review by Liam Parker
Tucked away on the edge of the New Forest, the Avon Causeway feels like it’s the only place to eat for miles, and it might as well be.
With a cosy, yet open pub feel, perfect for the turning weather, the Avon Causeway is an ideal place to sit in front of a welcoming wood-burning stove and enjoy a drink, while browsing through their eclectic menu.
The Pullman carriage, a traditional carriage that has been on the site since 1979, accompanies the pub and hotel. From dinner parties, small weddings and murder mystery nights the carriage alongside the Avon Causeway plays host to many interesting evenings and is available for hire.
Hearing of their generous portion sizes, I took Connor, the biggest foodie I know, to the Avon Causeway with me. We were both spoiled for choice when it came to the options for dinner and I made a mental note to come back for lunch one day and try the halloumi salad.
After choosing between the several Wadworth beers on offer I drew my eyes on to the delicious sounding starter choices. I opted for the homemade soup of the day, which turned out to be a hearty roasted vegetable with two large slices of crusty bread. It was perfect for the colder evening and I was only half way through when Connor had finished his chicken liver pâté with apricot chutney, which could have only have been a good sign.
Quickly after that came the mains, fish of the day for me while Connor went for the Jack Daniels pork belly. The Wadworth beer battered fish couldn’t have been crispier, just the way it should be, and came with equally crispy chips as well as a healthy portion of peas and tartare sauce.
The only thing, rightly so, that was crispy about the pork belly dish was a hand-sized helping of crackling, whereas the pork belly fell apart at a touch and melted in the mouth, while the chipotle potatoes added an extra kick. The mango salsa created a perfect sweet and sour combo that paired well with the pork.
We were both very happy with what we had ordered; yet somehow also jealous of what the other was eating – there was not a crumb left on either plate.
The dessert menu was tempting, and having a surprising amount of room left, despite the large portions, I went for the sticky toffee pudding. The piping hot sauce and the big scoop of vanilla ice cream with the pudding made it the perfect end to my meal at the Avon Causeway.
With clearly less room than me, Connor went for the poached pear with Greek yogurt. The fruit was as soft as my ice cream and along with the honey and yogurt topped with almonds it made for a light, yet tasty, third course.
By the time we had walked back out to the car the sun had gone down completely. It gave the surroundings an entirely different, yet equally picturesque, look about them. Even though I was absolutely full on the drive home it didn’t take me long to start thinking about when I was going to return for that halloumi salad.
The Avon Causeway is a beautiful pub with a great atmosphere and food to match. If you’re looking for a relaxed place to go for a bite to eat or just evening drinks it is certainly the place for you.