May 18, 2022

Meet the family-run Romsey pub serving mega platters of Mexican food

When you think of classic pub food, dishes like fish and chips, home made pies and a selection of hearty winter hot dishes come to mind.

However, while this Romsey pub still caters to traditionalists, the new managers of Nightingale in Latimer Street have spiced up the pub’s offerings with a mega platter of Mexican food.

Located in the heart of town, the family-run pub serves up the mountain of spicy food, which includes two beef fajitas, two quesadillas, two chili tacos and cheese nachos with guacamole, sour cream and coleslaw, as part of a a Mexican Monday Night theme.

Priced at £22, the board is just one of many touches that newbies have added to bring something fresh to Romsey.

Complemented by a two-for-one burger offering on Tuesdays and of course the traditional Sunday roast, the Nightingale’s menu has been designed to bring American diner-style cuisine to a town “that needs it”.

Liz Murray, who runs the pub alongside her daughter Fiona Woodley, said: “There are lots of pubs in Romsey but this one is a bit different. We wanted to do something no one else was doing, and so far people have loved the food and I think theme nights are a great idea.”

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Liz and Fiona took on the Nightingale, formerly the Tipsy Pig, late last year after the owner contacted them to ask if they would be interested.

After running the Hatchet Inn, tucked away between Romsey and Salibury in the village of Sherfield English for the past 25-30 years, the couple had become close family friends with the pub boss.

“When I first got the phone call about this place asking if I wanted to get involved, I said, ‘Would I go, one pub is enough,'” added Liz.

“But then I hung up the phone and thought about it and everything seemed to happen very quickly from there.”

After accepting the challenge, Liz and Fiona embarked on an ambitious three-week revamp with the help of close friend Hailey Moody who saw a complete revamp of the pub just in time for the Christmas rush.

With the addition of brand new interior and exterior decor, what was previously a cellar has been transformed into a brand new family space, which Fiona says fits the ethos of the pub perfectly.

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She said: “The changes we made were definitely driven by our desire to create a family atmosphere, which was definitely at the heart of it all. We don’t know of any other pub that has a family space like ours where people kids can come and play – parents love it.

“We pride ourselves on the way we operate, we like to go the extra mile to look after customers and get to know them and what they like. We’ve had lots of new customers already and we’re starting to see some familiar faces coming back. as good which is always a good sign. Customers who knew the old pub also commented on how much better the drink selection is now. We have done a lot of work to expand what was on offer before and we now have beers lagers, IPAs, ciders, beers and lots of bottled drinks to add to that.

“Taking a pub during a pandemic was definitely a challenge, and I’ve just given birth to my daughter who is also three months old, so it’s been busy, but I think we’re close to it.”

Supported by chefs Tom, another family friend, and Paul, Liz’s brother, in the kitchen, the Nightingale is now considering adding paella nights to the billing as it looks to warmer weather.

The pub is also in the process of putting the finishing touches on its two outdoor gardens and courtyard, both of which will include bespoke seating and parasols for when the temperature rises.

The dog-friendly establishment has also started playing live music as it seeks to make the Nightingale the place to be in Romsey.

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