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Red Lion, Little Compton, MORETON-IN-MARSH, GL56 0RT [Map]
Firstly,do note that this is the Red Lion in Little Compton. There's also another pub of the same name in Long Compton a couple of miles away. If you like the sound of this pub, double check that it's this one and not the other!
A lovely local that I had the pleasure of visiting and indeed staying at on Valentines Day in 2000. The pub is just off the A44 near Moreton-in-Marsh and literally just over the border into Warwickshire with Oxfordshire a mere stonesthrow away and the border with Gloucestershire no more than a mile away. Chatting to the landlord, he pointed out that in years gone by the old border with Worcestershire used to pass close to the pub too. Still, the pub is of cotswold stone and even on the inside the bare cotswold stone is in evidence. The Cotswolds are certainly one of my favourite parts of the country and there's nothing better than enjoying a pint of Hook Norton, or Donnington beer during a summer evening as the sun casts its rays on the stone giving the stone a wonderful warm golden glow.
Anyhow, we were there in February when the cotswold stone looked a little chilly and were glad of the roaring fire in the lounge bar. The pub does have a public bar with a pool table and darts etc. though this was full of lively teenage villagers. The lounge bar however was very relaxing and I must praise the landlord and landlady as being about the friendliest and most welcoming in this guide. They really were the perfect hosts. The lounge had a small gathering of locals including a couple of real old characters that we found out had lived there and drunk in the pub for over half a century.
The pub itself dates back to the 16th century and sitting by the fire chatting to David the landlord with a wonderful pint of Donnington SBA (a malty beer with a hint of fruit, abv. 4.2%) discovered allsorts about this historic inn. Along with the excellent real ales they've very good food on offer too. If you plan to visit, you might like to book a table as they do get rather busy at times. Well presented carefully prepared dishes at very reasonable prices from superb homemade soups to delicious chargrilled fish steaks and even locally reared barbary duck are on offer. A lot of unusual dishes were available making it a very hard decision as to what to choose. On Sundays they do excellent roasts at lunchtime.
Very reasonably priced B&B is available. Our room was called 'Nookie Hall' and reading through the visitors book it looks like hundreds of people have enjoyed their stay at the pub as much as us. I scribbled something about adding it to my pub guide. Definitely one of my top top pubs, and this was my 150th in my guide too! Come on CAMRA Good Beer Guide, list this pub a little more often!