sauce. Annexe bedrooms add a small-hotel vibe.
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