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Red Lion, Southampton

55 High Street
SO14 2NS

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Reviews (Current Rating Average: of 10) Add Review see review guidelines

Graham Coombs left this review about Red Lion

Ancient pub in the Old Town which has definitely gone OTT on the historic front - suits of armour and all - but in a sufficiently lighthearted way so it doesn't offend. On this visit at least it was populated by locals rather than tourists. The building itself is fine with lots of woodwork, a sort of minstrels' gallery up on a mezzanine and a quite superb soaring high space up to the roof. You can only speculate on how many rooms were once squeezed in up there. There is also a further room behind that we didn't get into, which apparently acts as a dining area on Sundays or when busy. Cask ales were Flacks Double Drop, Hopback Crop Circle and Doom Bar, with a couple of ciders also.

On 31st October 2023 - rating: 7
[User has posted 3217 recommendations about 3155 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

E TA left this review about Red Lion

Now one of Southampton’s better pubs, this high street boozer is well described by Pub Sign Man, below. I should add that there is an unfortunate caged parrot, which seems anachronistic and unnecessary nowadays. The staff were helpful though not particularly friendly, the beer was very good and the visit relaxing. The drinks choice was Yardbird, Doombar and three real ciders, and it was an enjoyable evening. I'd happily include in a town crawl.

On 24th November 2021 - rating: 7
[User has posted 3241 recommendations about 3206 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Moby Duck left this review about Red Lion

A narrow heritage pub,a rather raucous one on my visit with Celtic v Rangers being shown on TV and a good number of fans from both side of the divide. Just a couple of beers on, Doom Bar and Itchen Valley Hampshire Rose along with a Rosie's Pig Cider. A nice to look at interior but nothing special other than that.

On 24th September 2019 - rating: 5
[User has posted 1817 recommendations about 1791 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Real Ale Ray left this review about Red Lion

This pub can become a real tourist trap in the summer months according to some of the local landlords we spoke to. None to be seen on our visit, just a handful of the pubs regulars having some banter with the barmaid. The pub is well worth a visit just to see the interior, I especially liked the seated gallery area at the rear of the pub and the creaky and uneven staircase was a bit of a struggle to get down. Four handpumps on the bar with two on, which were Hopback Fugglestone and Itchin Valley Hampshire Rose, so we went for the Hopback, which was fine.

On 9th April 2019 - rating: 6
[User has posted 3308 recommendations about 3308 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Pub SignMan left this review about Red Lion

This fine looking High Street building dates back to the late 15th Century and has a fine Grade II* listed interior centred around a medieval drinking hall. There is a nice Brewer's Tudor exterior on approach including some shapely small windows which caught my eye. You enter into a porch, with a door to the right leading you into the main bar. This area is carpeted and sees a dark wood servery run along the right hand wall with a nice bar back decorated with brass salvers, kettles and the like and an unusual heated foot-rail still in situ. Opposite there is a drinking ledge and juke box on the wood panelled walls next to a specials board in the shape of a shield and a remarkable reproduction document advertising slaves. Some limited seating is available under the front windows, but beyond the bar, the room opens out into the main part of the hall, with a very high ceiling crossed by large beams and a lower level, bare boarded seating area. Walls are decorated with lots of heraldic emblems and some large pieces of art higher up the walls alongside various period artefacts. Sturdy benches and standard chairs down the right hand wall lead the eye to an amazing fireplace to the rear with a suit of armour stood atop, alongside some large salvers and with a rather incongruous pull down screen suspended above, which I would hope gets limited usage. Stairs to the left lead up to a gallery with some additional standard seating under a series of wonky looking beams and at the bottom of the stairs there is a cage with a parrot inside. A door to the rear leads into a dining room with three rows of tables and chairs, plenty of dark wood beams and another wonderful old stone fireplace. A corridor runs the entire length of the pub down the left hand side, with the toilets at the far end.
There were three ales on handpull on my Saturday evening visit - Sharps Doom Bar and Sea Fury and Wadworth Swordfish - with a final pump dispensing a real cider. My pint of the Sea Fury was in pretty good shape - certainly an improvement on the previous reviewer's experience - and the bar staff were very friendly and helpful.
This is a very attractive pub which is well worth a visit for anyone interested in historic pubs or indeed history in general, given the building's links to Henry IV. I found the ale selection a little uninspiring and there was a sense that the place could get a bit rowdy as the evening progressed, but it was certainly worth a visit and is an easy addition to any crawl around the better pubs at this end of town.

On 10th May 2017 - rating: 6
[User has posted 3015 recommendations about 3015 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Quinno _ left this review about The Red Lion

An historic listed building with impressive façade and Medieval interior. Claims fame by purportedly being the venue where the trial took place regarding a conspiracy against Henry V prior to Agincourt. The interior is described elsewhere as having the feel of Medieval banqueting hall and I can agree with that – heraldic dressings and banners, a massive (unused) fireplace with a suit of armour above, floor-to-ceiling dark wood panelling/timbering, a large rear church-like mezzanine, tiny lead-light windows etc. So...sounds like a destination venue that is well-maintained and has been buffed up to look its best? Not really, it’s grubby and unkempt. Two ales on, Doom Bar and Itchin Valley Hampshire Rose. The IV was awful, and replaced for a pedestrian Doom Bar and not taken off. A proper cider (Westons) also available. Naff piped music spoiled most of the ambience and it’s no wonder the caged African grey parrot looked so fed-up. The corridor to the gents had a sign for lounge bar which turned out to be locked; clearly not enough custom! All-in-all a wasted opportunity here, it should be a real destination but all I can say is pop in to see the interior and have a lemonade. If Nicholsons are looking for an impressive but under-performing pub to add to its portfolio, this is it.

On 24th September 2013 - rating: 5
[User has posted 4846 recommendations about 4830 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

nikki everett left this review about The Red Lion

if you are intrested in history this pub is a must see, also serves food and has a friendly staff including the talkative parrot .

On 28th January 2008 - rating: 10
[User has posted 2 recommendations about 2 pubs]