Following the six-figure renovation at The Red Lion in Martlesham, I spent an evening with friends to have a look inside and check out the menu. 

The pub reopened a couple of weeks ago after it was closed for refurbishment for four weeks.

We were greeted instantly at the front desk by a very polite waiter who showed us to the table.

We were sat towards the back of the building in a small little area, which was a lovely seat, however, it was quite dark.

East Anglian Daily Times: The Red Lion in Martlesham recently opened following its refurbishmentThe Red Lion in Martlesham recently opened following its refurbishment (Image: Tom Cann)

The lighting wasn't brilliant, and for those with vision impairments, it might be difficult to see the menu or in fact their food, which is something I encountered.

We were then served by a very friendly and speedy waitress who informed us of how long the wait on food was, which was appreciated because occasionally you attend places and are sat there waiting an age for food without being informed of the wait.

MORE: The Red Lion in Martlesham reopens after renovations

East Anglian Daily Times: The Chef's Board starterThe Chef's Board starter (Image: Tom Cann)

We went for the Chef's Board as the starter. Costing £16.99, you get a selection of five starter dishes, including cottage pie croquettes, honey and ale chicken strips, honey and mustard chipolatas, crispy squid and garden pea houmous with sourdough shards. It said on the menu it serves 2, but can easily feed three or four people.

We all agreed the croquettes was the favourite starter on the board with chunks of meat, potato, veg, all crammed into a flavourful ball. The sausages were glazed and flavourful, with the squid and chicken strips having the right amount of batter which was crispy, and importantly, not greasy.

The pea houmous with sourdough shards was light, fluffy, creamy and smooth, however, the sourdough shards were forgotten so we had to ask for them, but we were quick to receive after asking.

East Anglian Daily Times: The Chef's Board for starter featured five different smaller startersThe Chef's Board for starter featured five different smaller starters (Image: Tom Cann)

Now for the mains, I went for the slow cooked Steak and Ale pie, one of my friends went for the chicken burger and the other opted for the lamb shank shepherd's pie.

Firstly the shepherd's pie, which was the most expensive item on the menu, costing £24.49. It received high praise however, with the claim that it was the best meal my friend had ever had.

She said it was seasoned beautifully, lamb fell off the bone, rich mint gravy, and it was well worth the price.

East Anglian Daily Times: The Lamb Shank Shepherd's PieThe Lamb Shank Shepherd's Pie (Image: Tom Cann)

East Anglian Daily Times: The Chicken BurgerThe Chicken Burger (Image: Tom Cann)

The chicken burger, my friend said the bun was stale, however, it was a big portion, and the chicken was very succulent. The smoky bacon was cooked perfectly, and the spicy mayo it was served with made the meal.

I thought my steak and ale pie was absolutely lovely. It was a massive portion too which helps.

The vegetables were cooked to perfection in my opinion, which is slightly underdone so they are still a little crunchy, and there was a generous jug of gravy to go with it.

East Anglian Daily Times: The Steak and Ale pieThe Steak and Ale pie (Image: Tom Cann)

East Anglian Daily Times: The Steak and Ale pieThe Steak and Ale pie (Image: Tom Cann)

The pie itself was huge, the pastry was perfect, the steak was tender and the flavour was great.

For afters, two of us went for the salted caramel sundae, while another went for the bakewell tart.

The sundae was lovely, had a generous amount of caramel sauce throughout, nice brownie at different levels, with a good amount of ice cream.

East Anglian Daily Times: The Salted Caramel SundaeThe Salted Caramel Sundae (Image: Tom Cann)

East Anglian Daily Times: The Bakewell Tart with custardThe Bakewell Tart with custard (Image: Tom Cann)

The bakewell tart came with lots of custard, and had big chunks of cherries within complete with a lovely almond taste.

All in all, we rated the food a five out of five for all courses.

The recently refurbished toilets were lovely. They were spacious, clean, smelt nice and were easily accessible.

East Anglian Daily Times: The Red Lion in MartleshamThe Red Lion in Martlesham (Image: Tom Cann)

On accessibility, it was brilliant for those less abled, with a ramp to go in, and tables on one level, as well as access to the garden straight from the car park, so on summer days, you won't even need to go near a step to sit outside.

In conclusion, I can't fault the food, it was impeccable. The service was very friendly and quick. The restaurant was clean and spacious. A great experience and would recommend to anyone.

Our food reviews are always independent. They are the opinion of the reviewer based on their experience of the venue when they visited. The establishment is not aware of our visit, is not informed we intend to write a review and bills are paid by the reviewer.

The choice of places reviewed is also independent and is not based on venues which do or do not advertise in our publications.