“ Address: Lady Lane / Earlswood / Solihull / B94 6AQ / Surrey / England „
This is a recent review in fact it was on the 30th June 2011. I do not normally write reviews but I thought as my night was so bad I deserved to inform you all. A party of 9 booked a table at 18.30. at 19.00 someone eventually came to ask what we would like to eat. We gave them our order, only one starter but 9 main meals. After asking twice where our food was it eventually arrived at 20.15. You could partly excuse this if the food was good but it was a disaster. The very expensive grilled fish platter arrived with very small peices of different fish, but very over cooked and very dry. My wife and son had sea bass and again it was as dry as a bone, one of our guests had pie, it was so microwaved it was again dry, we even had to ask for a bowl of gravy for this dish. They even forgot one of our guests food and we had to tell them.The pork belly went down well along with the lamb shanks, these were the dishes you could hide with a nice sauce.
The Red Lion is not a cheap place to dine therefore you expect the best but we got low level pub grub at high level costs.
I complained and they agreed to give us our food for free but as we could not eat it this did not help. I felt that our complaint was just a matter of fact to them.
To sum up, they were understaffed, the food was very bad, the food was expensive
The Red Lion
Telephone: 01564 702946
While recently visiting relatives in the West Midlands I was treated to lunch at The Red Lion pub in the Earlswood countryside.
At first glance I realised this was going to be a traditional style country pub, it looks beautiful in its secluded setting and has a stunningly beamed front to the building which gives it a historical and memorable atmosphere both inside and out.
It was a warm Sunday when we visited so we decided to eat outside in their small but perfect beer garden which is at the front of the pub. I was slightly sceptical about eating at the front of the pub as most beer gardens I've encountered have been located at the back of the premises and enclosed from traffic and outside influences. I needn't have worried though as The Red Lion is on a quiet country road and during our three hour visit I only saw a handful of classy cars and a few horses.
There were six of us dining, plus a child of three and a boy of thirteen, so we decided to order a selection of starters to nibble on while catching up and having a chat. We would order our main courses shortly before it was time to leave and therefore have the best of both worlds from the delicious sounding menu, few of us thought we would have room for pudding although thirteen year old Ryan became even stroppier than usual when he heard us say this!
Best laid plans and all that, when the starters arrived they were not particularly suitable for sharing so we all ended up with our own light meal. I quickly snatched the beautiful looking crab cakes when I realised what was happening, although everything else looked equally good.
I would characterise the menu of The Red Lion as more upmarket than a run of the mill pub restaurant, yet still serving the classic dishes of Fish & Chips (Beer Battered) or Sausages & Mash. The prices are what I would expect for a place like this, more expensive than other pubs I visited in the area but you certainly get what you pay for with everything being of the highest quality, delicious and perfectly cooked.
My crab cakes were delightfully light and fresh with large pieces of crab and an unusually floury coating which complimented the filling perfectly. They were served with a fruity mango salsa which was delicately flavoured and clung to the crab cakes nicely, also adding some sweetness to the crisp green salad that accompanied them.
I also tried a mouthful of tiger prawns which were cooked and served in a delicious cheese and garlic sauce, I didn't want to look greedy but could easily have ordered myself one of these as a second starter! It was such a creamy and flavoursome sauce that I am now trying to adapt a recipe so I can make a similar dish at home.
As a party we shared a Sharing Plate for 2 which was lovely. It was big enough to accommodate the six of us, particularly as we had just eaten our starters and only had room for a mouthful of each food. The baked camembert was superbly cooked, crisp and delicious on the outside yet melted and gooey when I cut through it with a fork. It tasted beautiful and was, for a cheese lover like me, the best part of the platter. There was also smoked salmon, pate, a delicious onion jam and king prawns included on the plate and everything complimented each other perfectly.
After our starters we shared a bottle or two of Pinot Grigio from the extensive and fairly priced wine menu. The wine was perfectly chilled and tasted crisp and fresh. The men in our group drank from the good selection of real ales. Both of them commented on how tasty the guest beers were and how refreshing on a warm day like today.
After a time I spotted my friends husband looking at his watch and suggested we order our meals, he is very much a homely man and wasn't rushing us but I don't think he could wait much longer to eat and get home! Even though we'd already eaten large starters, the fresh air and relaxing wine had given us all an appetite so we agreed it was time to eat.
I ordered a Five Spiced Duck but asked the waitress to request it be given as mild a flavour as possible, she made a note of this and when my meal arrived it was seasoned to perfection. The duck skin was crisp and was perfect, I often find duck skin goes too stodgy to eat but this was perfectly edible and extremely tasty as it was coated in the Five Spice. The meat underneath was moist and tender, falling off the bone and melting in my mouth. I enjoyed this duck meal more than I think I've ever enjoyed duck before. It was served with a mound of tiny new potatoes which had been boiled in their skins and generously drizzled with butter, steamed Pak Choi and a side serving of plump green beans made this a very filling and delicious meal.
I cannot obviously comment on everyone else food, but the fact that the table was practically silent for the 20 minutes it took for us to eat is testament to how much we all enjoyed our meals! Everything looked superb with all the food presented beautifully and not one person in our group had cause to complain about anything they ate. Even Ryan ate his cauliflower with relish!
And we had room for pudding! I shared a bowl of fresh and wickedly sweet profiteroles with the three year old, she got into a sticky mess and I ate all the fudge sauce. It was fair, you see. Everyone else had a bowl of Bread & Butter Pudding and instantly the table was enveloped with a fruity, spice smell which had me drooling!
There is a good children's menu which includes the same good wholesome ingredients as the main meals, only in smaller portions. The aforementioned sticky three year old had a child sized portion of fishcakes which was served with a lovely buttery looking mash and a nice little salad. It was a generous size and she struggled to manage it all, so I'd suggest this as a tasty meal for any adult with a small appetite.
We encountered several members of staff during our meal and they were all very impressive. Smartly turned out with an extremely professional manner, all were extremely helpful and ready to make suggestions and recommendations. There were no problems or mix ups with our food and the time it took for our meals to arrive was perfectly acceptable.
The pub is well tended both inside and out. The beer garden where we ate was neat and tidy, the tables were regularly cleaned and there was no litter at all on the floor. They even provide a bowl of water in the beer garden for visiting dogs! Inside it has a dark and comfortable feel to the décor and furnishings which just adds to the historical sense you get when you visit this pub. The toilets are spotlessly clean and very attractively designed.
I found disabled access no problem, as it was I wasn't using my mobility scooter that day but if I had been I am sure there would have been no issues preventing me from enjoying my visit. There are no steps inside or out and access inside the pub is easy because of the wide spaces between tables. There is an issue now I come to think about it which may be off putting to people with mobility problems, and that is the fact that the pub does not have its own car park. Or rather it does, but it's across the little country road I was telling you about earlier. I would worry about crossing with an elderly person as although visibility on the road is good, cars can come upon you extremely fast because of the specific location of The Red Lion.
As I mentioned earlier, this is a more expensive pub restaurant than I would ordinarily visit. The bill for six adults and two children came to a shade over £160, including all food and wine. I feel this is a highly priced menu but the quality of the food and the perfect surroundings would make me inclined to happily pay this.
A traditional country pub with a reputation of serving delicious food.