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The Carlisle Castle Hotel

Bars Newtown
3 out of 5 stars
The Carlisle Castle Hotel

Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars

What's not to love about a good bistro in a humble old pub

There’s something wildly out of place about the Carlisle Castle. It’s an old-school Sydney working men’s pub, nestled in the back streets of one of the most gentrified bits of Newtown. You’d expect something either polished up to cater to the locals who dwell in the poky seven-figure terraces that surround the pub, or the hip young things who got lost to or from the Courthouse Hotel a couple of blocks away. But instead it’s a long, narrow front bar with a paintjob last touched up in the Keating years, a few tables scattered around, a beer garden deck and a bistro. Were it not for the fetchingly bearded bar staff, you’d assume you were in the docklands of 1986. And that’s the Carlisle’s superweapon: it doesn’t fix what isn’t broken. You’ve got tap beer, a few house wines, basic spirits. Sure, the bistro has been done up. Now there are candles on the tables soft-lighting the excellent fish burger, gnocchi and pot pies flying out of the contemporary Australian kitchen in the arms of the terribly hip floor staff. It’s a far cry from its former serviceable pub-grub days. But all the ambiance in the world is no match for the meat raffle going on and the pie warmer in the front bar. Does this pub even know that it’s in Newtown? Oh, and there may or may not be a ghost. We’re betting on “not”, but consider yourself warned in any case.

By: Emily Lloyd-Tait



Address: 19 Albermarle St
Opening hours: Mon-Sat 10am-midnight; Sun 10am-10pm
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