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Red Lion, Southampton

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user reviews of the Red Lion, Southampton

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

Hmm, just noticed Barfly27 only has 1 review in over a year which leads me to think that this person is
A) Not much of a Bar Fly, and:

B) A troll of some kind
Nigethebeer - 27 Oct 2012 17:06
I couldn't disagree more with Barfly27, really nice pub with good real ale (4 on when I visited today, 27/10/2012). The food was magnificent, I'm a real trencherman and even I couldn't eat the whole of the mixed grill. The music wasn't too loud and it was a good mix of genres. Definately visit if you're in Southampton.
Nigethebeer - 27 Oct 2012 17:04
what a dive! Beer dreadful, surroundings filthy and falling apart, staff rude and unpleasant. Probably the worst pub in Southampton - and I've been to a few!
Barfly27 - 23 Jun 2011 16:28
Abit higgledy-piggledy with a kind of Tudor theme. They had soem unusual ales on. I had an Itchen Vallet bbrew (it was 4.2% can't recall it's name) and the others had some Block stuff. Found it a better pub than the Platform. Bit of a trek to go for a Johnny Cash though.
anonymous - 21 May 2011 23:42
I was introduced to this pub via a friend who swears by it, and now I am a regular visitor. In a month I have eaten in this restaurant swamped with tales dating back to Tudor and Norman times four times and popped in once for a drink or two. The outlay is historic, charming and intriguing. Lots of memorabilia such as shields, suits of armor, pottery ale mugs and paintings to keep your eyes amused whilst enjoying a cold drink or warm meal. The bar staff (Mike) friendly and knowledgeable. Food is hearty, home-cooked and wholesome. Huge portions that are overly generous and are cause for a tummy ache! Not because the food is bad, quite the opposite, it is soooo good you cant stop eating, even though the portion is big enough for two, perhaps three?!?. I have enjoyed Pepper corn Steak, Steak pie, Lamb chops and Lasagne. All delicious. On one occasion I asked Mike if I could have a doggy bag as I had enough salad to enjoy at work for my lunch the next day. He was quick to wrap me up a little parcel!, ,much to my thanks. The puddings also look scrummy, but I have yet had room to order one!, although never say never!. I took great delight in watching a fellow dinner struggle to eat a whole chocolate gâteaux!, that would usually feed four people (This is how big the portions are!). To be honest a 'starter' would probably fill you up enough but seeing is believing. I urge all fellow Sotoners and visitors to visit this ancient jewel, as it really is a treasure of a restaurant. I will defiantly keep visiting and hope this original pub restaurant will keep serving with excellent quality and service. (Emma Nand )
emmaj1986 - 8 May 2011 14:27
Interesting and historic interior, but getting a little tatty. Nice beer from local breweries and a friendly parrot. Awful loud music(Wham etc).Certainly worth a look.
baxterfish - 3 Mar 2011 07:26
Nothing to add that hasn't already been said. The exterior and interior is fantastic. Sat upstairs in the 'gallery' section. Had a good pint of Itchen Valley breweries 'Hampshire Rose'. Unfortunately, the TVs blasting out football ruined the vibe - would be better without all that. But all in all a great pub with plenty of character. Hopefully it'll keep on going for many years to come.
Jonnysaint - 17 Feb 2011 10:46
Fabulous old place, and steeped in history (apparently) as the building in which the traitors in the Southampton Plot of 1415 were tried, which, although I haven't done any research, find hard to swallow completely, but its nice to think so. Anyway, at least this place has some character as all the British pubs which aren't among the 33 closing per week, transform themselves into chains of Greedy King or Wethys or Ember or whatever. Shame the place is so filthy and dark, the furniture beaten and broken - you will fall through the chairs when you sit on them, the beer is just about ok and the food is lost in 1973 CO-OP stamps britain. Oh well, at least it looks great, including parrot and this just about allows it to have a 4. Music dreadful. You couldn't stay in here for too long.
alezilla - 8 Jan 2011 15:47
Popped in with my wife yesterday lunchtime for a quick sandwich and a pint. Stayed for three pints and spoke to Mike behind the bar who has a great knowledge of the pubs history which was extremely interesting.The sandwiches were good and well presented.If you enjoy your counties history and a good well presented pint then go to the Red Lion its steeped in history and has an Old World Charm. It was so present not to see a TV and loud music, time for relection and conversation.
Flashy1941 - 22 Oct 2010 13:08
Quirky, scruffy place. The interior is tudor/mediaeval style and there is a pub parrot (always a plus point). Food is very hearty and reasonably priced, often including mussels (another plus point)
Uncle_Dunkel - 21 Oct 2010 16:55
Well the landlord wont win awards for 'HAPPY LANDLORD OF THE YEAR' but nice ales & superb looking pub , great history .
cheer up brian !
walls_have_ears - 12 Oct 2010 16:44
I agree that the pub is histroic and interesting and appears to need a bit of a clean up. The beer was just OK, and there was an interesting collection of characters in the bar on a quiet Monday night, incluidng a Hotel Manager on a cruise ship, waiting to start work the enxt day, and the pub chef! The pub does look like it has seen better days, but the city centre needs places like this!
lutefisk - 11 Aug 2010 13:03
Very grubby with beer poor which is sad as The Red Lion is a historic old pub in the heart of town. 2/10
SotonAleDrinker - 27 Jun 2010 16:03
We popped in here for a pint last Monday afternoon, Fullers London Pride cloudy and had back end of barrel lack of taste! Although the Red Lion is an interesting pub, full of character, it appears grubby and uncared for, the bar servery front and cental heating pipes in front of same have not been cleaned for months. It makes you wonder what the kitchen and cellar are like?
We left the half drunk pints and went for a decent pint elsewhere (we would have returned the ale to the bar, but there was no sign of the barmaid/landlady?)
Have given 2/10 for interesting and historic only boozer
hail_the_ale - 20 Jun 2010 22:43
Stayed here for one night this week while working in southampton. Could not fault the evening meal it was one of the best pub meals I have ever had. However, the accomodation was one of the worst and I would not recommend it for the following reasons - The only hot water in the shared bathroom was in the shower, there was none in the sink or the bath. The bedroom was very cold due to the lack of bedding and the oil filled, plug in radiator being too small for the room. The T.V had no signal therefore, making it unwatchable. We booked breakfast for 7.30 and when we arrived downstairs the place was in total darkness with no sign of anyone around. We eventually found someone at about 7.50 by which time it was too late for us to wait for it to be cooked so we had to leave without having any. We were given a Ł4.00 refund for this inconvenience.
mart028 - 20 Feb 2010 19:00
great food very friendly big steak
paulrout - 3 Feb 2010 00:20
very good pub great food i live on the isle of wight and well worth the trip
bigman1952 - 3 Feb 2010 00:01
What an Historical jem. Utterly fantastic. If your in Southampton you must visit. The beer is good as well (can't comment on the food as I haven't tried any......yet!
wolvesfan - 29 Dec 2009 12:43
Sorry, I did not like the beer in this pub I think it had been kept to long. reading the other posts I would give it another try, another time
Alan_Key - 19 Sep 2009 00:27
We've visited this wonderful pub twice. I love it because I'm a history fan and I'm fascinated by the age of everything and would love to spend a night there - although I think my husband might have something to say about that. He is reluctant to admit it as he does not believe in supernatural at all, but on both occasions that we visited this lovely place, he had "strange feelings", etc, can't go into more detail than that. Wonder if anyone else has had any experiences in there? I'd loe to know.

Please, please dont sell out to a chain - keep the pub as it is.
josiekingston - 22 May 2009 22:20
London Pride was fine, atmosphere was great, unfortunately the landlord didn't seem to be having one of his better days when I last visited. Otherwise, this is a very special place to visit, agree with all the comments below.
Feed - 21 Feb 2009 19:44
This is a pub to visit if you're hungry!

On a busy Saturday when the rest of Southampton is jam packed with shoppers, take a moment to disapear into the Red Lion.

The beer is good, local too. The scenary is amazing (you have to see it to believe it) and the food, well, it'll set you up for the day and probably the next as well.

It can be quiet (sometimes a blessing), the barman can be surley, but the venue and food quite make up for this.
Ekohawk - 31 Oct 2008 15:18
Pride, Bombardier &, amazingly, the only outlet in Southampton (allegedly) for Pride of Romsey from Hampshire brewery just 4m away. I remarked that it wasn’t looking too clever & the kindly barman immediately went to replace the barrel & the next pint was perfect. Historic pub with extraordinary high church-like ceiling (3 storeys?), anciently timbered throughout, decorated with heraldry, coats of arms, banners, an enormous fireplace of 1280 French oak, apparently a unique example of a carved kitchen fireplace which it used to be. Old wood panelling opposite bar, upholstered settles chairs & stools to the rear, tiny lead-light windows, way above head height, to the street and, bizarrely, a parrot in a 5’ cage. The upper gallery, with creaky uneven floor, is the scene of the 1415 trial of conspirators against HenryV & they lost their heads just up the road. To the rear is a low-lit dining area, empty but playing a most inappropriate soundtrack (that shite that today’s yoof mistakenly call R&B), fortunately it was inaudible in the equally sparse pub itself. An essential architectural stop & you may just get a guest ale as good as mine.
trainman - 29 Sep 2008 07:28
Lovely period public house, the food was plentiful fresh and pleasant and the beer spot on!
mmmpktge - 4 May 2008 22:19
Although the beer was not the best, this is def worth a trip. The pub goes back to the 15th century, maybe earlier and is well amazing to look up at the beams in the back, you really get a feel of what it must've been like years ago, nothing has changed in here, quite spectacular. I bet its a matter of time before some london speculator, local jewry or venture capitalist gets his filthy hands on this place and makes it into a restaurant or something. as it is, its shit, but its original well-old shit. top stuff.
BolshevistBoozehound - 15 Apr 2008 17:13
Interesting pub.Beer better than previously - excellent (but expensive)pint of Pride of Romsey.
anonymous - 28 Oct 2007 16:55
Visited early August 2006. Found it by searching on this site.

Scorching day outside but pub was cool and beer very good.

Bar staff friendly and knowledgeable.

Food was well prepared, presented and very large portions.

Recommend it.
coldonmac - 21 Mar 2007 13:49
A fantastic pub, a city centre equivalent of the Newport (Braishfield, nr Romsey). Looks like it hasn't been decorated since time immemorial. Some chap at the bar (first time visit) was told to eff off by the parrot.
eddy_blip - 6 Aug 2006 14:12
I'm not from Southampton originaly, but I do like history, and good beer. I have not eaten here, but for oldie worldie a trip back in history, I would highly recommend it.. Take a look at the fireplace it is huge and to think that Henry V was here and went out to beat the froggies wow! Froggies not meant derogative. It is original and was missed by the German bombers, thank god, (I lived in Germany for 26 Years)Some of my German friends have quaffed here and enjoyed it and also said that it was good that it wasn't damaged. If you are interested just take a trip there, it's worth it.
jfhfoto - 19 Jun 2006 18:54
I went to this pub on 11/02/05. Perfect for a furtive little first date, or for any aged bugger who wants to slip his hand up his missus' bloomers when no one is looking.(Especially when you sit upstairs!) Dark and dingy, old and creaking with wonky floorboards. The food is great. Portion sizes HUGE and reasonably priced, a lot better than the usual Wetherspoons slop. Complete with an in-house African grey parrot and a scowling fag-ash Lil barmaid. This is one of the oldest pubs you're likely to rest your butt in, with the cellars dating back to the 1200's and the rest of it being of Tudorish heritage. Get there soon before they knock it down and turn it into a Starbucks.......
kutiepie6662003 - 17 Feb 2006 23:00
Lovely old style pub with rickety flooring on the upper floor as I seem to remember. It's a bit like walking into a medieval banqueting hall. I haven't been here for quite a while but seem to remember there wasn't a great choice in ale, but still worth going to.
blamm - 15 Nov 2005 17:42
This pub has a resident parrot. If that does not persuade you to go there, then go for the history and the unexpectedly huge timber-framed interior. This is the place where Henry V tried his traitorous courtiers on the eve of sailing for France and Agincourt. Watch the Kenneth Brannagh version of Henry V before going there, and feel all cultural for the price of a pint. And try getting the parrot to talk back to you.
DanielJudeCook - 5 May 2005 23:24
this pub is lovely, and I would highly recommend the carvery on a Sunday. We must do something to stop proper pubs like this disappearing.
nursievictoria - 18 Jan 2005 21:10
It is a nice pub with lots of history if walking the old town walls etc pop in here.
anonymous - 29 Dec 2004 11:51
Walking from Ocean Village to find just a simply pub to get some food and a drink? Come here. Decent selection of food at good prices, decent atmosphere, talking parrot in the corner (yes, really). Exactly what a pub should be.
Beable - 3 Oct 2004 12:49
i think the pub is fantaSTIC the food is lovely especially the caevery on
mitchell - 18 Sep 2004 09:33
Quiet and friendly when we visited. Food was basic but good value for money with huge portions. On the ale front Charles Wells Bombardier was well kept. Toilets do need a bit of attention however. Further seating available upstairs and there is a lounge bar round the back. This is the sort of pub that has almost disappeared from city centre's up and down the country so pay a visit before it morphs into yet another chain pub.
John - john_norwell@hotmail.com - 31 Dec 2003 12:52

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