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Red Lion, Cricklade

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user reviews of the Red Lion, Cricklade

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

Cricklade is a lovely large village with a characterful High Street. The Red Lion also has plenty of character and is situated at one end of the High Street. Whilst Hop Kettle are still based here, the pub is now strangely owned by St Austell. So, both breweries beers are represented. In fact, there seemed to be more St Austell beers than in most of their Cornish pubs. The selection was Hop Kettle Element, COB & North Wall, St Austell Hicks, Hi Ho Silver Lining & Tribute, Bath Lansdown & Gem & Dartmoor Legend & Jail Ale. They no longer stock real cider. Still a nice pub though.
blue_scrumpy - 14 Aug 2019 20:40
Bit of a gem and not well advertised. The Good Beer Guide doesn't have the brewery down. It does list the one at Lechlade up the road, as being defunct.

Untappd does not have their beers listed.

The pub has room, is a 1600s coaching house and has their own brewery in the sizeable beer garden. All the beers on sale were from there - even the lagers.

Town Wall Best Bitter was a good looking, dark, malty bitter. Home made food was good quality.

A traditional english inn, seeminly a secret.
Mappiman - 23 Feb 2019 20:47
Delightful pub serving good meals, all from the board rather than a menu. Pity quite a few items on the menu were "off awaiting them to be remade", however it indicates home production (good thing).
Their own brewery supplies a great selection of beers on top of the variety they have from other breweries.
Good service and well prepared food in homely surroundings.

maybe - 28 Aug 2015 19:18
Stumbled by this place completely by accident and what a treat. One of the pubs I've ever been to and that's an awful lot! Ten ales, though most on the strong (+5%) side, but they also sell in 2/3 pints so didn't matter I was driving. Great 'heritage' decor, friendly and knowledgable barman, even locals made me feel welcome.

Didn't eat and was fairly quiet being a Tuesday afternoon, but just what i needed at the time. 10/10.
Stevo_de_la_hayes - 2 Apr 2013 21:10
This place must be a victim of its own success. Excellent selection of beers and beautiful inside and out. But don't risk it on a Sunday lunchtime unless you really like queuing for 20 mins to buy a drink, or enjoy getting half the food you ordered because the kitchen is out of its depth. Food pricey.
TommyRogers1979 - 18 Sep 2012 18:45
I went here last Friday to attend an old friends wake, having drunk here in the past.

I don't know who writes some of theses reviews, or maybe I was in the wrong pub?

Bar staff surly and incompetent and just out of school. Operations Manageress like a headless chicken and so far up her own a*rse it was unreal. Tables dirty and sticky, no drip mats. Ten pumps only six of which had beer in them, unable to get an explanation for that. My Moles Best was indifferent to say the least. Bar was obviously changed to suit food operation. Blackboards everywhere written in childrens handwring extolling the food. Carpet disgusting.

This pub was once a beer mecca and a deserved South West CAMRA pub of the year having been runner up the year before. It is now trading on a reputation it does not deserve.

Met a bloke putting in an off for the White Lion over the road, if he gets it right it will be all to the good for beer drinkers and a kick in the backside for this place!!!
Honeybadger - 30 Jun 2012 18:33
Pubs own brewery opens at the start of June, followed by a beer festival, this pub is the best for miles around and knocks spots off anything in Swindump thats for sure.
Hodge1 - 22 May 2012 08:24
Felt like I'd died and gone to heaven when I walked in here. About 10 cask beers - and a table by the log fire for Sunday lunch. A proper pub for drinking in but great food too.

My oldloafer rule the first time I try a pub is to have a beer I know - that way I can judge how good it is. The Moles Best in here was spot on, and only 2.85.

Staff were friendly and efficient, and in June their own brewery at the back of the pub will start production.

This is one of the ten best pubs I have ever been in - no question.


oldloafer - 10 May 2012 08:23
Best pub in a 30 mile radius by far.
DrunkHedgehog - 3 Feb 2012 20:24
A pretty good pub, worth the trip from Swindonia for. 10 real on, just a bit of a shame the only real dark today was the Downton Port Stout. Food pretty good if you can catch it before it blows up for the afternoon at 1430, priced perhaps a quid or so over standard prices. Pub pretty busy during the afternoon. A couple of 'eccentric' locals but that's what keeps places going, visitors should live with it (and their dogs, which are welcomed, noted in the garden).
PhilR - 13 Jan 2012 20:38
The best pub for miles around, 10 ever changing guest beers, local ciders and perry, good quality food served, beautiful old building, lovely back beer garden....if only all pubs were as good as this.
Hodge1 - 9 Sep 2011 09:20
With 9 real ales offer every day, plus some 45 varieties of bottled beers, plus a wide range of ciders and largers, it really is quite hard to find fault with the Red Lion. The pub is very dog and hiker friendly, which means that muddy paws and boots are welcome, although it isn't unknown for the dogs to fall out with each other from time to time. The men's toilet also seems to get into a state quite often, with paper hand towels getting strewn over the floor. This can only be attributed to the fact that they don't seem to use good quality paper and so the dispenser often jams leaving people pull out large lumps of paper rather than single sheets! Apart from that it's a pretty good place!
Lenticular - 6 Jul 2011 11:48
A fantastic pub, 9 real ales, soon to be boosted to 10, 2 regulars & 7 guests from a diverse number of breweries and in excellent condition. I paid 22 for a 3 course meal, worth it in my humble opinion, most food is sourced locally, it's a bit 'nouvelle cuisine' if you want to be filled up buy some pie & chips from the chippy down the road, otherwise enjoy the wonderful flavours of the food. GrahamH's comments down below regarding the lunch time meals have been forwarded to the local CAMRA branch who did their survey on 5th February 2011 for the GBG 2012 guide and the entry should be amended.
Abteilung - 6 Feb 2011 18:10
With a choice of nine decent beers on handpump, the Red Lion is real ale heaven. The 'tipple board' of three third-of-a-pint glasses is a great way to sample the line-up, and the traditional, low-ceilinged main bar is a lively social hub.

We stayed here three nights and were very impressed by the accommodation in a simply furnished but spacious room with an excellent bathroom. Breakfast was good, but the service was painfully slow. Similarly, the evening meal service in the restaurant was conducted at a snail's pace and the food - although thoughtfully prepared with local ingredients - was not especially good value for money, with lilliput-sized starters and mean portions of vegetables.

rentaquote - 3 Jan 2011 19:57
I rate this pub very highly. Called in by chance as we were driving down the M4 and needed a convenient stop off for lunch. Excellent range of beer, excellent attitude by the barman, great food (NB the 2011 GBG omits the symbol showing lunchtime food, which IS served). A small pub but very cosy and welcoming.
GrahamH - 13 Dec 2010 23:25
Delighted to find that the Red Lion is as good as ever (and has not changed too much since I was last in Cricklade). Usual wide range of ales - even had one from the relatively obscure but very good Church End Brewery as well as some of the bigger names. They still have a small glass of ale in front of each pump so that you can immediately identify whether it is a golden, brown or dark variety. Beers were generally in good order. The roaring log fire is particularly welcome on these cold nights and it is a nice place to spend an evening. Have not tried the food yet but from the menu it seems they have aimed towards the upper end of the market.
mikey64 - 28 Nov 2009 19:09
It had been blustery and showery, and a couple of times we thought that the rain might have really set in. Thankfully though that didn't happen, so the walk fromKemble Station via Thames Head along the Thames Path did not reduce the two of us to soaken misery :-) There was a last showering as we skirted Cricklade, and the Red Lion was a welcome first sight of civilisation. Though the open fire had died down, it was warm and welcoming, and sitting down with a pint of Moles Best Bitter and gently steaming a little (at least my spectacles steamed up) was a relief. Time was all too short before the last bus to Swindon on a Sunday was due, so this was just a 15 minute interlude. But well worth a return and more leisurely visit.
zorrodp - 26 Oct 2009 08:22
The recent reviews for this pub give the right impression - this looks to be the best pub in the small town and well worth a visit. The pub has taken to offering beer in third of a pint glasses - excellent if one wants to work round the pumps and stay compos mentis
Arctium_lappa - 3 Oct 2009 21:37
Super pub, lovely countryside feel with 9 interesting, well-kept real ales on the bar. Opportunity to try before you buy too. WELL worth seeking out.
Spodgey - 14 Jun 2009 17:24
This pub has a great range of well kept real ales including there own brewed ale. The barmaid said it was currently brewed at Wadworth, but they were building a micobrewery on the premises to bring it in house.

There was extensive work going on in the kitchen which meant I had to go elsewhere to get a meal, but I returned as quickly as I could to continue sampling the ales.

It has quite a small bar area, but it is laid out well. A very comfortable place to have abeer and a chat.
alexw123 - 22 Nov 2008 17:47
Well by miraculous chance (OK, good fortune) I ended up back here last week with the Reading Beer Festival helpers day out.

And happily I can report that the beer range and quality was good, along with the atmosphere. Also discovered a huge beer garden out the back - you could play a game of cricket out there.

Lovely and well worth a visit for the discerning ale connoisseur.
Quinno - 22 Aug 2008 21:41
Wish I'd had more time in here, but was only able to quaff a quick Bath Ale barnstormer, which was surprisingly flat (it isn't usually, minor quibble).

Plenty of other ale fayre on offer, with little shot glasses lined up in front of each one to show colour (and presumably, act as a taster).

Plenty of people in and there was a nice convivial atmosphere. Sky sports on mute. Food served most days, except Mondays.

Good place, will have to return at some point.
Quinno - 27 Mar 2008 16:28
superb real ale pub
anonymous - 20 Feb 2008 21:40
Wish this place was local to me - excellent range of ales, good accomodation and a great breakfast. faultless
padmeister - 6 Feb 2008 21:54
I have just visited this pub for the first time in 7 years. The change is incredible, it was a town drinking house, now it is a modern eating and drinking house with a country cottage feel. A nice touch is the samples of real ales by each pump, as the colour of the beer gives you an indication of its taste.

If you haven't been there for a while give it a go.
roganddi - 3 Feb 2008 19:23
UPDATED REVIEW. Paid a vist last night. Nice ladies serving. The guest ales were; Three Castles Best, Thwaites Original, Archers Robin Red Breast, Ramsbury Rum Truffle & Hidden Treasure all in fantastic condition. Amended rating - 6 to 9/10. Looking forward to many more evenings like this! Footnote for sofakinwot (very funny name) I didn't say the landlord was miserable, I was referring to the punters - Oh hell my sides have just split!
biermeister - 9 Jan 2008 21:26
Landlord is not miserable at all, he is however Scottish and does have a dry sense of humour! If you don't have a sense of humor you shouldn't go to the pub. His son looks after the fantasic range of beers, and a very good job he does. We stayed for one night and found the accommodation fantastic, The room was of the same standard as a modern 4* hotel chain. Fantastic garden and patio area as well as a clean well kept pub. Towns well worth a visit good range of pubs,Iindian and a kebab shop (essential after tasting all 9 beers) Best breakfast I've had for years. One complaint, I had only booked for one night.
sofakinwot - 12 Sep 2007 14:44
Not the friendliest pub in the area, but the beer range is good and the quality usually matches. Worth a visit especially in winter for the open fire. In summer the large garden/patio (pergola) is very pleasant.
biermeister - 12 Aug 2007 18:45
Great range of real ales (9 in total), with a good 'local' atmosphere. Recommended.
rpadam - 3 Sep 2006 14:31
If you like ales this is the place for you. More than 8 real ales at any one time. Fantastic fire and definitely interesting wall mountings and pictures. Beautiful garden with fish and over sized connect 4 and chess.
ladyL - 23 Feb 2005 16:08
The Camra guide suggests that the landlord of this pub is 'entering a most miserable landlord competition'. So, on our visit, as we entered with a baby in a car seat, a four year old and a Staffordshire Bull terrier, it was with some trepidation. However, our fears were totally unfounded. The landlord was the epitomy of good service, giving us tasters from his extensive and well kept beer and perry range, and water for the dog without being asked. The gardens had a tank of koi carp which kept our four year old busy. All in all, the perfect pub for a family visit.
The idiosyncratic decorations, everything from stuffed animals to raod signs also made a nice change from mass brought brewery attemtps.
Jimbo Smith - 20 Jun 2004 21:16

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