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Picture of The Pembroke Castle
Image posted by Jonathan Wilde
Submitted on Saturday, 9th November 2019
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The Pembroke Castle, NW1

150 Gloucester Avenue
Phone: 02074832927
Correct details

Served areas

Reviews of The Pembroke Castle (Average Rating: 6 of 10) Add Review see review guidelines

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Rex Rattus left this review about The Pembroke Castle

I was in here on a weekday lunchtime recently and was pleasantly surprised by a more down to earth ambience than I expected in this part of the world. I guess it hasn't changed much since the previous reviewers' visits; there's still the replacement bare boarded flooring; one or two tall tables/tall stools but mainly normal tables and chairs some on a raised area at the back on the left. I don't much care for the black plastic upholstered chairs, but nowhere's perfect (apart from the Kelham Island Tavern apparently). I too spotted the higher than usual bar counter, which as Tris says possibly deters bar hogs. Tall bar counters are no problem for me, but one young lady ordering at the bar decided to stand on the brass footrail to get herself on a more level playing field with the barman.

It's been opened up so any internal divisions seem long gone, but I did like the vestibule with the clock surmounting it, as well as the very attractive leaded stained glass windows at the back, and the cornicing on the ceilings. A large TV was on (but muted) at the back showing motorsports and basketball, with nobody seemingly remotely interested in watching it. I didn't notice the sound of the trains, but no doubt they would be more noticeable if you are enjoying the outside seating area during the warmer weather.

The ales on were Doom Bar, plus a Fuller's pair of Oliver's Island and Front Row. Another pump had a London Pride clip on it, but the barman informed me that it wasn't on (in which case why the clip?). Old Rosie Cider was also available. They do a very reasonable meal deal on weekday lunchtimes (12 - 3). For £6.50 you get a choice of main courses - e.g. burger and chips, macaroni cheese - plus a soft drink, including tea or coffee. For an additional quid you can upgrade the drink to a pint of sub 4.5% real ale. £7.50 for a decent pint and a meal anywhere in London is good going. Obviously I had ordered a pint before I sat down to scrutinise the menu, so naturally I had to have a second pint in order to benefit fully from the meal deal.

Both pints of the fhe Fuller's Front Row that I had were in excellent condition, and I would certainly drop in here again if I was looking for a bit of scran in this area.

On 10th March 2018 - rating: 6
[User has posted 2599 recommendations about 2513 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Tris C left this review about The Pembroke Castle

A large two-tiered open plan interior with some remaining Victorian features. The full-width bar is to the right as you enter and is strangely rather high, which deters bar hogs; why don't more pubs raise their bars? There's a spacious and heated beer garden and food is offered. Unlike the reviewer below, I've never noticed the trains so perhaps quieter rolling stock is now employed.

Service here is very friendly and efficient and a table is almost always easy to come by except on Saturday (probably Friday too) when the 12.00 am licence and loud music draws in the crowd. A plus is that dogs are expressly barred (take note neighbouring Albert, Lansdowne and Queens). Patrons are a pleasantly mixed crowd who probably live fairly locally.

With its original name reinstated, this pub reopened on 7th August 2014 after some much needed renovation; the pub was a little dilapidated. The interior is now less traditional and far more Farrow & Ball gastro: the lower half of the walls have been painted battleship grey (mauve to the rear), with the upper half white. The once black lacquered floor has been replaced with a pale wood affair and to the rear some rather incongruous enormous chess pieces occupy the window reveal; a bit naff. The games machine to the rear has been removed to create more seating; furniture is now less traditional and more twee with soft seat backs. A couple of high tables have appeared which I don't like as due to their high centre of gravity, they wobble and these are no exception. Pitching like galleons in a storm, sitting at one is like drinking aboard the Onedin Line. Overall it's a good look - and an improvement on the preceding russet baroque - if a little identikit.

As for dining, pizzas are the mainstay here. As for drinks, the selection is rather poor. On the ale front there's just Old Speckled Hen, Sharp's Doom Bar or Wadsworth's 6X and frequently two or even all of these are off. There are some premium lagers, Guinness, Strongbow, Stowford Press and Weston's Old Rosie in case you have a Space Shuttle to refuel. On the plus side, prices here are probably the lowest in the immediate area.

Overall this is a good pub, probably the best in Primrose Hill. It's also your best bet for a drink before or after a show at the Roundhouse unless Camden Town's banging sweatboxes are your thing.

On 26th April 2015 - rating: 6
[User has posted 1517 recommendations about 1496 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Pub SignMan left this review about The Pembroke

This is a street corner pub situated next to the foot bridge that connects Chalk Farm and Primrose Hill. The interior has been opened up to create a large, open plan room with the bar running along the right hand wall. There is a lot of dark wood throughout and the place has rather bland gastro style decor which fails to set it apart from other pubs of its ilk. There is a good supply of seating, including on the cosy looking split level area to the left of the room, with ample space for vertical drinking nearer the bar, should it get very busy. A TV screen was on, showing what appeared to be a DIY programme, but it was muted and no-one appeared to be paying it the slightest bit of attention. A door on the left hand side of the room leads out to a sizable garden area which has been well stocked with seats, including a few sofas which are sheltered by a small awning.
There was a choice of three beers when I visited - Adnams Explorer, Wadworth 6X and Butcombe Bitter (£3.60). I gave the Butcombe a try and thought it was in pretty good shape. The barmaid who served me was very prompt, if a little on the brusque side. A good proportion of people here seemed to be eating which suggests that the food might be okay, but I didn't get to see the menu myself.
As the previous reviewer says, this pub offers a rather unmemorable drinking experience, but I found that it did a decent enough job as somewhere for a swift pint and it may well be that I would have found it more memorable had I been looking for a place to eat.

On 28th October 2011 - rating: 5
[User has posted 2805 recommendations about 2805 pubs]

View more reviews of The Pembroke Castle (4)
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Pub location see interactive map of local area
Map location corrected by Steve C
Kentish Town West, 0.57 miles, 11 min walk (show)
Camden Road, 0.86 miles, 16 min walk (show)
Kentish Town, 1 miles, 19 min walk (show)
Latest updates View all updates for The Pembroke Castle, NW1
28th Jul 2020, 18:40
Picture submitted by Tris C approved
28th Jul 2020, 18:39
Picture submitted by Tris C

Pub Details

Pub details supplied by members of this site to the best of their knowledge. Please check with pub directly before making a special trip.

  • Accommodation : No last updated 13 December 2013 by Tris C
  • Bar Billiards : No last updated 01 November 2013 by Tris C
  • Beer Festivals : No last updated 12 August 2014 by Tris C
  • Beer Garden : Yes - With heaters. - last updated 04 February 2015 by Tris C
  • Car Park : No last updated 01 November 2013 by Tris C
  • Child Friendly : Yes - Baby changing facilities. - last updated 20 September 2020 by Tris C
  • Darts : No last updated 01 November 2013 by Tris C
  • Dog Friendly : Yes last updated 20 September 2020 by Tris C
  • Function Room : Yes - According to Twitter - last updated 21 July 2015 by Dave McNally
  • Hot Food : Yes last updated 01 November 2013 by Tris C
  • Jukebox : No last updated 01 November 2013 by Tris C
  • Karaoke : No last updated 01 November 2013 by Tris C
  • Live Music : No last updated 01 November 2013 by Tris C
  • Live TV Sports : Yes last updated 20 September 2020 by Tris C
  • Micropub : No last updated 06 April 2015 by Tris C
  • Pinball : No last updated 01 November 2013 by Tris C
  • Pool Table : No last updated 01 November 2013 by Tris C
  • Real Ale : Yes last updated 05 April 2018 by Komakino .
  • Real Cider : Yes - Weston's Old Rosie. - last updated 04 February 2015 by Tris C
  • Wheelchair Access : No - Gent's lavatories down stairs. - last updated 04 February 2015 by Tris C
  • WiFi : Yes last updated 13 December 2013 by Tris C
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