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Beer of the Week (w/e 15th May 2022) with Bucking Fastard on the Pub Forum

The Castle, Harrow

30 West Street
Phone: 02084223155

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Reviews (Current Rating Average: of 10) Add Review see review guidelines

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Pub SignMan left this review about The Castle

This is a nice Fullers pub close to Harrow School, situated on a fairly steep hill just off the High Street. You enter via a corner door into a small front Public Bar with smart floorboards, pastel shaded walls and a short, curved section of servery to the rear. This room has some very limited high table and stool seating plus one bench to the left of the entrance, but was primarily being used as a room for greeting and registering customers before seating them elsewhere around the pub. The room’s, and perhaps the pub’s, most distinctive feature is a very nice part-glazed partitioning wall next to the bar, which has a very low doorway connecting it to the rear bar, although sadly the pub’s current one-way system meant that this doorway was out of use. A doorway to the right, with a hatch next to it, takes you through to a quite homely seating area with the same flooring, a few basic tables and chairs around the perimeter, dated floral wallpaper on the upper half of the walls and an unusual inlaid pattern across the lower half. A tidy fireplace stands on the end wall underneath a copper hood and plain mirror, whilst the walls have been covered with all sorts of old clocks, including a rather hefty looking grandfather clock, none of which were showing the correct time. Both of these rooms have modern etched glass windows with Fullers branding. Moving through to the rear from here, you enter a dark tile floored room with a few tub chairs around another fireplace giving it a lounge feel and then from here you can complete the circuit by entering the rear bar which is decorated in similar fashion to the front bar but is a bit larger and has its own fireplace. There is also a decent looking garden to the rear which extends under some cover down the left side of the building, although I didn’t manage to get a proper look around it, nor did I find the old billiards room, which may or may not still be available for the public to sit in.
The public bar had two ales clipped – Fullers London Pride and Gales Seafarers – although I suspect a couple more were available from the rear bar, as I could see the backs of four handpulls without being able to figure out what was on them. I tried a pint of their London Pride which has to go down as the best pint of Pride I’ve had in years – there’s some excellent cellarmanship clearly going on here.
This is a really nice, multiple room pub that I didn’t enjoy as much as I might have thanks to the restrictions on being able to freely move around. It has an interesting interior that carefully balances traditional features with the need to modernise and with beer in as good shape as my pint of Pride was, there are plenty of reasons to mark this place down for repeat visits.

On 15th October 2020 - rating: 7
[User has posted 2783 recommendations about 2783 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Rex Rattus left this review about The Castle Inn

This is a classic Fuller’s pub, which had on Gales HSB, London Pride, and ESB. The Pride was absolutely superb, and provided a reminder of what an excellent ale this can still be when kept and served properly. And at £3.25 a pint it is very reasonably price in a pub that has gastro aspirations, as this one appears to have. The pretentious menu pricing still remains – sandwiches are 5½, the Castle Burger is 8¾, etc, etc. I just don’t see how it helps anyone, not least any foreign tourists who may pitch up here, not to use the widely recognised pricing convention of £5.50 and £8.75 respectively.
Having had my gripe, I have to say that I think that this is an excellent pub. It is well described below, so I don’t need to repeat it. I sat in the room to the right of the bar counter as you enter, and this is the one with numerous antique clocks on one of the walls, and amazingly two of them were telling the correct time. The rest of the walls were covered with miscellaneous prints. There was no music being played, no fruit or games machines, although I did spot a ciggy machine.
This is a classic Victorian pub that is rightly on the CAMRA inventory of heritage pubs, tucked away down a side street adjacent to the world famous Harrow School. Like The Flask at Highgate and The Holly Bush at Hampstead, it has managed to combine an upmarket ambience while at the same time retaining the feel of a real pub. This is rightly a destination pub.

On 21st April 2011 - rating: 8
[User has posted 2596 recommendations about 2510 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Quinno _ left this review about The Castle

A CAMRA inventory heritage pub, the interior of which is well described by other posters – suffice to say it’s worth a visit on that basis alone. Perched up a fairly steep hill, it has a quite dominating position within the context of the area. My companion and I were impressed and the surroundings were complimented by some excellent Fullers beer – Pride, Discovery, ESB, HSB and the seasonal Hare. We tried one of each and they all came out well. Prices were OK given the location and Fuller’s irritating habit of fleecing their regular punters. Talking of punters, there were a right mix in here, excluding the wake taking place in the back room. Apparently there is an impressive garden at the rear but we didn’t try finding it. The atmosphere was lively when we were there and that was achieved without the aid of music or TV, which shows it can be done.

We enjoyed it here (stayed for an extra hour and knackered up the rest of our crawl as a consequence). It’s well-worth seeking out.

On 15th April 2011 - rating: 8
[User has posted 4331 recommendations about 4317 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Malden man left this review about The Castle Inn

A prominant pub down a side street near Harrow School. The entrance has the pub name above in iron lettering, and there is also a mosaic tiled step in the lobby displaying the name. The well preserved interior retains the original multi-room layout, with the bar being split between two areas by a wooden screen with some leaded glasswork at the top, and a small service door once for the use of pub staff. A side room has a hatch to the bar, and a larger and rather elegant room at the back would appear to be reserved for dining.Boarded floors with wood blocks to the rear area, but there is some more recent tiling too. Decor consists of the usual sepia photos of the area, but also cricket scenes and a few portraits of distinguished Old Harrovians. Some etched mirrors, a few clocks too, including a small grandfather clock in a side room. I noticed a few board games, Jenga etc on a side table. Mixed seating, mostly traditional with some leather chairs too, but there are a couple of modern high tables with stools. A side door from the rear bar area leads to a narrow alleyway with a few outdoor chairs and tables. Some steps rise from here up to the back but I'm unsure if these lead to another outdoor area.
Fullers beers, in very good nick, my pint of Pride was as good as any I've had.
I did however notice the food menu, whilst the selection looked fine the rather pretentious pricing style rankled, why write eight and three quarters when you mean £8.75?
The pub overall however is well worth a visit, both for the interior and the good quality beer.

On 22nd May 2010 - rating: 7
[User has posted 1693 recommendations about 1667 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Steve C left this review about The Castle Inn

This is a nice size Fullers pub that is split into three sections with two areas being served by the central bar. There is also another room to the rear of the pub, but after popping my head in I discovered that this is used as a restaurant. Alongside Staropramen and a standard draught selection were Bengal Lancer, Pride, ESB, Discovery and HSB which were all available on hand pump. I was served a decent pint of Guinness by a rushed yet polite member of staff.

There is some seating in the alley running down the side of the pub, but I’d imagine finding a seat to be nigh on impossible on a sunny day.

Fans of Fullers that don’t like the distraction of TVs and music will enjoy this place.

On 17th April 2010 - rating: 7
[User has posted 3848 recommendations about 3824 pubs]