Just off the Broadway in Winchester City Centre you’ll find a lovely little gardens called Abbey Mill Gardens. Follow the stream to the back of the Gardens and you’ll find the River Cottage Canteen housed in the converted Grade II listed Abbey Mill.
Don’t be put off from the word Canteen, this is about as far removed from your staff canteen as you can imagine. Apart from the beautiful views of the park from some of the tables, there is an unusual menu (which regularly changes) based largely on locally sourced seasonally available produce.
We came here to celebrate my son’s birthday and whilst the menu is a little limited, found a selection of nice dishes to enjoy. We started with the shared meat platter, which comprises of black pudding croquettes, ham hock terrine and lamb curry.
Such an amazing selection of tastes, all of which could have been a little rich as a main dish but as multiple small explosions of tastes for a starter was perfect. For mains we had slow cooked shoulder of I.O.W lamb x 2 and the Cornish megrim sole (see pic of menu for more details). Great meals, tender, well presented and very, very tasty.
Service is pleasant and attentive. We mentioned it was my son’s birthday and our server put a candle in his desert, sang him Happy Birthday and made it complimentary, a very nice touch.
The restaurant is spread over more than one floor but there is a accessibility lift available, so it should OK for anyone with mobility issues.
Winchester is such a lovely place to visit, The Cathedral, Magnificent buildings in the city centre, add a quiet sit in the Gardens, followed by dinner here and you could be close to a perfect day.