Creative modern cooking in 17th-century country-house hotel
At a glance
Wines by the glass
Credit cards accepted
The restaurant at this 17th-century former hunting lodge in 63 bucolic acres outside of Winchester gets its name from an impressive mile-long avenue of lime trees in the grounds. The house itself is a delicious red-brick affair and its main dining room has plenty of period charm (and a view of that avenue of lime trees), with rich burgundy leather chairs and tables dressed up in pristine white linen. Four acres of the estate is given over to a kitchen garden to keep the Avenue Restaurant supplied with seasonal goodies, and chef Olly Rouse and his team turn first-class ingredients into creative modern plates of food while maintaining the integrity of the produce. Crab and herring are matched in a first course with the flavours of green tea and yuzu, while another puts textures of cauliflower with wood pigeon, puffed grains and pickled blackberries. Everything looks stunning on the plate. Next up, fresh-as-a-daisy turbot arrives with chicken wing in a fashionable combination, and glazed pork fillet, smoked bacon and black pudding gets counterpointed by a measured hit of pickled onion. There's a tasting menu with wine flight, and, among desserts, imaginative complementary flavours and textures ensure the occasion ends on a high (macadamia nuts, passionfruit, mango and milk ice cream, for example).