FROM the shelves packed tight with note-filled books from an old lawyer, to the dial telephone on the mantlepiece – the interior of the King Alfred pub is full of quirky items that each tell a story.

Buy a pint in this Winchester watering hole and you’ll be told the tales.

Ali Longhurst, who has been at the pub for the last three years, is set to take over as general manager next month.

She describes the King Alfred as a “unique haven of tranquility”.

Ali said: “Everything in here is handpicked and has a story – you won’t find an interior like it anywhere else.

“We are not far out of town, a ten minute walk from the High Street, but far enough for people to stay out of the hustle and bustle.

“I think the best thing about the King Alfred and what sets us apart is our team of staff.

“We pride ourselves on a warm welcome and really looking after our customers.”

Ali’s husband Gareth is head chef at the pub, and his skills show just why people regularly visit for food.

Amongst other jobs on his impressive CV, he worked as head chef at Winchester’s Hotel du Vin before taking the same role at the Harrogate branch when it opened in 2003.

Gareth said: “It is hard to find a pub which looks as nice as this, has great service and nice food. Usually the food is the compromise for the upkeep of everything else.”

King Alfred’s menu has something for everyone and includes a Hampshire 8oz ribeye steak, a vegan lentil curry, and rhubarb and chilli glazed whole pork ribs.

The pub also has a picturesque beer garden and boasts five rooms which are bookable all year round. One regular who lives in the neighbouring street, Monks Road, likened it to a village pub and said they were “very lucky” to have it a stone’s throw from their house.

It is part of the Little Pub Group, which runs three other pubs: St James Tavern and The Mucky Duck in Winchester, and The Foresters Arms in Frogham.