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Star Rating

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The Castle Gastro Pub

15 Grosvenor Rise East,
Walthamstow, 

London, E17 9LB   map

Tel 020 8509 8095

Web site


The Castle has been under new management for about 6 weeks.  Looks just the same – comfortable, slightly quirky; something between a pub and a restaurant, and the balance is just right.  Good draught beer, including Timothy Taylors ‘Landlord’ bitter (I had a nice pint of “Sussex” for £3.50), and an interesting menu on Sunday – the traditional roasts had gone by the time we arrived at 8:30. I had a chargrilled ‘bone in Angus rib steak’ with delicately seasoned ‘chips’, horseradish and a salad (£16). The missus had marrow stuffed with roast squash (butternut), tomato and brie, with a spinach & hazelnut salad, while our companion had beetroot fritters with beer braised lentils & tomato – those two were under a tenner. I hogged out with a Raspberry Bakewell with clotted cream (£5). It was great – we all felt pleased, relaxed and satisfied afterwards. Service was exquisitely calibrated – unobtrusive,but attentive and warm. We’ll *certainly* go again, and we wish Adam and his team the success they deserve.

Phil
Posted 17 September 2013


NOW UNDER NEW MANAGEMENT August 2013


Being locals we visit this pub roughly once / twice a fortnight, usually during the week.  We had the very unfortunate (and, from reading other reviews) not uncommon experience of having to deal with the extremely poor service … Saturday night… 

The meal took almost 40 minutes to arrive - and we had ordered before the pub filled up... when I asked the manager if there was a problem in the kitchen he … went away to the kitchen, came back and said they were plating up - which, given the food did not arrive for another 8 minutes … they have a snail working in the kitchen!

The food was good – but this is NOT A GASTRO PUB!

After our meal my partner, on returning from the bar, caught her clothing on a poorly finished piece of furniture - causing it to run badly and ruining the dress.  On leaving she attempted to take this matter up with the manager... who … ran away to the kitchen and did not return.  My partner was extremely upset.

We have always enjoyed going to this pub on a Friday, where the staff are very friendly and engage in good natured banter... however, … we will now be taking our custom elsewhere - as well as following up through small claims, the local borough re the licence and the publican …

Gen
24th March 2013


I hate to knock people. But I felt moved to write a review after an appalling meal at the Castle. For the record, I often have Sunday roast here. I have even recommended it on food and drink sites as the best roast in London. And normally it is excellent. I often come here with my ex-wife and daughter, and usually enjoy it, even if the place is increasingly packed with the annoying new arrivals from Stoke Newington that are ruining Walthamstow Village (strident middle-class women, annoying blokes in skinny jeans with flat caps and goatees, you get pic) and their overly-confident, out-of-control children. 

Still, you pays your money, an' all that.

Anyway, I went there last Sunday with my friend Lucy. We arrived at 5pm, and the place was in chaos. It was Mother's Day and the small kitchen was groaning under the weight of 278 covers, as I was told. We saw lots of dishes being sent back, and one group told us their meal had been shocking, advising us to go elsewhere. But things seemed to be quietening down so we thought we'd give it a go, and ordered one beef and one pork dinner.

These came out — and were both completely cold. Cold meat, cold vegetables, cold gravy.

A quick word about pricing — it used to be £12 for a roast. Steep, yes, but I didn't especially object as you knew it was good.

It's now £14, surely one of the more expensive pub roasts in London. 

So we sent them back.

The waiter came back to apologise — the pork ws finsihed. So Lucy settled for chicken, pretty disappointed but there you go.

They came back.

Again cold, and served with cold vegetables and — to add insult to injury — an extremly burnt, charcoal-y Yorkshire pud on top.

I brought my plate back to the pass and asked the chef whether he would pay £14 for such a dish.

The poor guy was mortified, and explained they had had to do almost 300 covers from a kitchen about the size of the one I have in my terraced house.

He took his wallet out and in front of the bar manager, said he would pay for them out of his own pocket and would I come back in two weeks' time to see that they could do a decent meal? I said I would, but that he absolutely should not pay for the meals himself. No one should. You can't charge for such a poor product.

The manager said he would have to ring the owner…

Anyway, next thing, the staff are a combination of shocked and mortified… if I didn't pay my bill, I would be barred.

I said, fine, I will call him tomorrow to discuss. I sometimes review restaurants in my line of work as a journalist nd I understand that tempers can fly but that if a customer has an appalling experience, of course they shouldn't be charged.

So I left and rang on Monday morning to straighten things out. I left a message asking him to call me. He didn't.

I rang a few more times during the week to no avail.

Eventually, on Saturday night, the manager told me on the phone that he ws really embarrassed but … I was barred.

Fine. At £14 for a Sunday roast and £4.75 for a pint of Perroni on draught, I will try to save money by lunching in Mayfair or Knightsbridge. 

Eugene
17th March 2013


Yesterday we were barred from the Castle, our local for the past six years, and where we’d been going regularly with friends, family and just the three of us. Since our son was born nearly three years ago, it’s been a staple for Sunday lunch, as children seem to have been welcome, making up half the numbers sometimes.

We were barred from this self-styled ‘family friendly’ pub because our two-year-old son was fetching a book from the bookshelf, on a very quiet lunchtime, rather than in his seat, in a bizarre, sudden and aggressive tirade from the owner.

We were the second group in on Jubilee bank holiday Monday. Our son saw the owner, cashing up at a window table and wandered over to say hello. Admittedly, not everyone finds this endearing, and the owner just told us to keep him in his seat, as it was a ‘pub rule’. OK, we’ll try…

Fatally, at our instruction he went to get a book from the bookshelf – presumably provided for us pesky customers – and the owner stormed over, saying he didn’t want children wandering about as it’s ‘not the sort of pub we want to be’. With no further debate, he told us to: “Piss off and don’t come back”. Adding the blinder: “It’s people like you that are ruining pubs.”

Au contraire. It’s people like us that are keeping his gaff in business. Every weekend lunchtime it’s rammed with young families, paying through the nose for frankly average food, seemingly under the impression it’s as ‘family friendly’ as its marketing blurb suggests. I’m sure they’d be interested to know the landlord’s true feelings on the matter.

If well-behaved children aren’t welcome, perhaps this could be made clearer, rather than policed in a randomly despotic manner. With his attitude, I’m wondering if the ‘sort of pub he wants it to be’ is ‘empty’.

'Mrs Warbouys'
Posted 5th June 2012


Had a family lunch today and the real gripe was the size of the portions and value for money. The Spanish Omlette (just shy of £10) was tiny - a wedge that was 2.5-3 inches at its widest point and accompanied by small green leaf salad with four cherry tomatoes. And I thought nouvelle cuisine died in the 80s. 
We remarked to one of the staff how small and poor value it was and that it was probably more appropriate as a £4-5 starter. She agreed and mentioned that we weren't the only ones to point this out. Question is if others have pointed this out then why no change to portion size or an apology. We had to go home and have lunch.

Even though we're local and there are limited choices in the village we've decided we're not going to go back to the Castle for food.

Rod
Posted 4th June 2012


Only recently discovered this fantastic pub. Took the kids out for a Sunday lunch yesterday which was first rate. I love the fact their children's menu is simply smaller/cheaper versions of main menu, rather than usual chips etc. This pub is very family friendly but manages to avoid being a no-go zone for other adults (like pizza express/giraffe etc at weekend). Excellent selection of real ale and friendly staff too. Food on a recent evening out with friend also excellent. I love the fact you can book tables, unlike during the day at Eat17. More like this in the Stow please!

Harriet
Posted 24th May 2012


Take out the individual incidences (everybody makes a few mistakes and good staff in London are hard to maintain) and I think the reviews here speak volumes, the menu and food was great in 2010/11, and I really enjoyed eating out there. I'm not sure when the menu was changed, but 2012 has seen a real drumming down in the food that's offered here. I was told that this was in response to demand, which I could have accepted if the prices were lower, but there not, and I don't think the pub now offers value for money. I suspect (as indicated below) that they may have lost a great chef some time over the last 6 months and not been able to replace him/her.

I really want the Castle to be a success - I'm sure it can be, it looks good and usually has a good atmosphere - but if you going to charge around £15 for a main, you expect a certain standard of food! Or the prices have to come down.

A couple of asks?
I know it goes against the 'gastro' pub ethos, but some space put aside for food on a busy Fri or Sat eve would allow it to compete with Eat17 for my trade, unless your in a group it can be a little uncomfortable to eat.
Any chance of Sunday breakfast?

Joseph
Posted 24th April 2012


To the person with the 19 year old daughter: I was next to get served after your daughter.  I thought something was up behind the bar when the chap who served her said he'd check the till, and "it should be three or four pounds out" if she had indeed handed over a tenner rather than a fiver.  Now I'm no Grigory Perelman but I think even my seven year old niece could have worked out the till would have been five pounds out.  Bar staff do work hard and can occasionally stumble around in more of a daze than their customers but certainly your daughter was due an apology.
I, the next person in line, didn't have my credit card returned, didn't notice, had a tab set up without my permission, left the pub and had the next people on the table's dinner charged to my card.  I did however get a refund and an apology.

I'm happy to put this down to a rogue staff-member, or even a staff-member having a rogue day (this was in the middle of the long bank holiday) but I do hope they end the practice of keeping hold of your cards, especially if they can't be trusted with them.  It's a nice pub, now with a couple of veggie options, good atmosphere, well kept beers and maybe a bit too much bisto in the gravy.

Matt
Posted 12th April 2012


A sad tale from my 19 year old daughter who was appallingly treated by 
staff here tonight. They gave her change for £5 when she'd paid with £10. 
They made her wait a couple of hours until closing time before cashing 
up and then, realising she was correct, grudgingly returned her money
with no apology.

Disgusting, bullying behaviour. I certainly won't be going there again.

Martin
Posted 9th April 2012 

I have logged here to get the postal code for the gastro pub..and then read some reviews...we are about to go for Sunday roast..the difference being...we know the new head chef and once we have found where he's working we are making our way there from west London..lewis is modest chef and i felt that people should know..he cooked meals that where enjoyed not just by ordinary folks..but royalty and politicians..we followed him from gastro pubs to fine dining restaurants..all our family and friends will be joining us to...we simply adore his food!

Ziggy
Posted 20th February 2012


 

I went for Sunday lunch at the Castle today with friends and the food was frankly disappointing, not up to their usual standards at all, then we heard that the Head chef, James,  has left – Aah that explains it then.


Susanna
Posted 5th February 2012

Feel I have to pitch in to defend the Castle here. While I wasn't there on the night this girl was so clearly offended I do go there a lot and have nothing but praise for the place. Sure, the Nags might be cosier or the Orford Saloon her preference (its a similar price bracket mind) but The Castle offers something else to the area. When they started a few years back they were most certainly in the 'could do better' bracket but they've listened and a week or so back I had the best steak there I've had in London outside of some pretty high-end restaurants in the city. That doesn't come easy.
 
So first off, kudos to their kitchen, I guess you just can't please everyone. But more importantly - and the reason I'm writing this - is that I've run a review site before and its all too easy for the naysayers to have a detrimental effect on a local business. Constructive criticism is always useful and is the essence of review sites but her tone suggests something else. I'm pretty sure if she'd returned her food with a reasonable request something would have been done to remedy the situation.

David
Posted 26th January 2012

 

Just to say that that lady that is moaning about the vegetarian food at the castle is out of order. I heard her complain as I was at the bar. If that is her being polite I would not like to hear her rude!

She paid for the food that she got and there was nothing wrong with it. Even if there was I think only if they had offered her gold and a helicopter home would it have been enough to satisfy her. I would have banned her if I were them.

In short I don’t think she should be able to write that review when she is the one being rude and it is very one sided.

 

Janet 

20th January 2012


 

Firstly, I would like to introduce myself and my sister, Ross and Ria. We are the owners of The Castle in the Village Ltd. (The Castle Gastro Pub). This is the first and last time I will be writing in response to comments regarding The Castle, so I hope what I write will answer any questions.

 

I love the concept of the review sites. I would love to use constructive criticism from these sites to better my business and give people what they want. If we could use genuine feedback to create and improve our menu and service it would be fantastic. We have received comments in the past and with some I agree, it has helped us grow, thank you. This advice benefits everyone, the community that frequent the pub and us. We have read and heard comments and it has helped us to make the business better and more efficient. The Castle is now a thriving family friendly food pub which is a stark contrast to three years ago, before we took over.

 

Unfortunately these sites can provide platform for fake, malicious and sometimes ridiculous reviews that are not always the truth. This is a shame. I find it disturbing that anyone would take to a review site to talk about a member of staffs physical appearance, one reviewer mentions ‘the manager with the pretentious awful moustache’. This quite frankly is not acceptable. This reviewer is known to The Castle and was asked to leave due to her drunken behaviour and foul language towards staff.

 

I am not saying we are always perfect, mistakes happen, but we do strive for excellence and I believe we provide good quality food at a reasonable price. All our meat is free range, our vegetables are delivered daily and our menu is produced by us fresh. Nothing bought in ready made, nothing frozen. Every dish has been designed by our Chefs, from the Burger recipe to the Cheese Sauce on your pasta. We even pipe our own Sausage mix from a recipe our Head Chef James created. How many Gastro pubs could say that?

 

I would like to advise booking on a Sunday for a roast as it does get extremely busy. We will always try to accommodate anyone that hasn’t pre-booked but we may not always be able to find a table for you immediately. At peak times we can have up to 90 -100 customers in at any one time, so it may take 30-45 minutes from ordering to receive your food. Nothing is precooked the night before and reheated like many other establishments do. We cook our meat to order.

 

We have recently changed our wet offering, so far these choices seem to have gone down well. Please let us know what you think.

 

I felt obliged to write this response today out of respect for our staff. The kitchen team especially work extremely long hours and are passionate about getting it right. It’s not on for business rivals and drunken fools to condemn the work they do.

 

 

Ross Newham 11th January 2012

The Castle


 

The post below has been edited, 13th January 2012 - Editor.


This place is fine as long as you don't have an opinion or suggestion or complaint. *** help you if you don't like their food and tell them. despite the fact I have always been very complimentary about one or two things on their menu they gave me *** tonight when I gave an honest reasonable opinion on their roast veg and hummous pie with mash. I was still hungry after eating it,the portion was pathetic,even a child would still be hungry . I tried to give my comment in the most polite way I possibly could but was met with defensiveness and aggression. My comments were not validated,they just seem to think they are above complaints,that their food is impeccable and 'who are you to complain 'attitude is all you recieve. I couldn't believe that they could honestly believe this shallow small dish with about qaurter of a courgette and pepper,a tiny dollop of hummous and a thin filo pastry with a small spoon of mash would surfice .They charged about £9 for this pathetic attempt at a vegetarian meal .clearly the chef and those in charge are meat eaters and don't understand basic nutrition. A meal should be balanced with protein,carbs and vegetables- this meal was not substantial and was not filling and the dish was small and shallow and could hardly be called a 'pie'. I was met with hostility and basically abused and left their fuming. A woman, the owner, then at the end of evening came to talk to me. we had a taxi waiting and were about to leave anyhow but as our conversation became heated due to her ridiculing me and continuing to defend the chef and themselves and scoffing at my comments by pulling those 'yeah right' types of faces she ended up telling me to leave and not come back. she couldn't and they could not handle being told the truth or at least my opinion.the customer service is appalling,you would never get this in america. I'm fed up of paying good money for bad food and service. I tried my best trying to explain it was tasty but there just needed to be more of it and/or something more filling,more protein ,to bulk it up  and

the owner and the manager said that 'no one EVER complains about their food'. its pretentious,over-priced place for the quality and portion sizes and if I can put any of you not going there I will. If you want food there are far more superior places to go in the village than here (the tapas restaurant,amazing food) and if you want a drink the nag's head is a far more down to earth friendlier place. Its a shame as one or two of the bar staff are very nice. but need retraining in the art of good customer service and making you feeled valued and your opinions validated as a customer.please,do yourself a favour and do not leave the Orford road. As they say on the Eurovision song contest ..the castle gets 'nil poi'.For them to tell me ' no one complains about the food is a joke. there are plenty of complaints about them on the various food/pub guide sites.

 

Bolanfan

Posted 8th January 2012


 

Went to the Castle for the first time for about a year. They've certainly upped the anti since our first visit. The food was of a very good standard and the presentation excellent. It was busy in there and despite the small kitchen the food arrived in good time and I'll be going back next time in town. Great chips too!


Graham

Posted 10th November 2011


Today a group of 9 of us went to The Castle for [presumably Sunday - ed] lunch. This pub seems to have a strange method of retaining customer’s credit cards behind the bar as this, we were informed by bar staff, is apparently company policy if a customer wishes to run a tab!  We are strongly advised by all credit card companies never to let your card out of sight in this age of credit card fraud.

All of us ordered the various roast lunches on the menu, the accompanying vegetables were all identical. Whilst the presentation of the meal was good, the food was just warm on arrival after a lengthy wait and the roast potatoes seemed to have been fried to warm them up. I had to wait, along with at least two other people, at least 10 minutes at the bar to settle our bill. I eventually had to ask a member of staff, who was busy settling the bar, if I could settle our bill and she then courteously accepted my money. 

After our experience today we will not be visiting here for a meal any time soon and I would not recommend this ‘Gastro pub’ to anyone else.

Una
Posted 24th October 2011


 

Good to see the Castle doing well on my return to the Stow. I was in there last weekend in need of some emergency food and ordered the burger - not always a good idea, but this was one of the best I've had in a pub. It took me back to the days in the late 70s when me and the lads used to go up West to queue for several hours to get a burger at the Hard Rock Cafe. The burger was pretty nearly that good and the bun crisply toasted. Nothing like a crispy bun. The chips had aspirations of greatness - plump in their skins and clearly twice or possibly thrice-cooked. But there were problems with the fryer that night so they came up just shy of excellence. You could guess what they could have been, though. Service was good, too, the waiter refreshingly honest in his confusion, a side order of more chips supplemented by good string fries because of that fryer problem. Unfortunately I can't be as positive about the beer. Choosing a decent pint from the three cask ales on offer was a lottery, though we eventually found a winner in the Young's Gold. Greater consistency is required on the wet side.

Phil
Posted 21st September 2011


The Castle's new chef does really lovely food. When it comes to chips I am a real fusspot, but I have to say that his are probably the best chips in the world, he cooks them in a very special way & it shows, yummy!

 

S
Posted 19th September 2011


We really think the Castle's turned a corner. The current chef has got his
finger on the pulse and the food is now top quality pub grub. Numbers are 
up and there's a buzz to the pub that has been seriously lacking over the
past few years. Good luck to them and let's hope it continues.

Editor
Posted 20th September 2011

I recently took 70 odd people from a wedding for a quick drink in this  
pub before heading off to our reception. I had also arranged for 40  
odd people to have Sunday lunch the next day as part of our wedding  
celebrations.
We found the pub to have no problems with having such a large group  
descend upon them [we had given the manager notice]. We had a very  
pleasant drink in there and the drinks varied from champagne to pints  
of real ale. The cost was no more than anywhere else. The pub is very  
clean, with an agreeable ambience and a nice if small garden.
The next day we assembled there for Sunday lunch. The food was of a  
good quality and everybody enjoyed themselves. We did not find the  
food expensive but we had pre-ordered for 28 people which seemed to go  
out the window. The staff were very young but courteous and pleasant  
although they did make some fundamental mistakes such as bringing out   
starters after the main meal. However we will forgive them that and we  
stayed all afternoon and had a very good time indeed! I found the  
selection of drinks available of a very good quality.
 
Tim Gardner
Posted 28th April 2011

The Castle is now serving breakfast including a full English, a veggie option and other lighter choices including organic yoghurt with seasonal berries. Breakfasts are available 9am until 2pm weekdays only.

 

Editor
January 2011


 

It's taken a while, and with a little trepidation following some mixed reviews ‘e17’ visited the Castle for a what we hoped would be a fully gastronomic experience.

There's a definite 'bums on seats' improvement at the Castle which would help the atmosphere of any pub and with the tasteful patio garden now finished the Castle really seems to be on the up.
The current menu is more rounded than previous versions but the prices are still on the steep side, which, as I've mentioned before, raises expectations.

I mentioned bums on seats - well there were fourteen of them around one table and unfortunately the bums had ordered their food just before us. And not surprisingly it took a while for our food to arrive. 

We had goat's cheese soufflé for starters - always a good chef test, this was cooked well with just the right amount of cheese and the black olive tapenade was a pleasant tangy accompaniment. 

Mains were char-grilled red mullet on a bed of aubergine and tomato, and pan-fried sea bass on a bed of crushed new potatoes with buttered baby spinach and black olive vinaigarette. (This was the same dressing that came with the starter - when does a tapenade become a vinaigarette I wonder?) The sea bass was delicately flavoured, fully seasoned and nicely cooked as were the vegetables, but to be honest, although very nicely presented, on a very large plate. It could have been a larger portion - especially at £12.

The red mullet at £9 was equally disappointing in size. Again fully seasoned and well cooked (though a little over-charred) with the aubergine and tomato creating a good balance of flavours. There was, however, some doubt over the freshness of the fish - by no means was it 'off' but it did have a very pungent smell.
All things considered the meal was good pub grub - It really depends whether you are prepared to sit in a pub, order food and drinks at the bar and pay restaurant prices.

Editor

10th October 2010

 


We went to the Castle on Friday night with some friends. We thought that we would eat before watching the game. We had a great evening and the food was really lovely.

 

We had the scallops to start with, mine minus the meaty bits & the soup, which was tomato & basil. Two had the chicken, one the fish & chips & mine the veggie option, mushroom strogonoff. I have to say, the scallops were cooked to perfection and all the food that was served was very enjoyable, needless to say, our friends who had never tried the Castle to eat before will definitely be going back. They have two chefs now, one English & one French.

 

The one thing I like about the Castle is the relaxed atmosphere & I must say, I have never ever seen any shouting at staff going on ever.

 

Sharon
Posted 16th June 2010


This place looks better - nothing amazing but that's about it. I have been to a lot better pubs in Walthamstow and I don't think that this place warrants a second visit.

It is now run by, I understand, a brother and sister. On our visit they were as inviting as a wet weekend. Clearly only in it for the money and have very little interest in the local community. 

The evening me and my girlfriends went in the female of the two siblings was screaming at one of her bar staff for making a mistake!

The bar staff on the other had were really nice. The food is ok with very very limited menu which tasted like average pub food - nowhere near the gastro pub standard. One veggie option only.

All in all ok but not very welcoming and very little atmosphere...lots of better pubs in the area run by people who have a sense for the area and a smile on there faces.

Faye
Posted June 15th 2010


 

Another very carnivorous menu has made its way to the Castle, without a single vegetarian option as a starter (apart from maybe 'soup of the day', but who knows) and only one main course, 'vegetarian dish of the day', which could also be anything, I cant help wondering - although not a veggie myself - what is so difficult about offering at least one, or maybe even two, carefully thought-out vegetarian options?

There's bad news for pescetarians too - only one fish dish and that's beer-battered coley (a cheap fish generally used for fish fingers) with chunky chips. Fish fingers and chips - I mean, come on chaps! 

Other mains are Aberdeen Angus burger, chicken wrapped in bacon stuffed with blue cheese, calves liver, and steak, which at £15.95 is the most expensive item on the menu. All other mains are under £10.

Two sweets are on offer - peanut butter blondie and chocolate brownie. Both served with ice 'creamie'.

Full menu here.

Editor May 2010


The Castle has changed its menu and now has only four starters,
five main courses and three desserts to choose from. All mains are now under £10. Let's hope it works for them.

Editor March 23rd 2010


Utter rubbish, will never go there again.

I took my In-laws there for lunch on a Saturday. We ordered and waited I'd say near 40 mins for the food to arrive (there were four of us and a child, ordering 4 main courses only, there were only 2 other people in the pub), when it arrived, one of the dishes was missing (despite the fact that it was a double order!). We were informed that the remaining dish would be just 2 mins...

After enquiring what was going on, the final dish arrived about 20 minutes later, just as everyone had finished eating, with a frankly 'can't be arsed' apology. Needless to say I sent it straight back. And to note, oddly it looked nothing like the other half of the double order.


I complained, but was met again with an attitude by the bar maid of not caring less, and only having the cost of the late dish knocked off my bill. Rubbish.


Anyway, a few general observations: Since being re-vamped and introducing food, The Castle now styles itself as a 'Gastro Pub', lets think about that: I'd say that generally the people of E17 aren't stupid, and have eaten in a few 'Gastro Pubs' in their time, and a few very good restaurants, we know what good food and good service are. To me, 'Gastro Pub' implies something, it's a level up from your standard 'burger and a pint for a fiver' fayre...


On the Saturday we visited the bar maid / waitress (yes there was one of them doing both) was clearly enjoying her 80's revival pop rather too loudly, half the blinds were shut (it was a lovely sunny day) making it really dingy in there, there menu's, of which there was one per table very crumple, dirty and food stained, then there was the food...


We ordered 2 x Pork Loin, of which we only received one, Port and Steak Pie and a Duck Breast. If there's nothing that annoys me more it's items not meeting their description on the menu... the pork arrived minus crackling, as fairly vital component to the dish I'd say. Also the 'mustard sauce' that accompanied it was pretty much that, 90% mustard. The duck was over cooked and in a ginger sauce that looked and tasted like it had come from a bottle, and the pie was served in what was clearly a Balti dish! The accompanying veg is what could be described as garnish, and anemic garnish at best: 1 baby carrot, 3, yes three, count them, green beans, and I think A spear of broccoli. To round each dish off, a dollop of unspecified 'veg mash'. Obviously given the Gastro-Pub aspirations and restaurant prices (average 12-14 quid a main course), an extremely poor effort. Oh the bar maid thought we'd like ketchup and mayo with these as that's what she dumped on our table?!?!

 

Dear 'The Castle', if you are going to call yourself a Gastro-Pub, then at least have the decency to behave like one....


Nathan (March 15th 2010)

 


 

As of March 2010 the Castle has got itself a chef (called David) and a meaty gastropub menu. Two of the veggie starters can be chosen as a main course and there is one fish dish - 'catch of the day' - which is advertised as freshly-caught fish. Other mains are chicken, pork, duck, steak, lamb and venison. Not many animals left, surely. But they do offer a veggie/vegan option which according to the menu 'can be whatever you like', and the chef will endeavor to please your palate…intriguing.
Have a look at the menu for more details. Food is served every evening with Monday being curry night. On Sundays they offer a traditional roast served between midday and 6pm. Prices for main courses range from £10.50 for the chicken to £15.95 for the steak.
My first thoughts were that this could be a bit adventurous but having visited one Friday and seeing a good twenty people eating or waiting to eat I'm hopeful that I'm wrong. Watch this space for a full review of the food.

 

Editor March 2010


There has been a fair amount of money spent on renovating the 'new' Castle and the new owners have managed to throw off the image of being the slightly uglier sister pub to the Nags Head and have created a different environment. 
The, what in fact was quite a new, carpet has been removed and floor boards have been polished making the space seem bigger and feel more like an Islington wine bar than an E17 boozer.
The lighting is ambient which creates a pleasant relaxing atmosphere but not too helpful if your trying to do the crossword. The most striking addition is a wall of books, all very difficult to read due the to above (or maybe it's my age). 
The staff are friendly and numbers are up but the plans to serve food have proved a little too ambitious for the time being.
Two bitters were on offer when we visited last week, Fullers London Pride, which is generally a consistent pint and Brain's Reverend James. Using the ''I'll go for the Pride because they must sell more and therefore it must be the best option'', option didn't work - the Pride was poor and cloudy and not waiting to see if it improved I decided to try the Reverend James which was superbly well kept. Lets hope the Pride was just a momentary glitch.
Thursday night is still quiz night and seems almost as popular 
as it did. When we visited on Friday the pub was loud, busy and buzzing. On a Saturday the atmosphere was relaxed and not too busy until the Nags Head closed at 11. Some things never change. 

The Castle previously had a problem with direct access to the garden from the bar - this problem has now been solved by the creation of a doorway at the back of the bar. The garden has a small pagoda - otherwise known as an umbrella - in the small garden which according to the manager is ''a bit of a sun trap'', but evidence of this has yet to be gathered.

The castle is open from 5-30 till 11 during the week and 5-30 till 1am weekends.



Oct 2009



Went to the opening night of the Castle, on 9th July 2009. It was quite full & it would have been nice if they had supplied a few nibbles, not a banquet, just some crisps and nuts even, but alas you had to buy them.

Popped in again on Sunday lunchtime and only a few tables were occupied, Sky news was showing with the sound down, (not good), not that we wanted it turned up, but it is very off putting.

Hopefully, when they start the food, (about a month we were told), it will have a little more soul. I hope it works well for them, because they have put a lot of hard work and effort into it.

Foodie (19th July 2009)


Previous Ownership

The Castle is sister pub to The Nags Head and is run in a similar way. The decor remains tasteful despite a rather striking gold painted Artex wall. The Castle's big attraction for the local clientele is late opening on Friday and Saturday nights when it makes the most of being licensed for entertainment. Live music, karaoke, DJs and even live comedy have been known to take the small stage. There is a small screen above the bar and a larger pull-down screen in the lounge which is used mainly for showing music videos(and the occasional film). They now also boast free broadband internet access for those with wireless laptops, helping to ease E17 into the 21st century.
The Castle benefits from the 11 o'clock fallout from the Nags Head on these late evenings and is prone to be rather busy. Quiz night (Thursday) excepted, the rest of the week is quiet. The Castle quiz is hosted by the very professional Stuart with cash prizes - but beware, it's no breeze.
The Castle is becoming famous for its Sunday carvery which is served from 12 noon till 6pm. Save yourself the bother of all that cooking and washing up because, although I haven't tried it myself yet, rumour on the street is that it's very good and it's certainly popular giving the Sunday lunchtime trade a buzz. Why not have lunch in The Castle then pop along to The Nags Head for some  jazz?

There is large selection of draught lager and the three ales on tap are generally in good nick. There is usually a choice of London Pride, Adnams and a guest ale which the last time I looked was Black Sheep, a personal favourite. 
There is a garden at the rear that is not accessible from the bar which tends to mean that it's under-used. There are generally benches outside the front too. All in all The Castle is worth a visit or two, but beware - when it's quiet it whispers.

Sept 08


 

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The Village
The Nags Head 
William IV 
The Castle 
The Chequers Pub 
The Coppermill 
Ye Olde Rose and Crown 
The Flowerpot 
The Queens Arms 
The Ferry Boat Inn 
The Lord Palmerston 
The Goose 
The Cock Tavern 
The Bell 

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