UPDATE 07/05/2018 – scroll to bottom of post.
UPDATE 29/08/2016 – scroll to bottom of post.
East Meon is a lovely little country village which I cycle through quite frequently. No tearooms unfortunately but two very good pubs. The nearest tearoom is probably Tazzina’s on the High Street in West Meon, just off the A32. We’ve been to Ye Olde George Inn on several occasions over the last ten years or so and have enjoyed many a meal there.
Ye Old George is a 15th century coaching inn with beautiful Hampshire countryside all around which is great for cycling and country walks. Just a few yards away is the very pretty All Saint’s Church with a large hill behind it which is good to walk up and burn off a few calories after eating a tasty meal. Alongside the Inn and across the road is the River Meon with chocolate-box cottages on either side. I’ve seen the cottage I would like to live in, now I just need lots of money.
The inside is nice and airy with plain walls, white ceiling with wooden beams. A new tartan carpet we noticed too with matching bar stools. The staff are friendly and welcoming. A local came in and they all greeted him by his name ‘Hello Mr. Collins’. There are three areas inside to dine plus seating in the rear garden or out the front by the road to watch the world go by. There are two menu’s, one during the week and a special one for Sundays where you can have two courses – either a starter and a main or a main and a dessert – for £17.50, or if you don’t want two courses (or perhaps you want all three!) then they are also priced individually. We chose from the ‘sandwich’ menu which was shown on one of the blackboards, not wanting a big meal as we were walking.
I can’t resist pork belly when it’s on the menu so I just had to have it. Open sandwich of confit Hampshire pork belly, Bury black pudding and apple puree. This consisted of four slices of pork belly with a crispy crackling edge on a slice of toasted bread and topped with a slice of black pudding. Served with really nice chips in a little wire basket and a few salad leaves. The meal was very tasty indeed. My only complaint was the wooden board it was served on. This is a pet hate of mine as everything seems to fall off onto the table. I much prefer a plate. I also hate slates unless they’re firmly attached to my roof.
I tried to persuade Geoff into having three desserts between us as we both liked the sound of them. Unfortunately he was still being the same old meany genie he always is and wouldn’t let me – only joking 😉
I eventually decided upon the brandy poached raspberry and mascarpone crème brûlée with home-made shortbread. I’d not seen the word ‘brandy’ on the board (I didn’t have my glasses on so had to squint whilst reading it) but knew that I could taste a little alcohol in there somewhere. I double-checked the dessert board and saw that I was right.
Mmmm, I loved the crème brûlée, it truly was delicious. Creamy and smooth with a crisp burnt sugar topping. The shortbread was fresh and very nice too. Served with a few fruits to garnish.
Geoff went for the sticky toffee pudding with warm toffee sauce and double cream. Fresh and moist he enjoyed it and I also had a spoonful and can concur that it was excellent.
As I said previously, we’ve been to the Ye Olde George Inn several times, for family meals, with friends or just on our own as a couple whilst walking and over the years it has always been consistent. All the dishes are ‘made on the premises, except the hand-made ice cream, which is made at a local farm’.
If you find out you’ve drunk or eaten too much then you can always stay the night in one of their five bedrooms.
Living life, loving cake
UPDATE 07/05/2018 – we went for a lovely country walk from the Sustainability Centre (opposite where HMS Mercury once was) over to East Meon arriving just after 12pm. We sat inside as it was cooler. Service was very good and friendly too.
We both had the ‘posh’ fish finger sandwich. The two pieces of freshly cooked battered fish were lovely and light served with toasted sourdough with tartare sauce. I’m not keen on sourdough (although I like it toasted with smashed avo’ on top), I’d much rather have had a bun or granary bread or even focaccia, sourdough is too tough for a sandwich, whatever the filling and this you had to eat with a knife and fork – which I’d have done anyway whatever it was served in/on to be honest.
We also shared some roasted almonds whilst we were waiting, these needed more salt so instead of the caraway salt they came sprinkled with, we used the ordinary table salt. I’m sure if we’d asked they would have given us some.
The desserts were lovely! I had the deconstructed tiramisu, similar to the one on our last visit (see the 2016 update) but much better. A long piece of sponge, some dollops of thick chocolate ganache on the slate it was served upon, mascarpone, a drizzle of maple syrup (or something similar) shavings and thick chunks of chocolate and a cup of espresso. Excellent. This I’d have again. Don’t change it Ye Olde George Inn, you have this dessert spot on.
The sticky toffee pudding was equally as delicious, in fact we shared both desserts. The pudding was a fresh and tasty toffee sponge with plenty of sticky toffee syrup soaked into it making it very moist and just the right amount of sauce surrounding it, nice ice cream and a really lovely large piece of brandy snap.
UPDATE 29/08/2016 – Since this review we’ve returned several times to Ye Olde George Inn. Yesterday on our country walk we popped in for lunch and I’m glad to say that it’s still very good with great food and service. Geoff enjoyed his fish & chips and I had a lovely burger and chips which was served on a plate and not a plank of wood, thank goodness! For dessert Geoff had sticky toffee pudding and I had the espresso brownie (not too sure where the espresso part of it was) with a lovely walnut ice-cream and choc chip biscotti.