"what it lacks in get-up it makes up for with a good atmosphere"Review Rating: Reviewed by T.A.O
Roar! Be brave, it’s the Red Lion, Hoxton’s grimy old palace and home to hipsters since Shoreditch was a Victorian bog… or something.
This has never been the new thing and you could imagine it was built with this interesting mess of styles pre-planned. On the edge of Hoxton Square, the multi floors stockpile various brass tables, open fires, installations, mirror balls and printed walls that have been copied all over the area. It’s tatty, but the rough edges set it apart from pubs like the Old Blue Last, which spruced up and lost itself a while ago.
Nothing particularly disguises the fact that it’s a battered old place but what it lacks in get-up it makes up for with a good atmosphere. There’s sixties garage on the stereo and it’s unexpectedly unpretentious for this kind of place. This isn’t the ‘Shoreditch Friday Night’ area so you can avoid big groups and fit in with what tends to be a more mature crowd these days. The beers are standard but cheaper than most and there’s food in the way of pizza and bar snacks.
It’s a good place to start and Hoxton Square’s pleasant in itself but if you do need something a little more affected than the Red Lion then step outside because it’s all on your doorstep.
T.A.O reviewed The Red Lion on Thu 19 May 2011