Review: The Castle at Edgehill

The castle I’m writing about today is rather different from the one I wrote about in my last castle post. The Castle at Edgehill was built in 1742 to mark the centenary of the Battle of Edgehill – the first big battle of the English Civil War. It’s said to have been built on the spot on which King Charles raised the royal standard before going into battle, and its main tower is modelled on that at Warwick Castle. It’s been a pub since 1822, and it’s a beautiful spot thanks to its stunning views. It recently underwent a major refurbishment under new management, and today was our first visit to see its new look. We were really impressed!

IMG_8038

The last time we saw the Castle was from the air…

castle_pub

But we hadn’t dined there for a long time. While the exterior of the Castle looks the same as it’s always done, the interior has been completely transformed – without any loss of character. What was once a fairly dingy main room is now a bright, smart bar area with a great selection of wines. Being owned by Hook Norton Brewery, it also had a good selection of Hooky beers, which Lee was pleased about.

IMG_8035

I can’t remember what this room was like before, but it looks lovely now, with its wood panels and comfy (but presentable!) sofas.

IMG_8025

This room was the highlight, with its sweeping views. When we arrived, the whole room was taken up by a big table full of people – otherwise we’d definitely have nabbed that two-person table by the window! That’s a top tip: phone in advance to book a table. Spontaneity clearly doesn’t get one the best views.

IMG_8024

Our table unfortunately wasn’t right next to a window, but it was pleasant all the same. Two things to note in this picture (besides the lovely Lee): the very elegant wine glass with its long, slender stem; and the vase, which is an upturned lightbulb!

IMG_8019

The Sunday roast did not disappoint. The Yorkshire was nicely cooked (and I have high standards when it comes to Yorkshires: I can’t bear them too dry), and beneath it was hidden carrot/sweet potato mash, red cabbage and roast potatoes. We weren’t too sure about the weird blue cauliflower garnish, but it did add a pleasing symmetry to the presentation.

IMG_8021

The food was amazing, and it was a *massive* improvement on the low-quality pub grub the Castle used to serve in its previous incarnation.

IMG_8022

Much more appetising on the cauliflower front was this unexpected side dish of cauliflower cheese, which was superb. I don’t normally like cauliflower, but I couldn’t get enough of this. Most places undercook veg like this, but this was just right.

IMG_8023

We didn’t have room for dessert after all that, so after the meal we had a wander around the garden to admire the views. We contemplated how scary it must have been during the Civil War, to see one’s enemy gathering below. I’d imagine that the view is even better in the winter, when the trees have lost their leaves, but it was still spectacular.

IMG_8031

The garden was busy even though it wasn’t the warmest of days. It must be rammed on a hot day!

IMG_8033

IMG_8030

Final thoughts for today’s post: an impressive transformation for this unique little country pub, and one that’s seen it go considerably upmarket from what it was before. We’re already planning our next visit, and now that we’ve seen how lovely it is now, I think we’ll be making it a regular port of call for Sunday roast! (Booking in advance and getting that view, of course.)

IMG_8043

5 Comments on Review: The Castle at Edgehill

  1. Matt
    August 24, 2014 at 7:11 pm (5 years ago)

    This is a childhood haunt of mine that my parents used to take me to on a summer evening for a drink. I’m glad it’s still there, and double-glad that Hook Norton now own it. I remember as a Scout being dropped there in the dark, after closing, and having to find our way back to Kineton, cross-country. Thanks for posting.

    • Rachel McCombie
      August 24, 2014 at 8:06 pm (5 years ago)

      Thanks for your comment, Matt! It must have taken you ages to find your way back to Kineton, and in the dark! Definitely try and revisit the Castle when you can – it’s lovely :)

  2. Anny
    August 25, 2014 at 8:08 am (5 years ago)

    Hook Norton is always a good recommendation in our book! If you haven’t already explored it with your National Trust card, pop along to Claydon, Buckinghamshire and in the church you’ll see the grand memorial to Charles I’s standard bearer at Edgehill – a very sad and romantic story indeed.

    • Rachel McCombie
      August 25, 2014 at 8:23 am (5 years ago)

      Thanks for the recommendation, Anny! I went to Claydon years ago but didn’t know about that story. I’ll definitely add that to my list of places to visit over the winter :)

  3. David Ashforth
    August 25, 2014 at 2:31 pm (5 years ago)

    Glad to see Lee shares my liking for Hook Norton beers.

    Can’t get them in Yorkshire since Hook Norton sensibly restricts its output to maintain the character of the brewery and the quality of its wares.