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Beer of the Week (w/e 15th Decenber 2019) with ROBCamra on the Pub Forum

Christmas Steps, Bristol Central, Bristol

2 Christmas Steps
Phone: 01179253077

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Reviews (Current Rating Average: 7 of 10) Add Review see review guidelines

Pub SignMan left this review about Christmas Steps

Taking its name from the famous staircase that passes by this multi-level venue, this is a fairly standard pub seemingly aimed at a younger crowd. You enter into the lower part of the pub which has a quarry stone floor with seating running down to the rear along the left hand side. Benches and low stools fill the front part of the room, with smarter chairs and a nice sideboard in the slightly partitioned rear area. The servery is to the rear right and is the best place for ale drinkers to get a look at the full range of cask beers on offer, as most handpulls are mounted on the bar here. The bar area is pretty dark, thanks to the wood fittings and dark colour scheme in use here. Four tables opposite the bar fill the compact seating area under some high stone walls. Stairs lead up to an upper section of the pub which has dark floorboards and more exposed stone walls, with the dark wood servery along the left hand wall. The room has been painted in neutral colours and feels a bit brighter than the lower bar as a result. Standard tables and chairs extend down the full length of the right hand wall under record sleeves and a large, disused fireplace which now has a few benches in front of it. Large windows let you look out to the eponymous steps and enjoy the sight of people puffing and panting their way towards the summit.
The pub isn’t especially renowned for its ale selection, so it was a nice surprise to find Arbor Zero Zero, Bristol Take It As Read, Crack Hops and Gold and Box Steam Quench available at the bar. A rather distant barman pulled me a pint of the Hops and Gold which was quite a satisfying brew and I was quite happy to finish a long day of pub crawling here with this pleasant pint.
The dual-level layout of this pub means it feels a little disjointed and some of the cosiness and character you’d hope to find in such a venue gets lost as a result. This felt like a pretty workmanlike pub which satisfied without really impressing and whilst I’d be perfectly happy to visit again, I probably won’t be initiating it myself.

On 8th January 2019 - rating: 6
[User has posted 2374 recommendations about 2374 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Quinno _ left this review about Christmas Steps

A pub of two halves. When calling in on the way to the BRI I encountered an empty bar, with all the staff engrossed in serving an office Xmas do upstairs. After waiting a few minutes via attempting to rally a service, I gave up but vowed to try again as it seemed to have a lot of immediate tick boxes for a good pub.

Second half. A revisit much later on in the day found the Xmas lunchers well-gone and the pub actually operating for the benefit of drinkers. It’s an atmospheric old place with stone walls, stripped wood ceiling, flagstone flooring and subdued lighting – almost pseudo Medieval in parts. There are two separate seating areas on the ground floor with an extra room upstairs and as noted below, part of the old floor has been removed to make an impressive double height space. Four ales on over five pumps, an eclectic mix of Arbor Blue Sky, Good Chemistry Boundless Sky, Crack Hops and a very tasty BBF El Choco. Also noted boxed cider, Mourning Drop. A young a middle class clientele were in situ but of the less braying variety and it was all rather convivial. Busy for a Tuesday evening and I would have happily stayed for a second, had I not had to get to another tick-box pub before my train. The score of 7 reflects the earlier visit in context. Otherwise an 8 would be awarded.

On 15th December 2018 - rating: 7
[User has posted 3921 recommendations about 3909 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Blackthorn _ left this review about The Christmas Steps

Renovated and renamed since my previous review, it is now run by the same guys behind the popular Spotted Cow in Southville and some of that popularity certainly seems to have rubbed off here, when in start contrast with previous occasions there was barely any standing room, never mind anywhere to sit, on a recent Saturday evening visit. Staff on the whole were friendly and helpful, although one barmaid did appear very disinterested and reluctant to actually serve anybody.

It’s a good sized pub split across two levels, and the lower level especially is quite atmospheric with much exposed brickwork and brick arches along with a mixture of black wooden boards and flagstones on the floors. Windows on two sides make the most of the outlook over the historic corner of Bristol, and the middle area by the bar counter has had a previous false floor removed making an impressive double height space. Large hanging light fittings like you mike get in an old castle suit the character of the place well and an old oven behind the bar points to the buildings original use as a sugar refinery. The upper room too has exposed brickwork all along the back wall as well as a smaller bar counter and a recessed (and disused) fire place. A DJ booth was in one corner and a number of old vinyl LP’s were dotted around the walls.

The menu offered a fairly concise selection with half a dozen or so options for main course, and these included a goat’s cheese pasta, lamb hot pot, sausage and mash, etc. Everything we had was proper hearty pub food and good value, with many local suppliers being name checked on the menu, including sourdough from the excellent Mark’s Bread just down the road from their sister pub which was very good indeed.

Beers on tap were a fairly eclectic selection with Crack Gold, XT 3, Arbor Blue Sky Drinking, New Bristol Brewery Maxi Mo and Rhapsody EPA. The solitary cider on tap was Symonds Founder’s Reserve although there were also a couple of boxes racked up next to the bar offering a medium sweet and medium dry from a Ganley and Naish. All in all a much improved pub and well worth a visit.

On 21st November 2016 - rating: 8
[User has posted 1711 recommendations about 1647 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Blackthorn _ left this review about The Three Sugar Loaves

A good sized pub on several different levels, but a little off the beaten track. Consequently it invariably seems almost deserted and I’m surprised it’s still going, although there was a quiz night in progress on a recent Thursday evening visit. It’s actually got quite a bit of character with much exposed brick work, a tiled / flagstone floor and a wood burning stove recessed in to a brick chimney. There is even what appears to be an old bread oven behind the bar, with the door open and illuminated within to make a bit of a feature.

Beers on tap were just Butcombe and Doom Bar which was a little disappointing compared to previous visits. There was a pump for Timothy Taylor Landlord but this appeared to have run out. The solitary cider was Thatcher’s Gold.

On 4th March 2013 - rating: 6
[User has posted 1711 recommendations about 1647 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Just a quick pint, then I'm off left this review about The Three Sugar Loaves

Interesting little pub, located in the Christmas Steps alleyway, but left somewhat isolated from the city centre by the nearby main road. It has several opened-out rooms on various levels, including two bars (although one appears largely disused but retained as an additional seating area). Three beers available on handpump, including Betty Stogs and the seasonal Rosey Nosey (£2.80). Overall, not very busy and you just feel it could be rather better than it currently is.

On 12th December 2010 - rating: 6
[User has posted 5831 recommendations about 5831 pubs]