Best Part: The magical wonderfulness!
To celebrate the end of term and a recover from particularly tricksy week we decided to push the boat out and treat ourselves to a set lunch at Thompson’s (or for those who still refuse to call Snickers anything but Marathons, Darcy’s). This goes against our usual criteria of finding local venues that could lunch within a working lunch hour slot. This time we had to accept we would go over that hour. At Thompson’s service is not slow but you are treated gently and with respect. The serving team treated everyone there as important people celebrating an important occasion rather than rushing you through their system.
Having said that, according to the website they offer an express lunch whereby they will turn you around in 45 minutes if you request it. We were not aware of this and so did not request it, but all in all it wasn’t much more than an hour. We maybe spent longer than needed in the bar considering the menu, considering the lunch options were limited to two per course, but it was a nice little moment of calm.
The set lunch is not stupidly expensive, at £18.50 for two courses. We opted as we usually do for starters over desserts. The bread basket arrived first and was delightful as was the butter. I am a self confessed butter monster. My starter was a delicately presented tomato infused cous cous cake with flavoursome roasted vegetable and creamy goats cheese. It tasted exquisite especially the cous cous which can sometimes end up soggy.
My husband went for some sort of terrine, it was a while ago so he couldn’t say with absolute certainty what had been terrined, probably some form of game. It was lovely, anyway, and accompanied by a broad bean salad that seemed to encapsulate the very essence of summer more even than a repetitive and ubiquitous Eurodance track.
If Mr Midweek Lunch won the starter war I won the main course. I think it was sea bream in any case it was a perfectly cooked piece of white fish with sweet sea vegetables that set my taste buds a tingle. Wow. I haven’t had such a delicious and expertly presented and delivered meal for a long time.
Much like the starter situation, with the mains my Husband was faced with the choice of duplicating my meal or going for the other meat-based option, and because we care deeply about getting the most varied and far-reaching review for you, dear reader, and because he is a gluttonous carnivore, he went for the pork belly. It was very nice, and expertly produced, but it was maybe a trifle heavy for the time of day and time of year. Still, a cut above most every other meal ever.
The atmosphere was of the high class variety. We ate in the “conservatory” which unlike the one we used to have was a perfect temperature. The decor was smart (rather than trendy) grey with red tones in the entrance. Our fellow diners were older than us which was great because it made us feel affluent and cool young things. The waiting staff seemed to all be there because they love food and the gourmet industry rather than just wanting to earn money. I expect they appreciate getting paid though. We were happy to pay upper end prices because the food, service and atmosphere at Thompson’s is exemplary.
To conclude we proclaim that it has given us the best St. Albans midweek lunch since our reviews began.