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Red Lion, Thames Ditton

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user reviews of the Red Lion, Thames Ditton

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

I decided to visit the pub as it has been nominated by the local CAMRA branch for Pub of the Year. It certainly wasn't for the beer which was only 2 rather weak beers, Hogs Back HBB (3.7%) and By the Horns Stiff upper lip (3.8%) at not equivalent cheap prices (£3.80 per pint).It wasn't for the decor since the lounge which goes right round the bar contains mainly hard wooden dining type chairs and tables apart from 2 very worn leatherette easy chairs which look like they have been rescued from a skip. It clearly is laid out for the sale of food and virtually everybody bar me was eating when I was there. I can only assume it was for the rather quirky bar made from cut down doors complete with various chipped paint, door knobs, hinges and letterboxes and the colanders used for lamp shades. The new word in the Oxford dictionary "shabby chic" seems very appropriate. It appears to be a pub run by young people for a younger clientele (20-30s).
boozers_knows - 17 Dec 2014 13:51
Jack Boc, what has happened then since January? It was not busy and I think I know why.

I had a visit planned in the back of my mind since being told about this place by a landlord of a pub in north Kingston so was pretty disappointed and a bit annoyed when I spent a bit of time in here. A pint and two small bottles of beer cost over £12!?! I was thinking of eating and had a quick look at the menu before seeing the prices and quickly forgetting it! No decent Ale only expensive lagers.

I know Thames Ditton is full of 4x4 Porsche driving maniacs who like nothing better than a bit of poncing. That does not mean you can charge those sort of prices unless you are trying to cater for a souless poncy poky little pub attracting these sort of tossers.

I remember the Red Lion to be pretty bad but now it is a complete disgrace.
fullersfan - 4 Apr 2013 17:18
A new landlord/ chef has recently taken over this pub and it has been completely refurbished. It is now well worth a visit. The decor is fairly striking (e.g. reclaimed doors as the bar front) the atmosphere is friendly, the beer excellent, and the food really good too - refreshing daily menu of fresh cooked food. Locals are voting with their feet as it is usually fairly busy. The back area is now closed off but may open in the future.
Jack_Boc - 8 Jan 2013 12:35
Visited for a CAMRA branch meeting. Fullers Summer Ale, Windsor Knot and a Hancock's seasonal beer. Tried the first two which were in pretty good condition (both 3.15), evidently the Hancock's was flat. The Windsor and Hancock's had new fangled pumps which made them look like keg beers at first. Large room for food out the back and a garden beyond that. Friendly welcome.
GuideDogSaint - 12 Sep 2011 18:24
I can't say I had a warm welcome at the red lion, nor would I recommend it unless you enjoy being hassled for doing nothing more than keeping to yourself.

The landlord took a dislike to me when I declined to buy a drink - I was with friends who were buying, and had explained that I was driving, which I thought was reasonable. Nevertheless, he demanded I buy something, and poured me a sparkling water which I had to pay for.

A little annoyed, I decided to keep quiet, and sat browsing the net on my phone while my friends talked with the landlord. He then got on my case for not participating in the conversation and being absorbed in my phone. I told him I wasn't enjoying being hassled. He asked me if I had a problem with him, and I truthfully answered that I did.

At this point he said "well, you can leave then." I didn't need any more encouragement and walked out. I think his actions speak for themselves.
bobstay - 23 Mar 2011 23:11
Only been in once and that was because I was told to avoid it. That normally means its worth a visit and Im glad I did because I found it absolutely fine. Why do people think that traditional pubs are to keep away from! There was the classic loud woman at the bar (there does always seem to be one) and quite a homely feel I thought. Theres other pubs closer to me but I'll go back as it was decent enough
pompeyron - 15 Nov 2010 14:14
Decent pub in village with one real ale (Bombardier) in decent condition. Comfy chairs for watching one of the may TVs, pool table, pub game machine and dart board. Large sunny dining room at rear with garden seating also. Small car park to left but if that's full parking will be tricky. Quiet but pleasant on a Sunday afternoon.
SimonM - 29 Aug 2010 18:22
Decent local, friendly barman (landlord?), pool table and dart board. Only Courage Best on pull.
SimonM - 4 May 2009 18:22
Decent pub, good staff, a nice place to go for a beer.
beermonster2006 - 14 Apr 2009 13:42
My favourite pub in The Ditton - pool table, daets and extra cold Guinness. What more could you ask for?

stevefromharlow - 17 Nov 2008 13:55
Rather grotty in appearance from the outside, but once inside it soon becomes aparrent that the theme continues throughout. I must say I was appalled that when asking for a speckled hen, the barman pulled one out, ice cold, from a fridge! Shocking storage of ale. a mighty shame
hughbertesq - 14 Oct 2008 02:09
Refurbed, and still a pub. Amiable, especially if you live for footie.
jathomson - 12 Mar 2008 11:03
Much better now it has been done up, friendly people, good for the rugby, definately go back
beermonster2006 - 3 Mar 2008 13:30
called in here on saturday evening, the second time since its re opened, still very quiet. when i ordered our drinks its not surprising, sainsburys vodka and coke and a 300ml(supermarket size) bottle of bud. can stay in and drink that stuff if i want!! good luck
yetii - 16 Jan 2008 15:18
Popped in for the first time since it reopened over the weekend at a lunchtime. Not bad, but I'm not sure what it's trying to be. There are 3 large HD screens, which were showing a film(!), and the colour scheme and lighting is a bit odd - gave it a strange luminescent feel. Beer was pretty good, but not exactly an exciting range given that it says 'locally brewed ales' outside - usual Green King stuff plus Fullers but well kept and perfectly drinkable, as mentioned. Was hoping perhaps for some of the Twickenham beers or Pilgrim. I wish the folk well. mind.

barlick - 31 Dec 2007 09:39
The red lion has been done up and is really nice inside with an open fire and really nice people behind the bar it has live music on friday nighs and the atmosphere is really good well worth a visit.
tracey123 - 14 Dec 2007 12:56
.....and it's open again now, and you can add pool table and sports on the box too. Seems an imrovement if you ask me, but then I wasn't a regular before it shut and they may think differently.
Birchy - 14 Nov 2007 19:45
The Red Lion has now reopened, all opened up into one space, with pickled eggs behind the bar and Wells Bombardier on tap. Pictures on the wall in the style of Georgia O'Keeffe.
beeronaut - 23 Sep 2007 20:33
Cheap beers and friendly staff, although it's hard to find a comfortable place to sit - the benches and stools all seem to have been designed with midgets in mind. The decor has definitely seen better days.

Seems to be going through a transition - last time I went in it was under new management, and a friend has seen it being advertised for sale on the internet - so presumably another set of new management are forthcoming.

More of a "regulars" pub than most others in Thames Ditton. Will appeal to "traditional" pub lovers and enrage trendies.
misterrich - 26 Aug 2006 22:08
there used to be a real honey behind the jump - no longer there! such a shame!! Nice place still
georget - 30 Mar 2006 21:38
One of the friendliest pubs I have been to, a warm welcome, great beer (unfortunately for my head). Also has to have the pub dog of the year.
Cheers
Rbloke - 7 Apr 2005 18:13
One of the classic local pubs, and no I have never worked there. Great beer, good staff and fairly friendly locals. Food is V. good.
RUSSELL - 18 Mar 2005 22:37
It is probably the best pub in Thames Ditton: though is that saying much? Nicer for lunch than in the evening. The bar area is a bit small and pokey and the whole place could do with being gutted and refitted.
City_Womble - 14 Feb 2005 12:53
What a fantastic pub! Have always known about it but never been. Everyone was fantastic and the Bar Billiads a blast!
As for Brundel - what a perfect host!
Thanks to all at the Red Lion for a great evening!
Bridges - 2 Feb 2005 09:36
Fabulous and friendly - what a great night out! Just have to love the family and of course the dog wins you over too.
zach - 4 Jan 2005 07:32
Clearly the best pub in Thames Ditton - and I'm not just saying this because I used to work for Jacky and Tristan! Great food, great beer, great people.
George Flanagan - 21 Oct 2004 16:11
What an excellent pub. Great beers and I was made to feel right at home. The locals were freindly as were the bar staff.
Womble - 9 Jun 2004 14:32
A grotty little local pub, far too smokey, the bar spent the entire time we were they yelling at his son, couldn't wait to get out...
Tom - 22 Apr 2004 15:09
Fine friendly local. Having been stat on, I can vouch that Brundel the dog is very friendly (if rather heavy). Hog's Back real ales available.
Martin - 9 Mar 2004 11:57
Well what an evening! Warmly welcomed, food good, great atmosphere. Not a local myself when back in the area will be returning.
(Will take some treats for Brundle next time!!!)
Sara Walker - 1 Feb 2004 23:28
The Red Lion is a 'proper' pub, not one of those 'dressed up' watering holes masquerading as a pub. Genuine home made/cooked food, none of that microwaved rubbish! Although not a 'local', I was warmly welcomed by the bar staff and locals alike. I give it 10 out of 10!
Clare - 19 Jan 2004 13:52
We love the Red Lion ! it a great pub since Jacky and Tristan have taken over. We work in the village and are in there most lunchtimes, the food is great and the staff are fantastic and we all love Brundel the dog !!!
Samantha - 19 Jan 2004 13:48
Excellent family run pub with friendly atmosphere. Wide menu at affordable prices and good portions. Lovely chef Katie happy to cater for fussy diners! I would recommend to anyone.
Michelle - 17 Jan 2004 13:59
VERY FRIENDLY ATMOSPHERE WITH DECENT BEER AND GOOD SELECTION OF REAL ALES. FOOD IS FANTASTIC WITH A BIG SELECTION AND COMPETITIVE PRICES
KATE - 17 Jan 2004 12:50
Nothing special, although garden at the back is nice. Food is ok, beer is ok and is decently priced. Bit old fashioned and could do with a spruce up. Ok for lunchtime beer and food from work. Not worth a visit unless you are nearby.
Very close to 3 other pubs, so dead easy crawl options.
anonymous - 6 Jan 2004 11:16
Hmmm... Definitely a local pub for local people. Not to say that is a bad thing. It has a nice atmosphere and friendly crowd. Could perhaps do with a bit of sprucing up, particularly the fixed seating area, lovely conservatory though. Decent beer, one for CAMRA fans, and I have heard good things about the food. Very busy on a Sunday, probably need to book. I settled for the Roast dinner triple decker sandwich, which was fantastic. No pool table, but has bar billiards. Lovely dog, even if does get under your feet!
Nick - 3 Dec 2003 12:36
Still a very pleasant pub for a drink anytime. Doesn't have the pool table anymore tho. Lovely black labrador instead.
Harv - 20 Jul 2003 01:27
I'm currently undertaking a tour of UK pubs and this is perhaps the single best pub I have been to, apart from the two compasses in Dorset. Such friendly bar staff and a wonderfull village atmosphere.
Phil - 16 Jul 2003 15:11
great place, esp the pub dog - huge great thing that comes and sits on your lap
jim - 23 Apr 2003 14:45
What an atmosphere! The food is great and the beer is unique!
Tim - 14 Feb 2003 21:51
Brilliat family pub. Darts team and delicious food.
Huge - 3 Jan 2003 05:28
Absolutely wonderful atmosphere, food and drink.
anonymous - 3 Jan 2003 05:22
The family pub has a wonderful atmosphere. The food is good and the clientelle unique!
Tim

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