paul whitehouse fishing experience

Fishing and Feasting with GetYourGuide and Paul Whitehouse

Monday 04th Mar 2024 |

Leading travel experiences booking platform, GetYourGuide, has today announced the launch of its latest ‘Originals by GetYourGuide’ – a collection of exclusive, one-of-a-kind experiences that are deep, immersive, and truly memorable.

The newly announced experience, Fish and Feast with Paul Whitehouse, is expertly curated and hosted by Paul himself. GetYourGuide has teamed up with the comedy TV legend to invite travellers on a unique journey to disconnect from the hustle of daily life and discover the wonders of fly-fishing and cooking. 

This exclusive GetYourGuide tour will allow travellers the opportunity to breathe in the serenity of the British countryside, while learning the ancient art of fly fishing under expert tuition from Paul.

Along with the help of renowned wild cooking expert Nick Weston, travellers will also take on the challenge of turning their fresh catch from the River Test into delicious food in the kitchen of the award-winning Greyhound Pub in the heart of Hampshire. The lucky travellers will then dine on their catch-of-the-day, and feast on an incredible meal that includes stunning oysters and mouth-watering chocolate ganache tart, all while chatting and laughing with Paul over a glass of wine. 

The itinerary of the experience includes: 

10.00amMeet at The Greyhound on the Test Hotel reception to enjoy coffee and pastries at the pub before the fishing starts
10.30amTravel from The Greyhound on the Test Hotel to Bossington Estate*10-minute drive time
10.45am – 12.45pmFly-fishing experience with Paul Whitehouse on the River Test
12.45pmTravel from Bossington Estate to The Greyhound on the Test Hotel*10-minute drive time
1pmDrink and snack break by the fire
1.30pm –3.30pmFood experience with Nick Weston and Paul Whitehouse
3.30pmIntimate dinner with Paul at The Greyhound on the Test Hotel

Paul Whitehouse said: “There is a magic that happens when fishing, where your mind and body are completely focused on the river and nature around you, creating a sense of equality and reconnecting with what matters most. Over the past 30 years, I’ve found coming to the River Test has become almost therapeutic and to curate an experience with GetYourGuide where I can share this with others has been a dream come true.”

GetYourGuide’s Director of Global Brand, Xavier Tardy, said: “As the leading online marketplace for unforgettable experiences, we are committed to curating one-of-a-kind trips for travellers that immerse them in their passions. With interest in getting back to nature continuing to rise, we wanted to curate a truly unique outdoor experience. Collaborating with fishing expert, Paul Whitehouse, to build the Fish and Feast experience has allowed us to create one of our most extraordinary tours yet. We can’t wait for travellers to get the opportunity to learn to fish and cook with the much-loved comedian himself.”

With limited spaces available, Brits can be in with a chance of winning a slot on the tour alongside national treasure Paul Whitehouse and wild cooking expert Nick Weston. Entrants must enter via an exclusive free raffle on GetYourGuide.com. 

For the chance to join Paul Whitehouse ‘Originals by GetYourGuide’ experience, a limited number of tickets will be available from 8am on 28th February on GetYourGuide.com, free of cost, for both the 9th March and 27th April 2024 dates.

Please visit the website for more information.

We sent our roving reporter Dan to check out the experience for himself – he’s definitely our most outdoorsy type and we knew he’d get stuck in, check out what he thought to Fishing and Feasting with Paul Whitehouse…

I am not an angler. In fact to be honest, my experience of fishing of any sort begins with a net on the end of a bamboo stick and catching small fish in the harbour at Whitby…… and ends in pretty much the same place.

So when I was given the opportunity to experience “An Introduction to Fly Fishing” with Get Your Guide, I was keen to learn the attraction to this most sedate of sports. The fact that this was to be hosted by none other Paul Whitehouse only served to peak my interest more. I have grown up watching Paul on the television and I do like to watch Gone Fishing with him and Bob Mortimer. Not because I had any interest in Fishing but because two of the funniest men in the country were doing what they do best. They just happen to be fishing at the same time. Add to this the fact that after fishing we would be shown how to prepare and cook the fish on traditional open fire by hunter forager chef Nick Weston and this seemed like the perfect way to spend the day.

The event was due to start at nine thirty on a Tuesday Morning from The Greyhound on the Test in Stockbridge. This is about 20 minutes drive west from Winchester. The fact I live in Yorkshire and given the early start, I decided to stay over at the Greyhound the night before in an attempt to be bright eyed and bushy tailed ready for introduction to fly fishing.

This was definitely the right decision. The Greyhound is the perfect venue for this experience and the rooms and food and nothing short of luxurious.

Having been shown to my beautiful double room with every comfort I could want and taking time to bump my head several times on the beautiful exposed beams I was warned repeatedly  about, I went down to the restaurant.

Lucy Townsend and her team do nothing short of an amazing job. Not a single detail from the locally brewed beer which bears the name of the pub to exquisite food has been left the chance.

I asked the host Bob Swan what he would recommend after it became apparent that I wanted everything on the menu, and decided to start with the mackerel (I was there to fish after all) and have the duck for my main course. (Not a fish but close enough). Both were cooked and served to perfection.

If you are going on this experience and you are traveling any distance to the venue, I cannot recommend staying here highly enough. And by “distance’ I mean anywhere outside of Stockbridge.

Tuesday morning saw me rise early (too far as I bumped my head again) and after putting on some warm clothes and boots I went down for a full English breakfast that was every bit as good as the meal I ate the evening before.

At nine thirty we met in the main bar of the Greyhound where coffee tea and pastries were waiting. As was Paul Whitehouse.

A more personable and warm friendly man you could not hope to meet. He took time to talk to everyone about the sort of fishing we would be doing and the type of fish we would be fishing for. This area is famous for Rainbow Trout and “the Lady Of the Stream” Grayling.

The Test is world renowned for rainbow trout and is considered the birthplace of modern fly fishing and people travel from all over the globe to fish these “gin clear”waters. The water is so clear because the Test bubbles its way up through chalk which filters it and makes for a unique ecosystem. Or as Paul would say a “unique-osystem” (Thank you, Mr Whitehouse).

Transport was provided for the short drive to the spot where we would shown how to cast. Paul with assistance from a game keeper and river warden spent time with each person giving his expert tutorship of casting flies. This was a great opportunity for some one to one time with someone who clearly has passion not only for the sport but also a passion for bringing other people into it. By the time I was ready to cast I felt like I could catch anything!!!

This feeling was of course wrong. Quite frankly Id have been lucky to catch a cold. The water is very clear. You can see the fish. But by the same token the fish can see you which I felt gave the fish an unfair advantage. They just sat there almost mocking me. Fishing would be far easier if the fish were blindfolded in my opinion.

Even with the instructors spending time one on one with each of us only a few of us managed to get so much as a bite let alone land anything. But as Paul said this is why it’s called fishing and not catching.

After what seemed like an all too brief introduction to fly fishing (it wasn’t it just seemed to fly by) we were back on the transport back to the Greyhound to meet hunter forager chef Nick. Nick and his friend “Chops” had been busy all morning preparing fish that came from the river that morning. Albeit from a trout local trout farm as trout is out of season at this time of year and this experience is catch and release to maintain the sustainability of the river.

Nick and Chops demonstrated how to prepare trout. (If you’re a vegetarian or a vegan, this might not be the experience for you!) the trout was then planked smoked on a open fire while a we took turns making flat breads to eat a trout Gravlax that had been prepared by the two chefs the evening before and oysters with a beautiful breadcrumb and Parmesan crust all prepared on fires on the riverside.

Then it was back into the warmth of the Greyhound where we were served the plank smoked rainbow trout with Scandinavian  style smoked potatoes and roasted beetroot with fennel salad and barbecued long stem broccoli. All prepared for us out on the river bank. To finish was a rich homemade chocolate torte that perfectly complemented the main dish.

I understand now why people fish. It isn’t about catching a fish necessarily. I know that for that two hours I was on that river bank I wasn’t concerned about deadlines or stresses from home or even the 5 hour drive back to Yorkshire. All I was thinking about was trying to get a fish on that hook. Total mental holiday from the hustle and bustle or everyday life. In short I am a convert. And id like to thank the Get Your Guide team, Paul Whitehouse, Nick and Chops and the staff and management at the Greyhound on Test for making this the experience that it was.

I also understand that when someone tells you to mind your head, you should listen to them.

Words By Dan Riley, Crave Magazine