Review on Red Lion

Michael and Lorna Mence run the Red Lion as a thoroughly traditional English hostelry that is equally popular with beer-drinking locals, walkers and dinghy sailors who come down the river from Yarmouth when the tide is right. Their pub also benefits from a great setting by the village church and the Causeway in a picture-postcard corner of Freshwater, with splendid views over the estuary.

There's been an inn on the site since the eleventh century, although the present red-brick building is obviously more recent. Inside, it now comprises a stone-floored, open-plan area with chunky country-style furnishings and pictures by the landlord's brother sharing the wall space with photographs and decorative china plates.

Foodwise, most attention focuses on the daily blackboard menu, which makes a feature of fish from the waters of the English Channel: herring roes on toast, scallops wrapped in bacon with bubble 'n' squeak, and halibut steak with lemon butter are typical. The kitchen also sends out shepherd's pie, local pork steak with brandy and mushroom sauce, bangers and mash, and braised lamb shank with mint gravy. For afters, it's tradition all the way with the likes of apple crumble, bread-and-butter pudding or black cherry trifle. The workmanlike wine list includes 16 by the glass. In the garden you'll find the Dome, a permanent marquee that is hugely popular for private events.

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Gastro pub


Lorna Mence

Restaurant Opening Times

Lunch: 12.00 – 2.30pm
Dinner: 6.00 – 9.00pm

Accepted credit cards

Visa, Master Card

Online Booking Availability for Red Lion

Facilities at Red Lion

  • Alfresco dining
  • Disabled access
  • Private parties
  • Vegetarian menu


Red Lion
Church Place
Isle of Wight
PO40 9BP

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