Lunch deals & local beers at this popular English pub
Durham Castle Arms is an English pub located at the Kingston Shops, 10 minutes south of the city. When you walk through the local shops, tucked away in a corner is the bright red façade of the Durham Castle Arms, with tables out the front so pub-goers can sit and watch the world go by. When you walk inside into the dark interior, it is so authentically English that it is like being transported to the other side of the world. The ceilings are low, the décor is dark and the traditional wooden furniture is a little worn and weathered, creating an authentic English pub look and atmosphere. There are booths to sit at with faded tapestry chairs and the walls are adorned with fine drawings of English villages. At the back of the pub is even a stuffed fox and pheasant! If you are from the UK yourself, this English pub would be the closest feeling to a real English pub in Canberra (however also check out George Harcourt Inn and Wig and Pen - see here for details).
On our family's visit, we were looking forward to having lunch inside a cosy English pub, with a reasonably priced $10 lunch menu and local beers on tap. We were not disappointed...
Reasonably priced lunch deals at Durham Castle Arms
When you first walk in the door, the seating area splits in two, so you have the choice of sitting in a long row of tables near the bar, or in the dining area behind it. There are also cosy corner booths to choose from and a scenic table area on an elevated platform, which is used as a stage on Friday and Saturday nights after 10pm. The wide variety of seating is an attractive feature of this pub, with many little corner nooks to choose from.
If you are feeling thirsty, there is a wide range of beers to try on tap from behind the bar, with friendly bar staff happy to help you with your selection. There are 10 dedicated craft beer taps at any one time with some of Australia's best brewers including Stone & Wood, Fortitude Brewing, Prickly Moses and Brewcult. The Durham Castle Arms also supports local beer makers, so it is a good opportunity to try different local beers in the one location.
The menus for both lunch and dinner are extensive with delicious "pub grub" options including fish and chips, burgers, nacho's, chicken schnitzels, steak and more. Every day of the week (at the time of writing), they have a $10 lunch menu which is a surprisingly affordable deal considering its Kingston location. On our visit we decided to try the Pub Burger and the Pub Chicken from the $10 menu, one with a side of chips for an extra $2.50. When we were talking to the bar staff, they said that we could choose a Kids Meal for our daughter from some of the options from the dinner menu, as a smaller size and cheaper price. Our daughter happily slurped and sucked up the small-sized Meatballs dish that she received, for just $7.50.
Left: Pub Chicken burger. Right: Pub Burger and chips and kids-sized beef Meatballs
The Pub Burger had a thick homemade patty, with a tangy and delicious tomato relish which pulled the flavours together. The Pub Chicken however, was the stand out of the two, with the burger jam-packed full of char-grilled chicken breast, tomato, avocado, red onion, lettuce and bacon. An extra touch that we enjoyed was the choice of melted cheese that we could have on our burgers - with brie, cheddar, blue cheese and swiss the tasty options. We both chose the brie, which melted and oozed slowly all over the burgers, mixing with the sauces and creating a filling, delicious meal in itself.
Our family enjoyed our visit to the Durham Castle Arms so much, we were planning our next visit before we had even left. With board games to play and an extensive menu for all tastes, it is an ideal place to go back with extended family and friends for a meal, drinks and games in a relaxed environment. During the colder months in particular, the large and warm interior is inviting, cosy and comfortable.
Exactly like an English pub is meant to be.
Live bands, pub grub & English hospitality in Kingston. Source: Original photos from Durham Castle Arms Facebook