Ypres Castle Inn, Rye
Real Ales - Good Food - Proper Coffee - Good Company
The ancient town of Rye’s best-kept secret, the pretty Ypres Castle Inn, known as ‘The Wipers’ by
the locals, sits nestled beneath the ramparts of the Ypres Castle Tower, thought to have been built
in 1249 as part of the town’s defences. The white weather-boarded free-house has been providing
hospitality since 1640. It is reached by 16th century steps designed to make sword-fighting even
more treacherous for invading hordes and was once the haunt of local wool smugglers – known as
‘Owlers’ because of their bird-like signals to each other.
These days, the welcoming and sophisticated interior creates a relaxed, friendly atmosphere and
offers a reading room stocked with an eclectic literary mix, together with daily newspapers,
children’s games and free Wi-Fi. The pretty bar, featuring the original timber frame of the building,
serves local Harvey’s Sussex Bitter, best enjoyed sitting next to the roaring log fire or relaxing on a
pew around one of the large oak tables.
From the garden – the only one belonging to a pub in the citadel area – there are magnificent
views of the surrounding Romney Marsh and the River Rother, whose working fishing fleet
provides most of the seafood offered on the pub menu, including the famous Rye Bay Scallop.
Other local produce on the menu includes Winchelsea Pork, Romney Marsh Lamb and homecooked
Biddenden cider-soaked ham. Lunchtime brings daily home-made soups as well as a
selection of freshly baked baguettes, seafood salads and beer-battered cod and chips. Don’t miss
the home-made pickles, especially the piccalilli.
Morning and afternoon teas and coffees are available with an ever-changing selection of homemade
cakes, baked fresh every morning.
Booking for Dinner is especially advisable in the summer and always at weekends for the
traditional Sundays Roasts.
On Fridays nights, the pub transforms into a lively music venue with a varied programme provided
by local artistes whilst Sunday sees performances on a more intimate scale and there is live music
in the garden during the summer. See all the listings at www.yprescastleinn.co.uk
Dogs are welcome – ask for a free dog treat – there is even a dog menu with recommendations by
Spud, the pub terrier.