SEE inside this Hampshire country pub, which is famed for being a 'cosy getaway'.

Jason King and Simon Page took over The Wellington Arms 18 years ago, and since then, the pub in the Baughurst countryside has been "thriving".

Jason, originally from Melbourne in Australia, is the head chef, while partner Simon, who grew up in Reading, is in charge of front-of-house duties.

The pair met when they were both living in Hong Kong, with Jason running a group of seven restaurants, and Simon teaching music, when they moved back to England they took over the pub when it "wasn't in the greatest condition".

READ MORE: Hampshire country pub Wellington Arms is Telegraph best cosy getaway

Jason told the Gazette: "We were looking to buy a pub, we didn't have quite enough money at the time so it was a leasehold back then.

"It was quite run-down but we snapped at it."

Basingstoke Gazette: The exterior of The Wellington ArmsThe exterior of The Wellington Arms (Image: The Wellington Arms/Benjamin Stuart Photography)

Simon added: "We wanted a pub in a rural location, with a nice garden and lots of potential, and this ticked all the boxes."

Since then, the couple have purchased the pub outright, turning it into a free house and personalising it to suit their vision.

Aesthetically, the 'Welly' has been given a makeover to look like a traditional country pub - exposed beams and terracotta flooring make for a classic, cosy English pub feel.

A recent extension also doubled the dining area in size, adding room for an additional six tables.

Jason, who trained in cooking classic French food, gave insight into what readers can expect to find on the menu: "We grow a lot of things here that we put on our menu, but not exclusively.

"We cook food that is in season, our menu changes every day and it is all simply put together - we don't have all of those 'bangs and whistles' in the kitchen - we just have a stove and an oven. 

Basingstoke Gazette: One dish prepared at The Wellington ArmsOne dish prepared at The Wellington Arms (Image: The Wellington Arms)

"We have to make goat cheese soufflé again and again and again, people can't get enough! For dessert, our sticky toffee pudding is also very popular."

As the festive season gets underway, Jason hinted at what readers can expect this December.

"We tend to cook things very classically, and this Christmas there is a lot of turkey.

"We've been making a lot of Christmas puddings, with mincemeat, and we are also selling mulled wine and our homemade sloe gin, which are both very popular with customers."

One unique aspect of this pub is the fact it has its own animals.

Jason said: "Over the years we've had lots of different types of animals here, we've had chickens, sheep, geese, pigs and bees.

Basingstoke Gazette: The 'cosy' dining areaThe 'cosy' dining area (Image: The Wellington Arms/Benjamin Stuart Photography)

"At the moment we have mostly sheep, 130 rare breed Jacobs sheep, they keep us very busy and yes they do end up on the menu."

As previously reported, The Wellington Arms was recently named as one of the cosiest getaways in the UK, according to The Telegraph.

Jason said: "It was quite amazing, really, I suppose we weren't expecting anything as wonderful as this to happen."

Simon added: "It's great to be put back into the limelight again.

"We've got four bedrooms, three are barn-style with exposed timbers, and the one upstairs is called 'The Apartment', it has a bedroom, sitting room and bathroom.

Basingstoke Gazette: One of the bedroomsOne of the bedrooms (Image: The Wellington Arms)

Since 2020, the pub has operated a takeaway service.

Simon said: "We started a takeaway service during Covid, allowing people to take our shortcrust pot pie home and finish it."

Jason added "It's the reason why we didn't go broke, I think.

"A lot of pubs went out of business, but by turning ourselves into a shop we were able to continue, and we still offer takeaways to this day."

Simon wanted to publicly thank his team, who help to keep things running smoothly, saying "Helen, Sheila, Sam, Rosie and Mark are people we couldn't do without."

Jason summed the pub up by saying: "It's a nice place to relax, and anybody with a decent appetite is most welcome."