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Castle, Holborn

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user reviews of the Castle, Holborn

please note - reviews on this site are purely the opinion of site visitors, so don't take them too seriously.

Oh dear. This pub is closed, and the interior is being stripped. Sad.
JBanana - 19 May 2015 11:29
Quiet at lunch time (except Friday). Guest beers change regularly, so always something interesting to try. Food good and filling. Would be much more popular if it weren't hidden in the back streets, but that just makes it better for those of us who know where it is.
JBanana - 8 Apr 2015 15:27
Typical of city drinking establishments in being geared for standing more than sitting. Smallish pub a bit reminiscent of a street corner local (only a bit). Ale was okay and reasonably priced for the area.
anonymous - 24 May 2014 21:34
Young's pub with 5 ales available and Anchor Steam on tap.

Cute little pub but very busy as it's pretty narrow so had to stand outside with my pint.

Pleasant enough but not too exciting
lezford - 9 Aug 2013 16:48
Smacks as more of a wine bar than a pub. So-so beer quality, but friendly staff which makes a change for the area.
littledrummerboy - 11 Mar 2013 07:55
Nice enough. Quite authentic feel to the place despite the ill-advised wallpaper.

Eight handpumps serving about eight session bitters - bit of a missed opportunity.

Would return if in the area.
catbert - 27 Feb 2013 20:27
Enjoyed a brief visit here and a nice Redcar Biter. Nice barmaid and friendly. Quite empty for a mid afternoon. Will visit again when in the area. 7/10
ng10 - 27 Jan 2013 15:50
Interesting range of beers. The barmaid was dubious whether one I ordered was ok - it wasn't and immediately she turned the clip round and offered me another. Good policy, good pub, small but recommended.
ed.spbw - 27 Sep 2012 19:15
went in a while ago and the two girls behind the bar(who were both English) conversed with the few drinkers in there and everyone had a good afternoon,makes a change to get good service like that.
becks007 - 16 Jun 2012 07:28
Had some time to kill so popped in on Thursday lunchtime for a couple of pints. Impressed with the range of bitters on tap and had a pint of Redcar and a Hopping Mad, both of which were very good indeed.
A few city gents in there finishing their lunchtime lager quaffing and although not that busy was a good atmosphere and pleasant enough. Would use again if I find myself in the area again.
chunkypetersplat - 11 Feb 2012 19:10
Has the potential for greatness, but I keep getting a bad pint in here. Always changed without fuss, but if you're going to be a beer pub you need to take care of your product.
barclay - 17 Jan 2012 17:33
As an addenudm to my previous review in the Summer, I soon discovered that this pub's owners are the same company who are behind The (New) Wheatsheaf in Borough, which is a far less-pleasant but still excellent ale house which carries a similarly impressive and unusual range of beer.

I don't usually suggest this, but if a few more pubs were to be snapped up by Redcar then it probably wouldn't go amiss, provided they adopt the same approach and don't try to become too formulaic. Their first two efforts would imply that they wouldn't.

Annoyed that The Castle was closed on a Saturday though - I hate London pubs that do that as it so often catches me out.
TWG - 10 Nov 2011 10:13
Excellent - a proper pub in the City (there are a few to be fair). Had the Batemans Four Seasons. Bit of banter going on at the bar too.
dpaajones - 7 Sep 2011 08:14
Possibly the find of the year for me in London pub terms. Apparently not an identikit branded chain outlet like Wetherspoon or Nicholsons - it's owned by a small pubco called Redcar - yet it plainly specialises in excellently-kept diverse cask beers. Indeed, it rated better than either of those two giants, as not only was the selection of ales very unusual (nothing ubiquitous and I'd not even heard of all the brewers represented), but there was a more authentic local atmosphere, with very attentive service to boot. A traditional pub frontage tucked away in a quiet side-street, hidden away from hustle and bustle, one finds an intimate and appealing wood-panelled interior, which doesn't try too hard to reflect olde worlde sentiments. Only a modest number enjoying its wares when I visited but then it was only a Tuesday evening. There was a pleasant hum of chat; piped music was in evidence but hardly intrusive. Ale-wise one has about ten to revel in! Samples were freely-dispensed by the affable and efficient staff. A convivial and jolly experience followed. We even got talking to some of our fellow customers who were taking in some of the fine malts. One is lucky if one receives a smile in some London boozers let alone talk! This pub deserves commendation for its efforts. Any pub in the capital doing Nethergate as its regular flagship ale is in my good books. Excellent - shall be back, doubtless.
TWG - 28 Aug 2011 17:35
When in Friday , pleasantly busy and able to drink outside tried some of there beers ,house ale was very good
hullcityfan - 10 Jul 2011 14:39
Having a bit of a Nethergate day and my selection here was excellent. Lad behind the bar offered a taster which is the first time I've experienced that in London. Most of the bar is standing room but there is a seated area upstairs for restaurant purposes. Not a burger person but must say the burger, salad and chips I saw two guys eating looked extremely tempting - not a crumb was left!
JBGatelad - 13 May 2011 10:14
I reviewed this a few years back when the current landlords had only been there for a while. Have to say that this is a real little gem of a pub. the landlord is always welcoming and knowledgeable, giving out trials of the consistantly changing real ales.
There are not many pubs in central London that can boast as friendly a welcome as this one. Keep up the excellent work.
meltwaterfalls - 3 Feb 2011 14:56
On the contrary, Anchor Steam Beer is fairly well known within these shores Pat Bateman. As for the "price", well living in London you will always fork out ridiculous amounts of money for ale!
nokegthanks - 5 Nov 2010 14:57
I wrote a good and positive review of this pub last year, but I'm far from happy, after my lunchtime visit of 20 minutes ago.

Ordered a pint of Addlestones Cider, which on arrival, looked like a pint of water with a tiny tiny amount of orange colouring added to it.
It tatsed more like real cider, than any Addlestones I've ever supped.
I pointed this out to the barmaid, who did the right thing and phoned the Landlord to come down from upstairs.

The Landlord claimed the pint was fine, that it always came out of the pump that way. I explained that Addlestones was my favourite cider and I'd never seen it so transparent / uncloudy in any other London pub.
He countered this, by stating that it comes out so clear because he cleans his lines so often.
I was almost tempted to say:
"Are you suggesting that the reason that the Addlestones "CLOUDY" Cider is only "CLOUDY" in every other pub, is because they don't clean their lines properly?"
He said that he was happy to change it, but was adamant that it was fine.
Much to his credit, he then asked if I was positive I didn't want to change it, as he'd rather change it and I go away happy rather than unchange it and leave the pub p1ssed off.
I grew weary of this exchange and decided just to finish the pint.

20 minutes later, and I'm looking around for an alternative to the Cider.

I see a guy ordering pints of Anchor Steam Beer from San Francisco, which looked really nice.

I ordered a pint of it, then almost fell off my stool, when the barmaid asked me for £4.70. If it was Leffe, then ok, £4.70 might be justified, but certainly not for some US beer that's never been heard of.

At least I got a chuckle when the other guy went back to the bar with his receipt to query the (what he thought was a) mistake.

It's a pity, because although I hate to talk about food on BITE, it did look really nice and was priced pretty cheaply for Central London.

But sadly I won't be returning to this pub. Not because of the minor dispute over the cider. But more because I can get and outstanding pint of proper Addlestones at the ever excellent Black Friar, for 40p less at £3.25
And, if a I fancy, I could even treat myself to a pint of Leffe.


Pat_Bateman - 5 Nov 2010 14:41
Two reviews for the price of one! Thanks Lee.
Mr Ambassador. With these 2 reviews you are really spoiling us!
chinakitty - 31 Oct 2010 06:24
Visited lunchtime yesterday. Very pleasant traditional backstreet pub. Retro 70's wallpaper loved by some, disliked by others. Around 8 real ales from small regionals and one or two bigger breweries. My pint of Nethergate Redcar Best Bitter was well kept and enjoyable.

Food served lunchtimes only; menu looks reasonable and daily specials are offered. Good range of seating.

Worthy of a visit, and good to include in a crawl with the Old Mitre.
lad_newton - 28 Oct 2010 13:25
Visited lunchtime yesterday. Very pleasant traditional backstreet pub. Retro 70's wallpaper loved by some, disliked by others. Around 8 real ales from small regionals and one or two bigger breweries. My pint of Nethergate Redcar Best Bitter was well kept and enjoyable.

Food served lunchtimes only; menu looks reasonable and daily specials are offered. Good range of seating.

Worthy of a visit, and good to include in a crawl with the Old Mitre.
lad_newton - 28 Oct 2010 13:25
What a great pub, nothing fancy, lousy wallpaper, but great selection of real ale (8 on when we were there) we tasted 5 of them and they were all in excellent condition, very good service, and good basic pub food. Hidden away off the main road but well worth seeking out.
Randyray - 26 Oct 2010 17:05
At long last I've found you! The best barmaid in London bar none. Glad to see your real ale training in Coventry Garden being put to use. This is a fantastic ale house, not too many arsehole suits and a Landlord who obviously loves his beers. I only wish it opened on the weekends but understand why it doesn't. Good job hiring London's bubbliest, friendliest barmaid, she really is a credit to a great pub.
thirstyboy - 8 Oct 2010 06:07
Good little boozer, eight handpumps with the ony mainstream beer being youngs ordinary, so plenty of interest for the ale enthusiast. Will be back.
Picasso09 - 28 Jul 2010 22:27
Further to Dan137's reply, when I first used the Castle in the mid-eighties it was branded as a Taylor Walker pub. On the Furnival Street side it had a beautiful etched window that showed it was originally a Friary Meux pub, sadly this window was destroyed during a refurb in the nineties.
TiaMariaJim - 27 May 2010 08:00
In answer to pubinspectors question, it's an ex-Ind Coope House. Never been a Youngs house as far as I know.
Dan137 - 26 May 2010 23:38
Very traditional single room London corner pub, tucked away just off Holborn, between Chancery Lane and New Fetter Lane.

Wooden floors and dark wood throughout. Lovely huge pained windows.

£3.50 for a pint of Addlestones Cider, which is around the average price.

I liked this pub a lot on first impressions. You could certainly do a lot lot worse in this part of the city.

The only problem I can find with this pub, is it's smallness. The seating consists of one high table, with 4 wooden stools. Then there's 4 stools facing a window (a tad too much like McDonalds / Starbucks.) There's also 3 slightly (and quite nicely) partitioned "stools facing windows" sections, opposite the bar.

Still, it wasn't too busy during my visit on early Thursday evening. Nice level of music and a decent atmosphere.

I certainly wouldn't mind a return visit. Especially since it's part of a very small group of London pubs that sell Addlestones Cider. For any Addlestones fans, the others are The Black Friar (at the amazingly low price of £3.10), The Green Man on Riding House Street and The Hat and Tun. Well, that's the only ones that I have discovered. Please let me know if there are others.

Pat_Bateman - 29 Mar 2010 11:10
Called in last friday during a pub crawl. We don't know the history but it looks as though it was once a Youngs pub but it now appears to be a free house. Good selection of real ale and nice staff. Great pub.
pubinspectors - 17 Mar 2010 14:12
This is a nice little boozer that had eight thoughtful ales available during my visit along with a standard and premium draught selection. There is a small plasma screen that was showing Sky News which was muted as there was some background music playing at a low volume. Food is served at very reasonable prices for the area and there is a restaurant upstairs that I did not visit.

I was a little disappointed that the barmaid pulled my Guinness in one rather than letting it settle, but I still think that this place is worth seeking out.
Strongers - 8 Oct 2009 10:05
This place was busy on a Friday evening. But we eventually managed to get a couple of stools near the tiled area. There's a good choice of real ales - Redcar Bitter, Elland Yorkshireman & Andromeda, Youngs Original, Whistable Bay Pearl of Kent and Williams 80 Shillings. At least two of these had finished by the time we left and there were no signs of a replacement. But I guess this is unsurprising, as it's most likely closed over weekends. The cider is Addlestones. On a visit to the toilet, I wondered where the guy in front of me had disappeared to - the earlier 'secret toilet' remark now makes sense!
blue_scrumpy - 19 Sep 2009 11:52
Smallish, street corner City style pub in a back street close to Chancery Lane.

Outside the pub, a wall board tells us that there has been a tavern on this site for nearly 700 years and that it was part of the original Lincolns Inn in the 14th Century.

In many respects, it's an unremarkable typical stand-up-to-drink City pub, with a rather spartan, functional interior, but with a range of real ales better than most. According to its ad in London Drinker, it has the best range of beers in the Square Mile. There's 8 pumps in total - on my recent evening visit, beers on were Youngs Bitter, Kew Gold, Red Car Bitter, Red Car Summer Ale, Nethergate Ashes Ale, Whitstable Winkle Picker, Wylam Turbinia and Hare's Breadth. A blackboard lists fortcoming beers. The Red Car Bitter ( not sure who brews that ?) was a fine tasty pint.

The pub is part of the Red Car pub group - a small pub group that also includes the Swan in Gracechurch Street, the Wheatsheaf in Southwark street and the Bell, down the side of Cannon Street station.

Although there's an upstairs bar and standing room outside on the pavement, this pub always seems too crowded for comfort whenever I've been there. Despite the beer range, the lack of seating and comfort means it's not ideal for a long session, but it's well worth popping in for one if in the area
JohnBonser - 24 Aug 2009 13:10
Had a pint of Redcar here at lunchtime. Very acceptable. Unfortunately at least 25 minutes wait for lunch so left
lyeemoon - 18 Aug 2009 16:08
Must be the only Kosher pub in the country,owned by the Jewish cronicle next door. It had to buy the place as it's in a no stopping security area and therefore the safest pub in London;unless your a villan. Clock the cctvs outside.
Since being taken over, it's a verygood pub, clean and well managed, Worth a drink in.
Princemonolulu - 18 Aug 2009 10:10
Surprised this is only rated a 7, guess it must have been bad in the past - it certainly isn't now. 7 Well kept, varied and knowledgeably served real ales (pleasantly served as well in fact, very impressed with the bar-staff). A Thursday night visit and although it was busy, it wasn't packed. Background music un-obtrusive and of my (40-something) era, so all in all a great night out.
hedropsforglory - 22 Jun 2009 14:04
Quite a surprise to find this pub with so many ales. The guest ales are not the standard ales you will find in most local ale pubs either. The food was very reasonably priced, although I did not try any. The pub is small and I can guess get extremely busy at certain times. The staff were keen and helpful (Edgar, all were also British). Well worth making a special trip for if you are an ale fan. Also worth going to see the gorgeous eyes of the barmaid with black hair!
SomersetChris - 13 May 2009 10:11
A great little pub with an incredible and ever changing selection of real ales. The bar staff are friendly, though not too knowledgeable on the real ales. Would like to say that the landlord and his partner are particularly good and welcoming, which is nice to see in central London when it is all too common for pubs to be run like a business. It has a nice interior and the upstairs room brings a bit of relief when the downstairs gets crowded. It can sometimes feel a little ‘suity’ but being in the heart of the legal district that is to be expected. The only thing that stops me from going there all the time is that it is a little pricey, again this has more to do with location than anything else.
Well worth it if you are a proper fan of real ale, also the ‘secret’ gents toilet is a nice quirk for regulars.
meltwaterfalls - 5 May 2009 21:32
Surprisingly uncrowded at office going-home time for some reason, so a rare chance to get a seat and have a relaxing pint from the respectable range of non-standard real ales. The Saltaire Trio was an interesting American-style pale beer.
rpadam - 29 Apr 2009 21:58
Decent boozer-lots of beers to choose from,I picked a good one and stuck to it......Forget the foreign barmaids ale talents....Make your own calculated guess-if you view these pages you must have some idea!!....
EdgarBriggsMI5 - 1 Feb 2009 21:39
I went in on Wednesday 21 January 08 and it was very dissapointing the manager was rude and arrogant the staff are not very knowlegable of the Ales which should be the selling point of the pub and the food at lunchtime was awful Ales badly kept well the list was endless, you can certainly tell its had a change of managers when i last went in september 08 it was much better, wont be going back there in a hurry if at all
markbeey - 22 Jan 2009 01:27
not a bad pub, but don't use the quiz machine - it cheats you
TheGP - 4 Dec 2008 20:22
good beer selection! cant remember much else but had fun!
soulfly - 19 Nov 2008 17:28
8 on again yesterday, laudable selection with no mainstream stuff. Loddon Rin Tin Tin, Saltaire Blonde, fff Altons Pride, Mordue All Hallows, Hoskins Exs, Springhead Spooky Juice, Redcar Best and Centurions Ghost Ale. Thankfully no issues with beer quality re the couple I tried, Saltaire was especially good.
As others have said, a fairly spartan interior, limited seating and standing room. Noticed the mosaic tiled step in the centre window booth suggesting the original entrance was here.
One criticism, a fairly mild day for November yesterday but the fire was blazing away making it seem a little hot and uncomfortable.
Maldenman - 15 Nov 2008 07:44
I dropped into the Castle recently, attracted by the wide range of guest ales which I'd never seen before. Unfortunately the three I tried were all very flat, with a strangely uniform tang of vinegar. They were all badly kept, and I suspect probably not too well made in the first place. The pub was crammed to the rafters with loud, obnoxious people, so there was nowhere to sit. The only point in this pub's favour is that the bar staff are pleasant. I definitely won't be going back there, regardless of how many ales they offer. The Chancery Lane area is richly endowed with far better alternatives.
foxski - 1 Oct 2008 02:33
Single room pub a little way from Chancery Lane, run by the RedCar Pub Co. 8 beers on the go when I was there. Ventured a pint of Redcar best, which wasn’t bad. Food there seems to be reasonably priced and sourced from Borough Market.
Not a lot of seating available, but that’s to be expected given its size. Gets rather packed of an evening.
Bar staff were quick and pleasant. Worth a visit for the range of beers, but not the most comfortable.

mrse1 - 29 Aug 2008 11:25
Used to use this in the 1970s when I worked nearby (anybody else remember Gladys & Harry who ran it?)and went back recently just for a look. Excellent beer and great food. Never going to be a tourist trap & thank God for that!
Dan137 - 27 Aug 2008 19:11
Ate here for the first time at lunch yesterday and was impressed - I had a very nice Ploughman's (with cheese from Neal's Yard - lovely) and my pal had a burger, and we both much enjoyed it. The upstairs room is nice as well - a bit more modern looking than the downstairs.
grecian - 21 Aug 2008 12:00
Popped in yesterday and they had eight ales on. The friendly barman pulled one through and saw it wasn't right and so I chose another.Not many places would do this. Nice enough place for the ale alone but a bit pricey at £3.10.
Miles007 - 20 Aug 2008 09:52
Nice selection of ales on offer.

Granted the pub doesn't offer much in terms of character but its certainly worth a visit for the ale alone.

I found it to be a little overpriced though as I was charged £3.10 for a 4.2% beer!!
sethbreaker - 20 Aug 2008 08:53
Agree with The Greene King, a fantastic choice of ales and great food too. Can get rammed on a friday night but well worth the squeeze. Top work
ajbazza - 19 Aug 2008 18:00
I'm seriously impressed with the ale selection in here, 8 constantly rotating beers that are very well kept and a list of what's coming next. Haven't tried the food yet, but it sounds good and it's all locally sourced from Borough and Smithfield markets. Only downside is it's not the most comfortable of pubs but it would be OK if you preferred standing or sitting on high bar stools! Despite this, it still comes highly recommended.
The_Greene_King - 13 Aug 2008 17:09
Pleasant little local near Holborn and Chancery Lane, how unlike most of the stack-'em-up bars near here. A good range of beers with a list of what's coming on later. No, Mercurial, you're right, not the most comfy and characterful, but it is very small so space is at a premium. Still good though.
rainlight - 7 Aug 2008 23:55
Very friendly local with a wide range of beers (mainly golden at this time of year) - immediately offered a taste without prompting - old fashioned decor but very up to date otherwise.
amleyland - 16 Jul 2008 14:29
How did I miss this place? Who knew there was a friendly little pub so close to the the tube, with 8 different ales on? If I worked in the area, this would be my local.
YoYo - 9 Jul 2008 22:12
Considering its proximity to the Fatcat Lawyer Hell that is Chancery Lane this small victorian street corner pub is relatively unpretentious and relaxed. There were 8 ales on, yes 8! I only got through a couple but they were good. Sat at a stool in front of the big clear glass windows and watched office girls scuttle back and forth dressed in their summer clothes (mmmmm)whilst sipping some really decent beer. Well done The Castle, you provided excellent beverages in a pleasant atmosphere.

8/10
Jay28 - 24 Jun 2008 11:35
Very nice pub, though if you're stood outside there seems to be some roadworks going on that gives off the smell of an open sewer.
Otherwise great - very good ales indeed.
dyyony - 6 Jun 2008 13:47
Not a lot to add to the last few recent posts really. Only a few minute walk from Chancery Lane tube. Visited early evening on a sunny Friday in May. Not to busy when I arrived, but beginning to heave when I left an hour or so later. Good selection of real ales, though don't recall the specifics. I am impressed that they have the current choice on a blackboard (so you don't have to go peering at the individual taps), along with a 'coming soon' list.

Beer was well kept, and didn't have a complaint about any of my 3 pints. Realtively small inside and, whilst it has the oldy-worldy-woody feel inside, it is, perhaps, a little characterless.

That aside, no complaints, and thoroughly recommend on the visiting list of any passing real ale head.


Mercurial - 12 May 2008 11:32
Visited on Friday night. First pub in a 10 pub crawl. Excellent choice of beers as usual, 8 Real ales. Had to stop for 3 that were all great. A must visit for any real ale drinkers due to the excellent choice of ales. As already stated elsewhere all the beers are of a low-middle strength. The strongest I saw was 5%. Fairly busy but not packed.
TheHorsesMouth - 12 May 2008 08:29
Nicw traditional pub, great selection of real ales that constantly change, great landlord Alex and staff, nice to see the toilets have been painted, excellent condition the real ales a credit to Alex who obviously is dilligent about cleaning them, this pub is going from strength to strength it a must see pub for its Real Ales
markbeey - 28 Apr 2008 16:38
Darkstar Old, Nethergate Umbel Magna (porter), Salopian Abbey Gates, Bushys Castletown Bitter, Redcar Best (by Nethergate), Stonehenge Sign of Spring (green), Hop Back Back Row, Cotleigh Barn Owl, plus a list of 6 ‘coming soon’ incl Harveys Porter & Tring Great Gully. Single room pub, nice dark wood throughout & old wood floor, burgundy papered ceiling countered by large 2/3rd height windows around which a dozen barstools provide drinking sections from which to watch the world go by. Not cheap at £3.10 but I wasn’t too surprised round here. Had a chat with the barman & only other punter in there at 15:00 yesterday, good place. Combine it with the Edgar Wallace just a few minutes walk away & you’ve got 16 handpumps offering non-mainstream beers – pity neither open at weekends.
trainman - 4 Apr 2008 10:46
Visited for the first time last week during a two-day crawl of London's finest. Was impressed with both the range and quality of the cask ale, and the friendliness of the staff. Quiet after 9pm but well worth a trip.
graeme666 - 28 Mar 2008 15:41
Visited for the first time last night, after a recommendation. Tried three of the beers; all well kept and delicious. Particularly liked the Redcar Best Bitter. The atmosphere was lively enough to drown out the music mentioned earlier. Only downside was the toilets. The cold tap worked but there was no paper to dry my hands afterwards.
kchef - 19 Mar 2008 19:12
Recently started drinking again since its been taken over the Manager Alex and the staff make you feel welcome there

Great choice of bitters and lagers and they look after then god as well

Onlt downside could do with better choice on soft drinks £1.70 for fruit juice mixer size could do with having J20s and tomato juice there at a resonable price?

The sandwiches are great could also do with serving chips with burgers rather than the corn chips and salads as well

P/s can we have becks on tap?
neoncitylad - 8 Mar 2008 13:41
Eight handpumps on yesterday, including Bateman's Mild and Peat Porter. So I rate the pub very good for beer selection. (The beer is the most important thing, but note: tedious pop music was playing in the background - well I thought it was tedious; and the taps on the handbasin in the Gents on the ground floor didn't work.)
clissold345 - 28 Feb 2008 22:11
Very busy on a Friday evening, although it's slightly concerning that with 8 interesting beers on there's still a predisposition to strong lagers. Perhaps as knowledge of this place spreads the ale fraternity will gradually allow natural selection to take place!
meurglys_iv - 16 Feb 2008 07:54
As other reviewers note, the recent acquisition of this pub by Redcar makes it a very different proposition from when I added it this time last year. Visited recently and noted seven or eight real ales available - the ones we had were very good. Early on a Monday evening, though, the atmosphere was very lacking - it was very quiet and rather dark and gloomy. Hopefully this will improve as word gets around that its ale selection elevates it among the better pubs in town.
grecian - 6 Feb 2008 12:35
Vastly improved since the takeover by Redcar. Great selection of beers and very well kept. Could start to take trade from the Mitre if they keep up such a high standard.
Dynamo1 - 17 Jan 2008 13:25
I was in here for about an hour from 2.00 to 3.00 on a wet and windy Monday afternoon. Very quiet – eight customers when I went in (I made nine). Almost as many ales on as customers. I wonder whether they have the custom to support having 8 real ales on? The RCH Tender Loving Care I had was only just OK. No chairs – only stools by the bar; around a single high table; or next to a ledge by the windows. Clearly ancient floorboards – nobody would distress floorboards to the point where there were holes in the floor! I didn’t find the pub very comfortable or welcoming as a solitary drinker – but I suppose it would be a much different place if you were in there with a bunch of chums. But I'll give it another go when I'm next in the area - first impressions aren't always right, and previous reviewers rate it highly.
RexRattus - 15 Jan 2008 17:23
Ooops - forgot to rate this pub. A well deserved 8!
maddom - 7 Jan 2008 15:12
Nice traditional style smaller pub, early Victorian at a guess; interior all bare floorboards and dark wood panelling with stools and shelves plus one tall round table, no tables & chairs as such.

Watch out for the wobbly shelf in the corner to the right of the fireplace - I put my pint down, leaned my elbow on the shelf, it gave an inch or so and my glass slid off and smashed on the floor, much to my embarrassment. The friendly and efficient staff laughed it off and gave me a replacement pint.

Only constructive criticism I'd make is that the range of ales could be a bit more varied in style with eight handpumps - there was nothing on offer above 4.5% ABV
Rich66 - 31 Dec 2007 22:03
Very interesting addition to the Holborn circuit, handy for the Mitre and the JT. Very friendly, great choice a beer-hopefully will become a fixture.
BlindTiger - 20 Dec 2007 20:54
Wow, how good is this pub now? Great atmosphere and range of cask ales is superb. Landlord Alex was very friendly and obviously knows his ales. Never tried it but looks to be a good wine list too. Keep up the good work!
jolyon - 13 Dec 2007 10:30
We visited early Tuesday evening and were welcomed by a friendly and knowledgeable landlord and efficient bar staff. 8 real ales on tap. Tried them all except the Youngs and they were all in top class condition, a credit to the landlord - Keep up the good work.

A simple, no nonsense pub although they did have a tv on mute tuned to sky news and music in the background. Well worth a visit.
dagenhamdave - 5 Dec 2007 22:27
Visited on Friday night. Small bar downstais which was packed when we got in at about 6.45. Realised there was a room and small bar upstairs where there was more space. Seven or eight beers on, Jarrow Rivet Catcher was excellent. I suspect Youngs Ordinary and Nethergate Red Car Bitter (don't know if it's a rebadge or specially brewed) will be the only regulars. All beers less than 4.2% I believe. Erdinger on draught.

A must visit.
GuideDogSaint - 2 Dec 2007 13:19
Nice Pub very friendly 8 real ales on - I hope it takes off.
Chunkyetti - 30 Nov 2007 13:55
I'll answer my question - it isn't. The only pub in the Red Car Pub chain to open at weekends is the Wheatsheaf...
eddierowles - 30 Nov 2007 13:41
Does anyone know if this place is open on a Saturday?
eddierowles - 28 Nov 2007 11:31
A welcome new addition to London's freehouses. If they can keep up the quality of guests (and none too stupidly strong) then all for the good.
meurglys_iv - 16 Nov 2007 00:29
Fantastic. As previously advised now part of the Red Car Pub Company. Popped in here on Wednesday night for a quick pint or five. Eight Real Ales available and all the ones I had were top notch. Beer from Tom Wood’s, Hogs Back and Vale Pale Ale. There was a board up showing you all beers available together with a Coming Soon List. Good service guaranteed when we arrived as we were the only ones in there. Don’t think it will stay this quiet for long once word gets out. Strange toilet set up first toilet I’ve ever seen on two floors. When we were in there they were training a new barmaid who was gorgeous so that’s two good reasons to visit in my book. Get in quick before this place starts getting packed.
TheHorsesMouth - 8 Nov 2007 14:24
Iwas in on friday for the re opening and the place was jumping! Excellent nite was had, great range of beers including loads of cask. I sampled numerous and all were fab. Keep it up
ttyrrel - 31 Oct 2007 16:31
Understand it was due to be bought by Red Car pubs. Who are the leaseholders at the Wheatsheaf (Borough Market), The Swan (leadenhall Market) and the Bell (Cannon Street) which are all top pubs. I understand this is to be their first freehouse. Give it a couple of weeks I reckon this could be a top pub.
TheHorsesMouth - 18 Oct 2007 14:46
I was in here the other day and was chatting to the Aussie girl working behind the bar. She mentioned that the pub has indeed been sold effective October 19th, so we can expect to see a few changes to this place from that point on.

She didn't know who it had been sold to, but anyone would be better than the current owner, who obviously doesn't care a jot about the place.
Demandred - 4 Oct 2007 12:23
Once upon a time this was my regular lunchtime haunt, also evenings after rehearsals. In those days it was run properly, firstly by Maurice [later at the Punch Tavern] then Colin [later at the Mitre, Barnet]. At this time they lost a superb Friary Meux window during a refurb. It then acquired a manager who was more interested in chatting to her pals than maintaining the ales and thus went down hill. I've not been there of late as all the regulars I used to chat to have long gone. But all is not lost, I heard a rumour yesterday that the Castle has been acquired by a notable Borough Market area personality. If true this will be a GOOD THING.
canastajim - 10 Sep 2007 09:22
Admittedly it's not great at the moment but I've heard there are big plans afoot. Watch this space!
ttyrrel - 10 Sep 2007 08:59
I hadn’t been in here for years but am now back in the area and I seldom take the time to write on this forum, however:

It is extremely sad to see what I have known to be a fine Victorian pub in such disrepair! It is obvious that the owners and the manager, the latter was present when I visited, care little about the place and have no idea what makes a ‘good boozer’.

Besides the dire interior; the unkempt staff are extremely slovenly, the ale borders dire and the selection of Lagers enough to make you laugh. As was previously stated the prices make you baulk, even in this part of the City; particularly given the extremely poor quality of both it, the glass in which it is served and the manner in which it is delivered. I am know fan of soulless JDWs or Slug &s, but and the ‘programmed’ ways of their staff, but these people could learn much from visiting one!

I strongly suggest the owners file for bankruptcy early to avoid disappointment or just sell it to someone who actually knows what he/she is doing! Now I am back, I am certainly looking for another ‘local’ for my after work pint.

Shame on all involved in this venture.

PS. Get a proper Pump Clip for that Blacksheep, I'm informed Theakston the Younger gives them away! Sums up the place really, they can't even be bothered getting freebies to show they are trying!!

Bouzer - 28 Jun 2007 11:08
Slightly surprised to notice this was omitted. On the plus side, two real ales on tap, notably Black Sheep. Against that, it wasn't particularly well served and at £3 a pint was expensive even for London. The interior is unremarkable - mostly standing room and often quite quiet in my experience.
grecian - 21 Feb 2007 17:48

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