skip nav  
 

Red Lion, Ealing

back to pub details

user reviews of Red Lion, Ealing

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

I returned to this pub after a very long absence to find that what was once a cosy one room bar has now been extended through to the back to accommodate diners. The bar area was very noisy, drinks were expensive and I thought that the staff were particularly unhelpful. I have no plans to return to this establishment.
RealAleBloke - 27 Mar 2018 23:37
I've been going into this place for 40 years now, & I can certainly say it has increased radically in size, probably X 3! In the mid-seventies, it was a tiny L-shaped thing, with no extension beyond the bar, nor garden access. Anyway, quite aside from quibbling about square footage, what's been said about staff, regulars, prices, beer quality & the gastro syndrome stands as far as I'm concerned.
renzarov - 6 Oct 2015 14:48
I should hope the Red Lion has been refurbished from time to time but I am sure it has not "trebled" in size. Anyway, I have always found it a pleasant little pub when walking from Ealing Broadway to South Ealing.
malo66 - 8 Jun 2015 12:29
I totally agree with Snarling Mallard's post of 3 Jan. I somewhat reluctantly popped in on Sunday evening, & all the staff negatives he lists- & more- were in place. The place was dingy, dirty & untidy away from the bar, & ESB was both well-expensive yet of unexceptional quality. I think the rot set in when the pub was refurbed & trebled in size, changed hands, & was gastroed up by Fuller's. Shame, but true...
renzarov - 19 May 2015 16:19
Another downward spiral for Fullers. No guest ales and the quality of the Pride was just about okay - certainly not a good pint of it. Service still an issue here with staff prefering to continue conversations with 'important' regulars rather than deal with the customers at the bar. Gone off this place totally - you can keep the ignorant staff and up their own arses regulars.
anonymous - 3 Jan 2014 19:41
I went here a few years back after the day session at the Ealing Beer festival. I took the dog and some friends and had a fine time drinking decent ale, in a decent pub with decent people and even the wuffer loved it. Great place, very good would/will go back when in the area.
Mcloj - 13 Feb 2013 17:24
A magic little pub, yet they have enough room for pictures of the famous Ealing Studios which are just across the very wide road. Oh and they have some good ales!
malo66 - 8 Feb 2013 19:05
I quite liked the Red Lion. Whilst one of many Fullers pubs I visited on Sunday afternoon/evening, this one was an unspoiled local with a guest beer. As well as the usual Fullers suspects - Chiswick, Pride, ESB & Wild River, they also had York Guzzler. Inside is a fairly small affair. But there was still sufficient seating for a weary drinker. Service was friendly. Although the landlord did appear a little surly. Neverthless, this was the best pub I tried of 15 on the day.
blue_scrumpy - 18 Sep 2012 20:42
I did the Fullers 200 crawl back in the 90's and they weren't exactly cheap then.
I do remember the Red Lion being one of their better houses.

A pint of ESB in the Anchor and Hope in E5 (probably their most basic pub) is £3.50. This afternoon I was imbibing 10% ABV Keykeg Brodie's beers for less than that, and they were superb.

As far as I am concerned Fuller's houses are a no go area, irrespective of how good the pub is.

Even London Pride in Spoons is more expensive than the generally more interesting guest list or something from a local micro.

To me Fullers have lost their way, not to the same degree as Youngs as their beer is still good, but they are really nothing more than an expensive pub chain.


THE_SABBATICAL_GOAT - 17 Aug 2012 19:56
Time was, 19702-1990s, when I used to crawl around Ealing & never miss The Red Lion, Castle & Rose & Crown. All three now are pricey & pretentious, so I got to the cheapo Sir Michael Balcon, & finish off in The Wheatsheaf with an ESB or two. I wouldn't bother with a session in any one of them in St Mary's Road any more.
renzarov - 17 Aug 2012 16:46
we visited this pub after Ealing beer festival and a nice pub it was. photos of old Ealing film stars adorned the walls and a good range of Fullers ales with the guest being Castle Rock Elsie Mo which made us chuckle seeing as we came down 140 miles from Notts. Worth a visit.
ng10 - 9 Aug 2012 14:40
a great little pub, owner is a bit weird but i liked it alot i ended up going in for one and staying for 5
newirish - 21 Jul 2012 20:57
Visited this lovely pub the other day with Ealing friends and was well impressed by it's old fashioned ambience and gentile service. We all ate some wonderful food and consumed a great ale or three. It really makes me wish I lived in Ealing.......the garden was also a surprise as coal braziers were on the go making a chheky cigar even more palatable during this cold snap.....full marks Red Lion !
Pootinky - 14 Feb 2012 10:39
What happened to a previous comment about the Red Lion being a real pub for real people?
brodie_bruce - 11 Nov 2011 14:06
LOVELY PUB THIS, I COULDNT RECCOMEND IT ENOUGH, I WILL MAKE AN EFFORT TO COME HERE MORE OFTEN
formworker123 - 1 Sep 2011 11:53
The Red Lion is a great pub and has rightly won many awards for the quality of the beer served here (Fullers) with CAMRA awarding it the bet pub in the west London area for numerous years running. I can say that the Pride and the Chiswick ales are prob the best that you will get in the area. The food is freshly cooked and the menu changes on a regular basis, with daily specials on the black board with the burgers being very good. The pub it self is very nice and traditional with a lovely covered court yard garden in the back which is a bit of a sun trap in the summer.

Now having waxed lyrical i will have to say like other reviews that the prices are a bit extortionate, to the level that most of my friends have stopped drinking here. I know that its sounds a bit petty and it would be if the price rises had been minimal, but over night almost 40p was put on to a pint. And at £4.05 for a pint of Peroni I think that its a bit of a liberty.... you only just get charged that in tourist traps of the west end!

It is a shame really that this has, for me anyways, tarnished what is a great pub.

caffeinefreak - 19 Aug 2011 14:09
this is my work local, just started here and went for food and drinks last week. beer good and a cosy pub, service just fine. as other people have noticed it is expensive, but then if your mate drinks peroni (yeah, peroni!) then i guess you just have to take it on the chin.

food portion (fish and chips) was really generous, but while the chips and peas were good, the (huge!) piece of fish was a little flavourless, and the batter was too thick - crispy on the outside but soggy on the inside. being a greedy bastard i nevertheless scoffed the lot, but felt a little queasy afterwards.

this won't stop me from returning though.
benroberts - 11 Aug 2011 14:15
Adding another review to comment that the landlord at the Red Lion does take the time to read these reviews and did contact me personally to confirm that I had been overcharged a touch for my pint and lime and soda water as mentioned in an earlier post and offered to refund the difference. So, pub rating duly amended upwards to reflect this.....

And yes, I do still frequent the Red Lion as it is on the doorstep (if Santa Maria next door are busy then there's time for a pint while your pizza cooks) and have had fantastic service from two of the staff there so credit once again.

Now as for this carping on about a few pennies......really? If I was that keen on saving 20p I'd go to the Wetherspoons but I don't. I want to like this pub and on a warm, sunny day in the garden or out the front on the benches it is very easy too but there does come a point where £££ does make a difference. Probably should be taking that to my MP as I am an Ealing local too after all.


brodie_bruce - 15 Jul 2011 14:23
have worked @ Ealing Studios from time to time over the years and pop in to this wonderful pub everytime,It's the best and still maintains old school principals Ealing residents should cherish this place and not carp on about a few extra pennies for a drink this is a slice of Ealing history and should be celebrated as such.

10/10
Brendon - 6 Jul 2011 19:05
Wow didn't know Ealing was so full of cheapskates......Quality is always worth paying for......and the beer here is superb, evidenced by the successive Camra awards won by The Red Lion over the last decade or so.......home cooked food is superb and with generous portions........as for the wines, prices seem to be the same as The Wheatsheaf and The New Inn......some people are never satisfied I'd choose this idiosyncratic family run pub over the others any time!
Thomasburrows - 6 Jul 2011 18:46
The aesthetics of this pub are good: traditional charm festooned with pictures of bygone stars from Ealing Studios across the road. Itís cosy, itís nice Ė itís expensive.

Make sure you specify your vino if you want to avoid paying top dollar. The most expensive wine available will be serviced up to any unsuspecting customer who does not order a specific variety.

The ale here is normally pretty good, granted Ė but the prices of that too are steep. Itís what keeps me away, and by the looks of reviews here, itís keeping others away too.

Shame.


Small_Dave - 30 Jun 2011 14:41
What can I say......now this is a pub that knows how to keep proper cask ale. 10/10
rogersmith - 21 Jun 2011 15:16
Overrated.......and expensive.

£5.50 for one pint (admittedly the Fullers tercentenary Ascot but still, it's not infused with gold flakes) and a lime and soda water? Really?

Shame as it's my closest pub but the best advice I can give right now is to keep walking past the Red Lion and try the Rose and Crown instead......
brodie_bruce - 5 Jun 2011 20:24
Nice pub with a good collection of Ealing Studios memorabilia. However, drink prices are at west End levels - £20 for 2 beers and 2 wines is taking the p*ss!
Would not recommend for a drink - be careful what you order!
cg1949 - 5 Jun 2011 16:58
Long known as an actor's pub the current landlord has driven out the old 'characters' that used to inhabit the place in the company pursuit of 'food being king'. I always thought the extending out of the place eroded some of the character of the place but increasingly pubs are becoming eating places as opposed to drinking establishments. Apart from the Fuller's range also had one guest on in the form of Okells Bitter - which was quite drinkable. Service was also quite slow but this was more down to waiting for people to ponce about ordering food and waiting for people's cards to be authorised. People paying by card should pay an additional amount based on the hourly rate of those waiting to be served who's time they waste.
anonymous - 30 Aug 2010 09:59
I have gone to most pubs in ealing and I have to say this ones my favourite. The pub has pictures on the walls of all the films shot across the street at ealing studios. It has such a warm "old pub" feeling as soon as you walk in, unlike all the other pubs in ealing . Friendly staff and the best burger I have had in london with out a doubt. Oh and its worth going to see the garden out back!
bharvey76 - 27 Aug 2010 22:20
A fine old Fullers house (a point which you could hardly miss given the ultra-bold lettering at the top of the facade, and above which perches the eponymous red lion). Inside, the traditional bar area uses pew-type seating to good effect and there are regular tables in the rear extension (beyond which there is also a decent patio beer garden). There are four beers from the Griffin brewery plus a guest (e.g. Ossett Pale Gold when I visited). It has a good location at the south end of Ealing Green, nearly opposite the famous studios, and is well worth the walk from the Broadway or South Ealing underground stations.
rpadam - 21 Aug 2010 12:47
The loos in this pub really let the place down. For a start they stink, if you're sitting near the loo doors all you can smell is that heady mixture of p*ss and disinfectant. When you go into the loos it's no better; often seats are broken and/or there's no loo roll and they get in a right state over the course of a night with seemingly no-one going in to replace loo roll or clear up.
Loo_Review - 12 Jun 2010 12:40
I have to agree with the dissenters about The Red Lion. It is not a patch on what it was before the refurb/extension, chiefly because of the unwelcoming staff, high food prices & general lack of atmosphere.
When it was just the front bar area, it had character; the beer was excellent; & I don't remember being particularly daunted by the barmaids or management. Now, like EJ2704, I find it impossible to 'warm to the place'.
Mind you, the same is probably true of The Castle & Rose & Crown down the road: I don't go to those either these days, not when The Wheatsheaf is so good, & The Sir Michael Balcon (Wetherspoon's) so cheap!
renzarov - 5 Jun 2010 14:41
I think this place is great... was there last night and really liked the pub. Best thing was it was a really nice garden at the back. Will definatly be going back. Boss Man Big
Gfob - 20 Apr 2010 19:38
In this age of chain pubs controlled by breweries, and tenancies looking a bit sorry for themselves, what a difference to experience the food, beer and service at the Red Lion.

Fantastic beer garden to enjoy on a summer's day, and the Hydes they have on guest at the moment was superb. What I love most about this pub is the eclectic mix of the clientele, the friendly and warm welcome you always get from the staff. I've read other comments on here questioning it, but I have honestly never had anything but a very cordial greeting. Obviously, at times they're busy, but I think they do very well considering! The food is truly home cooked, and as good a Sunday Roast as I've ever had in any restaurant or, dare I say it, at my own home as a child (hope my Mum doesn't come on here).

The Red Lion is a true oasis in a desert of mediocre pubs in this area of London and the owners should be proud of it.
almacd - 19 Apr 2010 12:49
My favourite pub in Ealing. Food and beer are excellent. Beer garden is lovely in summer.
West_2009 - 4 Apr 2010 23:05
Well, I don't about the previous comment but I have been going to this little gem of a pub now for about 5 years and find it hard to fault, in fact it is one of the friendliest pubs I know, the staff are charming and sociable.....!
The Ales, all five of them are in top nick and the recently added Bengal Lancer is another Fuller's winner! I would heartily recommend this pub to anyone!
Bob13 - 22 Mar 2010 13:40
I used to come here a lot a few years ago and recently decided to come back. The building is full of character. The beer is top class & reasonably priced, but the staff are lacking in something which I can't quite put my finger on. As JonRambo says they are pleasant enough, but not overly welcoming. I would be quite happy to be a regular, but I just can't warm to the place.(staff)?
EJ2704 - 6 Feb 2010 21:39
Lovely building with some real charm. Nice beer garden at the back. Sedate atmosphere. Not particularly cosy inside though. Area by the bar populated by old school locals. Corridor-like area at the back populated by young 'uns having a pint after work.
Not particularly welcoming. Landlord seems friendly but some of the barmaids are not - I didn't get a please or thank you during my recent visit.
Ale well kept. Ususal Fullers fare plus a guest when I visited.
Nice place for a quick pint, but not really a place for non-regulars to linger...
JonRambo - 30 Oct 2009 13:51
This is a Fullerís pub that had Chiswick, Pride, ESB, Red Fox and Hobgoblin on offer when I was in there on Monday lunchtime. I had the superb Red Fox, which was at the current approximate going rate of £3.05 a pint. As you enter there are three booths on the right taking up that side of the pub; a couple of settles and normal chairs on the left; leading to a back room with more normal tables and chairs. Dťcor on the walls amounts mainly to black and white photos Ė didnít get close enough to discern the subjects. On the face of it a pretty decent and straightforward little pub, and apparently thoroughly deserving its recent accolade of being chosen as the CAMRA West Middlesex branchís pub of the year.

But the food is certainly upmarket. I had the ciabatta/fillet steak/rocket/parmigiano plus some chips, which weighed in at £8.95. Not exactly traditional pub grub then, but nonetheless of a very high standard and most enjoyable. The service I received was friendly and welcoming, and I reckon this is an excellent pub and certainly worth seeking out if youíre in the general area.
RexRattus - 21 Oct 2009 10:45
I visited the Red Lion with a certain degree of trepidation as it has been hyped as being one of the best pubs in West London!.......I was a little skeptical to say the least! However I must say I needn't have been so cynical, this delightful pub simply blew me away. Firstly the greeting was second to none by the L'lord himself who guided me through the five real ales on offer, I settled for Hobgoblin as it had been some time since I had tried it and it was well up to scratch, in fact I tried all 5 ales(hic!) and can hand on heart quite truthfully say they were all in superb condition, the London Pride being sensational. What a gem this pub is, the girls behind the bar were friendly and helpful, the customers varied and interesting and the food (Sunday Roasts!) looked so appetizing I could not resist..... real gravy and flavors that I had not tasted since my old grannie passed away 27 years ago... what I mean is, proper family cooking,unlike anything I have tasted in a pub or restaurant ever!!!
The owners of this pub should be proud of themselves because it is nothing short of brilliant....I loved it and will be going back soon!

A well deserving 10/10........only coz 11 isn't an option!
Beermonster13 - 19 Oct 2009 18:23
First rate pints of Red Fox and London Pride in an interesting pub - staff were friendly too. Will come back again if in the area.
Booze_Allen - 19 Oct 2009 17:26
Really liked this pub with its classic pub architecture. The staff were very friendly and the beer was very well kept.
Abteilung - 17 Oct 2009 22:09
Wonderful Fullers pub neat the Ealing Film Studios with lots of memorabilia. They keep the beer at the right temperature, and the food is excellent. Relaxed ambience. Everything a pub should be.
tate - 11 Oct 2009 15:13
Nice enough pub, the Fullers beers are well kept as you'd hope and booths at the front of the pub are a pleasant enough place for a pint (or six).

Despite this it's not one of my favourite pubs in Ealing - seems that bit more expensive than the other Fullers pubs around Ealing and if you're not in one of the booths up the front, the benches out the front or the beer garden out the back it feels like you're sitting in a great big corridor.
brodie_bruce - 13 Sep 2009 16:52
Lovely pub. Good range of beers (if a little plain) and a really nice area out back. Great stuff.
Dylarolla - 20 Aug 2009 14:16
Attractive Fullers pub five mins walk south of the town centre. The old front bar is decorated with many black and white photos of stars from 1950s films made across the road at Ealing Studios. The shady back garden is a pleasant place to relax.

Even though its beers are the standard Fullers selection and a bit more expensive than the brewery's other nearby locals, the Red Lion has once again been voted pub of the year by West Middlesex CAMRA members.

It's well worth popping in on Sunday evenings when they do a good selection of gourmet pies, served with mushy peas and mash, and reasonable value at £8.95.

rentaquote - 17 Aug 2009 18:45
Great atmosphere, good beer, the back garden is a great place to chill with a beer in the summer - although can get a bit busy. Food is also great, especially the chips. Recently introduced Pieminster pies with mash and peas on a Sunday, which are good, but not as good as the regular memory. Venue of choice for any sunny summer evening.
kwak09 - 31 Jul 2009 23:41
The last comment is certainly true, but the food at the Red Lion is miles better than that at the Rose & Crown and certainly worth the 20% extra..
swizz - 9 Jul 2009 02:31
This pub is extremely expensive as far as Fullers pubs go. Crossing the road and walking 50 yards down St Mary's Road gets you to the Castle, another Fuller's pub where the beer is at least ten per cent cheaper. A further 100 yards down the road on the other side nest to St. Mary's Church is the Rose and Crown which has similar beer prices to the Castle and a much more extensive menu than the Red Lion at about twenty per cent less than the Red Lion. Clearly, Fullers are pricing pubs nearer to Ealing Broadway as more expensive. It is worth shopping around for real ale and food between Fuller's pubs alone!
bigzemby - 15 Jun 2009 22:36
For me, quite simply, the best pub in Ealing. Brilliant range of excellent ales that are always well presented, great bar snacks, great ambiance. Love it, love it, love it. Have a lovely beer garden that is always packed in the summer. The old Ealing Studio pictures are great too and this is the kind if place you can have a great evening with friends, or pop in on a weekend lunch time on your own with a paper and feel perfectly comfortable. 10/10.
Hanwale - 18 May 2009 16:18
So utterly lovely a place you can even tolerate the students. And that;'s high praise indeed for a curmugeon like me.

A true great.
realalesnob - 28 Apr 2009 20:07
My favourite pub in Ealing - and one I'd frequent more often it wasn't quite as long a walk from my place (especially the walk back!).

A pub called The Red Lion really has no right to be this good, but thankfully it is! I've sampled most of the beers here and found them all to be excellent and finally managed to get in one of the church pew "booths" the other week.

Never got round to ordering food here, but last time I was there something smelt delicious. I would have ordered some but I wasn't ready to incur too much wrath when I got home. That didn't stop us from saying "one more pint before we go?" more than once.

Its location (opposite Ealing Studios) means the clientele are eclectic and non-cliquey.

Thoroughly recommended.
ChrisBass - 7 Apr 2009 17:25
Quality little pub full of charm. Didn't eat here but drank some fine beers. Staff very curtious and the whole ambience of the place is right.
tom1968 - 14 Mar 2009 06:59
Marvellous, old-school, welcoming, charismatic boozer. Staff and clientele polite & friendly. Beer fresh and thirst quenching, as it should be.
E1_Norton - 12 Feb 2009 14:47
What a transformation since my last visit in the early/mid nineties. This used to be a tiny little sweat box of a pub, but a wall has been removed and the rear has been extended out to the back of the building and then a conservatory has been built as well as a large beer garden. I wouldnít have recognised the place if it wasnít for the bar area that is exactly how I remember it.

I wasnít surprised to see Pride, Chiswick, ESB and Porter on as I can remember there always being a full selection of Fullers ales, but I did spot Golden Pride. Unfortunately I was unable to try it as it rocks in at 8.5% and I think that the local constabulary would have something to say about my journey home around the North Circular. Hoegarden, Staropramen and a couple of standard lagers were also available from the polite barmaid.

I think that they have done an excellent job with this place and it was great to still see all of the Ealing Studios photos still up on the wall.

I highly recommend this pub.
Strongers - 22 Dec 2008 15:47
Great Pub. Excellent ales. (Had London Porter on!) Service was ok. Food was nice (£18.95 for the Fillet steak isn't the most economical way to spend money on food, don't think i'll buy that again)..Apart from the, Great Pub
Skips - 6 Nov 2008 14:05
This pub really is the "Bee's Knees!"..........in the last six years it has been CAMRA's best London pub 6 times!!!......yes SIX times. This really is a staggering achievement. It Real Ales are always pristinely kept and the food is top notch which appears expensive at first until you see the portions.....Sunday lunches are beautifully prepared by the family team in the kitchen....but get there early for these as it is packed out every Sunday without fail.
On Sunday nights they offer Pieminister Pies which reall are the Dog's Wotsits when it comes to pies.
I really can't fault this lovely traditional boozer with a modern twist.
Raceylittlebeggar - 21 Oct 2008 20:03
Paid a visit with my wife the other weekend after dropping my daughter off at Uni. The pub was recommended to me by a work colleague who is from Ealing. The current Landord and Landlady have performed the extremely difficult task af modernising whilst retaining a traditional feel for the locals. I have to say that the beer and wine were superb and the food excellent.I believe the menu is changed regularly which is brave when it is so easy to stick to "tried and tested" . I have to say that I am surprised at some of the negative comments about the staff. I found the staff very helpful and the Landlord and Landlady were the most charming of hosts and made me feel like a long lost friend. I would highly recommend this fine establishment but suspect it could get very busy as good news travels fast!
PeteTheManc - 4 Oct 2008 21:35
Have to agree with Islelona there is a good atmosphere to this pub. Helped with a good range of beers. Girls behind the bar can be dizzy at times, in a comical rather than annoying way. Good pub!
thursdaynight - 25 Jul 2008 12:01
Pleasant pub, very good choice of beers warm & cosy in the Winter (If you can find a seat!) mix of ladies-who-lunch types who'll demolish several bottles of wine in a session, some media luvvies, retired Gents and real ale session Men! Usually packed, but GOOD atmosphere! I'd recommend.
IsleIona - 5 May 2008 10:35
Great pub. Nice and cosy. Friendly service. Great food. Good choice of beers.
drinker_x - 23 Feb 2008 18:28
Probably the best pub in Ealing, though I'd agree with the poster below that the staff are a little surly sometimes. The landlord seems decent enough, but I always feel like I'm putting him out a bit. Howver, he's done a good job of providing meals without losing the 'local' feel of the place.
swizz - 14 Feb 2008 10:52
This is by some distance the best pub in Ealing. If you are lucky enough to get a table in the front of the pub, particularly one of the little booths, you get a feeling of what it must have been like before it was expanded.

The beer is generally very good, although the Guinness can occasionally be patchy, and the food is usually up to scratch.

The staff seem to change regularly and could sometimes be given lessons in smiling.

However, if you are looking for somewhere to spend a pleasant evening drinking top quality Fullers with some excellent guest ales, the Red Lion is your man, so to speak.
porcus_volans - 3 Feb 2008 19:36
I must have been in a different Red Lion. When I visited last week I felt as though I was in a poorly written and poorly acted episode of Fawlty Towers. The barmaid/actress and the landlady played Basil - only I didnt think there were supposed to be two Basils. Sausages do not take forty minutes to cook, we had not been there for only ten minutes, and making people wait for their food does not inveigle them into buying more to drink. Also, if your customers are unhappy with the service, it is a good idea to apologise, and not argue the toss at length and at the top of your voices.

I am a local, and know that there are better, more friendly pubs in Ealing. Which I will return to - but never again to the Red Lion.
vonsmythe2 - 25 Jan 2008 08:07
Cracking traditional boozer. Cosy inside and just the job on a cold winter's night. Definitely worth including on an Ealing crawl with Fuller's ales in excellent shape.
Cheers!
BeerHeaven06 - 24 Jan 2008 18:22
A real Gem of a pub where I had a lovely pint of Porter yesterday,If only more pubs were like this.
Henners - 14 Dec 2007 19:33
I have to agree with bedfont.Although this is a classy looking and pleasant enough pub, I dont rate the beer as highly as others seem to. The beer is good but it is not outstanding; for example it is no way near the standard of the Fox in Hanwell.
weston - 14 Dec 2007 12:37
As an Ealing resident and drinker for over six years, I can confirm this is the best pub in ealing. 10 mins from the tube station, lovely atmosphere, especially in the garden on a summer evening. Don't go anywhere else!
btvsk8 - 1 Dec 2007 15:08
Good pub, excellent beer with good service. Bar is small and the interior is crampped though.
jgill49723 - 5 Nov 2007 18:36
The Red Lion is smart and clean but manages to maintain the feel of a proper old fashioned "local".

There always seems to be preparations going on in the kitchen, which along with the impressive menu, suggests that they take their grub seriously.

The traditional interior includes a range of nostalgic framed photos and posters linked to Ealing Studios across the way - without being over the top or "themey".

Although in my experience some of the regulars can be a bit cliquey and the bar is tiny, it is a very nice pub with a bit of a mature feel - which contrasts with places further up the road that seem to be more aimed at the student market.The average age of the punters in here would be well over thirty I reckon.

In addition the pub has also employed some very attractive female Australian and South African bar staff over the four or five years I have been drinking in there.


EskimoJoe - 30 Aug 2007 15:29
Proper pub with a good outside area. Worth a visit.
ladyjay - 25 Jul 2007 11:38
Great wee pub, good beers and friendly staff with tables outside for when it's sunny, what more could you want. One of my favourite pubs in Ealing.
tmcmurr1 - 29 Jun 2007 23:53
Well of my mini crawl the best pub compared to New Inn and Castle at least. You can tell it was 630ish and it was fullish. proper old style pub. You could tell all that due to the smell of smoke! Oh well be interesting to see how this goes when people can't smoke inside....

Beer was served at a reasonable temperature although did not taste the best (maybe I'd had a few by then). I need convincing Fullers any longer brew a good pint. Seriously with 6 bitters on do they really turn over enough organic, Chiswick, ESB, Specials (IPA when I was in) and Discovery to have no beer on longer than a few days. At least it was not sold at near freezing which was the Castle's trick.


bedfont - 13 May 2007 16:44
Without doubt the best pub in Ealing for the past 30 years since I first went in. The work done a few years ago hasn't changed the feel too much, and it was certainly very small before. Dont get there very often these days, but usually drop in if I'm passing. Met my wife in there so it has a lot to answer for.
yer_barred - 12 Apr 2007 23:19
Cant agree more with the post below!

Really friendly staff and the best beer in ealing, also get some very good guest ales on.

worth a visit anytime of the week.


caffeinefreak - 1 Mar 2007 15:03
Far and away the best pub in Ealing. Beer and food is top notch, with a great atmosphere. Never had any problems with the bar staff, even when they're really busy. Can see how they might get pissed off with some of the braying sorts that barge the regulars out of the way, and think they have some sort of right to treat all and sundry as inferiors.

It's a London classic, not to be missed.
insekt - 28 Nov 2006 01:31
Good beer. Great rear garden. Good pub food (pricey?). Gets pretty smokey, but the garden offers some breathing space. Nice pub. Nice interior. Give it a try.
on_tap - 25 Nov 2006 20:31
The best pub in Ealing - spacious but cosy, with very decent beer, alright food and a good atmostphere aided by the photographic reminders of its cinematic past.
mswh - 7 Oct 2006 23:30
I love this pub as it's just across the way from the studios and the current landlord is trying to keep the link with the old Ealing comedies alive with it's decoration of 40's and 50's film memorabilia.
The beer is always good, the staff have always been friendly to us. It has it's own crowd of trusted locals and old beer sippers, but the outside bit is gorgeous in hot weather and a lovely boozer in general.
Don't even try and order food on a friday night.
stereoferret - 5 Sep 2006 15:09
IWENT TO THIS PUB A FEW WEEKS AGO THEY HAD A ONE OFF KARAOKE WHICH WAS TERRIFIC THE BAR SNACKS WERE GOD VALUE AND THE FULLERS PRIDE WAS ORGASMIC. ADD TO THIS A GREAT FRIENDLY ATMOSPHERE AND CHARMING BAR STAFF I THOUGHT I HAD DIED AND GONE TO HEAVEN. I HOPE THEY WILL HAVE ANOTHER KARAOKE SOON MIKE
miketheglass - 8 Jul 2006 19:19
Comments on Red Lion

A group (10)of us went to the Red Lion after booking it for a meal around 7. However it was a warm evening (May 24th 2006), the landlord came over and insisted we order at 6:30 on the dot ,as it was warm not every one wanted to continue drinking instead. About an hour later I thought it would be nice to have nibbles and attempted to order some fries, I was very rudely told by a highly strung landlord that they did not do things like that.........food? Ten minutes later (8:15) I decided to order a main course to be again told that food had now finished and we had missed our slot. When another friend tried to order he told her that he id not serve those who were drunk! She was not. A few of us left to go to Oporto (lovely service ) and a few remained. those who remained witnessed MR Highly Strung serving other after we left.

It was not a one off he is rude highly strung and in the wrong industry!
dee330 - 3 Jun 2006 22:33
I have just read with intrest the last post by Redjont, as I used this pub for over 10 years during the 80s & 90s, I can never remeber Gordon and Ileen (Landlord & Landlady back then) ever employing a Polish barmaid or any other east Europeans. Lots of Australian and New Zealanders, Scots and and English, and as for Polish being spoken on a regular basis I think not, gibberish after 10 pints of mixed yes, Polish no.
wmon - 22 May 2006 14:58
It is hard sometimes to read comments such as the one below and not react.....especially when they are incorrect and plainly racist!

The only Polish lady working @ The Red Lion has done so for twelve months now and is certainly au fait with the prices of beer, maybe she made a mistake "***t happens!"!!!!!

However the comments about the history of the Red Lion re. the nationality of the barstaff are frankly laughable and ill informed as Ealing, other than Chicago has the largest Polish enclave outside Poland itself, so one out 1 out 10 batstaff is clearly unrepresentative of the community that The Red Lion serves. Many of the pubs regulars are and have been in some cases for longer than 50 years Polish and Polish is regularily heard in the pub as a spoken language.

If being "Traditional" means a reliance on cockney barmaids and Lads then I think it's time to move on and come to terms with the fact that the large majority of affluent Ealing young people do not apply for jobs in a Pub.Many of the East Europeans are adventurous and determined to succeed and can be and are a real asset in the Hospitality industry.
Redjont - 20 May 2006 13:57
Am a regular visitor to this pub, last being sat 13th May after the `Beer on Broadway` festival. It is one of the finest establishments in Ealing, and i dont normally mind spending the little extra for the Fullers Beers they have here, though they seem to shirk in quality on who they have serving at the bar : i dont think 18 year old polish/east european girls are in keeping, despite being pretty to look at, with the history of the place: especially ones that dont know the prices of the beer they sell and a tendency to short change their custom base.
anonymous - 17 May 2006 17:38
I went last Friday.

They managed to make mistakes on both occaisions of me going to the bar, which wasn't the best first impression. It was very busy however. Didn't try the food but it looked good from what I saw. Probably one best to visit when its quiet, maybe I will go back another time.
slacker - 8 May 2006 16:14
£2.75 for a pint of Carling!!!!!!!
wmon - 21 Mar 2006 16:40
An institution in Ealing, trading on past reputation perhaps- the jury is still out. Yes it has become more trendy with `Rupert & Vanessa` types, especially since its enlargement and the advent of chain bar culture elsewhere on the Broadway, though the front bar thankfully is more or less still the same, and the Fullers beers are always very good here- though more pricey than The Castle. Staff seemed ok, and unfortunately not a pretty polish barmaid in sight.
darloexile - 20 Mar 2006 11:50
The Red Lion was an old man's pub that got turned into a modern version of an old man's pub by Fullers in their quest to update, tastefully, every pub in their range.

There are a few problems with this - most notably that the bar is tiny for the pub they extended it into. You can be left waiting, three deep, for a pint on a fri or sat night, for ten minutes or more. And the clientele seem to have shifted from the bug eyed, dog carrying grizzled men of olde to the more luvvie type rugby boys that have fled here since the broadway offers nothing for them, thinking this to be the 'cool' alternative.

Thankfully though, the food is AWESOME, and there is a bustle about the place that is charming. In the summer the flowery garden is lovely, although often noisy (possibly to with the umbrella above?). Also, getting a round of drinks from the bar to anywhere but the very front of the pub is a task worthy of inclusion on the krypton factor, so very narrow is the pub.

Generally though, despite it's smugness at winning awards, which seems to have trickled down into the attitude of the bar staff (i'll admit previous posts are sadly correct, and i consider myself a local, although often you can be surprised in fairness), and slight air of menace from the older, more protective locals, the red lion is far and away the best pub in the ever modernising 'village' part of ealing.

A refurb done right? Quite possibly. A pub is not necessarily the sum of its locals. It could have been so bad. But it isn't.
kidsmoke - 13 Mar 2006 19:52
I have to agree with Jack Jones - (some of) the staff can be unfriendly. I've been to this pub at least five times and on most occasions I've been served by moody staff. Last time the barmaid totally forgot about my half poured pint of Guinness and her colleague (who looked like the manager) had to finish pouring it for me.

That said, I do like the pub - especially the old Ealing Studios photos on the wall and the beer garden.
annabel_mntv - 7 Mar 2006 14:56
Can't speak for the two comments before mine but I resent being told that that my comment was untrue. I'm afraid everything said was true about the staff. As for saying it must be my fault well I'm sorry but I always say please, thankyou etc and expect the same in return.

I really like the pub and I really like Fullers but out of 3 visits I've had 2 bad experiences with the staff and going by some other comments on here I'm not the only one.

But then again maybe it's all a conspiracy.
jackjones - 23 Feb 2006 15:07
Best pub in Ealing by a mile, and the best vegetarian Sunday lunch in London... if not the country. The food is cooked to order and wipes the floor with the usual lame and limp Sunday carvery's on offer elsewhere. Always found the bar staff friendly despite previous comments, and the range and quality of Fullers ales is excellent. Moving to Hanwell soon but i'll still be coing back to drink here on a regular basis.
ealingwomble - 19 Feb 2006 17:18
If you actually go into this pub and speak to the people inside, or mention to anyone in Ealing, you are almost definitly going to get a fantastic review from them. I drink in there and know that the bar staff are brilliant. Always welcoming and friendly, being as helpful as possible. I also know none of them to be rude or arrogant. If you are rude to them, I imagine they won't be as hospitiable as they are to most people, but then thats a problem on your part, not theirs!
anonymous - 16 Feb 2006 13:39
The last three comments are completely untrue and unkind as this is a fabulous pub, winner of the local Camra best pub of the year four years running and has been in the Good Beer Guide for 15 consecutive years running. Staff are chatty and helpful regardless of nationality.Food is the best in ealing along with Ealing Park Tavern
anonymous - 15 Feb 2006 09:38
Terribly rude and arrogant bar staff. And that is all of them, Polish & British. One took a cigarette break 10 minutes after the pub opened. Another barmaid read a magazine rather than serve people. The food was cold. The pub was cold. The hospitality was err.....cold.

What a shame. Fullers, sort this pub out.
jackjones - 14 Feb 2006 12:54
First visit for a long time, still virtually the same from all those years ago apart for the price of the beer, well it is London. What really let the place down was the arrogant Polish barmaids, you got the feeling you were invading there private domain by asking for a drink!
anonymous - 23 Jan 2006 13:48
Used to love this pub and still do to an extent due to the garden etc. but the staff are truly awful. Totally indifferent and look bored senseless. Really off-putting.
gmeister - 25 Oct 2005 13:33
BEST pub in ealing,in fact the definition of an old style pub,Excellent food ,Excellent beer,does get a little smokey but its so in the character of the pub it doesn't matter,barstaff are good and can always be heard chatting to the locals and giving good banter.Great little terrace type garden out the back with heaters for the winter.
bernard2504 - 22 Sep 2005 11:39
Revisited this summer after a gap of many years (due to moving out of the area). As good as ever and I can't think of any way of improving it hence a rating of 10.
154e - 8 Sep 2005 17:04
First pub on a recent crawl The full range of Fullers brews was available - including Discovery and Summer Hog. Good food and a pleasant beer garden. Struggled with the early rush (not enough staff)....but settled down well.
Martin_R - 26 Jul 2005 18:36
Splendid pub as ever. A classic example of how a pub can be extended to broaden its appeal to a wider range of customers, without losing its local traditional feel. Look out for the photographs on the walls from old Ealing Films, notably The Ladykillers.
JohnBonser - 23 May 2005 13:14
Fantastic pub! The fillet steak is divine and unlike a lot of other places is cooked exactly as you ask for, not just verging on the well done.
rickster - 15 May 2005 16:56
This was my lunch time haunt when I worked in Ealing Telephone Exchange just across the green next to the famous studios. Nice to see that it's been extended sympathetically. It's very difficult for a Fullers pub to do any wrong in my (sometimes glazed) eyes. This one is no exception.
billynibbles - 5 May 2005 06:46
great character, the best pub in ealing for beer and the food is pretty reasonable too (not cheap though)
whitefoot - 14 Apr 2005 15:48
Went in here recently, first time in 20 odd years, apart from the the extention not alot has changed, oh apart from the price of the beer. Still one or two faces I recognise from all those years ago, amazing that they are still alive considering the amount of beer they consumed! Wonder if they still got my tankard behind the bar.
wmon - 8 Apr 2005 12:57
Ealing's best boozer by a mile
anonymous - 14 Dec 2004 12:46
A classic example of how a pub can be extended and upgraded to appeal to a wider range of clientele without spoiling it or losing the essential pubby atmosphere.
Very pleased they left the front part untouched.
Still a gem.
Doesn't attract the riff - raff, unlike pubs nearer Ealing Broadway Tube Station
John - 14 Oct 2004 17:24
A superb traditional pub that serves the best ales in London. Staff are great and the food is fantastic.
Bobby - 30 Aug 2004 03:25
one of few pubs serving quality and varied real ales; good atmosphere; busy; good garden; only decent place for over 30s in central Ealing on weekend evenings!
jay - 25 Aug 2004 19:10
I find staff unfriendly, and food very hit and miss, shame used to be a good pub,
tracy - 9 Aug 2004 19:58
Gorgeous pub, the best in the area. Friendly staff, great beer. Lovely garden to sit in on a sunny evening. The food's delicious too, if rather over-priced.
Ellie - 15 Jul 2004 15:01
I moved ion here in December 95 across the road and thought 'that'll be my local'... little did i know how lucky I was. My home from home in 96, 97 and i love it still. Extended in about 2001 but brilliantly, they left the old front bit alone.

A beautiful old pub and I love it to bits. Happy memories. And sad ones that make me happy anyway.
David - 18 May 2004 02:02
Best Sunday lunch in Ealing - I've tried them all
anonymous - 19 Mar 2004 14:45
Lovely pub, gets too packed though.. even on week nights. Well worth a visit and it is nice to see all the old Ealing Studio Pics on the walls.
kat - 10 Mar 2004 13:04
Live down the road from it, been in there quite a few times. Does great beer, don't mind the 'old locals' they don't bite, too busy ogglin' at the barmaids bums. Lovely atmosphere, great beer garden, food's a bit hit and miss.
David - 13 Jan 2004 17:11
Smashing community pub just voted Fuller's Pub of the Year & Camra west London Pub of the year two yer's running.....try it you won't be disappointed
James - 13 Dec 2003 14:25
Fullers Pub of the Year 2003 - and for very good reason. A superb pub with great food and a wonderful atmosphere.
john - 11 Dec 2003 13:04
Great pub, friendly staff & good beer.
Lee - 11 Dec 2003 13:02
I have been drinking in the Red Lion for the lŗst five and I think it is the best pub in the neighbourhood for taste and atmosphere.
mike gibson - 1 Dec 2003 17:58
Full of old ale drinking men. No class- If you like getting leered at and slobbered over, it's probably the place for you.
Diane - 27 Oct 2003 17:34
Change the staff and give the place a clean.
anonymous - 19 Sep 2003 13:00
The best Fullers pub around Ealing. Small, cosy and old fashioned. Shame about the large extention to the rear which has turned this place into a bit of a busy food establishment. However, the front remains unspoilt
Ben S King - 26 Aug 2003 16:42
Absolutely fabulous pub, great beer, food, atmosphere and tremedously effecient and friendly staff. Really homely definitely going to be going back.
JohnD - 22 Aug 2003 22:52
Great beer garden, pity about the staff! Won't be going back.
Trevor - 15 Aug 2003 11:44
lovely lovely place. fun and nice seating area out the back!
Al - 8 Aug 2003 12:05
Visited the pub on Thursday - had a great pint of Chiswick and the Summer ale was good too. People in the pub seemed friendly, and there was a firly convivial atmosphere. Note the pub appears to have been extended somewhat from its original tiny beginnings.
lad_newton - 7 Jul 2003 17:36
I think phil is lieing! The pub is always crowded and has a vibe! No offence meant!
Jeff - 9 Apr 2003 21:38
I went in here one Sunday with my flat mate. There were three other people in there, each on their own, not speaking to each other. We left after one pint because it felt too much lik edrinking in a library.
Phil - 4 Mar 2003 18:17
This is a fantastic, friendly pub with some of the best kept beers in London (it recently won the Camra gold award for it's district!). Being right opposite the world famous Ealing studios the walls of the pub are festooned with fantastic signed photos of all the most famous stars of the Ealing comedies. It has a really traditional feel, it's the find of pub which is hard to find, but still free of old fogies!! It has just closed for a couple of weeks for a refurb, the plan is to retain the traditional vibe but extend the floor space, making room for some good food to be available. Great pub, check it out!!!!
Joe Lee - 16 May 2002 15:02

got anything to say about this pub?

Please read our reviews policy before posting.
Only registered users can post reviews. Please log in. If you don't have an account yet, register here.