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Picture of Opium
Image posted by Blackthorn _
Submitted on Monday, 11th November 2013
With picture contributions to 5229 other pubs
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Opium, Bath

Pub added by Blackthorn _
The Vaults (underneath Grove Street)
Spring Gardens Road
Correct details

Served areas

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

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

E TA left this review about Opium

Very much the same as described by Blackthorne 9 years ago, including the high prices, and even down to the joss stick smell. Finding the entrance was made easier by the presence of a scruffy individual who we thought was one of Bath’s homeless, shrouded in the output of an extreme vaping thing, who was impossible not to notice – however it turned out to be the barman. No draft beers or ciders at all on offer, I went for a bottle of Bath Gem which was sold with a 400% mark-up, and initially with a glass covered in lipstick. Of note, we were the only customers in for the duration of our visit. Cocktails were similarly risibly priced. It was a pleasant and interesting place to sit but the poor hygiene, ridiculous prices and lack of draft beer or cider don’t make me want to come back. If I wanted to sit on my own in smelly, damp surroundings, on battered old furniture looking at useless antiques while drinking bottled beer from a dirty glass I’d stay at home.

On 22nd December 2022 - rating: 4
[User has posted 3304 recommendations about 3269 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Blackthorn _ left this review about Opium

This is very much a cocktail bar rather than your traditional pub, but is nonetheless an unusual location and quite an experience if you want to try something a bit different. It’s quite hard to find, in a dark alleyway running underneath Pultney Street with the only other premises nearby being the back entrance to an Indian restaurant. Even when you’re in the right road I nearly walked past it as it was lacking an illuminated sign or much in the way of windows. It’s actually constructed in some vaulted cellars under the road, and is divided in to three different chambers, plus the bar area itself.

The atmosphere inside was quite smoky due to numerous joss sticks burning away, which personally I found a bit much. The bar counter has a glass top and showcased a number of craft items for sale. The three vaulted rooms all have a similar and very unusual decor. There was dark wooden flooring and the ceilings are painted with murals depicting what appears to be old painting of naked ladies being pursued by a monster of some sort. No doubt someone more au fait with mythology than me will be able to identify exactly what. The rooms get progressively smaller as you move away from the bar, due to the slope of the road above reducing the available head room. Decor wise the colours are quite bold with red and green in one bar, and blue in another. There are numerous pictures over the walls, many with a similar theme to the ceiling murals.

There are all sorts of odds and ends around as might be expected in an old pub rather than a trendy cocktail bar such as a sewing machine, old gramophones, old telephones and even a small church organ. Seating was a mixture of ornate chairs, old sofas, chaise longues, stools and in the farthest bar, simply mats on a raised section of flooring such that you basically had to lay down rather than sit down. Cushions which doubled up as pillows were helpfully provided to make this more comfortable. There didn’t look too much in the way of a food offering, although there were some tapas options.

Unfortunately there were no ales on draught, real or otherwise. In fact there were no draught drinks at all. A menu at the end of the bar listed a number of bottled “world beers” although these were predominantly lagers. The only ale was the local Gem, and the solitary cider was Weston’s Wyld Wood. There were however several cocktails to choose from and my Trader Vic’s Mai Tai was a pleasant drink priced at £7.50. The barmaid was helpful enough and offered to rustle up a gin based option for Mrs B. as these were somewhat lacking from the menu.

On 7th January 2013 - rating: 5
[User has posted 1959 recommendations about 1872 pubs]

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Pub location see interactive map of local area
Map location corrected by Blackthorn _
Bath Spa, 0.71 miles, 13 min walk (show)
Oldfield Park, 1.45 miles, 28 min walk (show)
Freshford, 4.64 miles, 1 hr 29 min walk (show)
Latest updates View all updates for Opium, Bath
22nd Dec 2022, 12:48
Review submitted by E TA
9th Aug 2015, 20:04
Picture submitted by Jonathan Wilde approved

Pub Details

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  • Real Ale : No last updated 07 January 2013 by Dave McNally
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