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Golden Lion, Dover

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user reviews of the Golden Lion, Dover

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

Visited on the 11th Jan , after a couple of liveners in the Eight Bells( local spoons)
we walked out feeling good about ourselves , and walking through the town noticed up a side street the Golden Lion a small one bar pub now run by Fiona
who welcomed us like old friends as we were not pissed and could string a sentence together ( unusual for Dover at any time as most of the locals told me ) A great little place with only the usual beer available but coathooks under the bar ( a rareity these days)
This place and the White Horse is all you will need to see in Dover belive me

winchesterclub - 14 Jan 2015 12:49
This pub has now reopened. Despite the rumours it is NOT a wine bar. Real Ales will be back on next week so we are looking forward to meeting all of the old regulars very soon.
We have tried to return it to the style that the regulars have so far requested so please do not hesitate to let either Sarah or Kelly know if there is anything we can do to make your evening even more enjoyable.
kel1072 - 15 Dec 2012 19:05
I must say i was very shocked and upset by the very toxic and hateful comments posted by Tippler1964 and must say i am 100% behind Sahara for sticking up for Rab & Theresa and all the rest of the Golden Lion pride.
When i moved to Dover about 12 years ago the Lion was the first pub in dover i used and made a lot of friends from the regulars and i am still in contact with most of them.
Rab & Theresa are a lovely couple and i always found them both welcoming and friendly and run the lion to the best of their ability under very difficult circumstances, it is not easy running a pub in this very difficult time but they stuck at it as long as they could and never let the regulars down right to the very end. I was present on the last day and it was mixture of feeling very sad for Rab & Theresa and very angry at the fat cat brewery for not investing in such wonderful genuine people and a lovely family local pub.
Tippler 1964 i first felt anger towards you and your comments but now pity you for what you have said as you obviously only visited the lion a very few times and did not really appreciate what the pub the people that run it and the people that used it was all about.
Tippler 1964 let tell you something that anyone who really knew what the Lion was about will agree even if the Lion had no roof or windows and was open to all the elements we would still have used it as the warm welcome always kept us dry and comfortable.
Yes towrads the end the place was starting to show signs of neglect here and there the lack of heating being the main thing but the beer and the welcome never altered.
Sahara i hope this goes a little way to putting the record straight and hope i speak for us all,.
The one thing i do know is that the brewery edged their bets and lost as just over a year since the Lion sadly closed its doors for the last time the building is still up for sale and has cost them money GOOD thats what i say but unfortunately big companys never put people like Rab & Theresa first only profits but if mr fat cat reads this, IT DID NOT WORK THIS TIME DID IT.

buntyboy - 10 May 2012 12:37
I allways found it very friendly and never had any problems in there.
1275TURBO - 25 Jan 2012 14:23
Tipler1964 you really are a prat and I'm hardly surprised that Rab spoke to you in such a manner.
My previous response did not attack you, merely gave an alternative view, that you may have missed.
Yes, the Lion has gone and that unfortunately means that the support network and charity we provided has gone and that is not a good thing for Dover.
The brewery cannot sell the pub they were so desperate to get their hands on, by increasing the rent to over �1500 a week, because they failed in their basic responsibilty to maintain the building.
I generally try to see the best in all people and am more than willing to discuss/debate, however, I do not suffer fools gladly and you sir, are a goddamn FOOL!
Word off advice though, I wouldn't bother with the pubs in Dover these days as the Lion Pride move around now and can be found as a group in The Albert, The Park Inn, The Eagle, The Ellie, The Priory, The Eight Bells, The Nelson, The Harvey, Funky Monkey, The Red Lion, The Louis Armstrong, The Boars Head, The Dewdrop, The Carriers and The Sea Angling Club to name but a few. And you have clearly stated that we are all thick morons, so you wouldn't want to be in the same vicinity as us, now would you?
As I said previously, the Golden Lion was a shell of bricks and mortar, the regulars (nurses, civil servants, engineers etc) were what made it special.
Sahara - 23 Jan 2012 13:47
I say the Red Lion is better !!!
andy1986 - 11 Jul 2011 16:06
Haha ruined !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Loved the last post!!!!
andy1986 - 11 Jul 2011 16:06
the only sign i see at the golden lion the other day when i went by was the one that stated the place was now permanently closed.
oh dear what happened???? was it the tax man? health and safety? or was the brewery realized what a tosser the landlord was and decided to close the place for good measure.
i cant wait for your answer
tipler1964 - 7 Jun 2011 20:57
tipler1964, all i have to say to you is really??? For the record I am not the Bet Lynch of a wife, who happens to be called Teresa and is an absolute gem. I am a regular and captain of one of the two darts teams. I am not on benefit, I work damn hard everyday and there is nowhere better to go after a hard days work, than The Lion.
The place is a bit run down, I grant you that. But that is down the the brewery not the landlord and lady. The heating and hot water, again, we're waiting for the brewery to provide the maintinance that they are meant to but don't.
I find that you would call either my partner or I "thick", "variety of loser" or "general moran" very offensive. There are some people who may resemble that description when they've had a couple of beers, yourself included no doubt on occasion, but the vast majority of us work for the NHS, DWP, HMRC and UK Border Agency. Not what I would consider to be bad jobs and certainly not jobs taken by the people you describe.
You say that the beer was not cheap and on this point I refer you to George Osbourne for constantly increasing the tax on alcohol. But the Lion is one of the cheapest pubs in town.
I understand what you mean about it being a bit creche like. It can be. But again, most of the mothers aren't on benefit, they work and are on maternity leave or, in some instances, are lucky enough to have a partner who earns enough that she can be a full time mum and chooses to meet her friends.
The two things that you missed about the place, were the blatantly obvious sign showing we run a Winkle Club. This basically means that every single week, every single regular gives money to the charity. That money stays within Dover and has done a hell of a lot of good. Over the last 10 years or so we have raised over �70000 for Dover. That money has gone towards mobilty scooters (given away by us free of charge), towards the soft paving in the play parks etc. Things that the local authority should do, but don't.
Secondly, we are a family. We are there for each other through thick and thin. Bricks and mortar are but a shell, the heart of the Lion is the people and I feel truly sorry that you couldn't find the rainbow in our bubble. How sad for you.
Sahara - 18 Apr 2011 14:04
Gunner 1 to enlighten you i never have anyone behave prattish towards me as you put it.
Obviously you are thick as shit as prattish is not a word that is in the English dictionary but you obviously think it is.
I was just wondering do you think central heating and hot water are still luxurious in pubs in 2011.
I believe you that you are not the landlord. Even he is not as stupid as you are.
tipler1964 - 2 Jan 2011 19:47
Im not the landord , and i have to say i have never seen him being rude or prattish to anyone , tipler 1964 do you find you get alot of people being rude and prattish to you ??
Gunner1 - 6 Dec 2010 12:07
Visited this pub the other day. What a dump. The place is run by a rude dense Scottish Pratt who has a very high opinion of himself and his nauseating Bet Lynch type of wife who had to nip out for a fag about every 10 minutes.The customers are just as thick,they are a variety of losers and general morons from the surrounding area. All i can say is that the previous comments must have been made by the landlord himself. when i visited it was one of the coldest days of the year and the central heating appeared not to be working but a selection of obviously untested calor gas fires and other heating appliances seemed to be scattered about. In an effort to strike up some sort of conversation with one of the locals i remarked had the heating broken down the reply i got was "it ain't worked for years mate" unfortunately i had to visit the toilet that had no hot water to wash yours hands with and the toilets did not smell to good either. The general appearance inside and out takes some getting used to the outside appears to be quite neat and tidy except for the rubbish skip by the front door. The inside must have been decorated some time ago as it is showing signs of decay. the pub is very poky and no one has any room to move, the furniture looks as if it was found at the local dump or should be taken there at least, the pool table is located in a space that is far to small and i am sure was presenting a problem to the people who was attempting to play. the pub also seemed to double for a cr�che as on the day i visited what seemed to be all the local single mothers had decided to be in the pub to spend there benefits.In all i would not revisit this pub and felt i had been cheated out of my money as the beer is not cheap in this pub and on my next visit to Dover i will avoid the Golden Lion and try a different watering hole.
tipler1964 - 5 Dec 2010 16:44
Great boozer. Moved to Dover last year and this was one of the last pubs we visited. Great landlord who immediately makes you feel welcome. Two good real ales as well. The pub is a little on the tatty side but don't let appearances put you off, if only more pubs were like this.
bazman - 11 Jun 2010 23:14
Paid another visit last week made really welcome and the beer was top really good pub Rab is a diamond
Gunner1 - 23 Mar 2010 13:25
Oh Dear!!!! Dover-Smurf, I was a regular at The Albert for along time and if there has ever been a pub with an in-crowd then it was all of us sitting in The Office in The Albert. And in case you aren't sure where The Office is, it's the bit of the bar next to the pool table.
I chose to leave The Albert for The Golden Lion because of the back stabbing going on in The Albert. We don't have in-crowds in The Lion, we are a family and welcome and respect all new comers.
Rab and Teresa are not even aware that this debate is going on at the moment, they don't need too, they know how much they are loved and respected and the fact that despite a recession we are one of the busiest pubs in Dover, unlike The Albert which was dead every night last week, which I know for a fact because I walk past it every night from work.

Sahara - 1 Jun 2009 13:16
Dover_Smurf if you look at my previous comments im sure you will agree im not from Dover and im not the Landlord of this pub , but i do know one thing you have only made this one comment and you must have a beef or have been barred fron this pub. To sum things up your a cretain!
Gunner1 - 1 Jun 2009 10:16
Contrary to the last post, I'd like to point out a few things. Firstly, the Lion is a cherished pub for a great many people and testement to that is the fact that it attracts a lot of people on a regular basis. If there is an "in crowd" then it is a rather large and extremely diverse one, not a select few as Dover_Smurf seeems to be intimating!!. A crowd that can look past the mere appearances of their surroundings and enjoy time with freinds and strangaers alike (yes I said strangers, we take the time to speak to newcomers!!). There are many people who always return to the Lion when they visit Dover, always commenting on how welcome they have been made by everybody. If you prefer to drink in the Bar Elle then good luck to you. Not long before you get caught up in a brawl!! Oh and just so you know, Rab and Teresa do not post comments on this site. All the reviews here are from genuine customers. Maybe anyone reading this site should note that the good comments far outweigh the bad. Even the guy barred for life still loves the place and respects Rab and Teresa.
guinessguzzler1 - 31 May 2009 07:56
It looks like Rab, the pub's landlord, and his wife Teresa have been busy posting those last two reviews of the pub.
I'm a local from Dover and I can assure you this NOT a cherished pub at all,it's actually a bit of a dump!!
If you're part of the little in-crowd that drinks in there,fine,but if you're a visitor to the town you're best off giving this place a miss.Not a friendly place.Try the Prince Albert just around the corner or take a short walk across town to the Bar Elle,which is a very nice place to enjoy a drink.Very comfortable Leather sofas which is a far cry from the ricketty bar stools of The Golden Lion.
Dover_Smurf - 27 May 2009 00:47
A friend and i visited last week and had a great couple of hours with a friendly and pleasent landlord evn bought us a couple of pints so i cant understand the comments made by dukeofear will be back soon
Gunner1 - 5 May 2009 14:31
I am sorry you had such a bad reaction to what is one of the most cherished pubs in town. Yes, the landlord may be a bit rude at time, but usually it is for a very good reason. The pub was painted aproximately a year ago along with the new carpets and work is still ongoing, altho the recession makes it a bit hard to spare the cash.
We don't profess to being a large pub and the walls around the pool table are somewhat snug, but we still manage to use it for two pool teams in the local league.
Furthermore, there is NEVER any trouble in this pub, unlike the others that were mentioned and that is due to the landlord, landlady, staff and regulars.
And yes, we will be doing our annual St Georges evening on Saturday 25th April with the usual mess dress and ball gown theme. I can't wait for what will be yet another spectacular night.
And for the record, I am a regular not staff!!!
Sahara - 21 Apr 2009 14:43
Certainly not a pub for the casual visitor to Dover or tourist who's come to visit the nearby castle.Run by a rude,charmless Landlord,someone who Al Murray may well have based his Pub Landlord character on.The pub itself looks like it hasn't seen a new coat of paint since the 70's and for those who'd fancy a game of pool,the table is about 2 feet a way from the walls in some areas.Not a pub to recommended.A few yards down the road 'The Prince Albert' would be a better bet for atmosphere and range of drinks as would the nearby 'Park Inn'.
dukeofearl - 14 Feb 2009 20:42
Pleasant and friendly locals pub near to the station. Well kept beer, nice landlady and good atmosphere.
chick - 9 Feb 2009 14:58
great pub. Popped in 18 months ago for a pint of bods and have been there ever since. Suppose I'd better gop and have a shower and get changed at some point!!!
guinessguzzler1 - 16 Mar 2008 03:37
fantastic atmosphere, great staff, always a pleasure to visit this pub. weekend entertainment just gets better and better. this pubs got everything a good pub needs and more.
stac - 23 Aug 2007 23:14
Hello all!,well it's been a while since I visited the Lion. It was St George's day again, and as usual the place was full to the rafters!, do surprise there. Lots of people in bow ties, dresses and lots of flag waving and patriotic stuff in progress!. Music was good, lots of stirring English stuff! The beer, excellent as always.I just wish we had a pub like this in Bristol, but never mind!...excellent!
maglev - 27 Apr 2007 10:59
I come to this pub regularly, the service is good, the staff very friendly and the people that go there are nice too. It's one of the best pubs in Dover and recomend everyone to give it a try. It's a fun atmosphere and good for a laugh! 10/10!
xxjawsxx - 4 Jan 2007 16:40
Having been to a number of pubs in Dover I suppose I can understand why its drinkers,

a) believe the Golden Lion is a great pub and
b) get excited about London Pride

Millay - 29 Nov 2006 22:38
Hello All!, well back frommy hols, what a lovely place australia is,bloody long way though!. Though id visit everyone at the Golden Lion like I usually do!, what a change, the outside just hits you as you come round the corner! Good paintjob!. Had a wonderful pint of London Pride (or 10) and discovered that the winkle Club members did all of the decorating! Pat on the back for you! The place was as busy as usual and had a lovely visit....going to go there on New Years Eve this year, as they say it is the place to be in Dover on that day! bye all!!
maglev - 29 Nov 2006 18:08
They also do Mild, albeit keg.
5thearlofwimbourne - 7 Sep 2006 14:53
Popped in yesterday too see what all the fuss is about. Five minutes walk from Dover Priory station. It doesn't look much like the photo at present due to scaffolding having been erected.

Abbot Ale was on, but as I was on a mission yesterday afternoon, I settled for a very good pint of London Pride. A friendly little pub, with cheerful service from the lass behind the bar. A selection of rolls are available. Pool and Darts are both played here.

If you've some time to kill before catching a train, The Golden Lion is a far better proposition than either The Dover Priory Hotel (q.v.) or Renaissance (q.v.)

A good solid 6/10
5thearlofwimbourne - 7 Sep 2006 13:47
Hello All!. Came through Dover again last weekend...what a crazy night Saturday was!!! Was told that the pub had been out on its yearly winkle walk, the state of some of them was funny.....The abbotts was beautiful, had a few of them. I think that this pub is one of the best in the town.I just wish that Exeter had a pub like it, good entertainment, although the DJ looked worse for wear,I think he must have gone out on this walk as well, lots of fun, laughter and complete craziness...perfect!
maglev - 6 Jun 2006 09:58
Hello All!...Sorry, Ive been abroad for a while and on my return to Dover, I once again visited "The Lion". It was Saturday 23 April, St George's Night. And just like it was last year, the boozer was festooned with flags, banners, uniforms, tiaras and medals. Good ol english music was being played and what a fantastic atmosphere. I fell out just after 12, was entertained with a lovely kept Abbott Ale, and a magnificent Bomberdier? ( or Charles I call it!). had a good conversation with someone called Topsy! (a member of BITE..I must add!) Went back on the next day for more of the same and the theme was still going!..wish we had pubs like this in Exeter!!!!!, fancy moving guys????. Keep it going top rate pub!
maglev - 10 May 2006 15:33
Mmmmmmm, Abbott ale on this week...kept well and very tasty!. The rolls on the bar are not bad either....!
maglev - 26 Nov 2005 12:49
Have returned to the pub since my last visit, excellent beer, excellent company...where is this Mogul?. If it was that good...why is it closed then? I thought good pubs such as the Lion, prosper and went on, what happened?
maglev - 19 Nov 2005 12:27
This is a decent pub but I wasn't as impressed as others seem to have been. It may well be the best pub in Dover but only since they closed the Mogul.
Millay - 10 Nov 2005 00:56
i visited this pub on what ithought would be a normal saturday night to be greeted by witches devils and alike halloween was definitley in full swing the landlord who was commonly known as donkey and his beautiful wife teresa were very upbeat and obviously love their pub and its customers a great deal all dressed up and in good spirits what a fantastic atmosphere and service definitley to be visited again.
anonymous - 7 Nov 2005 21:15
Well, I saw the write up on this pub and decided that I had to visit it!. I arrived on saturday evening at around 8.30. It was very quiet, so I hoped that I had not wasted a journey, as I live in Exeter, and was staying in the local travel inn on the seafront.
The Landlord, who is called Rab, but most of his customers call him "Donkey" ( I hate to think why!) was having a banter with his customers and his DJ, whom he called "Fandango", whom I must add was very funny and seemed to revel in what was going on!

When the Music/Karaoke started, I was amazed at the quality of the sound that filled the pub, but some of the singers left a lot to be desired!, The pub I must tell you was full by 9.30 and was banging by 10.....and so was my head! I was not going to stay long, as I wanted to visit some other pubs in Dover during my weekend stay in Dover... Im glad I did'nt..what a pub!, good ale, company and customers!!!! 10 out of 10 in my book...Ill be back!!!!
maglev - 27 Sep 2005 11:20
Street corner local close to the High Street and convenient for Dover Priory station. Three real ales including Black Sheep (very nice pint) and Bombadier. Friendly atmosphere, would have stayed longer if I hadn't had a train to catch.
Rich66 - 20 Aug 2005 22:44
This is the best pub in dover Rab & Teresa are great,
i was bared on the 4/6/05 and i just heared that im bared for life, so this is me saying sorry to Rab & Teresa or anyone that i might have anoyed that night and i wish i was not such a handful when i get pissed it's just the way i am and ill try to control my self in the near future....yours Gary hedge
tattoogary - 17 Jun 2005 08:48
Never been in a pub with such a great atmosphere before.Entertainment is first class.Please give this pub a go as its the best town pub with a real country feel.
andymandy - 18 May 2005 16:39
Went on Sunday this week to see what Sundays are like1...well, its different to saturdays...very family orientated...the locals all in fine form with the singing...except someone called "Piles" who I think was possibly the worst singer I had ever heard, but they seem to love him!!!!. I heard some of the locals talking about my comments on this website, and they were trying to solve who "Animal" was...I could'nt tell them, but it made me chuckle!!.I had a nice conversation with Teresa, the Landlady, who obviously loves her customers very much and enjoys the singing and madness that the entertyainment brings! The real ale was excellent,Green Jackets, I believe it was. Could not stay for long, but they were set for about 9 hours of singing...the DJ must be deaf by now....I hope to visit again soon, I think ill try the lager this time, as it seemed to be flowing well!. Nice work, Golden Lion!!!!
Animal - 17 May 2005 15:50
Simply the best pub in Dover. Rab & Teresa make the place sparkle and the company is excellent. The Real Ale cannot be matched and the Saturday night/ Sunday Lunch Karaoke by Carl is the best entertainment in town.
Jacket - 15 May 2005 10:03
I went back to The Golden Lion a couple of weeks ago. It was St Georges Day. The Pub was festooned with flags and merriment. The locals were all dressed up to the nines, I had such a laugh with them. The DJ was playing all sorts of "Prom" music, flags were waving and lots of singing was going on. They even had "The Pope" conducting a crowning ceremony of the King and Queen for the night. fantastic!. I shall be going there more often, I live in Bromley, so its a bit far, but for beer, company and entertainment value.....what a pub!!..Visit it!
Animal - 11 May 2005 14:18
Don't forget the Golden Lion Winkle Club which (quietly) has raised thousands for anyone who needed it. The last president of the club was the Queen Mother, now it's Lord Boyce the new Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports.

Rab & Theresa are unique.
topsy - 27 Nov 2004 15:13
What a pub! Good beer, friendly staff, Rab and Teresa, the landlord are excellent company. CAMRA member. Good entertainment, Karaoke theme night was excellent, if your ever in the area visit it !!!
Animal - 14 Oct 2004 11:32

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