Hampshire, PO8 0BG
Gluten free: Just ask
Parking: Own car park
Loos: Above average
Last Sunday SM & I went for lunch with three others to this historic pub. Friends had raved about it. Well I would agree with their enthusiasm for the décor and ambiance and the very friendly staff but perhaps not so much for the food but more of that later.
It is one of the oldest pubs in Hampshire and was built in 1147 to house the builders for Chalton Church, it was turned into a licensed premises in the 1400s. The interior is fascinating, one room leads into another, lots of oldie worldie nooks and crannies with the bar running through all the rooms. Lovely big old fireplaces, roaring fires.
Our table was in the furthest room from the entry, it was in the dogs bar (should we have been insulted?). Well behaved dogs are allowed in here and there were some lovely ones sleeping soundly. The tables are very close together, very cosy, but we still managed to have privacy.
We chose from a varied menu (see it on their website), Spicy Beef Chilli, rice, nachos, sour cream & cheese, Denmead pork & HSB ale (direct from our beer pumps) sausages, mash, peas, onion gravy and Whole-tail Scampi & Chips, peas, house tartare sauce. SM & I decided to have the Sunday Roast and in such surroundings were expecting an excellent traditional roast; sadly our Roast Topside of Beef and Roast Sliced Leg of Pork both served with Yorkshire pudding, vegetables and roast potatoes were a bit of a disappointment, good flavours but the roast potatoes were more like boiled potatoes and the meat thinly sliced. Everyone else was very pleased with their choices. Very generous portions. We finished with fabulous puddings: Apple & Sultana Crumble & ice cream, Treacle tart & custard and Cherry Cheese cake…. yummeee! We drank a bottle of a very acceptable House Red and beers.
When we left our little room at about 3pm and walked through all the rooms to leave we discovered the place was now absolutely packed, its a very popular destination! I would say you must book but they have a policy where they will only take bookings up to 12.30 pm and after 3.0pm. We booked for 12.30, earlier than we would usually have done but pleased we did.
There is also a new extension which fits in so well with the rest of the building; the walls are lined with books so it looks like an old library. For the summer months there is an enormous terrace with lovely country views. We recommend The Red Lion for any time of year!
Ladies Who Lunch: The Red Lion, Chalton scoring
4/5 Quality of food
4/5 Variety of menu
4/5 Staff and service
4/5 Ambiance and decor
4/5 Value for money
18/25 Total yummy factor
Ladies Who Lunch: score key
The higher the “Yummy” factor, the better the food and service.
The higher the number of £ signs the more expensive. (Roughly one £ sign = £5 per head).
5/5 Cannot be improved upon
4/5 Very good