The Lansdown

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1 review
8 Clifton Road,

(0117) 973 4949

The ViewBristol Review

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Review by18/11/2008
In the midst of student life, The Lansdown is a unique, old pub with a spacious, heated beer garden and a good reputation for food.

The Venue
Opposite the now bare place where the York Cafe once sat, The Lansdown is a murky but enjoyably idiosyncratic place. Artwork of old-time Bristol decorates the walls, with dated, enlarged photos of Clifton in its Victorian prime in between.

The bar is beautiful, with polished dark wood and strangely shaped bottles of anything and everything towering over you.

Seating is comfortable and the large beer garden – which lies under a year round marquee – leads to a nifty little stage which is apparently graced by musicians, although only on special occasions. There is, however, a small function room upstairs where comedy, spoken-word poetry and music is put on regularly.

The People
The Lansdown is effectively dead in the day, even on Sundays. It makes it a pleasant little getaway if you’re looking for a bundle of weekend newspapers and a nibble, but also a tad cold in both feel and temperature.

However, come the evening it is transformed into a busy, sociable place with lively conversation and a 80s soundtrack. A variety of people frequent this place, mainly under-30s, although that isn’t to say it is a student joint.

Despite its location, it is a little more sophisticated and tranquil than expected and you get the impression that those around you are having fantastic (if a little pretentious) conversations about current affairs and the arts.

The staff speak with a smooth, old English accent and are both polite and attentive. However, since it’s effectively a pub, you’re still going to have to order at the bar, so don’t go expecting immaculate table service.

The Food
Its menu is not huge, but what it lacks in scope in makes up for in quality. For £3.50 you can get a delectable walnut and goat’s cheese salad or some chunky potato wedges for just £2.15, sauces like garlic mayonnaise are extra.

The mains are burger-orientated and there are vegetarian options such as the mushroom burger. Other mains include flame-grilled chicken or falafel salads.

There are daily specials at The Lansdown, such as curries, sausage and mash, and cottage pie. As everything is made at the pub the menu really depends on what the kitchen feels like cooking.

The desserts are almost indescribably yummy and are all priced £3.25. Cheesecake in particular deserves a mention, and the chocolate brownies with ice cream are simply phenomenal. They also do sweet cherry pie.

The Drink
The staff know what they’re talking about when it comes to drinks, so it's a wise idea to put pride aside and ask their opinion when ordering with your food.

Bottles of wine start at £11.45 and the rest is unashamedly Clifton prices, but they operate on a policy that they never serve anything they wouldn't be happy to serve their friends.

The ciders on tap are all excellent here and include a lively Stowford Press, a tangy Addelstone’s cloudy cider, and Thatcher’s Gold (£3.10).

They have five real ales, all from small brewers in the South West. These include St Austell Tribute Bitter, Exmoor Gold, Bath Ales Barnstormer and Severn Sins real stout.

Additionally, if you’re feeling a bit adventurous, spend a while choosing an intriguing looking spirit out of the many magical old bottles behind the bar.

The Last Word
The Lansdown is a distinctive place and mildly eccentric in a very English way. It isn’t especially cheap, but nowhere is in this location, and since the food and drink are both of a very high standard and the atmosphere so interesting, it’s well worth dropping by.
The Lansdown has been reviewed by 1 users

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Content updated: 15/09/2014 10:44


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