The Red Lion in Ashington (West Sussex) is everything you want out of a country pub at this time of year. It’s easy to find and park. It’s dog friendly and not far from some great walks and the South Downs and it’s set in a beautiful 16th century building, with old beams, roaring fires, and some really interesting art and décor.
Where is it?
Ashington is just off the A24 and is in between Worthing and Horsham (about 10 miles from both). It’s also not far from Steyning, Storrington, and the South Downs. Ashington is recorded in the 1086 Domesday Book and the road from Washington to Horsham was apparently a Medieval drove road, whilst between 1802 and 1878 the Horsham Washington road was a turnpike. The Red Lion has been there since at least 1795 and possibly earlier, and by the early 19th century, it was a posting house. All of which means it’s full of charm and character whilst still having a modern feel thanks to a very recent refurbishment.
What’s it like?
Think lots of cosy snugs and armchair seating, intimate dining areas, a large bar, and generally lots of space whilst keeping a welcoming vibe. There’s some really quirky and eclectic art and plump cushions to lure you in for a long afternoon. Outside, there’s terrace seating and a garden! It’s the sort of place you just want to hunker down in with friends for a long time!
Fancy a drink?
Of course, there’s a wine menu (and local wines include Ridgeview and Chapel Down) and the usual selection of bar drinks (and a great range of tonics for the gin drinker). But they also have a rather fabulous cocktail menu with the likes of a Watermelon Fizz Spritz, Blood Orange & Passion Fruit Collins and their massively indulgent festive season Black Forest Martini! Happy days.
What’s on the menu?
Their menu is described as “featuring fresh flavours inspired by the seasons and modern world-food trends … [with] a broad range of premium grill dishes and plenty of healthier and lower calorie options”. Tempted as I was by the Pan-Fried Wild Scallops with Smoked Haddock, I started with a Sticky Beef Dumpling (frankly who doesn’t need this on a cold winter night) which was packed with bold American flavours, followed by Pan Fried Seabass and Chorizo.
My companion had Panfried King Prawns with Chilli and Feta … again packed with flavour, followed by linguine. And we finished with a winning combo of Chocolate Bomb and Caramel and an Apple and Damson Crumble. This is good honest food and perfect for hunkering down on a cold winter’s day.
What about the service?
The service was really good. Everyone seemed genuinely happy to be there and full of knowledge. Friendly, attentive but not intrusive!
Will we go back?
Definitely, it’s on the list as a go-to venue for getting together with family and friends.
You can find out more here: visit: https://www.redlionashington.co.uk/
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