The Red Lion, Welwyn - Review, by Hilary Robertson

Updated: Dec 9, 2019

The Red Lion is worth a detour -

It was a pleasure to be invited for dinner at the newly-renovated Red Lion on Digswell Hill, on the edge of Welwyn Garden City. Their media launch night was the staff’s first chance to try out new menus on ‘real’ customers and they excelled themselves.

The Red Lion still feels like a roadside inn, sandwiched as it is between the A1 and Sherrardspark Wood to the north-west of Welwyn. Although one of 127 businesses owned by Premium Country Pubs, it retains all the charm of a local gastropub.

I took a friend along who works in a great family-run pub, so she knows what she’s talking about, and we both had a fabulous meal. Our evening began in the bar, which shows the quality of the renovation, with sumptuous easy chairs and cushions aplenty.

The choice of non-alcoholic drinks we both selected from was as wide as you could ask for – three alcohol-free beers and a selection of mocktails made choice the only problem. I started with a Seedlip Grove 42 and moved onto a Caribbean Mule. Next time, I’ll try the Elderflower Sherbet.

We started with the ubiquitous olives and moved onto Lentil and Beetroot Falafel from the vegan menu for me and what looked like a tasty Salmon and King Prawn Pot for my friend. Our mains were equally tasty – Cauliflower Tart and Chicken Milanese, accompanied by some delicious vegetables in a soy glaze.

Completely stuffed, we couldn’t possibly find room for a dessert. And yet, we did. Cheesecake and Cappuccino was – apparently – a good partnership and my Blackcurrant Mousse (still vegan, from the surprisingly vast selection) went well with a peppermint tea.

All the staff were helpful and friendly and I was glad that it was a chilly night, because the fires were lit in every fireplace in the building. There was a warm welcome from all the staff and I’ll definitely be back – it’s worth a detour off the A1.

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