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Golden Lion, Sydenham

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user reviews of the Golden Lion, Sydenham

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

Pub number 3 of the afternoon / evening and it’s a visit to a pub that I was in over 24 years earlier! And boy it is different from my last visit.

It used to be a traditional pub with a front lounge and pool table and public bar to the rear. Now it’s got a long thin almost restaurant type open room that leads to the garden with a smaller front lounge also laid for diners with a very nice wood burning fire in the corner. The lighting is also quite dim but I guess this is supposed to be atmospheric. The front lounge also has etched glass windows onto the main road.

There are 5 ales on the hand pumps & what surprised me was the selection with 3 ales on that I hadn't had before. These included 2 offerings from Wimbledon Brewery, I had a pint of their Copper Leaf @ 4.0% which was very decent.

Not many punters in during my visit but the ales were good and the welcome even better so this may be a pub that I return to sooner than the 24 years I waited last time!
lezford - 5 Jan 2017 13:21
I'm not too sure what to make of this pub. Nice walled garden, well kept interior with a variety of different types of furniture, plenty of space... But it had an odd, wine bar atmosphere and only a handful of punters. I saw Tea and an Adnams on pump. No queuing at this bar. Not unpleasant but there isn't a reason to drink here.
BitterShurn - 29 Sep 2016 22:42
It's taken me a few days to get over my visit. 35 years of drinking and this is my worse experience (and there have been a few bads ones in the past). Refurbished and totally souless. I can only assume that the pubco wants to run it into the ground to develop into flats. Friday night with a few punters in. They had a nice arrangement in the past with the TV in the pool room. Now it is the centre piece in the long corridor of a barn style main room.
Beer like vineger - pointless having four ales on with a pretty slow turn round.
Then some oaf does the loadest burp ever in my face. I tell the bar staff (disinterested), the oaf tells me to kiss his backside, the manager intervenes, sort of. No explanation (pissed or just mental health issues? And that was just the manager ho ho).
It was a bit grotty before, with a little charm, but now.....
Over the road, despite a more 'restaurant' sort of feel has five times the punters, ten times the charm, and infinitissimal the feeling of security, yet it scores lower than this hell hole (a reflection that scores refer to both the good and bad times).
Just bulldoze it.
baggydave - 17 Aug 2015 22:38
Now refurbished and under new management. It's a vast improvement, after the loss of the Blues Club to the Grape & Grain in Crystal Place left this pub rather soulless. Let's hope the Sydenham Film Club retains its monthly slot in the function room at the back of the pub.
biscuitman1978 - 25 Jul 2015 11:40
A Traditional large pub situated on Sydenham Road, Has the moniker of 'the Sydenham Blues Club and, as such, has plenty of live music, especially on a Friday and Saturday night. No prizes then for guessing the Music is very much blues, which attracts plenty of regulars. A pricey pub, but nontheless, a pleasant establishment to enjoy a drink and good conversation. It has some real ales to boot.
DangerousChris - 21 Apr 2013 14:35
Has anyone been here since 2011?
IMG1975 - 7 Apr 2013 14:39
I love going into the Golden Lion because it has such a comfortably traditional feel to it. I also like the fact that the lanldord is making a real effort by holding blues nights, jazz nights, etc. However, what is seriously disappointing is that, although there are usually three or four real ales available, they are often in disappointing condition. I went in here on a Saturday night recently for a live band, all four real ales were tried and all were in a very poor condition. I suspect the lines are not getting cleaned frequently enough. It's a shame, because this pub has the potential to build up a large and loyal following of real ale fans - instead they are deserting it for elsewhere.
karloff - 8 Jan 2011 08:46
This is not the most exciting of pubs, but it is nice for a couple of quiet beers in pleasant surroundings. There is a large saloon bar and a public bar with a pool table and small TV, but there is no Sky Sports.

Courage Best, Harveys Best, Bombardier and Youngs Special were all available alongside a standard draught range and my Guinness was well served by the friendly landlord.

This is a nice trad pub with ornate windows and fixtures and is worth a look if passing.
Strongers - 15 Nov 2009 12:27
I visited the Golden Lion for the first time on Friday night, and I was pleasantly surprised to find an excellent blues band playing to a lively and appreciative audience. Two saxophonists and an organist were amongst the line-up, playing quite understated renditions of songs by anyone from Traffic to Dylan, and a few songs of their own. The Guinness was good, and the barmaid was smiley. Being new to the area, I am very happy that this pub is nearby.
Tigs - 27 Oct 2009 12:02
Seriously underated traditional local, good beer (much cheaper and less pretentious than over the road). Still got the feel of a trad Victorian boozer, when most have been horribly redevloped (or turned into houses). Check it out
baggydave - 7 Jul 2009 13:43
Nice pint of Harveys Best but the pub has a grizzly edge too it with its nicotine stained walls and haggard clientele. Nice glasswork though. The Dolphin across the road is a rather better bet.
JonW999 - 19 Mar 2009 22:59
Really good music night, Fridays.
igocollege - 20 Jan 2009 16:09

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