Pub of the week The Volunteer Tavern
Since it reopened in September 2011, The Volunteer Tavern has quickly gained a reputation as one of central Bristol's most exciting "new" pubs, even if it has been serving ale since the 17th century.
It must have taken quite a leap of faith for owners Martin Gibson and Martin Hughes to take over this once-troubled backstreet pub on the edge of St Jude's, but then both are well seasoned landlords who are passionate about keeping community pubs open.
Hughes also runs the Hope and Anchor on Jacob's Wells Road and, in many ways, The Volunteer Tavern is a mini version of its Hotwells sibling, with ex-Hope and Anchor manager Pete Gibbs running the ship here.
A short walk from Cabot Circus, this one-room free house retains many original features such as low beams, stripped wood floors and sash windows. There is dark green tongue and groove panelling and brown/grey paintwork which gastropub designers apparently refer to as "mouse's back".
Enjoy one free child admission with a full paying adult ticket.
Terms: Not to be used in conjunction with any discounted ticket or special ticket offer. No cash alternative. Excludes Bank Holidays and Bank Holiday Weekends. Ref: This is Bristol Website Voucher
Contact: 01963 400330
Valid until: Friday, January 31 2014
There are flowers in recycled brown glass beer bottles on the farmhouse-style wooden tables and the carefully chosen background music when I visited included vintage Stones and Kinks.
When I popped in this week, the selection of four draught real ales included Wickwar FSB Stout and Cheddar Bitter Bully. There was also Stowford Press cider, Guinness and, on keg, the spicy, roasted apricot-flavoured Bliss from the exemplary new brewery Wild Beer Co of Evercreech, Somerset – one of several artisan craft ale breweries supported by the pub.
Food is served all day and the menu includes hand-pressed burgers (£6.25), homemade pie of the day (£7.95), beer battered fish and chips (£7.45) and spinach and mushroom lasagne (£6.95), as well as a separate sandwich menu available to eat in or take away.
On Sundays, the roasts are gaining quite a following and booking is recommended. The roasts, which include slow roasted belly of pork cooked in cider and rare roasted topside of beef cooked in rosemary, thyme and garlic, cost £8.95 but you can order the "Trinity of all three meats" for an extra £2.