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Food review: The White Lion in Little Chalfont
NIGEL Spurr has a tough job on his hands. He has taken over The White Lion in Little Chalfont and wants to make it somewhere people go for the food, and not just for a drink. Rebecca Cain went along to try his menu.
Arriving at The White Lion I was unsure what was going to be on offer.
The pub sits on a busy main road and is not particularly inviting from the outside, but Nigel is in the process of making it more welcoming.
Inside there is warm welcome from the friendly bar staff and once past the busy pool table the restaurant is very spacious with simple wooden furniture.
Nigel, who is landlord and chef, said all the food is fresh and locally sourced, although he does not make his own puddings.
He said: "Sometimes it takes a little bit longer but people are happy to wait that extra couple of minutes knowing it is fresh and prepared on site."
There are 16 varieties of sausages on the menu which are all British ranging from Creole Smokey to Venison and Mushroom to Lamb and Rosemary.
There are also six different types of mash too.
There is a selection of six mains from sirloin steak (£9.95) to a Steak Burger (£6.95) and Giant Cod (£5.95). Baguettes range from £4.45 and jacket potatoes from £4.95.
He also makes homemade pizzas which are £5 or two for £9. There is a kids menu for £3.95 and seems pretty standard with chicken nuggets, burgers and fish fingers.
For starters I went for the prawn cocktail (£4.45), which was nicely presented. The prawns were large and the Marie rose sauce was perfectly done, and not too sharp as it can sometimes be. It was served with slices of a warm brown baguette and a fresh salad. As a big prawn cocktail fan I thought this was done well.
My fellow diner, Tom, had a generous portion of whitebait (£3.95), which were coated in a light crisp batter.
We both went for a sausage option (£5.95). I had the Wild Boar and Sage and Tom had the Pork and London Pride. My sausages were good- meaty if not a little bit on the dry side. The Pork and London Pride was a lot more flavoursome and a better option.
The gravy is very good- made by Nigel with ale, tomato puree and proper stock.
I had Colcannon mash and Tom went for wholegrain mustard, which were both really tasty. It was served with broccoli, cauliflower and carrots.
Desserts are read to you with an option of four. I went for the chocolate fudge cake, which was good- not amazing- but better than you would expect from a pre-prepared pudding.
Tom had sticky toffee pudding with custard, which was a lot better and tasted almost homemade.
Sunday roast is £6.95 offering beef, lamb and pork. Children under 12 eat free.
The pub decor is understated but the atmosphere is friendly.
You would probably not come to The White Lion for a special occasion but I think you would for a good pub meal, and especially if you love sausages.
It is standard pub fare but Nigel clearly cares about what he is cooking, and that comes through in the presentation and the flavour.
The pub’s website is www.whitelionamersham.co.uk .
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