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Black Boy, Winchester

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user reviews of the Black Boy, Winchester

please note - reviews on this site are purely the opinion of site visitors, so don't take them too seriously.

Hugely characterful multi roomed inn not far from the cathedral, brim full of seemingly random artefacts including much of the seating. There were several ales from small breweries, and the Triple fff was extremely pleasant. Very quiet of a Tuesday lunchtime.
richythemole - 26 Oct 2016 16:24
After a nice walk along the River Itchen we had a pint here,this place would keep Tim Wonnacott out of mischief for hours,so much bric-a-brac to look at Giraffes necks,Elephant feet,whole seagull (no the menu is a tad boring),medicine cabinets books etc.It is worth a visit to Winchester just to see this pub,it is close to the Cathedral.The beer was very good.
slerpy - 10 Jul 2016 17:34
Couldn't agree more with previous posters, stunning ambience, good beers. I had Itchen Valley Watercress and Red Cat Prowler Pale - both good. Sandwiches looked good and treats for the dog - not sure what he made of the stuffed giraffe where we were sitting though. Bit of a trek from the station but well worth it.
ellisref - 2 Apr 2016 08:38
Consistently excellent, decent ales with chatty staff and barfly's usually.
All sorts of junk on every surface, and hours worth of graffiti in the gents loos, not recommended for PC types for sure!
If Polly was still behind the bar it'd be a 10/10, ah well...
StoneBlack - 29 Dec 2015 23:23
I returned to Winchester and found The Black Boy was my favourite new pub of the day. It doesn't quite match my visit to the Hyde Tavern a few years back. But The Black Boy is almost as good. It has low beamed ceilings with lots of little rooms and all sorts of paraphernalia, including upside down Christmas trees hanging from the ceiling and stuffed warthogs. There was a table football table in the room I sat in and there was also an impressive outdoor courtyard. Situated just out of town, it is near a pleasant weir on the River Itchen. Customers were mainly couples and families. For some reason I was expecting more ales. But I was surprised to see an American cask ale - Napa Smith Pale Ale. They also had Bowman Swift One & Cardinal, Flowerpots Bitter & Hopback Summer Lightning. Ciders all appeared to be from Lilleys - Mango Cider & Sunset on handpull and 3 others on keg. This place is well worth a visit.
blue_scrumpy - 16 Aug 2015 15:26
Noble Craft Lager apologies.
lowerbourneshot - 7 Jul 2015 08:44
Visited 4th July spent a nice 4 hours in the garden with friends.5 ales on tried The Ruddy Red and The Noble craft ale .My favorite Pub in Winchester at the moment.
lowerbourneshot - 7 Jul 2015 08:43
A good solid pub, plenty of well kept ales worth the short trek out from the centre.
Snarling_Mallard - 30 Mar 2015 21:31
So eclectic, so interesting, so different, lovely place with very welcoming staff and good ales selection etc. 5 beers available including Alfred's Saxon Bronze and Flowerpots Bitter.
PRMcCoy - 19 Mar 2015 19:33
Certainly one of the most amazing pub interiors you'll ever likely to see. Beer choice was a little lacking I thought, a black old would have been nice but otherwise highly recommended.
Steamer1 - 24 Jan 2015 18:41
Amazing place. Never seen such generous food portions. Good selection of ales. And each room is cluttered with interesting bric-a-brac, books, etc. which you could spend ages just looking at. Well worth the scenic walk out from the city centre to visit this pub.
Trev - 3 May 2014 09:00
This idiosyncratic free house, taking its name from the coal heavers who worked the Navigation Wharf nearby qualified as the best pub visit during our stay in Winchester.
Many other have well described the main attraction of this pub and it is true to say that it would take several visits to discover all the eclectic collections this pubs four separate room spaces contain.
One that I can add, along with the red fire buckets is the collection of dolls eyes with eyelashes that stare down at you from the ceiling of the ladies toilets (thanks to Mrs S for that one, before you ask.)
All this and a keen Ale policy with five beers to choose from. Flowerpots Bitter, Ringwood Best Bitter and Summer Lightning are regularly available and Goddards Scrumdiggity was one of the two micro brewery beers available for our visit.
A must do pub when visiting Winchester.

Gann - 10 May 2013 13:30
It's Easter Saturday, we're in a recession and, joy of joys, one of the most highly recommended pubs in an otherwise uninviting town, only serves hot food from 12-2. Are we still in the '70s? Beers looked so good but after traipsing round Winchester in the freezing cold, some hot grub would have gone down very well with a pint or three - as it is we left. The (more expensive) Black Rat wasn't serving either (it was 2.15pm). A missed opportunity because other pub/restaurants a little nearer the centre were rammed. A pity.
pkrp - 30 Mar 2013 23:31
Visited here with the boyfriend and it was alright. Quirky theme (which I can only describe as "random but fun") and nice staff/service. I had a pint of Flower Pots Bitter which was nice and my other half the Punter, which I personally was not fond of. Both well kept though. Food choice was limited to 5-6 pub grub dishes and sandwiches - we both had the burger which was nothing to write home about. Chips weren't great.

Overall, OK.

7/10
julesnuggy - 9 Mar 2013 22:24
Get a life nivramkram. First tme here and loved it; including the service.8/10.
roselily - 15 Jul 2012 19:25
Lovely pub a short walk over the river from the town centre, old building with stone floor and a central bar and lots of nooks and crannies.

Has I think four real ale on tap from local breweries and they were well priced at £3.20 a pint and also very well served.

Good bar staff on my visit and a pleasant atmosphere.

Has a large outside drinking area with plenty of seating.

Worth the effort in finding it.
beershot - 8 Jun 2012 12:40
Walked out without a drink last week as Barmaid served 2 females out of turn and when challenged argued about it instead of apologising. It's always a shame when an otherwise great place is let down by poor service. dropping my rating by 2
nivramkram - 13 Apr 2012 13:54
losing out to the Hyde nowadays, and I'm not surprised
littlecon - 5 Apr 2012 17:53
Probably when all considered the best pub in Winchester. It is not a place for food range, because its a proper pub it focuses on beer and environs. it is large, friendly and has a good ale range - fire place, random hangings and objects - while a way some hours here is easy. Can get busy but usually large enough to cope.
The owner i believe also operates the Black Rat (michelin star restaurant) and Black Bottle (wine bar).
parmantom - 12 Mar 2012 13:32
Haven't been here for many years and it hits you the moment you enter that in you're in for a treat. Many different rooms with their own atmosphere and a good range of trad. beers, 5 or 6 I think including a stout from Cheriton Brewery. An absolute must for a visit and if you're coming by train it's a 20 minute walk or so from the station but a delightful one through the historic city centre
Steamer1 - 5 Mar 2012 09:00
fantastic pub - good beers, great interiors, fantastic staff, good bar food. A true original.
JazzyShazzy - 10 Jan 2012 16:45
One of the best in the area. Good ale, interesting features.
toorantom - 2 Oct 2011 15:44
Lovely Quirky Pub with good selection of well kept Ales
nivramkram - 24 Jul 2011 20:45
Excellent pub. I always make a point of going there everytime I'm in Winchester. Good beers and really helpful barstaff.
6stringsandthetruth - 13 Jun 2011 10:08
There's nothing contrived about the Black Boy. It's decor has built up over the years (unlike some other pubs in Winchester, it's true), although it is starting to look a bit tired and grubby at the edges. The outside drinking area, with its oak-supported roof, is great. And the beer's well kept, as well.
Lynw - 23 May 2011 20:45
Nice choice of beers, I particularly enjoyed the Cheriton Bitter, the wife was pleased to see Anastasia Stout. Not sure why people want to crticise the decor even if it is a bit eclectic. I would much rather see this than the many characterless refurbishments that dominate the pub world.
GazzaTheBeerMan - 5 May 2011 15:57
Best pub in Winchester. Loads of interesting beers, a fascinating interior and wonderful large breasted bar staff. 10/10!
El_Drako - 19 Apr 2011 18:13
Pubs don’t get much better than this place. I really enjoyed the decor even if it is contrived. We had a few ales here on Saturday and welcoming as the interior is, we chose to spend our time outside under a warming heater. The atmosphere was nice and relaxed and the beer great. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend The Black Boy to anyone.
BiffoBeer - 11 Apr 2011 10:35
I'm not sure why its meant to be fantastic- yes, the real ales are excellent and there is an eclectic, although deliberate collection of bric a brac and odds and sods scattered around the pub. The main problem is that this is completely contrived, and in a way, cheapens the experience. In winchester in particular in Britain, the city seems desperate to provide the quasi-authentic pub experience by cramming as much glitz and kitsch into its pubs as possible- cricket bats, old photos, horse brasses, etc etc- and I think by the time I arrived at the black boy I was tired of it. Music was chosen by the pub and not piped, no chavs, fab beer- don't know about the food, so 7 it be. If avoids a crass quiz night i'll increase it to 8 - hahaha
alezilla - 8 Apr 2011 20:08
I popped in to this little gem on my way home from work after reading the reviews and seeing how high the rating was.
A proper, English Pub. Amazing decor that you could spend weeks reading and looking at. Privately owned as well, and you can tell. Wonderful beers, great barmaids and full of character. Will be visiting again very soon.
M Ford
marcusford - 10 Mar 2011 10:37
Plenty of beers to choose from. I had Bowmans Swift one.

Lots of little nooks and crannies in the pub which was busy for a Saturday lunchtime.
Splodge68 - 19 Feb 2011 20:22
Excellent pub, with good outdoor seating area - for the Summer! Get a bit packed just inside the front door at the bar though. Still, beer is good.
Bernie5 - 3 Feb 2011 20:10
Interesting and very busy pub. Good selection of ales, I tried the 'Pots Stout', very good indeed. Watch out for the young barmaid trying to push Itchen Valley beer, she's apparently the girlfriend of the brewery's owner (no bias there then!!!) Still even with this I gotta give it 8/10. Very good pub.
wolvesfan - 30 Jan 2011 09:31
fantastic pub, not long been introduced to, but always stop off when in winch now. nic-nacs galore, something different to see every visit. lovely conditioned beer with a decent range. tried some food on last visit, the veggie lasagne was disappointing wish i'd had the fish along with my friend. not to be missed, best in winch for me!
BM1 - 11 Jan 2011 00:35
Sports a stuffed baboon in a kilt. Every pub should have one!
Uncle_Dunkel - 26 Dec 2010 00:42
Tucked away on Wharf Hill, off Chesil Street in Winchester, The Black Boy is still faithful to its origins. Although recognised in most of the well known beer and pub guides, it is still a traditional back-street boozer. The pub has 5 locally brewed real ales and a small selection of good French wines. Good 'pub grub' is available from Tuesday evenings through to Sunday lunch. During the winter months roasts are served on Sundays with lighter lunches being offered during the summer. On the off-chance there is a summer, there is a sheltered rustic garden with heaters. Three standard ales Ringwood Best, Cheriton Pots, Hopback Brewery Summer Lightening. They also have 2 other real ales on, normally from The Itchen Valley Brewery, The Triple FFF Brewery, The Hampshire Brewery or one of the other small local breweries. A stuffed Donkey, collections of fire buckets says it all. A true classic you must visit.
BARRY2771 - 23 Dec 2010 16:49
Quirky, with the a very odd collection of bits & pieces
Good Beer, friendly staff.

All in all a excellent pub & worth a visit
EdBeery - 8 Dec 2010 12:39
A real cracker of a pub, oozes character. Not part of any brewery either, which is always good. Had lovely pubby lunch and amazing local beers. Very, very friendly staff as well. One of the best we have been to in Hampshire. Dez
dezrezza10 - 22 Nov 2010 00:01
The Hyde Tavern is better.
Pat_Bateman - 5 Nov 2010 10:01
We called here (late Oct 2010) after reading reviews and we certainly weren't let down. Really friendly staff, good beer (Itchen Valley, Pure Gold) in good condition. Good value meals and you're never short of talking points as you look around. Got to be the best choice when in Winchester.
brianagain - 4 Nov 2010 19:22
OMG it's like so utterly out there!
This has 'alternative' written all over it - I loved the quirkiness of the place, and its ramshackle collection of drinking areas. Good ale, too - go on, do yourself a favour.
ed_hodge - 24 Oct 2010 20:05
Lovely place. Looking forward to going back next time I'm in the area.
Upton_Parker - 21 Oct 2010 14:04
If there's a better pub than this in Hampshire I'm yet to find it. Probably the only place in the world where you will find a stuffed monkey statue wearing a kilt and hugging a donkey. The choice of beers and ciders is superb, and the atmosphere in the place is great. They've even got the food and menu spot on. The bar staff are friendly and, as mentioned before, quite easy on the eye!

Can't recommend the Black Boy highly enough - definitely my favourite pub.
SweeneyRegan - 11 Oct 2010 13:10
Bateman, don't know where you were looking, but i never saw any "very pretty young barmaids". Huh!

Must say, i liked this pub, it was situated outside of Winchester main town, so the walk along the river side is very relaxing after the hussle and bustle of the high street, also it leads you here for refreshments.

Very intersting inside. Looks like a museum. Tourists would love it. I liked the old furniture and the old scatterd rubbishy cushions on un-matching seats.Look out for the head peering round the door on the ceiling and the mis-matched face on the pillar at the bar! Felt the garden was not in keeping with the pub itself and could do with being "oldening" up a bit.
mario_2 - 7 Sep 2010 12:24
A good pub with helpful, friendly and very pretty young barmaids.

At least 2 decent ciders on draught ... Thatchers and Stowford Press if I remember correctly.

I felt they'd gone a little bit over the top with the amount of quirky junk / stuffed animals on dispaly, but still well worth a visit.

An extra bonus is the pub lies at the end of a short but pretty river walk, that starts at the old mill bridge near the statue of King Alfred.
Pat_Bateman - 6 Sep 2010 13:37
Superb pub with bags of character. Was recommended to us by the Landlord of Bugle in Twyford.
We had a great time and stayed for maybe one too many beers! Lunch was very well cooked and very reasonable. Lots to see round this pub, little trinkets everywhere and you could spend a day just looking at those. Very Good and highly recommend for a pub lunch and good beer. Only negative was lack of parking but apart from that perfect.
stancr - 5 Sep 2010 13:16
Great pub, good food, excellent service, beware of the stuffed animals though lol
stuffed dog, seal and birds to name a few.
would go back for sure.
mines_a_JDaniels - 5 Jul 2010 14:10
This is a fantastic old pub, a little out the way but worth the detour to find it. As others have said, it's completely full of "stuff" everywhere, far too much to list. Plenty of stuffed animals, including what was presumably the pub's dog at one point, and one room that's more like a library with floor to ceiling shelves of books. I liked the old space invaders/pacman video game table, I haven't seen one of those for ages!
Many different rooms on several different levels, and a couple of real fires. Friendly barmaid, everyone got a "Hiya" before they were hardly through the door.
Beers on this occasion were Palmer's Best, Hidden Quest, Hop Back Summer Lightning, Flower Pots and Ringwood Best. Also Stowford Press and Thatcher's Dry ciders.
Blackthorn - 6 Feb 2010 15:47
Well, where do you begin? This has certainly got to be the oddest pub I've ever been in. If you're into fire buckets and baboons in kilts, this is the place for you. Very welcoming barstaff, and the beer is superb, albieit a little pricey. No fruit machines or TVs to annoy you either, so this gets top marks from me.
robfrancis - 12 Dec 2009 16:26
Went out of my way to visit this place on my first trip to Winchester over the bank holiday weekend and was not disappointed. A really quirky and interesting place serving a nice selection of quality beer. There is a rough and ready outside seating area but it is the inside that really makes this place. The decor has to be seen to be believed and there are all kinds of nooks and crannies and interesting places to sit for a good pint. Sampled and Summer Lightning and the Bowman's Quiver, which were both excellent.
frolix22 - 30 Aug 2009 17:03
Where do I start, a seriously quirky place with numerous rooms, nooks and crannies, chock full of the oddest collection of paraphenalia I have ever seen in a pub. There is no way I can list them all but there are stuffed animals, (a donkey, leopard, a baboon in a kilt and a gull in a cage), plastic and papier mache hams hanging from a beam, an aga, suspended model aeroplanes, an old set of handpumps, clocks, tin and cast iron signs, blow lamps, hundreds of key rings hanging from a ceiling, an upside down Christmas tree, a collection of fire buckets, dried chilli peppers adorn a window surround, numerous book cases all around and so much more. One set of seats are numbered and tip up, looks like they are reclaimed from a football stadium somewhere, I'd rather like to know which one. There is also a bar football table.
Part wooden and part stone flagged floors, old timber beamed ceilings. Outside seating to the front and also the side with an area under the cover of a pergola.
Beers were, Flowerpot "Flowerpots", Hop Back Summer Lightning, Ringwood Best Bitter, Andwell King John plus one badged Black Boy Bitter; I'm not sure what this is, the barmaid thought it was from Ringwood but as they already had BB it wouldn't add up.
An interesting place with good beer. Not one to miss on a Winchester crawl. Prices on a par with other pubs visited, not a cheap town for beer with prices similar to London, generally £3+.
Maldenman - 3 Aug 2009 12:29
Visited Tuesday after a pleasant walk round and enjoyed a very tasty Andwells King John as well as an OK pint from Hidden the name of which escapes me. It's always a favourite place of mine and will return with my OS mates in late August.
dotball - 4 Jul 2009 09:02
A real Pub with all sorts of things to see and more importantly taste. Excellent Ringwoods Best Bitter and King John . Couldn't fault the condition
gphillman - 10 Jun 2009 11:20
Finally visited after many recommendations and what a cracking a pub. The interior is certainly interesting but is a great talking point. Great selection at the bar summer lightening and swift one in very good order. Staff are young but extremely diligent and polite. Good mix of age groups, not the typical "real ale" older crowd. Only minor problem, but it is due to the location is the price. Not much change from a tenner for two pints, but more than reasonable for quality of the pint and pub. Good beer garden/smoking area, foresee many lazy football free Saturdays here in the next few weeks. If you haven't been defiantly make the effort.
back2ploughlane - 7 Jun 2009 23:40
One of the oddest pubs in Britain but one of the best for ale. It all looks very old but cunning decoration and weird collections deceive the eye here. There are lots of rooms or separate drinking/dining areas containing mad collections of what can only be described as 'stuff'. Particularly macabre is the bit with plastic cuts of meat, animal heads and carcasses, all enhanced with shotgun stocks. The beer is generally excellent from local microbreweries, plus some more unusual kegs dispensed from those strange little dumpy barrel shaped fonts. Pricing is reasonable for Winchester.

anonymous - 4 Apr 2009 14:25
In my view the best pub in Winchester. Always busy because it's so good and the beers are superb.

Staff are very friendly and will order you a taxi if you need one - to get back to the station in my case.

Almost everyone in the pub last night appeared to be playing one of the many games that are available. Three pairs were playing Go which I'd never seen before.

Can't wait to go back.
GrahamA - 29 Jan 2009 13:42
If you go to Winchester then this pub is a must to go to. It's quirky and fun. In the winter the log fires are burning and you just won't want to leave.
GailH32 - 23 Sep 2008 17:07
An interesting place. Beer OK, friendly staff and locals. No idea about the food, I was there on a Saturday lunchtime and there didn't appear to be anyone eating. Not bad but there are plenty of better pubs than this.
arferjob - 7 Sep 2008 09:53
You'll either love or hate the interior but its certainly a unique setting. Local ales were on offer and decently kept. Slightly out of the way of Winchester Town Centre but no worse off for that.
ChrisP87 - 3 Sep 2008 10:51
Good pub - excellent in summer as "secret(ish)" garden and lovely rambling interior. Can't say I have ever eaten here so cannot comment. Beers excellently kept.
abelbabell - 7 Jun 2008 14:18
Overrated, I'm afraid. OK for those who like pastiche, but that's about it. Good selection of real ales but food is often poor e.g margarine and stale white bread for a ham sandwich.
hillroger - 3 May 2008 17:29
One of the greatest city pubs you'll ever visit. An old curiosity shop of a place, featuring a seemingly endless series of rooms, crammed with a variety of furnishings, stuffed animals and entertainments of all kinds. Grub is of the soup and sandwich variety, but fresh and very good, excellent selection of beers, friendly, warm and cosy in winter, fine big garden for the summer. Music on Mondays, 'Black Rat' restaurant across the street (owned by the pub) also looks worthwhile... Pleasingly removed from Winchester's well-beaten tourist trail. Lovely.
myPetersfield - 20 Mar 2008 22:39
Went here last year, ordered food. Hour later was told that the food had run out! Not impressed. Beer was alright - but was left hungry!
reelaleboy - 15 Mar 2008 22:37
Doesn't open until 12 so had to wait outside for a few minutes. Very old rambling interior, lots of different rooms branching off a central bar. While I was there the stuffed donkey was returned from a photo shoot.

Summer Lightning, Flowerpots bitter and Ringwood Best as constants. Two others rotating which were Bowman Wallops Wood and Hampshire Penny Black.

Landlady and (attractive) barmaid were very friendly as were the locals. Sort of pub you would like to be in your street.

A must visit.


GuideDogSaint - 13 Jan 2008 14:18
Excentric real OLD pub- just as they should be.
Very Qwirky, but very nice, covered outside area too.
Lovely open fires, Very Nice beer, but above all LOVELY STAFF...
I cant say anything bad,, they've even succeded in keeping CHAVS out (worth its weight in Gold!!)
Very nice people, very nice pub.
secretreveiwer - 10 Jan 2008 15:43
Not sure i agree with zeitlin on the pots! I think the original was better as with their other brews. The black boy serves bowman ale too though which is the new other half of the old cheriton brewery
chinois - 29 Aug 2007 12:55
Eccentric freehouse, with more stuffed animals in it than Ray Mears' shed and more rugs than Terry Wogan's dressing room.

Enjoyable cosy atmosphere, with a good selection of 5 ales (my Flowerpots bitter was good).

Comedy Britpop-era tabloid newspapers decorating the bogs, not sure about the dirty contacts pages being up next to the urinal though.

Worth the (pretty) walk to get to, good for a session I think. One of Winchesters best places and a well-kept secret from the tourists.
Quinno - 23 Jul 2007 20:13
Only discovered this at the end of a trip but thought it was an excellent pub with bags of charm. The girl behind the bar was also quite attractive - which is always a winner. :-)
theswerve01 - 6 Jun 2007 11:54
Visited here again last Thursday evening (en route from London) and had one of the best fresh haddock & chips ever. We have often been here for Sunday lunch & it was refreshing to experience the same high food standard on an evening during the week with similar service & welcome. As ever the real ale choice & quality was exemplary. This has to be one of the best pubs that I have been to for beer, food & ambience.
zeitlin - 13 May 2007 23:44
Oops! - many apologies I should not have called it Cheriton Pots but the Pots ale brewed by the replacement brewery - if anything the current brew of Pots is even better than the Cheriton one (long gone!)
zeitlin - 17 Apr 2007 11:20
Lovely old rambling pub serving a selection of well kept real ales including Cheriton Pots. Excellent Sunday lunches including rare roast beef. The pub I always head for when in the vicinity.
zeitlin - 17 Apr 2007 11:13
Great pub-interesting interior, well kept ale. lunches are tasty and reasonable, Dinner is limited and extortionate. will drink here regularly but never dine again-prices vs size and quality of portions outrageous. rated 7 would have been 9 if not for the dinner
badger17 - 29 Mar 2007 00:28
There is no such ale as Pots ale. This was a Cheriton Brewery Beer and as this Brewery no longer exists nor does the beer. There are similarly named beers from the replacement Brewery, but the brewer is different, he uses different yeast, malt and hops, so his brews must be judged on their own merit. But I agree, this pub does keep its beers extremely well and the pub has a great atmosphere, the staff are really friendly and the decor, including a stuffed donkey is interesting!
RTL - 26 Jan 2007 16:03
An absolute delight to its many locals and visitors, the Black Boy carries of a genuinely characterful, rambling and intriguing interior atmosphere, enhanced by an excellent range of well-kept cask beer and in my experience very friendly staff. Maybe the food isn't as competitive as it could be (I'd have to defer to others who have tried it), but if you're less of a foodie and more of an ale aficionado who can't get enough of honest traditional boozers in pleasant locations: look no further. This place has all you need to get by and more.
TWG - 27 Oct 2006 12:45
Great beer - Pots and Summer Lightning - Food in restuarant side was very good - a little over the odds - but very good - desserts especially. Had no problems with service
kevinn123 - 13 Oct 2006 08:41
One of the best pubs in Hampshire. Proudly, even defiantly, independent in all senses. Great beet, atmosphere, exemplary service.
CJG - 5 Oct 2006 14:03
Was in Winchester for a couple of days and visited a few of it's pubs of which this was the best.5 different ales being served including Summer Lightning (so extra point awarded).Could spend hours just looking at the decor and bits and pieces that hand from the ceiling and walls.Will definitely vist again.
TonyAle - 1 Sep 2006 14:52
Fantastic - tremendous atmosphere and a real mix of customers of all ages. Gorgeous building to look at as well. Beer range was superb; not sure I picked the best (Itchen Valley I think).
mtaylor40 - 26 Aug 2006 08:35
This is a lovely pub for a drink but DO NOT EAT HERE. The food, although very lovely is overpriced. If that isn't enough to put you off your food the waitress most certainly will.

She has a serious attitude problem and made the whole evening very uncomfortable with her snide remarks and snapped our heads off as we weren't all having a 3 course dinner. Since when did restaurants (let alone a pub restaurant) stat setting minimum amount to be eaten??????

I have never been spoken to as badly as I was there and as a paying customer I have never been treated with such disrespect.

There are far more pleasant places in Winchester to eat.
Ophelia75 - 24 Aug 2006 17:09
I like this pub. More than most in Winchester. The Location perfect (slightly out of the way so only us clever locals get to enjoy), lots of nice beer and even better - a small food menu!

The Black Boy seems to know what it is good at: traditional pub ambience, good beer, a well-laid out external eating and drinking area and simple, non-poncy food.

If criticism were to be dished out - the outside tables weren't that clean (but then we did arrive at the end of the lunch rush) and the staff only OK - they were probably waiting for their degree/A level results at the time so fair enough.
anonymous - 26 Jul 2006 15:14
Deary me Gents! A bit of subtle irony there and it flies over both your heads......of course I know the origins of the name.

Just looking for a bite, and I got a couple.

Yours faithfully,

Outraged in Winchester!
anonymous - 17 Jul 2006 09:19
hahaha! marvellous ineptitude from boss hogg there. this is a decent boozer with all your favourite local brews. probably my favourite in town. recommended.
tanderson7 - 17 Jul 2006 08:56
Boss_Hog, you're really showing your ignorance here. The name of the pub dates from WAY before the current landlord and relates to chimney sweeps (ie: kids who were black from soot). Check your facts before making such inane comments.
wilbur101 - 14 Jul 2006 19:17
Great pub. Shame the owner chose such a rascist name...... get with the programme buddy.....this is the noughties.
anonymous - 13 Jul 2006 17:46
Nice pub, good food, beer and atmosphere.
Grossy - 27 May 2006 02:42
Best beer in Winchester.
keithcoleman - 8 May 2006 16:55
By far and away the best pub in Winchester; warm and cosy in the winter, cracking garden in the summer.

A shame I live in London and don't get to visit very often.
Chilavert - 18 Apr 2006 15:22
One of the best pubs I have visited and certainly Winchester's best. Great beer, good food, quirky decor, nice atmosphere. What more can anyone ask for?
sross - 17 Apr 2006 21:17
Great pub really surprised. even the dog has character. good garden one of winchesters finest. now has more character than the wickham.
Black boy 1 Wickham 0
bigforestdave - 29 Mar 2006 21:06
A very surprising pub. Looks small on the outside but is large on the inside. Divided into natural rooms with fires. Very welcoming and comfortable to be in. Great atmosphere. Great beer. Difficulty in parking for visitors. Very busy, even midweek.



tillyer2000 - 14 Mar 2006 17:47
Very snug and quite comforting pub in the chill of winter. Nice garden in the Summer. Nice location, olde world charm. Ok in my books.
cidered - 27 Feb 2006 17:13
In danger of taking itself too seriously, and food looks like it's becoming more important than the pub. Beware the slide into restaurant territory.
bornandbred - 20 Feb 2006 15:21
Where does one start? The well-kept, interesting ales? A warm staff welcome (not sure what happened with anonymous in August)? The large, nicely diverse crowd, even on a Monday? The gents playing Irish folk songs? The fire near the entrance? All contribute to making this an incredible pub, one of the best I have every visited.
Mr.Matt - 13 Jan 2006 19:17
Great pub – warm and welcoming staff, frequently changing guest ales, tucked away with one beer hiding now and again,
A must to see to accept as true.
Good luck, hope all works out.

gary.lumber - 18 Dec 2005 12:17
Just voted for them. Used to study in Winchester a place close to my heart. Good luck!
simonelliott - 25 Nov 2005 09:58
This pub has a very warm and welcoming feel to it. Have always enjoyed my visits to here, pleasant decor and ales. The garden is also good with lots of greenary all around. About 10 minutes walk from the city centre.
blamm - 15 Nov 2005 18:07
Great pub - bit of a walk from town but all the better for it. Good lunch menu. Staff aren't particularly welcoming but other than that, one of the best.
anonymous - 18 Aug 2005 15:28
Too much to say about this pub! Frequently changed guest bitters, dogs snoozing by the open fire, an Irish folk group play on Thursday night (I think), and wonderfully unique décor. In the summer this pub opens its garden and serves delicious and interesting food, in the winter the pub belongs in the hobbits’ shire. A superb place for a date, a reunion, a meal or just a quite pint after work.
roastchicken - 11 Aug 2005 14:12
Excellent pub for summer evenings in the garden or cosy nights by the fire in the winter. It has something for everyone - the food is fab and the booze is great, even the house wine!
anonymous - 9 Aug 2005 12:04
for once i agree with everything this usally bitter and twisted conniwot character (below) has said. a great little pub. if you're new to it, be sure to take time to have a good look around - the walls, ceiling and even the loos are adorned with all manner of tat.
wilbur101 - 6 Aug 2005 07:57
The Black Boy is a great pub. No doubt about it. Landlord is a good fellow. Without wishing to sound like a PR luvvie - which I am - this pub seems to be a bit inclusive. Doesn't really matter if you're old or young, gay or straight, black or white, you'll have a decent night here. Can't think of a pub in Winchester that comes close - maybe the King Alfred - but that's child friendly (always a no-no for a boozer).
anonymous - 27 Jun 2005 12:12
Quirky and fascinating...the walls and ceilings are covered in all sorts of miscellaneous objects that make this pub really interesting place to visit. Good range of beers too.
Muzthing - 7 Mar 2005 13:34
The Landlord David has more than turned this place around, he has created a landmark pub, and keeps extending!!! A real favourite with locals and visitors, great beer, games, friendly staff (and pets) a bar with an aga in it that feels like a country kitchen, a stuffed donkey, moose head, upside down christmas tree, other mad bits and bobs everywhere, and now a restaurant, as you'd expect no two pieces of cutlery are the same, but the food is excellent. Arguably one of the best pubs in Winchester.
anonymous - 15 Dec 2004 17:24
I haven't been in the Black Boy since 1990. It used to be a great pub then and I'm sure it is now. I moved to the states and now live in Detroit. Greetings to all my old friends.
Phil_Connor - 22 Nov 2004 17:28
exceptional place, you'll be forgiven if you forget why you came in there when you see all the bit's and bots hanging off every surface. anyway, you'll get a great selection of draughts, and sunk a few jack d's in there too, but you just can't beat the atmosphere...even if you're the only one in there. my fave for winnie
MJ Birmingham - manjeet1000@hotmail.com - 10 Nov 2004 18:48
A real pub, used by real people! Did you find ska?
deafy - 1 Aug 2004 02:47
Down to earth, privately owned, quirky local that is appealing to all at any time of the year and well worth seeking out.
Always a wide range of local beers and ales, and even a house lager!
Unusual in that it closes between 3pm and 5pm during the week. Bar meals at lunchtime are hearty and the new evening menu represents a good selection of home cooked food.
Slightly run-down rear pub garden that could do with some maintenance, but overall it is the 'less posh' Wykeham Arms!
ManAged35 - 27 Jul 2004 12:58
I went there and was amazed about the fact that every time I looked up from my pint, there was something else I hadn't noticed, such as the man climbimg out of a toilet bowl, rows of old glasses hanging from the ceiling, old radios and even an upside down christmas tree hanging from the ceiling! Lovely Summer Lightning on there. Very nice pint. The games cupboard is good, with just about every pub game catered for. I had a very close game of crib there. Very Good. Highly recommended
Alexh1982 - 1 May 2004 11:43
Quality Beer and a new kitchen with restaurant (rumour has it anyway)! Look out for the man in the toilet below the seagulls in the barn .
Local - 2 Feb 2004 15:32
What a great pub. Welcoming atmosphere with real fires, real people and well kept real beers too. It's recently been extended at the side and also there's a new bar behind the existing one, but it's all in keeping with what's there before. There's so much interesting stuff around the walls. No food was available when we visited but it's coming back in February apparently.
Graham - 5 Jan 2004 16:25
This is a lovely pub. An open fire inside in the winter, a comfy sofa, good beer and you could look at the decor for hours!
Amy - 29 Dec 2003 18:57
I wish it was my local, the best pub I have ever been in. You can drink there all day, the time just flys by.
anonymous - 9 Dec 2003 12:37
One of the best pubs in a city of great pubs. Occasionally quite busy inside, but a surprising amount of room outside under canvas. Decor has to be seen to be believed.
Russ - 30 Nov 2003 19:24
his pub is actually the best pub ever. The food is great, the booze is great. The best thing is the decorations. There's just all this random stuff on the walls. And in the toilet, there are fish with Mick Jagger lips!
A winchesterian - 31 Oct 2003 16:12
our local, even though it's not nearest by some margin
anonymous - 2 Aug 2003 00:35
Quirky pub with a character all of it's own. Great, laid back landlord. Feels like you're in your own front room - but with great beer and great company. Weird and wonderful decor (a bit like a junk shop) and free lighters on the bar!
Hes - 22 May 2003 15:39

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