Gourmet review: Lion Hotel still roaring at the top of town

Occupying pride of place at the top of Bridge Street, the Lion Hotel is a former coaching inn and one of the more traditional venues for a bite to eat in Worksop.
The Lion Hotel, Bridge Street, WorksopThe Lion Hotel, Bridge Street, Worksop
The Lion Hotel, Bridge Street, Worksop

The Grade II-Listed building is a hotel with two bars and two restaurants, and an excellent spot to while away a few hours over a coffee.

But I had never eaten at the Lion before I headed there one weekday recently.

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It was a rare warm day this spring and I was tempted to sit outside on the cobbled walkway to the side of the hotel or at one of the tables on the street.

But in the end I went into the bar and found a table by a window, with an excellent view of the top of Bridge Street and the Old Market Square.

It’s a great spot if you enjoy doing a bit of people watching as shoppers pass by and people head to the nearby Savoy Cinema.

A friendly waitress soon came over with a menu and took my drinks order, which as it was a working day, was a pint of Coke.

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There are a good range of options for both starters and main courses on the Lion’s menu and it was a difficult choice deciding what to opt for.

Starters include the usual classics like soup of the day and a range of salads.

While there is also an extensive list of main courses, burgers, sandwiches and panninis.

In the end I chose mackerel as my starter and a chicken burger to follow.

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The area where I sat was a pleasant contrast between the traditional and the modern, with the classic dark wood panelling of the bar offset by the lighter, more airy section close to the windows.

It was fairly quiet in the dining are but there was one family enjoying a meal and another group also came in while I was eating.

The mackerel starter soon arrived and was certainly a succulent piece of fish.

It was well presented on a rectangular white plate and served with water cress and a tasty and creamy horseradish sauce.

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It was an excellent starter, not too much to ruin the main course and tasty enough to get the taste buds going ahead of the main course.

Shortly after I had finished, the waitress came along to take my plate and asked if I had enjoyed my starter.

She also asked if I wanted any sauces or condiments to accompany the chicken burger to follow - which is a nicer touch than having to get up and wander over to the bar to pick up your own.

Soon my main course arrived with the two tiny pots of mayonnaise and ketchup I had requested.

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The burger was so large it was overhanging the bun and as with the starter, was well presented.

It was served on a small block of wood with the chips in a small basket shaped like a frier - which was a nice touch.

There was also a decent side of salad with onions, rocket and tomato.

The chips were described on the menu as ‘twice coooked’ and were certainly crispy and delicious.

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The chicken itself was tender with a crispy breaded coating.

If I had a minor criticism of the burger it was simply too much for lunchtime, and also quite difficult to eat as a result.

But this is a minor quibble and the quality of the food was generally excellent.

And with the final bill coming in at £15 for a drink and two courses, the price was right too.

The Lion is a great spot for a pub lunch and I see no reason not to consider it for an evening meal as well.

Tim Paget