MANY visitors to Winterton pass the Lion on their way to their holiday destination.
Sitting on a slope looking over the pretty village of Somerton, it’s only a few minutes’ drive or cycle away from us.
We’d heard it was under new management so decided to drop in with a couple of friends to give it a try.
It was a rainy Wednesday November night and when we arrived it was clear the redecoration work was still under way, so we weren’t surprised to see just a couple of regulars in the lounge bar.
But the welcome from landlady Jane and her customers was as friendly as you could wish for. We sat down with pint of Ghost Ship, a Guinness, a San Miguel and a large glass of Sauvignon Blanc.
The menu was pretty much standard pub fare as expected and we opted for fish and chips, a chicken and mushroom pie, lasagne and a burger - not just any burger, but a Robert Hales burger.
We had a little bit of a wait but that was fine because it gave us time to catch up on the news and take in our surroundings.
The Lion is a traditional village pub with three en-suite letting rooms, a bar, lounge and dining room. Everywhere we went looked clean and freshly painted, including the lavatories.
With the arrival of the meals it became apparent that the Robert Hales burger was worthy of the title. A tall stack of two handmade burgers, bacon, cheese and onion rings, it was almost too much for the skewer holding it together.
Hales, known as the Norfolk Giant, was a 7ft 8ins tall circus star who toured with PT Barnum and met Queen Victoria. He was born in the village in the early 18th Century and died in 1863. His grave is in the churchyard at St Mary’s.
The burger was tasty and had a good texture to it. It was accompanied by chips and a light and creamy coleslaw. And the pie had a good strong flavour, while the pastry cut easily but held together well.
Our friends enjoyed their lasagne and local fishmonger-supplied cod fillet.
We rounded our meal off with a sticky toffee pudding that was light and slathered in syrupy sweetness.
Only recently taken over by Jane and Damon, the Lion is ideally placed for a stop off when you’re heading back from a trip the Broads or the seal colony at Horsey. It’s not very far from the Staithe and local footpaths.
It caters for children with a special Lion Cub menu and offers a traditional roast lunch on Sundays. It is also dog friendly.
Visit thelionsomerton.co.uk for full details.