As you meander through the timeless charm of Castleton, nestled in the heart of the picturesque Peak District, you’ll find The Castle, a quaint public house steeped in rich history. Its rustic allure is immediately captivating, its exposed beams and aged oak furnishings creating an ambiance of warmth and hospitality.
On our recent visit, a lively yet relaxed atmosphere enveloped the pub. It was bustling with life, yet not overwhelming, creating a perfect setting for a convivial evening. A key draw of this establishment is their well-curated selection of ales. From the variety, we indulged in the Madri and Atlantic Pale Ale. Both ales offered unique taste profiles that tickled our palates and served as a delightful prelude to the culinary journey we were about to embark on.
The Castle prides itself on a menu that offers hearty favourites and country pub classics, promising a comforting gastronomic experience. Among the dishes featured are Duck & Orange Parfait, King Prawn & Crab Linguine, Seared Fillets of Sea Bass and an indulgent Beef & Red Wine Lasagne. A tantalising list, indeed.
Starting the meal, I went for the Signature King Prawn Cocktail. This classic British starter was a symphony of fresh ingredients, featuring juicy prawns in a tangy Marie Rose sauce, paired with ripe avocado, crunchy lettuce, and fresh tomatoes. A side of sourdough bread provided a lovely texture contrast. The portion was generous but not overbearing, striking the right balance for a starter. A small note though, the bread arrived sans butter, which might disappoint those who enjoy a good slather.
My companion, in contrast, chose the Baked Scallops & King Prawns. At first glance, it seemed to be all prawns, but a little exploration revealed the plump scallops hiding beneath. The creamy garlic & cheese sauce it was served in elevated the dish, adding a layer of richness and depth.
The main event was the 10oz Rib-eye Steak for me, accompanied by triple-cooked chips, a southern fried onion nest, and a thyme-roasted tomato. The steak was a triumph of culinary skill, cooked to perfection and meltingly tender. The chips, though not my personal favourite, were well-executed and will likely appeal to aficionados of the triple-cooked variety. The southern fried onion nest, however, was a standout. The crisp batter and the sweet onion within was a sensory delight.
My companion’s choice of the traditional Fish and Chips was met with great satisfaction. Freshly battered haddock, golden and crisp, was partnered with chunky chips, mushy peas, and tangy tartare sauce. The batter gave way to the perfectly cooked fish, creating a harmonious balance of textures and flavours.
On the whole, The Castle offers a comprehensive dining experience that strikes a balance between price and quality. While it leans towards the expensive side, it delivers good value considering the quality of the food, the variety of ales and the comfortable ambiance. For those who are on the lookout for a leisurely evening of good food and drink in a convivial setting, The Castle in Castleton makes for a highly recommended destination.
To sum up, The Castle is not just a pub, it is a rendezvous with history, a toast to tradition, and a journey of flavours. It is a spot where stories of yore mingle effortlessly with the clink of glasses and the laughter of patrons. A visit here is not just about the food or the ale, but the entire experience, an experience that lingers long after the last sip and the final bite.
To get in touch with The Castle, ring 01433 620578 or visit https://www.vintageinn.co.uk. The Castle is located at Castle Street, Castleton, Hope Valley, S33 8WG.