I used to visit the White Lion on Oak Street in Norwich regularly and indeed had my 40th birthday get together there as well. However, in recent years, the bright lights of the Artichoke, Plasterers, Leopard and King’s Head have shone brighter, and they’re also much nearer to where I live, so I haven’t visited much.
And here’s one of my favourite photos, Andrew and Susan enjoying themselves, with an eight year old looking Nathan serving behind the bar. Hopefully he won’t read this before we go to the pub tonight…..
Anyway, I went back at the weekend as it was the Legstretchers Christmas party. This is the very exciting long-distance walking group of Norfolk Ramblers that I brought back to life in 2016, but I retired a couple of months ago and Maria and Stephen have now taken it over. Maria had a marvellous idea to host the Christmas party at the White Lion, so I felt the need to go along.
The food and drinks menu….
Back in the day, the White Lion was a cider pub and probably the best in Norwich, an award it frequently won from CAMRA. I had the Black Prince Porter from Bexley Brewery and the Kaiser from Welbeck Abbey Brewery, which were both well-kept, but they weren’t the most exciting and there was a limited depth of flavour from either. The keg selection of beers at the White Lion is quite weak, but at least they’ve got a number of real ales available.
The burger, which was sufficiently meaty and tasted of a decent quality, with the wedges being cooked perfectly. I didn’t quite work out what the slightly hard lumps on the burger were, but the coleslaw was very moreish. A number of our group was eating and everyone seemed happy with their food, with the portion of nachos looking very generous.
After we had listened to Richard sneezing, this was my attempt to teach everyone the rules of bar billiards after the meal……
On the service, well, that was excellent. The member of staff behind the bar was engaging, friendly and personable, so the welcome felt authentic and genuine. Indeed, all of the staff members were warm and hospitable, there’s a really good team working here and they were a great credit to the pub. This feels like a really well-run pub and I suspect that someone new to the area who wanted to meet new friends would have some success here, a key measure of a venue in my eyes.
If I’m being honest, the beer selection isn’t quite decadent enough to tempt me away from my usual haunts. However, what they had was well-kept and the pub is offering one of the best welcomes that I’ve had this year, so that’s all really positive. I’m sure that I shall visit again, perhaps on a more regular basis to recent months. I’ve never had the Sunday lunch here, either because I’ve been walking or out of the country, but it’s well reviewed and I will get the chance to try it one day…..