At the St. James's Palace end of Pall Mall is Quebec House, its blue and white flag jutting into the street. Below this is a small alleyway. At the entrance a sign reads 'Red Lion - London's last village pub'. Crown Passage has an almost Dickensian feel, with odd and ancient little shops, next to bustling cafes. And, of course, an old pub.
The Red Lion claims to have the second oldest continuous beer licence in London. A pub has stood here for several centuries, although the present building is probably late Georgian. An old lease mentions pub gardens, now long gone. The pub has a black timber frontage with leaded light windows. Sturdy gaslight brackets stick out from the first floor, the lights replaced by ill-fitting electric substitutes. Crown Passage however is still lit by gas. The two doorways indicate that the pub was once divided into separate bars, but now it is open plan. Even so, it's not exactly huge. The dark wood panelling and low lighting create a relaxed and cosy atmosphere. Lunchtimes get very busy and there's an overflow bar up narrow stairs.
We were working in Marlborough House at Prince Charles Garden party in September and the Red Lion became our other Office...we were very well looked after by the lovely Estonian Bar Manager....so much so, that we would all like to return for my birthday and wondered if we could book the upstairs room for Friday 25 March?
The Red LionMONTYKERNOW,
I would like to know if this is the Red Lion owned by my aunt a long time back, & was the inspiration for my great uncle's song, At the Old Red Lion. His name was Harry Champion. Real surname Crump.
The Red Lionjeanie,
This is a fantastic old pub with friendly staff and great beer. Definitely worth seeking out.