The third pub on our Dereham day out was the Red Lion located just off the market place and operated by Craft Union, part of Stonegate. It’s another pub with a long heritage and has been trading here since the 1770s. A minor quirk that slightly intrigues me is that the street by the marketplace is named Red Lion Street after the pub, but recently the official address of the pub has been changed to Quebec Street.
The pub doesn’t serve real ale, so I opted for John Smiths which was served just a little too cold, it almost needed time to defrost and the taste was nearly entirely lost. However, the prices were very low and the service was efficient and helpful.
At some point a thoughtful renovation has taken place here and an interesting map placed onto the wall, something which Stonegate do a fair amount when they’re trying to brighten up pubs. Unfortunately, I’m not sure this is how the designers intended this to look.
As for the pub, it seems to be aiming for the cheap beer market and that’s certainly going to be a challenging strategy. There was loud music playing, lots of shouting, plenty of drunkenness and that’s not bad going for an early Thursday afternoon. It’s obviously not for me to criticise that as variety in pubs is the spice of life, but now that I’m over 30 I’m not sure that I’m in that demographic. Well, not until the late evening anyway.
It is what it is, it’s loud and vibrant, but not unfriendly, I can imagine that there’s plenty of interesting stories that come out of here and it was certainly pulling the customers in so that can’t be bad.