Searching for Hampshire’s best burger at: The Railway, Ringwood [review]

I’ve fancied visiting The Railway in Ringwood since I heard of it when I was compiling my list of places to buy real ale to take away in Hampshire.

I finally got my chance on Sunday when we met up there with friends for lunch.

The pub, which dog-friendly and child-friendly, doesn’t usually serve burgers on Sundays. I was lucky in that they made an exception for me this time!

So, how did it fare in my search for the county’s best burger?

About this burger

  • Date visited: 6 November 2016
  • Name on menu: “Railway Burger”
  • Price: £10.95

railway-ringwood-burger

How this burger scored

Patty – 6/10

Cooked medium to well done with a crispy, chargrilled coating and the right amount of seasoning.

I’d had preferred it to be a little less densely packed together and a bit pinker in the middle.

Tasty nonetheless.

Chips – 9/10

Skin-on fries. Delicious.

Bun – 10/10

Could this be the perfect burger bun?

Brioche style, which was fluffy and lightly toasted and smelled fantastic. Held its own brilliantly considering all the toppings it had to hold in place.

Toppings – 9/10

Tangy cheddar cheese melted over the patty with crispy bacon, tomatoes, a large lettuce leaf and just the right amount of caramelised onion to finish things off.

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The bun also included onion rings, but I devoured them before I started on the burger.

An interesting salad of red and white cabbage, onion and shredded courgette was also included on the side. This provided a nice break between mouthfuls of meat.

Ambience – 9/10

The Railway is a light and airy Victorian two-bar pub with a main bar off to the right of the small entrance hall and a smaller lounge bar to the left. There’s a large enclosed beer garden at the back.

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Pictures of the old railway and maps of the area as well as pump clips of the many beers and ales the pub has previously offered adorn the walls. Seating is a mixture of chairs and wooden pews. There’s exposed floorboards throughout and traditional frosting on the windows.

With darts, board games and books available, it’s the kind of pub you could spend the entire the day in.

Drinks selection and quality – 8/10

Judging by the pump clips on the wall, the Railway takes its beer seriously.

Today there were three ales available. I had a pint of St Austell “Tribute” and a pint of Hopback “Winter Lightning” to go with my meal. Both were in excellent condition. But I’m not a massive fan of either.

The pub also does a varied selection of hot drinks including seasonal specials like a gingerbread and cinnamon flavoured lattes.

Condiments – 4/5

Ketchup and proper English mustard available.

Presentation – 5/5

The exclamations of “wow” that accompanied the staff bringing the dish to the table tell you everything you need to know.

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And it arrived on a proper plate – a rarity these days.

Service – 5/5

Efficient and friendly without being too full-on.

Also, incredibly accommodating – as well as rustling up my burger, which wasn’t on the menu today, the staff made up some small portions of ice cream for the kids in our party.

Value for money – 5/5

You won’t find much better for less than £10.95.

Penalties – 0

No problems with mini pails, chopping boards or the word “artisan” here.

Total: 70/80

Fantastic food in a fantastic pub – a score of 70 takes The Railway to the top of the leaderboard.

It’s off the beaten track. But this pub’s definitely worth seeking out.

(The roast dinners were pretty special too.)

Info: The Railway is at 35 Hightown Road, Ringwood, Hampshire, BH24 1NQ. Phone 01425 473701 or email hello [at] therailway.co.

Tom's rating: