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The Castle (Bar)

Holding image for The Castle

Cowcross Street, City of London, London, EC1M 6DB
Cuisine: [Other/Unclassified]
Tel: 020 7553 7621 | Transport: Farringdon | Write review

The Castle Review

The Castle is blessed with a unique history. In the 18th century, King George IV, having pawned the shirt off his back at a local cockfight, found himself in desperate need of some extra dollar. In exchange for his watch, The Castle landlord offered George a bagful of coppers and a few swift jars for him and his mates. The King was so chuffed that he granted the accommodating innkeeper a pawnbrokers’ licence on the spot. To this day, the pub is still in possession of this extraordinary privilege.

So, a pub that allows gamblers the opportunity for further ruin should be a hit with local scrubbers. Not in Farringdon. On week nights, the punters arrive suited, and with little regard for ceremony. The bar caters for this, providing a lively assortment on draught (Leffe, De Kroninck, and even Früli – a strawberry flavoured lager), without a cocktail in sight.

The walls are black, the tables are tiny, and there is nothing to intrigue the senses. Within the tight space of the main room they have somehow squeezed in a raised non-smoking section and a bench table near the bar with its own theatre curtain. Apart from an old painting depicting George IV’s cockfighting story, there is really nothing that demands attention. But then, there seems no need for it.

At face value, the food menu is as you’d expect – brief, homely, but unappetising. However, the sticky, interlocking skewers of chicken yakatori (£5.50), and the delicious veg pie in a Roquefort cream sauce (£8.50) prove that real effort is afforded in even the most humble of dishes.

Upstairs houses a pool table and a retro space invaders arcade, and can be hired out for private functions. Every Friday and Saturday night, the ground floor brings in a rotation of House DJs to warm up the clubbing crowds. It is these people who capitalise on The Castle’s main appeal as a pre-clubbing, straightforward and intimate pub: a great venue for small numbers, either on your way to one of the big clubs down the road, or to down a few, peaceful beers. more

Customer Reviews for The Castle

Average (based on 3 votes): 3 Atmosphere: Value: Quality:

The following customer reviews are not endorsed by Fluid London and are simply those of users who wish to publish their independent experiences of The Castle.

“Arriving at Farringdon station last friday night we came across 'the castle' prior to reaching our intended destination; fabric. From the outside: a boozer with loads of people drinking in the setting sun, which is what made us curious about this pub. On the inside: a buzzing friday night pre-club knee's up! The djs played a mix of electro house, a refreshing change from the usual 'funky house', if you know what i mean. With friendly staff, happy customers, cool music and a great range of beers this is london's pre-club best kept secret!”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
ej, london (14 years 9 months ago)

“The staff in here are so miserable, you get the feeling they'd rather be on the other side of the bar. Lunchtime food took 45 mins to arrive and was mediocre when it did.”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
K. Russell, London (14 years 10 months 17 days ago)

“Nice venue, with a fine selection of beers from around the world. Ideal for pre-club drinks if going to turnmills or fabric. Have a selection of nights, all hosted by residents on rotation. The best of these are 'Nish Nish', on the first friday of each month, and gumbo, held on the third and also the last Friday of each month. Both nights feature slightly different takes on the theme of quality house, hip hop and Breaks music. The Castle is ideal to get the night started before moving on to one of the many clubs in the area.”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
Keiron, london (15 years 8 months 15 days ago)

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The Castle has yet to supply us with with a public email address. You can telephone them on 020 7553 7621 (please mention Fluid London when calling).

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Venue ID: 5068

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