Red Lion [Sturminster Marshall]

I don't know why but I am always surprised by the quality of the meals we have at the Red Lion. It is not a local to us by any means so we only get there every three months or so but we have never been disappointed. As always, I say this is a personal opinion, the Red Lion will not necessarily appeal to every one; it depends on your expectations I guess.

Sturminster Marshall is not Dorset's prettiest village by any means but the Red Lion is situated in the old part of the village opposite the church and next to the old school. It is a pleasant corner of what has become quite a large community over the years but don't be put off by the approach to the pub. I hope that doesn't make the village sound like a dump, it isn't meant too and it isn't a dump; just a bit 'workmanlike'!

The Red Lion is just a village pub, family run and it has many of the features we have come to expect and love in Dorset pubs. It is what it is and does not pretend to be anything else. It has the usual mixture of tables and chairs that one finds in these pubs and the walls have an array of photographs, many of Sturminster Marshall in years gone by. The pub does have a restaurant but this is not usually open at lunch times and so you eat in the bar which is also used by the odd local wanting a pint at lunch time. 

The first sign that maybe this pub it is not entirely what it appears is when you look at the menu. The menu changes every couple of months and there are no 'pub favourites' here, each meal is carefully chosen and has a unique appeal. There are usually only eight or so mains but even so we are always left debating what to have from a number of options! This is not a 'chips with everything' pub although there is usually an option that includes chips. The menu has options for vegetarians, lovers of roasts, a fish enthusiasts and those who like a spicy stir fry too. Once the decision is made and the order is off to the kitchen the next sign this is not just a 'pub' is when you taste your meal. I repeat, we have never been disappointed and always enjoy what we have ordered. I always think it 'punches above its weight' if you follow my argument.

The downsides? The only one that we would pick up on is the bar area is not that big and as it can be popular at times we can trek across there only to find it full! As a result we now get there for 12.00 when it opens and usually go early in the week. 


 

 

Headline Punching above its weight
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Date of last visit Tuesday, 17 April, 2018
Date of Review Tuesday, 17 April, 2018

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