Located in the converted grade II-listed Abbey Mill building just off the Broadway in Winchester city centre, the new River Cottage Canteen will offer a regularly changing menu of freshly prepared seasonal, local, organic and wild food in a relaxed ambience.
The separate bar area will feature a selection of local cider, beer, seasonal cocktails, coffees, cakes and snacks throughout the day and evening.
The venue will also host regular events such as the Canteen Cocktail Club, live music nights, cookery demonstrations and Christmas parties.
River Cottage founder Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall said:"As a beautiful and vibrant city, close to the West Country and already boasting a wonderful local food culture centering around its great farmer’s market, Winchester is an obvious location for a River Cottage Canteen.
“And the fantastic building we are moving into was the clincher. It’s such a special a place, right in the heart of the city. I can’t imagine a better location from which to showcase the fantastic fare from the region’s finest producers."
The majority of the produce used in the restaurant will be coming from within 50 miles of the Canteen: Meat, fruit and vegetables will be sourced from Hampshire; and wholemeal flour will be milled to order from Winchester Mill.
The bar will stock local drinks from producers including Hill Farm Juices and Winchester Distillery.
"It has been a wonderful job seeking out local producers for the new Canteen, there is a wealth of incredible produce within the area and I am passionate about meeting the producers and hearing their stories.
“As the Canteen opens, more and more small growers, breeders and producers will be discovered. We never rest on our laurels and our door is always open to new suppliers that meet our ethos," added head chef Mark Price.
Abbey Mill, the building housing the restaurant, opened in 1793 as a silk mill, and later became a restaurant for servicemen during the Second World War. It recently served as offices and underwent extensive renovation to be transformed into the two-storey restaurant it is now.
Refurbishment included opening up the inside of the building to add light to the interior while keeping many of the mill’s original features. The Canteen also has an outside terrace.