Review: The Lion in Farningham

Last week we visited The Lion pub and restaurant in the quaint and historic village of Farningham in Kent. It has recently been refurbished and we were invited to try it out. We visited on a Thursday evening, taking our 2 year old daughter with us.

First Impressions

Not every pub and restaurant gives you the wonderful first impression that The Lion in Farningham does. Its sprawling garden with ample seating, situated alongside the River Darent is the perfect place to unwind on a summer’s evening.

The Lion Hotel in Farningham on a summer's evening, August 2019

The river, along with its historic cattle screen and the surrounding structures and greenery mean that it is a lot more interesting than your typical pub garden.

Cattle screen and bridge at Farningham outside The Lion Hotel

The building itself is Grade II listed and, whilst imposing, feels very welcoming.

The Lion Hotel, Farningham, August 2019

I felt that there was a very chilled vibe when we arrived. The hanging baskets outside beautifully complimented the red bricks and freshly painted window frames from their recent refurbishment.

Flower hanging baskets outside The Lion Hotel in Farningham

It all felt upmarket and traditional but modern, which continued as we entered.

Open door and plant at The Lion in Farningham

We were greeted quickly at the bar with a big smile. Unfortunately, there had been a slight mix up with our booking (they didn’t know our 2 year old daughter was coming with us). However, this was resolved very quickly! Sitting at our table, I took in the interior. I appreciated its cosy, rustic style.

Food

Starter

Autumn and I shared a starter of dough sticks with garlic butter, pesto and chipotle chilli mayonnaise. Considering how busy The Lion was, they arrived within a reasonable amount of time. We didn’t feel like we were waiting for ages. They were really tasty and I particularly enjoyed the garlic dip.

The Lion Hotel Farningham Dough Sticks

Mains

I’d estimate a wait of 10 minutes between us finishing our starter and the mains arriving. However, I personally felt like this was a reasonable amount of time to wait considering how busy it was.

I had the most delicious roasted vegetable and pesto pizza with sweet potato fries, all cooked to perfection. The portions were a generous size too!

Roasted vegetable & pesto pizza

The children’s menu had a good range of choices. Autumn chose pizza, beans and chips. Her portion was really big too. I don’t think she could believe her eyes when it arrived!

Pizza children's menu at The Lion Hotel Farningham

As for my husband, he’s currently on a low carb and sugar diet because he’s trying to lose weight. However, even he managed to find something to eat without too much trouble. He had a Waygu burger without the bun, with salad and a helping of vegetables.

Waygu beef burger, salad and vegetables

Dessert

As part of the children’s menu, Autumn had a peach flavour jelly. She really enjoyed it because it was the colour orange and had pieces of fruit in it.

Vegan peach jelly

Meanwhile, I was unsure whether I could manage a dessert. Nevertheless, I really wanted one and was delighted to see that there was an option to have a hot drink and mini pudding for £4.95. It was very good and great to not have to have a full sized dessert.

Toffee milk tart

Parting Thoughts

In conclusion, the Lion is a beautifully styled pub inside and out. In addition, the staff were friendly and we were pleased with the service we received. Our food was delicious and came to a total cost of just over £54, including drinks. We thought this was fair. Looking on TripAdvisor, the reviews seem fairly mixed. However, we had a very good experience and plan on going back. We’re hoping to explore Farningham a little more and enjoy the gardens next time.

Disclosure: This is a collaborative post. We received a voucher that covered most of the cost of our meal in exchange for this post. As always, all views and opinions are honest and my own.

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