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The Essential Guide to Bristol
15 June 2009
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Penny Farthing

Venue Image
Venue Image
115 Whiteladies Road,

(0117) 973 3539 

The ViewBristol Review

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Review byWilf Langridge27/05/2009
Sitting proudly at the foot of Whiteladies Road, the Penny Farthing has more to offer than the bleak outer paintwork suggests. Inside there's great beer, lively folk and homely decor.

The Venue
One could be forgiven for thinking that the Penny Farthing was a dingy, grim boozer by its unattractive exterior. However, inside it is a horse of a different colour. The grand, lengthy bar stretches out from one of the two entrances, protruding far into the pub and providing a lively centre for the crowd.

Chairs and tables are scattered around the edge of the pub, but with the bustling bar and widescreen sports TVs it feels more natural to stand and be merry, rather than reclining into the sofas with friends.

The People
Few pubs in Bristol enjoy such a privileged position on the student circuit than the Penny Farthing. However, this geographical advantage does not alter the distinctly higher ratio of locals to undergraduates.

There is a communal, profoundly local air about the place - a characteristic shared by few of the other pubs on the Blackboy Hill drag. This is not to suggest that a non-Whiteladies/Redlands punter feels awkward or alien. Indeed, it is entirely welcoming and the staff seem cheerful and helpful.

The Food and Drink
Pieminister pies and a made-to-order pub menu are available, including such delights as home cooked chips. The Penny Farthing's alcohol isn’t the cheapest, but its drinks are of good quality. The dark Theakston is especially noteworthy, but at £3 it has to be.

The tangy, hoppy Bishops Tipple is also excellent (£2.95), while you can’t go far wrong with the malty, fruity 6X on offer (£2.95). For the lager drinker, the 5 per cent Amstel is decent at £3.25. The cheapest red and white wine comes at £12.95 and is surprisingly nice, although you may find yourself the sole wine-drinker in the entire place – this is a beer hole if ever there was one.

The Last Word
As a stop-off after a Whiteladies shopping trip, a lively location for watching the sport or a great place to socialise and taste fine ales, the Penny Farthing is a valuable addition. It manages to strike a balance between the stream of students passing by and the diehard locals who make this pub so convivial.
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What's near Penny Farthing?

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