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Thomas Lord, West Meon

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user reviews of the Thomas Lord, West Meon

please note - reviews on this site are purely the opinion of site visitors, so don't take them too seriously.

Decent if exceptionally posh pub that is really a full blown restaurant. Food is good, ample and prompt, ales are all from the local brewery, stakes ale is the one with flavour it is also the strongest at 4.8%. Good one to impress an aspirational date especially in a rented sports car. Crap pub for fireside chat and relax.
parmantom - 6 Oct 2012 17:38
Celebrated a 40th birthday party there with a large extended family booking - staff could not have been more helpful. Excellent food and service, and all requests expertley catered for. Lovely pub and great gardens - up there with the best.
bunge - 2 Apr 2012 21:59
Indeed, an early contender for most memorable meal of the year, once you strip out the snobbish expectations of Michelin et al. The Thomas Lord, located in a small Hampshire village but evidently booked out on a very regular basis, wins plaudits (including two AA rosettes) for getting right the vital things that make eating out a pleasurable experience.

The first thing you notice upon parking is a sizeable kitchen garden, supplying splendid veg and herbs � always a good sign. As you enter, you notice a hugely enticing environment, certainly if you enjoy the English country pub. The decor has accumulated over time, rather than being painted on by the yard. Cricket memorabilia abounds, this being close to the original home of cricket (I can just picture Peter Cook intoning, �not many people know that.�) Comforting sofas and open log fires are much in evidence � this is not for those expecting in-your-face modern decor, but for people who want to relax and enjoy the ambience, take time over a meal and a few drinks, rather than worry about whether the seats match.

Initial reactions are confirmed by service that is uniformly friendly, helpful, professional, knowledgeable and good-humoured. Having been served by many a grumpy waiter over the years, I kept waiting for his facade to crack and for Basil Fawlty to emerge from within. Alas, our waiter charmed from beginning to end � my only sadness being that while the credit card bill (correctly) did not allow an option for gratuities, I had no cash on me to reward exceptional performance. Luckily for him, there will be a next time�

The menu is also encouraging. Not too many choices to blind the diner, in fact few enough to confirm this to be a fresh food restaurant taking pride in its food, not yet another pub with a hot microwave churning out identikit meals. In fact, the ingredients are carefully sourced, seasonal and top notch, for which the TL deserves much credit.

We started with pigeon breast artfully arranged atop a wave of creamed swede, with a crisp rasher of bacon like a surfboard. A tian of zingingly fresh crab came on a crouton surrounded by splodges of sweet chilli and satisfied to the last mouthful. Personally, I�d prefer a small puddle than the cheffy touch of dripping sauces, but I seem to be in a minority here.

Main courses proved a problem, not least because we wanted all five between us. Plaice, rib eye steak and duck breast would have been just as inviting, but the mushroom lasagne and crisp braised shoulder of lamb chosen were both masterpieces of their respective art � the pressed lamb came as a circle of tender gooey meat with a crunchy sea salt topping.

Perhaps it�s just as easy to be over-fulsome in praise as it is to carp, but it would be sniffy to find any serious criticism of these dishes � they truly hit the spot. Probably the best I can do is say that the oval of crushed �minted potatoes� were not especially minty. However, the rosemary gravy did arrive in a pleasing puddle, so that is forgiven!

Similar selection issues emerged with desserts, but an impossibly rich chocolate marquise (which the waiter claimed to spell instant diabetes) and a truly wonderful cheeseboard, served in perfect condition and accompanied by glorious pickles and the charcoal biscuits that send my mother into a thousand ecstasies. My coffee was a tad cold but I chose not to comment � it was at least strong and full-bodied and mitigated by the fact that we found a welcome diversion in the excellent collection of second hand books, all for sale, on the shelves all around the dining room. My companion kindly bought me a splendid volume of W S Gilbert�s Savoy Operas for 50p, which went towards the church fund!!

In summary: The Thomas Lord is not perfect, but pretty damned good, certainly worthy of a second visit to confirm findings, and top marks for charm, dedication and excellence.

jasper29 - 23 Jan 2012 13:31
Went there with a large group for Sunday lunch. All the main courses were between �13 and �20 plus 12.5% service and there really weren't any suitable light lunchs on offer. I had the beef which (with vegetables, Yorkshires, etc) was excellent but the lamb was disappointing, which at �19 is unacceptable. Has definitely positioned itself as an upmarket (as in expensive/pretentious(?)) gastropub which was not what we were looking for. Bowman's Swift One was good and there was also Wallops Wood, which I didn't try.
Beer_Hound - 11 Jan 2012 12:15
Went for lunch for with 2 other people. We had the 2 courses for �15 deal and the food was excellent, although the service was a bit slow (partly due, I think, to them being almost full with a special event of diners who all came at about the same time). Beer OK. I thought the ambience is good and the vegetable garden at the back is very impressive!
PaulGreen77 - 26 Jul 2011 19:30
beer choice and quality has gone down hill, really a restaurant not a pub
littlecon - 10 Dec 2010 14:44
What an amazing meal and atmosphere. The new manager has certainly turned the place around. Well done!
xxxxxxxxxxxx - 3 Dec 2010 11:50
What a great experience we had last Sunday , it's my second visit now after being recommended by my daughter to visit after she discovered it through friends, Firstly the staff are very friendly and helpful should you need anything ,then there is the whole ambiance of the place from as soon as you walk towards the entrance from the outside you see the burning candles and flaming fires which themselves are so inviting, the mixed matched rustic feel just sets off this amazing country pub .
I was actually shocked to find a pub that could offer such good quality menu choices ,one young lady there was exceptionally enthusiastic when going through the menu and explaining the concept that they only use British locally sourced products from small local suppliers , or from their very own vegetable patch off of the beautiful garden behind the pub , we had a great 3 course meal to perfection and an amazing dish for my friend who is a Vegan , they russeled up something with no fuss at all ,as my friend stated it's not the easiest to eat out being a vegan and not get the look from the waiter that your a problem, in actual fact she commented also that it was probably the best dish she has ever eaten and even more spectacular that the squash came fresh from the garden ,quite splendid , overall a great day with good company and a very friendly atmosphere ,reasonable prices when you consider the restrictions the kitchen work to ,real ale casks on display a great traditional British pub with real Traditional quality food ,i can only wait to enjoy the garden more in the summer , you have not seen the last of me i have found my favourite country pub .
mitchell1 - 8 Nov 2010 17:13
Wish I had read these reviews before spending a fortune on this mediocre pub. Was hoping to arrange a nice lunch for four of us - repaying a favour to some friends. The plates were cold, choice poor, menu pretentious - you do not need to put all the garden vegetables on one plate - just a few well cooked and tasty ones. The vegetarian options were limited and the portion very small - with no colour or imagination. Very expensive and overcharged for drinks. Will not return. Such a shame.
tinsle25 - 1 Nov 2010 07:08
Young and helpful staff, trendy refit of pub. Kitchen garden looked interesting.
However the food was slow to arrive, poorly seasoned, lukewarm and vastly overpriced - and this was confirmed across 6 different dishes orderd by us all.
Ladies loos were appalling - you'd think they could afford a new ceiling!

Won't be back...
lcook63 - 14 Apr 2010 12:41
i left feeling ripped off and the service wasnt great
daddy_pudding - 2 Apr 2010 19:51
Used it regularly for years before I moved away to Wiltshire, having returned to the area looked it up again. You cant relive the past! No longer the friendly pub I remembered. Staff were off hand and busy warming themselves as the pub was very cold. Waited 40 mins and no sign of food ordered, after enquiry was informed the order had been misplaced, but we were the only other couple in the place! Finished our second drink and left after cancelling the meal. Ale was in good condition though!
odbod - 14 Jan 2010 11:22
Paid a visit on a lovely summer midweek afternoon, garden was resplendent creating a lovely atmosphere and setting. Real wood pizza oven was blazing away! Beer was on stillage behind the bar, a tad warm and flat for my taste but in good nick! Sampled the Triple fff Moondance and Alton's Pride. Will return to have a go at the pizza's which looked fantastic!
DTR2K - 19 Aug 2009 18:33
My girlfriend and I popped down after hearing that is was the place to eat in hampshire. Well there was only one VEGGY option! We had to wait 45 minutes to order, 30 minutes to get the food. The food was nothing special, tasty, but nothing special for the prices they are charging! Then it took 20 mins for the bill. Heart attack averted by glass of water after looking at the bill and then we left. Nicest thing about the evening was my girlfriend and the drive through hampshire. Don't waste your time!
EatOutAllot - 19 Aug 2009 16:16
Apparently this pub has won just about every award under the sun - how I really dont understand, we visited on quiet monday night and were the only ones in the building. the meal was mediocre at best and took an hour to arrive meatballs and burger. Needless to suggest we didnt order anything else. Even the bill took half hour to arrive. Butcombe ale was however super! As per previous comments this pub really does need a tidy and refresh paint in some places, there is olde world and there is tired! Liked the idea of a all local menu but someone needs to offer this place a little more TLC before its worth of a return visit.
cj0306 - 18 Jul 2009 22:05
excellent pub, excellent food, excellent ale, yes it is pricey, but that's to keep whinging people like you away,nothing much
littlecon - 6 Mar 2009 09:22
Having seen the reviews and read a recent article saying how great this place was we booked lunch. Very disappointing visit. It took us over an hour to receive our food, despite booking and although staff were very pleasant, nothing was offered as a sorry; bread, drinks, or money off the bill. I agree with the food being nice, but definately overpriced, as it's pub style food, with restaurant prices and I must be missing something with the decor as it just looked shabby and in need of a refurb! More disappointing is that after letting the owners know of my visit I have not had an apology or even an acknowledgement - says it all really for me!! Won't be going back there or recommending it!
nothingmuch - 26 Feb 2009 14:12
Definately a gastropub - but we didn't get the chance to pay any price for the food, as we could not be fed without a booking (on a Saturday evening). Lucky there is another pub in the village. Having said that the choice and quality of the beers on offer was excellent so we came back after eating. Surprisingly the beer was an almost realistic �2.80 per pint.

inbiber - 30 Oct 2008 23:00
Hampshire Pub of the year 2008. All food locally sourced hence a little pricey although you do get what you pay for. Great ambience, nice staff.
Split between best time of year to visit. Summer for the excellent garden and outside bar or winter for the real log fires and deep settees!!

BigTruck - 28 Oct 2008 12:14
Lovely meal good service, but very pricey for the size off the meals. Wont be going back in a hurry!!!!!
Schupp - 20 Sep 2008 23:07
A nice local atmosphere. A real effort is made with the food although a tad pricey for a pub. A commendable effort to support local suppliers. Attentive staff. A quick wipe with a cloth/apron over the table to remove evidence of previous incumbant before laying down the silver would be nice. Nice to have linen napkins. They'll see me again. Well maintained beer too.
hoppie - 15 Feb 2008 14:19
Stopped for lunch on on very cold Saturday lunchtime. Staff very pleasant and friendly. Excellent food - we can recommend the beef faggots and the lentil 'spouts' (very good for veggie food which is a rare find), and not overpriced. I disagree that it's 'pretentious' (see below) I think they are simply make a decent effort to get away from the standard chips-with-everything pub fare. Excellent and well kept beers straight from the keg.

As the afternoon darkened early, a member of staff lit all the candles in the dining room - what a lovely touch. Highly recommended.
Chevalon - 20 Nov 2007 17:12
Nice pub with excellent beer fro local breweries. The Triple F Moondance was sublime.Food very expensive and a bit pretentious, so went for a meal at the Hampshire Bowman instead.
anonymous - 11 Nov 2007 13:34
Excellent pub with great food. Service is not the quickest but food always worth waiting for.
nickmarch - 10 Nov 2007 16:51
Went to the thomas lord on saturday,,beer was good but main reason we went was for the food and it was worth it, all locally sourced and very good value, if you like food and beer in a warm freindly pub then get yourself to the thomas lord.
fareham_shortie - 30 Apr 2007 13:51
Draws on its association with the eponymous founder of Lord's cricket ground and former resident of West Meon with plenty of cricketing memorabilia, but not overpoweringly so. More to the point, it's an absolutely tremendous country inn: roomy, comfortable, with a nicely weathered assortment of furniture, including big leather armchairs, many pulled up to fires which blaze through the winter. Friendly, chatty and, it would appear, a matey dog at every table, which may not be standard but was a nice touch on the day that we were there. Excellent range of beers, including favourites from the Triple F brewery in Alton. Tempting short menu, drawing on local suppliers - when we dropped by for lunch, smoked haddock stovie topped with a fried egg and a dash of chilli hit the spot very nicely. Good for lunch, dinner, or just idling away a few hours with beer and the papers. Lovely.
myPetersfield - 23 Feb 2007 22:39
Open fire. Lovely pint of Abbot's Ale. Lovely barstaff (well, the girls are), lots of cricket paraphenalia (Thomas Lord is the bloke who Lord's cricket ground is namedd after).
MarkM - 27 Feb 2006 17:17

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