The Greyhound on the Test in Stockbridge - review
PUBLISHED: 12:42 14 April 2015 | UPDATED: 12:29 07 November 2017
Lazing by the river at The Greyhound on the Test in Stockbridge
As we enjoy our breakfast (smoked trout, caught locally of course), the contended conversation that drifts across the room from our fellow guests is notably cheerful – and it’s not hard to guess why. Many of them sit with spaniels and labradors at their feet (although I do see the odd terrier scampering past, in pursuit of a tasty morsel no doubt), and the collection of rods and nets that’s propped up in the entrance hall tells me that the vast majority are gearing up for a day on the riverbank.
But whether you’re a fisherman or not, I urge you not to miss out on the sights and sounds of the river that are quite literally a stone’s throw away from the door. Kingfishers dart hither and thither, and to my great delight I am pretty sure that I saw a water vole (although as I was the only one, my companions strongly suspected that my love of Wind in the Willows stories was making my imagination run wild – I maintain that I definitely saw it).
Come rain, shine or even snow this place is beautiful – there are many walking routes and the option to hire a little boat if the weather’s on your side, but of course for many the main lure is the excellent fishing, renowned nationwide for a very good reason.
If the idea of packing yourself a lunch to take out with you sounds just too arduous, then The Greyhound have just the thing – picnics in gorgeous hampers for you to take out with you, with something to suit every appetite. Much easier than trying to spread butter on your sandwiches on the riverbank – trust me, I’ve tried that.
If donning your waders isn’t your idea of relaxation then despair not, for the little town of Stockbridge is absolutely gorgeous – the food at The Greyhound is fantastic it has to be said, but equally if you’re in town for a few days there are some lovely little eateries ranging from cafés and tea shops to restaurants and pubs. The quaint boutique shops and markets are a shopper’s delight, and both Salisbury and Winchester are a short drive away. But what is really striking about all of the above is that everyone is impeccably friendly – they are all a credit to this picturesque little place. Then again if I lived here I’d probably be pretty happy too.
The service back at the hotel is fautless – they’re fantastically nice people, but quite apart from that the rooms are so well decorated that we felt the need to enquire as to where they got their fabrics and paints – pale greys and duck egg shades are very much the order of the day, and everything is done in the best possible taste.
The Greyhound on the Test has links back to the 1800s, and re-opened in its current guise in March 2013. The accolades that this place has won since then are many and well-deserved. They include Michelin pub of the year, Test Valley business of the year, two AA rosettes for the restaurant and four AA rosettes for the accommodation…but the list really does go on.
Perhaps because of its size (there are only seven rooms), but I suspect more because of the genuinely warm welcome, be it in the bustling bar or the charming rooms, this place really does feel like a home from home.
There are seven en-suite rooms at The Greyhound on The Test for you to choose from, with rates starting at £80 for a night, including breakfast. There are three new suites in the offing too, which will be available from spring of this year. Call 01264 810833 to book.
• Honesty is the best policy - In keeping with the rest of the place there’s a charmingly designed honesty shelf at the top of the stairs to the rooms, offering everything from gin to chocolate – what more could you want, really?
• Out and about - Their excellent website, thegreyhoundonthetest.co.uk, lists a great selection of local walks, but also an extensive choice of things to amuse yourself with in the near vicinity. There’s shooting, riding, golf, salons and spas, so whether you want to have an adventure or kick back for a little me-time, there’s something for everyone.
• Proud of Hampshire provenance - The hotel prides itself on using the most locally sourced, freshest produce possible. Their friends and suppliers include Broughton Water Buffalo (www.broughtonwaterbuffalo.co.uk); Clayton’s Eggs (www.claytonseggshampshire.co.uk); Coopers of Andover (www.cooperfoods.co.uk); Peaberry Coffee (www.peaberrycoffee.co.uk); and Upham Brewery (www.uphambrewery.co.uk)