The Lion, Cliftonwood, Bristol : where to go for the perfect Sunday Lunch

The Lion, Cliftonwood, Bristol : where to go for the perfect Sunday Lunch

by Isabella Morgan




It was one of those rare weekends when we were all together. Me, Gabriel, and our 3 grown-up sons. And I could tell that I wasn’t going to be able to get away with a bag of kettle chips sat in front of the TV on a Saturday night, or a  ‘Lovely! Here’s a bacon sandwich for you’ on the Sunday morning to celebrate. Oh no. They’d come home. Together. And they’d come home expecting the red-carpet treatment.  Pressure on.

Not that they intended to stay around for long on Saturday evening. No, after filling their boots they all disappeared to the outer reaches of Bristol. Which left us with Sunday.

Sunday lunch.

And so I booked at table at ‘The Lion’,  a lovely, pretty little pub in the heart of what has to be the hilliest area in all of hilly Bristol, Cliftonwood. ‘The Lion’  itself is charming, tastefully decorated and strangely homely with enough bunting to satisfy even the most ardent of bunting enthusiasts.

IMG_2993[1]‘The Lion’ looking uncannily like my home

IMG_2998[1]Duck egg blue, tongue-and-groove, gilt mirrors, bunting, fairylights…

And the welcoming, homely feel just kept on coming at this family-run pub, with an uncle taking our orders, a nephew behind the bar,  a mother bringing out the food…


As for the menu, it offered the perfect Sunday lunch. I’d heard this was the case and I wasn’t disappointed. Just take a look –

IMG_2982[1]‘The Lion’ is oft described as a gastro-pub and so I did worry about what that might mean for ‘Sunday lunch’ as we know it. But, with the exception of a little polenta here and a creamy dauphinoise there, the Sunday lunch had not undergone excessive gastro-fication. I just wanted Sunday lunch. A traditional Sunday lunch. And that’s what I got here.

looking happy with the menu despite being  hung over from the night before
looking happy with the menu despite being hung over from the night before…

And that’s what we ordered. I had the roast beef and yorkshire pudding and it was heavenly. As for the dauphinoise potatoes, they added a good, creamy taste to the meal and worked perfectly, making me think that perhaps we should make them next time we make our own Sunday roast.

We drank, we ate, we talked, we laughed.

We drank and laughed. And ate some more…

As for the puddings. Knickerbocker Glory. What can I say? Even the name’s great. And there was custard with the bakewell!  We were all in Sunday lunch heaven.

As we left, looking forward, sort of, to a long walk back across Bristol to walk off all the food and drink, I started to plan our return visit.

And now I’m on a mission to tell all my friends about it. There’s nothing better than spreading the word about a great place and ‘The Lion’ really is a great place. Can’t wait to go back.


address :19 Church Lane, Bristol, BS8 4TX
telephone number: 07867 796961


Advisable to book in advance. ‘The Lion’ is not a huge pub but it is very popular.

Get ‘The Lion’ look : make some bunting using multi-coloured tiny polka dot  fabric, paint your walls duck egg blue (Fired Earth paint collection), put up some tongue and groove and paint it off-white, put fresh flowers in a jug on the table, put up a large gilt mirror, string fairy lights generously around the room! Ta dah!

Serves food all week, not just on Sundays!




3 thoughts on “The Lion, Cliftonwood, Bristol : where to go for the perfect Sunday Lunch”

  1. I lived round the corner from here as a student when it was a much-loved local. Crisps were the only thing on the menu then I think. I must go back and see how I like the changes!

  2. You make me want to go. Wish I had a local like that round near where I live. Next time I’m in Bris I’ll look it up.

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