The Castle

A 'warts & all' account of the transformation of a run-down pub in Bradford-On-Avon into a 'proper' Inn (food pub with rooms). Written by Alex Reilley & Pierre Woodford

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Food review

It's our first food review courtesy of The Bath Chronicle


A Friend had been raving about an old pub in Bradford on Avon which has had, she said, THE most amazing makeover and that I really should try it.She warned me that Friday and Saturday evenings at the newly revamped Castle Inn - at the top of a hill overlooking the rooftops of the town - were very busy, so we went for a mid-week meal with two other friends, and a very jolly time we had too.

The makeover of what had been a tired looking pub, by Wiltshire brewers Flatcappers, has been astonishing. There are slate and wooden floors, muted grey walls hung with fascinating old portraits, stone fireplaces and, in the snug where we sat, a wall of tactile modern grey flockwallpaper, lit by mini-chandeliers and fascinating retro lampshades which my friend assured me were made by two-old-ladies-who-make-lampshades Wherever they came from, these cream and black draped affairs reminded me of a seance.

The music was muted jazz, the service friendly and efficient (you order at the bar) and the drinks and wine menu simply presented, and best of all, reasonably priced. A bottle of Chilean sauvignon blanc, complete with ice bucket, was £13.50.

Our party of four were all very impressed by the food too. My rump steak (£11.95) with cafe Paris butter, thin, crispy french fries and a huge helping of spinach-rich salad was melt-in-the-mouth tender and tasty too. J's risotto of creamy butternut squash with rocket and candied walnuts (£8.50) was a hearty big bowlful and Helen's enormous roasted field mushroom topped with smoked goats cheese (£7.95) was beautifully presented with an interesting mixed leaf salad and a pesto dressing.

We barely had time to register Carolyn's bowl of chargrilled fresh tuna, salad and a poached egg (£12.95) before she'd scoffed the lot appreciatively.

The evening progressed with much chat and laughter. We ordered a second bottle of wine and shared two puddings. One was a light, creamy white chocolate cheesecake with an unusual Amaretti biscuit base, the other was a chocolate brownie of such huge proportions that we didn't think one person would manage it all, delicious as it was. The puddings were all £4.95 each.

As the rain swept across the town beneath us, obscuring the view of the Westbury White Horse in the distance, we agreed it was a shame we couldn't sit out on the comfy looking wooden benches and tables in the garden at the front of the pub.

If we ever get a summer, I can imagine coming up here again to sit outside with a bowl of mixed olives and parsnip crisps, or some sweetcorn fritters with a chilli dip, which were on the 'picking/grazing' menu. Or coming on a late Sunday morning for a brunch of The Works Breakfast (£6.85) complete with bubble and squeak and Toulouse sausage and a pint of Flatcappers ale.

The Castle is a very welcome addition to the Bradford on Avon foodie scene. A couple of waitresses at weekends to take food orders at tables would ease the congestion at the bar. But otherwise, I doff my titfer respectfully to the Flatcappers.

The Castle Inn

Who for? We saw customers aged between one and 70, women out for an evening, couples, plus groups of friends just enjoying a drink - this is no gastro foodies-only pub

Price ranges? From £2.50 for olives and parsnip crisps, puddings all £4.95, specials from £5.95 to £12.95

Where? The Castle Inn, Bradford on Avon

To contact: 01225 865657

Food served: 9am to 10pm, daily, Sundays, 10am to 9.30pm

Family friendly? Well behaved children welcome

Vegetarians: Typical meat-free dishes include chickpea fritters and roasted red onions with onion and coriander, or a full veggie breakfast


At 12:49 PM GMT, Anonymous N] said...

This place is truely fantastic! Brilliant warm, vibrant and friendly atmosphere. Brilliant selection of alcohol and food! Excellent furnishings and view! Please go here, you will love it!

Just dont make the mistake I made, I drove and could not drink, but i really wanted too!

At 2:40 PM GMT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We like the place alot and have been there several times for our Friday lunch, we just hope that some different beers start being offered, e.g. 6X, Gem, London Pride?

At 10:14 AM GMT, Anonymous BokFan said...

We really would like the beers suggestion to be taken seriously... here's hoping???


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