The White Lion, just off The Green at Warlingham, is a beautiful old pub, all higgledy-piggledy inside, with lots of little rooms all coming off each other, making it cosy and intimate. The nicest spot is the little snug just opposite the bar, where two small tables are totally enclosed in a wooden panelled snug built in around an ancient fireplace, which roars in the winter with logs and newspaper.
The pub is one of the Ember Inns chain, meaning there's a kind of restauranty feel to it now, and many people go there just to eat, which is kind of a shame as it's such a great old pub, and a lovely place to while away the afternoon with papers and pint, but when it's busy you almost feel as if you ought to move on to let someone have their dinner, which isn't what a real pub is about, as far as I'm concerned.
It's got a big beer garden out the back, again, ruined slightly with Ember Inns furniture bolted into the ground, but some of the older bench style tables remain towards the bottom, and there's a lovely old apple tree which the kids like to hang off in the summer, and which the landlady let me pick the apples from a couple of years ago to make apple pies with (very tasty).
The reputation is, and probably always will be, tarnished by its association with a shooting which took place a couple of years ago, but that's unfair to the place, really, and it has several hundred more years of history than that.
The pub was a disappointment for me and my friends. I have chosen this pub to have a birthday dinner of my other half. The day was lovely, so I thought that the pub with the garden will be perfect for it.
We have ordered the food and was waiting for it for a nearly an hour (50 minutes). Then when it arrived, our stakes looked like they have been burned and we actually couldn't cut it with the knife (we asked for medium rare), so we had to return our food. Then I went to get a drink at the bar and food there for about 30 minutes as it was only 1 person at the bar and it was Saturday evening. The toilets are very smelly, without locks. So I don't think I will come back to this pub again.
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