Let’s do lunch:
Down a labyrinth of narrow country lanes lined with fields of bright yellow rape, The Lion at Thurne is as an idyllic spot on the Broads as you could hope for
We’re lunching at The Lion in Thurne with the family
As Broads lunchtime stops go, The Lion at Thurne is surely one of the best, especially in the warmer months. A large garden with plenty of tables opens on to a big village green and play area and step across the lane and you are by the water; the iconic mills looking splendid against the blue sky as traditional sailing boats drift by.
With a large, light and airy dining space and a cosy, but cool bar area, The Lion prides itself as being a real ale heaven and in recent years, a gin palace.
The menu offers classic pub food, with mains mostly around the £10 – £12 mark. This isn’t fine dining, but the portions are more than generous and it is hearty, good quality, freshly cooked food.
Fish and chips, sausage and mash, pie of the day and a great burger menu – which includes a fish, chicken and vegan choice.
The short starters menu would double as light bites to share. Two plates of delicious, hot and salty whitebait with a lemon and
dill mayo was fresh, crispy and hungrilly demolished.
With the children in tow, who insisted they were hungry enough for an adult meal (most things on the menu can be served at around half the cost as a kid’s portion), my youngest son opted for the Swannington Farm smoked honey ham, free range egg, thick cut chips and homemade coleslaw, which when it arrived was bigger than he was. My other son chose from the Lion’s excellent home-made stone baked pizza menu. At around £11 – £12, the pizzas would be great at lunchtime to share – not that he did. There was no scrimping on toppings, the ‘meaty’ was a combination of mozzarella, smoked honey ham, sausage, pepperoni and red onions . My husband and I went for burgers – he, The Lion burger, a 6oz beef burger topped with cheese, smoked bacon and BBQ sauce, me, the Farmer’s burger, a 6oz pork and apple burger with brie, red onions and tomato salsa. They came with a mountain of fries, homemade coleslaw and were packed with flavour.
Too full for dessert (although the rather enticing 12-inch dessert pizza toped with Nutella, marshmallows, white and dark choc drops and drizzled with cream almost made it to the table), we enjoyed coffee in the warm, bustling beer garden while the kids enjoyed running off lunch in the sunshine.
Our bill for four people, came to around £80. Our review visits are unannounced and we pay for our meals. thelionatthurne.com
ABOVE: Home made pizzas at The Lion at Thurne
BELOW: The Lion Inn at Thurne Antony Kelly