Pub of the week: The Coach & Horses

23 01 2013

It’s always cause for celebration when a new pub opens or an old pub reopens. Both occasions are rare these days in Bristol and across the UK, so it’s with open arms that Old Market should welcome the reappearance of the Coach & Horses on Gloucester Lane.

On Saturday afternoon when I visited, the new locals were in boisterous mood, with one Beatles fan putting Here Comes the Sun on the jukebox three times in half an hour.

There is a rugby theme in the decor, with framed national and team shirts on the walls decorated in green flowery wallpaper that dominates the colour scheme.

A flat screen television on one bit of wall free of shirts shows live sport in a resolutely traditional pub that serves some cider straight from the barrel. Ales on tap are Butcombe and Doom Bar, while a rack behind the bar displays a selection of wines.

This isn’t the easiest pub to find, somewhat marooned halfway between West Street and Lamb Street, from where it can be spied via the graffiti on the outside.

If you’re in BS2, it’s certainly worth a detour to the reopened Coach & Horses, not least to welcome a new pub with open arms.

The Coach and Horses, Old Market

The Coach & Horses, 25 Gloucester Lane, Old Market, Bristol, BS2 0DP

Pub of the week: The Coach & Horses

2 01 2013

The Coach & Horses is in the middle of what is the most concentrated grouping of pubs in Bristol. Within the space of a 100-yard radius around it, there is the Beaufort Arms, the Red Lion, the Port of Call and the King’s Arms; the latter two virtually sharing a beer garden.

Each of these five pubs has their unique charms: the Beaufort Arms for cider, the Red Lion for wine, the King’s Arms for students.

They are situated in what sometimes feels like a secret part of the city. Much of this area is accessed down very steep streets; a reminder that there used to be a quarry here, hence the name of one of the steep streets: Quarry Steps.

The Coach & Horses is located in Highland Square, which is now used as a car park for cars rather than coaches and their horses at what was once a staging post for coaches on the Bristol to Gloucester service via Henleaze and Filton.

Inside, however, there is a dog the size of a small horse in a very welcoming pub that once sheltered my cousin for a few hours when I accidentally locked her out of the little cottage we shared on nearby Richmond Dale.

Other than the King’s Arms, it’s the largest of this group of BS8 hostelries and an ideal starting part if this month’s Dryathlon is not for you and you want to discover new pubs.

Coach & Horses

The Coach & Horses, 2 Highland Square, Clifton, Bristol BS8, 2YB. 0117 974 5176.