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Red Lion, Bromley

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user reviews of the Red Lion, Bromley

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

As with Lezford, this was my planned to be my penultimate port of call in Bromley. But, the Freelands was not on my hitlist, although it is now open, as I passed it. The Red Lion is a decent backstreet Greene King boozer, with a couple of guest ales. It immediately reminded me of the Eagle Ale House in Clapham, albeit much quieter. This was another pub where the landlord looked at me with suspicion as I entered. Ales were Greene King IPA & Abbot, Harvey's Sussex Best Bitter, Salcombe Gold & Flying Monk Habit. I had the latter, which was ok. French football was on the TV and the pub got a little busier shortly after my arrival. But, it did lack a little atmosphere.
blue_scrumpy - 14 May 2019 20:59
This was supposed to be the 4th pub of 5 but it ended up being 4 of 4 as the Freeland’s Tavern was closed when we left the Red Lion.

Busy at 10.30pm at this GBG 2015 listed pub. A re tick for as I first came here 15 months ago to tick it, on that visit I liked the pub but it felt a little bit clicky and to be honest I still have the same opinion. Don’t get me wrong I like the Red Lion but it’s not someone I come to regularly so I’m always here just for a quick pint.

Now to the beer there were 5 hand pumps with a good choice of ales, I had St Austell Liquid Sunshine @ 3.9% and it was throughally good.

Again only a quick stop as we tried to get last orders in the Freeland’s.
lezford - 17 Aug 2015 12:09
Nice little back street free house just a few minutes walk from Bromley North station.

Pretty busy on the Tuesday night I visited. Traditional interior with a few pub mirrors on the walls and a nice array of pump clips on display around & above the bar.

5 pumps that were serving 4 ales. My pint of St Andrews from an unknown brewery was very good and at £3.50 it was reasonable.

Music on at a soft enough level to allow for chatter and the football was on the television but on mute.

lezford - 27 Nov 2013 11:44
The beer here is kept excellently and the pub manages to maintain a great background chatter whilst never being loud. When on a crawl of the nearby pubs this is where I appreciated the pint and soaked up the atmosphere the most.
ChrisBass - 9 Nov 2012 18:59
visited this pub on saturday lunch time and was given a warm welcome and although was quiet semed to be a very friendly local pub keep up the good work
oystergirl - 10 Jun 2012 14:03
Could've sworn I'd remembered to drop a review of this one shortly after I last paid it a visit (some 6 months ago now), but the register below suggests I didn't.

Anyway, it's intriguing to see the Red Lion of all pubs on the present daily BITE Top 10. Not because I considered it to be lacking - I recall a very healthy selection of cask beers, kept in decent condition, friendly and efficient service from the landlord and staff, a jolly hubbub of conservation from a lively mix of punters, and a pleasant traditional pub interior to match its charming exterior (with its unusual, if a little twee, picket fence). Rather, it's because there are surely so many pubs of a similar calibre that deliver well and consistently and receive positive comment and scores from BITE users, and I suppose I just wondered what is making this one stand out that little bit more from its many peers. Granted, it is good, but not by my reckoning at least 'excellent' in the way that some of the other current Top 10 blatantly are.

Perhaps the answer to that is simple and lies in the location: sadly Bromley is not overburdened with excellent ale houses, and so maybe when one does pull out a few more stops and nudges ahead of the lackluste competition, it sets itself apart from its counterparts so starkly that it means locals rate it all the higher in relative terms. Unfortunately, the Red Lion probably is by some distance the best pub in the vicinity, at least by the measure of the more discerning visitor. So on that basis, I hope its additional exposure on this site's daily rankings will help it catch on even more. If in Bromley, you might as well just cut the crap and come straight here!

TWG - 11 May 2012 11:57
Without a doubt my favourite pub in Bromley.

They always have lots of guest bitters on and it is all very well kept. The food is good honest pub grub and very reasonably priced. The locals are also very friendly as are the bar staff.

There is a dartboard at the rear of the pub.

Just a shame I had to move from the area, always pop in if I go back to visit my parents though. Top place.
Murphster - 10 May 2012 17:08
Great beer, light and sunny (south-facing), stacks of papers on the fire place, great value simple none-smelly bar food if required, low key live football if required. My Central Bromley drinking knowledge goes back some 20 years in which time this has always been the best pub.
beerandpaperman - 26 Mar 2012 10:31
This is a great local pub in this quiet area of Bromley, the quality of beer is always exceptional and with a couple of guest ales to choose from as well as Greene King IPA and Harveys Best. Recently decorated, it's not lost any of its charms. The outside area is small, but OK for a pint on a sunny evening. We'll be sad to loose this as our local when we move next month :(
roryfear - 18 Aug 2011 13:52
Just a dammed good pub, with the bar staff always there to serve you, the staff on hand to tidy up the front garden, none of that leaving rubbish near the table to blow every where, here things get swept up. The food could be better, but lets face it, for the price they are charging, it's a bargain. But the main thing is the people and the beer. Always a good selection of guest ales, and if you want a quiet drink, just stay towards the front, but futher back is where the action is. Toilets are clean and there is never ever any trouble there.
Shagnastie - 9 May 2011 16:33
Stay away from Bromley town centre & make a vist to the best Pub in Bromley, always great beer, no fools in the pub!!!! This is just what a pub should be.
FlyBoyFly - 22 Mar 2011 11:44
Over-indulged on Jenning's Cross Buttock on my last visit to what remains Bromley's best pub; if only the town centre boozers could strive towards this level.
Dartitis - 7 Mar 2011 14:14
Chris and Shiv still have a very firm hand on the tiller after 16ish years.

Quality of the highest calibre in a beer desert.
douvres - 23 Jul 2010 14:24
What a cracking little pub, there is good beer and outside seating on a quiet road. Good pub grub is served including home made sandwiches. The front of the pub has very well kept colorful window boxes and is clean inside, obviously a lot of time has been spent on making this pub look nice and welcoming.
The clientele all seem to be locals and there is hardly any trouble there if any at all. The inside of the pub is decorated in a traditional style with the wall opposite the bar made in to a book case. There are wing back chairs and low level beer tables to go with them.
The beer is normal Bromley prices and as the pub is owned by Greene King so it has all our favorite Greene King ales. Youre standard selection of lagers is also sold for around 3 pounds per pint, the ales being slightly cheaper.
Unfortunately there is parking restrictions between 12pm and 2pm and no onsite parking for customers however the streets surrounding the pub will normally have space.
All in all a brilliant watering hole!

Carling2165 - 4 Jun 2010 09:42
What a lovely traditional little pub, very impressed, from the little libary on the wall to the darts board at the back and a very nice range of beers, will be going there again
PaulMerc - 9 May 2010 19:13
What a great little pub! Only a brisk stroll from the High Street but in a different world. This is Old Bromley - narrow streets, terraced cottages with window boxes and The Red Lion as its local. Lucky North Road.

All the attractions described by other visitors: good beer, wall of books, the papers laid out, pretty extensive food menu (I had a perfectly good grilled BLT sandwich for 2.20) and a good crowd of, I would guess, long-term regulars. (Note for trendy gents: dress code appears to be physics teacher meets DIY enthusiast.)

One TV tuned to sports but small, high on the wall and the group of guys watching it were several stages on the right side of the screaming hysteria of the town centre pubs.

I just thought this place was great and I will be back and back.
guayabera - 18 Apr 2010 09:16
Best pub in Bromley. Ales are faultless. GK IPA & Abbot and Harvey's always on, with two guest beers changing regularly. Food is very good and good value. Good to sit with friends or on your own as daily newspapers available and a whole wall library of books. Recently decorated but keeps a traditional good pub feel with a safe feeling and atmosphere. Sit outside in the summer and watch the world go by.
Johnthefire - 12 Apr 2010 13:29
A must for any real ale fan. Small pub round back streets with a proper Pub feel.

Ales are top notch.

Food is basic.

But a very very good pub none the less
peterJJ - 24 Dec 2009 13:43
First visit to this pub yesterday - what can I say, simply excellent. On my own, so looking to watch some sport. Two choices, football and cricket and there is also a small bar TV. Volume was off which is fine (and correct) and the background music playing was not intrusive. Excellent ale, I had some Lancaster which was lovely. Books and newspapers available and the menu appeared reasonable. Nice staff and clientele. All in all an absolute winner.
macdive - 3 Aug 2009 09:26
4 cask ales on - Harveys, Greene King x 2 and Morlands Original. Has a nice easy feel, very welcoming, and well thought-out lived-in interior with bookshelves covering an entire wall. Good little patio outside front. Harveys was excellent and food looked good and very inexpensive. Harveys was excellent, and I will be back. Ideal for a long slobby evening on a warm night.
lobster56 - 9 May 2009 19:16
Consistently always delivers a nice pint the Abbot was very nice thank you. Very busy with locals watching the darts on tv but not too noisey. Food menu looks good and the toilets were spotless. Best pub in Bromley? Yes! 10/10
bickleyrealale - 10 Jan 2009 10:47
Despite being a Greene King house I have nothing bad to sya about the Lion. Cosy friendy boozer with well kept ales and toasties for 1.50 - result!
marky_mark1970 - 1 Dec 2008 12:42
This has to be the best pub in Bromley. Spent a very pleasant lunchtime outside in the sunshine supping Greene King's seasonal ale 'Bonkers Conkers'. Always 5 well kept beers on tap; IPA, Abbot, Harveys Sussex Best and 2 guest ales. Well done Chris and team.
blackheatheagle - 23 Sep 2008 20:57
Nothing but praise here. Superb selection of real ales always on tap and the food is good quality and keenly priced. A real backwater pub without the cliquey feel you might get in other small locals. Uniformed staff is a plus point and the only thing against it is the compact size of the place.
spexx - 12 Mar 2008 22:15
The best kept cellar in bromley, well done Chris.
simonfromgp - 23 Dec 2007 01:32
Once again a great pub.

If you are in Bromley then check this place out
jka94036 - 12 Sep 2007 18:15
The Red Lion fully deserves the accolade of SE London 2007 Pub of the Year, and indeed this has been my favourite local pub in Bromley for some now. Well-kept range of ales (including a regularly changing guest), friendly welcome, good jukebox and of course a well-positioned dartboard with a good standard of opponents often on hand (though alas my last visit the Saturday before last was yet again hampered by my frustrating inability to release the dart...)
Dartitis - 16 Jul 2007 14:55
An excellent pint (or three) of Greene King Ale Fresco. Friendly staff and very good value food. It's always worth seeking out when visiting the area.
realmeerkat - 5 Jul 2007 00:42
Great pub which I go to when in the area. Was there lunchtime today. Great Harveys Sussex Bitter. Sat outside with 11 friends on the seating, but still chilled and relaxing. Should have a bottle price for wine though - otherwise would be a 10!
duncanborrowman - 3 Jun 2007 22:18
I finally tracked down this pub on my third attempt - you really need a map and compass to find it unless you live in the weird Bromley North Triangle. But it's certainly worth the effort. A good friendly backstreet pub, but I was impressed that the greeting given to first-timers like me was as friendly as to the obvious regulars. The beer wqas well-kept and the food excellent value.
bromleyjon - 16 Mar 2007 08:19
South East London Camra is pleased to announce that the Red Lion has just been voted 2007 Pub of the Year
anonymous - 11 Mar 2007 18:28
This is now my 'local'..I can honestly say it is a great pub..
jka94036 - 28 Dec 2006 19:42
I moved to Bromley about 9 months ago and my first port (pub) of call was the Red Lion (as it is the nearest to me)- without doubt this is one of the best pubs I have ever been in and there have been a few. I have tried the rest around Bromley but this one takes the top prize ! The great points are - 1) Cracking pint of Abbott (plus the 2 guest beers every week that are worth a try), 2) Very friendly Landlord and Staff (I always base a pub on whether the Landlord remembers you the second time you come in and knows what you want - well done Chris), 3) Real Local pub atmosphere and friendly with it, 4) Very reasonably priced which includes good no nonsense food, 5) Books and papers for those who want a quiet pint and the Sky TV and darts for the athletes of this world !. Overall a great pub for Summer and Winter (not forgetting Spring and Autumn)- very welcoming and snug place. Proud to call it my Local !!! 10 out of 10
SteveHurst - 8 Dec 2006 08:56
Excellent local run by friendly landlord and landlady who provide excellent pints for reasonable prices. The real ale choice is particularly impressive with frequent guest beers complimenting the regular Greene King IPA and Harveys. A good selection of Lagers is also stocked including Fosters, Kronenbourg and Stella with Strongbow for the cider drinkers.

Well prepared and very reasonably priced food is available throughout the day until 7pm with a sandwich for little more than a pound all the way up to a full meal for up to 4.50.

An unusual but welcome feature is that one wall of the seating area is almost entirely covered by a bookshelf which visitors to the pub can dip into while they enjoy their pint, newspapers are also provided.

The Red Lion is well worth a visit for anyone who appreciates their different ales and a good friendly honest local pub.
david_chislehurst - 1 Dec 2006 17:42
Having just moved back to Bromley after 2 years absence I was delighted to discover that this fantastic backstreet local is still being run by the same couple. Siobhan & Chris have being here for many years providing excellent beer at reasonable prices. Harveys as always is excellent & Old Ember was a rare treat at 6.5%
If passing pop in & try it for yourself !!!!!!!
anonymous - 18 Nov 2006 16:12
I have been drinking here on and off since the arrival off the present Landlord circa 97. During all that time the beer has been consistently excellent. I don't think I have ever had a bad pint. The Landlord is passionate about the quality of his beer, and that's not just the Real Ale, all the beers are good. The Landlord is always present ensuring standards are maintained. The additional staff are well chosen, polite and efficient.

The pub is indeed owned by Green King. I am very thankful to the Landlord for fighting to keep the guest beers Green King have tried to take away- there are no other pubs in Bromley selling such a range of cask beer- strong heavy Scottish beers, stouts, porters, real lagers, fruit beers etc etc. If the beer range isnt as varied and interesting as you might like complain to Waverly TBS (wholesaler) rather than the Landlord. There is now a blackboard behind the bar that lists all the up and coming interesting guest beers that shall be on sale during the month.

From 12-7 excellent value food is served- for example, one can enjoy sausage, egg and chips for 250, or ham and tomato sandwich for little more than a pound.

Although the pub has a large number of regulars, the atmosphere is always friendly and welcoming- i.e. quite different from many of the central Bromley pubs. If your in Bromley shopping its well worth making the short walk past Bromley North station for a pint and a sandwich.

Ben_Bromley - 16 Nov 2006 13:16
Great Place....Real Ale is great, landlord and staff very friendly
anonymous - 30 Oct 2006 10:57
Been going to this Pub for a couple of months now and have to say its the best pub in Bromley. Staff and Landlord are friendly, quality of real ale is outstanding, plus the guest ales are great. Its well worth the 30 minute walk and is now my 'Local'
jka94036 - 22 Oct 2006 15:16
Regarding my comment below and the helpful reply , i was unaware that this was a Greene King pub. (Mind you there are a lot of them about these days.) i always assumed it was a free.

In that case the Landlord needs to be applauded for standing up to the corporate shirts at the brewery.

Anyway this is still one of the nicest in Bromley.

Cheers
Norealaleinorpington - 17 Oct 2006 14:01
This is an excellent pub and the landlord is to be congratulated on keeping his guest ales. However, beware!! It is strongly rumoured down here in Lewes that Greene King are trying to remove Harvey's from the six remaining former Beard's pubs which they own. This, the Lewes Arms and the Wellington in Seaford are three of them - I don't know which the other three are. We have a petition going in the Lewes Arms. If one of these pubs is your local and you want Harvey's to remain, you may wish to do the same.
southdown12jack - 25 Sep 2006 11:28
With regard to the posting by norealaleinorpington the problem for the landlord is that this is not a freehouse. He fights very hard to keep his independence in repsect of the beer he can sale. Harveys Sussex Bitter is his choice and it is his best seller in what is actually a Greene King pub.
I agree that it is still a great pub
anonymous - 10 Sep 2006 21:56
In a town of chavpalaces serving alcopops, aftershocks and pissylager to 15 year olds, what a delight to find this haven. Top quality ales with friendly service and devoid of the scowling locals normally found in other back street locals.

halfbee - 24 Aug 2006 17:27

I love this pub. Serves good beer and has a great atmosphere about the place. It's like your local should be.
anonymous - 22 Aug 2006 12:45
I don't wish to appear either negative or as a beer bore, but went last week and it wasn't as good as it used to be. (Last weeks visit was first for a couple of years.) Why? Because the beer range was , whilst well kept a bit average.

This used to be one of the few pubs in the area where you could get a pint that was not one of the Fullers/Youngs/Greene King variety. It was a true free house and the eclectic range was just brilliant. Last week there was only one 'unusual' beer and that was a shame.

Still don't want this to detract from the fact that this is a good pub with well kept beers and one of the best in the area
Norealaleinorpington - 1 Aug 2006 16:37
Lovely, lovely place. Really good, welcoming atmosphere, great guinness and just feels right.
Arthurguinness - 6 Jul 2006 14:56
This place is a gem. Despite being the youngest two people there by comfortably 10 years we were more than welcomed and the atmosphere was really friendly, not to mention the quality of the beer being excellent, a far cry from the unforgiving Bromley town centre of a friday night and very welcome at that. Definitely worth a visit. Hard to believe this is in Bromley, feels very local.
man_of_kent - 16 Apr 2006 11:22
The quality of beer in this pub is outstanding. As well as the masssive variety offered, I have yet to have a poor pint in terms of quality. Chris keeps a great cellar and himself and Siobhan are great hosts.
cognac - 9 Mar 2006 21:14
Have been using this pub on & off for the past 10 years.Harveys Sussex always on.Excellent Long standing landlord who knows his beer and the best well chosen staff as well.Quite simply the best pub I have ever had the privilage drink in... and I've been to a few !
douvres - 4 Feb 2006 17:58
Excellent back street pub,a proper pub, 5 very well kept real ales, reasonably priced snacks well worth a visit.

longfella - 11 Dec 2005 11:51
friendly and knowledgable service, ales always well kept and reasonably priced. Decent clientele; simply what a pub should be.
sussexsketch - 1 Aug 2005 13:39
Another good pub up in the only classy bit of Bromley. Great ales, good service and books and books and books. Toilets adequately clean, bar and glasses spotless. Well worth a visit for the ale fans.
juliatheakston - 31 Jul 2005 16:41
Top quality pub, well worth a detour for.
MissLilac - 4 Jul 2005 10:19
An absolute gem of a boozer. Great beer well kept, no chavs. Everything most other Bromley pubs just don't have.
anonymous - 16 Jun 2005 15:02
How have I lived in Bromley for 20 years without discovering this place? Well, probably because it's in a teeny tiny back street midway between Bromley North & Sundridge Park train stations. The best of at least 3 Greene King pubs within a half mile radius (though you'd be forgiven for not knowing any of them existed). IPA, Abbot & Harveys Sussex always on with quality guests frequently rotating. Check out the range of pump clips decorating the attractive darkwood bar. Not overly pricey with a real suntrap of a front courtyard. Landlord highly knowlegable on ales which is always a bonus. A proper pub-goers pub in the quiet, old part of Bromley town. 10
young_camra_collectiv - 2 May 2005 10:22
This is a cracking little pub, a local tucked away in the side streets in Bromley North. It serves a good pint of Harveys and several other guests. It is small and gets crowded but the atmosphere is always chatty and happy. No hormone-fuelled idiots here. Thoroughly recommended for a good beer with good company.
Get_me_some_Old_Tom - 13 Apr 2005 13:59
Round the back in Bromley North. I very friendly local that serves a very good pint indeed.

Being out of Bromley High Street means that it is not full of brain-dead cretins, as Bromley is on a Friday and Saturday night these days.
Graeme - 2 Jul 2004 13:58
One of the best pubs in Bromley - superb ales always. Greene King tied with regulars of Harveys, Abbot, Greene King IPA plus 2 regularly changing guests. Local atmosphere, lovely interior and exterior, 10/10
Simon Bigg - biggsy_boy69@hotmail.com - 5 Nov 2003 20:36

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