Hampton In Arden
Open all day
The White Lion, some three miles from Solihull is on the main Solihull to Meriden Road, opposite the village church.
Originally a farmhouse this 17th century Grade 2 listed, timber framed building has been licensed since at least 1836. In 1883 licensee John Cox sold it to Davenports of Birmingham, thus it became Hampton's first tied house.
The present licensee John Moffit has run the pub for the last fifteen years and has ensured the Lion retains its status as a local village inn. Offering real ale, a restaurant and accommodation, and, unusual for Solihull, a traditional public bar.
Until recently the pub was owned by Bass, but is now under the wing of Punch Taverns. In the past John Smith's Bitter was available but at present the beers on handpump are Draught Bass and M&B Brew XI. John does not serve any smooth flow either, despite being rigorously encouraged to do so.
Inside the pub there is a restaurant open from 7-10 every night which offers a full restaurant menu and bar meals. There's also a comfortable, unassuming lounge, and a gem of a public bar which has not changed much since World War Two.
On the walls are original M&B and Bass memorabilia, around the walls are wooden settles. The only modem intrusion is a TV hidden in one corner. There's no intrusive music preventing conversation and with both bar and lounge being relatively small, compared to other pubs in the area, serves to reinforce the "local village inn" character of the Lion.
The range of beer may not be all that exciting but the White Lion is the kind of pub that is becoming increasingly scarce in Solihull, where loud music or gaming machines seems the order of the day.
Handy for the NEC.
The last eight visits over a period of nine months has seen 'Black Sheep' on tap. The beer produced by the black sheep of the Theakston family from Masham. A well kept pint and a a reasonable price too. (Alan Nixon)
I would recommend this pub, traditional in character, with nice brew X1, and a good upmarket restaurant kept separate from the character bar.
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M&B Brew XI
Black Sheep Bitter.