The King and Queen has been the home to sailors, visiting and local, for years. Sitting, as it does, midway down Hamble’s cobbled high street, it’s handy for the village’s yacht clubs and marinas. It’s clean and pleasant without being pretentious, relaxed without being rough and very welcoming to humans and dogs alike (in fact rarely have I been in a pub where dogs are made more welcome). The clientele varies from visiting yacht crews, to anyone who works in the numerous sailing-related industries that operate in and around Hamble, to groups of friends on an evening out.
The pub’s association with sailing is obvious from the historic photos on the walls, but these aren’t just for show; this is the pub where you’ll find the real sailors drinking. The lemon game on the bar helps raise money for the local (independent) lifeboat, as does the pub’s annual pursuit race.
As might be expected there’s a good selection of rum here as well as Biltong, since owner Janet Bradley is originally from South Africa. Before she took it over, it was feeling a bit sorry for itself, but the combination of live music, good homestyle food and a subtly spruced up décor turned it right around. Under Janet’s management it’s simply got better and better without losing any of its spirit (literally), sense of fun or character.
It boasts that it’s ‘open all the hours God sends (subject to licensing law)’ which is pretty spot on - in the summer you can sit at tables outside in front, surrounded by tasteful floral baskets that give the feel of a garden, and you’ll often find the barbeque in action.
In the winter it turns into a cosy refuge thanks to the real log fires – for many the pub becomes very much a ‘home from home’. It even has a self-service launderette so crews can and have a beer whilst doing their washing! There’s WiFi, sailing DVDs and a TV, which is used for selected sporting events (don’t worry it doesn’t dominate, and this mainly means international rugby).
Thursday night is steak night – and the steaks are very good here, while on Sundays the roast lunch is a real draw. The ‘ski shot', however (‘for drinkers with a sailing problem’), is to be avoided at all costs – well at least if you want to greet the next morning without a hangover.
If you haven’t at least heard of the King and Queen, you can hardly count yourself a serious sailor!
Speaking of favorite bars, have you voted yet? Wight Vodka Favorite Yachting Bar contest ends December 27, so make sure you express your preference. The winner will be announced December 31.
In case you can't make it to the King & Queen sometime soon, Janet provided us with two favorite recipes:
The Queen's Tipple
Tall Glass half filled with crushed ice,
25ml Wight vodka,
crushed fresh mint leaves from our garden,
3 slices of thinly sliced cucumber,
topped up with ginger ale
Tall glass filled with ice cubes,
add English Harbour Rum 50ml,
top up with freshly squeezed orange juice,
a splash of cranberry juice
garnished with a wedge of lime.
Don’t hold back. And please submit your own holiday cocktail recipe to our Facebook page and we’ll collect the best ones into a guide for you to share and test.
Read our previous contest posts:
Favorite Yachting Bar: Bitter End Yacht Club and the Lemon Crash
Submit Your Recipe to the boats.com Holiday Cheer Cocktail Guide
Wight Vodka Favourite Sailors' Bar Contest Underway