The best pubs in Bristol
Who doesn’t like a traditional pub? They’re part of British culture – so much so, they’re now woven into the fabric of daily life (and have been for hundreds of years). In fact, it was the Roman invasion that brought the concept of the public house to our shores.
It might have taken a while (say, a few centuries) for the pub as we know it to come to fruition, but in that time, they’ve become so much more than simply a house serving ale. Throughout time, they’ve served as places of business, social reform, diversion and in the absence of the printing press, even as the local news.
Luckily for Bristolians, the city isn’t short on traditional Bristol pubs, many of which also serve delicious food and fabulous ales. Here are just a few of Bristol’s first and foremost pubs.
Bristol’s oldest pubs
There’s some debate over the title for oldest pub in the city, with several contenders vying for first place.
The Hatchet Inn claims to have been established around 1606, and is named after the woodsmen of Clifton Wood. It’s stood the test of time, and now offers a range of delicious pub grub, as well as a tasty pint.
Another contender for the title is the Llandoger Trow, built in 1664. With its stunning Tudor exterior set on the sunny cobbled street in the heart of the city, it’s a great option for those warm, summer days. The Bristol pub is also steeped in history; legend has it that the Llandoger Trow was a favorite drinking spot for the infamous privateer Blackbeard, as well as the inspiration for Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island.
A third contender for the title is The Rummer, just off of St Nick’s Market. Dating back to 1241, The Rummer’s flagstone floors and huge fireplace act as visible reminders of the pub’s longstanding history. It now boasts its own micro distillery, brewing batches of aromatic gins and spiced rums that you can sample in the bar (along with a plethora of other spirits).
The Steam Crane
This Bristol Pub is located south of the river in Bedminster, The Steam Crane is pretty hard to miss. Its elaborately painted exterior depicts an olden day nautical scene, while the interior décor aligns to a more traditional pub theme, with sprinkling of modernism.
Leather armchairs somehow blend seamlessly with the traditional fireplaces and wooden bar that you’d expect from a traditional British pub. There’s a wide variety of beer, ales and wine available, and the food comes highly recommended by locals and visitors alike.
It’s great for larger groups, so if you’re planning a Bristol stag weekend, then the Stream Crane is a great place to start your celebrations.
The Albion, Clifton
A rather swish take on the tradition British pub, the Albion is a very popular haunt in the heart of bustling Clifton village. Dating back to the 17th Century, the building has been expertly renovated and designed with impeccable taste.
It’s a winner for all seasons; lazy summer afternoons fly by in the ample courtyard garden, while winter Sunday lunches have to be experienced by the comfort of a roaring fire and accompanied by a delicious glass of red.
Although it might not be one for the budget conscious, The Albion is certainly a must for those who want to enjoy their pint in more upmarket surroundings. The food menu is seasonal, the ingredients impeccable quality and the dishes, reassuringly traditional. There’s literally something for everyone, one of our favourite Bristol pubs.
The Jersey Lily
As far as Bristol pubs go, The Jersey Lily is young, fun and full of character. Situated on lively Whiteladies Road, the pub enjoys a relaxed atmosphere, which attracts a mixed – yet equally welcome – crowd. The food is award-winning; sourced from local suppliers, you can sink your teeth into a huge variety of scrumptious snacks and dinners.
From tapas to share to Sunday Roasts, there’s literally something for everyone on their extensive menu. If you’re more interested in the drinks menu, then you won’t be disappointed.
There’s a huge selection of wines for all tastes on offer – as well as cocktails. And if live music is up your street, make sure you check out the live acoustic on Thursdays, while you and a friend sip on two delicious craft cocktails, for the price of one.
If you’re a cocktail connoisseur, then you’ve found mecca. Nestled on a quiet Clifton street, Amoeba’s bright red exterior and candle-lit window makes it stand out on dark, winter nights.
Once you’re inside and had a chance to peruse the extensive cocktail menu, it’ll start standing out for a host of other reasons. Perhaps it’s the exotic collection of mixes, spirits and drinks on offer, or the expertise in which the staff guide you through the menu. Or it could simply be the incredible flavours of the ingenious concoctions, or relaxed and friendly atmosphere.
The venue also offers free event hire – a great choice for Bristol hen weekends who want to be based in and around Clifton village.