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Picture of Red Lion
Image posted by Will Larter
Submitted on Monday, 5th September 2016
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Red Lion, Romney Marsh

Pub added by elizabeth mcgraw
Postal town: Romney Marsh
TN29 9UQ
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Reviews of Red Lion (Average Rating: of 10) Add Review see review guidelines

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Pub SignMan left this review about Red Lion

After a couple of abortive attempts down the years, I finally made it out to this long-term target pub, located on the rather bleak (extremely bleak on the foul day I arrived) marshes of Southern Kent. The pub is comprised of two old cottages knocked together to form a three room layout which has only seen minimal alterations over the years. You enter into the left hand side of the building, which is the main bar area. It’s a bare boarded room with a small, candy-cane paint scheme servery on the left hand wall. Some smashing old wooden beams run across the sagging ceiling, a brick fireplace stands on the wall opposite the bar looking like it might still be the pub’s only heat source, chairs without tables line the perimeter walls and an old banknote collection can be seen pinned to the ceiling. As you might expect of a traditional Kentish house, hops line many of the walls and there is also an ancient looking cash register on the bar and an interesting collection of WWII memorabilia on the walls, the latter courtesy of the pub’s former landlady, Doris Jemison, who served in the Women's Land Army in the war and whose family have run the pub for over 100 years. Unusually, at the end of the bar, there is a merchandise stand selling local beer and produce plus a few Red Lion themed bits – an indication that this pub is a genuine tourist attraction, pulling in punters from all over the UK and beyond. The rear wall is liberally plastered with old Good Beer Guide stickers and CAMRA certificates, all attesting to the pub’s commitment to providing great beer as well as an interesting heritage interior. A door beyond the servery leads through to a rear room, also bare boarded, with some benches serving a few long tables under muted lighting with more hops and traditional rural-themed paintings on display. An upright piano stands at the front of the room, beneath an obscured window lined with all sort of stuff including cuddly toys, horse brasses, various models and the like. A passageway opposite the bar, lined with old newspaper articles and pub photos, leads through to the games room which has tiled flooring and two long tables with bench seating. Traditional pub games such as table skittles and toad in the hole were being enjoyed by a family group on my visit and I think I spotted a dartboard too. There is a nice fireplace to one side of the room and a hatch on the end wall, which perhaps dates back to the time when this part of the pub was used as some sort of village store.
There are some nice old handpulls on the bar counter, but all the beer seems to come straight from the barrel, with options on this visit comprising Goachers Mild, DSB (the pub’s house beer) and Gold Star, plus a real cider, with a few more ciders available from boxes further along the bar. The Mild was fantastic and I enjoyed sitting in this main bar room listening to the great chat between the locals and some folk visiting the area and taking in all the interesting bits around the pub.
This is a great pub that really rewards those who make the effort to get all the way out here to visit. The interior is so well preserved it was easy to imagine what a busy evening would’ve looked like in here decades ago and the breadth of material collected throughout the pub makes repeat visits a must. The unkempt nature of such an unspoilt interior may be off-putting to some, but this is a must-visit place for anyone interested in historic pubs.

On 3rd July 2019 - rating: 9
[User has posted 2538 recommendations about 2538 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Will Larter left this review about Red Lion

Good to see the pub open again, though sadly the long-time landlady died earlier this year. It remains in the family and from previous descriptions, nothing else appears to have changed - bar a few photos of Doris displayed in the main room. There are four real ales and a cider served directly from the barrels behind the bar, among which I was pleased to see Goachers Fine Light and Real Mild. We arrived towards the end of the afternoon session, so couldn't stop long, but we promised ourselves a second visit (we were staying at Newchurch, a few miles away). Unfortunately the pub is closed between 3pm and 7pm and we never quite managed to be sober enough after our evening meal to make it - or at least, to make it there and back safely.

Date of visit: 31 August 2016

On 21st October 2016 - rating: 8
[User has posted 2643 recommendations about 2492 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Rex Rattus left this review about Red Lion

Thankfully this pub remains unchanged since previous reviewers' visits; indeed I don't reckon it's changed in the past 100 years, let alone the handful of years covering the previous reviews. In fact it's been in the ownership of the same family (the Jemisons) since 1911, and this has no doubt been the reason why it has not been interfered with over the years. When we were in on Sunday lunchtime Doris Jemison was sitting in the bar, chatting with chums and letting a couple of youngsters manage the bar - and who can blame her? There's a mass of miscellaneous and some times positively bizarre bric a brac all over the place (and too diverse to describe adequately), including traditional pub games in the room on the right that used to be a shop until the 1970s.
As you might expect, it is Grade II listed, and is of course on CAMRA's National Inventory of pubs with unspoilt interiors. There are handpumps on the bar counter, and although they are clipped, they haven't been used for many years and are seemingly now used to advertise the ales that are available on gravity dispense. We had a green hop ale from Tonbridge Brewery, which was in excellent nick and very welcome on a mild and sunny October afternoon.

This is another destination pub. There really is little other reason to visit Snargate. If you are the sort of person who appreciates traditional pubs serving decent ale, then if you can get here you won't be disappointed.

On 13th October 2015 - rating: 10
[User has posted 2577 recommendations about 2495 pubs]

View more reviews of Red Lion (12)
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Pub location see interactive map of local area
Map location is best guess
Appledore (Kent), 1.28 miles, 24 min walk (show)
Ham Street, 3.91 miles, 1 hr 15 min walk (show)
Rye, 8.93 miles, 2 hr 52 min walk (show)
Latest updates View all updates for Red Lion, Snargate
3rd Jul 2019, 19:15
Review submitted by Pub SignMan
21st Oct 2016, 22:31
Review submitted by Will Larter

Pub Details

Pub details supplied by members of this site to the best of their knowledge. Please check with pub directly before making a special trip.

  • Accommodation : No last updated 02 June 2014 by Aqualung .
  • Bar Billiards : No last updated 19 March 2015 by Quinno _
  • Beer Festivals : Yes - June - last updated 29 July 2013 by Dave McNally
  • Beer Garden : Yes last updated 02 June 2014 by Aqualung .
  • CAMRA Discount : No last updated 02 June 2014 by Aqualung .
  • Car Park : Yes last updated 02 June 2014 by Aqualung .
  • Child Friendly : No last updated 02 June 2014 by Aqualung .
  • Darts : Yes last updated 03 July 2019 by Pub SignMan
  • Dog Friendly : Yes last updated 02 June 2014 by Aqualung .
  • Hot Food : No last updated 02 June 2014 by Aqualung .
  • Jukebox : No last updated 02 June 2014 by Aqualung .
  • Karaoke : No last updated 02 June 2014 by Aqualung .
  • Live Music : No last updated 02 June 2014 by Aqualung .
  • Live TV Sports : No last updated 02 June 2014 by Aqualung .
  • Micropub : No last updated 19 March 2015 by Quinno _
  • Pinball : No last updated 19 March 2015 by Quinno _
  • Pool Table : No last updated 19 March 2015 by Quinno _
  • Real Ale : Yes last updated 19 March 2015 by Quinno _
  • Real Cider : Yes last updated 28 September 2013 by Quinno _
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