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A Popular Pub Classic....
The White Lion Public House (Coventry)
Member Name: xxfoxyredxx
The White Lion Public House (Coventry)
Advantages: Clean, reasonable priced, private, unhurried
Disadvantages: Can't sit in the garden, not a varied enough menu for me, not big portions
Before I got dumped last week (long story!) I requested this link to be added on here. Seeing it added to the list I wished I had written the review before realising that the bloke I was seeing was a total fraud and a fruit loop but hey link is here now so lets see how professional I can be shall we?! lol
So my date booked us into a hotel (read Hotel Campanile review) and firstly he had booked here for a meal. Personally I had never heard of it so didn't have any big expectations of it.
The all Important Details....
The White Lion Public House
The building is a stand alone rather large, quaint looking building. A bit like a large cottage. Well kept but old looking with a side entrance and front doors which didn't appear in use. You literally can't miss it because it's like in the middle of nowhere and on the corner of the main road. Very tidy and not at all scruffy with cute hanging baskets and a nice little green front garden. The parking area isn't that large and it's round the back and I can imagine it's not hard to park here in the daytime's and weekday evenings but at weekends could be a pain and cos of the location it must be difficult to find anywhere else to park in this area if there isn't a spare space free in the car park.
We personally had no problems at all with finding a space (on a Thursday night). The first thing that my now ex pointed out was the hanging sign for the pub. So here we have this old fashioned building and the sign of the white lion is this cartoon like shocked creature that raises a smile. It's so modern looking that it's out of place but dead cool all at the same time and I'm sure it's a talking point for alot of patrons.
Oldy world and dimly it. Although old fashioned with it's low hung beams and cobbled floors, dark tables and matching chairs and benches with old time light fittings and candles on the tables and ornaments of interest this place doesn't feel tired or run down. It feels like it's been done up rather than aged by the hands of time. You feel like the owners and staff have pride in their pub. It's immaculate with no mess, no smudges and no odd smells. I felt like I could run a hand across a beam (I'm a tall girl) and I wouldn't get covered in dust and grime. It looked and felt nice.
Even though we were booked in no staff were about and we just grabbed a table we fancied, of which there were plenty of all shapes and sizes to choose from and there were quite a few diners happily munching away of which the majority were mature couples that looked like locals and although dressed smart were casual and reading newspapers instead of chatting to one another lol
Of course this is a pub and you don't have to eat here if you don't wish to and I noticed that although you could pick your own seats the majority of the people having a pint were local and regular and they went and sat at the other end of the pub rather than with the diners and what was amusing is in the pub there is no television and Manchester United were beating Chelsea (ha ha I can't resist that) and they were all supping away listening to their trannies. It was like stepping back in time and none of this disturbed us lot eating at all. This is not a rowdy pub but a very civilised one and flat caps a plenty lol
Tables already had cutlery on and were made up basically and menus were on the table. To order you take your table number to the till and rattle off what you want.
Now before we ordered food which was the main reason we went to this pub my ex had to order the drinks. The bar is well stocked with real ales, limited alcopops and fine wines, basically loads of choice. No offers are on the drinks but drinks are reasonably priced to start with. He was served immediately and courteously. The staff are pleasant, young and do their jobs very well. Dressed smartly in black, no one is hanging about although there doesn't seem that much to do it's very professional though not overly friendly. No banter here, the staff barely speak to you or eachother.
The menu was a little disappointing to me. Yes there are starters, mains and desserts but all we wanted was a main each and prices range from £6.25-£12.50 but most of the food on offer falls into the lower priced stuff. None of the food was gastro sounding. Most dishes were pub classics like sausage and herb mash, steak meals, chicken Kiev that sort of thing though I think there was a homemade chicken curry on the menu.
There was a list of the days specials but they were a take on the usual stuff on the menu so as an example I chose home made fish cakes with a dill and herb sauce and herby mash, for £6.25 from the ordinary printed menu but I could've paid double and had mango sauce instead of dill. Didn't make sense to me lol My ex had homemade steak and mushroom pie, herby mash and glazed baby vegetables. Neither of us like mash so he requested seasoned chips for both when placing the order which wasn't a problem and they were happy to meet our requirements.
We waited half an hour for the food and when it came out we got the wrong order so had to wait a couple of minutes for it to be rectified but they did hurry us through so we never tutted once!
Portions were fairly small. I got the impression this pub wants you to have a starter, main and a dessert to make you spend the money and in honesty I could've eaten all that (starters around £3.00-£4.00 and desserts around £3.00-£3.50).They are definitely trying to attract people to eat here.
My only big issue it that the waiter or waitress (in our case) came out with huge tray of sauces. I like sauce alot and like loads of different one's and there was a huge choice but she held on to this huge tray and I felt watched so took a little cos I felt I didn't want to keep her waiting. I found this most off putting particularly when trying to pour vinegar on my chips from a jug thing lol
The food wasn't that warm but it did taste good and did offer good value for money. My fishcakes and the sauce were flavoursome and chips were ok though seasoned? I somewhat doubt that very much and the edges were a bit concrete like, like they had been sat around a while waiting to be served. Ex's pie looked and smelt homemade and looked gianormous but it wasn't that filling because it was all puff pastry but he did thoroughly enjoy it.
When we were finished we were quickly tidied up and had a coffee. Coffee was almost cold but staff were wrapping up for the night and we didn't much care but it came out with different sugars, milk and cream and tasted nice enough.
Staff then ask you when your finished if they can bring the bill and you pay at your table, and this is obviously so if you choose to eat more (such as a dessert or have a coffee like we chose to) you can and add it onto your bill. The whole of the meal was uninterrupted and private. Easy to chat with no music on in this place, it's peaceful.
The only major drawback was the garden and it wasn't the pubs fault at all. They have a nice but slightly unkempt garden to the rear of which patio doors (glass and you can make faces at people in the pub if you desire) are always unlocked for us naughty smokers. As in the pub it's totally unsuitable for wheelchair users from not being able to get into the pub to begin with cos of a really narrow entrance, to uneven floors and no disabled toilet (loos upstairs). The garden is mainly grassed a few wooden benches and blue fairly lights littered the area is actually quite naturally beautiful and you think in the summer how nice it would be to sit out there in this shaded area and have a bite to eat but this is not meant to be. Why not? Well it stinks to high heaven. As I said at the beginning of this review this place is in the middle of no-where. The countryside and the smell of manure on this cold wintery feeling night was too much to bear as I chuffed on my fag that I don't want to think about what that smell would be like in the summer! Blurgh and nasty. Oh so my point about wheelchairs and the garden. Well its down a step and then up some, I'm almost sure it's impossible to wheel a chair out there!
As I mentioned the toilets are upstairs. Some rather steep ones actually I almost fell down them (must have been the rose wine eh lol) and nothing to report there really they're just decorated white loos. I'm pretty sure in the ladies that there were 4 cubicles, sinks and mirrors. Very clean and tidy and did a job.
I would heartily recommend this place to people who want that out of town feeling. This is not a chavvy establishment. This is not somewhere you have to get dressed up though not a dog-hole either. If you love proper pub grub then you won't be disappointed I'm sure this is better than average but if you have a spicier palette and want something a bit more adventurous then you won't get it is my feeling cos I didn't. Food is fresh, tasty looking and they say it's home made and I believe them. I think though I was just gutted they didn't have prawns on the menu lol.
Do be aware as well, I'm pretty sure there were no vegetarian options and there definitely weren't any vegan ones. Also if you do want to eat here you need to call the pub to ask for dining times as I have no idea of them and times for Sundays. Booking is advisable if coming from a long way as well. I have nothing bad to say about this pub, price wise in my view it's excellent and value for money. I didn't see any children in here and didn't see any children's meals on the menu but I'm pretty sure you can bring children in if eating even if not pacifically catered for but I can't imagine the staff putting up with kids misbehaving and screaming and bear in mind there is nothing for them to do here IE no kids toys or anything in the garden.
Worth a visit!
5 stars if you like small portions and pub classics!
Less from me as I'd just like a more varied menu even if not spicy I'd like a veggie option as I do like meat free days!
Summary: A great place for a family or intimate bit of grub with a loved one!