Southampton

                      
                        The Guide Dog                                                      South Western Arms                                                  The Junction Inn        
 

I have had good advice, with many thanks to Gary, about where to go in Southampton, and all these 3 pubs are in CAMRA's Good Beer Guide 2011, which supports the quality of the ale.

 

The Guide Dog, 38 Earls Road, Southampton, SO14 6SF (tel: 023 8022 5642) is only 10 minutes walk away from St. Mary's Stadium, so is an ideal pre/post match venue for Southampton F.C., consequently, it can be very busy on matchdays. There is a warm and friendly atmosphere at The Guide Dog, which was re-named on its re-opening in 1984, as a previous landlady used to raise money for the charity.  The Guide Dog is a one room, small back street pub, a free house with 8 cask ale pumps, including Fuller's ESB and Flowerpots Goodens Gold and regularly changing guest ales from local micro breweries and from further afield. There are also a selection of bottled beers and country wines.

The South Western Arms, 38-40 Adelaide Road, Southampton SO17 2HW (tel: 023 8032 4542).  Right there on the corner, as you exit the station, welcoming you in. And what a welcome it is - friendly and helpful staff, selection of warm pasties to eat, good choice of beers (and my Harvey's Sussex was in particularly good condition), and surprisingly plenty of seats too.  Excellent choice of real ale- normally 8 or 9 with a bias towards Hants & Dorset plus one draught cider, always in my experience in excellent condition. 10 handpumps including cider. Nice garden at real with fantasticly organised beer festivals. Toilets fine. That said, a deep clean of the floor and brickwork and a paint up of the woodwork wouldn't go amiss as it is looking quite tired now.   There are up to ten beers on handpumps. Caledonian Deuchars IPA, Butcombe Bitter, and Sharp's Cornish Coaster are the regulars, plus changing guests from all over the country.  Food is restricted to snacks though there are barbeques in the garden in the summer. On two floors, the upstairs has juke box, pool, table football and TV. Serious drinking pub, but children are allowed in the upper part or walled beer garden, which has a heated smoking area.    

The Junction Inn, 21 Priory Road, St Denys SO17 2JZ (023 8058 4486), 12-11 and 12-12 Fridays and Saturdays. 2 minutes from St Denys station. Green King XX Mild, IPA, Abbot. Grade II listed building, built circa 1860, many original features. , Excellent home-cooked food, including vegetarian options. Green King usual beers and up to 4 guest beers.

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