Old Red Lion

© Rob Greig

First impressions are, it must be said, a little concerning. The Old Red Lion is a Grade II-listed mock Tudor pub that was apparently rebuilt in 1929. Try and look beyond the black and white half-timber frames, the leaded windows and the sheer sloping roofs because, inside, it’s actually quite a cosy pub.

This former locals’ hangout and Charrington pub has been recently taken under the wing of the same people who own the Dogstar, Balham Bowls Club and the Tooting Tram and Social, among others.

The acutely traditional interior – complete with two separate bars – has been given a spring clean with a rather kitsch and eclectic feather duster.

Retro furniture from the 1960s and 1970s has been scattered throughout and, in the garden room, sneaked into numerous nooks and cosy alcoves. It feels a bit like a car boot sale waiting to happen but is just about keeps the right side of contrived.

It remains to be seen whether the young folk of Kennington can bolster business in the same way they’ve done at the Balham Bowls Club, but it deserves a visit if you’re local.

A number of the wines, of which there are more than a dozen, come in a carafe as well as a bottle and begin at £3.25 a glass. There’s the usual range of yellow lager fizz with cask lovers restricted to two choices – Doom Bar & Purity Ubu. The latter tasted as if it had been sitting there for a while and was a bit ropey (it’s normally a delicious drop), so try before you buy.

Much pleasure and no small amount of stats was gleaned from a retro football annual placed on our table. If QPR’s attendance figures for the 1976-’77 season are of no interest, then there are plenty of board games about the place and wi-fi too.

Venue name: Old Red Lion
Address: 42 Kennington Park Road
SE11 4RS
Opening hours: 4-11pm Mon-Thur; 4pm-midnight Fri; 1pm-midnight Sat; noon-11pm Sun
Transport: Tube: Kennington tube

Average User Rating

4.8 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:3
  • 4 star:1
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
1 person listening

Fantastic old pub, with beautiful decor, some lovely ales and a fantastic atmosphere. If it could sell some of the beers from the otherwise inferior Oakham pub next door it would be close to my Moon Over the Water.


I have to say this review is crap. Red Lion is a great pub - lovely staff, good atmosphere, good roast, great beer garden for nice weather days. Have also brought lots of friends here and everyone's loved it. It's not as if Kennington is another galaxy, and if people don't want to "make the journey" then fine, more room for the locals!


This is great little pub, very cosy inside, does a yum Sunday roast. It's quite quiet but it's definitely a good stop for a quiet few pints. The beer garden is really lovely. Don't take the location for how good it is, it's much better once you're inside.


This pub is really very cool. It has everything you need for a perfect weekend pint, or a cheeky couple after work. The decor is great, it has a beer garden, the staff are friendly. I have taken different groups of friends there and they all love it. It is also very conveniently about 500m from the tube.