The word gastronomic and Holiday Inn do not usually sit easily alongside one another, but in this case they very much do.
The Holiday Inn Winchester is just outside the city, just off the A31 near the Science Centre. I was unaware that most Holiday Inns are actually franchises and this one is owned by a company that takes a great interest in food.
A glance at the Morn Hill Brasserie menus shows unexpected delights such as partridge, rabbit and John Dory, unusual dishes such as Jerusalem Artichoke velouté, pheasant rillettes and even faggots, as well as more humble but no less desirable dishes. There is also a big nod to local produce and small local producers, which is to be admired.
My lunch there was truly one of the best I have had in a long while. Pigeon salad, duck parfait and the aforementioned pheasant rillettes were all lovely, a good match. My main was even better. A moist supreme of guinea fowl with haggis, neeps and tatties, game chips and a whisky jus was perfection. The ice creams are all homemade; honeycombe was great, a dark chocolate sorbet even better and a great foil to a cherry soufflé, one of the most impressive I have ever seen. My fellow diners were no less impressed with their choices.
A solid wine list, great staff and a large dining room make this an excellent venue. It is our side of Winchester, has lots of parking, you can get a bus into the city and even stay the night if you want to make a weekend of it. Even better, they have agreed an voucher offer for VantagePoint readers (click here)!
Why not go along, park at the hotel, take a bus into Winchester from just outside the hotel and then return for a lovely lunch?
Give it a try, you will be impressed.
Morn Hill Brasserie, Holiday Inn Winchester, Telegraph Way, Winchestere SO21 1HZ
Telephone 01962 670 700 – www.hiwinchester.co.uk/morn-hill-brasserie