FOR a city that’s built on the banks of a river, there are few places to eat and drink in Sunderland that take advantage of a waterside view.
The Golden Lion, however, is an exception and has been for some time.
Its Wearside history spans the decades with the current building dating back to about 1910.
They knew how to make pubs back then: big, imposing buildings filled with cosy corners for “gassing” and laid back drinks.
I visited the pub with colleague Cara on a lieu day lunch outing. We had her one-year-old son Tate in tow so we were after a family-friendly pub that offered good grub.
The Golden Lion fit the bill to a tee.
The decor is pretty old school – think a mish mash of patterns and mahogany furniture – but it works well in this proper pub.
As it was a sunny, spring day we took a seat in the pub’s conservatory area which gives the best views of the meandering Wear.
Nursing hangovers, we were after something stodgy and The Golden Lion has plenty of substantial meals on offer from steak grills and traditional fish and chips to burgers, lasagne and chilli con carne.
I went with the hot chicken, bacon and cheese melt sandwich which comes in at £4.75.
It was a whopper of a sandwich filled with a big chicken fillet, thick cut bacon and lashings of cheese.
Cara’s too was a behemoth of a serving: a duck sizzler loaded with peppers, onions and mushrooms which comes smothered with a choice of either sweet chilli or oyster sauce.
For your £11.95 you also get a side portion of chips.
It was a dish with plenty of kick and bucket loads of flavour to boot.
The dishes were just what we were looking for but our only quibble is that they took ages to arrive which, considering we were only one of about four groups in the pub on a Monday lunchtime, was a bit of a head-scratcher.
Though slow, the service was friendly and the waitress was more than happy to heat up Tate’s lunch which we had brought along with us.
The Sunday lunches, served from noon to 4pm, also looked a good deal at £6.25 for an adult’s portion which includes a choice of three roasts.
Drinks-wise there’s plenty to choose from.
Prices are £2.15 for a single vodka with mixer; £2.65 for a pint of Foster’s and £2.70 for a pint of Woodpeckers.
If you’re after some entertainment to wash down your pint, there’s disco and karaoke on Friday and live music on a Saturday.