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Pubs in Bristol
On the hunt for the perfect pint? Find the best pubs in Bristol with our guide to the city's best boozers.
Below Mark Brewer reveals his 'Top 5 Pubs Worth Climbing a Bristolian Hill For'.
The Christmas Steps
Having opened over the May Bank Holiday 2014, after undergoing a complete renovation to accentuate the 17th century building’s original bare-stone and high beamed features, the pub boasts a charming synergy between Bristol’s past, present and future. The landlords have experience, both in well-decorated drinking locales, and Bristol’s varied music scene, moonlighting as the creative minds behind Bristol-based The Crack magazine. These ingredients result in an atmospheric experience, bringing together 17th century aesthetic with a range of modern art and music. Whether you’re on your way up or down the hill, take time to stop here.
Address: 2 Christmas Steps, Bristol, BS1 5BS
Telephone: 0117 925 3077
The White Bear
Situated a little further down St Michael’s Hill, The White Bear provides a place to eat or drink in comfort. Their seating areas are pleasantly split into themes to suit any mood, ranging from rustic wooden furniture, a selection of more intimate tables, or low leather lounge sofas. Like its namesake, The White Bear can either be a beehive of activity, or else the perfect place to laze on a quiet afternoon, playing from a range of niche board-games. If you happen to find yourself nearby on a Sunday, The White Bear’s great-value Sunday roast is always worth the stop.
Address: 133 Saint Michael's Hill, Bristol, BS2 8BS
Telephone: 0117 904 9054
The Scotchman and His Pack
Like the TARDIS, this pub is far larger on the inside than out. Its intriguing sloped exterior will lure you inside, whilst the assortment of drinks, welcoming staff and delightful roof terrace inside will keep you coming back. Situated just on the rise of St. Michael’s Hill, the pub serves a wide clientele, spanning Scotchman veterans, professors, students, shoppers and professionals seeking some post-work relaxation. There are regular deals, making the menu an appealing accompaniment to a quiet drink, whilst the balcony boasts one of the best vantage points in the city from which to survey the Bristolian landscape. Don’t miss it on your way up.
Address: 20 St Michael's Hill, Bristol, BS2 8DX
Telephone: 0117 373 0138
The Highbury Vaults
The Highbury Vaults - or simply ‘The Vaults’ to the locals - is a quaint, cosy village pub located at the top of St Michael’s Hill, and a favourite haunt of the University’s philosophy faculty. If the oak-panelling and Victorian train set, which occasionally pops in and out of sight as it circuits the pub, doesn’t endear you, then the friendly bar staff and heart-warming food certainly will. They will gladly serve you from a selection of real-ales, and are more than happy to join you in interesting conversation on just about any subject you can think of (and many that you can’t). The range of ciders might be a little narrow for a Bristolian pub, but The Vaults definitely makes up for this in character, company and good food. Definitely try the fish pie.
Address: 164 St Michael's Hill, Bristol, BS2 8DE
Telephone: 01179 733203
The Green Man
If you’re looking for a community atmosphere and a range of award-winning real stouts, ales and ciders to cover the bar, The Green Man microbrewery should be your next stop. The grade II listed pub is the fifth in the decade-old Dawkins Brewery Company, and boasts endearing village-style premises right in the heart of Kingsdown. If you’re an ale connoisseur, then their uncompromising ethos of using only the best ingredients, including Marris Otter malt, will furnish you with a drinking experience as welcome as the landlords make you feel. No wonder all five of these microbreweries are acclaimed in CAMRA’s Good Beer Guide!
Address: 21 Alfred Place, Bristol, BS2 8HD
Telephone: 0117 925 8062