Pub of the week: The Post Office Tavern

15 12 2011

Making a special and rare trip to Sea Mills in order to visit a new cafe recently opened within an old toilet block, I was somewhat irked to find it closed at 3pm last Friday afternoon. There will have to be a return trip. But it got me thinking, however, about the multitude of buildings in Bristol whose current use is now far removed from their original purpose.

Anyone lucky enough to have been to Carny Ville or any Invisible Circus events, can recount with relish the wonder created in the former fire station and police complex on Silver Street.

Like Cafe on the Square in Sea Mills, the Downs Tea Rooms was also a former toilet, while earlier this year the Victorian cloakroom and toilets on the corner of Woodland Road and Park Row was the venue for a temporary art gallery.

From Sea Mills, it’s a short cycle to the Post Office Tavern in Westbury-on-Trym, commonly known as the POT at WOT, a marvellous pub even with a higher than average number of Cliff Richard songs on the stereo due to it being Christmas.

Like Graze, this pub used to be a Post Office, more specifically a mail coach house, and reminders of its former life are everywhere, from paintings and black and white photos of post boxes, jugs looking like post boxes, even a GR-branded wall-mounted post box underneath the blackboard of Pieminister pies.

The POT at WOT is long and narrow inside, with oak beams on the ceiling and when I visited a roaring fire opposite the bar, serving a good selection of real ales, Doom, Otter, Courage Best and Bass.

Competing with the Victoria to be the best pub in Westbury-on-Trym, a pub in a former Post Office made an aborted journey to find a cafe in a former toilet well worthwhile.

The Post Office Tavern, 17 Westbury Hill, Westbury-on-Trym. 0117 940 1233.

www.post-office-tavern.co.uk


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15 12 2011
James Russell

There’s a barber on Wells Road called The Gents – hard to imagine now that at the height of the property madness the council was selling off toilets and developers buying them… Round here flats were being built on every available scrap of land: I can see the foundations of an abandoned project out of the window as I write this…

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