Pub of the week Coach & Horses
Aquick look at the fascinating Bristol's Lost Pubs website reveals just how many watering holes there used to be in Old Market between the 18th century and the middle of the 20th century.
The Cheshire Cheese and The Horse Shoe & Talbot are just two of the wonderfully named pubs no longer with us, and there are sadly very few pubs from that era left.
According to the website, Gloucester Lane boasted at least ten pubs at one time or another. These included long-lost ale houses such as The Brandy Cask, Jolly Brewer and Plume of Feathers.
And then there's the Coach & Horses, which recently reopened after a significant refurbishment.
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This handsome, Grade II-listed building dates from the 18th century and it has been open pretty much ever since, although in latter years it was looking down at heel and in need of some TLC.
A symmetrical corner pub with two entrances – one with a lovely semi-circular arch above the door – it has been given a noticeable facelift by the new owner.
There are three separate drinking areas, one with sofas, and a gentle sports theme includes framed rugby shirts and a flatscreen TV, which is sure to be well used during the Six Nations.
New carpets and green flowery wallpaper have given the pub a more up-market feel but there are still reminders of its Georgian heritage, with high ceilings and arched corridors.
When I visited, a couple of old locals were holding court on high stools at the bar, rugby being the dominant topic, along with local cage fighters they knew.
Thatchers cider is served straight from a barrel on the bar and real ales include Butcombe and Doom Bar.
Money has clearly been spent on refurbishing and reopening this venerable Old Market pub, which certainly makes a change from seeing pubs in this area crumble and close for good.
It looks like the Coach & Horses won't be added to the Bristol's Lost Pubs website for a good while yet, which is reason enough to raise a glass to its reopening.