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Dandy Lion, Bradford on Avon

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user reviews of Dandy Lion, Bradford on Avon

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

Seemed to be mostly diners but I just had a pint, think it was called Bellringer, cannot remember the brewery. The pint was good and the place was quite busy at 8:30pm on a Wednesday.
ben23699 - 5 Feb 2015 19:54
Had a pint of Thwaites Crafty Devil here, a ruby ale which was excellent, as was the spicy tomato soup. A characterful pub with pleasant and efficient service from the landlord and the barmaid
Feed - 18 Nov 2013 21:36
Not quite the the cosy authenticity one might expect in a such a lovely town, but here was to be found a warm welcome, a very good pint of Wadworth and a superior food menu.

Very pleasant.
strangetorpor - 15 May 2013 16:31
Walked in at 1425 on a Thursday to be told they were closing, goodbye. Their website clearly states open until 1500. Bad, bad, bad.
creature4 - 25 Oct 2012 14:43
Intriguing that someone has suggested this pub is empty and not what is once was, given that during my last (and I should say first - I'm not a B-on-A local and so the previous writer may have greater insight) visit last Friday evening, things appeared to be buzzing at a very brisk pace, and while the pub cannot be commended on every level, it seemed to be doing a pretty efficient job.

We stopped in en route back towards the Canal where we (and it seemed the world and his wife) were moored for our final night on the Kennet & Avon). It could so easily have been pretentious and irrelevant in a place like Bradford, but by and large we agreed it neatly side-stepped that quagmire and actually trades on genuine merit.

The cask ales were inevitably Wadworth's as it is one of their houses, but each one sampled was kept properly and served well. Food, which we had already partaken of and so didn't require, was apparently a major draw amongst other punters; the majority were civil, well-heeled groups and couples who clearly saw this pub as a destination for dining out. What was being dished up from the kitchens looked extremely palatable as did the menu decriptions; I only hope looks weren't deceiving.

The pub was busy but not so much so that positions at the bar weren't available; as drinkers we settled in very comfortably and didn't feel any the less-relevant or welcome in that role. The Dandy Lion may prize its victuals first and foremost, but it still retains a pubby element, if skewed towards a jacketed, well-heeled milieu who see it as an accessible but still more upmarket option than most other local hostelries.

The stylish decor suited the building without being achingly contemporary and losing touch with its character. The service - provided by a range of excellently-presented barmaids - was impeccable and credit is due to them for maintaining a smile while keeping pace with an obviously-hectic shift.

Not everybody's idea of a 'proper' pub, but enough slack is cut here for drinkers to ensure it isn't just a worthy destination for foodies alone. I quite liked it, and I suspect if I lived here, I'd probably spend quite some time in this establishment. More 'Dandy' than 'Lion', but sometimes that's not a bad thing.

TWG - 21 Sep 2012 16:45
once the in place to be, now expensive,often sad and empty and the owners not very engaging. such a shame
beerman6 - 22 Jan 2012 00:00
Great pub, full of atmosphere.
I would say that it is more of a food pub than a local.
The pub is laid out on two floors, more of a Restaurant upstairs. The back room is quite intimate
The food is very good and lots of it. The homemade burgers are very tasty.
Beer selection as per normal Waddies pubs but well kept.
I can also walk to the pub.
inkywebber - 7 Dec 2011 15:50
Wadworths range of ales, seems to be more food based. Pleasent enough.
billybraggscombiboiler - 19 Jul 2011 09:54
Last time i went in there (a few months ago) had a pint of Wadworth Malt'n'Hops (ABV 4.5%) and got charged £3.50 not going back, when i can get a great pint at the three houseshoes for £2.70
clangersmate - 20 Apr 2011 14:31
Have to agree that we may have someone involved posting below lol but yeah not much else to say that's already been mentioned, 4 ales all from Wadworth when I visited,the 6X (£3.10) was ok but nothing amazing.. 6.5/10
fat_beer_badger - 26 Oct 2010 16:51
Presumably Mary_Bee is the landlady then? Decent enough pub just off the town centre and surprisingly large once you get in. Interesting galleried landing upstairs although I’m not sure this was open on our visit. There’s a couple of pleasant tables right in the windows that fold right back, so you’re almost sat outside. Not much to look at apart from the traffic though. We didn’t try the food, but it looked a bit on the expensive side (e.g.; £11 for a burger).

All the beers were from Wadworth’s – St. George & the Dragon, 6X, Horizon and Henry’s IPA. The cider was Stowford Press.

Blackthorn - 12 Apr 2010 09:10
A visit to the Dandy Lion is always a pleasure. Great food, excellent wine list, great beer and lager and always consistent.

My husband likes the range of lagers and usually opts for Saint Miguel - his favourite. The owners of the Dandy Lion go to great lengths to ensure there is a wide choice for regulars and tourists alike and what they achieve is a good mix for anyone wanting to enjoy their food with plentiful amounts of good humour and choice.

As for ambiance, their music choices are perfect (Daniel Merryweather does it for me!) and if that isn't enough perhaps taking a group of friends is the answer - occupying their large table is a wonderful night out.

Highly recommended on all fronts!
Mary_Bee - 11 Sep 2009 19:08
Pretty quiet when went in, but it was earlyish on a Tuesday. My pint of 6X was good enough and the staff were friendly if a bit dippy. Not much atmosphere but it was warning up when I left.
gdm - 22 Apr 2009 21:16
All Wadworths beers - yawn - but the ones we tried were at least in good condition. Really lacking in any kind of atmosphere, felt like sitting in a museum. Barwoman friendly though and helped us with directions to the next pub!
Dandillus - 21 Feb 2009 15:22
Not sure what has happened - it used to buzz not its empty and expensive. Has the smoking ban killed it?
beerman6 - 2 Nov 2008 00:16
O Boy has this place ever gone done hill, and fast.
It used to be a great pub with good service and food and ale. Alas no more. shame but all good things come to an end.
chopin - 19 Feb 2008 19:55
What a disappointment, the dandy used to have a great reputation I went there last week and had bread and olive oil to start, the was probably about a teaspoon of olive oil and balsamic vinegar to go round and when we asked for some more we got a terrible mixture of the stuff - does the chef know what he is doing?? The steak cost £18 and was fatty and cooked badly came out medium to well when I had asked for rare/medium my partner had chicken that was burnt & dry and when he asked for some stilton sauce to go with it he was given pepper sauce?? We would have complained but the waitress didn't return to our table for another half and hour and then didn't mention anything when she saw we hadn't hardly touhed our food - the dandy should be ashamed they cannot continue cooking food like this with disasterous service in the location they are in. All I can say it don't bother going there go to the Castle or the fox and hounds in stead much nicer, better service and value for money.
wdawson77 - 14 Feb 2008 10:57
I've never actually made it to this pub as when I rang up to make a reservation, I had the misfortune to speak to one of the rudest people ever. Needless to say, we won't be visiting this pub which is a shame
S_Hughes - 21 Nov 2007 12:41
Called in on Sunday and had a fabulous Roast meal. Food was plentiful and really good value, vegetables just perfect.The desserts were very indulgent, we couldn't resist.Interesting selection of cask ales including one called Dandys'Pride which my wife took a shine to.Pity this delightful pub is not near to us.
familypet - 24 Oct 2007 13:56
Sad to say the Dandy Lion has gone down hill dramatically of late. How about a friendly smile? Or some professional front of house service?
IMHO the food was mediocre and the service abysmal!
beduoin - 14 Sep 2007 11:31
Just returned to this pub after its refurb and it is now really good! Reading some of the comments the only people who do not approve are the beardy Guardian readers who previously sat there making everyone else feel uncomfortable. Now it is different. The new owners are tremendously freindly, the atnosphere is good, the food is simple, yet well cooked and presented. This is what Bradofrd needed, so well done, and i urge you all to try it!
Beermonster1965 - 18 Jul 2007 14:06
What's happened to this pub? Completely lost it after soulless refurb.
anonymous - 3 Jul 2007 22:27
Umm, can't quite make my mind up about this place. It seems to have lost all its 'vibe' in the bar since the refit. Can't quite put my finger on it. It is all hushed and polite and noticed people tend to have a drink, look round for a bit and go.The female Bar staff could do with a basic customer care course - they can be somewhat ascerbic for the most basic of enquiry.
anonymous - 22 Apr 2007 10:27
Just attempted to book a table at the Dandy Lion. When I stated a date the response was "That's a Sunday" "Yes" "We don't do evening meals on a Sunday" "Fine, I want to book lunch" When I said that this would be for 10 people....... "We don't do bookings for 10" .... Thank you and goodbye!

Won't be going there again if this is an example of their manners.
anonymous - 11 Apr 2007 11:33
Full of people that think they are enlightened, liberal and artistic.

They would not know a great big Sabbath size riff if they saw one. Therefore I try not to go to this pub :O).

Mazzereth - 30 Mar 2007 13:47
When I used to live in Bradford, this was my favourite pub, great for food, beer and company.
Despite the recent changes, it's still top of my list in this town
anonymous - 14 Mar 2007 23:15
Anonymous, you are I are of the same view. Perhaps we know each other?

My dear friend and I have upset many a guardian reader on a Saturday morning by daring to sit at "their" table. Ah, the "yessssssssssssss" feeling one gets when nabbing a window seat.
PPG - 28 Feb 2007 11:46
Blimey if you thought it was poncey before - nothing after its refit. Like a glorified coffee house with blue or red rinsed pensioners who throw a huffy if you dare sit in their seat. Okay for a saturday morning coffee but thats about it - definitely not a boozer
anonymous - 28 Feb 2007 11:37
Bit poncey but ok. Staff were nice enough and the deep red interior suggests that they're making an effort.

Funny arrangement with food, you can't be fed downstairs, you have to be whisked upstairs.

Locals were nice though and I enjoyed my couple of jars there.
MrScott - 25 Sep 2006 11:54
The Dandy is full of intellectuals reading the financial times - a bit too posh for us locals.
anonymous - 6 Sep 2006 15:25
A welcoming, athmosphere town centre pub with many charms. Note that they don't do bar food in the evenings so make sure you book a table in the popular upstairs restaurant. Ferociously hot in summer, this pub suffers from poor ventilation. It'll be a lot better when the smoking ban comes in.
mungus - 24 Aug 2006 21:46
The best pub in bradford; one of my favourite pubs. Excellent beer, food, company and staff.
TA010929 - 14 Aug 2006 22:59
A very endearing pub.
Can get very hot though...
anonymous - 27 Jul 2006 12:19
Great atmosphere with great food in restaurant upstairs and real ale in the bar
Paul Blakeborough - 7 Feb 2005 15:19
Great pub - suggest you book in advance if you want to eat though, I've failed 3 times by not pre-booking
theory900 - 23 Nov 2004 16:14
Despite the excellent beer, friendly staff and comfortable environment, this pub scores a low mark because of the ghastly experience of visiting or sitting near the gents' toilet.

The air "freshener" employed is so powerful that on each of my visists to this otherwise excellent pub a visit to the toilet has left me coughing and gasping for breath. Furthermore whenever somebody enters or leaves the toilet, those persons seated nearby suffer a blast of this noxious substance.

If the pub suffers from excessive unpleasant natural odours in its toilets, might I suggest that masking them with a substance that has a far more unpleasant and lasting effect on those who inhale it (especially the asthmatic) is not the answer: visitors to the toilets are still inhaling both substances even though they might be smelling only one.

What a pity that the management of the Dandy Lion appears not to have considered effective ventilation.
ashmather - 23 Nov 2004 10:08
Bloody brilliant! Best food ever! Great people, wonderful service! Excellent nuts.
Dotty - 5 Nov 2004 20:20

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