The Fleur de Lys, Pilley

We were warmly greeted by Ben at this 11th century pub on Pilley Street, despite the fact that, because they were hosting a wedding this evening, they were not serving full meals this lunchtime. We were offered starters, which was in fact all we needed today.

We were familiar with this excellent venue from our early days in the New Forest. It has, however, had a chequered life since the managers from that period had closed up , leaving the current chef to seek employment elsewhere. Eventually he had set up in Lymington, but returned here last May having learned that the historic building was again available. It was unsurprising to learn that they have been thereafter very busy.

We were the only people customers present. Ben took our order, served me Doom Bar and Jackie Amstell beer and

lit the log fire.

Jackie was free to photograph the interior with its charming accessories.

and ancient paving. The late Queen’s model operates, by solar power, a waving hand.

On that same window sill there is an interesting display of books which our photographer of the day spent a good time enjoying.

I have this one at home in perfect condition with a jacket, so I know its worth.

Oh, yes, the food. Jackie chose the monkfish scampi starter and I chose the sticky slow cooked duck. The complex blends of intricate flavours were delightful. I told the chef we would be back for our mains and desserts.

Jackie left her phone behind. The icing on the cake was that when I phoned to see if it was there the staff were just leaving. They searched and found it and waited behind for the rather more than Assistant Photographer to collect it.


  1. Thank you for including the menu: I enjoyed perusing it! Good on the staff for waiting for Jackie to collect her phone. A less happy circumstance in my part of the world is that a young woman left her phone on one of the trans-country buses and was so angry to discover that, having found it, the crew had sent it to the town she had been heading for – she burnt the luxury bus!!!!!

  2. What a delightful place! I recognize the exterior, I think. How wonderful to have such a place nearby with delicious food and attentive, caring staff. I wonder what the wedding will be like there.

  3. Except for the ‘phone incident,’ it sounded an interesting interlude: the food tempting… ‘Im indoors and I used to run a small, modest hotel in Bournemouth many moons ago, and enjoyed your neck of the woods when we had a few, rare, hours off. A fascinating time in our life together, as we enjoyed most people’s company…and cooked up several memorable meals in our time! Now in our 90s, my other half does the cooking , bless him. Happy memories…(‘ Running Your Own Small Hotel’ commissioned and published by Kogan Page, London) Just a factual, modest book., which led to writing and publishing eight more…( Cheers!

  4. The ancient floor is amazing, I can imagine watching the tiles being made by crafty hands long ago. The menu is like nothing I’ve seen before. ????????❤️

  5. I was interested to see the word ‘lee’ in one of the books. My middle name is Lee, and I had no idea what it means. Searching, I found this: “Lee is a given name derived from a surname of English origin that means ‘clearing’ or ‘meadow.’ The surname was originally given to a person who lived in or near a laye, from the middle English word meaning “clearing in the woods.”

    I suppose ‘lea’ is an alternate spelling; I see it means grove, clearing, or meadow. Odd that at this point in my life my middle name should have become so approrpriate, since lees/leas are where I like to hang out.

  6. That looks like my kind of place. How lovely of them to wait for you to be able to pick up the phone! The food looks delicious, too.

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