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August 8, 2013

The Bristol Pound pub crawl: round one

Written by Purple Paloma –

I love the adventure of discovering new places, and I recently set myself a challenge to feed this passion: to take my Bristol-born-&-bred mate on a £B pub crawl to places neither of us had been to before, using the Bristol Pound directory as our guide and only paying with Bristol Pounds.

Before we set off I wrote down the details of about 15 likely places. We took the number 25 bus to Bedminster, starting off with a quick beer at the Tobacco Factory. OK the Tobacco Factory was cheating a bit, as we’ve both been there before – but it always serves a great pint of local beer and as it’s a £B Access Point it gave us a chance to exchange some sterling for £B paper pounds too.

el rinconThen we strolled a few doors down to a fabulous Spanish place – El Rincon. Not that I know Spain that well, but this felt to me like a corner of traditional Spain in the middle of Bedminster. Painted in yellows and oranges with fairy lights it felt warm and cosy, and the staff were friendly and welcoming. They mostly seemed to be Spanish, and I think they can even give Spanish lessons while you drink your Estrella. We only ordered three tapas initially, expecting to order some more later, but their tapas were much bigger than ones we’re used to and there was more than enough food for the two of us. After enjoying a tasty meal in this convivial setting we decided to press on with my mission, hopping on the bus back to the Centre, which handily stops just outside El Rincon.

We got off the bus again just after Bedminster Bridge roundabout. Next pub: the Golden Guinea. I found this pub interesting and loved the decor – quite an unusual mix of  modern art on the walls with a hint of plush burlesque. And good beer. Just a shame the barmen weren’t sure if they could accept the Bristol Pounds yet (Editor: The owner of The Golden Guinea has told us that they will be ready to take £B payments very soon!).

After another pint we left the pub and turned left down the hill, over the footbridge and across to No 1. Harbourside. This is a lively, vibrant pub right in the Centre overlooking the water. This was only the third pub on our crawl, but drinking pints was seriously putting the kibosh on my grand plans for a proper pub crawl. Embarrassingly light-weight!

cadburySo just one more pub stop before we called it a night. This time we caught the 75 bus from the Centre up to the old Jesters in Stokes Croft and then headed down Picton Street to The Cadbury pub in Montpelier. What a brilliant pub! I work 10 minutes away –  how come I’ve never heard of it before. Outside it twists its’ country pub timber & whitewash look with some cool graffiti. And the combination continues inside: dark, cosy pub selling traditional ales and local cider but with a chilled out, happy buzz of mainly young/creative types. Great atmosphere, and I think this is now my new favourite pub in Bristol. Absolutely loved it, and some great Bristol Pounds’ graffiti in the ladies loos!

So many Bristol Pound pubs; so little time – or drinking stamina. Mind you it’s quality not quantity and the evening surpassed my hopes for discovering some interesting new places. I have a feeling this won’t be the last Bristol Pound crawl…



  1. Luke says:

    I think that you have missed the point of a pub crawl, i.e. to drink beer, not to eat tapas. The Cadbury is the only actual pub accepting BP’s that you mentioned, the others are all bars. I don’t mind the Cadbury, (i.e. I will drink in there if pushed,) but if that is your new favourite ever, I can only assume that you have rather low standards, (by my standards of course.)

    Try these pubs which All accept the BP. Portcullis, in Clifton, Bag of Nails in Hotwells, (my pub), The Three Tuns, Hotwells, The Hillgrove in Kingsdown.
    I recommend that you check the Directory, to find out how many actual pubs accept the BP, plan a suitable route, and then tell us about it in part 2.

  2. Brent says:

    I never thought of a £B pub crawl I love discovering new places in Bristol myself, that is one of the reasons I keep coming back and people are so friendly. I,m back in September for Brisfest and more besides, I am doing a Montpellier / Stokes Croft crawl there are a lot of great pubs I want to see and people to meet. I would be interested in doing this £B crawl.

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