The Prom

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2 reviews
26 The Promenade,
Gloucester Road,

(0117) 942 7319

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Review byLucy Duggan28/10/2008
The Prom is difficult to miss - it’s big, it’s orange, the outdoor seating takes up half the pavement and, unlike countless other bars that have opened and closed over the years, The Prom has lasted the distance.

The Venue
The outdoor seating is generous and covered with yellow and blue Corona umbrellas. It’s hemmed in by a low wall with a bit of half-hearted mosaic set into it and a great big flame shaped metal sculpture standing nearby.

As you move inside, the wooden panels, old fashioned curved-pane windows and the dark beams across the ceiling are the only suggestions that this was once a really nice building.

Any original architectural charm has been covered by the gaudy interior of The Prom. You can see they were aiming for an art nouveau vibe when they designed the decor, but it looks more like an international backpackers' hostel.

Walls are painted a pleasing shade of orange and the black shiny wooden floor is OK but, aside from this, the place really has seen better days. The fake wood chairs and peeling vinyl benches look cheap and the walls of the ladies could do with a good scrub and a fresh coat of paint.

Having said all that, the down-at-heel look somehow makes it easier to relax here. The lighting is subdued and potted begonia and bamboo displays dotted about brighten up the groundlevel. The bar is much better. It's a towering affair with back lit mirrors, and its inlaid with bright orange lights behind glass squares.

The People
The bar staff deserve a special mention for their hospitable and chilled-out manner. They're very into their music, as are The Prom's punters.

There’s a raised corner that doubles as a stage with music tuition fliers pinned to the wall. Dotted around the rest of the place are posters for upcoming musical events, from Sunday's open music session to monthly acoustic showcase and jazz nights, or even a random seventies punk-rock gig.

There is a wonderful intermingling of age groups which you rarely see - during jam sessions it's not uncommon for students and older locals to share a riff.

The Food
They have an extensive, moderately priced daytime menu, with dishes like Cajun chicken burger (£5.95 with chips and onion rings). They cater well for kids with a £2.95 mini menu.

Besides the usual burgers, baked potatoes and Mexican-style food such as a roast vegetable or spicy chicken enchilada (£5.95/£6.45), you can also get nice salads. A favourite is the delicious chorizo and new potato on rocket leaves with red onion, balsamic vinegar and spring onion salad. And all for just £6.45.

Other food of note is their big range of all-day breakfasts, anything from a small veggie affair £5.95, to a Manhattan which involves steak and a double serving of fried egg and sausage. You will pay £6.95 for the privilege.

For £7.95 you can get a well made Sunday roast, which is nice, but not nice enough to make you return. They also do a good line of desserts, a sticky toffee pudding is £2.95. Bargain.

The Drink
The wine list is respectable and affordable, starting from £8.75 to £15 a bottle. If you want to push the boat out they do a £32 Lanson Black Label Champagne, although why you’d want to drink bubbly at The Prom is another question entirely.

Spirits are limited, but you’ll find they have good brands such as Bombay Sapphire. Another nice touch is that they stock local tipples such as Traditional Taunton cider, £2.90 and Gem Bath ales, £2.95.

They also do a good choice of bottled beers and tea and coffee is available at 90p and £1.10 respectively. There’s a 10 per cent student discount on all food and alcohol.

The Last Word
It has a decent drinks list, some OK food, although it's not the healthiest or cheapest. But forget all that. The Prom is about the music, from punk-rock to laidback jazz.
The Prom has been reviewed by 2 users

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