The Belgian Arms
Tel: 01628 634468
This is Brakspear’s most westerly pub of the original estate. When I first visited the Belgian Arms in 1974 there was no bar. Instead, beer was
served through a serving hatch that went into the kitchen. It now has a bar, but the
serving hatch is still there. As you enter the bar through the wisteria covered door (see
top photograph), the old serving hatch is straight in front of you, while the main part
of the bar is to the right. When you order your beer (you can have bitter, special or
occasionally old), you will notice in front of you the usual bottles and optics you
expect to find in a pub, this is now standing in the original kitchen. The staff still have
to disappear round the back to draw your pint from the casks.
As you look around you will see that there is one ‘L’ shaped drinking area. Stand at
the bar and look right. Straight in front you will see a corridor that leads to a relatively
new conservatory (and the ladies and gents). To the right of this there is a real fire,
alight when I last visited (February 1999) I am pleased to report. To the left of the
corridor is the bottom part of the ‘L’. This pub used to be called the Eagle, but during the First World War, local
prisoners of war would salute the inn sign, the proprietors then decided to change its
name to the Belgian Arms as this is where the war was being fought at the time.
If you walk forward through the corridor, past the conservatory and the toilets, you
will come out into the garden. This is a fine location for summer lunch. At the bottom
of the garden is a duck pond, and beyond lies Holyport village. Children are allowed
in the garden and the conservatory, so this is a possible destination for a family lunch.
The bottom photograph is taken from the other side of the duck pond looking towards
the pub. The same view now would include the conservatory. In the foreground you
can just make out Ian, Kaye and David. When you have finished your lunch and your
beer, please take care not to scratch the B.M.W.s as you back out of the car park.