An Indulgent Stay at The Anchor Inn, Alton

With an aim to explore more of the UK, I headed straight to Hampshire after work one Thursday to visit The Anchor Inn, an idyllic country inn located in Lower Froyle.

The Anchor Inn is surrounded by sweeping fields in all directions, it’s one of Hampshire’s best kept secrets. We arrived on the train from London which took around an hour, making it the perfect weekend getaway. We felt as though we had well and truly escaped city life yet it was so easy to get to.

Check in was extremely quick and easy, and within 30 seconds of entering The Anchor Inn we were already in our room.

The Anchor Inn boasts just five quaint bedrooms. We were staying in a suite for the night which had its own private terrace and seating area – perfect for the summer months. The Anchor Inn isn’t ideal for anyone tall though, especially my 6ft 9 boyfriend who accompanied me during our stay, our walk to the room included a lot of ducking and diving as the building has very low Tudor-style beams but this just added to the Inn’s English quirks and charm. We absolutely fell in love with the place and I couldn’t stop gushing over how beautiful our room and the view was.

The Anchor Inn offers luxurious literary-themed bedrooms. We were staying in the wonderfully cosy Rupert Brooke suite, which is named after the acclaimed British war poet. Our room was decorated with delightful country chic furnishings, as you can see below.

The rooms are all individually designed, and there’s so much attention to detail with a significant old English rustic style to the rooms, yet with a variety of luxurious touches. Our room was absolutely immaculate and looked as though it had recently been refurbished.

The Anchor Inn has two dog friendly rooms making it the perfect getaway for the whole family – including your four legged friend! There is a small extra charge of £15 per dog and they can provide dog beds and bowls on request (if only I had a little pup to bring with me!)

Your dog can even  join you in the bar for a pint as they serve dog beer called Snuffle – such a great touch.

If it wasn’t for our grumbling stomachs, I wouldn’t have left the room. But for dinner we had to check out The Anchor Inn’s in house restaurant, which offers traditional and seasonal British fare. The Anchor Inn pride themselves in sourcing fresh local produce from neighbours and great British suppliers to ensure that their diners can enjoy a taste of the best of Hampshire.

The bar, restaurant and bedrooms all feature lots of quirky little touches including a lot of little messages. I loved this one on our table – so cute!

On a Thursday evening the restaurant was packed out and it had a wonderful buzzing atmosphere.

Admiring the sumptuous dishes scattered on tables around us, we opted for the Chorizo and pork scotch egg, with bacon crisp and mustard aioli (£5) and as I am a huge blue cheese fan, I picked the Blue cheese and pumpkin soufflé with apple slaw and blue cheese dressing (£7). The souffle was unlike anything I’ve ever had before. It was perfectly fluffy with a very light and pleasant blue cheese flavour – I could definitely do with eating this dish a lot more often!

For my main course I decided to continue down the vegetarian route and went for the Butternut squash and chestnut cannelloni with crispy leek and beetroot (£13), whereas Karl went for the Anchor inn puff pastry pie, ith roast garlic and chive mash potatoes, greens and jus (£15) – which did give me a bit of food envy.

My cannelloni was so colourful and full of so many interesting flavours. I am a meat eater but I’m often tempted by vegan and vegetarian dishes on the menu and this one really caught my eye. This dish was so flavoursome and enjoyable, that it made a great veggie alternative and didn’t leave me longing for a meaty dish.

We had such a warm and cosy night in the restaurant. It was filled with locals enjoying good food and good booze and the staff were so friendly and efficient. We were enjoying ourselves so much that we were actually the last to leave the restaurant!

With eyes bigger than our bellies we couldn’t resist dessert, so we indulged in a Chocolate brownie, with vanilla ice cream and chocolate crumb (£7), and Sticky toffee pudding with toffee sauce and honeycomb (£6.50). Both dishes were so beautifully presented with edible flowers and so tasty.

After dinner we headed back to our room and ventured out onto the balcony to admire the starry sky – a sight we aren’t used to – and appreciated the peace and quiet with the faint sound of the nearby wildlife.

Unfortunately we visited during a very rainy day so didn’t get to take advantage of our private terrace but I can imagine just how dreamy it would be when the weather is much nicer!

It was a struggle to get out of bed the following morning as it was just so cosy, but it was totally worth it for the satisfying breakfast spread. Still feeling full from last night’s culinary delights, I only managed a yoghurt from the continental breakfast buffet and indulged in The Anchor Inn’s eggs benedict, whereas Karl feasted upon their traditional English breakfast. With just five rooms to caters for, breakfast was an peaceful and idyllic experience.

(Can you spot another one of their quirky signs to the right?)

The Anchor Inn offers fantastic affordable rates. Their ‘Spoil Yourself Sundays’ offers a night’s stay for just £40 when guests spend £60 or more on Sunday dinner.

The Anchor Inn is part of the Epicurean Collection which is a group of independent boutique inns dedicated to the finest in British food, comfort and culture, each set in idyllic countryside or traditional village locations.

The Anchor Inn
Lower Froyle

Alton
GU34 4NA

Tel: 01420 23261

www.anchorinnatlowerfroyle.co.uk

Suites are priced from £130 per night based on two people sharing a room.

Nearest train station: Bentley (52min from London) – 5 minutes from the station.

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