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The Essential Guide to Bristol
14 August 2009
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Scotchman and His Pack

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20 St Michaels Hill,

(0117) 929 1327 

The ViewBristol Review

Review byWilf Langridge17/11/2008
An endearing boozer with a mean cider selection and a hidden roof terrace; the Scotchman and His Pack is an undiscovered but brilliant little place.

The Venue
One of the many pubs that perch on St Michael’s Hill, the Scotchman and His Pack is a charming building, with attractive decor and enough activity to keep any Bristolian happy.

Tuesday is an Irish folk night, while on Wednesday the pub hosts a tricky but highly engaging quiz. Set over two floors, with the bar on the ground, it has a useful balcony with benches, a barbecue and a superb view of the city. As well as this nifty little feature, upstairs you’ll also find dirt cheap pool (60p a play) and free darts.

Fairy lights and big comfy chairs make for a cosy environment on this floor, while below the pub retains its old-time English feel.

The People
The clientele are a distinctly ‘mature’ lot (i.e. principally over 50s) but that should not – and does not - deter the youth. Unlike some venues where younger generations may feel a little alienated by older folk, here you’ll get nothing but a welcoming spirit and a responsive and kind bar service.

Because you can hire the pub or just the rooms for free (providing you drink enough at the bar) it's very popular with end of term parties and big birthday celebrations.

The landlord is a great character and holds an amiable relationship with the locals which makes for an atmosphere many places would kill for.

The Food
The grub here isn’t the number one reason for pulling in the punters, but it certainly isn’t poor quality or overpriced. The Farm House cottage pie is delicious (£4.99) and the homemade chilli con carne (£4.99) is generous and has a bit of a bite.

The usual burgers (£4.99 to £5.25), scampi (£4.99) and jackets (£3.75) are included, as well as a weekly deal of beer and a curry, and beer and a burger (£4.99) or a pie and a pint for £5.99.

Finally, if you’re with a mate and short on funds, go for the two meals for £8 deal, picked off a humble but still quite varied menu.

The Drink
The Scotchman and His Pack is famed for its cider selection - a marvellous 17 in all. On draught, Bulmer’s, Blackthorn and Thatcher’s Gold (each £2.80) are pretty standard, while the Weston’s Scrumpy and Old Rosie (£3) are the real deal.

However, the real ales are not something to be sniffed at. The Doom Bar (£2.70) is dark and delicious, and you won’t find a better Tribute or Butcombe Bitter (both £2.70) elsewhere in the city.

The Last Word
A corking atmosphere, impressive cider range and a hub of friendly local activity make the Scotchman and His Pack a very special place indeed.
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