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Royal Oak and Castle, Pevensey

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user reviews of the Royal Oak and Castle, Pevensey

please note - reviews on this site are purely the opinion of site visitors, so don't take them too seriously.

We went in here at 6pm on a Sunday.The boards outside advertise the Sunday Roast @£8.95. Unfortunately the food was only served until 4.30pm when we asked.The pub is dog friendly and the bar area has a wooden floor and Heritage pastel shade decor with half anaglypta wallpaper.There was Harveys and another beer on draught.The beer and cider was nice.There were a few people enjoying a drink.The toilets were clean and tidy.We were surprised and a bit disappointed that they do not do food in the evening.We did not stay long as we wanted an early evening meal so we headed off.Our visit is rated as 7/10.
Chirple - 17 Mar 2014 00:00
Have just been here for lunch. Last time I was here was Christmas Eve 2006 and it has owtward appearances, not for the better. Going with a few comments, the service was not exactly "attentive", the guy seeming to be more interested in making himself a cup of tea than in serving me at 12.30pm on a Monday afternoon

Lunch, however, was superb! I had moules marinieres with chips and crusty bread. My friend had sardines. The mussels were too clean to be anything other than frozen, but despite this they were well-cooked, tasty, and the sauce was certainly home-made. The sardines were large and very fresh. My pint of Harveys was the first one sold today, and had obviously been well pulled-through - it was perfect.

OK, the place looks more like a 1940s tea-room inside, and the guy behind the jumps wasn't lightening quick (although never surly or impolite as others have found. I will be going back soon, because I was impressed. Prices are average for pub grub in this tourist area.
wittsy64 - 2 Apr 2012 15:26
Unfortunately, neither of the two real ales were on when I visited.
halfabitterman - 29 May 2011 18:19
Great location for a pub, with a venerable tree in the tiny former market square out front and then the Roman walls of Pevensey Castle beyond. Unfortunately, that's where the good points end. It took ages to be served, despite just one other customer buying a drink - apparently, according to the miserable landlady, I was "standing at the wrong part of the bar" (?). Obviously food orientated, but looked in vain for a menu (apparently they stopped serving at 14:30 on a bank holiday Monday - madness!). Only one of three handpumps working (Harveys), but there was also a polypin "on the wrong part of the bar" serving something aptly called 'Grumpy Guvnor' from the nearby White Brewing Company micro (which, at 2.50 was fine, if a little warm on a hot summer day). Quite smart inside, but the beer garden looks a bit neglected. Toilets annoying called 'Maids' and 'Knights' (and also 'Dames' and 'Hommes'). Overall, if they did something about the customer service it good be quite a good pub (but in the meantime you are probably best advised to walk a short distance down the High Street to the Smugglers).
rpadam - 1 Sep 2010 21:49
My first visit to this pub was not a welcoming one. I live in suffolk and am used to friendly village life, the landlord couldn't be more distant if he tried, he really made us feel uncomfortable and we only stayed for one drink. The smugglers just down 50 yards was completly the opposite.
anonymous - 25 Jul 2007 17:01
I live near to this pub and use it ( or did ) on an occasional basis! But i have to put how appauled i was that i had lunch with my son and a friend and ordered a toasted sandwich, this came uncut on a plate the size of a saucer. I asked if this came with a salad garnish and was promptly told that if i wanted it, it would be 50p extra, i also asked why sandwich was uncut and was told that is the way it is served. When i purchased some more drinks the landlord whispered to the girl that he was to charge me on top of the drink for salad garnish.
I couldn't believe this and it is no surprise that this pub is always empty. I will be advising people against visiting.
pinkgirl - 25 Jul 2007 16:57
After reading all the negative stuff posted on this site, my friend and I were a bit concerned about this pub. However, we had a lovely stay, with a decent pint, good food and a clean bedroom. The staff is very friendly and helpful! Of course, there could be some updating, but our overall impression is positive! Take a look and find out for yourself...
dirkfromholland - 10 Jul 2007 06:36
I just wanted to say after years of living in the village this is one of the best pubs around,with friendly staff and wonderful food,Things must have moved on since last year when such commet had been written.
Food is to a very high standed on every occasion that my family and i have attened,the staff are happy to help you as soon as they can,The pub is a relaxing and comftable place to be the music allways sets the mood,what eles could you ask for?

This is a new year so things must be on the up for such a lovely and welcoming pub.

anonymous - 3 Apr 2007 15:36
Only place we could get into on a Sunday evening, we now no why. Everything on the menu except the beef was off. When it arrived it would have quelled the palate of a high caste ghoul.Potatoes had been in the deep fat fryer, beef dried up and overcooked yorkshire pudding akin to old leather.
I suppose evn they admitted it was not good the landlord said well perhaps we sholdnt serve food!! He gave us a discount.

How to ruin what was a thriving business a year ago.
lawhouse - 25 Aug 2006 21:00
We visited again yesterday, hoping for change. Disaster, dreadful. The garden had become dirty and tatty, the menu has changed from interesting innovative food to rubbish roast dinners, pies, pub grub. The clientele have changed, service poor and sulky, how to loose custom and turn a thriving business into rubbish in three months, well done a salutary lesson to all. Don't bother.
lawhouse - 30 Jul 2006 18:23
Food is of a high standard very gastropub, however has changed hands and while the menu has stayed the same it lacks the edge that the previous owners had and the service while OK is slow and not as slick.

Who knows it may improve again.
lawhouse - 17 Feb 2006 12:15
We find the Royal Oak and Castle right next to the Castle gates and car park. A two-storey cream coloured building with a front entrance porch and rear beer garden, its present form is of Victorian origin. According to the publicity leaflet, the original pub occupied the small area where the straight bar now is, with the side door once being the main entrance. This structure was then conjoined in 1852 to the separately standing building of the Holmes Commercial Hotel (the date 1853 is set in the wall above the door inside the front entrance).

Although the place was GBG listed from 1984 to 1986, the present interior design is at most only a few years old and has the pleasant ambience of a Mediterranean Bistro. An enormous amount of sunlight floods through the front windows into the pinewood bar. The walls are painted pale yellow, table umbrellas are made from pale canvas, and soft jazz and samba noises waft from the CD player behind the bar. The straight room down the left side of the front entrance serves as the restaurant, this being decorated with pantomime masks and a variety of prints and photographs including one of the, then, ivy-clad pub around the end of the 19th century.

I can appreciate that this place may not appeal to those who yearn for the more traditional type of establishment, but what it does it seems to do very well. A certificate on the wall from the Wealden District Council notes its entry into the Best Inn, Wealden Guide for 2002-03. Two real ales are on sale: Harveys Best Bitter and Wells Bombardier. For the sake of scientific reliability I stay with the Harveys (1.30 a half). It is of better quality than that found at the Pevensey Castle Hotel, but rather characterless compared to my half at the Priory Court, mainly I suspect because it is served a couple of degrees too cool for the flavour to properly emerge, as is occasionally the case with the culture of restaurant-oriented places such as this. (Autumn 2004)

thequaffer - 26 Jan 2005 17:43
Built in the 1870's beneath the walls on ancient Pevensey Castle, originally a Roman fort and later the first stronghold of William The Conqueror when he landed here in 1066. Good range of beers including guest ales and the Sussex Harveys ales. Superb restaurant.
Keith Belcher - 12 Dec 2004 17:56

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