Having been a Queen fan forever, I had read about this little bar in Ealing, the UK, which Freddie Mercury (still know as Farrokh Bulsara there) used to frequent regularly with musician Tim Staffell while studying at Ealing College.

Tim was the person who eventually formed a band called Smile together with Brian May and Roger Taylor. Freddie would eventually replace him and the band would be reborn as... Queen.

At the time I was there, I was not actually intending to visit. I was based in Ealing due to work. My boss flew over and we needed to find somewhere to have a quick lunch. When we passed by the Castle Inn I suggested we stop there, not realising at the time that this was the famous Castle Inn. I was also tired of walking, so it made perfect sense.

Unbelievably, it was only a few days later that I realised that I had spent a couple of hours hanging out in Freddie’s favourite college hang-out. I like to think (although I probably didn’t) that I also sat at the same table they used sit around discussing band names.

The place is very humble, very much like any other English pub. They don’t seem to make a big fuss about the Freddie Mercury connection. All their blackboards have FA League match fixtures written on them as opposed to Queen lyrics. It’s the sort of place you can just walk in without a booking – unless you really want to sit at the table under the window on the left hand side. There is usually an old man doing a crossword puzzle there and it takes him forever.

The food is what you would expect from your typical English pub. They make a killer burger though – they should seriously consider re-naming it to Chef Showing Off Burger.

If you are a Queen fan, you should totally hang out and have a pint. It’s not the kind of place you would want to make a big fuss about but more of a cool place to have visited. If you are not a Queen fan the burger is still a good enough reason to visit.


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