The Red Lion
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Popular pizzeria Santa Maria spreading its wings to the pub next door.
The rather tiny Santa Maria pizzeria nestled in the ‘villagey’ part of Ealing has outgrown its premises. Well, when you’re serving some of the best pizza in London, what do you expect? In a novel fashion, rather than move to a larger place, the restaurant has expanded into the pub next door: the ever-popular Red Lion. Before any hand-wringing commences, this has entailed little change to the much-loved boozer. It’s still a Fuller’s pub, it’s still serving a couple of guest ales (on our visit, a rather nice Butcombe on tap) and it’s still oversubscribed. But make no mistake, the punters tend to turn up for the food rather than the beer these days, and there’s a constant queue for tables.
The pizzas run to around 16 varieties and, as the locals will tell you, they are quite superb. Neapolitan in essence, crusts are pillowy and chewy, bases are thin and just about able to hold the toppings while absorbing that sweet tomato sauce. Strangely, waiting staff only take food orders, so we had to repair to the bar for drinks.
Becoming pub landlords was a grand idea from Santa Maria’s Italian owners, but has it eased the pressure on the pizzeria? No, it’s just added to it. Sipping pints with a side of pepperoni seems to suit the locals very well indeed.
13 St Mary's Road
|Transport:||Tube: South Ealing. Ealing Broadway rail|
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