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Golden Lion, Romford

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user reviews of Golden Lion, Romford

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

Was one of the 4 people queuing up to get in the Golden Lion on Saturday morning at 11am! This is an old pub that does feel fairly ancient. It's amazing it still stands in the centre of Romford. The interior is rather dark. But there are plenty of different drinking areas and lots of seating. The ale selection is large. But they are all fairly common national ales, with little originality - Greene King Abbot, Theakston Old Peculier, Courage Directors, Brains The Rev James, Sharps Doom Bar, Ruddles County, Wells Bombardier & Fullers London Pride. They also had Westons Old Rosie, or so it seemed. This ran out before a glass full could be poured - amazing that this should happen 2 minutes after opening. There was no offer to check if it could be replaced. I resorted to Ruddles County and wish I hadn't. Nice pub, but poor quality ales.
blue_scrumpy - 18 May 2015 18:26
Well based on the reviews on this site we popped in here for what promised to be the 'best pub in romford'... well the British disease is alive and kicking in here....one guy on the bar- didn't even acknowledge our existence and he was only serving one other bloke! 5 mins later still nothing then he pops round the other side of the bar to chat to some mates- if he had just said 'ok - be there in a min'..might have kept us there- but we walked out. Not good enough. Anyway I'll give it a two because at least there weren't hooligans kicking off as in rest of Romford...couple of ales and TV screens and lots of dejected middle age men.....nice...
alezilla - 19 Apr 2014 12:45
Not a bad pub which makes it probably the best in Romford. A nice change from the meat markets on the main road. Nice beers! 7/10
zabadak - 16 Nov 2013 21:34
A very decent range of cask ales featured Sharps Doombar/Adnams broadside/GK IPA/Theakston Old Peculier/Thwaites Wainwright. My pint of broadside was spot on, as was the friendly service. A lovely interior makes for a relaxing afternoon pint. 7/10
fat_beer_badger - 23 Feb 2012 16:22
I'm extremely proud to say that I grew up with the Lion as my first 'local.'

The Lion cradled me gently through my early youth and saw me confidently step into manhood. Like many, this was the place where I cut my 'beer' teeth and spent many a happy drunken night in my teens with college friends. In the late 80's/early 90's, the Lion was one of the finest bastions of student drinking in Romford. Friday nights were always organised around the Lion, often followed by the Cellar Bar for some sweaty Indie music.

The history of this place is pouring out of the walls and ceiling. If it could talk, 'Le Lion' could tell some spell-binding stories dating back nearly six hundred years. It was a stop off point for Royalty on the road to Colchester, Sir Francis Bacon drank there and may have penned a theory or two, and even local Romfordian and legendary reporter Roy Weal drank here regularly (all Lion regulars knew Roy - the brass plaque much like Roy himself, is unassuming and perched over the bar in the spot where he sat, on a stool at the end, watching the clientele come and go).

To me, the Lion is a bit like a favourite old leather jacket that you just can't bring yourself to throw away. Yes, it's a bit tatty in places, a bit worn out with little rips and unusual smells here and there; but there are colourful marks and stains which make it individual, and most importantly more than any other pub or bar in Romford, unique.

And in this market town with it's reputation for white stilettos, Tango fake tan and unnatural bleached teeth, God knows that Essex needs a bit of 'uniqueness.'

Viva Le Lion!
romfromromf - 29 Aug 2011 15:26
The best pub in romford.
Crusher - 5 Feb 2011 20:50
I really, really want to love this place....the beer is usually decent, although it frequently runs out and the selection is up and down, the staff are mostly amiable enough and the interior is lovely with old beam work and two open fires on the ground floor for those cold days (like now). They have a blues jam night on Thursdays, live entertainment of a weekend and the crowd are usually pleasant enough. The only onion in the ointment? The price. It is a little on the high side although you'd expect that to be able to drink in such nice surroundings, but that price should stay the same...not change three times in one evening for exactly the same round!
London_Bombardier - 30 Nov 2010 18:27
I've been using the GL for many years, why? you may ask. The staff are great, very helpful, friendly and accommodating. Oh yes! and the beer is really well kept, never had a problem with a Naff pint; food is good too. Keep it up!
Greenman_Blue - 21 Sep 2010 09:50
Have been an occasional visitor to the Golden Lion for many years. It has certainly improved greatly over the past 12 months, and I now enjoy visiting with friends several evenings each month. In my experience, a very friendly pub, and the blues jam night in particular is a great night.
Alfie2 - 13 Aug 2010 19:57
Agree with comments about the beer quality and range, one of the few Romford pubs for the real ale drinker. The pub could be more comfortable as it is a bit scruffy at the edges and when I was last there the toilets were in a bit of a mess (on a quiet Tuesday night). That said we enjoy our visits here and we are always made to feel welcome. I suppose it would be difficult for the management to clean the pub up as Romford can be a bit lively at weekends.
elpescado - 4 Jul 2010 17:13
Visited here last Saturday. Now I think that if you can get a pint for less than 3
its a bargain but where did they get 2.97 from? Anyway thats what I paid for a
pint of Brains Rev James and it was excellent. 5 pumps in here and the others were London Pride, GK IPA, Wells Bombidere & Thwaites Old Perculier. Cheap fiz also on sale with Fosters @ 2.30 and John Smiths keg @ 2.25 a pint.
bjbrummiejohn - 1 Jun 2010 07:54
The GL has improved 100% since John the manager took over last year. Previously it suffered from abysmal managers who should never have been put in charge of anything, let alone a proper, traditional pub. Now food is good, service friendly and if you're looking for excellent real ale, it's the only place in Romford worth bothering with. Live bands every Saturday, folk club Wednesday and the Thursday Blues/Rock Jam is great. A few weeks ago they had bluegrass bands on Sunday afternoon. I notice there's even a book club meeting there, which must be a first for Romford! I've never seen a bouncer on the door because the GL attracts people who behave themselves properly. As mentioned by Bob Marks, without doubt the best pub in Romford.
TownHallTed - 26 Feb 2010 12:46
This pub has a regular Blues, Rock 'N' Roll and Soul JAM, Every Thursday night with live musicians. All players welcomed, no matter what level, a full back line is available just bring your instument and JAM. At the weekends they often have LIVE MUSIC, featuring local bands. The Beer is excellent, with a variety of real ales available, as well as the normal largers and bitter. A good Pub Grub menu is served all day,up to around 9.00 pm.
The manager and bar staff are courteuos and attentive, the ambience is genuine Olde Worlde with beams wooden floors, and real inglenook fires. The clientelle are friendly and well behaved. This is definitely the BEST PUB in ROMFORD
bobmarks - 13 Jan 2010 14:39
Visted the Golden Lion recently for lunch. The pie and chips was really nice. Had a pint of Spitfire and a pint of Black Sheep, both were of excellent quality. Nowadays the real ales in here are always worth sampling. There are cheaper pubs in Romford but a visit to the Lion is always preferable.
FlyingFinn - 5 May 2009 19:05
A traditional country pub and a friendly atmosphere. Beer is quite expensive but no signs of trouble makers inside. Food is of a high standard.
The bar staff have the tendency to ignore you sometimes even though it is quiet.
pubboi28 - 29 Dec 2008 13:48
The Lion is an oasis of old English charm in the bland desert of dreary 1960s box buildings that make up Romford's town centre. A classical 18th century coaching inn that one might walk into expecting to see a young David Copperfield nursing a pint of porter and warming himself at the fire.

The temptation is to avoid going into pubs at all in Romford unless you happen to be one of the "10 pints of strong lager/you lookin' at my bird/smack in the mouth" fraternity or the "world's shortest skirt/20 alcopops/dose of clamydia" sorority. But this is one place you can go in and be reasonably certain of an evening or afternoon without intimidation or irritation.

At the pumps they have real ale (Yes, in Romford!) and the quality of the pints is not too bad. At least, I have never had a dodgy one in there. The bar is usually pretty packed out with a mix of people encompassing market traders, shoppers and office workers. There is an overflow room upstairs with plenty of tables.

The staff are friendly, efficient and competent.

So overall, must be a high scoring pub. The only areas where it loses marks are that it is usually crowded. Not the pub's fault this, but still, a bit annoying sometimes. Also, the selection of beer was not terribly broad and the quality, whilst not bad, does not make you sit up and say "Wow, that's good".

So all in all a solid 7/10.
Jay28 - 22 May 2008 17:25
I think this pub is the best in Romford. Its unique to Romford in that its not the samey, chavvy breed of boozer like everywhere else. The staff are polite and helpful, and serve quickly and fairly (rather than the person just standing immediately in front of them like wetherspoons for example). Have eaten in here a few times and the food is good for a pub. Its not cheap, but worth the money if only to avoid all the wrong-uns elsewhere.
munners - 14 May 2007 13:15
Absolutely loved this pub. The atmosphere was great, with lots of old wood beams. Guinness was nice, and I had the Sausage and Mash and it was very tasty. Stumbled upon it after an afternoon shopping at the mall and market. What a great find. Will definitely try to get back again next trip.
twitchy53 - 10 Apr 2007 09:53
this place claims to be cheap, well it aint, needs a good overhaul the staff are more interested in chatting to each other.
The_Black_Prawn - 30 Mar 2007 15:04
on a cold snowy day my wife and i stumbled into the lion for a quick one (which lasted 3 hours) the pride was superb 10/10 the big lad behind the bar was freindly and attentive but not in your face .....all in all after about an hour by the fire i even forgot i was in romford or even essex come to that ........8/10 in all the absolut best of a bad bunch
the_one_eye_spy - 8 Feb 2007 21:47
By far my favourie pub in Romford, the olde worlde atmosphere really relaxes you. A pint next to the roaring fire, sat next to the leaded light window, really warms the cockles.

Not full of rowdy youngsters either, which is a rarety in Romford.

I remember in the 80's when they put some animals out the back. Nice touch! I often wonder what happened to the donkey and goat.
Fruitbat - 24 Oct 2006 13:25
Surprisingly good for the area, this is an oldeworlde pub parts of which are very ancient indeed. Service is friendly and there is a small but adequate range of real ales.
beeronaut - 25 Jun 2006 07:35
went in here a few weeks back after the hospital and intended to stay for 1 stayed for too many and need a cab home , good prices good staff and friendly locals , belive gareth from the weatherspoons in hornchurch works here but didnt see him , blinding pub better than the crap further down south st
romfordir - 10 Jun 2006 17:41
very old pub looks like it could fall down at any moment.

good drink prices, food good

toliets not so good, swear one of the ladies ones is haunted
sweetie121 - 20 May 2006 00:35
only been here a handful of times, but each time was a pleasant experience.

a nice old style pub which was busy enough for a good atmosphere but not so rammed u cant move.

drinks were slightly expensive but not ridiculous compared to other places.

jukebox as well which is always nice.
essjaydee - 19 Mar 2006 19:10
been coming here on and off for 5 years, recently made it my local for friday and saturday nights, good pub, never had any trouble, its not too close to the main strip so not too many p**s heads looking for fights. staff are all very friendly. never eaten here so cant comment but im told its good? beer not the cheapest in romford but reasonable enough. function room upstairs often with live bands, good stuff.
stripe - 5 Dec 2005 14:26
occasionally had a few in here before going to clubs, just because its near the clubs and it aint the ford and firkin (AVOID).
not too bad for beers but i wouldnt make it my regular.
Jackrum - 21 Apr 2005 23:14
Been coming here since about 1998. Nothing particularly impressive about it, just a good, solid boozer far away enough from the main strip of Romford that it doesn't attract all the degenerates. Does the job.
Big_Lad - 6 Jan 2005 18:10

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