Not many establishments justify a full pub and restaurant writeup- they're generally pretty clearly one or the other - but the Thomas Lord is a justified exception to that rule. As we've found before, it's a great place to drop in for a pint, but come back for a meal and be as amazed as we were at the quality of the food. Short menu which changes every day and quietly undersells what will turn up on the plate (in clear contravention of standard restaurant practise). Highly skilled but not madly ostentatious cooking (you'll look in vain for timbales of anything here), drawing on local suppliers and traditional English menus (in the best way), so anticipate game, fish, organic vegetables and old-fashioned puddings all prepared with great attention to flavour, beautifully presented and balanced in a way that makes three courses entirely feasible. Excellent wine list with many available by small or large glass, half or full bottle. Attentive service, friendly without being overpowering, lovely ambience with a mix of rooms, tables and lighting which gives the place a real clubby atmosphere and can comfortably accommodate anything from dinner à deux to large parties. Proper linen and heavy cutlery is a nice touch. Real value too - even the bill came as a pleasant surprise, and how often do we find ourselves saying that? The Thomas Lord taxes our limited powers of description, but you should have gathered by now that we sure did like what we found here. In fact, it shames us to say it, but we struggled to find anything to criticise. Get there: West Meon is on the A32 Alton - Fareham road, a mile or two south of the intersection with the A272. The pub is signposted off the main road just inside the village. 01730 829244. GMAP Also see our pub review here. Picture courtesy of Herry Lawford, by the way, who also contributed the following sage remarks:
"The Thomas Lord is everything one could wish for in a country pub - except perhaps for the lack of a view. But once inside, it exudes the warmth and charm of its cheerful owners and the unmistakable smell of a good table. Exceptional cooking, using local produce and supporting local farmers, butchers and fishermen, results in dishes such as mouthwatering pork chops, succulent venison and a perfect vegetable 'shepherds' pie. A short but interesting wine list includes a very tasty and reasonably priced Chilean Carmenere red - and the beer is of course excellent. Add two blazing fires and a semi-private back room lined with books (that you can buy for 50p each), and aged wood everywhere, and you will be tempted to stay all day. About £25 a head for two courses and a lot of wine! "