Acton – Red Lion and Pineapple

I had some spare time en route to Heathrow, so I had a little stop in Acton to visit a couple of pubs listed in the Good Beer Guide. This one is a JD Wetherspoon operated pub, which they took over in the early 1990s from Fuller’s. There seem to be different stories about this pub’s history, but it was the Red Lion until around the 1960s, when the Pineapple bit was added to prevent any confusion with other pubs with a similar name (of which there are no shortage). Part of the building is from an older pub which was mostly demolished to make way for a tramway project in the nineteenth century.

That’s the story anyway, but an 1880s map shows that there was nothing here at all, but a pub was built in the 1890s which I suspect is the older part of the current pub. It was all one building by the 1930s, so the new pub building seems to be from the early twentieth century. Anyway, whatever the truth, it’s an interesting building and the main part of the pub has a large circular bar which dominates the interior.

A sufficiently well balanced beer selection, with the Gothick Dark from Twickenham brewery having rather an attractive pump clip. The taste of it was a little less exciting, the faintest flavour of chocolate and not much else, although it’s something different at least. The staff member was conversational and engaging, so all entirely welcoming.

Anyway, onto TripAdvisor, which is something I haven’t been able to do for over a month, as there are few ridiculous reviews on Polish bars, restaurants and hotels….

“We went for a bottomless brunch nearby and here straight after. We bought a round of drinks and all was fine however, one of our party went to ask for tap water and they refused to give it as we had been to the brunch. Apparently police have asked them not to serve Aeronaut brunchers – but really? Water?”

The Aeronauts is a nearby pub which offers unlimited alcohol for brunch. The pub’s management replied that there’s water on the bar (which there is) and no-one was refused access to it.

“I too was in the group mentioned previously (in fact I bought the initial round of drinks which was a decent bit of business for yourselves and which, presumably, you would have foregone had you known we had committed the terrible crime of attending the Disney singalong brunch before attending your vile establishment).”

Calling a pub vile because they were nervous about serving drunk people? I think it’s clear what’s happened here….

Another customer questioned the management response, posting:

“I think management have got our group confused with someone else as no-one was ‘shown where the water dispenser was’ or ‘helped bring water to our table’. I do understand previous people from the brunch may have caused trouble but when you can see a group of friends trying to enjoy your pub and not causing trouble a little more compassion wouldn’t go a miss.”

But the entirely unnecessary “vile establishment” comment is hard to ignore….

“I felt i was been badly patronised by a team of youngsters who, put togheter, would have reached the age of 70y.o so,as i felt hungry,discretelly,i went accross the road and i got myself a portion of chips”freshly done”. I m sitting in the pub having my beer and a proper portion of chips till the extremelly young table service boy comesto my table and start telling me off about the chips,i explain that what i ordered and what i was served wasnt the same thing and he kept on repeating what he had already told me. This went on three times at which point i decided to make a fuss and asked to speak to the manager(probably around 20y.o)i explained what happened but,obviously,her experience in dealing with customers amounting only to speaking to drunken sods(and there were a few of them around the room).”

Astoundingly, managers aged 20 can be incredibly good….. This customer wasn’t satisfied with his chips he purchased from the pub, so instead of asking for them to be recooked, he got some from the chip shop across the road. Which seems pretty passive aggressive to me, but each to their own….. It’s hard to imagine many more non-violent ways of making more fuss than bringing in food from another establishment…..

“Male staff seem to focus on serving the many elderly, single men who frequent this place and ignore female customers”

I have no idea whether this customer comment is true or not, but it’s the first time that I’ve ever heard a complaint that male bar staff ignore female customers…. I’ve heard the reverse complaint very many times.

Anyway, the pub was all clean and organised, with an interesting choice of beers. My beer was £2.25 (or £1.75 with the CAMRA voucher) which is excellent value…..