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“What a disappointment.”
Review of The Olde Red Lion

The Olde Red Lion
Ranked #169 of 533 Restaurants in Northampton
Cuisines: Pub
Dining options: Late Night, Breakfast, Delivery, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night, Breakfast, Delivery, Reservations
Reviewed November 10, 2012

We were attracted to this pub due to it being a finalist in the Northamptonshire Food & Drink Awards 2009, and actually winning the award in 2010/2011, so were naturally expecting a certain standard. Unfortunately, our experience was one of extreme disappointment, and we certainly won't be returning. The food, whilst being okay, was nothing more than acceptable pub grub!, however it was the service (or lack of it) which left a lot to be desired. The landlady was extremely offish and unfriendly which made the whole experience rather uncomfortable. On ordering our food we were immediately told there would be a delay of 45 minutes, which was disappointing as the restaurant was practically empty. Our food arrived over an hour later. That is to say 3 meals arrived, the other meal (a hotpot) took a further 10 minutes. The food, as already stated, was okay, but nothing to get too excited about, and the portions were rather small. We then ordered desserts and had a ten minute wait. We were then served another table's desserts by mistake, so had to wait a further ten minutes (by now there were only 3 tables being occupied - including ourselves, so no excuse for the delay). We then had to endure the table being cleared around us while we ate, and as soon as the last spoonful was eaten the landlady blew out the candle on our table. Most welcoming!!!!

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4  Thank Mark T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chrissienorthants, Front Office Manager at The Olde Red Lion, responded to this reviewResponded November 12, 2012

We are sorry the reviewer considered our food offering only "acceptable pub grub" as our food is generally thought of as far better than pub grub, however "acceptable pub grub" would be OK because that is what we are, a pub.....we are not a fine dining establishment with full on waiter service, in fact in a lot of pubs, you have to order your meals and drinks at the bar and provide your credit card details....neither of which applies here. Hot Pot has only been on our Menu for 3 days, all in the last week, during which time we have been run off our feet trying to accomodate all the late Groupon Redemptions, at no time therefore has the restuarant or dining room been empty, we have served approximately 40-45 diners every night for the last 5 days, with only two staff in our kitchen, I do not know why the diner had to wait for a hot pot, but I wish if this is correct that they had mentioned it at the time, giving us an opportunity to have done something about it and for that we apologise.

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Reviews (228)
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102 - 106 of 228 reviews

Reviewed November 8, 2012

My husband and I visited for lunch today with a Groupon voucher and we are very glad that we did! The pub is charming, staff welcoming, despite the landlady not feeling 100%; and the food was delicious. Unusually for him, my husband even said he would have the same meal again and would gladly pay full price for it! Praise indeed! The pecan pie was to die for. My husband rarely has dessert, he doesn't know what he's missing. We will certainly be back, thank you.

Thank Oriborus
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Chrissienorthants, General Manager at The Olde Red Lion, responded to this reviewResponded November 10, 2012

We look forward to welcoming this satisfied customer back and thank them for such high praise. The landlady here is what you would call a "real trouper", a virus would not stop her from making sure you were well looked after. The pecan pie is delicious as are all our desserts which are Free on a Sunday, so we will be delighted to see you backl for more!

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Reviewed November 6, 2012

This restaurant is a regular fixture on the Groupon listings, and having been twice, I think I can see why they continue to advertise in this way. The offer we took up (on both occasions) was two main courses for £13.50. Given that most main courses are around that price, it is a really good deal - however on both visits, we have left the restaurant feeling pleased we didn't pay full price.

The staff are adequate - they're not rude, but nor are they friendly. The first time we went, we arrived 15 minutes early for our 8pm reservation and were curtly told to go and wait in the bar - there were only two people seated in the restaurant at that time! The second time we went, the person I had spoken to, to make the reservation had failed to put it in the diary. When we arrived and told we didn't have a reservation, the waitress seemed to think that was the end of the conversation. We had to ask whether they could fit us in - it didn't occur to her to look.

The food is nice, but it's not great. I think it depends very much on what you order. I've had Steak and Ale pie & Fish & Chips there, and they were both fine, but my other half has been disappointed with both his choices; lamb shank and corn fed chicken.

On our first visit, the table next to us were just finishing their mains when we sat down and ordered a chesse platter to share to finish their meal. By the time our starters had been ordered, served and eaten, they still hadn't had it, and left without it ever arriving.

Having said that, they did make the effort to put an indoor firework in my other half's cheescake when we visited for his birthday, so it's not all bad.

Overall, I would say that this place is "hit and miss" at best. I wouldn't recommend that you go for a special occasion, as there is a very real chance that you'll be disappointed. If you're just going out for dinner, to save on the washing up, then you should be fine..... Good Luck!

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1  Thank WannabeTraveller365
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chrissienorthants, General Manager at The Olde Red Lion, responded to this reviewResponded November 8, 2012

Thank you to the reviewer for stating that none of our staff are rude, they are in fact polite and efficient, We are however sorry that you did not find us friendly......we have in the past been criticised for being too friendly, different people want different things. We are happy to be friendly on a personal level, with anyone who is obviously up for some friendly banter, however some people just want to be left to themselves. We are a little concerned that you state your husband had lamb shank, as this is something we have not had on our menu, fish and chips and pie would normally have no place on our a la carte menu, they are bar options, however some Groupon Diners, initially found our Menu a little intimidating, so we moved some bar options over onto the a la carte menu,, not everyone wants to eat the likes of Ox Cheeks, Veal and Calves Liver, which are the more speciality dishes discerning diners come here for. Its a pity you did not get to see our Cheese Board, it takes our chef a long time to plate and is the likes of which you will rarely see a cheeseboard offered,,,,,,in the middle of Service, when Adam is having to also plate starters, dessert sharing plates and cheeseboards do have to take a back seat, but they are more than worth waiting for......if we just slapped a piece of cheese and some biscuits on a plate, we could present it quicker, but thats not what we are about. The Groupon Promotions that we signed upto with Groupon end this weekend, the jury is still out on whether it is something we would wish to repeat, but we have met and delighted many new customers to the Olde Red Lion.....but we dont expect to be everyones cup of tea ! We would however wish to disagree in that Speciality Celebration Dining is always exactly that here "Special", to which there are many testimonies and thank you's.

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Reviewed November 5, 2012

Having had several visits to The Olde Red Lion it has now become one of our favourite haunts, so earlier in the year thinking about the upcoming event of my parents Diamond Wedding Anniversary - 60 years I decided to book the restaurant for our party! What a success..
The staff went above and beyond to make it a very special night for us all. Lots of little extra's, the tables looked beautiful and to serve up 30 meals in a very short space of time and for them all to be first class was jin my books little short of miraculous. They took the stress out of the evening for me so that I also was able to enjoy myself. Thank you to you all.
Lucy Howard

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Thank Lucy2513
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chrissienorthants, General Manager at The Olde Red Lion, responded to this reviewResponded November 6, 2012

We are thrilled to be one of your favourite haunts and equally thrilled that your parents Diamond Anniversary Dinner was considered such a success, after 60 years or marriage they certainly deserved it to be. First class meals, whether it be for 2 or 30, is what our efforts as a Team go into trying to achieve everyday, in the most part, like on this ocassion we get it right, not down to miracles, but down to a lot of effort on the part of the whole team and we thank the reviewer, who has had the courtessy of putting her name to this review for endorsing this.

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Reviewed November 4, 2012

Tried This Place with Family for Sunday Lunch today 4th November. It all seemed very promising as we went into the lounge and the locals all spoke to us,then the person behind the bar came to serve us, what a misery, no hello or any greeting and no eye contact.The two drinks we had came to nearly ten pounds. When our two other family members arrived we were called into the restaurant by Mr Happys wife, Mrs I can hardly be bothered these two were the owners.The food was ok but not much of it There was no offer of mint sauce for the Lamb or Horseradish for the beef or stuffing or cranberry sauce for the turkey.We decided we had more than enough room left for dessert.!! We were not asked if we would like to order dessert our less than cheerful host just stood at the side of the table and told us what was available and seemed less than impressed when we could not remember all that was said.In fact one dessert had only one portion left as this was only one thirty and food is served until three this was pretty poor.All in all nice pub, over priced food , portion size questionable and absolutely appalling mannered hosts and atmosphere.!!

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2  Thank Alison R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chrissienorthants, General Manager at The Olde Red Lion, responded to this reviewResponded November 6, 2012

I cant comment specifically about this reviewers experience, as they did not show us the courtessy of mentioning there was a problem when visiting, therefore giving us an opportunity to correct it. However, as the Reviewer dined on Sunday I can only assume as they are speaking about roasts that they dined on our £10.00 for a Roast Dinner and Dessert Deal, we run out of certain desserts throughout lunch which is served from prompt at 12am when the meat, yorkshires and roasties are all just about ready to come out of the oven to be served.....this being the reason we prefer diners to be booked in at 12, we want you to eat fresh cooked food, not something which has been sitting around for 2 hours. If we fill the 12/12.30 dining slot, and do a 2nd sitting, our chef cooks a 2nd lunch service, again so that its fresh, last weekend we were finished serving lunch by 1.45. To be able to offer this deal, we offer FREE desserts that we are clearing from the dessert cabinet, again which were all made fresh on Saturday, some may be in limited supply, especially as on the Sunday in question we had a party of 30 diners in the restaurant and 27 in the lower dining room on the Saturday evening. If we served desserts bought in frozen, then possibly we would never run out of anything, but we dont, everything is made fresh. Prior to having only one portion of Pecan Pie left, we had served approximately 6 portions to other diners. The Landlord and Landlady were run off their feet on Sunday, as you may have noticed there were no other staff and with 42 diners on Sunday, 23 of which were "walk-in diners" they possibly had little time to chat, they most definately are not miserable, working tirelessly to make sure that everything here runs as smoothly as it can, which at times is exhausting, fortunately most of the time they get it "spot on".

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