Actually, The Rockstone was one of several options for our day-early Valentine’s lunch. In the end, we opted for a trip out to another of our favourite dog-friendly pubs, The Bat and Ball near Clanfield.
The pub, now owned by Fuller’s, was built in the 1700s. It was originally the home of the Hambledon Club, one of the top cricket clubs in England in the 18th century.
The club moved down the road before the turn of that century. But there’s still a cricket pitch opposite the building and plenty of cricket memorabilia throughout the pub.
So, how does the Bat and Ball score in my search for Hampshire’s Best Burger?
Did it play and miss, steal a quick single, play an attractive cover drive for four or smash it back over the bowler’s head for a maximum? (Sorry about those cricketing puns.)
About this burger
- Date visited: 13 February 2016
- Name on menu: “Chalcroft Farm Beef Burger” (plus optional cheddar cheese)
- Price: £11.95 (£10.95 for the burger plus £1 for the cheese)
How this burger scored
Patty – 6/10
Nicely seasoned and great taste. Maybe a bit too fatty as there was substantial drippage. Cooked perfectly (medium rare).
Chips – 5/10
At a guess, triple-cooked. Arrived in a metal pail.
Nice taste, but I much prefer fries or standard chips.
Bun – 9/10
Cholla bun that held together well. Soft in all the right places and supported its contents nicely.
Toppings – 9/10
Salty melted cheddar cheese and good quality standard accompaniments including lettuce, a pickled gherkin, a thick ring of red onion and a tomato.
Ambience – 7/10
The Bat and Ball has a cosy bar area, split into two sections. There’s also a restaurant area at the back of the building.
There are several open fires. Unfortunately two weren’t lit for our visit, which was a shame as it was a bit chilly.
Seating is mostly tables and chairs. There are a couple of sofas to sink into as well.
Drinks selection and quality – 5/10
Usual Fuller’s ales on offer (London Pride, HSB and Seafarers) plus Stowford Press on draught. No guest ales.
My Pride was a little cold.
Condiments – 5/5
Ketchup and strong English mustard on request. Plus a delicious tomato relish.
Presentation – 3/5
Looked less substantial that it turned out to be. Arrived on a narrow wooden paddle, which resulted in some fat dripping onto the table.
Service – 5/5
We ordered and paid at the bar. Attentive and friendly service.
Value for money – 5/5
No complaints here. Filling meal.
Penalties – minus 2
Chips in a metal pail and a wooden board instead of a china plate. According to the rules, that’s minus two points.
A great showing and just one point off the current number one, Shrimp and Burger in Southampton.
Would be top of the pile without those penalty points. But rules are rules.
Overall, definitely worth a visit, especially if you’re a cricket fan. There are also some nice walks nearby.
Info: The Bat and Ball is on Hyden Farm Lane between Clanfield and Hambledon. (Postcode: PO8 0UB). Phone 02392 932692. Open all day every day from 11.30am. Limited bar menu in the afternoons.