Tuesday, 18 October 2011

"Battle of The Sexes" THE RESULT

Warming Up !
 So, our inaugural beer & food match in the distinguished company of John Keeling & Melissa Cole (to whom we both owe a great big thank you) & under the heading of  "Battle of the sexes" has passed & ended up as a resounding success.
It was one of the more difficult functions we've ever catered for but it was not as if we slid into the beer & food match world gently in any way.
Getting in the flow....

We entered into it with a four course meal, the starter was made up of four separate components alone, the main was two plus each course was matched with two rival beers, which meant that the sixty people booked each had to be delivered sixteen different beers throughout the evening, (needless to say sobriety was not in much evidence come taxi time)

Pass the "Canopys" Mavis...

It also had to be timed such that the beers were at the correct temperature in the correct order at the correct point in the meal, to call it a logistical mind bender would be one description for it, although our poor assistant manager who's task this was had a more flowery version.! The food was not standard fare either there were some quite "challenging" dishes (again not a term our chefs used during service ) including a Fatt Putt , Lahmacun and Salt cod Brandade all made from scratch, Irish rock oysters to open as close to service as possible & not to mention caramel tarts & pear tatins all individually crafted. One of the main focuses from the chefs eye view was to deliver as much fine flavours as possible in the food to compliment & match all the excellent beers chosen by John & Melissa.
The man speaks !
It would have been easier to cook up a few sausages, serve a chocolate cake & bang out a cheese board but this was not what we were aiming for. We have set our own high bar for beer & food tasting here at The Red Lion and enjoyed it immensely, now watch out for the sequel in the Spring, It's going to be huge...trust us !

By the way forgot to mention, Melissa launched her new book "Let Me Tell You About Beer: A Beginner's Guide to All Things Brewed" well worth it. And finally if you wondered, yes, the stronger sex did win....... 

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Thanksgiving in Barnes

Brits !! Please don't be shocked.....

Regulars, & those in the know, are aware of one of biggest success stories in the form of our now famous Thanksgiving Dinner, not a gimmick, but a bona fide night for our friends from "across the pond" to celebrate their holiday away from home in our beautiful pub in wonderful Barnes. Always a sellout night with bookings rolling over from year to year & a true family occasion. Whether your an expat, tourist, or somebody just caught temporarily here in London you are more than welcome to spend an evening in the company of your fellow Americans (of which there are quite a few)
 We are now taking bookings. The menu is as authentic as it can be with a British cook in charge, but with eleven years of hosting this event under our belts I can truly say we do not do a bad job. If you fancy it, BOOK NOW or you will be disappointed.....really, do not hesitate.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Fox hunting in Barnes !!

My favourite seasonal ale is currently available here at the moment in the form of "Red Fox" it is 4.8% abv & stunning in both appearance & taste with it's tawny red colour, & delicious malty flavours. It is brewed with toasted oats to give a deliciously distinctive biscuity note and rich mellow aftertaste. I would like to think that it's solely down to my moaning that Fuller's have decided to make it available for a touch longer than previous years, so I won't disappoint and I promise to keep it on as long as I can get hold of it because the poor beast is being pursued & hunted down by the current "teachers pet" of the brewery, in the shape of "Bengal Lancer" at 5% abv it is pale amber in colour & full-bodied with a distinctive hoppiness that marks it out as a true India Pale Ale. It is brewed using the finest English malt and Goldings hops to evoke memories of the first versions of this beer. It has a superb refreshing style & if you haven't tried it yet it will be here towards late October so make a mental note & don't miss out. There are also  some brand  new Ales on their way from the brewery very soon, watch this space to find out what they are & when you can sink a few pints !

Monday, 12 September 2011

"Battle of the Sexes".. A Beer & Food match with a difference.

Finally the time is here to unveil an event we have been planning for some time.

We are calling it "Battle of the Sexes" it is a beer and food matching event with a difference. It is an evening in the company of two great minds of the beer world and a fantastic chance to glean some valuable knowledge about the flavours of different beers and how they compliment a whole array of foods. It is an evening that will involve a carefully written 4 course menu all matched with different beers.
 The twist in this evening is that the beers will be chosen by two completely different representatives of the universe, yes, you've guessed it, one is a man and the other is..shock horror, (wait for it) ...a real life woman !

Your job is to decide who is right, if at all either.

The experts in question are old foes and sparring partners in the shape of, John Keeling, Fuller’s master brewer with over 40 years experience, and well respected the length and breadth of the country for his expert beer making skills, and Melissa Cole, the leading beer writer and journalist, author of girlsguidetobeer.blogspot.com and her up and coming book “Let Me Tell You About Beer: A Beginner's Guide to All Things Brewed”, Melissa also regularly writes for the Guardian, and is an expert on food and matching the hidden flavours that lurk beneath the surface.

Both John & Melissa will choose a beer to match each course of the dinner, both will have had time to consider flavours they are matching it with, but they will not know what each other has chosen right up until literally the last minute.
As you can, hopefully, tell it is going to be a tongue in cheek, good humoured night, plenty of banter and a few chances available to score a few points against the weaker sex, which one is the weaker ? well that’s for you to decide, but you better be sure, if you know what’s good for you.

The cost is £25 per head, tickets are now on sale and there really are limited spaces. Call in, call up or drop us an email now.

Friday, 20 May 2011

"Sunday Lunch"... it says it on the tin.

Yorkies with everything.
 Our first post in what seems like an age. We are almost through May now, with the BBQ season in full swing & quite a lot of Bank holidays already under our belt. We have hog roasted, whole lamb roasted & regularly spit roast chickens in the garden, but it is Sunday Lunch that is still as crazy as ever, with the usual queues forming outside the front of the pub come opening time. These are the regulars who know that we have a no bookings policy & want to secure their table early on, a wise choice and well worth the sacrifice.Our Sunday lunch is one of the best known in the area, another fact we are proud of.

Arise!  Sir Loin
  As you can see we make everything on the day, with duck fat roasted potatoes, glazed carrots, fluffy Yorkshire pudding, swede & carrot mash, plus at least two other seasonal vegetables. The gravy is made from a stock pot that has been on the go from three days hence.

A shank so soft, you can leave your teeth at home.

 The meat choice usually comes in three forms - Sirlion of Beef, Whole Roast Chicken for two to share or Slow roast Lamb Shank that ,come service, is clinging on to the bone with every last ounce of it's ever diminishing strength.

  We fully appreciate the Sunday Lunch trade is a done deal in pubs & restaurants up & down the country. We do not pretend to be a market leader using rare breed this & that or organic home grown that & this from the farm next door.(There IS no farm next door, only a used car dealership !)
  What we offer is a good quality, carefully considered, well cooked plate of food that you will eat, hopefully enjoy, and then leave contented that it has done exactly what it said it would on the tin.
  In fact that pretty much sums up our ethos about food at The Red Lion Barnes, we employ chefs, yes they know what they are doing, yes they are trained & yes, they can cook,  they enjoy their work & they work hard. We are not trying to gain a Michelin star,(unless you know someone who is giving them away) we just aim to feed normal people and make them happy - Simple !........well it's not, but we make it look like it is !

Well, what you looking at ? It's Steak & Chips of course !!

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Spring Sprinter

A surprise package hit the bar last weekend in the form of a brand new ale from the brewery called Spring Sprinter it is available during April & May & is a light zesty ale with a real spring in its step. Brewed to 4% ABV with Nelson Sauvin hops harvested in New Zealand, this wonderful beer has subtle gooseberry flavours which are balanced perfectly with the biscuity sweetness from the English malts.
We are recommending it to go with our famous London Pride battered Haddock & Chips as perfect accompaniment. Give it a whirl some time, it really is that good, especially in our garden with the sun on your back, what could be better.

Thursday, 3 March 2011

It's all about the drink.

One thing that has not yet been given coverage on the blog is our selection of drinks available, silly really considering it's a pub & all!.
Of course we offer the usual pub fayre & are continually on the lookout to keep up with the pack & serve the latest offerings whilst trying not to alienate our market, in that, just because, we, know about products, from within the trade and/or think they are cool , it doesn't follow on that customers actually want them. So whilst we do keep up to date, we also keep it real.

Malt Selection

We try to not to over stock , thus you won't find that old bottle of Creme de Menthe on the back of the bar gathering dust since 1989 !, nor will you find the entire range (or indeed any) of Bacardi Breezers or any other sickly alcopops.

Sipsmith Gin, amongst others.
But we do have most bases covered. We have recently revisited our Malt whisky selection, dumped a few, & got in a few newbies, Glenrothes, Auchetoshan & the Welsh Penderyn being the latest additions, I am seriously considering holding a bottle of Johnny Walker Blue label , but will probably wait until the demand increases ! We are also very happy to be stocking Sipsmith Gin, from just over the bridge in Hammersmith.

Whatever we do.......

Our biggest focus are our Cask Conditioned ales, always Fuller's own & being a "Mastercellerman" means that the ales are always served in peak condition. The stalwarts of the bar are London Pride, ESB & Chiswick with the fourth being the seasonal option. Fuller's London Porter & Organic Honeydew are also available as a kegged version, both of which have a very popular & loyal following. (The chef can't keep his hands off our London Porter, you will often find it used in our cooking)

The wine list is carefully chosen and most varieties & countries have a fair representation.You can view the complete list over to the right hand side of here.

Boon, Kreik & Framboise.
We are not a big bottle beer pub, but are extremely happy to be one of the few selling the Swedish cider ,Rekorderlig, it is proving to be very popular and will be interesting to see how it sells this summer. We have an exiting secret planned on this but am not telling yet.
Also available are the Boon, Lambic fruit beers, Framboise & Kreik, they have a solid fanbase from our aficionados rightly so, because are very delicous & a premium product.

Ringden Farm Apple Juice

Soft drinks are a large part of our portfolio, we have a good range of the Bottle Green Presses along with Ringden Farm apple juices, a firm favourite with our younger clientele.

Bottlegreen Presses

Our hot beverages offer most of the Twining tea varieties, herbal, fruit or otherwise, the obligatory coffee selection and our famous deluxe hot chocolate, with chocolate spoon, cream & marshmallows.

V.I.P nuts

Last but not least is one of our favourite products VIP nuts, believe it or not another one of our locally sourced products.Available loose from kilner jars, a perfect accompaniment to that long deserved drink.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

The Hallowed Turf.

We have had a little work done !
 Last week saw the refurbishment of our beer garden, with no expense spared, we have had an irrigation system installed and brand new turf laid, as you can see is was a big job. It should  be ready to use in about six weeks. We are proud of the fact that we have one of the best beer gardens in London, and are keen to keep it that way.
It would have been easier to deck the whole lot, in fact somebody even suggested AstroTurf ! - can't remember who that was -perish the thought.

So it took five days of hard labour and are we extremely happy with the results. All we have to do now is ... nothing, something I am very good at, or so I am reliably informed.

Where's my grass gone dad ?

Half way there !


Sunday, 6 February 2011

Snowfall, December 2010

Red Lion from Elm Grove Road corner.
 Just in case the weather is not getting you down enough and you are not longing for lazy summer days, hog roasts & BBQs in our garden, as depicted on earlier posts in our blog. Here are some snaps of the pub during last year's snow, oh what short memories we have ! As one of my locals told me, he likened it to a visit form the "in laws", great to see them, but can't wait to see them go - or words to that effect !

Snow covered decking

A snowy front.

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Burns' Night passes by...

Thanks to all who came & enjoyed our inaugural Burns' Night, it was a massive success & was fully booked up with two weeks to go, I would like to thank Mr Julian Glover & his lady wife Ms Isla Blair for their beautiful readings & input, Mr Mark Cockram (Cockram Books) for hosting, although being a bonafide sassanach, done a Stirling job , Mr Charlie Ward http://www.london-piper.co.uk/home on the pipes & Mr John Canmore for his excellent renditions. Everybody thoroughly enjoyed themselves, I think we can safely say it will now be a regular feature at The Red Lion Barnes for many years to come. If you missed out, sorry, but at least you can book early for next year !

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Burns' Night at The Red Lion Barnes.

You are able to view our menu for Burns' night by clicking on the picture, left.
It is going to be a good night, We have some thespians involved there will be a piper, whisky,and a freshly shot haggis !