Our family’s favourite pizzeria in Ealing is Santa Maria, it only seats 2o people or so and serves amazing no-bullshit Napoli pizza. It also has an equally no-bullshit door policy, and quite rightly so: no reservations. You arrive, if you can you sit down and eat. Recently, with it’s popularity exceeding the capacity, they suggested that those waiting should leave their mobile phone number and have a drink in the excellent pub next door, The Red Lion. When a table was ready, the recipient of the phone call had a limited amount of time to dash over and claim the table. I guess gradually over time, someone suggested that they serve their pizza in the pub, so that’s what they have done. They cut a door between the two establishments and you dine with both sides of local excellence with two individual bar/restaurant tabs.
The Red Lion has always been an excellent pub, and has the unofficially known title of Ealing Studios stage number five. You don’t have to imagine very hard of a scenario for a tense moment of shooting “Shaun Of The Dead” where the director shouts out “Where the fuck is Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, we’re shooting the fart scene for christ sakes…”, only for a key grip, or best boy to mutter “Their rehearsing at stage five again…”, and then the director marches across the road and openly bollocks them in the pub. And I’m there, witnessing it all. Or maybe not, but this is my website, so I can dream all I want here.
Try the meatballs.