There’s no shortage of amazing pubs in Nottinghamshire, and while there’s many characterful options in Nottingham city centre, it’s always worth exploring a little further afield, to find a hidden gem.
One pub, which you could easily overlook if you were unaware of its existence, is The Lion – which is located next to an industrial estate, in New Basford. The location doesn’t sound particularly promising, but don’t be discouraged – this is a fantastic pub with a great selection of local ales, live music and fantastic food.
What’s more, it’s incredibly easy to get to. The tram runs right along side it, so hop off at Shipstone’s Street, and you’ll see The Lion standing tall just behind you.
If the name Shipstones rings a bell, that’s because Basford was the home of one of Notts’ most famous breweries, and you can see Shippos’ mighty red-brick Victorian brewery standing nearby.
We went along on a stunning summer evening to soak up some sunshine, and try out The Lion’s new look menu. The first thing you notice, as you arrive, is the huge beer garden that the pub boasts – and on a steaming hot day, it’s always humming with people enjoying a drink after work, and some food in the sun.
First impressions are important, and you know you’re in for a good experience when a couple of pints of Castle Rock’s award-winning Harvest Pale ale costs a mere £6.10. There’s plenty of different beers on tap – with lots of local brewers represented.
The food menu focuses on a range of topping-heavy burgers and hot dogs, with plenty of choice, whether you’re looking for a simple cheddar cheese topping or a real flavour overload, like the Big Boppa, which contains chicken, prawns, bacon and more.
I was pretty hungry, so I decided to test the limits of my stomach out, and try ‘The King’. As the name suggests, this burger wasn’t a particularly light option, containing a hearty topping of pulled pork, fried onion and cheese. Served with a healthy supply of sweet potato fries, it was a mighty, but delicious meal, and I couldn’t help but see of the entire thing.
There’s lots of great venues serving burgers in Notts, and The Lion can certainly hold its own against the county’s best. It’s hard to argue with the value either – choose even the most elaborate option, and you’ll still get some change from a tenner.
Most reviews, are based on one off experiences, but I have to be honest – The Lion’s so good it’s quickly become our local, and I’ve been back plenty of times over the last few weeks.
Whether it’s the afternoon jazz sessions that waft out to the beer garden, or Sunday night’s music quiz, there’s always something going on, and the large beer garden helps to make the pub a real all-rounder.