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Albion, Winchester

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user reviews of the Albion, Winchester

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

Maybe the only place in Winchester (apart from Wetherspoons)) where you can find a good pint (Flowerpots) at normal prices. Nice place and highly recommended.
baxterfish - 7 Jul 2018 13:33
As already mentioned, now a Pots pub. Ale was well kept and very reasonably priced. A no frills pub, but worth a visit.
d.franks - 23 Nov 2016 19:54
Last pub of the day and I was pretty well on the way by the time we got here for a couple of “night cap” beers. Nearest pub to the station and also very close to a large food outlet which I had targeted for my dinner on the train home.

Corner pub with a small bar and seats in a wedge shape. The area to the left of the bar is more bar like with high stools in the window while the area on the opposite side has a fire and is more like a lounge / comfy seating area.

4 hand pumps with all ales from Flower Pots Brewery which is under 10 miles away from the pub. A new brewery for me, I had a few pints of their Goddens Gold @ 4.8% which was very good.

As I say I was a little worse for wear so we sat and supped our ales while waiting for the train. A nice pub that was fairly busy but with a laid back relaxed feel.
lezford - 19 Sep 2016 12:21
Now owned by the Flowerpots Brewery and vastly improved. Excellent quality ale at reasonable prices. Nice pub too.
baxterfish - 12 Jun 2016 19:57
The most consistently best beer in Winchester. Sure its mainly all from one brewery, but its all good. Now starting to do good guest beer (Lamplight Porter when I was last there). Went there recently with a bunch of folk from London SW Camra who thought it was fantastic. Sure, the decor is sparse, this is a place for appreciating great beer and chatting with friends or playing chess/backgammon. I happily take a half hour bus ride to drink a couple of pints there. If I still did the Eastleigh-London rail journey for work I'd make a habit of specially getting off the train on the way home for a pint.
philossify - 15 Feb 2016 23:24
I totally agree with the previous comment. We've been in a couple of times since Cheriton took the pub over. Before that, the attraction was that Paul kept an interestingly different and eclectic range of cask and bottled beers which you wouldn't find elsewhere in Winchester , let alone elsewhere, the atmosphere was convivial ...and the location is convenient for getting home.

Now, the pub is sparsely decorated, brightly lit and, frankly, lacks atmosphere; a waiting room or operating theatre springs to mind. The range of beers is limited. Don't get us wrong, we really like Cheriton beers - but sometimes it is nice to try something else.
in1dryboy - 16 May 2015 18:35
The Albion has now been reopened about six weeks, and... things don't look too promising.

The bar is currently as brightly lit as any operating theatre in which you may unluckily find yourself. The place is stark with walls devoid of any decorations. Someone described it as "sterile" which is as good an epithet as I could come up with. The place simply doesn't look very inviting. From the outside it looks like someone's front room... a front room which has just been re painted it, the curtains are waiting to be rehung and the halogen lights used to ensure you could see what you were doing are still the only form of lighting.

I am sure the Flowerpots' owner runs a good pub in Cheriton (I've not been there for ages) but, IMHO, trying to replicate that business model with the Albion is a mistake. For most Flowerpots visitors a trip there is an event which is pre planned and eagerly anticipated - and not without reason.

A trip to the Albion, on the other hand, for the majority of people that find themselves in there, is for an opportunistic pint before or after the train or some other event. No music, no Guinness, no payments by card can only serve to deter the curious passer by.

I cannot knock the quality of the beer - as you might expect from such as respected brewer - nor, indeed, the prices (Pots £3.00, Goodens £3.20 and Pots IPA (the 6% guest) at £3.40). Personally, however, I'd rather pay more per pint and be somewhere with a bit of personality.

Sorry, Albion, but you're not doing it for me at the moment.
trebles_all_round - 10 Apr 2015 19:42
LoFi said "Something of a miracle turnaround by the current landlord - after many years of wavering between "Just about OK" and "God awful", this is now one of the best, most interesting pubs in Winchester."

I am sad to report that this owner has sold up and moved on for personal reasons. So long, and thanks for all the great beers.

Time will tell what the new owner makes of it. I have high hopes as reportedly the new owner is a local real ale brewer of some quality ales.
trebles_all_round - 22 Jan 2015 17:08
Something of a miracle turnaround by the current landlord - after many years of wavering between "Just about OK" and "God awful", this is now one of the best, most interesting pubs in Winchester.

A constantly-changing selection of real ales (from small brewers), some off-beat lagers and key-keg beers, and a huge range of whiskies. A wine-snob friend also rates their selections, and they do great antipasti platters that I've enjoyed a couple of times.

The location makes it very convenient for the station, but unfortunately means it's quite small, and the outdoor space is not great (on a main road at a crossroad) - this is the only reason I've not given it 10/10.
LoFi - 5 Nov 2014 09:00
In terms of variety of beer the Albion is easily the best pub in Winchester

Not a pint of Fosters, San Miguel or Greene King PA in sight. The lagers on offer at the moment.. Vedett, Kozel and Asahi Bitters: too varied to be able to list. The Albion specialises in smaller breweries. From their last tweet (@TheAlbion2) currently offered are beers from Burning Sky, Arbor Ales, Magic Rock. There is also a multitude of interesting bottled beers.

Into spirits? Their collection of whiskies is unequaled. Not to mention the variety of gins and vodkas available.

It's not the biggest pub in the world which means it can be a bit busy, especially on a Friday night.

Someone below said below it's a bit pricy. To be fair it's only the price of the bitters which may take you a bit by surprise as they may be closer to £4 than some of the other pubs in Winchester. The lagers are well below the most expensive in town. But you are paying for a well kept, quality product. Even if you pay 50p a pint more than your GK IPA that's only a couple of quid in the evening. Well worth it, IMHO.

Cheers

T_A_R


trebles_all_round - 24 Jul 2014 08:01
Still decent but eye watering prices
Even posh crisps are double prices, it is small but now very busy
Have a monthly offer on an ale at least!
parmantom - 25 Mar 2014 06:35
So handy for the station that we we went there twice - on our arrival in Winchester and again on our departure! A couple of real ales - and seats if you're lucky.
Trev - 9 Nov 2013 10:55
Don't know what he pub used to be like but the current ownership are doing a very good job. I use it when waiting for a train and love the selection of micro breweries on offer. Top marks.
addlened - 23 Apr 2013 11:43
After a previous bad experience in this pub I noticed that it had been re-painted outside and looked different so in I went. It has been completed re-furbished inside and although is still a tiny corner bar is now quite bright and airy with modern decor and fittings. Three handpumps with a good selection of ales (micro and min-breweries including Tiny Rebel - new to me). £3.80 a pint was a bit steep but the barmaid was very pleasant and the clientele has definitely changed (much for the better I think). Beer quality was fine. Very handy for the station and bus stops and only a short walk into the city centre. A much improved pub -worth a look.
mcroyal - 23 Mar 2013 13:39
For a tiny corner pub that needs to make margin anyway it can - it is a good place for a pint. Ale is changed regularly across 3 pumps - it is independent so the range is very good - usually a weak to strong range to boot. It does have a fine whiskey and absinthe range, and yes the cafe/expresso machine is obvious - but it is a very decent place to stop all the same - if your pub is this small food is not going to carry the income on its own so it is 80% pub, and it works (not off putting to the ladies which it probably was before it changed hands either.

Excellent meeting point for Train station as you cannot fail to see it when you head to town from there
parmantom - 11 Sep 2012 08:30
Visited here last Tuesday 24/04/12 as it was the first pub I came accross after getting off the Train. Had a Pint of Abbot, which although slightly cloudy tasted OK, but @ 3.50 a Pint was expensive. Other Ales available were Flower Pots Bitter and Hophead. This pub has been over modernised and is more like a european Cafe with its fancy Coffee maker. However the food did look & smell very good. I move quickly on to Ye White Swan
Bitter_Man - 26 Apr 2012 15:30
Revisited The Albion last week and was impressed by the Improvements. Was clean,comfortable and friendly and what's more important the Ale was good and a nice selection of Whisky. Yes a littlle exppensive but everywhere is in Winchester.
nivramkram - 13 Apr 2012 13:07
I popped in for a pint recently - looking quite decent since re-opening. I wasn't impressed by the barman who looked at me then went to another customer at the end of the bar - I'd clearly been waiting a while as had looked around a few moments before, but I guess he wanted to impress the woman at the other end of the bar... prat
blamm - 14 Dec 2011 21:22
Now reopened and refurbished - as much as you can refurbish a tiny boozer - its new decor and trimmings like flowers in window etc. have completely altered the clientele - now its more upmarket (not madly so just more 'winchester'.

Massive shock and this is probably why the clientele has gone up market rather than decor and addition of proper coffee machine is a pint of any ale is 3.70 - i nearly cried, and thought may as well round it up to 4 - sod the recession! honestly way too much and the blanket price smacks of naked greed.
parmantom - 29 Nov 2011 12:40
It's been shut for months - scaffolding everywhere - I hope this reopens with a better set of ideas - it had gone downhill big time over the past five years.
Mikehall1970 - 25 Oct 2011 18:39
looks like either the temporary people have gotten hold of this one or someone has as its in the process of changing hands-at least the slippery sofa's and crap beer has gone - still mangy though but friendly enough
parmantom - 3 Aug 2011 22:21
I see your still hiding behind the anononymous just man up and stop hiding behind a keyboard !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
jonsweeney - 24 Apr 2011 09:06
This pub is slowly getting back to the cool chill out place it was before jon sweeney of the first inn last out took it over and totally ruined the place! kudos to the guy in there now,only so much he can do to put right what sweeney did wrong...
anononymous - 23 Apr 2011 18:17
Welcome ? I entered and the bloke behind the bar disappeared down the cellar without as much as an 'I'm off to change a barrell will be a few minutes' or 'I'm off down the cellar to torture some animals'. Well , I did wait but got fed up and left - the place didn't seem particularly friendly or welcoming.
anonymous - 10 Apr 2011 11:41
is this the same pub everyone comments on lately - if its so nice why is it up for grabs for anyone to run judging by the massive sign outside shouting please help we dont know what to do with it! - it still serves limited range through poorly cleaned lines and is generally empty bar a few regulars who obviously drink lager
parmantom - 28 Mar 2011 16:46
Visited the pub again last night on the way home from london, and may i say what a welcome i recieved, the pub is nice and warm and heater has been repaired from what i can guess and the london pride was fantastic. Will be visiting again. Many thanks.
chattyman - 12 Mar 2011 11:16
If you go to this place,expect to wrap on warm! heating has been not working for ages now so there is just a poxy shed heater to warm up the whole pub! Think the licencee has given up on the place! sooner it gets taken over the better!
anononymous - 5 Mar 2011 18:51
chattyman youv`e got the wrong name man.
anonymous - 28 Feb 2011 11:44
how very strange...
theguv1 - 28 Feb 2011 06:22
Ha ha ha this is great ! Aaaah be fair, perhaps chattyman is a Polish, Albanian, Siamese landlord !?
hoonkerama - 28 Feb 2011 06:00
??????????????????
The_Final_Arbiter - 28 Feb 2011 00:34
Felt very welcome by the landlord on my visit on saturday great atmosphere ales was very good drunk doom bar decent prices would recomond for a fun relexed evening!!
chattyman - 28 Feb 2011 00:29
It is a pity as the Albion used to be a rather decent pub. The drinks range genrally looks good, but there is a chavvy aspect to it. I don't like the freeview TV/radio either, just adds to the low rent feel - the horrible commercial radio blaring does not suit a small pub.
blamm - 25 Feb 2011 15:51
this one is getting worse - steer clear unless you are male and want to huddle in the corner of the bar. Ale selection yesterday was one and that is not likely to be from a clean line
parmantom - 24 Feb 2011 16:18
A questionable pub I must admit. But, in its defence, the beer was good. They were offering Doom Bar & Pride (plus 1 other that I fail to remember). Tried the 'Pride' and happy to report 'All Good'. Not for everyone this place, but it is an honest 'boozer', pretty barmaid as well!!
wolvesfan - 1 Dec 2010 16:30
Having a pub this awful near the station is not a good advertisement for Winchester. Perhaps the council should consider closing it down in order to safeguard Winchesters good name should any visitor have the misfortune to wander in there on their way back to catch the train home
Flybywyre - 31 Oct 2010 23:41
Given that Winchester has some really pubs, it's hard to see who would want to drink here. Chavvy and charmless, but very close to the station - which probably answers my question as to why anyone drinks here.
ed_hodge - 24 Oct 2010 20:15
Small triangular pub designed for drinking in - not much room for anything else, no food, no B&B, just drinks. Four Ales: Ringwood best, Landlord, london Pride (the 4th was Summer Lightening, soon changing). Kept fairly well, but not fantastic. Ambience and other drinkers can be categorised as rough and ready, friendly bunch but drinking is the game.
parmantom - 13 Sep 2010 14:20
This place just goes from bad to worse! Not the once cool chill out place it once was...now they have 3 tv sets,a jukebox,fruit machines when they used to have none!

I believe the clueless guy that runs the First Inn Last Out in Winnall runs the Albion too,hence advertising b & b in the Albion when in fact its for the FILO! (try explaining to somone just got off a train that walks in Albion hoping for a room for the night only to tell them they have to walk another half hour to find the FILO!

Now execellent cuisine has come to the Albion in the form of a Pot Noodle! Yes seriously! a bloody pot noodle! Guess you can have a 3 course meal in there...bag of peanuts for starters,pot noodle main course and a mars bar or kit kat for dessert!

Apart from the odd decent fellow, this place just seems to attract alkies,druggies and the homeless these days! not a place to take your family to on a sunday afternoon!

Oh, also filled the place up with mismatching furniture,place just looks so tacky now!

All the regulars left a week after the idiot of the FILO took over...what does that tell you?
anononymous - 24 Aug 2010 22:27
God knows what had happened the night before to warrant the extra strong smell of bleach that hit you as you entered the pub. Beer was ok but the stereotype local drunks at the bar might not be quite as friendly as the evening goes on methinks! Having said that I would go back.
N.Barber2 - 14 Apr 2010 21:21
Wasn't too impressed with this place. The door was wide open which made the place quite cold and the resident singer was little better than a karaoke act! The locals appeared to be enjoying it though. The 3 ales were Fullers London Pride, TT Landlord and Hopback Summer Lightning. The gents toilets were a bit pokey and not particularly clean. Handy for the station. But not one I'd recommend.
blue_scrumpy - 8 Apr 2010 19:49
There's always several guest ales available. Usually a bright, welcoming pub in my experience. It did seem to lose it for a bit , late 2009/early 2010 or thereabouts re. some of the previous posts but hopefully things much more like they should be from now on.
blamm - 12 Mar 2010 16:22
After reading previous reports about this pub i was a little concerned when the office birthday boy said we would be meeting here. Well i shouldnt have had any worries as this pub is a little gem yes the toilets are small but i found them clean and tidy. The barmaid didnt have time to chat but was pleasant when she served us. I found the ales quite well kept and great tasting, maybe previous visitors on this site had just been unlucky. All in all a great place to start a winchester night out.
beermiser - 3 Oct 2009 21:45
Dreadful - barman was unfriendly & beer was not right. Shame really because its got a very handy location. Loos absolutely stank. Theres much better in Winchester - I'd second ABA - Anywhere But Albion!
grimbo - 24 Sep 2009 19:32
Convenient for a last quick one before the train, small single L shaped area, light coloured walls and bar with a wooden floor give an updated modern feel lacking a little in character. Four handpumps, two on dispensing Pride and TT Landlord, one reversed ( Summer Lightning), one unclipped, while virtually hidden behind a pillar (and missed by me until after I'd ordered) were two on stillage, Irving and Co Spinnaker and Frigate. The clientele were generally rather young, lively and boisterous and the music was a touch loud for a middle aged grump like me.
Maldenman - 3 Aug 2009 10:52
Stands on a busy crossroads just down the hill from the railway station (south bound side). Four handpumps with mainstream casks plus the usual UK kegs. Altogether too bright and the grey paint work doesn't enhance the place. Fairly humourless barmaid as well. OK enough place to wait for a train but I wouldn't miss one to drink here.

anonymous - 4 Apr 2009 14:18
After reading the reasonable reviews I went back... bad move.

The place stank of the loos (which are a disgrace - take wellies!)

Note to self: ABA (Anywhere but the Albion)
trebles_all_round - 27 Feb 2009 09:47
This was our last stop during a recent crwal through Winchester, as it was close to rail station for our departure. The place was crowded on that late afternoon, as it was Wednesday night after work. We enjoyed the crowd in there and had some interesting banter with a local who had spent time in the States, where we were from. We listened to his take on all things he chose to share with us and he also showed us his manifesto when he assumes world power. The pints were tasty and we had some laughs- isn't that why we love to visit Brit pubs so much?
fr21555 - 16 Feb 2009 19:59
10 punters in this place and it's packed.......cool
alebear - 1 Feb 2009 19:27
Not my favourite pub in Winchester but it has a good, friendly feel. Had some of the TT Landlord which was a little bit below par. Handy indeed for the station, and better now than it used to be.
GrahamA - 29 Jan 2009 13:12
Visited this pub for the first time last week and found it to be delightful, its what pubs should be friendly and cheerful. What it lacks in space it more than makes up for with its big heart. The bar staff were entertaining and helpful explaining the pub had recently been taken over. Ideal location with a good mix of customers and an excellent range of beverages.
beerbelly54 - 17 Dec 2008 21:46
I can't disagree more. The Albion's new atmosphere and character has turned what was once an old, run-down boozer into a relaxed and comfortable environment where locals and visitors alike can enjoy a swift pint or watch the world go by.

The Albion provides an excellent selection of real ales, wines and lagers and always served with a smile and excellent customer service. The staff are attentive, polite and friendly.

I believe the Albion has recently been taken over and i can only praise the new management for their revival of a wasted space. The Albion is a jem to Winchester's crown to be enjoyed by all.

Well done.
simoncarter07 - 10 Dec 2008 01:56
Well, what can I say. This postage stamp sized pub has recently undergone various changes of management and is now a far cry from being the jewel in Winchester's beery crown.

The attempt to give it ideas above its station (no pun intended what with its proximity to Winchester SWT) with its objets d'art on the grey window sills has has destroyed its basic boozer character. A few weeks ago the attitude of the staff beggared belief.

And whoever thought the introduction of a fruit machine was a good idea should have his/her head examined. I revisited the Albion a week ago and watched noone use it in the whole two hours I was there. Bearing in mind it takes up probably 10% of the floor area perhaps someone should reconsider.

It's not all bad. It still serves Landlord. But IMHO it's now no more than OK for a swifty after getting off the train.
trebles_all_round - 6 Dec 2008 19:39
Good place to meet, off the train, or to end a crawl, when heading back to the station. Great beer, nice atmosphere.


spiggytopes - 12 Mar 2008 00:03
Having visited before I quite like this pub. However, popped in last night for a quick beer between trains only to find no-one behind the bar.
I waited getting on for 5 minutes and still no sign of life so I took my custom elsewhere. Some other customers had been waiting at the bar before I arrived and were still there when I left. I wonder if they managed to get a drink?

I've downgraded my previous mark due to this recent experience.
danbert - 9 Mar 2008 09:19
Stopped off here on Saturday night and was pleasantly surprised. I had been here before (about 10 years ago) and remembered it as a smokey, pokey pub with a couple of old men being the only customers. Have to say that the open-plan bar makes the place unrecognisable and it was very busy, and as someone below said with a wide range of customers. A good pub then, even the non-stop jazz being played didn't bother me too much!
Pubgrabber - 28 Jan 2008 17:27
The Albion is a shining example of how a busy city pub is a great place to be. Good quality beer. Friendly and agreeable bar staff and customers with a wide ranging demographic make this a near perfect example of what makes a pub the great social experience that it should be.
Trethias - 24 Jan 2008 10:38
This has to be the best pub in Winchester. Good things come in small packages... the Albion couldn't be summed up more succintly.

Especially fantastic for a pre train swifty as you can make it to the station in less than 60 seconds!
trebles_all_round - 10 Dec 2007 21:50
Good honest beer.

do not get confused with the closeness to railway station.

far better than your normal commuter pub,
anonymous - 29 Nov 2007 19:39
The fact they serve decent real ale makes this pub worth stopping off at. It is very small but it's got a nice clean feel to it.
chinois - 29 Aug 2007 11:22
Small but enjoyable stop-off near the station. Looks a little rough from the outside but don't be put off - this was one of the better pubs on our crawl on Saturday.

A lively evening atmosphere with a good selection of ales (my Gooden's Gold was very well served) made for an enjoyable half hour. Recommended.
Quinno - 23 Jul 2007 21:51
Little corner pub near the station that might be unremarked (it certainly looks more like a shop than a pub) were it not for the presence of guest ales: today, Cheriton Flowerpots (yes, they're brewing again) Jingle Juice. 6.0%. Lovely!
beeronaut - 29 Dec 2006 16:02
if you like free form jazz, a haze of fag smoke in your eyes because the windows don't open and the ventilation is nil, squeezing past fat blokes on stools who won't get out the way even when prompted by a polite 'excuse me fatso', who, by the way, can't help being IN the way because someone thought it would be a good idea to turn a cupboard into a pub, and an L-shaped cupboard at that(no its not bleedin well quirky) then by all means go for a pint. otherwise don't.
bald22 - 6 Nov 2006 23:27
I normally avoid drinking in the nearest pub to any given railway station but make an exception for this place. Quiet, friendly and with a decent range of ales.
johnkn7 - 25 Jul 2006 13:16
Fine beer, & on my own visit, all very friendly (well, by Winchester standards, anyway ;-)). Only slight problem is that space is at a premium.
stabbogaz - 26 Feb 2006 12:23
Small but friendly, can get quite crowded. Beer is good, food ok and decor sympathetic to the building. Unfortunately can't think of any further praise or damnation, sort of place it is really.
bornandbred - 21 Nov 2005 17:09
My last comments about this place were spiked. I get the message. In summary, it's alright but avoid it when the terribly nice, terribly funny, terribly witty ex-public schoolboy commuters, who fall off the train from Waterloo, arrive in the evening. That OK beerintheevening.com web meister?
anonymous - 4 Jul 2005 09:23
the albion is a friendly bar and an ideal place to stop in after a hard days graft before getting the train home. especially recommended for singleton bridget jones's, as you can have a good time without some sad toothless beergutted tosser hitting on you, and accusing you of lesbian tendencies if you turn down his charmless offer! The house wine is inexpensive but warning - very potent!! the number of times I've woken up in bournemouth......
anonymous - 23 Feb 2005 16:38
Not like chain pubs, they have an excellent range of ales. The staff are brilliant, always happy to serve & are friendly. In a city where chain pubs are numrous, it offer a brilliant altertanitve. Flipping great.
anonymous - 23 Feb 2005 16:28
The Albion is sophisicated without being pretentious. One of the few places were a Rasta can been seen playing chess with a little old lady. It has an excellent selection of real ales, kept very well, featuring quarterly guest ales. The service is of a high standard, and the female bar staff are also a visual treat! Food served lunchtime is good hearty fare. The excellent wine list, mellow jazzy music, and interesting mix of cilentele make this my favourite pub, Jim.
spyder_jim - 23 Feb 2005 15:58
Winchester has several fantastic pubs so the mean standard is high. The Albion was refitted about 18 months ago and is a bright and pleasant enough place, if a little souless compared to the oldie worldie pubs nearby, but it's not trying to be one of those anyway. It's a popular stop off before or after a train from the station over the road, hence the wi-fi. The beer was also well kept on my last visit.
anonymous - 15 Dec 2004 16:45
We went to the Albion for lunch last Saturday, and the food was quite good, but no mention on the menu as to if it is organic or not.
Jessica Gregory - 17 Nov 2004 10:26
re-opened under new management great beers fantastic organic menu, newly refurbished and a wi-fi internet hotspot.
dan ilsey - mightycrazybean@hotmail.com - 7 Jan 2004 20:58

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