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Red Lion, Betchworth

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user reviews of the Red Lion, Betchworth

please note - reviews on this site are purely the opinion of site visitors, so don't take them too seriously.

Lovely pub along a quietish (for Surrey anyway!) lane. Food was fairly standard pub grub, nothing thrilling, but pleasant enough, and good, vheerful service. Three beers on, Doombar, Ringwood Best and Sussex Best, all seemed reasonably kept. Car park is out the back next to the cricket pitch, so I imagine it would be pleasant to down a pint or two watching some play in the summer. We visited midweek, early evening, and it was fairly quiet, but I imagine it is more popular at weekends in the summer. Well worth a visit if you are passing.
markxzx - 16 Apr 2014 09:48
I had an excellent meal here recently, Delicious fish, friendly service and great beers and wine! You wont go far wrong and with a lovely aspect at the rear of the cricket ground its well recommended.
beerplease22 - 9 Oct 2013 15:51
As ever a lovely relaxing and pleasant place to be, the food is great. Do go, it needs to be busier!!
nicktheflick - 8 Dec 2012 15:02
Passable, beer-wise. Pride (ugh, liquid eggs), Doombar and Adnams were on so Adnams it was. The toilets were out of use so the blokes had to queue. I pitied the poor women if they were faced with the same problem. There is no excuse for toilet-urinals to be out of order in a pub during the 21st-century. Still, the rather steeply-priced food did look nice as it passed by our table, but by then we'd opted to walk onto Dorking. I'm surprised this place is in the GBG, to be honest.
pkrp - 26 Mar 2012 23:58
My first review of anything, but I really wanted to let everyone know just how great this pub is.
Visited last Saturday and ate one of the best meals I've ever had. Wonderful service and very reasonably priced.
We did go to the Dolphin for a couple of drinks and yes it's also a lovely pub, with good service and amazing home made pork pies but it was a little 'clicky' and some of the clientele were way too sweary for my liking.
Go to either but don't miss out on dinner at the Red Lion!

nejano - 28 Feb 2012 13:49
Fairly run-down establishment built on a slope so that the entrance is from the car-park at the rear into the upper storey. The street level floor serves as the cellar, apparently. The upper floor is separated off into different areas of disparate, non-descript styles. The whole building needs a lot of money spent on it to do a major refit, pulling it together into a cohesive whole. Beers on were an unexciting trio of TEA, London Pride & Doom Bar.

redbarrel - 9 Dec 2011 19:25
Obviously nobody has reviewed this pub recently. It has been refurbed and not to a better standard. The decor is absolutely awful and all character has sadly gone. They still have the real ales and the food smelt good but is a bit pricey. Having visited here where we stayed for only one drink because it was not very friendly and the Dolphin just down the road, there is no comparison. I can't believe that this pub has a higher rating than the Dolphin which is fab
susie.p - 26 Oct 2011 01:33
Took a bunch of walkers here as there was no room at the Dolphin. Sunday menu was a bit limited but there's a more pub-like menu on for the rest of the week. However, the Sunday roasts were superb and the food was all generally excellent and reasonably priced. Doombar, London Pride & something else (Adnams?) on, all in good condition. Will make this place the first choice next time & keep the Dolphin as "plan B".
alan_From_SAWW - 2 Jan 2011 17:05
Blimey, we have only been Married 20 years, got 40 on the brain.....................

charliebigpotatoes - 8 Dec 2010 00:39
I would like to thank all at the Red Lion for arranging such a wonderfull Birthday party for my lovey wife on the 26th Nov.

Fantastic time............................................................................

Everybody who attended has said they had a smashing time. FANTASTIC FOOD, Elvis, singing, Dancing.. ect ect...............................................

looking forward to mine and Joanne's 40th wedding bash, as it's in June, we will be able to invite more Friends, we can spill out on to the Green...........all invited

Thank you all for the hard work.....................................
charliebigpotatoes - 8 Dec 2010 00:36
Visited today for a Sunday roast and it was packed - over the 2 hours we spent at our table every other table was occupied at some point by people eating, some even having to sit outside to eat. Not surprising as the food was excellent, very tasty pork and perfectly cooked and well complementing arrangement of vegetables, roasts etc.

Beer was also very good - tried a Doom Bar and Adnams Bitter and both were tasty and in good condition. Friendly and efficient service and we didn't mind the slight wait for the food as it was so busy.

Definitely one of the better run pubs I've been to in the area, and seemingly has a good reputation for food as it was so busy.
baldavenger - 19 Sep 2010 18:55
Have been to the Red Lion a couple of times recently after quite a long absence. What can I say? Never really had atmosphere and always comes across as primarily a food pub rather than a drinkers pub but what's with the landlord and landlady? Once can only assume that they'd both really rather be doing something else as even a slight smile seems to be beyond either of them. Seems to have rubbed off on the (very slow) bar staff too. Can't comment on the food - might be fantastic, but the beer is nothing special .. but again back to the attitiude .. unfathomable. Good hand-dryer in the gents though.
mrb_62 - 10 May 2010 10:29
Ten thousand apologies!!!! My 16 December 2009 comment was meant for the Dolphin in Betchworth ..... NOT for the Red Lion!!!!
pooying - 11 Mar 2010 14:14
It can't be denied that the front of the bar is still infested with rude, ill-bred, foul mouthed peasants. What the new management needs to know are two things: (1) None of the peasants are dangerous. Not the old ones and not the young ones. There are no hard men there. (2) Don't worry that if you make them clean up their gutter mouths ... they will take their business elsewhere. They won't. The Dolphin is the only place they've got.

The management would also do well to make the morons who let their dogs walk loose in the pub ... and go after other dogs when they walk in ... keep their dogs on the lead. Enough is enough.

On the good side ... the new landlady appears to be very nice. She actually has "people skills". Takes the time to greet people warmly ... and listen to them. Also, the tables have never been cleaner!! "Ed" also, is a good man behind the bar!
pooying - 16 Dec 2009 17:43
Sunday lunch. Surprisingly quiet. Adnams, London Pride (& another) were on show. Adnams was perfect. Waited a while for food which was reminded that it was all freshly cooked no frozen reheats to explain delay. My table had roasts; Beef and Pork Loin, both rated 9/10 accompanied by fresh veg and with leeks in white sauce. All clearly not a "re-heat" as promised. The veggie option (goats cheese and spinach lasagne) was a refreshing change to others' offerings. . Genuinely friendly staff.
newtobeer - 10 Oct 2009 08:33
Went to The Red Lion for the first time in 20 years after reading reviews and I must say the food was GREAT. Also impressed by the range of Gins & Scotch, a lot better than most pubs locally. Only negative for me was the lighting which was a bit bright but apart from that great. I'll be back!
clarkeyboy - 8 Oct 2009 18:39
Turned up at just gone 2 yesterday - a fairly slee[y Monday. Very quiet, unsurpisingly, but ordered a couple of decent pints of Tribute and 2 excellent home-made burgers. The service was friendly and all in all much better than I expected. Would happily recommend.
mickeyturn - 29 Sep 2009 14:06
Obviously I am biased because I work here...but seriously check it out, you wont be disappointed :D
elle1988 - 11 Sep 2009 03:19
I live locally and am delighted to see all the wonderful changes that have been made to this pub. The food had improved immensely since the current owners took over last year and it now has a completely different atmosphere. Fantastic range of spirits too. Well worth a visit!

elle1988 - 11 Sep 2009 02:59
Turned up on a Saturday with a group with a range of kids in tow. Food available until 4pm , which makes a difference when you have a group to manage, when ordered it arrived quickly and well presented, cricket being played on local pitch , service friendly , range of beers. I know the sun was shining , and the cricket was on, but still it would be hard to fault the pub or service
welch_rh2 - 25 Aug 2009 13:32
Has as much atmosphere as a Trappist wake.
mrgrumpy - 4 Jul 2009 18:20
The food is fantastic, they offer a good choice and there's also a good specials boards. Lovely home-cooked 'real' food. thank you
horse4course - 8 Apr 2009 11:58
Visited on Saturday lunchtime. The Broadside was good and the food was good and it's a lovely pub. The only problem was that they were short of staff. The two barmen were doing their best serving drinks, taking food orders, delivering food to the far end of the garden and clearing tables but two just wasn't enough. This may have been an isolated incident, it wont stop me going back.
gdm - 21 Jul 2008 11:53
Visited here last Friday and the food was excellent and the staff really friendly so we came back on Sunday and had a drink in the garden watching the cricket. I had often driven past and as it doesn't look much from the road carried on but, drive round to the car park and it really changes a real gem. Ok need a few more ales for the real drinkers but seem to have all you would need. I hope the new owners can make a success of it and can hold on to their chef as food seems to be the all important factor these days. Well worth a visit.
charliefarley - 3 Jul 2008 16:46
Stopped here in the middle of a walk. Pride and GK IPA, Broadside was off. Pride was serviceable. Main bar area is upstairs and opens out onto a large beer garden. You can also have a view of the cricket green. Looked like there might be a function room downstairs. A little odd that the landlady said she didn't serve beer. Landlord asked for 2.70 for the pint and said "is that ok?", not sure if I was meant to haggle!
GuideDogSaint - 21 Jun 2008 19:35
New owners -- Please turn your pub into a nice place for decent people. You have no idea how many true locals, ie. people who actually live in Betchworth, want a place where they can have a drink and dinner without having to listen to the likes of the geriatric guttermouths in front of the bar at the Dolphin.
Of interest - most of the foul mouthed crowd at the Dolphin don't even live there - they couldn't afford it.

PS - my language can be as bad as anybody's. I just don't shout it out in the middle of pubs in front of decent people.
pooying - 2 Apr 2008 21:54
Ps. despite the date this is NOT an April Fools, however much it may look like one!
218238 - 1 Apr 2008 16:13
Has just changed hands the other day from the previous Cypriot Hotel chain owners to a local English family with big ideas for the place. Hopefully soon the strip lighting behind the bar will be gone, the inside will have a lick of paint, an area will be put aside for drinkers with sofas, and the cellar area will be sorted out for good. Also new pumps will be installed, the beer cellar re-fitted, a better slection of drinks on offer, the hotel will be updated (now 10 years old) and the garden tended to. Of course the excellent food will continue and hopefully by this summer the pub will be back to its old ways like it was between 5 and 10 years ago.
218238 - 1 Apr 2008 16:13
Went there Friday night with 3 friends for drinks and meals.Last visited in May when beer and food were OK. Pub has gone downhill - changed hands? Beer was off, sour and undrinkable. Food was off too - half of the limited menu was not available, quality was very poor. By 10 p.m we were the only customers. Never again ! Avoid this place.
leafeygreens - 17 Nov 2007 11:53
Had my wedding reception here last week. Management and staff were brilliant. Could not have been more helpful. The Broadside was in great condition and the buffet went way beyond expectation.
gdm - 10 Apr 2007 13:09
Expensive and impersonal. Why did they paint the cellar area and not leave the lovely brickwork ???
anonymous - 9 Apr 2007 08:51
Fetched up here on a sunday night looking for food, and found it. Yes it was dead, but it was a very wet sunday night, though I agree that they should keep some tables for drinking and try to cheer up some of the staff. Food slightly better than OK for a pub, a bit over the odds but not too bad. I woudn't use it a a local.
bulky - 14 Aug 2006 09:37
Staff were pretty miserable when I went in there and I wish they'd get rid of that disgusting strip lighting behind the bar, it ruins the atmosphere of the place.
Yes, its not really a pub, more like a resturant. All the tables are set for food
mhartes - 10 Jul 2006 14:32
Every single table laid up for eating at four on a Sunday afternoon so you've got to take your drink outside if you want to sit down. In fact no-one at all was inside eating, not surprisingly considering the eye-watering prices, 10 quid for a roast dinner. No chance of a sandwich. If they want a restaurant why don't they go and open a sodding restaurant rather than have a pretend pub? On those prices I'd expect proper restaurant service rather than order at the bar then some kid slaps it on your table half an hour later. And the beer was cloudy.
nickdavies - 7 May 2006 19:45
Great little pub. An excellent pint of Adnams Broadside, and the steak pie was cooked in proper crust, and had a lot of meat- A nice change from some cheap pastry floating in a pool of a gravy. Nice Australian chap running the place.
clevertrevor - 24 Apr 2006 20:52
Held a large function here a few months back for my parents wedding anniversary. A professional job from start to finish. The manager was always on call and looked after every last detail, the food was good, the staff were polite. The only down-side about the day was miserable weather, the cricket pitch must be excellent in warmer weather.
mtaylor - 17 Apr 2006 11:54
I was a tad shocked when reading these previous comments, I have always found the food and service The Red Lion to be a high standard. Granted, the nearby Dolphin Inn provides a more traditional pub experience, however the Dolphin is not the type of establishment I would take my family to for a Sunday lunch.

I live in nearby Reigate and regulary use the Red Lion for family outings and dining colleagues that are in town, for the quality of food and service.

Steven White
SteveWhite - 9 Apr 2006 19:38
I'll never be visiting this pub again, which is a shame as it was a nice place in a nice setting. We were most dissatisfied by the attitude of the staff, the price of the food and the size of the portions. I had Scampi (9.95) and received 9 chargrilled nuggets and some soggy chips, my friend had the roast and got 1/2 a roast potato! Another couple storm out while we were there complaining of the size and quality of their food. The beer was OK though!
swozza - 5 Apr 2006 13:38
Miserable staff, souless pub, average beer and I wish they would do something about the terrible bright strip light behind the bar, it ruins the atmosphere of the bar area. Will come back in 5 years to see if it has improved
mhartes - 8 Mar 2006 13:20
The Red Lion's management have no idea of how to deal with the public, no idea how to run a pub, even less of an idea how to deal with their rude staff.

And this is coming from a customer.

Lets hope the new management make it a better place as it was 5 years ago.
mavrick - 24 Feb 2006 23:06
Nice pub in a nice location. Recently under new management so my rating is reserved until they've been in a while...
goosegog - 31 May 2005 21:32
Very friendly staff and good selection of beers and the one pint I had was good. Shame though, there was no atmosphere and we were almost the only people in there. I am sure this pub would be much better on a Sunny Sunday afternoon. But not an Easter Sunday evening. I would not go back again. The Dolphin is far too near here, to pass up going there. I think the Dolphin is the best in the area. However, I am trying to seek out other great pubs that are not too far away from Dorking.
Dorking_Drinker - 9 Apr 2005 20:32
Expensive Beer and Food, Difficult to get served, but and its a big BUT, full of Pilgrims after cricket on a Sunday - which is not to everones taste of course.
Bill Seldon - 1 Dec 2004 21:41
nice pub with good food , lovely on a hot sunny day , good family pub , and a must for the cricket lovers
bulldog - 31 Aug 2004 21:59
Nice old pub by the cricket ground.
Unfortunately too restauranty - you feel a little uncomfortable just having a drink. Good beer though.
Nick - 30 Jul 2004 14:05

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