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Pub Of The Month - November 2021 with rpadam on the Pub Forum

The Hatchet Inn, Bristol

29 Frogmore Street

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

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Real Ale Ray left this review about The Hatchet Inn

No real ale on our Saturday night visit, I did notice two pump clips turned back, so maybe they had a stampede of ale drinkers in during the day. Our two pals liked this pub and held a bit of nostalgia to the place the music was also good so we stayed for a pint of Kronenbourg. The pub consisted of a small lobby entrance which led to the main bar on the right. The majority of space was at the rear and seemed to be the sought after part of the pub for their regulars. We found a table for four of us near the front entrance, which was fine. The two doorman on the entrance was a bit off-putting, especially on a Saturday night.

On 13th October 2016 - rating: 5
[User has posted 3035 recommendations about 3035 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Quinno _ left this review about The Hatchet Inn

Located in a quiet street to the rear of the Hippodrome area, this claims to be Bristol's oldest pub (circa C17th) though despite the impressive Tudor(esque?) exterior and rambling interior only a smattering of features really provide the promised ambience. There seems to be an alternative vibe here, with clientele veering towards the rock/emo crowd. ‘Welcome all’ it says on the door but I rather felt like I was intruding on certain punters, the people who had a particular section of the pub to themselves were obviously unhappy that I’d decided to take a vacant table there (the temerity!). There are various interesting things dotted around, such as an old cigarette machine and a high-ceilinged rear room with various Bristolania wall art (reproductions of a medieval map of ‘Bristow’ and a shipping adverts). This rear room leads to a sun-trap courtyard garden. Two ales available, Doom Bar (£1.60 a half) and Courage Best served by a perfunctory barman; my Doom Bar was pretty ropey and I decided to cut my losses 2/3 of the way down the glass. Given the pubs’ age there are various tales recounted including the faintly ludicrous yarn of human flesh being present under the layers of tar on the front door. This place should really do better given its location and backstory. Could be a destination pub waiting to happen…?

On 24th May 2013 - rating: 5
[User has posted 4200 recommendations about 4187 pubs]

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John Bonser left this review about The Hatchet Inn

Located in a quiet side street close to College Green and the university campus is The Hatchet Inn, which proudly claims to be the oldest pub in Bristol ( established c1500 according to a painted inscription high up on the wall). It’s been licensed since 1606 apparently.
An attractive looking mock Tudor exterior leads into a large pub with a number of different drinking areas.
Dotted around the pub are various snippets of information on the pub. For instance we learn that the 300 year old main door is reputed to have layers of human skin under its tar coating. We also learn that an American businessman walked into the pub in 1956 and offered 1000 dollars for the door there and then. In days long gone cock fighting and bare knuckle boxing fights took place on the premises and Tom Cribb fought and trained here in the 19th century. We also learn that the pub was privately owned until 1934 when it was sold to “Trueman Handbury and Buxton” ( their spelling not mine ).
Despite retaining some attractive features such as flagstoned floors, criss cross leaded windows and elegant cornicing, the pub has clearly set its stall out for the local student trade and, on my recent Thursday evening visit, deafeningly loud rock music was the order of the day and I was probably the oldest customer by some considerable margin. Resident DJ’s feature in the latter part of the week with a clear emphasis on rock and what is referred to as “alternative anthems”. On Fridays and Saturdays the pub stays open till 2 am.
On the real ale front, the 2 pumps were serving Courage Best and Butcombe Bitter. This is the type of place where you anticipate the real ale being rather iffy, but, pleasingly, the Butcombe Bitter - £ 2.80p – was really quite good.
On its menu, the pub describes itself as a “cosy and traditional ale house”, which, I’m afraid, is not how I would describe it and I’m not marking this one down for a revisit

On 22nd November 2010 - rating: 4
[User has posted 560 recommendations about 560 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Blackthorn _ left this review about The Hatchet Inn

Probably one of the oldest pubs in Bristol, dating apparently from 1606, although it doesn't really lokk the part from the inside.
Tends to attract goths for some reason and plays what I imagine may be appropriate music. It sounded like Metallica or something similar at slightly too loud a volume for an easy conversation (maybe I'm just getting old!).
Only a couple of beers on tap, although the Butcombe was very good. Also Bulmers & Blackthorn cider.

On 14th July 2009 - rating: 6
[User has posted 1771 recommendations about 1701 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Brian McCulloch left this review about The Hatchet Inn

Probably a farmhouse originally, The Hatchet housed a stable yard, stood in an ancient warren of narrow streets and has reputedly been witness to bare knuckle fighting and cock fighting, (now more likely to happen at the neighbouring Queens Shilling!).

Somehow the Hatchet has even survived the blitz and town planners!

The exterior of the pub is the thing of note - the interior has been ripped apart, although who knows what may lie tucked away behind the surface.

A much-told local story is that human skin lurks beneath the layers of tar on the front door.

On 16th August 2006 - rating: 8
[User has posted 33 recommendations about 33 pubs]