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Clapton
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At Clapton’s newly refurbished Windsor Castle, every inch has been spruced, smartened and straightened up, and it’s almost unrecognisable from its old self. The pool table’s gone; the pub boar is now stuffed and hangs above the bar in taxidermy form. A few local craft beers (Truman’s or Five Points, say) have been added to the long list of standards, and there are simple but proficently made cocktails. The Windsor’s chefs cook food fit for a king, comparatively speaking, or at least a future one. Dishes such as grilled mackerel with gooseberry, or trotter toast and pickles, are of a standard found nowhere else around here, although you may feel you need access to the privy purse to satisfy a big appetite. No one will get Fergie-sized on these portions.

The Windsor is definitely now a pub aimed at the Hackney gentrifiers rather than old-school Claptonites – whippets have replaced staffies as the beer garden dog of choice. However, when I visited, a few groups of more ‘traditional’ locals were showing the hipsters they weren’t for giving up their old pub. A slightly uneasy union: something the Windsors are used to.

Reviewed by Euan Ferguson

 

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Windsor Castle says
The Windsor Castle is a huge Victorian pub located at 135 Lower Clapton Road in Hackney. It features two courtyard style gardens, a dining area and a horseshoe bar serving mostly European wines, seasonal house drinks and local craft beers. All areas are open to all kinds of customers, whether the emphasis is on dining, boozing, or both.

A local focus is evident in the beer selection, which lines up some of our favourite east London breweries with highlights from around the world: Five Points, ELB and Trumans are all on the hand pump, with Meantime, Brooklyn and Blue Moon accompanying them on tap, alongside some slightly more familiar faces for those of you who like their beer with minimum fuss. There's also an ever-evolving house drinks list which includes grapefruit & tequila, Hendricks & tonic with cucumber, an old fashioned, a bloody mary and a rhubarb bellini.

We have a range of events including free food feasts, supper clubs and much more. For tickets and more information follow us on Facebook @ The Windsor Castle Clapton.
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Venue name: Windsor Castle
Contact:
Address: 135 Lower Clapton Rd
London
E5 8EQ
Opening hours: Open noon-midnight Mon-Sun; Food 6.30-10.30pm Mon-Fri; 12.30-4.30pm, 6.30-10.30pm Sat; 12.30-4.30pm, 6.30-10pm Sun.

Average User Rating

3.4 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:5
  • 4 star:2
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:4
LiveReviews|11
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Lizzie W

Amazing pub with really friendly bar staff, delicious food and wine menu and a nice atmosphere.. highly recommend anyone in Clapton going and trying one of their roasts.. perfect cosy pub in Winter and equally lovely spot for Summer drinks in their really cute garden!

Casper F

I've been to the Windsor Castle several times and it's just as good on a Friday night as it is on a Sunday afternoon. 

The food is amazing and the staff always really friendly. It's definitely worth a visit. 

simon c

What a great night, really friendly staff and tasty grub that goes well with the beers on tap - liked the selection from our local micro breweries. nice friday night atmosphere, great addition to the local scene.

Nicola H

Friends had recommended this place, so we gave it a try for Sunday lunch on my birthday.  Very disappointed - although the staff were efficient and friendly, the food was very poor.  Roast topside of beef was extremely tough; overcooked in places and virtually raw in others.  Plus no yorkshire pudding.  A chicken breast was panfried to cremation; totally overcooked and burnt on the bottom.  They knocked £3.50 off a bill of £60.  The ales/lager selection looked pretty good, but we definitely won't return for food.

Josey W

This used to be a horrible place that most people in the area were scared to go in. Now it's a decent pub with good food and local ales.

m.ying

Ace vibe... a lovely little outdoor courtyard & generally a great haven to hang out in (food & drinks seasonally lush)

Gabriella

Great place... What a shame some of the reviews aren't as positive as my experience there. I went for dinner with my partner and friends last week and we left saying it was the best pub food and drink we have had before. The service was just right: relaxed and friendly yet very efficient! The cocktails are seasonal and very fresh, suiting the delicious food they serve... I will be a regular customer from now onwards, especially when wanting to impress my friends!

Ben Fisher

Ate here for Sunday lunch. Lovely atmosphere, friendly service (something I don't often experience East), and good food. We had the Pork Belly and Lamb Shank. Both dishes were delicious and of a much higher quality than you'll find in any of the neighbouring pubs, although a bit pricier as well. Great selection of local beers on the bar also. Very enjoyable.

Kate64

Treated ourselves to lunch here today. Though we were one of only three occupied tables, it took an hour to serve our choice of six little dishes from the bar snacks menu - excellent potatoes, decent fish pie, freezing prawns, freezing ham hock terrine served with burnt toast. Well, they delivered five of the dishes, one was given to the next table. We realised the mistake when we heard our neighbouring diners (who'd come in 10 minutes after us) saying "Who ordered this?" to each other. When we asked the waitress if it might just be the chicken fillets we were waiting for she chastised us, telling us in a very patronising voice that they weren't ours and we just needed to be patient because ours would be coming - she didn't even bother double checking with the kitchen. Ten minutes later we realised we were sitting like a pair of idiots waiting for nothing and after checking with another waitress, she discovered the mistake. We paid up and left - the rude waitress left the worst taste in our mouth of a very variable dining experience. They tell you on arrival that with small plates they serve them as they emerge from the kitchen - but they really need to be able to organise service far more efficiently and teach some staff manners.

Rose Clearwater

It used to be a place for people from the area to hang out, now it's empty during the day - opens up to serve hipsters food in the evening, charges far too much for bog standard grub and stinks of gentrification.

Xx

Used to be a mixed pub. Is now entirely white. The new owners have done nothing to cater for the locals. Why not just open a restaurant and leave the pubs alone?