The Trooper styles itself an inn, but it would be hard to imagine anything further from a traditional boozer. Although it still maintains a bar, where they'll happily serve you a pint, and a small but decent selection of beers (Ballards, Ringwoods), this is very much a dining pub and pretty much an out and out restaurant, with room for a hundred or more covers in two bars and any number of alcoves and annexes. Not that this need be read as a bad thing; in fact, the less you think of it as a pub, the happier you're likely to be. The specials blackboard changes ever day and features a great range of genuinely tempting dishes, running from British classics delivered with imagination through modern European to a good handful of Asian-influenced dishes, backed up by a substantial a la carte menu. Shellfish features strongly. Excellent wine list is supplied by the General Wine Company. Place is warm and welcoming, a big fire going in the main bar and the walls dense with photographs and posters, hopbines and all that caper. Stylish in a slightly Jack Vettriano way but hey, the food enjoys an excellent reputation, it's a nice space to sit in, the staff know their onions and few visitors are going to be disappointed. It really is a place you could comfortably bring your children and your aged P's without feeling the desperate ennui that normally accompanies a 'family restaurant' concept. Get there: west of Petersfield through Steep, up Stoner Hill (great views to your right) to Alton Rd, Froxfield. 01730 827 293 GMAP
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