In my pre-blogging days I visited lots of fabulous pubs and restaurants. Now I write about them I feel like some of my favourites are missing out so I have vowed that I will try and re-visit the majority of them to give them the write up they deserve. A big question is, can they live up to the newer places I have been to and my ever expanding high expectations?
With this in mind I went to the Red Lion in High Lane with my friend in between Christmas and New Year. I live close by to this bar come gastro-pub and even worked there for a short stint when it first opened its doors to the paying public. It was taken over after a few years of being closed by Steve Pilling of Mr Sam’s and Toms’ Chophouse fame and, more recently, the uber stylish Damson in Heaton Moor. Simon Stanley heads up an impressive kitchen creating, what I would call, good quality English classics with a twist.
I was excited to go back with a view to write about the place and was shocked when we pulled into the car park to find it very quiet. Whenever I pass the car park is always full but, that said, it was the day before New Years Eve so it isn’t so much of a surprise. We went to the bar for a drink before being shown to our table and it was clear the barman was new but he was pleasant and trying his hardest to learn the ropes.
After being shown to our table (a lovely cosy one near the window so we could people watch) we were given our menus and advised of what dishes the kitchen were short of. I know a lot of restaurants do this but there is nothing worse than decided on something delicious and then the staff telling you there is no more of it available. I waited with baited breath in the hope that they didn’t say they were short of the corned beef hash (£14.95) as I had been looking forward to it all day. I was in luck and I ordered it while my friend went for the gammon and chips (£13.95).
I didn’t take photos of my friend’s meal but I can tell you the chips were of the chunky variety and were beautifully crisp. I was almost jealous and wish I’d ordered some to dip into that gloriously runny poached egg perched aloft my fabulous hash. The meat is akin to pulled pork and was so tender it just broke apart and melted in the mouth. The potato was cubed small enough that it mixed well with the meat but large enough that it hadn’t gone soft and mushy. My favourite part of the dish was the crisp rashers of pancetta which gave an amazing salty crunch to each mouthful. Absolutely perfect, I was stuffed after just one course but there was no way I was leaving without dessert.
Having had the sticky toffee pudding at Restaurant Bar and Grill I thought I would order the same to do a bit of comparison work… my, this one kicks it out of the park! It was moist and gooey with the bits of date that I had missed in the RBG version. The sauce was beautifully light without being too sticky and the ice cream complemented it perfectly.
I want to go back, like, now… that said I think I need to try Damson next. I’ve not been there as yet so it’ll be a change. Well done Simon and team, and thank you to the wait staff who looked after us. They were attentive and friendly without being overly so.
Many liken the Red Lion to the Rams Head further up the road in Disley… ironically we went there the day after so a blog post will be up in the next few days.
You can now book your table online for the Red Lion, why don’t you pay them a visit. The drive is worth it and you can always walk it off around the beautiful Lyme Park which, is only a mile up the road. What better excuse do you need?