The Wonston Arms, in the little Hampshire hamlet of Wonston has been a public house since way back in the 1800s. It’s not been a foody restaurant gastropub venue, just a simple public house for locals and visitors to pop in and have a rest and chat about village life.
As happened with all too many pubs in recent times over the recession of 2008/2009 it never recovered. It became a casualty and closed. In early 2015, local village resident Matt Todd bought the derelict pub and began on a journey to reopen it and recreate the traditional village community pub. He had never pulled a pint in his life and left corporate life behind him and become a Publican.
Renovation work was done by Matt and the local community of helpers. The pub opened at 5pm from day one to generate takings to spend on the next days renovation, this continued for some three years. As the pub became more pleasing to the eye, word of mouth spread about the best little pub in Hampshire. The Wonston Arms gained entry into the 2016 CAMRA Good Beer Guide as one of the UK’s highly rated venues for traditional cask ale and overall traditional pub experience.
Hard work and continued commitment to bringing back that traditional old village boozer, which has always been the epitome of what Britain is all about brought the Wonston Arms further regional and national awards from CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale).
In 2018 The Wonston Arms achieved their highest accolade yet where they rise to National Finalist in their prestigious CAMRA National Pub of the Year competition.
If you want to save your village boozer, pop in and have a chat with Matt over the bar, it’s been a great journey and one that should be repeated in other villages across the UK.