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The Salamander, Bath

3 John Street

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Reviews (Current Rating Average: of 10) Add Review see review guidelines

Blue Scrumpy left this review about The Salamander

I must have come close to visiting the Salamander the last time I was in Bath, which must have been almost 15 years ago. I certainly visited the Raven just a few doors down from here.

The ground floor space comprises an area for drinkers near the window and an area being used by diners to the rear. Although, the presence of a specials board at the front suggests that dining is welcomed pretty much anywhere. Although at £17, I'm not sure I'd chose the Toad in the Hole special.

Bath Gem & St Austell Proper Job are the regular beers. Guests were St Austell Anthem & La Dolce Vita. The cider was Thatcher's Stan's Big Apple.

On 26th August 2023 - rating: 6
[User has posted 2505 recommendations about 2504 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Pub SignMan left this review about The Salamander

Compact city centre pub with a modern take on a traditional pub interior that contrasts with some of the more authentic boozers in this part of town. The pub catches the eye on approach, thanks to an impressive sunflower display in the front windows - a fairly unique feature in my experience. The bar is accessed via an entrance corridor, through a door to the right, and is mostly done out in light wood, with plenty of tongue and groove panelling and modern fixtures and fittings. The bar area itself is relatively cramped, but the room opens out to the rear, where it sprawls into a dining area, with huge mirrors on the walls, which make the space feel larger than it is. Decor is modest, but there are some nice display cabinets full of beer bottles and other bits of breweriana. A second dining room can be found on the first floor and plenty of people seemed to be eating when we visited, although the space around the bar remained a lively spot for drinkers to congregate in.
There’s a handsome row of handpulls on the bar, but three of these were unclipped and one was dispensing a real cider, leaving a choice of St Austell Proper Job and Anthem and Bath Gem for the ale drinker. I’d never seen the St Austell Anthem before, so plumped for a half of that. It was served in good condition, but wasn’t perhaps the best beer this brewery has produced.
This was a nice switch up from the extensive list of old alehouses that Bath has to offer, providing a more contemporary take on a traditional pub and catering for diners without making it feel more like a restaurant. The beer was in good shape, the customers created a lively vibe and the service was friendly, so there was much to recommend and it would make a good addition to any city centre crawl.

On 12th October 2022 - rating: 7
[User has posted 3126 recommendations about 3126 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Ian Mapp left this review about The Salamander

Interestingly, the 2022 GBG Guide details it as a St Austell tied house. I think proper job was on, but the most common cask was Bath Ales - with a least a couple dispensing Gem.

Next door to the Raven - so double ticking for little effort can be achieved.

A flying visit. I remember a narrow bar opening out to a back room. Nowhere available to sit in either location. Nice to see a busy pub on a Friday night.

Lots of flyers for comedy events.

Didnt have time for a pint - so a quick whisky. I checked the prices of Lagavullin 16 and thank lord I did, otherwise I would have had to apply to pay by monthly installments if I had ordered a large one.

On 12th October 2022 - rating: 6
[User has posted 1355 recommendations about 1340 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

E TA left this review about The Salamander

The layout remains as described by others, though I found the experience more enjoyable than anticipated.  The staff were pleasant, there was an agreeable atmosphere, while nice background music and a flower display in the window made it feel less corporate than I was expecting.  The ales were in good condition – Proper Job, Thank Brew, Anthem from St Austell, and Bath Gem was the house beer.  The one thing that let it down was the prices – at least a pound a pint more expensive than other nearby GBG pubs.  It’s the prices that would put me off given the local competition, but otherwise I quite liked it. 

On 21st August 2022 - rating: 7
[User has posted 3302 recommendations about 3267 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Rex Rattus left this review about The Salamander

This is still a Bath Ales pub, and as well as Gem, which seems to be the only Bath ale you get in London where I live, it also had on Spa; Prophecy; and Barnsey. Also available was St Austell Tribute and Cornish Orchards Farmhouse Cider on handpump. I was in here on Saturday afternoon, and although I didn't see a menu I did see someone tucking into a burger.

This pub is quite a bit bigger than is immediately apparent from the outside. There's a seating area on the right as you enter adjacent to the counter, with more seating in a room that goes back on the left. As far as I could tell all furnishings were traditional, so it struck me as a comfortable enough pub. There was a fair bit of gastro grey about, but there again nowhere's perfect. I liked this place and would be happy to visit again, but there again I do like Bath Brewery ales.

On 23rd August 2017 - rating: 6
[User has posted 2606 recommendations about 2520 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Real Ale Ray left this review about The Salamander

A very well presented pub, with a ground and first floor. The pub dates from the 18th Century and has been revamped to create that period. There was a choice of six Bath Ales on our visit, so we went for the Forest Hare, which was ok, but am not a Bath Ales fan.

On 23rd October 2016 - rating: 6
[User has posted 3391 recommendations about 3391 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Bucking Fastard left this review about The Salamander

This building has had many different uses and it is only in recently memory that Bath Ales have converted it to a pub and been quite clever in recreating an ale house vibe.The ground floor has two sections,both with wooden floors with the bar towards the front.Lots of bar stools ,a few benches and round tables,it's not that large but good use is made of mirrors throughout the interior.Muzak was blaring out,more annoying that likely to create an atmosphere.Upstairs there is a dining area ,completely empty on my Saturday evening visit with a very dull looking set of pine furniture.
The real let down at this GBG 2016 listed house is the real ale.The offering on my trip was Bath Gem,Barnsey ,SPA ,Summers Hare and one from their "craft" operation Beerd Monterey (clear,well kept but dull as ditch water ).A real cider occupied the sixth handpump.
If you like Bath Ales this pub may suit,I dont so will avoid in future unless the takeover by St Austell ushers in something more interesting to drink from the Cornish brewer.

On 11th July 2016 - rating: 5
[User has posted 2748 recommendations about 2748 pubs]

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Danny O'Revey left this review about The Salamander

Bare boarded bar at north end of the city centre, fairly small and traditional, its a nice place and fits a place like Bath.

Food menu & there is a selection of Bath ales & ciders.

On 30th June 2013 - rating: 8
[User has posted 1456 recommendations about 1434 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Roger Button left this review about The Salamander

Situated in the City Centre and owned by the Bath Ales group, the Salamander started out as a coffee, steak and chop house according to a sign in the front bar area.

The interior is quite plain with bare floors, dullish colours, basic furnishings and a few divisions that effectively turn the main bar into 2 rooms but both opening out into each other. Upstairs is a large dining room and lining the starcase can be found old adverts and clay pipe displays among other artfacts.

There is a good selection of Bath ales across the 6 hand pumps (I noted Gem, Festivity, Spa, Barnstormer and Golden Hare with 1 pump unused on our visit). I had no real problems with the ale quality but some of my group (who have far more expertise than me on such matters) did take issue with the beer quality.

The Salamander is a fairly safe choice among the city centre pubs and a pleasant enough place to while away a few pints but I would think that locals would generally steer clear due to its Bath Ales tie that would be fairly commonplace in the area.

On 10th March 2011 - rating: 7
[User has posted 1239 recommendations about 1233 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Quinno _ left this review about The Salamander

A Bath Ales pub which apparently is an Old Victorian chop house, with four ales on from said brewery. Whilst my first visit a year back found a good pint of SPA, my most recent trip found poor quality across the board and a fuss to get it sorted. The small interior has a stripped, modern feel with not much atmosphere and I find it rather unwelcoming, not helped by the cool air conditioning always being on even in cold weather. It’s also a mobile phone blackspot. To quote from elsewhere, this place is “not as good as it thinks it is, or as good as it ought to be.”

On 6th February 2011 - rating: 5
[User has posted 5197 recommendations about 5180 pubs]

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