Awards, locals and headaches

Published on 1 August 2004 in , , , , , , , ,

It’s been over two years since it happened, but recently the Red Lion’s refurbishment was highly commended in the 21st Annual National Pub Design Awards.

It’s all to common for refurbishments to take the life and soul out of a pub, and turn it into some sort of modern, gimicky mess, which is why I was rather nervous about the refurbishment at the time – and I know I wasn’t alone.

Thankfully it didn’t happen – and CAMRA sums up rather nicely what did happen.

this pub was praised by the judges for the historic front part of the pub that preserves its traditional community atmosphere and is not overpowered by what is, effectively, a substantial extension to te rear.

CAMRA: Best Pub Design in Britain

And it’s at times like these that I miss my old local. Catherine and myself had some good times there and it’s one of only two things I actually miss about Ealing (the other one being the wonderful DK Monty’s – the best tandoori I have ever had)

Perhaps part of that is because the Red Lion was the only pub we ever bothered going into in Ealing. That’s not to say that there weren’t good pubs in Ealing – it’s just that all the good ones near where we lived, were run by Fuller’s, and the Red Lion was always far better than them (yay, even before the refurbishment) in my opinion, so there was no incentive to go to them. After all, the Red Lion had birds nests in its garden.

Fuller's sign in the Red Lion beer garden

In many ways, that’s what’s good about Colliers Wood. We now live near two good pubs – The Sultan and The Princess of Wales – so we can have a choice and not always spend our time in the same place. And they feel cosy, and I like being in them. But they’re not the Red Lion, and the food range at the Sultan doesn’t get beyond a Pepperami.

But with all that… What I wouldn’t give for a pint of Fuller’s London Pride. The Sultan is a Hopback pub which is nice, but the Princess of Wales is nearer, and they’re Young’s – sadly Fuller’s rarely step south of the river, although I can tell them that the Riverside on Merton High Street is up for lease, and if they want to take that on and sell their beer, I’d be a regular. As long as they make it nice.

And I’m sorry if anyone from Young’s is reading, but Fullers beer is just so much better. Young’s do have some good stuff but it’s mostly in bottles and I

seem to have bigger headaches after an evening of their ale. Now if they’d just do a guest…

Still you can’t have everything. We had to move at some point and it’s great owning our own home – even if we still haven’t got round to doing any decorating yet. Although I did put up some spotlights and coat hooks the other weekend…