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“'Terrible' is not a strong enough word...” 1 of 5 stars
Review of The Red Lion

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The Red Lion
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The Street | Castle Eaton, Castle Eaton SN6 6JZ, England   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 1 Castle Eaton B&B and Inns
13 reviews 13 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“'Terrible' is not a strong enough word...”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 28, 2013

I have visited the Red Lion on quite a few occasions [not my choice] and it is possibly one of the worst pubs I have ever been to. The actual look of this pub is quaint and when you walk in there is a lovely country pub air... however, that is where the positives stop.

The service is appalling; led from the front by the blatantly rude landlady. After ordering the over-priced food from the bar [£14.95 for a paper-thin steak with 7 chips]; your food comes in a 'ping'... that being a microwave ping!

The food is tasteless, overpriced and comes in small portions. The desserts are straight out of the freezer and just pointless.

All in all, I would have rather gone to Farm Foods and sat in the aisle with a microwave.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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35 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (2)
Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Swindon, United Kingdom
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed October 31, 2012

We went to the Red Lion for a family meal. Our table was in the conservatory which was so cold that after the evening 3 of the party were ill with colds!

No one came to take our food order even though there were at least 3 staff hanging around the bar just wondering about. We decided to place our order at the bar, the food arrived after quite a wait, but even worse one meal was missing. After one of out party went to the bar to mention this, a surely girl came over and showed us the food order saying we had ordered one meal short! She was very unapologetic with us and went back to the kitchen, however she then returned saying that the requested meal was apparently sold out- ?!?!? So a different order was placed and eventually the last of our party ate.
The food was okay, average and not exciting in the least.
This would have been an okay evening, even with the meal mishap we could have shrugged it off, had the welcome we received been at all nice, cold basically like the temperature!! The level of the music in the restaurant was loud, so loud that we had to shout to hear each-other talking. One of our party asked nicely if it could be turned down at all...it was however turned up...! We asked again and a man came and got up on a chair and disconnected the speaker by us. Great we thought, we can at least hear each-other.
We finished our mains and one of the staff came to clear the plates, we were going to have a pudding as the family member whose meal didn't arrive was offered a free sweet (nice as it was his birthday), but the landlady then came to clear some of the plates and said... 'it's a shame that you can't please all the people'... we all looked at one another.. she continued 'you can't please all the people, the music is linked through to the public bar and they wanted it louder.' One of our party said we understood but we just couldn't hear each-other talking. She then walked away and shouted over her shoulder, 'well I suggest you all just get up and dance.' There was an obvious stunned silence.

No one came back to clear the rest of our plates from the table, no one came to take our sweet order so we obviously decided to leave and go home, as hyperthermia was setting in anyway.

DEFINITELY not a warm welcome in any way!

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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Travelers are raving about these Castle Eaton hotels

Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 30, 2012

Stayed for one night at the Red Lion as our first night stop from walking from the source. We have 2 dogs (no dogs allowed in accom.) but Melody the landlady had told us that her son owned a nearby kennels & he came and picked the dogs up and brought them back next morning when we were ready to leave- a very good service and the dogs were happy.
We stayed in the double room on the first floor, bathroom was across the hall. The room was large, and very well stocked with lots of nice extra touches; dvd's, tissue packs, cotton buds etc and the bed was very comfortable. We ate in the pub and the food hit the spot after a long day of walking 16 miles - we had had to get a taxi for the last few miles as the water meadows were too flooded. Breakfast was perfectly adequate too.
Melody was very attentive & worked hard to ensure we were well looked after. She wanted us to let her know in the morning if there were any areas where she could improve so was definitely keen to provide a good service. The only area I felt that let the Accomodation down slightly was the cleanliness - although clean overall, some areas in the bedroom & bathroom could do with a little more attention but that was it. (didn't say that to Melody in person as it didn't really detract from our stay) Other than that a very pleasant stopover with a great location right on the path.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Top Contributor
74 reviews 74 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 cities
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 20, 2012

Walking the Thames path with my parents last weekend, this was our finish for the day. I really wish we'd stayed just outside the village in 'the-lodge b and b' ... or back in lechlade. Can't book on the website / email, and payment is on card for the deposit.

The building is indeed 'higglepigeldy' - but that's where the charm stopped for me. We had 3 rooms on the first floor. From what I could tell there a 3 rooms on first floor, and then the family room upstairs. I think the 1st floor rooms are let long stay during the week, and residents moved out when people book into the pub.

Twin room - incredibly uncomfortable beds. We found an ironing board under the matress, and a full bag in the room (one of the long stay residents?) . Not onsuite

Room on stairs - double room, but not hugely comfy. The floor was filthy. Shame, as it's a good size. Long walk to bathrooms, especially in the pitch black at night (I slipped down the steps on the way back)

Double room by shared bathrooms was comfy apparently, but dirty cups found in room on arrival.

Shared bathrooms. One bath / loo, one shower/sink. Difficult to get hot water in bath.Shower didn't work one night. There are puff balls in there, but I'm not sure if they are washed with towels, or just reused. Both rooms could do with a really good bleech.

The landlady, Mel said she used cleaners, but I'm not sure if she takes a close look at what they've done.

Brekkie was good. Not great, but not awful. Generous portions too. Limited in some choices - no beans or brown bread.

Good parking, but if looking for parking options for Thames path walking - the town has loads of parking.

I can see why Mel (landlady) might get bad reviews - she runs a tight ship, and would not react well to criticism very well. However, when I had to go down to the bar in my towel to see if she could fix the shower, and then couldn't get the locks open on my door, she was really embarrassed, and genuinely wanted to fix it. She gave me a hefty g and t on the house whilst waiting for everyone to get ready. She had also let my parents in early in the morning before I arrived (pre walk) and given them a coffee on the house.

We had dinner in the next village north, Marston Meysey, a pub called the oldspottedcow. Excellent service and cracking food.

Single rate on a sat night was £40. It was not worth that. Had it have been £25... or even at a push 30, maybe. But even at a lower price I wouldn't stay again, it was dirty and uncomfortable. Sorry Mel. But it would be easily fixed.

NB - Another thing to be aware of - RAF (american) base is 5 mins drive away, and if there are night flights (or even warming up) I imagine it could be pretty noisy.

Room Tip: On the first floor, I'd request the double room overlooking the front car park. Seemed like the...
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 28, 2012

We booked a groupon deal for a sunday lunch here on August 26th 2012.

Let's start with the positive:
We had a sunday roast and the food was very tasty and good size portions.
The puddings were the same and a good variety to choose from.

The negetive:
The land lady was very rude and shouted at me when i queried the seating arrangements - there were 4 of us and she asked us to sit at a table laid for 8 people. She shouted and said it was infact 2 tables of 4 - but everyone was seated facing each other! Very weird and she definately made us feel on edge especially as the place wasn't full but she deliberately sat people with us on our table and we were all facing each other.

She let the side down really, because buying groupon deals give you the opportunity to try pubs out that you wouldn't normally try and hopefully return if you have a good experience. We certainly won't return due to her very rude and weird attitude which is a shame as the food and surroundings were top notch.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 28, 2012

Went here on a lovely sunny day, after going for a walk, for a few drinks. Pub is very quaint and cosy, with lovely big garden right next to the Thames. Plenty of parking at front and side of the pub as well.

Our group had a small dog with us, and when we mentioned we would like to drink in the garden the lady behind the bar said we would have to go back out the front door and round the side of the pub! She wouldnt let us walk the dog by the restaurant, which is a few seconds to the garden. Restaurant had a cold and outdated feel, and none of us would have wanted to eat in it.

When asking about wine the lady serving read the bottles behind the bar, not offering a list or any more detaills, then kept her back to us awaiting our order. Thought this was very rude and had to make our choice lucky dip style to the back of the woman's head!

My partner and I decided we would like a portion of chips in the garden, only to be told they do not do portions of chips, if you want chips you need to order a main meal, and were offered a Ploughmans. Needless to say we did not order anything.

Really the staff seemed to be trying to make it a 4star resturant rather than a cosy village pub.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 12, 2012

There are 2 aspects of this establishment that I would like to comment on :the service and the location.

Firstly the service can only be described as remarkable. Nothing is too much trouble and the landlady is the epitome of courtesy and portrays a wonderful cheery disposition. She really lives by the "customer is always right" philosophy and was born to work in the service industry.

Secondly the location is wonderful, backing onto the Thames with convenient picnic tables for eating your lunch as you sample the Timothy Taylors. A real haven for walkers. It was also nice to see dogs are welcome in the bar: all too rare these days

Stayed March 2012, traveled with family
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Additional Information about The Red Lion

Address: The Street | Castle Eaton, Castle Eaton SN6 6JZ, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > Wiltshire > Castle Eaton
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 B&Bs / Inns in Castle Eaton
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 12

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