Searching for Hampshire’s best burger at: The Wykeham Arms, Winchester [review]

After Bareburger in New York trounced the leading contenders in my search for Hampshire’s best burger on my last outing, I returned to familiar ground to continue my search this weekend.

My destination was the Wykeham Arms in Winchester. We stopped off there after a walk into the city along the river from St Cross.

Wykeham-Arms-Winchester-Outside The Wykeham Arms is one of Winchester’s many dog-friendly pubs. So Tilly – giving off a distinct whiff of the Itchen after a brief dip in the cold water to chase a swan – was able to get comfortable under the table while we ate.

The pub was built in 1755 and is a short distance from the cathedral and Winchester College. It won the Good Pub Guide’s “Town Pub of the Year” award in 2016.

About this burger

  • Date visited: 2 April 2016
  • Name on menu: “Hampshire Beef Burger”
  • Price: £14.50

How this burger scored

Burger-Wykeham-Arms1 Pattie – 6/10

Quite dense and not very flavourful.

Cooked to medium and no grease. Not bad overall.

Chips – 9/10

Simple french fries. Lovely.

Could have been a little hotter. But I’m nitpicking.

Bun – 6/10

Brioche-style bun, lightly toasted. Didn’t hold up too well and was a little dry.

Tasted good though.

Burger-Wykeham-Arms2 Toppings – 6/10

Nice and pretty simple – cheddar cheese, pickles, lettuce, tomato, red onion and onion relish.

I felt that the onion relish alongside the red onion was a bit too much. Also, the onion relish was more like the consistency of fried onions so would have been better warm rather than chilled.

Burger-Wykeham-Arms3 The cheese didn’t have too much flavour – I struggled to taste it.

The burger also came with a delicious coleslaw.

Ambiance – 9/10

Log fire. Building steeped in history. Array of vintage trinkets adorning the walls and the ceilings. Antique furniture including old school desks complete with doodles scratched into the wood. Clean and comfortable.

A near-perfect score.

Wykeham-Arms-Winchester-Bric-a-Brac School-Tables-Wykeham Arms Drinks selection and quality – 7/10

The usual array of Fuller’s pub ales with a local ale – Flower Pots “Goodens Gold” (4.8%) – also available.

I had a Goodens, followed by a London Pride. The Goodens was lovely. I’m longer a fan of London Pride though – either my tastebuds are changing or it’s not as good as it used to be.

Real-Ales-Wykeham-Arms Both ales were in top condition, by the way.

Condiments – 5/5

Strong English mustard and ketchup on demand.

Presentation – 3/5

The burger itself arrived on a china plate. Yes!

But the plate wasn’t good enough for the fries and coleslaw – they came in mini pails-cum-saucepans. I feel sorry for whoever has to wash up when this happens.

Service – 5/5

We ordered at the bar as we weren’t sat in the restaurant part of the pub.

The bartender acknowledged me as soon as I got to the bar even though she was getting someone else’s drinks order ready. And a waitress came to set up our table moments after I’d placed the order.

Excellent.

Value for money – 3/5

This is the most expensive burger I’ve had so far in my search for Hampshire’s best burger.

A good serving and a nice place to eat. But maybe a couple of quid more than I’d have paid given the choice.

Penalties – minus 1

A meta container for the fries means a one-point deduction.

Total: 58/80

We have a new joint leader with Southampton’s Shrimp and Burger in my search. Ironically though, it was the burger itself that let the side down a bit here.

Info: The Wykeham Arms is at 75 Kingsgate St, Winchester SO23 9PE. Phone 01962 853834. Open every day 11am-11pm.

Tilly-Dog-Wykeham Arms

Tom's rating: