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The Black Rat Restaurant, is located on Chesil street at the bottom of the town centre, about an 8- 10 minute walk from the King Alfred’s statue.
We recently celebrated our eleventh year since opening, when the building was converted from a pub into a quaint and quirky restaurant.
Within 2 years of opening, the team acquired one of the most prestigious accolades in catering, a Michelin Star, and the restaurant remains Hampshires only representative of the accolade currently.
Last year, The Black Rat was proud to announce it placed 2nd in OpenTable’s Top 50 Fit for Foodies restaurants 2018 in the whole of the UK!
The awards are based on more than 730,000 reviews submitted by OpenTable diners at more than 7,200 restaurants across the UK.
More recently, in February of 2019, The The Black Rat placed in the top 50 romantic places to dine in the UK (fine dining category)-based on over 851,000 reviews in a category of over 7000 restaurants.
We describe our style as modern British with influences from all over the culinary world. Our ingredients are sourced from some of the best local suppliers that can be found and we are lucky enough to have our own forager who brings the most seasonal and fresh products available, on a daily basis.
Located nearby is our kitchen allotment or garden where we grow some of our own herbs and vegetables, all of which helps to inspire the kitchen team to create the menu using wild, unusual and forgotten ingredients.
The wine list boasts some 80 wines with a balance between Old and New world from our supplier Ellis Of Richmond. The list contains some iconic wines that are great with delicious food but also it has balanced and well rounded wine that can be enjoyed without food.
The atmosphere is relaxed but homely with lots to look at in all the rooms, and the service is informal but attentive with an individual personal touch.
There is also a private dining room upstairs for all occasions, plus a comfy lounge and well-stocked bar full of well known and specialty spirits where guests can have pre-dinner drinks whilst perusing the menu, or enjoy a digestif or coffee after their meal.
We also have a small garden where you can dine in one of our heated huts.
The Front of House team is a small group of experienced hospitality characters who pride themselves on their personal service styles and, together with Head Chef Jon Marsden-Jones and his Kitchen Team.
History of the restaurant
The Black Rat was previously run as a pub for as long as anyone can remember and was a well known building within Winchester. It went through a major transformation and has been completely renovated, whilst keeping all of its old world charm decor, nookes and crannies. The building itself dates back to The 1700’s although in the cellars there is evidence of 15th or 16th century stone work with thick walls and lowered ceiling.
The owner, David Nicholson, has been in Winchester since 1995 running The Black Boy Pub just across the road in Wharf Hill. Well worth a visit if you enjoy real ales, comfy seating, games and a quirky sense of humour. The Black Bottle at the bottom of Chesil Street has also been added to the group, serving wines as well as beer, spirits and charcuterie plates to nibble on. It is ideal for a pre or post dinner drink or if you are a keen enthusiast of wine and knowledge. Now added to the “Black” collection is the the long-awaited opening of The Black Hole Bed & Breakfast which has 10 “cells” plus a roof terrace, 4 floors that have been finished to a high standard plus a communal breakfast area with a mini AGA. You will find that it is as quirky as the other black premises.