We regularly travel on the A3 or the M3 and usually end up stopping for something to eat in some awful motorway cafe/similar. On this occasion we decided to take a while for a proper pit-stop and booked in at the Thomas Lord. When they struggled to squeeze us in we suspected we were on to a winner and that the 15 minute detour from the main road would be worth while.
I have to say we absolutely LOVED the place and are looking forward to our next journey so we can stop off again! The Thomas Lord is a paen to tradition and full of character. From the cricket bats hanging from the ceiling to the beautifully battered furniture (1950s JCR style leather armchairs by the fireplace, stuffing oozing comfortably from the armrests), it's a really quaint little place.
The back garden has a woodfired oven where they serve pizza in the summer and their own chickens scratch happily away in their run at the end of the garden (eggs from the hens, with the name of the hen who laid each egg written on the shell, are on sale in the bar). I'm already planning a trip next summer!
The food is great, I had two starters; the portabella mushrooms stuffed with goats cheese and onions, and the pigeon breast with beetroot salad. Both were beautifully cooked. My boyfriend had the beef faggots with mash, gravy and the freshest veg ever and polished it off in super-quick time.
The Thomas Lord is one of those country pubs, which, like The Griffin Inn in Sussex, make a journey a joy. Having said that, West Meon is a charming village and worthy of a weekend visit in itself.