We visited the LN three times in one day on Friday 8th Feb 2013 during a flying 1 night visit to the area. We had done our research about places to visit and where to eat etc and we tried the Nelson because of the positive comments on Tripadvisor. The reason I say 'contrasting experiences' is because the pub goes through some distinct changes over the course of the day; but this is also it's strength I suppose because the pub and staff adapt to the needs of their customers. We called in as soon as we arrived in Oakham at around Noon for a coffee (after a 2 hour journey from the Birmingham area). I have to say that the welcome was extremely warm and genuine - even though we only wanted a coffee (which was excellent by the way - I thought I had seen every which way possible to serve a coffee but the LN has found a new way). We sat, totally uninterrupted by the satff, for a good while whlst reading the available newspapers. Very relaxing. We called back later, as the hunger pangs started, and now the pub was in full flow with the lunch trade. This time it was about the right time to sample one of the guest real ales and a very refreshing Thatcher's cider along with a delightful light lunch. We found a comfortable area upstairs to sit with a nice view of the garden. The food was lovely and again the presentation was interesting. Having had 2 positive experiences during the day we decided to play it safe and go back to the Lord Nelson in the evening (who says Brummies aren't adventurous!). The evening experience was a bit different to say the least. The pub was heaving (not that they will complain about that). The average age of the clientele had, shall we say, reduced considerably, apparently all taking advantage of the wonderful home made pizzas at the LN. We still managed to find a table, after battling to get served to a drink, but when we tried to order food we were told that there woul be at least a 1 hour wait. The way you have to order food at the LN works fine during the day but at night it simply is inadequate. The bar is small enough as it is (as I suppose it has not been changed since it was, in days gone by, a 'normal' inn - and why should it) but when you have got loads of people trying to order drinks and to order food in equal number the bar area becomes chaotic. In summary the Lord Nelson is a great place to stop off for a bite to eat but we woul suggest going there for lunch and trying one of the other pubs or restaurants if it is food you are after in the evening.