By Martyn Hannah
THE Guide Dog sits quietly on the edge of Earls Road in Bevois Valley.
Despite being weathered over the years its light blue façade stands out from the other stone houses in the street.
As you push open the front door you are greeted by a smell that reminds you of pubs from a time gone by.
The patterned carpet beats a well trodden path to the bar where the constant thudding of pint pots chip and scuff the varnished wood.
An army of polished brass pumps line up side by side and dispense a variety of traditional ales – from Flower Pots to Fullers ESP. (Prices from £2.80-£3.) The pub prides itself on its variety of real ale, having won the South Hants CAMRA Pub of the Year four times in the last six years.
They also serve 1/3pints so that regulars can sample a range of ales without worrying about being over the drink-drive limit.
Even at lunchtime a constant stream of regulars stride in through the door into a warm and welcoming atmosphere.
A gentle hum of conversation hangs in the air, only punctuated by the sound of a newspaper being turned over or a raucous bout of laughter.
The Guide Dog doesn’t serve food apart from sandwich rolls at lunchtime, preferring to provide locals with a place to relax, unwind and chat.
And in a world of chain pubs and noisy wine bars – it’s a winning formula.
The Guide Dog,
023 8022 5642
© Copyright 2001-2013 Newsquest Media Group