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Pubs Galore Autumn 2022 Midlands Pub Crawl. with Bucking Fastard on the Pub Forum

The Red Lion, SW1

2 Duke of York Street
Phone: 02073210782

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

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Tris C left this review about The Red Lion

A first in here the other night and I can't add anything to the earlier reviews.
However, it's a Fuller's pub and their beers are hardly Full o' flavour - I can't tell the difference between Pride and Doom Bar, ESB being too strong and sweet for a session ale.
The other problem is that this pub's tiny; any more than ten drinkers and it's utterly rammed, and I mean *rammed*. So full, that it's not just getting to the bar that's a challenge but moving; trying to reach the lavs or even eventually leave are exasperating ordeals.
This pub is a must-visit but if I hadn't been in a group I wouldn't have bought a drink, just stuck my head in the door then moved on - the pub is high on visual attractions but in terms of usability it's a dead stick.

On 25th August 2018 - rating: 7
[User has posted 1532 recommendations about 1510 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Steve of N21 left this review about The Red Lion

Another revisit to this fine pub found it in rude health on a mid week early afternoon and the beer range is now improved by inclusion of at least one Dark Star offering which was a well kept Dark Star Hop Head to go alongside the usual Fullers suspects of Pride, ESB, Oliver's Island and Gales Seafarers.
Remains one always worth detouring from Piccadilly Circus to find.

Original Post: 11th February 2010
One of London’s classic pubs. A wonderful Victorian treasure hidden down a backstreet in St James just off Piccadilly. Fantastic décor and superb display of Victorian glasswork which gets it into the Camra inventory of unspoilt pub interiors.
As Strongers says, used to be a Nickolson house with a regular changing list of beers. But it was bought by Fullers in 2009 and although it still dispenses up to six beers these are usually all from the Fullers range and although they are well kept and as much as I also like Fullers beers, I feel this gem has lost a little by not also having beers that you cannot find in several other London hostelries. Still worth a visit though.
There are two small bar areas either side of the central serving area. Doesn’t take a lot in to make it extremely busy, so probably be prepared to stand. But it is worth it for the décor alone.

On 24th August 2018 - rating: 8
[User has posted 1849 recommendations about 1785 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Will Larter left this review about The Red Lion

A two roomed pub with original etched glass and mirrors set in beautifully intact wood panelling, with bar counters in each room to match. There are five hand pumps on the front bar and two in the back room, with Fullers beers throughout, including their damson porter. This is a National Inventory pub and well worth seeking out, especially if you can get here before it fills up with the after work crowd.

Date of visit: 21st November 2017

On 10th January 2018 - rating: 7
[User has posted 3148 recommendations about 2957 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Blackthorn _ left this review about The Red Lion

An attractive and traditional looking pub with black exterior woodwork and hanging baskets, it was quite busy with after work drinkers on our recent early evening visit, both inside and out.

Internally it’s quite small, and arranged in something of a sideways U shape around the central bar counter. The walls are almost entirely covered with elaborate etched mirrors, leaving little room for anything else other than a minimal amount of carved woodwork. Red patterned carpet was on the floor and seating was certainly at something of a premium.

There was a good choice of beers on tap with London Pride, Seafarer’s Ale, Oliver’s Island, ESB, Butcombe Rare Breed and Castle Rock Harvest Pale. In contrast the solitary cider was Cornish Orchards. All in all I thought this was a decent little pub and would happily return if in the area.

On 7th April 2017 - rating: 8
[User has posted 1819 recommendations about 1743 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Ian Mapp left this review about The Red Lion

Small, yet beautifully formed.

Lovely interior - all etched mirrors.

Fullers ESB at well over the £4 a pint mark. Should be expected.

Some photos at my walking blog -

On 7th February 2016 - rating: 7
[User has posted 989 recommendations about 981 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Quinno _ left this review about The Red Lion

A random revisit and nice to see that virtually nothing has changed. Was fortunate to arrive just before 5 so managed to bag the last remaining table space and admire the interior. Six pumps spotted, three either side of the divide; all Fullers (ESB, Pride, Seafarers, Oliver's Island) with Butcombe Bitter as the guest. My ESB was in decent nick - £2.28 for a half (ouch) but given the location and the wonderful pub itself, maybe not quite so bad - it was only 8p more than I paid for Adnams in the Sanctuary an hour earlier. It should be on the central London ‘must-do’ list if you’re visiting, but schedule your visit for mid-afternoon when it’s quiet.

April 2013
Located just off Jermyn Street and right near the Houses of Parliament, Fullers now own this cracking piece of high Victoriana with magical sparkling cut glass, dark wood and gilded mirroring all round the walls of the pub plus a pretty impressive ceiling too. It’s small inside with a central staple-shaped bar encircled by a fairly cramped and narrow drinking area which has few seats and is mainly for standing, with a number of pint-perching shelves. We arrived just on 5pm and it already filling up, so much so I wasn’t able to get to the back of the pub to gawp at the glass work. Three doors outside indicate that the pub interior was once divvied up into even smaller sections. Six Fullers stable ales available across eight pumps (there are two at the rear of the bar) and my ESB was in decent shape if somewhat pricey. The bijou qualities of this place make it well-worth a visit even if the prices will put the frighteners on the average wallet over a session. Rated 8

On 26th November 2015 - rating: 8
[User has posted 4423 recommendations about 4408 pubs]

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hondo . left this review about The Red Lion

Small Fuller's pub with an old ornate interior as described below. 6 real ale taps in the front bar and 2 at the back.

On 16th October 2015 - no rating submitted
[User has posted 2834 recommendations about 2775 pubs]

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Danny O'Revey left this review about The Red Lion

Small and beautifully decorative Fullers pub near Piccadilly & posh shopping. Lovely little place and the beers are kept very well.

On 2nd July 2015 - rating: 8
[User has posted 1353 recommendations about 1330 pubs]

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Real Ale Ray left this review about The Red Lion

Another example of London's fine Heritage pubs and well worth a visit. We visited on a Saturday afternoon and so expected the pub to be at full capacity. Thankfully it was fine, which enabled us to enjoy its splendour and get served easily. A choice of four Fullers ales on this visit.

On 4th February 2015 - rating: 8
[User has posted 3126 recommendations about 3126 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Pub SignMan left this review about The Red Lion

Down a side street off Piccadilly, the Red Lion is a small, two bar Fullers pub with a wonderfully preserved Victorian interior. The present building was constructed in 1871, although a pub stood on this site for many years prior to that. The present day pub is divided into two rooms – one at the front and another to the rear, separated by a central servery which serves both areas. The front room has some rather cramped fixed bench seating under the large windows with their beautiful etched floral patterns. The doorways here have snow flake designs in their glasswork and a central set of double doors bears the sign ‘Public Bar’, giving a hint to the previous layout. The place must have been extremely cramped back in the day, as a ‘Private Bar’ sign can be found a short distance to the right, indicating that these front rooms would have been very compact indeed. The servery is predominantly dark wood with some intricate detailing, a ‘Red Lion’ sign above the bar back and a more modern looking etched glass gantry. The right hand wall and much of the back wall in the rear bar, has been covered in magnificent cut glass mirrors, creating a dazzling display that must have wowed visitors for over a century now. The rear bar has a couple of high tables and stools plus some drinking ledges, but is best used as an escape from the inevitably packed front room. My post-work, mid-week visit saw the place absolutely rammed, making it particularly difficult to get a good look around, although I’m sure with a more prudent choice of visiting time, this shouldn’t necessarily prove so difficult.
Five ales from the Fullers range were available – London Pride, Chiswick, ESB, Seafarers and Wild River. I hadn’t seen the latter available for a long time, so decided to give it a try at £4.15 and thought it was very well kept and probably not much pricier than the average for this part of the city.
This is a fine pub that really is worth taking time out to visit in order to marvel at the wonderful interior. This, coupled with the prospect of a reliable pint, makes it the ‘must-visit’ pub in the area and a good starting point for anyone interested in London’s heritage pubs.

On 4th November 2014 - rating: 8
[User has posted 2826 recommendations about 2826 pubs]

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