The Hawk Inn, Amport
Geography of this region is not my strong suit, so I would advise googling the below address, however it is a 2 hour drive (even on a Friday night) from Kings Cross and a 20 minute drive from the beautiful Winchester. City mapper has conditioned me into telling directions in minutes from a location, which is why I will probably never be in charge of google maps again.
Last Friday we decided to escape the madness of London in search of a wholesome weekend. We got out of London at 6pm and despite traffic and terrible navigating by myself, found our way to Amport, arriving just after 8pm. It is a small and peaceful village, which looked especially beautiful by night as we drove down the windy country roads and past a number of wonderfully thatched homes.
When we arrived at The Hawk Inn, we were kindly shown to our room, which was spacious in size, beautifully decorated and overlooking the magnificent British countryside. The bathroom was impeccably clean and (to our relief) filled with all the essential toiletries of a short getaway. It was perfect!
We dropped our bags and rushed down for dinner. Two hours in the car had led to starvation. The bar and dining area has been completely refurbished by the owner, who bought the pub, around four years ago. It has a neutral theme with a hint of rustic to it. The clientele was a mixture of groups, dates and a celebration for a wedding which was happening in the village the next day. They seemed well settled and only added to the jovial atmosphere already present.
Dinner was only what I can describe as a delight for the senses. We started with squid and sweet chilli sauce, perfectly crisp and fresh, coupled with the homemade pate, which was mouth-wateringly good. We then chose (from staring/ drooling over other diners’ plates) the chicken kiev with sautéed potatoes and the homemade burger with cheese and bacon. Both were equally scrumptious and the perfect way for the both of us to end a busy week at work. There was also a beautiful wild mushroom risotto and pan fried sea bass for the more health conscious. We, however, were not holding back on the calories, and opted for a warm brownie with vanilla ice cream and New York cheesecake for dessert. Both lived up to their expectations and not a morsel was left on either plate. The food was great, I had done a spot of research prior to visiting and another review had described The Hawk as a locally sourced gastro pub. I would totally agree as it was perfectly made, hearty food in a beautiful setting.
After dinner, we sat at the bar to enjoy a final night cap before heading back to our room. The atmosphere was warm; there were people chatting and a mixture of ages which gave it the buzz of a country pub. The staff were also very friendly and incredibly accommodating. We were recommended a number of walks in the area, so on Saturday morning at 8am; we went for a run around the village which is home to collection of lovely houses, one pub and a primary school. We only saw one other runner throughout the entire route.
On arrival back to the Hawk, breakfast was a buffet of cereal, fruit and delicious pasties or the cooked menu. I had smoked salmon and scrambled egg on homemade bread. Jack had an English breakfast. Neither of us were disappointed.
After the ‘directions of a small child’ and the joys of a Saturday IKEA trip, we returned to London rested, refreshed and only marginally smug when seeing our hung-over friends.
The Amport is beautiful and the perfect escape for a weekend of relaxation and good food surrounded by nice people.
Sleep: Rooms from £90 – 130 a night
** there is a winter break deal of two nights for the price of one – see website for details**
Eat: Main dishes from £12 – 17
The Hawk Inn