IT HAS a reputation for mouth-watering steaks and some of the best live music in the area.

Customers have included TV film critic Mark Kermode and award-winning actress Emma Chambers, best known for playing Alice Tinker in the BBC comedy series The Vicar of Dibley.

Veteran film director Ken Russell, who died last November, also used to pop in for Sunday lunch.

The Thomas Tripp in Stanford Road, Lymington, is a thriving pub popular with people who love live music, good food and stimulating company.

But despite being one of the best-known pubs in the New Forest, the doors opened only 13 years ago.

Formerly the Anglesea Hotel, the building had seen a variety of uses, including a fish restaurant, a pizza parlour and a brasserie, when owner Jon Burdge arrived from Cornwall in 1998.

Jon, 43, said: “It was something of a white elephant and had been boarded up for about a year.

“Taking it on was a bit of a risk as there was basically no business to buy, but trade picked up quite quickly and 13 years later I’m still here.

The pub stages live music every weekend. It is also the home of Lymington Folk Club.

Jon, who runs the pub with his partner, Karen Carter, added: “We see an enormous cross-section of people.

“The average age of our customers on any particular day ranges from 30 to 60, depending on the type of function being staged.”

The busy watering hole is said to be named after a notorious smuggler who was the last person to be hanged at nearby Christchurch.

The Thomas Tripp,
Stanford Road,
SO41 9GF
01590 689047