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The Red Lion, Stoke Newington, N16

132 Stoke Newington Church Street
N16 0JX

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Reviews (Current Rating Average: 5 of 10) Add Review see review guidelines

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Tris C left this review about The Red Lion

A Red Lion has stood here since at least the late 17th century. This incarnation was built for Truman, Hanbury, Buxton almost certainly in the 1930s and almost certainly by their inhouse architect, A. E. Sewell who built for them the far more regal and elegantly appointed Rose & Crown across the road.
I came here once around ten years ago and wasn’t impressed with it, what with the gloomy lighting and loud music. Recently acquired by Frontier Pubs, it still has its impressive brewery motifs to the front, painted black picked out in gold not red. Truman’s pubs of this era were often noted for their stylish interiors and if there was one such example here, it has sadly long gone. Geared towards the younger drinker, it now has a generic interior, bare boarded with conventional solid furniture. Music is loud and there was a giant projector screen showing the boxing. I’m not a great fan of the sport - some people are offended by it. Either way, a giant projector screen is never going to endear a pub to my heart. The only benefit it conferred was to increase the lighting in a still gloomy pub, pitifully illuminated by filament bulbs. Along with its similarly gimmicky sister pub, the Victoria Tavern (N7), it has diversions such as Lego Challenge.
There’s a U-shaped bar with seating all around and table football attracting a very vocal male crowd. Conversation was made difficult by music which was really too loud and a rather sauced-up young throng were barging about a bit. The pub was quite full - the busiest pub of our evening crawl - and it was two deep at the bar, which it would appear has given up selling real ale. I opted for the keg Five Points Pale at a stiff £2.70 a half, the joint most expensive of the evening; keg Thornbridge Tart was also available.
Sandwiched between the vastly superior Auld Shillelagh and Rose & Crown, this pub definitely isn’t my thing, at least not in its current format and devoid of real ale. It reminds me of a student union bar, so I’ll not be returning.

On 7th May 2018 - rating: 2
[User has posted 1513 recommendations about 1493 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Rex Rattus left this review about The Lion

Doom Bar, Sharp's Atlantic, and Timothy Taylor Landlord (£2 a half) were available here. "Lidya Bistro" laminated menus are on the bar counter, featuring a breakfast menu on one side (Englich breakfast is £5.95), and a dinner menu on the other side seemed to Greek based, including a hot meze plate (£11.50), moussaka (£9.95), falafel (£8.45), and kebabs (£9.95). Fair enough if you like that sort of food.

The exterior still has some interesting old Truman, Hanbury and Buxton signage, but the interior's nothing to write home about. The main bar area is a single room with curtains and walls all black, and with the ceiling painted a dark brown. There's no decor to speak of, apart from on the ceiling, where there are large posters of events taking place (in here presumably) in each month of the year. There are signs notifying us of the heated garden, and the games room upstairs. The room was dominated by the enormous pull down screen, which was showing MCFC having a hard time of it at Stoke City when I was in here on Saturday afternoon.

Furnishings are a mix of normal tables and chairs and sofas, the latter taking up far more space than they deserve. This seemed to me quite a gloomy pub with small windows somewhat obscured by the curtains, and with the use of black not helping. This is not a bad pub, and it does have three ales on, but I found it a bit bleak, although others will no doubt like it.

On 8th December 2015 - rating: 5
[User has posted 2599 recommendations about 2513 pubs]

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john gray left this review about The Lion

Seems to me its now called the Red Lion although outside the have lions are painted gold not red.Anyway a dull gloomy ,empty pub with Landlord.Doombar and Pride.If you don't have to name the brewers only the beers its a boring pub.

On 18th April 2015 - rating: 4
[User has posted 965 recommendations about 951 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Chris 87 left this review about The Lion

Impressive boozer in Stoke Newington, very much a young 'n' trendy North London clientele present when I visited on a busy friday evening. Harvey's Best, London Pride and Deuchars IPA were available as well as the usual mix of faddy premium lagers. Worth noting as well for its deceptively spacious decked beer garden at the back, and a small upstairs area which on my visit was hosting an improv comedy night; It also had a pool table, a jukebox, table football and old school pinball. Decent.

On 7th May 2011 - rating: 6
[User has posted 179 recommendations about 179 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Steve C left this review about The Lion

This place has gone under different guises over the years and a sign of the days when it was called the Red Lion are still visible, but it is now just named The Lion. This is emblazoned on the front of the pub with a large bulb lit sign which doesn’t work properly making it look ever so tacky. Thankfully I found the interior of the pub to be quite pleasant and I’m not a big fan of open plan pubs. The bar does a good job of splitting the pub up a little and there is a large projector screen on the wall that was showing the Ryder Cup and this can be seen from most of the seating that circles around the outside walls. There was a good crowd in and the service could back up at times, but a couple of the staff were busy taking food up the stairs to the function room and when they had finished normal service resumed. There were three hand pumps on the bar that were drawing Pride, Harveys Best and Deuchars and there was also a premium draught selection.

This place has strange opening times of 16:00 until midnight Mondays until Wednesdays, 16:00 until 1am on Thursdays, 16:00 until 2am on Fridays, midday until 2am on Saturdays and midday until 23:00 on Sundays. I’d imagine with these opening times there are regular events and I did spot a sign for a ukulele jamming session on the last Monday of every month. I didn’t spot any menus and nobody was eating, but I think that bar snacks were available.

I liked it in here and based on my Saturday afternoon visit I would have no problem with returning.

On 6th October 2010 - rating: 7
[User has posted 3928 recommendations about 3904 pubs]