Congratulations to Michael, seemingly a permanent resident of Crewe’s excellent Hops, for working out it was Peterlee.  I think he has some local knowledge.

I wouldn’t have guessed Peterlee from those photos, though obviously the Welcom(ing) Homes was a giveaway. I used to have a prurient interest in the town, second only to Jaywick on the list of most deprived wards which determines NHS funding allocations.  For some reason I used to receive property details for commercial estate agents which listed poperties at prices that made Toxteth look expensive.

I’ve been a few times now, enjoying the exceptional rocky beaches at Blackhall, Castle Eden Dene and the bargain beer at the Five Quarter (£1.50 a pint last year).

Acknowledgement – Michael Harris

As a post-war New Town, Peterlee occasionally looks a little impermanent, but it’s neat and tidy, and more attractive than, say, Stevenage or Letchworth (I lived there for a while).

The new Beer Guide entry, the Royal George in Old Shotton, is walking distance from the Five Quarter, but a rather quieter world away.

Royal George, Old Shotton

I was tempted to call this post “Prosecco Peterlee”,  but even with the sparking wine offers and smart dining rooms, this felt like a proper pub, and a good contrast with the Sizzling Pub over the road.

Being a nosey old bloke, I took the offered opportunity to see the upstairs function rooms developed by owners Leamside, whose Porter was superbly rich (NBSS 3.5). The staff were very chatty, which I like in a pub.  Piped Billy Joel was a different matter.

Three beers, different styles – result

Castle Eden Dene is also within walking distance, and as good a way to burn off the pies as anywhere in the North. Best approached from the coast rather than town though.

Castle Eden Dene

The cave in the picture is, of course, where Castle Eden ale was made by artisans before it’s ruination by Whitbread in the ’90s.  I still recall their wondrous Christmas Ale from 1995, one of the few seasonal ales worthy of the name.

The Eden Ale in the picture at the top was much enjoyed in the Olde Elm Tree in Durham, one of the few places you’ll still find the Camerons version, which ain’t bad.


12 thoughts on “CASTLE EDEN

  1. I hope you asked for a top-up for that pint!

    I found a closed pub at Blackhall Rocks.

    Incidentally, I wasn’t much fussed about the Old Elm Tree. I’m not a great fan of the shabby-chic-verging-on-tatty indie free house type of pub. Wilkes Head in Leek similar.


    1. Bleak he says ! South Hetton inland was what I call bleak.

      I’ll have more to say on the Elm Tree later.

      I have never ever asked for a top-up. Feel the same way about full pints as I do about cask breathers !


      1. Even if the head is more than an inch deep??!!

        While it’s not realistically a live issue at the moment, I have to say I’m a full measures absolutist. I would love to see Spoons serving all their kegs and lagers through meters.


      2. You’re clearly in the right on this, but given how rarely I ask how much a pint is before ordering it always seems a moot pint. Given options I’d go in pub serving 20% of froth for £3 rather than a ful pint for £3.80.

        Might try protesting in the Sun in Stockton for a laugh.


      1. Yes, there’s a link in the words Blackhall Rocks, but not obvious from the blog formatting.


  2. Yes, Pub Curmudgeon helpfully did a link to the Seagull. I just noticed there’s a Park Resorts holiday park at Crimdon Dene so might take advantage of their £10 camping !


  3. I think the demise of Castle Eden was down to two mates who were between jobs. Despite having no experience, somehow they managed to get a contract to paint the walls of the brewery with some fancy two pack epoxy paint that was ultra H & S compliant/hygenic. They managed a full day on site and when they returned the next day were shown the results of their handiwork before being politely asked to leave. What had looked like a good job when they left had all run down the walls like gloopy snot before congealing into an effect not dissimilar to one of those bottles with endless candles they have in Italian restaurants. I don’t think Castle Eden ever recovered from this!


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