I was absolutely starving last Sunday afternoon, you may think it’s because I hadn’t eaten anything, but wasn’t the case. I’d wolfed down a full breakfast earlier that morning, but that was filling the space created from a 12 mile run, my last long run before Sunday’s Hackney half marathon. By 2pm I was ravenous again, having remembered a good pub my brother in-law had mentioned called the Red Lion, we rang up and quickly reserved a table one of the few free tables.
This gastropub is found in Horsell, a small village in Woking. It’s an area that I’m still getting to know, but from what I could see was it’s a pretty part of the world. The pub certainly takes a prominent position in the village and was well positioned with a beer garden and a decent amount of parking.
On first appearances it was a good looking gastropub, nicely furnished and welcoming. The sort of place where I’d be happy to spend time in; whether it be after work drinks, a smart lunch or as we were – a good Sunday lunch. Even though the day had started with a downpour, it soon cleared, the sun came out, bringing out the locals so the pub was pretty rammed.
Menu-wise, on Sunday’s they offer dishes catering for a range of appetites, such as sandwiches, larger plates like steak, fish and chips, burgers, but also a two-course Sunday lunch for £17.95. Strategically placed at the top of the menu, it was the first thing I saw and I fell for it straightaway. My husband on the other hand had looked at the whole menu and picked fish and chips.
It was a busy Sunday and the kitchen was certainly bringing out dishes a plenty. My starter of mushrooms on toast was a pretty looking plate, ingredients were treated simply and allowed to shine – woody mushrooms, peppery rocket, salty parmesan with a herby dressing on toasted bread really hit the mark.
A little later, we were brought the main courses; i’d immediately picked the twice cooked pork belly, from a list of dishes where a number of others could’ve been chosen. However, I seem to have an affinity for pork belly that the others just don’t match for whatever reason. It was a hearty portion to say the least! A large base of smooth mash was topped with lots of metallic kale to counteract the porky sweetness, then plenty of apple chutney and a glossy gravy helped bring it altogether. The meat was cooked well, still juicy and the crackling was a bit of alright too. I just would have loved more of it, but I properly love crackling!! I very nearly forgot the veg, probably enough for two, it still had a touch of bite and had lots of choice with carrots, red cabbage, sugar snap peas…..
No complaints opposite me either for the fish and chips – mushy peas were mushy, tartare sauce was sharp enough, the fish tasted great and the chips were crisp and golden. There was just too many chips, but hey, that’s not really a fault, I’d rather too much than too little!!
If I’d arrived hungry, I certainly wasn’t by the time I left! The Red Lion’s a lovely spot for Sunday lunch if you’re ever in the area. Definitely one to remember for next time.
123 High Street