Red Lion, St James’s

2 Duke of York Street
St James’s
020 7321 0782

The Red Lion is described by Camra’s Pub Heritage Group as a national treasure and one of the most remarkable pubs in London. It has exquisite gilded cut glass windows and mahogany panelling but the highlights are the stunning decorative mirrors that stretch the full length of two walls.

There has been a pub here since 1788 but the current building dates from 1821, with the elaborate ground floor frontage added in 1871 by architect W.H. Rawlings. Amazingly, the door glass shows that this small pub was once divided into four rooms: a tiny bar on the left, the public bar in the middle (photo 2), a private bar to the right (photo 1) and the rear bar.

The pub is now owned by Fullers who have acquired quite a few of London’s heritage pubs in the past few years. Most of their beers are sold and meals are served lunchtimes with pies and other snacks continuing into the afternoons.

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