Media affiliation and social sharing

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Here is a selection of quotes from press and reviews of the Black Restaurant and also testimonials and comments for customers. Please come back and add your own after visiting.

“Winchester is home to some of the county’s nicest restaurants” Foodie destinations: Hampshire Susan Smillie, June 2011

“The three courses cost £23.50 a head. With two glasses of prosecco, a half bottle of Chablis and a glass of Beaujolais for the rabbit, the total bill came to about £80. That’s good value for a good lunch.” 4 out of 5 stars
The Times on Sunday Style Magazine by Lucus Hollweg, June 2010

“…it’s a much gutsier spot, something like a very posh pirate’s inn: all creaking, higgledy-piggledy rooms, winking candles and sexy shadows. It’s not cheap by any stretch, but there was some very ballsy cooking, some of it (including a spunky winter minestrone of ham hock and cavolo nero with rocket pesto) very good indeed… …and a really fun wine list.”
The Times on Saturday Magazine by Giles Coren, February 2009

“Old beams, exposed brickwork, and a big inglenook are all part of the Rat’s unpretentious charm, making it a great retreat from the Christmas bustle. The accomplished modern British repertoire is built around locally sourced, seasonal produce.”
The Times on Saturday by Square Meal, November 2008

In this years BA High Life Food Awards, The Black Rat came 3rd for Best Local Restaurant 2009
BA High Life Food Awards, from British Airways March 2009

“Having tried for some time to book a table at this Winchester eaterie, converted from an old pub, Nicola Cunningham finally got there, but was it worth the wait?
Excellent menu with interesting combinations, informally served in relaxed surroundings.”
Article: Restaurant Reviews, Wykeham Life Magazine, Feb 2008

“We went on 29th June with four mates and had a lovely evening. Great food, lovely simple contemporary decor in a quirky old building, friendly service. Fairly expensive, but no more than any other good restaurant in town. Good news to have more upmarket, tasteful places to choose from!” – Ana

“The Black Rat is a strong contender for Winchester’s best new restaurant of 2007 … there was never any danger of a dull mouthful … The taste and texture was perfect, and the presentation was excellent, which was true of every dish we tried … my companion and I agreed that the quality we expected to find was in plentiful supply …” – Warwick Payne
Article: Eaterie following in pub’s exalted footsteps, Hampshire Chronicle, 26 Sept 2007

“The Black Rat is a newcomer to Winchester’s buzzing restaurant scene, and it is certainly making its mark. Warwick Payne samples the much talked-about menu The Black Rat in Chesil Street boasts impressive talent in the kitchen and a successful owner in the shape of David Nicholson.”
Article: Making an impression, Hampshire Society, 22nd Oct 2007

“This converted pub dates from the 1700s but now concentrates on the fine dining experience. Again the majority of the cuisine is from local produce with vegetables from the restaurant’s own allotment.
I opted for the oak smoked mackerel with celeriac and apple chutney followed by cassoulet. Both dishes were quite large, leaving no room to try one of the fantastic looking desserts.
The restaurant is very popular and booking is recommended.”
Article: Winchester wonders, Manchester Evening Standard, 24th May 2008

Please feel free to add your own thoughts and reviews on our restaurant.


  1. Fantastic! High quality food, fantastic selection of wines and great service. Emphasised by the fact it was very busy (especially for a wednesday evening). Thanks very much!

  2. I thought the food was really super and have been with my friends and family several times. I also think the staff have done a wonderful job with The Black Rat.

  3. Had a really lovely meal on the 14th September – especially the artichoke starter and the delicious black bream. Felt it was very “Hoxton meets Winchester” and a good vibe. Philip Storey is a fabulous chef and I recognised some hints of old Chesil Rectory dishes in the menu. Delicious wines, well chosen.
    Only whinges, think “upstairs bar” area should have more seating – I was on a soft chair and hubbie on a high dining chair … and it was very cold in the restaurant … windows and doors open – very draughty but that was probably because we had the table by the door. But will definitely be back and am already telling friends to get on down to the Black Rat!

  4. We had a fantastic evening at The Black Rat. The food was amazing and the staff were friendly and helpful. Well worth a visit!

  5. We came to the Black Rat for my husband’s birthday on 2nd March, a Monday. I just wanted to say that the food was wonderful, and the staff were very helpful and friendly. We all had a fantastic experience and will be back for more come payday! Many thanks to the whole team for a great time! Keep it up!

  6. We celebrated our 13th wedding anniversary at the Black Rat. The wonderful choice had me stumped for the first time in ages. The quality of food was among the highest we have experienced and the “brave” menu is a joy. Can’t wait to return.

  7. I had the privilage of eating at the Black Rat on Saturday night. What a fantastic experience,the
    food was amazing, with a superb choice of starters and mains.
    Lorna Scobie Glasgow, September29th 2009

  8. Gastro-offal night really was something wonderful!

    Nothing too much trouble for the brilliant staff, food interesting & delicious, wine pairing a treat.

    Perfect treat for Dad’s 64th birthday.
    Thanks from the Zu-Dyke-ski’s for (another) for a great night.

  9. The Black Rat is simply my favourite restaurant in England. Offering consistently superb quality, and often usual, food – always using fresh ingredients – and with truly fantastic service, I can highly recommended this restaurant… we try to visit often!

  10. Thanks for a delightful evening.The 10 of us using the private dining room and drawing room.The service was casual and efficient which made the evening memorable.As a group we travel a lot on business,to some very specialised restaurants.You are up there with the best in terms of quality ,and certainly better than many in terms of ambience.

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