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11The Hobbit PubTHE HOBBIT

This Lord of the Rings themed pub is a student hub. A quirky pub that somebody described as ‘a place where people could (and do) come dressed in a cape or cosplay and nobody bats and eyelid.’ The pub is known for it’s Fellowship Challenge which entails 10 different pint cocktails, each one different and named after various LOTR characters. If you drink all 10, newly paralytic (paraplegic if you do them all in one night) drinkers will be awarded a t-shirt and the opportunity to have the limited edition Nazgul cocktail.

The Hobbit also hosts a variety of non-alcohol based entertainment, including Magic the Gathering game nights, open mic nights and of course live music.

This pub is AWSOME! Had a great night out and it was actually the first pub I’d ever been to and I’m glad it was The Hobbit. Amazing cocktails that are so good and a wonderful relaxed atmosphere. Also the best music selection on a pub duke box! Defiantly going back!

 

10The Edge

The Edge is Southampton’s leading gay nightclub and has been in service for 20 years and counting. The clubs atmosphere has been heralded as Gay Brighton’s Favourite Out Of Town Venue, winning The Golden Handbag Awards in 2011 and 2013 as well as being runners up for the same award in 2015. In that same year, The Edge refurbished their ‘Box Bar’ which is a quieter setting located upstairs from the club – a perfect place to enjoy the huge range of cocktails that are now served from 4pm everyday.

The Edge is a welcoming place for everybody, with many of my personal straight friends regularly claiming they’ve had one of the best nights they’ve ever had at The Edge.

The Box Bar has really changed the Vibe and Atmosphere to an already up beat trendy venue with really friendly staff and a brilliant place to meet friends for drinks where you can actually talk without shouting. The decor is amazing and the place is really comfortable and appealing.

 

9The Talking Heads

Renowned for being Southampton’s ‘most eclectic live music venue’ and having some form of live entertainment every night of the week, you’re sure to find something you suit youTheir live events include, but are not limited to, open mic nights, jazz music, ukelele jam sessions and popular music performances. The venue is full of character and offers a range of great ales. The main draw of The Talking Heads, however, resides in the wide range of entertainment on offer and it’s wonderful, friendly atmosphere.

As well as the stage area available for live shows, The Talking Heads also has a very quaint ‘front bar’ for those who enjoy a quieter drink.

Been here a few times, and always have a fab time. You can go and watch a great gig, or just sit quietly in the front bar and enjoy the beer and ambiance. Best place to go for music in Southampton. Staff are always friendly.

 

8The Stable

This restaurant is also on our ’10 best places to eat in Southampton’ list and for good reason. But not only known for it’s delicious food, The Stable offers a huge range of ciders (we’re talking 60+) for those that way inclined and, even better, they allow you to sample the drinks before you choose your poison! Although it’s a restaurant, it’s a much more casual atmosphere than most, but still more for those that genuinely appreciate their drink rather than someone looking to neck some drinks before town. The bar staff also have an extensive knowledge on the drinks they serve, so anything you want to know about the drinks on tap – just ask!

If you’re looking to enjoy a few social drinks in a cordial atmosphere but still have the buzzing surroundings you can only get in the heart of the city, The Stable is sure to satisfy.

Popped in here to meet with friends and was so surprised with the simple layout and excellent service here that I have vowed to return. A Cider Drinkers Heaven. A lovely atmosphere and a very pleasant and interesting visit.

 

7Firehouse

An alternative/heavy metal venue in the heart of the city, Firehouse is a place for those that enjoy rock and metal music. With pool tables, a juke box and live music, you’re sure to find something to do in the Firehouse. A new improvement to the venue is the quieter room upstairs with more stuff to entertain you, including darts and a third pool table, as well as a fruit machine and a range of card and board games. With the spacious layout comes lots of open sofa space to sit, socialise and play games, all whilst enjoying the atmosphere and full range of bottles, spirits and mixers.

My wife and I often use The Firehouse. The beer is always good, the management and staff are brilliant. There are two pool tables and a very good jukebox. The live music is fantastic, and if you don’t like the music so loud you can go upstairs to the other bar. We highly recommend this place.

 

6Stein Garten

The more original places on this list, Stein Garten offers customers an authentic German experience in all aspects – atmosphere, venue, food and drink. Open noon until midnight, Stein Garten is the perfect place for some big german sausage (if.. if thats what you’re into?) and some great, genuine german beers before heading into town. Offering guests a ‘real Oktoberfest experience’, Stein Garten has been said (by the customers themselves) to make them feel like they were in Berlin all over again.

If you’re looking for a venue with a buzzing atmosphere in a bavarian setting, that offers customers ‘a taste of Munich culture’. then don’t hesitate to check out this place.

Great people, wonderful atmosphere, great food and German beer. Superb. We found this place reminded us of our real Oktoberfest experience. What a great place. Beer fantastic, staff awesome, great atmosphere. Love it!

 

5Sadler’s Brewhouse and Barbecue 

Another tamer addition to the list, Sadler’s charm lies in it’s friendly atmosphere, huge barbecue platters and the delicious range of draft ales. With a lounge bar, public bar (run by widely acclaimed ‘Gin-Queen of the South’ Sarah) and a proper pub, theres an atmosphere for everyone including those who’re not partaking in the monolithic meat mountains Sadler’s is notorious for serving. Offering their own nine Sadler’s Craft Ales as well as a further range of craft beers, ciders and lagers on draught and a further 60 bottled beers to choose from, you’re sure to find something to suit you.

If you’re seeking to enjoy a wide range of tasteful drinks in a more socially driven atmosphere, then the Sadler’s is the perfect place for you.

Chilled atmosphere, plenty of good beers, amazing BBQ platters, cool and friendly staff, great place to meet for food and drinks. Regularly has live music playing, and all fits in well with its american BBQ theme.

 

4Lennon’s

Lennon’s is one of the longest running clubs and most popular live venues in the city. They host regular live music shows and events, including popular Psychedelia inspired nights courtesy of Club Psychedelia, that play a huge range of music from the golden ages including classic rock such as The Beatles, psychedelic rock such as Jimi Hendrix and a range of other musical genres covering indie, soul, 50’s and 60’s, punk and ska. New Musical Express (NME) has even commented on the venue, stating “With a music policy to salivate over, Lennon’s is beyond essential.”

I head down most Friday nights. Seriously fun night and good atmosphere!

 

This is just my fav club in Southampton – absolutely always a great night

 

3The Butchers Hook

The Butchers Hook is a small alehouse located in a converted victorian butchers shop in Southampton. A charming little pub well-known for it’s sociable atmosphere and beer knowledge, The Butchers Hook are self-proclaimed ‘pioneers of the ‘micropub’ model in the city’ and since their relatively recent opening in 2014, they’ve already been the runners up in CAMRA Southampton Hampshire’s Pub of the Year – twice!

Offering a range of tasty ales a long with all the concomitant knowledge of the drinks that only the finest pubs possess, The Butchers Hook are also unique as they are dog-friendly in that they allow friendly dogs in to enjoy the atmosphere as much as their owners.

I love this place, it’s absolutely my favourite place to be in Southampton – lots of interesting people and great conversation and a great selection of beers. JUST THE BEST!!! It creates its very own community and there is always a buzz 🙂

 

2The Alexandra Beer Emporium

The Alexandra Beer Emporium is another alternative pub with a bustling atmosphere. Self proclaimed as ‘the only traditional pub in Southampton’, the pub boasts an impressive collection of cult film memorabilia as well as a new multi-game arcade machine and Star Wars pinball. The Alexandra Beer Emporium also offers a host of RETRO gaming systems you can sit and play drunkenly. Also renowned for it’s cocktails that include Star Wars and Game of Thrones themed pints, it’s no secret why this venue is a film buff and video game geeks sanctum.

The pub also provides live sports viewing of all the major games across their six indoor TV’s as well as live music and quiz nights. The pub also has a lovely outside seating area which also has it’s own widescreen TV and sound system for live sporting events.

A personal favourite, and they have a bunch of old consoles to use, nothing beats getting drunk and shouting at hour friends over a bit of goldeneye. Love the Alex!

 

1Bonus – The Bookshop Alehouse

The Bookshop Alehouse – a bonus to the list – was just too quaint to leave out, and being an english literature graduate it would be sacrilege if I did, wouldn’t it? The simple and wonderful and wonderfully simple result of starting a pub in a bookshop, The Bookshop Alehouse offers ‘the finest craft beers we can lay our hands on.’ On top of this, the vintage atmosphere and large range of books to nestle your noses into in between cider sips give The Bookshop Alehouse a warm, unique bearing that you wouldn’t find anywhere else in the city. This pub is far from a messy-pre drinks destination, but open to 11pm everyday it’s the perfect place for a quiet evening social in a pub that’s rich in character.

Lovely place to go for a drink. Great beers on tap & they always seem to have different ones each time I go. Really friendly staff & cosy feel to the place. Also they love dogs & that makes the perfect combo for me. The best pub in Southampton by far.

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