The Castle Inn – 2012

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Night Reviewed: Thursday

We had received a tweet inviting us back to the Castle (now renamed as The Castle Inn) to do another review following their refurbishment. It would be rude to ignore such a request, so we returned incognito to investigate (we are not by any means adverse to being offered free beer if anyone wants to – hint, hint! – but only after we’ve completed an impartial review).

It turned out that they were right to suggest that things have changed as, STOP PRESS, we have a new leader! Well, actually we have a joint leader, but who would have thought any pub would be able to challenge the Narrowboat’s lead.

We sampled Theakston’s Lightfoot, Marston’s 5 Hops and Holt’s Humdinger, all of which were good, although the Humdinger (a honey beer) wasn’t a favourite.

The décor can’t be faulted, it has great character and it has been redecorated very well. The bar is tidy and welcoming and the atmosphere is generally very friendly. It’s obviously an old building so it’s really great that it’s been given a new lease of life.

In a nutshell it looks like a good pub should do. It could only have been improved by a roaring open fire, but given that Skipton is a smokeless zone, that isn’t going to happen! The pub has a warm feel about it though, so that will have to do.

We also noted last time around that the toilets were in need of some attention – these have also been completely refurbished, and if we were giving points for them this time around they’d have got a maximum score too.

Since it’s refurbishment the pub now does food, which looks like hearty pub grub (steaks, gammon etc.) and has a choice of four vegetarian options too – which is good.

Skiptonites have already realised it’s new status as a top quality pub. The outside seating area has been packed whenever the weather has been good enough, and during our visit it was generally busy with a pleasant buzz around the bar.

They also have a shiny new and very informative website (the history section puts our knowledge of Skipton and it’s pubs to shame!) – one of the few pubs in the town to embrace the digital age so far: http://www.castleinnskipton.co.uk/

A great job all round, and we’ll certainly be back in very soon.

Scores

Beer Choice (1 – 5): 5
Beer Quality (1 – 10): 9
Service (1 – 5): 5
Atmosphere (1 – 10): 10
Décor (1 – 5): 5

TOTAL: 34 (out of 35)

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