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‘I went to all 24 pubs in London referred to as ‘The Red Lion’ and solely considered one of them stood out in opposition to the remainder’ – Dan Wiggins


London has bought to be the perfect metropolis within the nation on the subject of the great quaint pub, if nothing else purely due to the historical past behind so lots of them. Among them there are a whole lot of various names from classics like The Crown, to the extra extraordinary names just like the Laughing Gravy in Southwark.

But far and away the preferred pub title in London, and within the UK in truth with practically 400 nationwide, is the standard Red Lion. By our calculations there are 24 pubs inside the 32 London boroughs. The purpose why can truly be traced again to royalty too.

When the Stuart King James I used to be in energy within the early 1600s he decreed that the pink lion, an emblem of the Scottish royal banner, be displayed on all pubs and different notable buildings – many lasting into the current day. So to rejoice the pink lion title we thought what higher to do than go to each single one within the metropolis of London to indicate you simply what they appear to be, and what you may get in your cash there.

‘I went to James Blunt’s West London pub and it was so good I wished to remain without end’

To doc this solo odyssey – accomplished over a sequence of months – I grabbed a stranger outdoors of each pub to snap an image of me, producing some very blended outcomes. I additionally made certain to image myself with a drink at (practically) each single one, with a number of unhappy exceptions.

They’re in chronological order of once I visited however I’ve additionally taken the freedom of ranking each single considered one of them, so learn on to search out out which is the perfect Red Lion in London:

1. The Red Lion – Leytonstone



The Red Lion Leytonstone was the primary cease on my odyssey

Right within the coronary heart of Leytonstone across the nook from the Tube station, The Red Lion sits with a powerful façade on the High Street, most of which sadly cut-off on this photograph. Inside there is a rundown however lovable and comfortable inside with mismatched furnishings and excessive ceilings giving an awesome sense of area.



It had an actual homely really feel, with classic furnishings

Exterior: 3

Red Lion Sign: 4

Interior: 3.5



The Leytonstone Red Lion had a tough however cosy really feel with uncovered brickwork and mismatched decor

Cheapest pint: £4.80 Pravha

Priciest pint: £5.80 Neck Oil

Food: Pub classics (V, Vg)

Overall: 3.5/5

2. The Red Lion – East Ham



The Red Lion E6 has a properly polished and neat exterior, and can also be handily positioned proper subsequent to a bus cease

Lovely pub in residential space with American bar really feel, very nicely put along with cozy cubicles in addition to tables, atmospheric and comfy on a chilly evening.



The tough decor within the Red Lion E6 is extra deliberate with darker, moodier lighting

Exterior: 4

Red Lion Sign: 3.5

Interior: 4



The Red Lion E6 had a equally tough really feel to Leytonstone however extra deliberate and classy, with an American bar really feel

Cheapest pint: £4 Amstel

Priciest pint: £5.40 Neck Oil

Food: Pizza (V, Vg, GF)

Overall: 3.8/5

3. The Red Lion – Hoxton



Hoxton’s The Red Lion is a hidden gem simply off Shoreditch High Street

Whilst initially seeming to be a small nook pub, this laid again location hidden simply out of the guts of Shoreditch extends up three flooring, with a pool desk, desk soccer, and music pumping all through the sprawling venue. To prime all of it off and actually set it aside there is a rooftop beer backyard completely hidden, cementing The Red Lion in Hoxton as an actual hidden gem.



It additionally has a number of video games rooms over three flooring

Exterior: 3.5

Red Lion Sign: 4

Interior: 4



I switched to halves for day two, having fun with this one within the unimaginable rooftop beer backyard of Hoxton’s The Red Lion

Cheapest pint: £5.30 Pravha

Priciest pint: £5.85 Blue Moon

Food: Pizza (Vg, V)

Overall: 4.3/5

4. Red Lion – Moorgate



Red Lion has is especially engaging from the surface with a beautiful facade

A Greene King pub, it is initially engaging with its vivid and glossy look and good fancy Red Lion signal. But as soon as inside all of it feels a bit synthetic and soulless, a cookie cutter black, gold and brown City of London pub, for those who’ve seen one you have seen all of them. Predictably costly too.



Superficially spectacular, after some time the decor and environment simply feels a bit soulless

Exterior: 4/5

Sign: 4.5/5

Interior: 3/5



Red Lion in Moorgate was a disappointment after promising a lot

Cheapest pint: £5.50 Fosters

Priciest pint: £6.65 Camden Hells

Food: Classic pub meals (V, Vg)

Overall: 3.5/5

5. The Red Lion – Walworth



The Red Lion in Walworth seems grand from the surface with some nice lighting

A no frills native in Camberwell, it seems glorious from the surface and does the job on the within, someplace to have a drink and watch the world, or the racing on TV. Also nice worth.



It was a strong no frills pub

Exterior: 4/5

Sign: 4/5

Interior: 3/5



With good wooden panelling the inside was high-quality however nothing particular

Cheapest pint: John Smith £3.40

Priciest pint: Stella £3.80

Food: Bar snacks solely

Overall: 3.5/5

6. The Old Red Lion – Kennington



The Old Red Lion in Kennington is by far the perfect wanting pink lion from the surface

An absolute stunner from the surface, with a Tudor type façade that filters down into some fantastically intricate home windows. It will get even higher inside and has been round for the reason that 1750s with wooden beams, an island bar, and new additions together with a giant conservatory and beer backyard out again. It additionally has an awesome vary of costs from grime low-cost to extra premium beers.



All types of oddities line the partitions of the pub

Exterior: 5/5

Sign: 4/5/5

Interior: 4.5/5



With quite a few interval options and a beautiful island bar this Red Lion takes prime spot

Cheapest pint: Westway £3.90

Priciest pint: Headliner £6.10

Food: Classic pub meals (V, VG, GF)

Overall: 4.7/5

7. The Old Red Lion Theatre Pub – Angel



Big respect to The Old Red Lion Theatre Pub for being the one one on this record to make the most of neon lighting

The greatest sports activities watching pub on the record, the Old Red Lion Theatre Pub is plagued by soccer and rugby trinkets and incorporates a huge projector display screen on the finish of the principle bar room, sofas and tables organized in entrance making it a really enticing vacation spot for summer season tournaments, the beer backyard out again additionally spectacular.

Obviously the opposite distinctive characteristic is the theatre inside the constructing which you will discover upstairs internet hosting drama, music and extra.



It’s by far the perfect sports activities pub on the record

Exterior: 4.5/5

Sign: 4.5/5

Interior: 4/5



As nicely as flags and soccer trinkets the pub additionally has some funky wallpaper

Cheapest pint: Fosters £4.90

Priciest pint: Gamma Ray £6.80

Food: Flying Burritos – Indian type burritos (V, VG, GF)

Overall: 4.5/5

8. The Red Lion – Kingly Street



The Red Lion on Kingly Street would not seize your consideration all that a lot, however as soon as inside you will be glad you gave it an opportunity

Doesn’t look a lot from the surface apart from an unassuming signal, however inside there is a stunningly outdated pub with an actual authentically outdated really feel to it together with fireplace locations and loads of wooden panelling. Manages to keep away from the cramped and overly shiny metropolis pub really feel that different central Red Lions fall foul of.



The really feel indoors is rustic and easy, with fireplaces and wooden panel all over the place, the upstairs rooms a bit extra refined with carpet and brighter lighting

Exterior: 2.5/5

Sign: 3/5

Interior: 4.5/5



For such a skinny wanting pub from the surface there’s additionally a variety of area, particularly with it being within the metropolis

Cheapest pint: Alpine £3.10

Priciest pint: Pure Brewed £6.50

Food: Pub classics (V, VG)

Overall: 4/5

9. The Red Lion – Mayfair



Mayfair has one of many higher Central London Red Lions

A really polished Fuller’s pub within the coronary heart of Mayfair, that is in all probability the one central pub on this record that manages to drag off the painfully frequent sparkly gold and black look, primarily because of it is carved wood inside, although barely cramped.



The inside seems nice, with an island bar that curves all the way in which round to serve on each side, however it’s a bit of cramped

Exterior: 4.2/5

Sign: 4/5

Interior: 4.4/5



The wooden body across the bar offers a really genuine really feel

Cheapest pint: Seafarer Ale £4.85

Priciest pint: Peroni £6.70

Food: Bar snacks solely

Overall: 4.5/5

10. The Red Lion – Parliament Street



The Red Lion Parliament Street pale into the black and gold swamp of metropolis pub mediocrity

Whilst trying to be a bit shiny and upmarket in its prime place simply over the street from Downing Street, this Fuller’s pub falls quick, not wanting notably particular from the surface and solely marginally bettering inside. Expensive pints prime all this off to make this Red Lion in all probability the worst of the lot for me.



This pink lion had one thing of a man-made really feel to it, virtually too brightly lit

Exterior: 2.8/5

Sign: 3/5

Interior: 3.5/5



The beer was removed from low-cost too

Cheapest pint: London Pride £5.60

Priciest pint: Camden Off Menu £7.35

Food: Pub classics (V, VG, GF)

Overall: 2.8/5

11. The Red Lion – Crown Passage



The Red Lion in Crown Passage is a hidden gem close to St James’ Palace

This is one other of the perfect metropolis pubs. Only a tiny infant, it feels heat and comfortable with a vibrant inside and appears glorious from outdoors tucked away within the slender Crown Passage, solely including to the sense of historical past to the place.



The inside is splendidly cosy as nicely, with loads to take a look at

Exterior: 4/5

Sign: 5/5

Interior: 4/5



With stained glass home windows too this pub is filled with attraction

Cheapest pint: Craft ale £5

Priciest pint: Mosaic £6

Food: Bar snacks solely

Overall: 4.4/5

12. The Red Lion – Stoke Newington



The Red Lion Stoke Newington seems slick from the surface, though its two indicators do not fairly match

Stoke Newington’s Red Lion is located in a main place on the High Street and I occurred to be in there on a sunny St. Patrick’s Day, when sadly for them genuine Irish pub the Auld Shillelagh over the street was cleansing up the punters. Nonetheless this specific Red Lion had a pleasant hipsterish really feel, together with a pub canine making the rounds getting consideration from drinkers. It additionally featured the costliest pint thus far, and perhaps the costliest pub pint I’ve ever seen truly.



All method of craft ales and lagers had been out there on the Red Lion Stoke Newington

Exterior: 3.8/5

Sign: 3/5

Interior: 3.8/5



Unfortunately I drank my St Patrick’s Day Guinness so shortly I forgot to truly take an image of it, so here is a mugshot as a substitute

Cheapest pint: Estrella £4.60

Priciest pint: Garage Soup £8

Food: Pizza (VG, V)

Overall: 3.9/5

13. The Old Red Lion – Holborn



The Old Red Lion in Holborn is beautiful for those who’re a giant fan of a busy metropolis pub, however felt a bit plain to me

The Old Red Lion in Holborn suffered from the identical points because the Moorgate Red Lion, it felt very grand and wooden panelled however considerably soulless, perhaps it is the placement and I simply have a factor in opposition to metropolis pubs, however it lacked one thing for me. That stated the pub itself is undeniably historic with pleasant employees and an awesome collection of pints.



It has some good wooden panelling and chandeliers inside with a well provisioned bar

Exterior: 3/5

Sign: 3/5

Interior: 3/5



It was good and busy on a weekday night

Cheapest pint: Tribute £5.60

Priciest pint: Neck Oil £6.80

Food:

Overall: 3.4/5

14. The Red Lion – Woolwich



The Red Lion in Woolwich offers some spectacular views from atop Shooter’s Hill

This one was fairly the trek to get to for me, however I used to be comfortable to search out the journey definitely worth the effort. The Red Lion is a nicely put collectively native boozer with fairly priced drinks and a really low-cost Neck Oil, traditional pub meals, and common stay music. It additionally has a beneficiant quantity of outside seating back and front, good for summer season.



Freshly refurbished and with loads of pints to select from

Exterior: 3.9/5

Sign: 3/5

Interior: 4/5



Having come all the way in which from North London I used to be glad to search out The Red Lion on Shooter’s Hill was a comfy vacation spot

Cheapest pint: Fosters £4.30

Priciest pint: Neck Oil £5

Food: Grill and Pub classics (V, VG, GF)

Overall: 4/5

15. The Red Lion & Sun – Highgate



The Red Lion and Sun is definitely missed with it is facade hidden behind tall bushes and a heated marquee

Without doubt probably the most uncommon layouts I got here throughout on this marathon, the Red Lion and Sun has a sort of airlock of a entrance beer backyard lined in a transparent plastic tent and stuffed with heaters, permitting you to sit down open air even within the chilly. The indoors is extra standard, with gastropub eating tables and one other cosy backyard out again.



The heaters saved me good and toasty

Exterior: 4/5

Sign: 4.5/5

Interior: 4/5



I’m a giant fan of The Red Lion and Sun’s unconventional heated and lined backyard, particularly because it occurred to be snowing once I turned up

Cheapest pint: Five Points £5.70

Priciest pint: Neck Oil £6.90

Food: Changing seasonal pub meals menu (V, VG, GF)

Overall: 4/5

16. The Red Lion – High Barnet



The Red Lion in High Barnet is a traditional gastro-pub, serving carvery and pizza or simply drinks within the bar space

A really clear and tidy pub, the Red Lion in High Barnet has a number of totally different promoting factors, from stay sport, to a carvery and pizzas. Most notable on the surface however sadly not captured by the photographer I wrangled to snap me on the street is the large (lifesize?) pink lion that hangs from the wall above the signal, tantalisingly simply out of shot right here.

As a part of the Stonehouse Chain the pub serves a reasonably easy collection of pints, and the costs are pretty affordable too.



The bar space in Barnet’s Red Lion is spacious, that includes sofas simply across the nook, and eating within the different half of the pub

Exterior: 3/5

Sign: 4/5

Interior: 3/5



Fans of sport also can catch every part stay with a number of TV’s dotted all through

Cheapest pint: John Smith £3.60

Priciest pint: Peroni £5.35

Food: Carvery and pizzas (V, VG)

Overall: 3.3

17. The Red Lion – Enfield



The Red Lion Enfield has an thrilling few months forward now below new administration

When I visited, The Red Lion in Enfield had simply been taken over by new homeowners with some huge plans. The pub, although tough across the edges has the right format for occasions even with its personal dancefloor they usually’ve been lining up some huge DJ and MC units for the subsequent few months, in addition to attempting to win again among the pub’s former regulars.



Whilst the pub itself is in want of a bit of TLC, the costs are onerous to beat

Exterior: 3.3/5

Sign: 3/5

Interior: 2.8/5



Cheap pints at all times style higher

Cheapest pint: Fosters £3.70

Priciest pint: Moretti £4.90

Food: Bar snacks solely

Overall: 3.5

18. The Red Lion – Barnes



The Red Lion in Barnes is a pleasant wanting pub with an uncommon design

A Fuller’s pub, this specific pink lion is uncommon wanting with a balcony out entrance and a pair of actual pink lions both facet of the principle entrance to greet you. Inside the pub is fantastically embellished and cosy with loads to select from to eat and drink, though you will want a deep pockets.



The inside of the Barnes Red Lion was simply as good as the surface, with a variety of drinks to check out

Exterior: 4.2/5

Sign: 4/5

Interior: 4.5/5



The solely downside right here is that it is pretty expensive

Cheapest pint: Amstel £5.55

Priciest pint: Siren Soundwave £7.55

Food: Grill and pub classics (V, VG)

Overall: 4.3/5

19. The Red Lion – Isleworth



I wasn’t smiling for lengthy

The Red Lion in Isleworth was one of many pubs I used to be notably wanting ahead to, with it is distinctive design and penchant for stay music. But I used to be thwarted upon arriving at 1pm on a Wednesday and discovering it closed regardless of Google saying it opened at 11am. My smile was comically wiped from my face once I realised it was closed after travelling two hours to get there.

Exterior: 4.5/5

Sign: 3/5

Interior: n/a

Cheapest pint: n/a

Priciest pint: n/a

Food: n/a

Overall: n/a

20. The Red Lion – Ealing



The Red Lion in Ealing was a movie set for Ealing Studios

The Red Lion in Ealing seems nice from the surface and is even nicer once you go in, with quaint pub furnishings and a beautiful beer backyard out again. The place can also be filled with historical past, having as soon as been a filming stage for Ealing Studios across the nook. It’s not tremendous low-cost, but in addition not unreasonably costly.



The historic pub has stay jazz each Sunday

Exterior: 4/5

Sign: 4/5

Interior: 4.7/5



Pictures of former stars and movies shot at Ealing Studios line the partitions

Cheapest pint: Carlsberg £4.90

Priciest pint: Craft ale £6.50

Food: Neapolitan pizza (V, VG)

Overall: 4.6

21. The Red Lion and Pineapple – Acton



The Red Lion and Pineapple is not your common Wetherspoons

The Red Lion and Pineapple was as soon as two separate pubs that mixed to make this hybrid mega-pub. Now a Wetherspoons, the pub nonetheless manages to face out and really feel considerably distinctive, largely all the way down to it is spectacular 360 diploma island bar and really vibrant inside.



There is loads to take a look at within the large bar within the centre of the pub

Exterior: 3.4/5

Sign: 3.5/5

Interior: 3.3/5



As a ‘Spoons, when it comes to drinks and meals it is what you’ll anticipate

Cheapest pint: £3.49

Priciest pint: £4.90

Food: Wetherspoons (V, VG, GF)

Overall: 3.3/5

22. Ye Olde Red Lion – Cheam



Ye Olde Red Lion is round 450 years outdated

Possibly the oldest Red Lion, therefore the title, Ye Olde Red Lion is round 450 years outdated and you may really feel it as quickly as you step inside. Low ceilings, wood beams, fireplaces and tiny doorways all punctuate the cosy village pub. It’s additionally good and low-cost with some beautiful grub.



It’s a disgrace this beautiful outdated pub sits thus far out in Sutton

Exterior: 4/5

Sign: 3.8/5

Interior: 5/5



The low ceilings had been a little bit of an issue for me, however fortuitously there have been loads of tables round

Cheapest pint: Carling £4

Priciest pint: Brewdog Planet Ale £5.35

Food: Pub classics and grill (V, VG, GF)

Overall: 4.6

23. The Red Lion – Wallington



The Red Lion Wallington is one other historic village native

The Red Lion Wallington in all fairness low-cost and has an honest quantity of historical past itself, courting again to the 1700s. Playing stay sport within the entrance bar with further seating in a again room, there’s additionally a pleasant beer backyard outdoors for hotter days.



The Red Lion in Hackbridge dates again to the 1700s

Exterior: 3.8/5

Sign: 3/5

Interior: 3.5/5



After consuming far an excessive amount of the earlier weekend I needed to permit myself a softie right here

Cheapest pint: £4.10 Doom Bar

Priciest pint: £5.95 Neck Oil

Food: Bar snacks solely

Overall: 3.8/5

24. The Red Lion – Bromley



The remaining cease on my tour of London took me to Bromley

The remaining cease on my tour of London was the most effective wanting, with a wall of books, some elegant wood panelling and a vivid inexperienced ceiling. Tucked away in a largely residential space the Red Lion in Bromley has a relaxed hidden gem sort really feel to it, positively one to hunt out for those who’re within the space.



A novel inexperienced and pink inside offers a vivid and quirky really feel

Exterior: 4/5

Sign: 4/5

Interior: 4.5/5



The eyes of a person glad he not has to drink every day

Cheapest pint: Kronenbourg £4.60

Priciest pint: IPA £5.30

Food: Pizza (V, VG)

Overall: 4.5/5

So there you could have it, the product of a number of months of onerous consuming. To recap, in case you forgot on the way in which by way of, my greatest pink lion in London lies south of the river, in Kennington. The Old Red Lion not solely seems unimaginable from outdoors however it’s simply as atmospheric inside with darkish wood beams straddling the ceiling and loads of area to loosen up by a fireplace with a fairly priced pint.

On the flipside of that is the pub that left me least impressed. The Red Lion on Parliament Street was a disappointment in a number of methods, particularly for a pub in such an enviable place simply yards from the centre of energy on this nation. From an uninspired black and gold color scheme outdoors to a man-made and soulless inside, this pink lion would not roar it whimpers.

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If you could have a narrative or one thing you assume is value wanting into, get in contact at dan.wiggins@reachplc.com.




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