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Nova Scotia, Bristol

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user reviews of the Nova Scotia, Bristol

please note - reviews on this site are purely the opinion of site visitors, so don't take them too seriously.

What a great pub! Great beer, great food - really enjoyed our evening at one of Bristol's landmark pubs. Six of us had food and beers early evening, and everyone was very happy with the quality, especially as the prices were very good too.

They were very busy with the food, and as our party all had different dishes, it was obvious why the staff were rushed off their feet. My Sirloin steak (£9) was juicy, flavoursome and cooked just how I asked. With the chips, onion rings, grilled toms, mushrooms and salad it was quite a meal. Others had white bait, fish and chips, lasagne, sausage and mash or ham, egg and chips. The fair haired, bearded chap who served us our food was also a character.

Also thankful that The NS has resisted the gastro pub route which has ruined many a Bristol boozer. Just good beer and food at sensible prices in a real pub atmosphere, where every man and his dog are welcome - just as it should be. Talking of beer, there is Courage Best along with the usual lagers and Thatchers cider. May have had more beers on, but when I saw they had Caledonian Deuchars, I looked no further. Good to see an excellent beer that not too many other places keep, and as with the food, the quality was excellent. Good turnover of beer here helps ensure it's condition.

If you're looking for a proper boozer with a bit of history near the centre of Bristol with great beer, excellent home-cooked food, prices that don't take the Mickey and plenty of outside seating overlooking Bristol's historic docks - this is the one for you. Hats off to the landlord and staff. Keep it up and don't change a thing. We'll be back!
TheBeerHunterXXX - 25 Aug 2016 20:12
Great pub. It was really pleasant to sit in the summer sunshine on their dockside benches just across the cul-de-sac, with a pint of their eponymous brew in one hand and a sausage sandwich in the other. Genuinely friendly lady serving. The late nineteenth century interior is of great interest if you like heritage pubs: the bar has a screen lower than the ceiling separating the main bar from the private bar, which we know from the etched and frosted glass. Well worth a visit.
Mona_Growser - 12 Jun 2015 17:41
Beer and food excellent, ate and drank hear a few times over the week. Locals very friendly and Helpful with recommendations on where to eat, drink and visit. Little private room at the end gives the best advice. The pub has not been decorated in years but this adds to the character of this gem. Food excellent, gammon, steak, lasagne very good tried them all.
beer_hunter - 13 Apr 2012 19:53
Visited 27 Dec 2010.
Worryingly a board outside pronounced the pub was up for sale, but actually it was very much open on my visit.
I thought this pub was charming with it's low beams and pleasant olde worlde decor (albeit perhaps a little faded). With the main bar and what they describe as the ‘Captains Cabin' snug there were a total of 3 beers on ( out of a poss 5) Courage Best, GWB Classic Gold and Bankers Draft from Wickwar Brewery plus four draught ciders, all from Thatchers. The Bankers Draft was excellent, the pub being fairly busy for mid afternoon. Blackboard pronounced 'no food'. Good range of spirits. A nice pub.
SotonAleDrinker - 14 Jan 2011 19:37
Only about ten people in, not many in for a Saturday evening. Eleven o'clock and lights were going out, bar being cleaned and chairs put up. Nobody said as much, but the attitude was definitely sup up and s*d off. OK, I will!
MrKiA - 17 Oct 2010 20:54
Went in here on matchday lunchtime, last season. The place was, unsurprisingly, heaving so I didn't get much chance to look around. What I could see looked pretty scruffy, and the only real ale on tap was Courage Best. All these years after Courage stopped brewing and they're still selling the same horrible muck. On the plus side, got served pretty quickly seeing as the bar was four deep.
Drinking_Bull - 3 Sep 2010 10:44
Traditional old boozer located in a good spot opposite some old dock keeper’s cottages. There’s a few outside tables to make the most of the views, and these soon fill up on a sunny afternoon.

Inside the pub’s very traditional, with a cosy old snug at the end known as the Captain’s table.

Some unusual beers on tap. Besides the Courage Best and Bass there was Ales of the Round Table Launcelot Goffs, and Newman’s Spring Cottage Biscuit. Ciders were Thatcher’s Gold, Traditional and Dry, plus Blackthorn.
Blackthorn - 26 Apr 2010 10:08
High standards continue in this excellent pub. A good place for a pre-match beer, the guest ales are usually pretty good, the staff are absolutely brilliant, even when it gets busy, and the bacon and brie sandwiches are top-notch. Thanks all, see you again in August.
Dylanwing - 24 Apr 2010 19:44
Bass, Robinsons Wags to Witches, Otter Bright, Thatchers Traditional. Not many notes – narrow bar room, opening up slightly left of bar, local feel. My iffy beer was changed, no problem, but the replacement wasn’t tremendous. Wasn’t originally on-map, & I doubt it would be next time.
trainman - 22 Nov 2009 13:58
Presentable pub. My Goffs at £2.60 tasted better than it looked. There was an extremely loud group of people speaking what I think was Czech scaring the punters away and causing your correspondent to apply ipod at a loud volume,the noise being unchecked by unperturbed barman. Needless to say they were on the "orange" juice previously reported. Reasonable place yeah but you wouldn't hurry back.
an_ecunemical_matter - 18 Oct 2009 17:16
This is one of Bristol's finest waterside alehouses, untouched for many years. Adventurous guest beers always in good form, decent food at decent prices, and a robustly entertaining clientele make the "good cop bad cop" service more than worth your trouble.
WebelMC - 1 Aug 2009 21:27
Visited last month and enjoyed a beer from Newmans brewery on as a guest. When I asked if anything was planned for New Years Eve I got a terse "normal night". Food menu looked good although we didn't eat there.
gillhalfpint - 18 Jan 2009 01:24
Caught the last ferry here on a FREEZING Jan eve - Definitley felt more 'locals only' than usual although not unfriendly. Pint of Everards Tiger was OK, but onlly just. Probably about 98% males with most of em interested in the cloudy rough stuff.
Dandillus - 12 Jan 2009 13:05
Toilets smelt , one of the bar staff had a cob on , and was overlooked several times when trying to get served , could accept this if it was personal , but a mate had the same experience a few weeks before , guest beer was fine , but in light of what i've said , won't be rushing back.
beatles38 - 16 Sep 2008 08:07
I know this pub has a high reputation, and I've only been there once, so I make my comments with slight misgivings. Neverthelesss....
Dropped by on a lovely evening when everyone was drinking outside (great situation), and the pub itself was empty. Tried joining thye crowd outside, bur some moron was making that intolerable by playing hiphop (if that's what it was) at high volume. Retreated inside. It's exactly the kind of place I normally enjoy - pleasantly 'lived-in', slightly battered; but there was (different) quite loud music here too in the main part of the bar, and the bit that was quieter quite frankly smelt. I'm told empty pubs do, since the smoking ban, but this was too much.
Other than that, OK!

earlydrinker - 19 Jun 2008 15:47
I'd spent many years driving past and thinking "that looks nice, I'll have to go there" and was so pleased that I did.

Bags of character in every season, wonderful location, great clientèle and decent ale. Had a great session.

Probably the best pub overall in Bristol. Wonderful.
Quinno - 6 Jun 2008 20:49
As another season ends, I have nothing but praise for this Pub. As City have had a great season it has been very busy at times, but the service has remained excellent, and the beer quality just keeps on improving. A very friendly atmosphere with visiting supporters being made welcome. A big thank you to all of the staff there.
Dylanwing - 11 May 2008 23:23
A great local pub full of interesting characters. The lunchtime trade is a wonderful mix of friendly local people and office workers. The food is really great value and very tasty indeed. They have had some really interesting guest ales, too, which I always opt for instead of the usual Couage Best or Bass. Try it - you will love it - and I expect at some stage during your visit you will strike up a conversation with Brian
BristolianGeoff - 30 Apr 2008 20:38
Great tasting ales and friendly service, 8/10
fat_beer_badger - 18 Feb 2008 15:02
One of Bristol's best pubs. Great ales, cider & food. Friendly anf full of character, I defy anyone to go in here & not strike up a conversation with a stranger. And beautiful bar maids too!
Bob_Sherunkle - 11 Dec 2007 10:09
Great pre-football pub. Exceptional beer quality, an adventurous choice of guest beers and very friendly staff.
Dylanwing - 21 Jul 2007 13:09
Nautically themed, busy and friendly, I enjoyed a good pint of Holts bitter here. Will definately make more time for this one in the future.
fromedrinker - 22 Jan 2007 13:59
One of Bristols most characterfull pubs, located at the west end of the docks next to the small swing bridge. The ales and ciders on offer are in tip top condition and although I didnt eat all the grub I saw come out of the kitchen looked good quality. Bar staff were bright and friendly. Traditional pub interior not yet ruined. Long may this Bristol Diamond of a watering hole stay this way. Note for Bass drinkers: 7/10
DickStilton - 8 Nov 2006 20:59
cracking pub this. decent ale, cider and food, great location and a boozer with bags of character, not to mention the friendly locals - we were made to feel very welcome on our visit. the best pit-stop for the discerning football fan - ashton gate is 15-20 mins walk away.
thelunaticfringe - 28 Sep 2006 15:13
A proper dockside pub.
Full of local characters.
An excellent place to start a summer session - followed by The Mardyke, The Bag O' Nails and the Hope & Anchor!
iyers - 31 Jul 2006 18:11
The best place in Bristol to sit outside on a sunny summers day sipping on Thatchers cider!

iyers - 4 Feb 2004 14:32

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