The Red Lion at Longden Green has recently undergone a HUGE renovation and refurbishment, resulting in a rather nice country retreat. The pub is large and inviting, with lots of nooks and crannies to hide away in, a large classical dining room and pretty garden & terrace. There’s plenty of cask ales on tap, open fires, oak floors & plush rugs. What more can you ask for in a pub really!? We ate in the large dining room that had a lovely old fashioned feel to it, with dark wooden furniture and lots of pictures adorning the walls. The menu sounded inviting, lots of pub classics and hearty staples but with a few dishes that certainly nodded to more modern and inventive food. To start I went with Rabbit, ham hock and tarragon croquettes with piccalilli. An excellent portion size, and it was really delicious, the croquettes were light and packed with meat and the piccalilli packed a beautiful bold punch with its flavours. Lee had the Chicken liver pâté with plum and ginger chutney and toast. A beautiful smooth paté, perfectly pink and the chutney was seasonal and really tangy to cut across the paté. I would comment that the presentation was maybe lacking a little, but really who cares when the flavours and the cooking is spot on.
Mains and Lee went for the Steak and kidney suet pudding with colcannon mash and buttered greens. This didn’t surprise me, he love a ‘pudding’, and this one didn’t disappoint – again it was huge, and the cooking and flavours right on point. I was torn between the Tandoori roasted hake with spiced crab spring roll, fennel and cucumber salad and almond rice pilaf and the Warm crispy beef salad with sweet chilli dressing and cashew nuts. In the end I went for the latter. I was impressed with the thought that went into the dish with regard to the ingredients (and this was the same across the board really). In my salad I found heritage carrots, snow peas and lotus root, and the beef was tender and delicious. I could have done with a touch more dressing though, as it was a big salad! You’ll probably be full at this point, we were, but the lure of Sticky Toffee Pudding was too strong. We shared it (glad we did as again, a more than generous portion!) but it was excellent again. I really couldn’t fault the cooking throughout our meal. The Red Lion is rustic, hearty cooking (no fine dining here!) but seemingly with a good knowledge of flavours, ingredients & combinations. We certainly were not disappointed. Red Lion at Longden Green Website Disclosure: We were invited to eat at the Red Lion complimentary. We were not required to write any kind of review. All thoughts and opinions are our own.