Lunch @ the Golden Lion – St Ives

The family and I popped into The Golden Lion in St Ives to have a coffee and a bit of lunch over the Easter period. I have been there once or twice in the past, which was mostly for drinks, so I had no idea what to expect for a meal. My father is a big fan of the pub and comes here frequently, so I was looking forward to seeing what it has to offer.

Advert – The Brook Pub, Mill Road.

The place is traditional, offering historic photos of St Ives and even a stained glass window of Oliver Cromwell. I thought the venue was quite nice and gave off an old fashioned living room feel. The bar is a very large with lots of space for seating, meaning it can host larger numbers.

The Golden Lion is also dog friendly, offering an adorable keg of “dog brew” in case they get thirsty. I saw numerous dogs at the bar during my visit. Extra points!

There is a large selection of beers and ales available. Most of it is rather generic but there were a few gems like Neck Oil available. Neck Oil seems to be the saving grace for a lot of craft beer drinkers in that it is their minimum standard, so they will be pleased to see this here.

We ordered coffee which was served with some festive mini eggs to get into the spirit of the holiday season. The coffee isn’t going to keep up with the almost scientific level of coffee produced by Hot Numbers but we were in all agreement that it was very nice and quite smooth.

The menu is huge. The photo below was only one side and didn’t include a separate menu for sandwiches and afternoon tea. There are the everyday staples, like fish and chips and ‘pie of the day’, as well as seasonal dishes, light/healthy bites, and brunch options. Prices are what I call ‘new competitive’, meaning they are good value considering the entire country has just seen massive inflation.

On Sundays children eat free with every adult meal ordered. It’s a 3 course meal too, which is not to be sniffed at. For a couple bringing two children, this is going to be an absolute steal.

You may think this makes it an exclusive family pub but they also do bottomless brunches for all you lushes out there. For £30 you get unlimited prosecco or bottled beer for 90 minutes with a choice of brunch options. You can even upgrade this for an extra fiver for cocktails. For comparison, Scott’s on Mill Road does a bottomless brunch for £37.50.

I also noticed that The Golden Lion has an excellent disabled toilet with easy access into the pub itself by offering a flat floor entrance.

My wife went for an English breakfast which came to just under a tenner. I think this is always a great option to judge the quality of a restaurant. She thought the eggs were good and perfectly cooked. The rest of the dish didn’t particularly stand out but by no means was any of it offensive. It was just an all round average English breakfast for a good price, which is exactly why people are visiting. We have ordered expensive cooked breakfast in the past and still got poorly got eggs, so they get points for that.

We found it strange that it didn’t come with bread or toast, especially as it was served with baked beans. I feel like this could have been a slight of hand with the price, so you are encouraged to buy toast separately.

I ordered ‘pie of the day’ which was chicken and mushroom. This was approximately £15. The pie looked great and was presented well. It was served with mash, broccoli, and carrots, along with gravy. I was expecting it to be absolutely stuffed for £15 but even though the pie tasted nice, it lacked substance inside. The vegetables were excellent.

For 50% more than the cooked breakfast, I was quite rightly expecting more and I didn’t feel I got it. The pie was not full enough for what I was expecting and I didn’t really feel like I had a good meal for what I paid. Granted, I have a big appetite but I couldn’t help but think about what I could have gotten elsewhere for the same price or less (or even elsewhere on the menu). It felt like it belonged in the £10 category with the cooked breakfast.

I really enjoyed the Golden Lion. This is not a place for foodies, nor is it trying to be. I was able to have an all round inoffensive meal that was done to an acceptable standard – even if I felt like I could have gotten more for my money. The pub is very accessible for family and adults looking to have a few bevvies, as well as dog owners. The pub also has good wheelchair access for the disabled too. This is an inclusive pub for everyone.

I’ll be back for the bottomless brunch!

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