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Festive review of the mince pies available in Winchester

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Our Winchester food & drink ambassador Emma Raphael @Winchestereats gives her festive review of the mince pies currently available across Winchester.

Winchester’s Christmas market might start in November, but it’s not truly Christmas until mince pies appear in our bakeries and cafes.

Mince pies date back to medieval times, when they had 13 ingredients to represent Jesus and his disciples. Thankfully the meat got left out a long time ago.

You will be pleased to know we have quite the selection in Winchester, unless you absolutely detest mince pies!

For research purposes, I think I have tried most of them over the last few weeks (apologies for any gaps – there were a few places that either didn’t sell them or had sold out when I visited), my verdict is:

Crumble/Streusel toppings are very much in vogue this year, with The Winchester Bakery, Honey and Harvey, and Hoxton Bakehouse all choosing to go down this sweet and crumbly route. Hoxton Bakehouse was a definite favourite here – their mince pies are beautifully spiced with a gorgeous crisp pastry.

I was very happy to see that Flat Whites’, Cabinet Rooms and The South Downs Social were all offering home made mince pies. No overall winner here by the way (two are baked by the owner’s Mums!!), but I am happy to report all three were all excellent in their own way.

Larger bakeries ranged from the very good (Reeves the Bakers and by far the most generous!) to the very bad (Wenzels, sorry – I do like their baguettes though!) Pullins at Cobbs Bakers fell somewhere in the middle.

Then there were those that strayed from the traditional mince pie path – Viennese Topped from the Village Bakery, Frangipane topped by General Stores (both very good), and a Coconut/Frangipane creation from The Academy (which looked amazing – top marks for pastry here by the way, you should perhaps opt for this one only if you REALLY like almonds however!).

And there we have it, 12 mince pies enjoyed over the last few weeks, each dissected and inspected along with a cup of coffee. I will be happy not to look at one for another 365 days however!

If mince pies aren’t your thing, keep an eye out for other seasonal treats across the city – Pigs in Blanket Toasties (Cabinet Rooms), Stollen Buns (Hoxton Bakehouse) and Pigs in Blanket Pastries (Coffee Lab Academy!) amongst countless other things!.

Have a wonderful foodie Christmas.


The Winchester Ambassadors are a group of volunteers who enjoy sharing their passion for their city. They were assembled to provide visitors with a local’s view of the city and its attractions. Their thoughts, insights and tips are independent and are not paid for. The Winchester Ambassadors are not affiliated with any of the brands or businesses mentioned in their posts or endorsed by Winchester City Council.