The area to the north of the town centre boasts a clutch of jolly decent pubs, but the Red Lion is a standout on any pub crawl in these parts. It was 2007 South East London CAMRA Pub of the Year and it's easy to see why. It's been run by the same couple for a long time and the tie-sporting landlord - who is invariably present - takes a hands-on role. High standards are carefully maintained: even their standard bitters, such as Sussex, are very well-kept. And we can't keep up with the ever-changing guest beers: Fireside and Old Trip (albeit both of the house brewery, Greene King) were available on our last visit. The most striking decorative feature, apart from original tiling, is the well-stocked bookshelves dominating one side, offering an eclectic range of books which one may dip into. There is also an old-style cigarette machine by the gents' lavatories which adds a further nostalgic touch. The menu (available until 7pm, 6pm on a Sunday) is short and no-nonsense, but we like it that way: on a recent visit we enjoyed a mushroom omelette with salad and chips for £3.50. The residents of North Road are blessed - this is a top local, tucked in amongst bright, attractive early 20th century terraced housing. What's galling is that they have a number of other decent places (notably the White Horse) - and a highly rated Chinese takeaway - within a stone's throw. We guess some people just have all the luck.
Review: 2 out of 2 people found this review helpful
Reviewed by kentish_man
24 Oct 2009