KINGS aRMS 42kings Arm 3

We need to celebrate and preserve Britain’s great country pubs. Did you know that an average of six country pubs close each week?
One reader recommended a fine example, the King Arms in Lockerley. Situated on the Hampshire Wiltshire border a few years ago this pub closed and now has recently been revitalised by new owners.
Always keen on personal recommendations, I drove down winding country roads one inclement spring lunchtime into the depth of the Test Valley. In heart of the village I came across the Kings Arms, an attractive redbrick 18th century building.
The first impressions lived up to expectations offering a warm and friendly welcome from charming Katie behind the bar. The interior is decorated in natural shades with a range of eclectic vintage furniture, traditional upright piano, a real fire place and locals at the bar. It felt like a pub and not a restaurant; a good thing. I would feel at home dressing up for dinner or in my wellies after a muddy Sunday walk.
The separate dining area offered a relaxing candlelit atmosphere with the walls displaying local Hampshire artists’ work. The menu offered an interesting choices as well as offering light bites and reasonably priced weekly specials.
My lunch was pear, dandelion, dolcelatte and walnut and salad, roasted fillet of cod, purple sprouting samphire and capers. Finally, I finished with a delicate lemon iced parfaits with honey comb crumble. Using local produce the collection of flavours all worked together well and showed a strong sense of seasonality.
The proportions sizes were good too, which is always encouraging in a pub.
My only criticism was the background music– one of my big bug bears – really not necessary.
The pub garden has a BBQ kitchen (in use over the weekend), and three unique dining pods – each heated and a delight on a summer’s day.
This pub definitely meets all the criteria for a great establishment with a few added innovative twists.

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