Windsor Castle (Notting Hill)
- 020 7243 9551
- 114 Campden Hill Road (map of this place)
- W8 7AR
- Nearby Tube stops: Notting Hill Gate
The Windsor Castle is a small, old wooden pub. It's divided into several bars by partition walls with curious tiny doors in them that you can walk through to move from one part of the pub to another. It's very cosy. There's a nice beer garden out the back which is large and leafy, and is definitely a garden rather than a converted scrap of back yard storage space. There are patio heaters for the central tables which keep you pleasantly warm on cooler evenings. It also has its own bar, which is however only open some of the time.
The garden also has the remarkable property of being pleasant even when it's raining (in the summer, at least) as the large tree growing in it shelters people sitting in the middle from rain very effectively. This is well worth trying out on a warm rainy afternoon. On a hot summer's evening the garden will be extremely full with thirtysomething Notting Hill types, and getting a place to sit can be quite difficult.
- Ales: Fullers London Pride, Adnams Best Bitter, Bass, Caffreys Irish Ale
- Lagers: Staropramen, Carling, Grolsch, Hoegaarden
- Cider: Strongbow (but costs £2.80 a pint, which I think is expensive even for London)
- Stouts: Guinness Guinness Extra Cold
- Bottled beers: Becks, Budvar, Budweiser, Smirnoff Ice, Clausthaler
In the summer, long drinks like Bloody Mary, Moscow Mule, and Pimms and lemonade are available by the jug for £12. [Prices as of June 2003]
"The Windsor Castle is famous and justifiably so for its food," says Earle, who particularly recommends the sausages and mash, which he describes as the best he's eaten in a pub. Kake isn't that fussed on the mash: "The texture reminds me too much of food-processed mash. The gravy is also not good at all." muttley said once that the gravy tasted of sour milk, though now he says he likes it.
There are four types of sausage on offer: Wild Boar and Apple (the nicest one, perhaps; quite dense with no gristle), Pork and Leek, Toulouse, and Venison. Sausages, mash, and gravy is £9, or you can order the "Sir John Falstaff" at £18; this feeds two and lets you each try one each of the different sausages. [Prices as of June 2003]
Also on the menu are oysters, steamed mussels with white wine and cream (£7.95), fish and chips, various sandwiches, and a pasta dish which is probably vegetarian. The mussels are good, and you get plenty of them. Apparently they do tend to run out of mussels before the end of the evening, so get your order in early. The home-made beefburger, with home-made salsa, was fine (great salsa - try it with the cheesy tortilla chips at £4.50 or £2.95 without cheese). The chips were a little on the soggy side, though. Lamb chops were juicy and nicely cooked.