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Congresbury Arms, Bristol

High Street
Postal town: Bristol
BS49 5JA
Phone: 01934833535

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Reviews (Current Rating Average: 6 of 10) Add Review see review guidelines

Blackthorn _ left this review about Congresbury Arms

Taken over and renamed yet again since my previous review, this is a prominent pub located on a corner plot on the main road through the village, and thus situated in a prime spot for passing trade and also offers accomodation which is convenient for visitors to the nearby airport. All the more strange then that opening hours have been severely curtailed previously, with their “Winter Break” lasting from October until March. Since re-opening, their trading hours do seem to have increased somewhat, so hopefully it can now be relied upon to provide sustenance whenever required.

It really operates much more as a restaurant than a pub, although there is certainly a bar area at the front where you are welcome to just have a pint. Décor wise it’s very contemporary with attractive slate tiling on the floor, very pale green wood panelling on the lower part of the walls, and plain white plasterwork above. A couple of black beams were on the ceiling in a nod to the building’s age perhaps, although it certainly didn’t have the cosy ambiance that many old pubs do. An stone fireplace with a wood burning stove was off to one side, although it’s a shame it wasn’t lit on the rather chilly evening when we visited – it could certainly have done with being a few degrees warmer in there. There were also a few old black and white photographs of the locale on the walls. The bulk of the pub is taken up with a split-level restaurant area at the rear, and this looked to be broadly similar in terms of style. We have eaten here previously and found the food to be very good indeed, although it’s certainly more restaurant class than your traditional pub grub, and priced accordingly.

Beers on tap were both from the local Cheddar Ales with their Gorge Best and Piney Sleight, whilst a third pump appeared unused. Ciders meanwhile were also very local with Thatcher’s Gold and Thatcher’s Haze.

On 31st March 2023 - rating: 6
[User has posted 1936 recommendations about 1850 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Blackthorn _ left this review about Mezzé at the Ship & Castle

Since my previous review, this has been taken over by the rapidly expanding chain of Mezzé restaurants. Décor wise it’s little changed inside other than some Mezzé branding, but then it had been extensively refurbished by the previous incumbents so none was really required.

The large rear garden has had a considerable sum spent on extensive landscaping however, and now includes a raised area with gazebo (table service apparently extends to here), decking, tiled walkways, planted borders, gravel areas and even a couple of water features. There is also a Marshfield Farm Ice Cream shop facing the garden in case you fancy a Toffee Fudge Fiasco or Banoffee Bonanza to accompany your pint. The downside of all this of course is that there were rather too many kids running around for my liking.

The menu is extensive, and consists predominantly of Mezzé dishes, which in case you didn’t know (I didn’t) are like a Greek version of tapas. These ran to 50+ options and were priced at £4.50 each or 3 for £12. There were also a few main courses available at £13, although half of these were also Greek so if that’s not your thing your choices are somewhat limited. Slightly odd perhaps since there’s already a Greek taverna just down the road.

Beers on tap were all from the GK stable with their IPA, Old Speckled Hen and Abbott Ale. Ciders were Thatcher’s Gold and Aspall’s Suffolk.

On 10th June 2013 - rating: 5
[User has posted 1936 recommendations about 1850 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Blackthorn _ left this review about The Ship & Castle

This has recently been done out, and well worth a visit. To be honest it had gone down hill in recent years and was a bit of a dump, but now it looks totally different. OK, so it's a bit gastropubby with the obligatory pine wood, etc, etc, and it is obviously food led, but there's still a bar area to enjoy a quiet pint.

The menu is a bit on the expensive side, with most of the mains being around the £15 mark. That seems a bit expensive for a pub, even a "gastro-pub". The (very) young staff were polite and helpful, and the landlord/manager seemed genuinely interested in what we thought (we unknowingly visisted on the first Saturday after reopening) and spent a few minutes chatting with us.

They could do with a better choice of beers having just the usual Greene King selection of IPA, Old Speckled Hen, etc. And why bring a cider in from Hereford when Thatcher's are two miles up the road and brew far superior products?

On 19th December 2008 - rating: 7
[User has posted 1936 recommendations about 1850 pubs]