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Old Red Lion, Kennington

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user reviews of the Old Red Lion, Kennington

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

The Old Red Lion is situated next to Oakham's London pub (Oaka). I'd been there before, but somehow missed the Old Red Lion. It's now an Antic pub, with a fairly trendy (eclectic) interior. Although the building itself is ancient. Ales were Vim Volden, Hawkshead Bitter & Dark Star American Pale Ale & Revelation. They also had a cider - Blaengawney Hallets Blindfold and a perry, also from Hallets, one of my favourite producers. With lots of nooks and crannies and a convenient location near to Kennington tube, I can definitely recommend it.
blue_scrumpy - 22 Jan 2017 23:51
An impromptu afternoon of ticking in Pimlico and Kennington brought me to Antic's Old Red Lion.

This is a large 2 roomed pub that has obviously fallen on hard times and has now been 'brought back to life' by Antic. The Antic style is all over this pub with lots of books, various unconnected nick nacks, open fire place, exposed brickwork and mish mashed furniture

4 ales on, I went for a pint of Wild Hop @ 5.0% Antic's own Brewery Volden. A very good pint & as always in Antic pubs the ale is served in a jug. You can of course request a straight glass if you really want one.

Out the back is a large open area with a couple of very small snugs that have original tiles exposed. The pub is electric and trendy but is quite dark inside due to the lights having energy saving light bulbs I guess!

There’s also a garden and food was being served. Off to Oaka next.

lezford - 10 Nov 2015 14:04
Feels like a country village pub. Not unappealing, but the real ale hasn't travelled well and the Christmas meal was, er..rather hit and miss!! Not a bad pub in this impoverished age however.
strangetorpor - 19 Dec 2013 20:57
Can't recommend this place highly enough. Great range of Ales, friendly Barstaff and a good mix of customers. With the Mansion House right next door things are looking up in Kenninton.
Scotsaledrinker - 19 Dec 2013 13:05
Nice pub, shame no wheat beer on draught. The food was good and reasonably priced.

The bar staff are nice and friendly apart from the young female prat behind the bar that is a bit too far up her own backside that likes to think she kind of runs things here. Known the pub for years and never known such a stuck up prat.

That aside, its pleasant enough.

Would have given at least 7 if not for the aforementioned individual.

Will come back and post an update when she leaves to make room for the needed improvement.
Paul_me_pint - 27 Jun 2012 23:16
Visited June 27th and June 28th whlst down Kennington way for the international cricket match.

Nice place with character.

Was disappointed to be told that as it was Monday night they didn't serve food, and again on Tuesday night when we went in at 21.00 we were told no food as there was no chef! Which considering that the advertising board on the pavement states food till 22.00 is obviously a shame. However, both evenings the staff were helpful, apologetic and friendly, with the young lady working Monday night giving us directions to a couple of other places we might like to try for food. Also a very nice touch is that they have some free snacks and savouries on the bar (pork pies etc), which is something you rarely see these days.

The beer was fine, we had Heineken and Guinness on our two visits, while sitting in the neat beer garden during a balmy evening was a pleasure. Clientele wise no problems, couples and mid 20's age bracket, and place is ideally located close to Kennington Tube Station and a ream of buses stop close by.

Very recommended place that I hope can survive, they just need to tighten up on the food issue by way of correct advertising. 8/10
Bitterville - 29 Jun 2011 22:45
A real gem of a pub this. Might not look like much from the outside but well worth stepping over the threshold. It's a very successsful marriage of old traditional aspects (stained glass windows, bar fittings, ceiling beams) with endearing pub eccentricites (tucked away nook and cranny booths, selection of old dolls houses and some retro artefacts.) There's a lot going on in here and many different parts to the pub which combine well. Nice little beer garden too. One of the best pubs to visit in SW London, easily.
Baader - 25 Apr 2011 11:10
big improvemnt on whaqt it used to be. well kept doom bar bitter, reasonably priced, and good choice of cheap bar eats. nice atmosphere and friendly staff. didn't try the proper food menu but it looked quite good without being expensive. worth a try.
lomond1965 - 29 Nov 2010 18:30
It had been opened for three months in my local area and I had overlooked it,thinking that the change in opening hours had just turned it into another non eventful gastropub. However, I was mistaken.
On arriving I wasn't greeted with a menu, I had just eaten and was just after a beverage. It always makes me feel awkward when they expect you to buy food.
Old rock 'n' roll was playing, perhaps on an i-pod or whatever they have nowadays. The place was lit by candlelight and 70's lamps. It was really fascinating just to sit and look at all the old stuff they have; sideboards, a mini bar, a 5 shillings Elvis annual, numerous bits and bobs like that. The strange thing is that it doesn't like it's been organised in a way that a pretentious pub designer would do it in. It's like they've done it themselves, over the years just collecting these types of things.

Anyway, we got a bottle of wine at £13 and some green olives for £2.50. A half of Heineken was £1.70. I don't know about the food yet but I will certainly be returning. It was also good to see that the other locals were back in this pub too. It has a wonderful atmosphere and friendly staff.
scarletwest - 11 Nov 2010 00:19
Recently refurbished and new management.

Completely agree with the comment below.

Give it a go, it deserves the chance to remain open long.
RCJ - 22 Aug 2010 11:48
This was formerly a dingy looking pub that many locals would avoid. A few months ago it looked like it was closing down but, thankfully, it was spared the almost inevitable conversion into luxury flats, and has just re-opened after an extensive refurb.

According to the manager, it is now owned by the 'Antique' group of pubs. It has a gastro-pub feel about it (retro furniture, much candlelight etc.) but in my view they haven't overdone this, and they have still managed to retain the traditional, 'old man' feel about the place.

The pub is surprisingly spacious, with two bars, and a nice feature is the large number of semi-private tables they have tucked away in alcoves. There is also a large walled garden.

The dodgy exterior might still put some people off but it does not at all reflect what the pub is now like inside.

I think the pub is a really good addition to Kennington, but it is the kind of place that won't remain open long unless they can get the numbers in...
kennington_alex - 31 Jul 2010 15:00
Only just refurbished, not entirely complete at the time of submitting this review, but looks good so far.
Paul_me_pint - 19 Jun 2010 12:10
This pub has two separate bars which are joined together with a doorway at each end of the bar which cannot be more than five feet tall. The right hand bar is mostly standing room and has a dartboard and plasma screen at the rear which was showing football on Sky Sports. The left hand bar has more seating and another plasma screen which had all seven other customers standing in front of it whilst watching the dog racing and waving their betting slips in the air.

Bombardier and Bass were available from the barmaid who couldn’t have looked less pleased to see me if she had spat in my pint. To be fair she did lighten up a bit, but the seeds were already sown for an uncomfortable stay and I was glad that I had only ordered half a Guinness, which wasn’t the best.

I’ll not be returning.
Strongers - 16 Dec 2009 20:49
Mock Tudor beams inside and outside, looking a little out of place in Kennington. It still has two separate bars, which is probably why it features in CAMRA’s inventory of heritage pub interiors. The only real ale on was Bombardier, which actually tasted rather good, and at £2.80 a pint definitely not overpriced. There were a few tables and chairs around the sides, but my overall impression of the bar in which I was in (the Public Bar I suppose) was dinginess and desolation. I didn’t venture into the other bar – hopefully it was better, but I doubt whether I shall bother to go in again.
RexRattus - 13 Sep 2009 15:28
ale is not good clientelle even worse. The bar staff however were friendly but intrusive.
ThePubSpy - 11 Jan 2008 11:53
I bought a pint of ale in there last night. There was a drowned beetle - of the cockroach variety - in my glass.

And I actually had to ASK for my money back!

Dear Lord, I'm glad I live in West London.

foxski - 7 Sep 2006 01:25
mock tudor frontage (if that's your thing), this pub is on CAMRA's national inventory of pubs worth preserving.
jimothy - 4 Sep 2006 12:06

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