The go-to site for what makes life worth living in and around Petersfield, Hampshire, and some other stuff too. For flaneurs, bon vivants, indeed boulevardiers of every complexion - why go anywhere else?

Sunday, 25 January 2009

The Hawkley Inn, Hawkley

5 miles west and north of Petersfield. Everything you want a country pub to be: walking boots, wellies, horses and bikes by the door, great beer and cider, rib-sticking pub grub, fire, moose, big garden. All this and power showers too, if you're minded to sleep it off in some very smart accommodation. Seven beers on tap - they change every week - and decent wine too. Always plenty of local ales, (the Hipster has personally never had a bad one and would walk several country miles any day for Alton's finest, the fff Moondance). Music at weekends, beer fest every year. With a big garden out back and a covered verandah in front, an excellent pub in any weather, crowded at weekends, however, when food service can be on the slow side - get there early or late would be our advice if waiting a while bothers you - and the number of untethered children may occasionally test your tolerance (though this seems less of an issue since new space opened up in the pub at the end of 2006). A great place, just about hanging on to its greatness through a period of transition (the Hawkley has seen off two landlords and any number of barstaff since the long reign of the legendarily grumpy and still much-missed Al). Get there: Follow signs for Hawkley from West Liss (Hawkley Road runs up the side of the Spread Eagle). Pococks Lane, Hawkley. Liss 01730 827205, more at


  1. I have been a fan of the Hawkley Inn for many years.

    Last time I was there for Sunday lunch the food was very poor value. About £6.50 for mussels with home made bread - a fair price, but "portion control" meant that I was served with 7 mussels !

    Our 10 year old had a children's portion, which was hardly enough to feed a sparrow.

    We will try again in a few weeks to see if thing have improved - I would hate to strike the Hawkley off my list.

  2. Interesting, thanks for the feedback. The Hawkley has certainly been through some changes in recent years. I still like to go there but the selection of beers hasn't been so good recently and the general ambience has changed beyond recognition since the halcyon days of Grumpy Al. Haven't tried the food in a while - should maybe give it a go before commenting.

  3. I worked there briefly with Jeannie in 2007 when it was under new ownership. Although still a great place with very loyal drinkers, the working atmosphere was stressed because the new owners didn't have much experience running pubs, and certainly had no understanding of what made the Hawkley so special. Sadly, they bullishly decided to force new ideas onto loyal staff and locals (mostly related to money making) and the result wasn't pleasant - notedly the cruel sacking of Dom just before Christmas 2007. I refused to go back to work there when this happened, as did a few of the other staff. Jeannie however continued to bravely stand her corner, but eventually she too was 'removed'. And hence an era ended...
    Such a tragic waste of a great pub with an even greater history.