Red Lion, Shoreditch

Our rating: FAP Rating 2 - Click for an explanation of our ratings      User rating: Community Rating 1 - Click for an explanation of our ratings   (2 reviews)
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FancyaPint?'s review...
FAP Rating 2 - Click for an explanation of our ratings
The Red Lion is a remnant of what once could be found all around the back streets of Hoxton - a tiny corner boozer. Sat at the north east outer edge of Hoxton Square however, this has long been a trendier affair. The last indication of its former life comes courtesy of the Courage cockerel which stands at the bar, but otherwise you've got a mishmash of distressed loungey furniture and a rather grubby, messy decor - albeit not necessarily in the bad way. The tiny bar in the corner offers a really mediocre selection of drinks, but the service is friendly and fast. It is also considerably more relaxed and less pretentious when compared to some of it's more centrally located Hoxton Square counterparts and the upstairs rooms offer extra space at the busy end of the week. The whole thing is topped off with a pretty good roof terrrace. Real ale fans won't be rushing here and it is certainly eclipsed by more brash, later opening establishments nearby, but it does a good job in achieving its limited aspirations.
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Reviews (1)
08 May 2012
Rating 1 - Click for an explanation of our ratings
At first sight this pub is a great find. Dark wood and board games, an open fire, a tiny bar area, and three floors including a roof terrace. But after a couple of hours there it took on a slightly squalid air. One person behind the bar serving growing queues of Hoxtonites. The toilets were closed downstairs; the toilet I visited on the top floor had a broken toilet seat and lino with a great bulging fold in it (and the guys I was with said the gents was to be avoided).

But it was the food, gentle reader, that has prompted me to write this, my first ever pub review. Quite simply the worst pizza I have ever seen or tasted, accompanied by the meanest nastiest cheesy chips.

It started badly: pretty much half the menu was off. I went for the veggie pizza. The food arrived 40 minutes later (apparently because the kitchen was busy, though I don't think they were busy cooking food because not a single person I saw was eating). The pizza was missing two of the promised ingredients; and when I pointed this out the bar-man simply said 'oh, she [presumably the woman busy in the kitchen] was here a minute ago; she's not here any more'. No further remedy offered. No reduction in price, no whisking off the pizza to add promised toppings. Nothing. What I got was a pizza base topped with tomato puree (almost certainly out of a tin - but that's OK in itself) - with the addition of raw mushrooms and raw red onion, all cooked up by putting it under the grill (at least I think that's the only way you end up with dry and yet undercooked mushrooms and red onions). Awful. The cheesy chips were greasy and tired, with a dribble, not much more, of melted cheese on top. So definitely avoid the food; try to avoid the toilets; and if you insist on drinking here, prepare for the potential of a loong wait at the bar. Perhaps the cocktails redeem the place; I don't know.

Contact details
Hoxton Street, Shoreditch, London, N1 6NH
020 7729 7920
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