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Image posted by aleand hearty
Submitted on Friday, 24th September 2010
With picture contributions to 101 other pubs
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Reviews (Current Rating Average: 6 of 10) see review guidelines
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aleand hearty left this review about The Castle
I must admit to not calling in to The Castle for nigh on two years, but I was curious to visit again as the beer choice was mentioned in the local CAMRA magazine as having improved of late.
It’s a large, suburban roadside pub, owned by Ember Inns, around two miles from the city-centre, in the predominantly well-heeled suburb of Sandal. Externally, it’s quite attractive, with its mushroom colour and double bay-windowed facade. However, the old entrance is no longer used and access is only through the door facing the car park. Internally, it’s essentially one huge open plan space, but with plenty of partitions and recesses to provide a fair degree of cosiness, in spite of its size.
I’ve never been a fan of the decor, finding it a bit modern and soulless for my taste. Unfortunately, with its mish-mash of abstract art, ‘objets’, old photos and posters, combined with leather sofas and tub chairs, it does have more than a whiff of an IKEA showroom. The ersatz ‘piled logs’ are frankly bloody awful.
There are now six hand pumps in use and five beers were featured when I called. Tetley Bitter and Landlord are the regulars, with Rudgate ‘Ruby Mild’ (on two pumps), Butcombe Bitter and Wells ‘Bombardier’ as the guests. Chatting to the landlord, who seemed to be a nice guy, he hoped to maintain the three guest policy, but did have some concerns about the impact on the quality of the regular beers. My ‘Ruby Mild’ was well poured and fresh tasting, but unfortunately a little cold.
Food is still a big deal, but the previous, suspiciously long, ten page menu appears to have died a death. However, its replacement is still one of those laminated fold out affairs, hinting at Brake Brothers type cuisine. Certainly, nothing tempted me when I skimmed through it, but to be fair plenty of other punters found something worth their while.
The place was doing a brisk trade when I called at six p.m. on a Saturday evening and had a decent atmosphere. The clientele was pleasingly drawn from all age groups, giving a balanced feel. On the other hand, potential visitors, wanting to bring children under fourteen, should note that they are strictly not allowed inside the pub. Those over fourteen are allowed, if dining with adults.
Outside, there is a small patio next to the entrance and a beer garden, with picnic benches, to the rear.
Overall, it’s a not unpleasant pub, but for me it still lacks a certain something to make it a regular watering hole. However, as somewhere for an occasional visit, a fifteen-minute walk away from home, it will do just fine.
On 4th May 2010
- rating: 6
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- Official site of the Castle, contains menu and wine list - www.thecastlewakefield.co.uk