Review: Dover Castle Bar and Hostel

With both a famous market and a busy high street, Borough has no shortage of pubs to choose from. The south London hotspot offers up a good selection of pubs which range from classier, more expensive venues like The Roebuck to cheaper spots such as the Blue Eyed Maid.

Despite a large amount of competition, the Dover Castle has managed to occupy the middle ground, and in doing so has established itself as one of the area’s most-loved locations.

We decided to stop by The Dover to discover the source of it’s popularity, and to find out why it is such a big hit with the area’s large student population.

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Though it might come across as a standard student bar at first sight, there are plenty of distinctive features which set the Dover Castle apart from many of its local rivals.

Firstly, and perhaps most importantly, is the price of the drinks on offer. With a number of university accommodations located within a short walk, the pub successfully markets itself as a one which welcomes students.

Though there are a wide selection of beers, lagers and spirits on offer, Carling and the Dover Castle’s own cider are the biggest hits with its student clientele, costing just £2.80 a pint.

For those who can’t bear the taste of Carling, the Dover offers a selection of craft beers and ciders, such as Sharps Orchard Craft Cider, Brewdog’s Punk IPA, and HOPS House Lager.

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The Dover’s drink selection depends largely on the time of year and the weather, with owner Gary Smith not afraid to be experimental in his selection of beverages. While the summer months witnessed the rise of the pub’s slushy selection, including a successful Pimms flavoured one, expect the coming weeks to see mulled wine return to the menu.

For those who love sport, the Dover is an ideal location to visit, with five large screens displaying a number of sports.

More so than many of the other pubs in the area, the Dover Castle embraces American culture. Not only is this shown by the fact it offers US favourites such as Blue Moon and Coors Light, but also by its weekly showing of the NFL, which is accompanied by £2 off pizzas.

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Despite providing free food for special occasions such as Thanksgiving, St Patrick’s Day and Christmas, the Dover usually has to rely on local restaurants due to the fact that it lacks a dedicated kitchen. Though this truth is a disappointing one, all will be forgiven as you enjoy a large pizza for just £6 on a Sunday.

If you are looking for a chic, sophisticated pub to have a quiet pint and a hearty home-cooked meal, then the Dover won’t be for you. However, if you’re walking round Borough High Street strapped for cash, searching for cheap drinks, decent entertainment and a great (though sometimes rowdy) atmosphere, we highly recommend checking in to the Dover Castle.

The Dover Castle can be found at 6, Great Dover Street, London.

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