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The Red Lion Inn
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Reviews (193)
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80
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8
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All reviewsthe pubcar park areaeggs benedictpleasant gardenlovely old pubsticky toffee puddingselection of beersserved promptlybar area isnice bathroomgreat food and beerwaiting staffone night staylambplenty of parkingsister pubvisiting cambridge
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147 - 152 of 193 reviews
Reviewed February 25, 2013

went for Sunday Lunch. Bar friendly although a bowl of peanuts cost £2! Restaurant dated. Ordered our food in the bar,were then ushered through to restaurant and food arrived almost before we were seated. No chance to even look at the wine list. Food was cold on cold plates and very rushed until we had eaten and then virtually no service at all. How did this gastro pub win any awards????? Would hve had better service and food at a little chef. Very disappointed. Will NEVER return

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank nellycrumb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AlexClarke, Owner at The Red Lion Inn, responded to this reviewResponded February 27, 2013

Thank you for coming to visit us and take the time to review us.
I am sorry that our food and service was not to our usual standard. We obviously have not got where we have with this sort of experience and I will be looking into what went wrong on this occasion. Thank you for you help in this regard.
Alex Clarke

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 22, 2013

The room in the Red Lion Hinxton was one of the best I have stayed in the UK. It was warm and comfortable, with an excellent shower! The breakfast service was equally brillant with the traditional full cooked breakfast along side a number of alternatives which was good to see. I would recommend the scrambled egg and salmon. I did eat dinner one evening too, the menu is not extensive but the food was excellent although relatively expensive. The service was friendly too. I would definitely return here and would recommend this to friends and famly. The price was expensive but similar to those of other local B&Bs.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled on business
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1  Thank Natalie G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 16, 2013

We went for a Valentine Special dinner. There was a set menu (with good options) but I wasn't told about the set menu at the time of booking; I would have liked to have known that. The service was fair - we were served by at least three different staff and communication between them was poor. They didn't seem all that 'on the ball': one waitress asked if she could take away our empty glasses - we hadn't actually used them at that point! The quality of food was mixed: the popcorn amuse bouche had lots of unpopped kernels, the steak was great but the chips were floppy. Overall the food was good value for money. It felt as if the team was struggling to cope although there appeared to be plenty of staff - I think communication and organisation may have been the problem. The environment was lovely. We would go again; partly to see if they are able to do better next time...so they'd have to impress us!

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Julia C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AlexClarke, Owner at The Red Lion Inn, responded to this reviewResponded February 27, 2013

Thank you for coming to visit us and for taking the time to post a review. I am glad you loved our environement and that the location, service and value were all appreciated.
I am sorry that we let ourselves and you down on the service front.

It was very odd that you were not briefed about the set menu on Valentine's night - apologies for this.
It is not in fact unusual regarding the glasses as we do declutter the table of glasses if there is no plan to use them for wine later on in the evening.
It was a shame about the mixed food experience, but glad you found it good value overall.

I hope you do try us again on a "normal" night and find a more representative experience.
Alex Clarke

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 15, 2013

We've given this place the benefit of the doubt too many times over the years. We had dinner there this week (only because the John Barleycorn had stopped serving) and it was somewhat less than average.

We like the pub itself and have been countless times. The beer is generally well kept and my wife has never complained about the wine.

The restaurant is utterly soulless despite the fact that it has clearly had some money put into it over the years. They really need to do something to create some kind of ambience in there – put some pictures on the blank walls or something! As it is, it has all the ambience of an economy hotel lobby.

We also often find the service surly. On this particular night, there was a very pleasant young woman at the bar, but her colleague that seemed to be doing the bulk of the restaurant work was clearly in the wrong job. A thin veneer of politeness failed to disguise her disdain for the whole place and everyone in it.

Food was poor (again). We wanted pub food, not fine dining, so we chose fish and chips and ham and chips. The fish turned out to be off the menu (which she could have told us when she gave us the menus) so my wife chose chicken pie and chips.

We were offered bread and butter which we accepted. The bread (a Mother’s Pride derivative) was stale – very stale. The butter was cheap tasting. When I complained about the bread being stale, the more pleasant member of staff giggled and muttered something. I’m not sure what she muttered but it wasn’t “Oh I’m terribly sorry about that sir, would you like some more?”. The pie was stodgy, old and burnt on the top. The chips were soggy (more so in my wife’s case as they were lounging in a pool of thin gravy) and there were very few of them. My ham was OK, nothing more, kind of like Tesco premium packaged ham, and anyone can fry a couple of eggs. Likewise the chips were few and soggy.

Really, honestly, this just isn’t good enough, especially for somewhere with the Red Lion’s supposed reputation. Our friends who live in the village have given up eating there after several successive poor experiences.

Our food wasn’t terribly expensive, but that’s not the point is it? With a pint and a glass of wine, it was thirty quid in total, which makes the food roughly a tenner each. However, I wouldn’t mind paying more for an enjoyable eating experience. If it had been fresh, un-burnt, tasty, crisp-pastried chicken pie, with plenty of crispy, salted chips (maybe in a separate bowl) and a big, thick piece of ham with the chips served in the same manner, we’d have been happy. But the sad, tired old stodge they served up to us just wasn’t good enough.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank IvorReview
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AlexClarke, Owner at The Red Lion Inn, responded to this reviewResponded February 27, 2013

Thank you for coming to visit us and taking the time to submit a review. I am glad you like the pub but sorry that you find the restauant soulless. It is difficult to please everyone - some really appreciate the uncluttered award winning design and oak-raftered construction, but others would prefer a busier decor.

I am sorry too that you have found our service surly on more than one occasion. I would say that we pride ourselves on our friendliness, perhaps even more than our food, and this is an area that we consistently score very highly on in our review cards. However, this just goes to show that we still have room for improvement which is important to be reminded of.

I am sorry about your food issues on your last visit. Stale bread is inexcusable give we get deliveries from the highly regarded bakery Norths from our next door village of Sawston every day. The pie is also one of our most popular dishes, so a shame that this was a poor example. The dish is normally served with new potatoes on the menu - I am sorry that if you asked for chips it was not suggested that you have the gravy on the side as it would of course make the chips soggy.

Overall we clearly let ourselves and you down here for which I apologise and appreciate your help in pointing out where we can continue to improve.
Alex Clarke

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 20, 2013

I stayed here for two nights in January whilst I was working in Sawston. The first thing that occured to me on my arrival was that they could do with a bell or something in the pub to summon the proprietor. The reason for this thought was that when I arrived at approximatley 5.20pm the pub was open but I was the only person present in it for over twenty minutes. At least it gave me to study the menus, warm myself by the fire and read the papers. I had just descided that the only thing I could do was ring the place to see if anyone elsewhere in the building answerred when two members of staff arrived to open up the kitchen to start preparing the evening meals and were able to summon the proprietor from upstairs.
Hinxton is a lovely village, delightful to walk around and the pub is a fine old building which has been tastefully modernised inside in keeping with building. The bar area and restaurant are very comfortable and nicely furnished. The food is good and service very good.
The rooms are in a seperate block in the garden. They are nice enough but not significantly better than a Premier Inn room yet I paid nearly double the price. This, along with the cost of the food is where things start to look a bit disappointing.
According to their publicity material, the Red Lion has won several awards for their food and quality of their 'luxury' accommodation. My view is that whilst it is above average if, having read the publicity material, you are expecting a great welcome, luxurious accommodation and outstanding food you will be dissapointed. It is nice enough and I would stay here again but it is very expensive for what you get.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled on business
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Thank Topdeckman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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