Pub of the week: King William Ale House

20 06 2012

It was Saturday evening, the night of the Champions League final between Chelsea and Bayern Munich. As I had a show to see at the Bristol Old Vic, I put the match on record and headed off into town. The problem was that I had got my timings wrong. With an hour to go before the show, I had time to kill. Time for a drink, naturally, but I needed a pub that wasn’t showing the football.

In the centre of Bristol, options are limited, but I didn’t have far to look in the vicinity of the Old Vic. And so it was that I walked into the King William Ale House, better known as the King Bill, on the other side of the King Street cobbles from the theatre.

A Samuel Smith pub, that is the beer that is served here; beer that’s a rarity to find outside Samuel Smith pubs. An ale drinker usually, I couldn’t resist the Pure Brewed Lager, a drink that does exactly what it says on the tin.

The King Bill is an unusually shaped pub, which dates from 1670 and was originally part of a row of three houses.

Narrow, with oak beams supporting the ceiling, there is a snug nearest the King Street entrance and three booths opposite the bar in the centre of the pub with just enough space to fit four people.

Its most interesting feature is an intricately carved fireplace, but the best feature for me on that Saturday evening was its lack of television screens showing the football, something that as the European Championships progress and England progresses through them, will get more and more important for non-football fans.

The King William Ale House, 20 King Street, Bristol, BS1 4EF


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20 06 2012
Nick Brompton (@nickbrompton)

It also has pool tables & a cracking juke box if you go upstairs

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