As Christmas begins its slow fade in to memory, the lives of hardened pub reviewers must go on. Happy to take this weight of responsibility, we went forth in search of new and wondrous pub adventures. Today the pin dropped on The Thomas Lord in West Meon.. We were aware that a new chef is in situ, that of course means a new menu too. That's the sort of bate which will always awaken our spirit of adventure.
We arrived to an almost full car park, generally a good sign in the foodie world of pubs. We squeezed in to the last remaining space and bravely stepped forth. We were greeted by a warm bustling atmosphere, just as you'd like a pub to be over the Christmas period. It must have been our lucky day, as not only did we snatch the last space in the car park, we also happened to get the last available table.
Let's start with the simple pub standards routine. The atmosphere was good, owing to the busy nature of this fine establishment. The temperature was just right, especially since it was on the frosty side today. There was a touch of harmless music noodling away in the background. So far so good. But what of the menu I here you ask. The menu was very good indeed, almost a work of art, if menu's can be placed in to an expressive context. Each meal was designed individually. Certain accompaniments for certain meats or fish etc. None of this Pie and mash, sausage and mash, things with chips, stuff with chips, something else with chips or mash. Just a quick note, there's nothing wrong with chips or mash.
As is becoming increasingly popular, you can get yourself a few plates of English tapas at about £6 a go. If you're feeling more like a regular size meal, a standard dish will cost you between £12 and £18. Granted it may not be cheap, but this is one of those times when it's worth paying an extra few quid. Just to emphasise that point, me and Dad both chose to have fish and chips, I told you there's nothing wrong with chips. Whereas an average fish and chips may set you back around £10. If given the option, wouldn't you rather have an amazing fish and chips for £13? That's what you should ask yourself before coming here.
The food was very good indeed. The hake was delicious and covered in a wonderfully crisp batter. The crushed peas were some of the best we've tasted. The tartar sauce was homemade, rich and creamy, and the chips...... If there was an award for the biggest pub chips, you'd have to look no further. I suppose the main thing to take from this is that we had nothing to grumble about and were both thoroughly satisfied.
This is a lovely old pub, although I imagine it's a far throw from its previous incarnations. Now a days it's more of a restaurant than a pub, although I believe there was a separate bar area. The food is without question of the highest order and we would recommend you find that out for yourselves.
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