Prior to the fire that destroyed it this week, The Osborne View was a thriving seafront pub with one of the best views in Hampshire.

Manager of a year Steve Young had big plans for the Hill Head pub, once a regular haunt of England's World Cup winning football manager Sir Alf Ramsey. 

But the historic pub, which dates back to the Victorian era, has been devastated by a huge fire, which started in the early hours of Thursday (February 22) morning. 

Daily Echo: A huge fire blazes at The Osborne View in Hill Head

The Daily Echo's pub of the week back in July, The Osborne View was known for miles around for its glorious Isle of Wight and Solent vistas, hearty pub classics, Badger beers and service with a smile. 

The pub, named after Queen Victoria's former royal residence Osborne House, now an English Heritage site, which sits just across the water in Cowes, also had a beach bar in its impressive beer garden, and had room for 250 customers inside and another 250 outdoors. 

The pub, which was originally a hotel before being snapped up by the Hall & Woodhouse brewery in the late 1990s, was visited many times by regular patron Sir Alf Ramsey during his tenure as international manager during the 60s, including after the historic win at Wembley in 1966.

Daily Echo: The Osborne View has its own beach bar

Outdoor guests enjoyed a mix of formal and informal dining while indoor diners enjoyed signature Steak and Tanglefoot Ale pie or a roast dinner.

Flavoured ciders and seasonal cocktails always proved popular and nautical themed decor adorned the walls. 

Ten crews of firefighters tackled the blaze after being called at around 2.30am. 

Daily Echo: The Osborne View in Hill Head following the devastating fire

Matt Kearsey, Managing Director at owners Hall & Woodhouse, confirmed that all the team onsite evacuated before coming to any harm, and expressed his deepest gratitude to emergency services personnel for their swift action and bravery.

The cause of the fire, which is said to have severely damaged the building, is yet to be determined.

Hampshire & Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue firefighters remained on the scene all day on Thursday, securing the building described by group manager Karl Manners as a 'well-known and loved landmark'.

Daily Echo: The Osborne View at Hill Head