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Cow Shed, Clifton, Bristol

Pub added by Jonathan Wilde
44-46 Whiteladies Road
Bristol
BS8 2NH

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


Please Note: This review is over a year old.


Blackthorn _ left this review about Cow Shed

Recently extended in to the building next door, The Cowshed has been a fixture on Whiteladies Road for a few years now and has gained a reputation for it’s food, in particular the Sunday lunch which is reputed to be among the best in Bristol. On several occasions we have turned up without booking and been told that there were no tables available for a couple of hours. It occupies the premises that were at one time Hullaballoos, one of the first BYO restaurants around and then another short lived venue whose name escapes me. It has now expanded in to the former Picture House (not to be confused with it’s sibling The Picture House East opposite, although this was formerly The Picture House before they opened their second venue) which before that was The Dog & Duck for many years. Is that all clear? Good.

The entrance door takes you in to the main bar area, although virtually all the tables here were occupied by diners. There were a few high chairs at the bar, but other than that options look fairly limited for drinkers, although that would of course depend on how busy they were at the time. It’s a light and airy room with large windows all along the front wall and a sanded wood floor. The bar counter was clad with stainless steel panels and there was a wooden trough inside the door containing a selection of newspapers and magazines. A few steps take you down in to a lobby area with a view of the open kitchen at the back.

Back up a few steps and you’re in to the original premises which still retains a bar counter with lots of shelving for wine bottles as a backdrop, but a somewhat reduced drinks selection compared to next door. This side of the pub is even more geared up for dining and is split across two levels. The front part at street level has a slate tiled floor, exposed stone walling and recessed down lighters creating a contemporary feel whilst the rear room is up a few steps and has a more traditional feel with wooden flooring, khaki green paintwork and chandeliers. There is also a small courtyard at the rear, although whether this is in use I am not sure. The meaty theme of the venue is emphasised here with cows on the curtains and pigs on the cushions as well as numerous cow photographs on the wall.

We visited on a Sunday lunchtime when the focus is primarily on roasts, although there were also a couple of fish and vegetarian options. My Confit Pork Belly was a decent and tasty dish and came with some very good accompaniments such as Cauliflower Cheese and a Carrot & Swede Mash. At £14.20 just for the main course it’s not the cheapest Sunday lunch around, but I’m a firm believer that you get what you pay for and I thought it was well worth the money. The normal evening menu has about eight choices for main course, and these too are firmly in the gastro category and priced between £15 - £20. I would also say that it’s worth checking your bill carefully, as although ours was fine it would appear that two tables nearby had been overcharged.

Beers on tap were Doom Bar and Adam Henson’s Rare Breed. Ciders were Orchard Pig and Ashton Press, although unfortunately the latter had run out. Overall I really like this, it offers consistently good food and I have been here several times. On the other hand, the emphasis is very much on the dining, although perhaps not quite as much as it was now that they have expanded.

On 3rd February 2014 - rating: 7
[User has posted 1749 recommendations about 1684 pubs]