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5th November 2021

The Crown Inn, Upton in Hampshire’s beautiful Test Valley, celebrates the festive season in true style

This charming multi-award-winning traditional pub in the heart of the Test Valley, Hampshire, has really sprung back to life and this Christmas and New Year will be welcoming guests to enjoy its truly outstanding food and drinks menu, party atmosphere and Christmas offerings from its unique sideline, The Charcuterie at Parsonage Farm.

Chef and owner Dave Watts and the team will be offering groups of all kinds the opportunity to enjoy buzzing Christmas functions from 24 November right up till the 24 December with a very special menu to match.  Dave always tries to use local produce and meat from his own Charcuterie, making the ingredients into something memorable. So definitely not your traditional meat and two veg with trimmings on the side, but a festive menu with some special twists in true Dave Watts style!  And those wishing to go meat-free will be amply catered for, too.  Christmas cocktails will be on offer and guests can choose from a brand new wine list.  Using its coravin wine preservation system The Crown is also able to offer guests the chance to sample high-end wines without having to buy a whole bottle.  An indulgent treat on a night out for those who really love their wines – and something only a few pubs offer.

The Crown will also be offering a New Year’s Day brunch – always popular with regulars. Last year’s delicious take-away menu during lock-down included a Full English with black pudding and potato rosti, smashed avocado on sourdough and American pancakes among other treats.  All breads and pastries are made fresh on the premises – and that goes for the festive and everyday menus, too.  Keep an eye on the website for any other New Year events that may be available to revellers.

Dave Watts’ recently acquired Charcuterie will be offering special Christmas hampers which will include local wines (only from hampers collected from the pub) cheeses, charcuterie such as salamis, pancetta, lomo and coppa as well as treats like unusual chutneys, piccalilli, jams and Christmas pudding – all presented in a smart gift hamper.   The perfect solution for a foodie friend or relative!  Gift Vouchers are also available which can be redeemed against food and drink in the pub or produce from the Charcuterie – an indulgent present for a loved one.  Vouchers can also contribute towards a workshop at the unique Charcuterie School, based on the premises of Parsonage Farm. You will be able to visit the Charcuterie at Farmers’ and festive markets and there will also be a pop up day on 17 December in conjunction with local food championing organisation Hampshire Fare during the famous Winchester Christmas Market.  Hampers can also be bought at these markets. Christmas events booked so far include: Winchester Market (14 Nov, 28 Nov, 12 Dec), Sip & Shop, St Mary Bourne (eve of 1 Dec), Oaktrack Smallholding (4 Dec, Charlton Down, 3-7pm) and Winchester Christmas Market (17 Dec, Cathedral grounds).

During lockdown The Crown Inn, Upton took the opportunity to refurbish inside and out – giving it a modern feel but still keeping its original country cottage pub characteristics such as the open fireplace.  Outside some unique wooden H’Igloos (Hampshire Igloos) were added, providing gorgeous spaces heated by wood burning stoves and blankets to keep the outside experience warm and cosy all year round.  So guests enjoying festive activities can make full use of the features inside and out.

The pub has won a number of awards in recent years.  It became a TripAdvisor Traveller’s Choice Award Winner 2021, was included in the prestigious Michelin Guide 2021.  The Crown was a Trencherman’s Award finalist in the Best Trencherman’s Pub category 2021, found itself in the top 5 Destination Pubs in the website Muddy Stilletto award scheme and is mentioned in Sawdays Pubs and Inns – the best places to eat and drink in the UK.  The Charcuterie’s pink peppercorn bay and lomo recently won a Great Taste Award.  Meat is sold online and served as platters in the pub.  Dave also runs a Charcuterie School from The Charcuterie.

Says Dave: ‘We’re really excited about bringing back our Christmas and New Year events this year. We love to host a party and this year seems the right time to be offering that wonderful party atmosphere.  We’re also proud of our commitment to local produce and animal welfare, ensuring that we do our bit for local businesses and offering only the very best in food and drink.”

For more information about The Crown visit And more about visiting the area can be found at You can also find out more about food and drink in the Test Valley by visiting  Or try Hampshire Fare’s new guide to local produce in the area ‘The Chalk and the Cheese’ /Hampshire Fare support local food, drink and craft producers –  a not-for-profit organisation working closely with over 400 businesses involved in rearing, growing and making an array of produce including cheese, wine, beer, meat, charcuterie, pies, spirits, cider and more.


Notes to Editors:

The Crown Inn, Upton: The Crown Inn is a traditional cottage style village pub with a cosy interior, now modernised to give that restaurant feel you can expect to find in some of the best pubs hidden away in the English countryside……and for the days when the sun shines there is an ample garden behind the pub.  For extra year-round cosiness and for comfortable dining in all weather conditions there are outdoor H’igloos (Hampshire Igloos) complete with woodburners and warm blankets and the option of playing your own music! The food focus is on the best produce available locally, linking you directly to the small scale artisanal producers that helps us create a sustainable model in the field of ristoration. In terms of style, you’ll find clean rustic dishes which combine the classic french with modern rustic. The team has been put together by head chef and owner Dave Watts. Dave started his career at Le Manoir Quat Saisons under the direct tutelage of Raymond Blanc before leaving to tread his own path and find his own true style and values in his own food. During his time since he has expanded and polished his food offering having worked around the country at various high-end establishments during which time he won The Good Food Guide’s ‘Chef to Watch’ award

The Charcuterie at Parsonage Farm is now owned by Dave Watts and the Crown Inn at Upton.  It offers a range of artisan cured meats handcrafted in the Charcuterie using some of the best local products nature has to offer.  Meats include salamis, pancetta, coppa and lomo.  Some of the meats are on offer on the menu in the Crown Inn.  Hampers are also available to order.  The Charcuterie also has a cookery school which runs hands-on half-day workshops at Parsonage Farm focusing on the curing process.  This involves making bacon, chorizo and salami, as well as preparing and curing meat for drying.  Take home your produce to wow your friends and family! There will also be time for some tasting.

The Test Valley:  is West Hampshire. Named after Hampshire’s longest river with an international reputation for fly fishing the Test Valley is home to quintessential English villages, unspoilt meadows and chalk downlands which support a fantastic array of local food and drink producers. Come and explore! Enjoy all this plus a great range of fascinating attractions, historic houses and gardens and places to stay.

Press release from the Crown Inn

For more press information please contact Rachel Shimell on 02380 732981/email:  or Dave Watts 07740979600