I loved this tiny pub. The Old Duke' is famous for some great live jazz nights. The only problem is that it’s very small so you have to be there early to get a seat. A local told me that the music is different every night but hopefully we listened some nice jazz standards when we went there by Keith Little Band. During summer months they also use the tables outside. Believe it or not the pub dates back from 1780!!
There isn’t any entrance fee and I noticed many many beers to choose from (£2.40-£3) Ah! The WC walls are covered with music scores (pic 3)! It’s funny to see so many notes around and read music scores while you wash your hands… :)
The pub is open daily 12.00-23:30 but the concerts usually start at 21.00
This pub is one of the oldest in Clifton, and has been notorious for decades. The reason is that it sells Exhibition cider, which is sweet and tastes of harmless apple juice. But it is about 8.6% alcohol, and in fact the pub will only serve it in half-pint measures due to it being so strong. During term time the pub is rammed full of students, and it can get a bit noisy and sweaty. The fun is watching the students trying to drink 5 Exhibitions, thinking it's innocuous, and then literally falling over unconscious! This is probably the only 'must-see' pub in Bristol and even has its own website.
You might need to go there early (i.e. before about 8pm) if you want to get a seat, or get in at all.... :-)
Dress Code: No dress code, it's a normal pub. On Friday and Saturday nights they have bouncers on the doors to stop it getting too crowded, so don't be surprised if you can't get in.
If you are addicted to musicals and you cant stand away from London’s West End productions you will be very happy that here you can see many famous opera, musical, dance and other famous performances. I didn’t have time to check inside but I took their brochure at their ticket office which is open till 18:00 when there is no performance.
You can call at 0800 587 5007 for bookings and information
Venue for many a fine gig by up-and-coming or once-famous performers. Look out in particular for appearances by Bristol pub band K-Passa. Think Pogues with a westcountry accent and you won't be far wrong. Their gigs are a blast.
Dress Code: Best not to overdress.
The Waterfront - There is a real mix of bars and clubs - from the art/media centre 'The Watershed', which includes two cinema screens to Lloyds - bright, brash and not particularly my scene, but it attracts a lot of the bright young things. 'The River' is one of my favourite places for a drink - they do fabulous cocktails! Next door is 'The E Shed' - bright red walls and a good vibe, and they do quite cheap pizza.
Across the Pero Bridge is the Arnolfini, another art gallery and cinema complex. It has a wonderful bar for spotting the trendy, it is currently undergoing refurbishment and will be open in 2005. In the summer, the Waterfront is where everyone hangs out with the proverbial British pint.
If you walk from the Waterfront to Prince Street, you come across the largest Georgian square in Europe - a wide open space surrounded by town houses (unfortunately most are now offices). Walk diagonally across the square to King Street, which has one of the oldest pubs in Bristol - the Llandogger Trow. It is thought to be the inspiration for 'The Spyglass' in Robert Louis Stevenson's 'Treasure Island', and is quite beautiful - white washed with black beams, this is a typical 'Ye Olde English' pub.
Opposite is one of my favourite haunts, 'The Old Duke' - a tiny pub but with a fantastic reputation for great live jazz. Entry is free, and it's best to arrive as early as possible in order to get a seat. If you stick to this area of Bristol, you are guaranteed a good night out.
Dress Code: Bristol is a terribly laid back place (one advantage over London), and it is rare for a place to have a strict dress code. However, to be sure of no trouble, the general rule for men is 'no football (soccer) shirts and no trainers'. There are no rules for girls - you can see a lot of tipsy women trotting about in not-very-much late at night! I have never been with any friends who have had dress code problems though.
After enjoying a meal at nearby Numero Uno, most of our party piled into this friendly, cosy pub for a night cap (or 2!)
Apparently, the pub has historical interest.
Wide selection of Real Ales and Lager, with a good selection of wines and spirits.
Friendly, helpful and patient bar staff.
This pub serves food- mainly traditional English and vegetarian dishes.
I think there is outside seating too. (it was October, so we preferred to stay indoors!)
Sky Sports on TV, but not too loud.
Dress Code: Come as You are!, popular with University staff, locals etc.
Well Bristol IS expensive and the drinks are going up all the time (or is it me that I am not going out that often??!!)
Here is a list of some bars in Bristol that you can find reasonable prices
Po Na Na
Queens Road, Clifton (0117) 904 4445
54 Queen Charlotte St (0117) 925 4839
Mon-Thu 12pm-11pm; Fri-Sat 12pm-1am Sun closed
Happy hour: Mon-Thu 4pm-8pm; DJs Fri-Sat
Food served: 12pm-2.30pm
Recommended dish: Club sandwich £5.45 House wine £8.65
47 King Street (0117) 922 1846 Mon-Wed 11am-12.30am; Thu 11am-1.30am; Fri-Sat 11am-2am; Sun 12pm-12.30am. Food served: All day
Recommended dish: Chicken fajitas £8 House wine £8.95
109 Whiteladies Road (0117) 946 6144
Recommended dish: Fajitas £9.95
House wine £9.95 per litre
Henry J Beans
93-95 Whiteladies Road (0117) 904 0061
Mon-Sat 11am-11pm; Sun 11am-10.30pm
Food served: 12pm-8pm
Rec dish: Burger £5.95 House wine £9.95
I will add more as soon as I have the address and the tel. numbers
Dress Code: Most of the bars want to to be well dressed, some dont want trainners.. probably it is not good for their floors (irony....)
Bristol Hippodrome is one of the country's top theatres and one that keeps staging major West End and Broadway productions.
A true gem for Bristol and a great cultural refference
Dress Code: Smart clothes.... you are going to a Broadway show!!!! That is an occassion to dress-up
A serious and dedicated jazz venue, unfashionably south of the Avon, that attracts top acts, especially at weekends. At lunchtimes it's a pretty good local pub too, with reasonable meals, but in the evening unless you're there for the the jazz, the back bar can seem rather bleak.
I went there a few years ago for an unforgettable evening with the Ingrid Laubrock band, causing a stir at the interval by dramatically hugging the keyboard player, my good friend Kim Burton. Amazing stuff!
The Hatchet pub is one of the oldest pubs in Bristol, as it has been licensed since 1606. Prior to that, it was Frogmore Farm and Monastery, giving it's name to the street in which it stands. It is thought that Clifton Wood once crept right down to the edge of the Frog Moor, and that the Inn was a favourite meeting place of the woodcutters, and that it is from this association that the Inn takes its name.
The pub was kept by the Loveridge family for over a century, until 1934 when Miss Susan Loveridge sold it to the brewers Trueman, Handbury and Buxton.
It is noted for it's history of sportsmen, and a boxing ring was once set up at the rear of the pub. Jem Belcher, Tom Cribb and Tom Sayers, all champions of England in the 'bare-knuckles' days fought and trained here in the 19th century. There was also a Cockfighting ring during the 18th century, and rat-catching was apparently a popular pastime then!
During the day it's a nice, oldy-worldy kind of pub to have a quiet drink and some food; in the evening it becomes the hang-out of Bristols' goths and rockers, probably drawn by the proximity of the Academy, and the fact that regular club nights are held in the rooms upstairs. There's a shady garden out the back for smokers and when it's sunny!
Local legend has it that the 300 year old front door has human skin under the layers of tar!
(Unfortunately these photos were taken in 2007, and the decor has changed somewhat since)
Seeing 'The Phantom of the Opera' at the Bristol Hippodrome was the biggest reason why I went to Bristol. I have to admit, despite not having the most comfortable seat, the theatre was beautiful.
Frank Matcham (famed for his design of the London Colliseum and Leeds arcades) designed The Hippodrome and opened in December 1912. The theatre is renowned for its beautiful dome (didn't see it as I was too occupied making myself comfortable in my uncomfortable seat!) which opens but rarely opened now since the installation of air conditioning. After World War II, a fire broke out at the theatre which destroyed the stage but rest of the theatre was intact. Bristol Hippodrome is able to host large scale musicals including Phantom because of its large stage. As well as musicals the theatre is host to the Welsh National Opera. Bristol is the first theatre outside London to host the musical, The Lion King, from August 2012.
The theatre is in its centenary year and celebrations are planned during 2012. 'Thanks for the Memories' concert is taking place during July.
Dress Code: Smart casual
Bristol Old Vic Theatre isn't far from where I stayed. The theatre company is based at the Theatre Royal and was established in 1946 by Laurence Olivier as part of the London's Old Vic. The Theatre Royal was built in the 18th Century and is the oldest operating theatre in England. Considerable alterations were made between 1970-72 where The Coopers' Hall (built in 1744) became part of the theatre's entrance. The listed complex is currently going under a refurbishment and is planned to be completed in 2012.
Information about the Original Theatre Royal
Thomas Paty designed 'Theatre in King Street' in the 18th Century on land surrounding The Coopers' Hall. The Theatre was similar in vein to the Drury Lane Theatre Royal in London. The theatre opened in 1766 which David Garrick performed. There were issues obtaining a Royal Licence but eventually granted in 1778. After a considerable change of hands to the lease the Arts Council arranged for London Old Vic to take care of the theatre and thus formed the Bristol Old Vic. Subsequently the Bristol Old Vic became independent from their London equivalents and today hosts a variety of productions mainly plays.
Information about Cooper's Hall
Coopers' Hall, designed by William Halfpenny, is probably the oldest building in the area with it's classical facade and was built for the Coopers' Company until 1785 where the building was used for other purposes.
Dress Code: Smart casual
The Old Fishmarket is quite a good city centre pub, serving Fuller's beer. It has a main room, plus a few corridor like rooms off this. They serve quite a good range of beers, including Butcombe Bitter,and Thai food. There wasn't any music while we were there. There is a quiz machine, and TVs showing Sky sports.
Dress Code: No dress code.
This pub is a faux Irish bar, although this is unobtrusive, as I didn't notice until I was about to leave. It's pretty soulless, which may be related to the fact that it's part of the Jury's hotel. The beer choice is poor, and the clientele appeared to be mostly under 18! There are TVs for sport. They were playing music very loud, either to entice people in, or to obscure the fact the place was empty. Avoid.
Dress Code: None.
This is a Samuel Smith's pub just off Queen's Square, which only sells beers, wines, spirits and mixers etc. which are produced by the pub brewery. These pubs are cheap, and usually quite good. This is no exception. I had a ploughman's lunch here, which was £4.50 for a lot of cheese, a ciabatta, and some pickle (plus some salad which I obviously ignored). There are lots of board games for the patrons to play, something which seems more common in Bristol than elsewhere.
Dress Code: None.