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Old Red Lion

Bars and pubs, Pubs Kennington
3 out of 5 stars
5 out of 5 stars
(20user reviews)
Old Red Lion856_RG.jpg
© Rob Greig

Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars

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.



Address: 42 Kennington Park Road
SE11 4RS
Transport: Tube: Kennington tube
Opening hours: 4-11pm Mon-Thur; 4pm-midnight Fri; 1pm-midnight Sat; noon-11pm Sun
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Users say (20)

5 out of 5 stars

Average User Rating

4.7 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:15
  • 4 star:4
  • 3 star:1
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
1 person listening

What a snooty review from Time Out! The Red Lion is a traditional but casually cool pub that has a good vibe but doesn't wear it's hipster bullshit on its sleeve. Concerning only if you're used to West End wine bars and overpriced Hoxton pubs.


It's a boozer. Like, a proper boozer. The kind you used to get with old guys sitting at the bar and the tang of hot fat on Sundays. It's also got a rather esoteric collection of dolls houses if that's your thing too.

Comfortable, warm and welcoming atmosphere. Great garden to eat out in during the Summer months. Generous meal portions at reasonable prices and a Bloody Mary mixture that is unmatched anywhere.

It's a traditional old-fashioned pub with a great atmosphere very friendly efficient staff. It's good value and I particularly enjoy the vegetarian roast lunch on Sundays.

Birilliant venue for parties, good food,good beer, good vibe, great staff

Great food, good crowd and wine served in little decanters. What's not to like? Also a great beer garden and good collection of creepy dolls houses and retro board games (1984 junior trivial pursuit anyone?)

5 star on personal experience - great chips, really nice rum! We go to the monthly Rock n Roll dance night, (1st Saturday of the month.) - our non-dancer friends come along for the atmosphere - friendly staff, nice garden, and according to those who drink it, good selection of beers.

It's a gem. Staff are wonderful. People are relaxed and unpretentious. Beers are great and varied. Music is chilled and cosy. Too many bars are clicky London pomp, the ORL really is a safe haven for normal people. Long live the ORL


Imposing mock tudor building that pulled us in through the door.  Loved all the different areas, bric-a-brac and games.  Good choice of beer, too - my partner knows a lot about "real beer" but had never heard of "Volden" before - he gave it the thumbs up.  Only downside is a very unloved outside space.

The Old Red Lion is a proper British pub. Somehow it manages it to pull off being a great local whilst also being cosmopolitan. I feel truly lucky to have it within staggering distance of my front door

The Old Red Lion is a proper British pub. Somehow it manages it to pull off being a great local whilst also being cosmopolitan. I feel truly lucky to have it within staggering distance of my front door

I dimly remember a time when I was a bit nervous about stepping in here, but since the Old Red Lion was acquired by Antic it's become a regular bastion of the Kennington community. It has to be said that once you've been to more than one Antic pub the specialness starts to diminish, but it's a lovely, lively welcoming place.

It's ace. Great beer selection, killer board games, decent scotch eggs. Sometimes they put on folk music nights too, but given that this is one of the best pubs in this part of London, you can forgive them that.

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.

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