Reckless Engineer                                                       Cottage Inn                                                           Bag O'Nails               


Having visited Bristol, and after discussing places with local football fans and a regular visitor I know with friends there, Dan, I can confirm that there are many bars serving good ale and decent food in Bristol. 


If coming by train, when you leave the station, directly in front of you, and over the road, is the Reckless Engineer, Temple Gate, Harbourside, BS1 6PL (0117 922 0487) where I enjoyed a couple of pints of an old favourite, Butcombe Bitter, the first I've had for years.  It has quite a Spartan feel about it, but very friendly, good ale and choice, a reasonably simple menu, and live music; see their site for latest news.


Those used to the cheaper beer and food at Weatherspoons will be pleased to visit the Knights Templar, 1 Temple Square, BS1 6DG (0117 930 8710).   This is a modern large building as you may expect of Spoon's pubs, and with a choice of beers, and a manager in charge, that pleases the locals, serving good ale and, of course, there is the usual fare.


At Hotwells, there is a great choice of pubs, notably the well located Cottage Inn on Baltic Wharf, Cumberland Road, BS1 6XG (0117 921 5256), overlooking the harbour.  The Cottage is now owned by Butcombe, so another chance to taste their beers, and there's nothing like drinking 'local'.  The last time I was here they were selling guest beers too, and there is a good food menu.


Back up to the Bag O'Nails, St George's Road BS1 5UW (0117 940 6776) and you reach one of those pubs that you really want on your doorstep, it feels basic, but great beer served the last time I was there, I believe it has changed hands and been redecorated too, so I would appreciate a more up to date photograph please.


Our favourite pub of our last visit to Bristol City was the Adam and Eve, Hope Chapel Hill, BS8 4ND (0117 929 1508).  We went before and after the match, and enjoyed the ales and food. 

                             Adam & Eve                                                          Portcullis Inn                                                          Nova Scotia                  


Dan has advised going to the Portcullis Inn, 3 Wellington Terrace BS8 4LE (0117 908 5536) on the Clifton side of the suspension bridge, which is lauded in the Good Beer Guide every year.  9 ales, including Dawkins Brassknocker and Green Barrel, a beer from BrewDog (now there’s a treat) and 6 guest ales, all from microbreweries. The Portcullis also sells good quality food.


Dan also regularly visits the Nova Scotia, Nova Scotia Place BS1 6XJ (0117 929 7994). Beer and food is reportedly excellent here, eg gammon, steak, lasagne, and friendly and helpful staff and locals.


Other recommended pubs, and I cannot overemphasise there are many other good pubs in Bristol, include the Bank Tavern, 8 John Street BS1 2HR (0117 930 4691), a supporter of microbreweries in the South West.  There are 3 or 4 constantly changing ales, guest ciders and food at lunchtimes, 12-4pm.


The SevenStars, 1 Thomas Lane BS1 6JG (0117 927 2845), is tucked away on a cobbled street under the shadow of St Thomas Church in Redcliffe.  This is one of Bristol's oldest pubs dating back to the late 1600s and has 8 regularly changing ales, cider and perry.


The Kings Head, 60 Victoria Street BS1 6DE (0117 927 7860) is a short walk both from Temple Meads station and is another 17th century with an ‘unspoilt’ historic interior.  Ales include Butcombe Gold, Sharps Cornish Coaster and Doom Bar, and Wadworth 6X; food is only served weekday lunchtimes.


The Orchard Inn, 12 Hanover Place, Spike Island BS1 6XT (0117 926 2678) is near the SS Great Britain, off Cumberland Road. – 8 ales, including Bath Ales Gem Bitter and guests, eg from Otley, Otter and London Pride, all served from gravity behind the bar, and between 15 and 24 ciders are available!  Food is served, breakfast from 09.00 (alcohol from 10.00) and at lunchtime.


Finally, back in Hotwells, is the Merchants Arms, 5 Merchants Road BS8 4PZ (0117 904 0037), which has been a Bath Ales pub, but doesn’t appear on their website anymore (?). Regular ales include Bath Ales SPA, Gem Bitter, and Barnstormer, and ‘seasonal’ ales are available too.