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The Castle, Walthamstow - pub details

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Address: 15 Grosvenor Rise East, Walthamstow, London, E17 9LB [map] [gmap]

Tel: 0871 951 1000 (ref 28238) - calls cost 10p per minute plus network extras

Nearest tube station Walthamstow Central (0.4 miles)

Nearest train stations Walthamstow Central (0.4 miles), Walthamstow Queens Road (0.6 miles), Wood Street (0.6 miles)

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> Current user rating: 5.1/10 (rated by 69 users)
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other pubs nearby:

Village, Walthamstow (0.1 miles), Queens Arms, Walthamstow (0.2 miles), Nags Head, Walthamstow (0.2 miles), Grove Tavern, Walthamstow (0.2 miles), Wild Card Brewery, Walthamstow (0.2 miles) - see more nearby pubs

user reviews of the Castle, Walthamstow

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

5 most recent reviews of 82 shown - see all reviews

I've lived in Walthamstow village for three years and The Castle is by far the best and most welcoming pub in the area. I eat in there at least once a week and I think that the food is fantastic. The staff are friendly and attentive and I always have a great time. I've taken loads of friends to eat at The Castle and they always comment on the quality of the food and beer. It's especially fun on Friday night when there is often a great band playing. Overall this is a great, comfortable pub that has a fantastic atmosphere.
srogers - 13 Jan 2013 16:36
We now try to avoid this place because of the kids who run riot all day and evenings up to 8pm or so.
davidb - 17 Oct 2012 13:06
I have lived in the area for a few years and seen The Castle struggle with its identity during that time. It's tried open mic (which was oddly successful), carvery (slightly half-heartedly), weird art (does anyone remember the barbie dolls in perspex cases?) etc etc. The most recent owners have brought some clarity to the situation with a cleaner, albeit somewhat joyless look, and so that at least is something in an area in which a number of pubs (The Windmill, The Grove) have sadly closed in recent years. The investment is welcome.

It's always difficult to draw a perfect judgement from these sites, because people clearly have different experiences of the food and that could depend on a multiple of variables, not least levels of expectation, how hungry you are etc. I've always found it serviceable, but nothing particularly special, and perhaps has a higher opinion of itself than is warranted. Nevertheless, assuming all of the reviews on these sites are genuine (hmmm?) then clearly some people do enjoy the food. Horses for courses, as they say.

A common thread that does seem to run through the reviews on these sites is a general sullenness amongst the staff, including the landlord chap. Perhaps the grey interior has a general dampening effect on their mood, but I've never felt particularly welcome and wonder if I might get more engagement from a vending machine. As I get older I am less tolerant of poor treatment - a smile costs nothing. Even though it might mean a longer walk, more recently I have started to drink in other pubs where the bar staff make more of an effort. And this is the issue with the Castle really - it's obviously trying to position itself as a gastro pub, but the reality is a slap of Farrow & Ball cannot disguise the fact that it is a local pub too off the beaten track to attract regulars from outside the area. It needs to connect with its community and it doesn't, which is sad and possibly quite dangerous in the current economic climate.

As to the issue of kids in pubs - this pub calls itself 'family friendly' and if you advertise as such then you have to accept that families will gravitate to the place. Both the Nags Head and The Village pub have very clearly delineated policies on children (ie, specific areas and times), which means everyone knows where they stand. The pub rule in the case outlined below is a bit random - I've not seen it visibly displayed and I've not seen it being enforced on other occasions when I have been in there. The reaction of the landlord also appears to have been disproportionate. To bar a whole family because a child was walking around a bit seems pretty extreme - and again a potentially damaging business decision in an area where the NCT operates something akin to a cult. The Castle actually has an opportunity to really differentiate itself from the other pubs in the area and grow its market share, but to do that it has to be genuinely 'family friendly' and not just pretend it is when it suits them. The landlord should embody this ethos and behave like people are paying customers rather than fleshy irritants.

So I guess the point is if you want to pretend you live in the nicer part of Islington and are not too bothered about being treated like you don't, then The Castle is probably fine. The food is ok. The beer is cold. The toilets are clean. But if you want a place with more sense of identity and community, then the initial appearance may prove deceptive and ultimately disappointing.
AndreGorz - 10 Jun 2012 16:40
I have lived in the village for about eighteen months and The Castle is by far the best pub in the area. Their selection of drinks is great and I have only ever found the staff to be friendly and courteous. Best of all though is the food. As a single professional, I eat out a lot and am often disappointed with the quality and or quantity of the food in other pubs and restaurants in the village and other areas. Having eaten in The Castle on numerous occasions, I have always found the quality of the food to be great and the portion sizes large. On top of that, the prices represent great value. The beef burger is one of the best Iíve ever tasted and is served with amazing hand cut chips. This costs about £10- I really donít think that you can ask for better value than that!

The only gripe that I have is with the parents who let their children roam about the pub. I have no problem with children in pubs and often come to The Castle with friends who bring their kids. However, children should be sat with their parents (as my friends ones do) rather than wandering around and disturbing other customers.

On a positive note, there always seems to be new additions and developments at The Castle. I particularly like the new wooden bar thatís been installed and I look forward to seeing what happens next.

suzyh - 9 Jun 2012 16:02
absdabs - I think you miss the point. Whatever your views on children in pubs, the landlord's language was completely unprovoked and unwarranted.

I witnessed the incident and at no time were the parents rude, nor did they raise their voices. The landlord's abusive language was horribly aggressive and totally unprofessional; embarrassing for 'Mrs Warbouys' and for the handful of customers who had to witness it.

The child walked to the bookshelf in an almost empty pub (6 customers including the family in question). Whatever prompted to landlord to lose it, it wasn't because the child was causing chaos or because it was a hazard to itself or anyone else.

Either a pub is family friendly, as the Castle purports to be, and accepts the consequences of that, or it bans children. The truth is without the trade that families bring the Castle would probably go under.

rodninio - 9 Jun 2012 11:07

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