When I received an invitation to experience a Lord’s Cricket Ground Tour followed by lunch at its Tavern, there wasn’t a doubt in my mind who I was going to take with, my dad. In all honesty I don’t have much of an interest in the game, tennis is my sport, but dad is a massive fan and thought it’d make a lovely day out with hopefully good food. Dad used to be a keen player of the game and as a child I would often watch him play. However, I don’t remember seeing much of the matches because I found it pretty boring and was more likely to be seen mucking around with some of the other kids.
My most special – cricket related – memory though, was when he took me to the Oval to see West Indies vs England, sometime in the mid 80’s. It was a hot summer’s day and I remember sitting in the stalls not really knowing what was going on, when all of a sudden after hours of sweltering in the heat, the crowd erupted. West Indies had won. I then remember most of the crowd, including us, running onto the pitch in celebration – good times.
For someone who doesn’t have much affection for cricket, I found the tour to be quite interesting with lots of little titbits of information on some of the players – even though I hardly knew who any of them were. It’s a well-paced tour with lots of historical facts and stats, and definitely worth going on if you’re a fan of the game.
The tour was a great build up to what I was most excited about sampling – the food at Lord’s Tavern. The tavern serves both local St.John’s Wood residents and visitors alike. Food isn’t included with the tour ticket, but they do offer various discounts if you do both.
Most of the menu is standard pub grub affair; burger, fish and chips, Ploughman’s lunch etc. But there is a dish on there that stands out from the rest – the Pig’s Head Croquettes. It’s served as a starter and is a great one at that. Succulent strings of flavoursome pork, covered in a crisp coat of breadcrumbs with a warm piccalilli chutney, which elevate the dish to heady (pardon the pun) heights – each mouthful is a perfectly balanced flavour sensation.
Dad made a mistake with his smoked salmon starter and thought the salmon would be cooked. He doesn’t like raw/cured food so unfortunately couldn’t eat it. We humbly asked if we could change it to the croquettes. I would’ve swapped it with mine, but I’m not a fan of smoked salmon, and besides, it was too good to miss out on. The staff made no issue of the error and very kindly replaced it.
The rest of the meal was equally as good as the starter – superb fish and chips (with proper, fat, home-made chips) and a wonderfully naughty treacle tart with clotted cream. Dad’s choice of steak and chips and jam sponge with custard went down just as well. It’s very rare that I say this, but the meal was faultless. While the menu overall is not that inspiring, what they do, they do well – brilliantly cooked, British pub classics.
Lord’s Tavern is open for lunch or dinner. Starters are priced between £4.50 to £6.60, mains £9.90 to 14.50 and desserts £4.00 to £5.00. A tour of the ground is £15 lasting approx 1hr and 40mins.
Food I Fancy dined as guests.
Lord’s Cricket Ground and Tavern
St.John’s Wood Road
London, NW8 8QN
Tel: 020 7616 8500