Dear Mummy, you recently had a lovely meal with some fellow bloggers at The Holiday Inn Winchester in Hampshire. On a mission to review the recently refurbished front of house hotel transformation and the sparkling new restaurant called The Odyssey. It’s rare that my mummy gets the opportunity to meet up with friends and enjoy good food in a plush setting, so she jumped at the opportunity.
The Holiday Inn, Winchester looks like a normal out-of-town conferencing hotel but inside it’s far from ordinary. With good transport links near the M3 and Southampton Airport, it would make a great stop over for an early departure from Southampton Cruise Terminal or even staying at local festivals like Boomtown and Common People.
My mummy didn’t stay over the night but the location is ideal, next to Winchester Science Museum and near Marwell Zoo and would make a great place to stay for families ahead of the Christmas Market in Winchester City Centre.
She was immediately impressed by the open lobby with a funky interior when she arrived. With a cool e-Bar with free WiFi, little reading nooks and a media space with comfy seating. It’s the perfect setting to check emails and wind down. Her mouth was watering with the smell coming out of the open-planned restaurant from across the lobby.
The new lobby is designed to encourage a blend of leisure and business, mixing the fact that this hotel hosts conferencing events and is family friendly. There’s a nice little Starbucks To Go Cafe, helping to make the space sociable and enabling people to sit and watch the world go by. People watching is one of my mummy’s favourite past times!
The lobby decor is contemporary and runs straight through to the open-plan restaurant, however there is a dedicated side entrance to the new The Odyssey Restaurant with a bar/lounge area that creates a sense of anticipation and perfect for hosting events.
The staff at The Odyssey were friendly and polite guiding my mummy through the menu choices and with a good selection on the menu it was hard for my mummy to decide! She opted for the baked camembert with pear and ginger chutney, and toasted local sourdough to start at £8.
It was wonderful and the perfect starter for my ravenous mummy, who rarely gets time to savour a meal during the week, never mind a 3-course dinner! They had an extensive wine list, however my mummy opted for a classic Amaretto Sours cocktail.
For my mummy’s main course she couldn’t resist the Upton’s of Bassett Beef Burger with smoked local cheese, toasted ciabatta bun, truffle mayonnaise and chips served with tomato and onion salad, £14. It was a nice touch using a local award-winning supplier for the meat!
The spread was colourful and the rest of the party enjoyed their food with a good selection of vegan, vegetarian and Gluten Free options. Even the side dishes were scrummy with lots of attention to detail on the presentation when the food came out.
With full bellies my mummy and friends retired to the lobby to let their food go down. With lots of comfy sofas, she could see why people would like to spend time hanging out and watching the big screen TV’s dotted about.
The next phase of refurbishment and redevelopment at The Holiday Inn, Winchester is a new spa due to open mid July. The Ana Spa will offer a full range of spa facilities for hotel guests and non-hotel guests. Now that would be heaven for my mummy!
Love Bella (and Bella’s mummy Dawn) x
Disclosure: My mummy was invited to The Odyssey at the Holiday Inn Winchester in order to review the recently refurbished restaurant. All photos and thoughts are her own.