Nestled in the picturesque village of Hellidon is a real hidden gem.
It was our first visit to The Red Lion and the first thing we were struck by was the warm welcome and relaxing atmosphere.
We loved the charming mixture of old meets new; smart but homely.
Our needs were met by friendly staff who must be praised for just the right ‘tone’ in hospitality.
There's a good selection on the menu with all tastes and diets adequately catered for.
The wine list is long and extensive, but there’s also cocktails and locally brewed ales.
We both opted for a mouth-watering seafood starter featuring shellfish brandy, scallops, prawns, scampi, tomato and cream sauce. Some restaurants can be a bit tight with the seafood; I’m happy to say this wasn’t the case at The Red Lion.
The scallops were cooked perfectly and literally 'popped' in my mouth. They showcased just the right amount of seasoning. It was an extremely tasty starter.
For my main, I chose ribeye steak. It was nicely sealed on the outside but cooked, as requested, with the right shade of delicate pink in the middle.
A minor criticism; the meat was quite heavily seasoned and the salt was a little overpowering.
My partner ensured me his lamb shank was a good choice, juicy and tender as it should be.
Accompaniments included crushed potatoes and roasted roots. We had fat chips (rude not to!), mushrooms, tomatoes and rocket salad.
Our food was displayed artistically and and portions were generous.
We hardly had room for dessert, but when I saw strawberry cheesecake was on the chef’s specials, it was hard to say no.
It did not disappoint.
My partner opted for a mixed sorbet and we shared our sweets. The sorbet was both tangy and refreshing. I’m definitely more a savoury girl, but I think this cheesecake could turn me. Divine.
Had we known about the overnight accommodation before leaving our baby (Jackapoo Luna), I’m sure we would’ve booked one of the dog-friendly rooms. Yes, dogs are allowed in certain rooms and non-carpetted areas of the pub, which for us is a big tick.
So, support The Red Lion and everything it represents. You’ll be glad you did.
For more information visit [email protected], telephone (01327) 261200.