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Golden Lion, St Ives

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user reviews of the Golden Lion, St Ives

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

Felt bored in here and couldn't wait to get out.

Maybe I was unlucky? I will try again some day.

montie49 - 26 Jul 2019 18:12
The back room has had a major makeover with an impressive new bar-back and re-arranged seating. Beer always reliably good, and the food is excellent, both in terms of quality and value. Deservedly popular - advise booking a table for eating at weekends.
scoobybooze2 - 8 Apr 2019 10:52
Ordinary pub in the town centre with an uninspiring large back bar where you can watch the football on 2 large TVs. The front bar is better and more characterful but what drew us in was the advertised "beer garden" which is really no more than 5 tables packed in on some decking. To be fair, the Wentworth Brewers Blonde wasn't bad but the Wells Try Time had just run out. Other handpulls were London Pride, Skinners Betty Stogs and Thwaites Wainwright. Ciders were Orchard Pig Philosopher, Westons Old Rosie and Westons Rosie's Pig. It was OK but probably won't go again.
paul_d102 - 20 Sep 2015 10:26
Back to its best! Mine hosts Colin and Jackie have put the Lion firmly back in the top flight of St.Ives pubs.
scoobybooze - 6 Sep 2014 17:04
Closed at the moment, but has had another exterior paint job. Rumour has it that the roof fell in in the back room, but no-one in town seems able to confirm or deny this!
scoobybooze - 8 Sep 2013 21:55
Nice pint, friendly Landlord, back by popular demand, yes back soon.
chiefknut - 13 Feb 2013 13:36
Has had a bit of a makeover recently and now looks like the place is picking up again after a fairly lean period. The front room is looking a bit more like it used to, but the big back room is still pretty basic. Having said that, after not using the place for a couple of years it is now back on the list for the St. Ives crawl.
scoobybooze - 17 Aug 2011 13:39
Had a very nice dry cider called 'Skreach'
jgurney1 - 16 Aug 2011 09:49
Since when did this become a Sharp's pub? Am gutted :(
cmofish - 7 Jul 2011 16:12
Basic, no frills boozer located just a short stroll from the beach. In the front there’s a cluster of tables and bench seating around a semi-octagonal wood panelled bar. There’s a small TV which wasn’t on for our visit and a darts board. The décor is mostly red, with red painted brick and plaster, although there is an exposed stone wall at one end which makes a slightly more interesting feature. There is also another bar at the rear, although we didn’t try that on our visit. Large wood framed windows provide plenty of natural light.

Beers on tap were just Heligan Honey and Doom Bar, although there was a third pump that was not in use on this occasion. Ciders were Strongbow, Bulmers and Old Rosie.
Blackthorn - 24 Sep 2010 23:39
The pub is OK.
Why would you expect to have "Ooh Arr" film extras for you to mock?
Local people here are not here to perform for you matey.
All righ' my 'ansome?
If you don't like what you see here, go to Ibiza.
The_Final_Arbiter - 15 Aug 2010 22:37
Beer here was in reasonable condition unlike one or two noisy locals who incidently didn't sound very cornish.
trekman - 15 Aug 2010 19:54
Visited becuase of its entry in the GBG. Wish I hadn't. It felt very run down and the quality of the beer was poor. I won't be going back
NigelW - 19 Apr 2010 16:53
if you want to get rat-assed and rave out to the drum and bass or heavy metal its amazing! cheap booze go for it!!! :D
staceybeerlover - 17 Feb 2010 14:43
Slightly quirky eccentric locals bar at the front (quirky, eccentric as in having someone's pet labrador occupy threee seats as it sleeps complete with head under a pillow - locals as in the usual resident itinerant workforce from Scotland, Ireland, Tyneside, Merseyside etc). Has a bit of a run down feel to it and the Doom Bar Bitter, although drinkable, was not what you would call top form.
anonymous - 7 Nov 2009 23:06
Freakin awesome pub! Looks like a total dive from the outside but me and a group of friends were travelling around Cornwall camping so we thought we would give it a chance. So glad we did! The locals who go here were a great laugh and we got chatting to lots of different people, the landlady was really friendly and helpful (she even let me charge my mobile behind the bar as we couldn't do it on the campsite), the choice of drinks are great, live music was awesome and the food was top notch.
It probably wouldn't be your type of place if you're looking for somewhere quiet to have a chilled glass of sauvingnon blanc with your colleagues but if you like a proper piss up and a damn good time you should definately check it out! We'll be back next year for sure!
isis2hathoruk - 6 Sep 2009 15:15
As the only pub in St Ives with a GBG listing, the Golden Lion was required visiting, but ultimately it proved rather disappointing. The charms of the front room have given way to a seedy feel, the connecting corridor and the toilets need attention and the rear room could be in any inner-city dive in the UK. A few chairs and tables slung into a tiny back yard doth not a beer garden make.

‘Doombar’ and ‘Heligan Honey’ were the two beers on my visit. To be fair the quality of the HH was very good, the pub deserving its GBG entry. However, there was no discernible difference in beer quality between here and The Castle. Bearing in mind the surroundings I’d head to Fore Street every time.

aleandhearty - 25 Aug 2009 18:00
Enjoyed both the ales and a meal in this popular pub away from the tourist front. Enjoyed the local Sharps and Skinners beers. Agree that this one and the Castle are the best two around St Ives.
gillhalfpint - 16 Aug 2009 09:33
Seven 50 year old (and a bit for some) and a youngster in his 20s recently hit St Ives for a week long stag event. Despite the landlady describing us as "the best behaved stag group ever" we frequented the Golden Lion everynight (along with the Castle) until closing time - and apponted it as "Stag HQ".

If you love good beer and a music machine with an exceptional choice of 70's music then head for the back bar. It is frequented by local youngsters - who we found to be great fun and not a hint of trouble.

We'll be back!
steverino - 29 Jul 2009 21:40
Finally a proper pub!! was on holiday with friends and spent the first two days in st ives trawling the usual tourist trap dives with great disappointment untill one night when leaving the harbor front on our way home we heard fairly loud music and evidence of a busy bar coming down the corridor and spilling on to the street. having not quite had our fill we decided to go in and see what the chances of a late drink were (all the other pubs were shut by this point!). the front of the pub doesn't scream at you to come in and the corridor was quite dark and uninviting but that made it all the more amazing to walk in to a busy bar full of people enjoying themselves. the girls had gin and tonics that were well presented for a pub (lots of ice, you cant go wrong really) and the men including myself sampled the ales. there were only two of the three pumps operational which was a disappointment but when i asked why the other was empty the barman informed me they did a full line clean on all the ale lines between every barrel, no matter how busy it is (something a few of the pubs in town could learn from). so we had a skinners heligan honey that was about as good as heligan honey could get and a hook norton old hookey that had a habit of disappearing far too fast. i would tell you more about the pub but a group of very friendly locals pulled us in to a sambucca drinking session and the rest of the night is a little hazy but i will tell you next time i'm in st ives i certainly will not be wasting my time with the harbor front.
HankMcCoy - 1 Jul 2009 12:05
Not a pub that makes particular good first impressions and will be of limited appeal to the average drinker. The front bar is at best functional and at worst, a mess of manky and tasteless decor. The bar itself is semi-octagonal (if such a shape exists), the colour scheme rather gloomy and everything appears to be rather random and slapdash with lots of exposed wiring and collectables arranged sporadically around the bar. A darts area is to the right of the bar and at the rear of the pub is a second bar with a pool table but it has the feel of of a student bar. Beyond this are the gents and a tiny and not particularly attractive beer patio. The corridor between the 2 bars probably has the mankiest carpet in Cornwall. Strangely, despite all the negatives, there is a pretty good selection of ales that does make the visit worthwhile – Doom Bar, Heligan Honey, Keltek Magik and Old Rosie cider. The locals seemed harmless enough and if you are not fussed about asthetics, then the place may just have some appeal to you. If you are not an Ale fan and prefer somewhere a bit easier on the eye, then this is not the place for you.
RogerB - 19 Mar 2009 13:55
Very much a locals pub with a robust atmosphere to match, so it may not suit everyone - Mrs Quinno wasn't keen on the place but I thought it was fine.

Set over two bars, most of the banter and drinking takes place in the front bar as you enter, which is quite small and feels like it may well have been a hotel bar years ago. By the looks of some, the drinking had been going on since the early afternoon, there was plenty of - ahem - joviality to be had.

Three ales on during my visit, two Sharps and a Skinners, two of which (Sharps) were in decent nick, the other was a little tired but drinkable.

If you're fan of the traditional local boozer and decent ale, you'll enjoy it here. Whilst not having the 'must-visit' element of a number of other GBG pubs in this area of South Cornwall, this is still well-worth popping into if in this picturesque little town.
Quinno - 13 Mar 2009 18:54
Went in on the recommendation found in CAMRA's Good Beer Guide. The beer was well maintained and in good condition (Sharps & Skinners brands). Only let down were the drunk NEETS that seem to inhabit the rear bar. Be warned.
normality2000 - 28 Sep 2008 16:47
Doesn't look much from the outside, but is a decent, traditional pub inside. Food is simple but surprisingly good.
daveinbrum - 21 Sep 2008 20:17
Friendly pub full of locals, but I wish they would leave a gap at the bar to allow customers to get to it for service. Only one of the three pumps had ale on, but it was in good condition.
gillhalfpint - 20 Aug 2008 14:41
What a smashing front room boozer in a classic Cornish town. No pretensions and no nonsense - just fabulous Old Rosie... and a room of jovial smiley locals. The pub dog was also a jolly character - I prefer cats but a dog with a grimace deserves a mention. Its one of those pubs where you keep glugging with no time restrictions.......
paulio1966 - 29 Jun 2008 00:18
My Favourite pub in St ives which is my Favourite Cornish town the pub has changed a lot over the years was run by same landlady for yonks was always very busy could not move in either bar once upon a time not so busy now but still the best pub in St ives current landlady was a former customer she works there with her brother and son very friendly still.
geordie_kev - 17 Jan 2008 14:50
This Pub was me and the wife fav! Fantastic beer! Helgan Honey and Natural beauty were the faves in that list also an old Rose was fantastic. the staff were great very different from what were used to. all had there own image and it went well with the pub. one young lad with red hair and makeup just made our stay extra fantastic kept us entertained for hours so if he reads this thank you! Derek was a gem and the landlady was great to! i think anyone should go here if you want a good time! cheers!
Camden_Made - 11 Aug 2007 16:47
Pint of Sharps - Doombar, I think - tasted a bit tired. Didn't bother to try further because of the overpowering smell of old cooking oil in the place. (Well I hope it was that!)
Hopsucker - 2 Oct 2006 15:59
Had a Nice pint of "one and all" by Ring'o'bells brewery here, friendly service and a nice 2 bar type setup. 8/10
fat_beer_badger - 28 Jun 2006 15:34
Had a lunchtime pint in here in November, so understandably it was fairly quiet - there were a few friendly regulars inside. Several beers available, I had the Skinners Heligan Honey which tasted really good. We will definitely come back on our next visit to St Ives.
fromedrinker - 15 Feb 2006 11:35

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