Pub of the week The Eldon House
Despite drinking there on and off for the past 20 years, I'm still not quite sure whether The Eldon House is classed as Cliftonwood, Clifton or Hotwells. Tucked away from the main Jacobs Wells Road, but still in the shadow of the imposing QEH school opposite, this lovely old pub seems to border all three areas.
In recent years the pub has been much improved and, dare I say it, gentrified by landlord Rab Clarke (also one of the directors of Bath Ales).
This former Ushers pub is now a lot brighter thanks to a glass-roofed dining area. With its stripped wood floors, heritage colours and heavy clawfoot tables, it is smart and traditional without being contrived.
Now a free house, the beers on offer change all the time, although Bath Ales Gem and Spa seem to be fairly permanent. On this occasion, the other two pumps were occupied by Bristol Beer Factory Sunrise and Bellowhead Hedonism – a guest ale from the splendidly named Potbelly Brewery of Kettering, Northants.
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The quality of the drinks served is taken seriously here, which means Freedom Organic Lager, Amstel, Bounders Cider and Bee Sting Pear Cider as well as the real ales on offer.
The food side of the pub has moved up a gear in recent months and the menu changes frequently.
There is a ploughman's (£8.50) with a choice of three main ingredients (including chicken and pork terrine, Applewood cheese or Parma ham). Other options might be lamb kofta with couscous, ratatouille, and mint yogurt (£8.95); fish pie (£8.95); 8oz rib-eye steak, chips, tomatoes, mushrooms, herb butter (£12.95) and homemade desserts such as apple crumble and custard (£4.25) or spotted Dick and custard (£4.25).
Proper Sunday lunches are also served and there is a popular quiz on Monday evenings.