MAJOR UK pub chain Slug and Lettuce is to open a branch in Southampton.

More than £250,000 has been spent in converting Southampton's Hog's Head pub in Above Bar Street into the 63rd branch of the brand.

With outlets already in Winchester, Bournemouth and Salisbury, the food-led chain is expanding across the UK. The Southampton venue is due to open on Wednesday, It's a money-spinning venture for parent firm, the Laurel Pub Company, which is owned by Iranian property tycoon Robert Tchenguiz, who with brother Vincent is worth an estimated £850m.

Bosses promise a "contemporary" eatery that is "slicker than ever before" complete with walnut colour scheme.

The menu varies from porridge to Sicilian chicken, with the bar offering cocktails and wines until 1am on weekends. Non-smoking throughout, bosses have, however, provided a heated area outdoors for smokers.