Situated in a picturesque narrow lane in its own attractive garden is Thakeham village’s only Inn, The White Lion, where I recently visited with my family for Sunday lunch. The weather was favourable so we elected to eat al fresco at one of the comfortable rattan tables. The tables are spaced sufficiently far apart so diners do not feel cramped and the surrounding garden provides a pleasant atmosphere and is dog friendly (as is the whole pub). Originally an old coaching inn, the interior retains the ambience of a typical country pub and offers a selection of cask ales, spirits, wines and cocktails to suit all tastes.
The lunch time menu offers a good selection of starters, main and dessert courses including vegetarian alternatives. Being Sunday, a traditional roast seemed to be eminently suitable for our party of four (including an 11 year old).
We were tempted by all the starters and the smoked salmon proved to be a generous portion of flavourable fish whilst the Yakatori glazed chicken wings provided an extremely tasty alternative to more traditional starters. All were nicely presented and the service was very friendly and efficient.
The roasts did not disappoint and again generous portions were served with the most incredible roast potatoes I think I have ever tasted. There were at least five accompanying vegetables including cauliflower cheese, leeks beans and tenderstem brocolli. The vegetables were prepared in such a delicious manner that the 11 year old consumed even those he had never before tasted! Those whose offspring refuse to eat their “greens” should take note!
The dessert menu offered the most indulgent array including chocolate and salted caramel profiteroles (pictured below), lemon meringue pie with raspberry sauce, White Lion Eton mess and Affogato. All were so beautifully presented that it seemed almost criminal to actually eat them! I would say that this did not deter us from doing just that, with obvious relish!
The White Lion maintains the village pub feel and is obviously popular with visitors and locals alike. The staff are friendly without being overbearing and the service was excellent. Even the family dog appeared to enjoy the experience especially when a menu blew conveniently close and was promptly chewed! There can be few more congenial ways of spending a Sunday lunchtime than to savour good food in good company in such delightful surroundings.
Bookings/info: 01798 813141