The Star at Bentworth

Posted on January 14, 2013

One of the most critical things about being a forty-something singleton, is to make sure that you have at least one friend who you can go out for a quiet pint with at short notice on any given day. My kids are knocking around my house for at least half the week but on the other days, particularly at weekends, I rapidly tire of my own company and feel the need to talk to someone or something other than the Facebook and Twitter pages I spend far too much time on.

Luckily, I have Steve, a man always willing to try different country pubs in the area and we have meandered to many of them on Sunday nights in recent years. Last night was the turn of  The Star which sits about eight miles south of Basingstoke just off the road to Alton. When we got there we were greeted by a friendly and attentive barmaid who served us excellent quality bitter and informed us that tonight was ‘jamming night’ an evening where musicians are encouraged to bring in their instruments and just play. What a great idea.

As the evening unfolded the compere cleverly mixed and matched different musicians which meant that in effect, there were about five different bands playing, with the more experienced musicians taking a lead role and guiding the others along; it really was heart-warming stuff and great entertainment when you consider Steve and I have visited many Sunday night establishments that have featured landlords who treat you with utter disdain for foiling their attempts to shut up shop for the evening.

Sunday night is jamming night at The Star in Bentworth

The demise of country pubs is a complex tale of ineptitude, lack of of inspiration and gangster style breweries whose only ambition is to kill an establishment off and sell it to developers.  However, the Star at Bentworth is a fine example that if you are a landlord prepared to push yourself outside of the boundaries of the perceived norm, you can thrive and even prosper. When I quizzed the friendly barmaid last night, she informed me that they have a whole host of music nights and festivals throughout the year and live bands every Friday evening; former Housemartins and Beautiful South front-man Paul Heaton has played there twice and included The Star on his peddle and pumps tour  when he push biked across the UK to promote country pubs.

I can’t comment on the food at The Star at the moment as I have not tried it, but I will soon and  judging by the look of the fairly priced menu and the good quality of the real ales, the chances are that it will be decent and well prepared. What I can say with certainty, is that after spending many a Sunday evening in empty and depressing pubs where apathy has taken hold, it was a pleasure to be somewhere that was friendly and buoyant, featuring a diverse group of amateur musicians out to have a bit of fun by entertaining the locals. Well done them.

All that was missing was a fine and buxom country filly with a face like a rosy apple and a insatiable desire for a bald 45 year old…though I guess that is where reality crosses the line into fantasy!

Give The Star a go, it is a great country pub. You can visit their website by clicking here


4 Replies to "The Star at Bentworth"

  • John Newton
    January 14, 2013 (2:08 pm)

    Did you join in on the tambourine????

  • Bob Lethaby
    January 14, 2013 (2:11 pm)

    Ha ha…learnt my lesson on that one many years ago John…though I still cut myself shaving when I have a flashback!

  • andrew
    January 14, 2013 (3:11 pm)

    sounds great bob i was in the wheatsheaf with Steve’s brother Nick – and it was exactly as you describe a sunday night pub company great where would we be without the heath boys? dont forget my invite next time

  • Darren Hall
    January 14, 2013 (4:02 pm)

    Is that Paul Baverstock on drums?

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