Pub 77. The Edinboro Castle, 30th July 2012
The Edinboro Castle is a poncy pub with poncy interior decor and full of poncy people. Somebody else may well say it's a stylish cool pub with stylish cool decor and stylish cool people. So it's horses for courses. But at somepoint - probably when somebody decided to change the name from the "Edinburgh Castle" to the "Edinboro Castle", it became poncy. The other give away is that with their fish & chips (beer battered haddock and "skin-on" chips???) they don't do mushy peas. They do "crushed peas". See what I mean?
The range of ales is ok. I had a 1/2 Wandle. The barstaff were slow and seemingly wanted to be somewhere else. The oddest thing is though my beer came in what looked like an unmarked spirits glass. Although I am sure it was half a pint, as otherwise it wouldn't be legal! It wasn't full anyways mind you. The worst thing is that with my friends' orange juice and pint of Guinness it made it incredibly difficult to carry all 3 glasses. All in the name of ponciness you see!
We ordered some food and although I'm sure they'd be flattered if you called this place a gastro-pub, it wasn't really that good. I got the beed pie, with a little bit of change from £11. It was bog standard pub grub. Very nice, but nothing special. Microwaved veg, crushed pea mash (??) and a dish of beef stew with a puff-pastry lid. You can get the same thing in Wetherspoons for less than half. Add to that they brought the garlic bread starter at the same time as the main courses, and then when they cleared the table firstly of plates and then of glasses, on both occasions for no reason other than sheer laziness the girl asked us to pass her the bits and pieces she couldn't reach and couldn't be bothered to walk round all of 5 of 6feet to get them. Judging from her manners I think she thought she was doing us a favour.
The telly was on and was far too loud. Pubs showing "background telly", in this case the Olympic men's beach volleyvball, should take a look at American bars. They all have tellies on there, but with the sound muted and the subtitles on. All digital channels have subtitles - so publicans, put them on!
But for me the worst thing about here is the huge beer garden. I personally I don't like beer gardens much at all, but what can be wrong with that I hear you cry. Well, it's twice as big as the pub and when it's sunny the bar, which is pretty small and cramped when it's empty, can be literally 4 or 5 people deep, and barstaff noting being ones to rush it can easily take 15 or 20 minutes of jostling before you're served.
The Edinboro Castle ticks all the "nice" boxes, but I think everything about is poncy, contrived, superficial and self-satisfied. If you're any of those you'll probably quite like it. Of all the things I am, I don't think I'm any of them, so really don't like it here at all.