The Red Lion nestles in a corner of Hope Square and I first visited many years ago to play against the pub’s darts team, which consisted then of mostly lifeboatmen with an ‘odd’ fisherman for good measure. After the redevelopment of Hope Square, The Red Lion is now the place on a summers afternoon, to sit and drink one of their fine beers, while watching the world go by. We have stopped a few times over this last summer and have seen the quality of the food coming out, but never had the opportunity to try it. So we were thrilled when asked if we would like to review their menu and swashbuckling new idea, ‘Rum Board’…..
There was a welcoming warmth as we walked into the pub on one of the first chilling nights of the Autumn. Inside is eclectic mix of comfortable furniture, most pleasing are the old photographs portraying the history of the pub and it’s regulars. The bar has a selection of great ales, including some local ales and they even donate 10p to the RNLI for every pint of Lifeboat Bitter they sell.
The pub has a great atmosphere, lots of people sat enjoying the food and others just having drinks, even some hardy types outside sat under the heaters.
We were shown our table and drinks were ordered, Vicky’s turn to drive, so I ordered a glass of Malbec from their short by more than adequate wine list. The menu is bursting with seafood, like The Red Lion’s Famous Seafood Trawler Board to pints of prawns, mackerel pate, ale battered fish & chips, mussels and a whole lot more. There is plenty for the meat eater as well, burgers, steaks and pies. Although not a lot for the vegetarian, only mushrooms on toast or a Fake Ale pie, made with lentils & mushrooms. (check their menu here)
After our encounter with some dodgy mussels last week whilst on holiday, Vicky decided on the ribeye and I ordered the mackerel pate to share for starters. I was hoping to sample one of their Legendary Steak & Ale Pies, but they had just sold the last one – gutted! So instead I ordered battered haddock & chips, well it was almost Friday.
We were glad we shared the mackerel pate because it was a very generous portion. The pate was coarsely blended so you had nice chunks of smokey mackerel between the cream cheese and parsley. Half way through Alex came over to check all was fine and if we needed any extra toast, which was a nice touch.
The ribeye was a gnarly picture on a plate, it was also deliciously succulent. The chips where also very good, actually very very good. The garlic butter was separate so Vicky could add as much or as little as she liked.
Enter a rather large plate to cope with a huge fillet of haddock covered in the most gorgeous looking beer batter, it was huge.. The batter was as crispy as it looked and the fish encased within this crunchy delight was beautifully cooked. Underneath the fish was a large pile of great chips, along with their ‘minted’ not mushy peas, which was my least favourite item on the plate. The tartare sauce was again homemade and again coarsely blended, which helped cut through the rich batter.
We were now full, so skipped pudding, but they do have a good list of inviting puddings, plus cheeseboard and several Liquid Puddings ie. Jamaican Coffee, Orange Creole Coffee or Chocolate Orange Martini.
Sarah was keen for us to try her newly designed ‘Rum Board’, it has three rums along with a whole range of mixers, fruit & ice, for you to experiment and enjoy the very different styles of rum. The one we had was designed for two or four people to share and will cost £15. We were her first customers and her hand written notes will be printed & lamented, hopefully keeping Sarah’s artwork.
We tasted three rums; a white rum Flor De Cana – extra dry and needed a lot of mixer to smooth this down. Next was a Angostura 7 year old dark rum, this was fine on its own and went really well with ginger beer. The last was a spiced rum, Rebellion Spiced, this was like sucking on a vanilla pod that had attitude.
We loved the rum board and how interactive it is, great for special nights out with friends and we could also imagine as the night progressed a lot more rums being ordered. Well you do have over 80 rums to try and to help you choose a rum for you they have a Rum Bible, explaining each of their rums.
The Red Lion is a cosy pub, ideal for a quick drink, snack or a full meal of great food. We enjoyed being served by Sarah & Alex who each knew about the food on the menu & the drinks they were serving, how refreshing. The next time we pause for a drink, we will now be tempted to share some mackerel pate and try some more dishes off their menu – I still need to taste their Legendary Steak & Ale Pies.
The Red Lion
|Invited by PR company?||Yes|
|Guest of chef/restaurant/owner?||Yes|
|Restaurant/outlet knew ahead we were bloggers?||Yes|
|Was the meal complimentary from the restaurant?||Yes|
|Any complimentary items provided by restaurant/outlet?||No|