King of the Castle Inn
I’m just back from the second half of my tour of Britain, taking in the tourist hotspot that is Oxford and latterly a spot of Dorset. It would be rude of me to have visited this green shire without writing something, it is lucky I found something worth shouting about.
My girlfriend and I spent a couple of nights in a very cheap and ‘cosy’ tent at the campsite next to Durdle Door. This was somewhere I wanted to visit as in the years I have lived in the South West Dotset has pretty much been somewhere I drove past. And the last time I visited Purbeck was a school trip to a Swanage youth hostel in 1992. Which had very few foody aspects to it, I can tell you.
But the village of Lulworth, of Cove and Castle fame, right next to Durdle Door, also contains the Castle Inn. I’ve been following the Castle for a while via Twitter, which they use to announce the latest addition to their arsenal of real ales.
Alex, their chief Twitterer, was helpful with recommending a place to stay locally, soni thought it was only fair to return the favour and check the place out.
What my girlfriend and I found was a proper pub, a P-U-B. Forget your huge open expanse of the modern antiseptic pub with it’s identikit pine tables and stools, wall-to-wall televisions showing World Cup football at ear-splitting volume. This ace is a refuge from that – low ceilings, separate bars, snugs…and that is without mentioning the beverages.
You’ll see from the pic below that the Castle features one of the biggest and best cider and perry lists I have come across in a pub. It is scrumpy heaven. Then there are the beers. Local Purbeck Brewery ales and Cornish brewer Sharps were to the fore, giving a great range of tastes and choices. The staff also were excellent in helping me choose which beer to have with my dinner.
I know the football is all but over bar the shouting (at time of writing) but if you are one of those people who wants to avoid the beautiful game and you are staying in the area, this is the place to go.
As for me, I love the World Cup, probably more now that England’s clodhoppers are out. So it was just a flying visit to the pub before headig off to campsite bar – horrifically antiseptic – to watch Germany v Spain alongside many Germans, some of them teary by the end.
But when I’m back in the area, I’m definitely popping back in the Castle again. With someone else the designated driver…