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The Golden Lion, Camden Town, NW1

88 Royal College Street
Phone: 02073872035

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Reviews (Current Rating Average: 6 of 10) Add Review see review guidelines

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Pub SignMan left this review about The Golden Lion

This large, attractive former Charrington's pub in the back streets between St Pancras and Camden was recently subject to a long campaign to save it from the clutches of a property developer, so when recently in the area, it only seemed right to pop in to see what the struggle was for. The pub has a two bar layout which has been opened into a single long room by the removal of a partitioning wall, although the separate entrance doors remain (denoting Private and Saloon bars), as does a partitioning arch mid way along the servery. The Private Bar end of the pub is mostly taken up by a pool table, but a bit of space remains for a few tables and chairs to run along the front wall, opposite the bar. This seating runs through into the Saloon Bar side, where the bare boarded room opens out quite a bit once past the end of the bar, allowing plenty of room for vertical drinking or for a game of darts. There is also an upright piano and it seems that sing-a-longs are a fairly regular feature. Large windows run along two sides of the building, screened by some notably ugly venetian blinds and there is also an unsightly bricked up fireplace at one end of the pub. Décor includes floral wallpaper and gaudy chandeliers, but there is still plenty of period detail throughout, most notably around the servery with its impressive Charrington's bar back which includes some fine shelving, an etched glass 'Private' door, a neon 'Murphy's Bar' sign in honour of the landlord's family and an ancient cash register. Music played throughout my visit and a muted TV screen was showing some sort of awful looking reality TV show.
Beer-wise, most customers seemed happy drinking well known brands of lager but St Austell Tribute (£3.50) was also available on handpull, with a Sharp's Doom Bar clip reversed. The Tribute was unfortunately past its best, perhaps due to poor turnover, but the service was prompt and very friendly.
Not every pub can be a top ale-house and it seems that this unassuming place is content to keep its locals happy- something it seemed to be doing very well judging by a decent turn out on a random, mid-week Winter's evening. I found the place welcoming, well kept and with a few bits of interest dotted around and am glad to see it continuing to serve the community as intended.

On 5th January 2016 - rating: 6
[User has posted 2347 recommendations about 2347 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Just a quick pint, then I'm off left this review about The Golden Lion

Imposing four-storey ex-Charrington pub, retaining some interesting features both on the façade and inside (e.g. the main bar back). Part opened out, but retains two bars. Basic furniture, supplemented by some wooden benches to one side of the building. Pool table at one end of the bar, with a dartboard and upright piano at the other. Weekly karaoke nights advertised. There are a pair of handpumps on each part of the counter, some of which are thankfully back in use since my previous visit a couple of years ago, with Doom Bar (£3.50) on and reversed clips for Tribute also noted. Quite a local landmark, so worth a visit if in the area (particularly now they've got some real beer on again).

On 8th November 2015 - rating: 7
[User has posted 5808 recommendations about 5808 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Rex Rattus left this review about The Golden Lion

A board outside advertised Doom Bar and St Austell Tribute for £3.50 a pint, but only Tribute was on although it would in any case have been my preference of the two. At £2 a half it was a bit too much above half the price of a pint for my liking. There was no sign of any food, when I was in on Wednesday afternoon, but behind the bar I spotted a microwave and a hot food unit stacked with empty plates.

The pub still has evidence of where the different rooms would have been, mainly by the signage on the various doors, but also inside by the bit of glazed screenwork behind the counter, and the change in quality of the bar counter. The area at the back would clearly have been the saloon lounge, and contains a nice marble fireplace and the pub's best feature of an ancient bar back. The area at the front has a pool table as well as a TV above the corner door. Furnishings are exclusively normal tables and chairs.

This pub looks magnificant from the outside, and at one time probably magnificent inside as well, but the inside's now very plain and simple. Nothing wrong that of course. It's a stroll from the busy centre of Camden Town so doesn't seem to be infested by the oddities I saw there. It's worth dropping in to have a butcher's at the bar back if you're into that sort of thing, but I'm not a local and wouldn't see it as somewhere to spend any length of time.

On 24th August 2015 - rating: 6
[User has posted 2545 recommendations about 2463 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Philip Carter left this review about The Golden Lion

Great traditional pub, well liked by locals and celebrities, was used on the last episode of 'One Foot In The Grave'. If you are in the area, visit now, because the building has been sold to a developer and it is under threat of demolition. Remember to sign the petition. Friendly staff and great Guinness.

On 30th June 2012 - rating: 8
[User has posted 749 recommendations about 713 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Tris C left this review about The Golden Lion

This pub has certainly seen better days (it looks untouched since the '80s) and, given a makeover, could be quite splendid. The barmaid was welcoming and the clientelle (mainly elderly and Irish from what I could make out) were jovial enough.

Sadly this is just the sort of pub I can see going to the wall in the not too distant future, which would be a shame.

On 29th March 2011 - rating: 4
[User has posted 930 recommendations about 917 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Steve C left this review about The Golden Lion

I walked into here and was greeted by the very friendly landlady just as one of the locals selected Mull of Kintyre on the jukebox. I thought that I had stepped back in time, especially after spotting the old ‘Open all Hours' type tills behind the bar. There is a pool table and a dartboard in this long thin bar, not that anyone was playing. The toilets could do with a bit of a scrub as I was very glad to exit them after having a very quick leak.

There are four old hand pumps in this pub, one of which was displaying a clip for Toby cask, but alas they do not sell any real ale. I'm not sure what the clip is there for, but there is a standard draught selection and my pint of Guinness was spot on.

This is a decent enough pub if you like your old Irish boozers, which I do so I would go back again if passing.

On 8th July 2009 - rating: 6
[User has posted 3546 recommendations about 3525 pubs]