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Famous Royal Navy Volunteer, Bristol

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user reviews of the Famous Royal Navy Volunteer, Bristol

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

Hope the wine does not taste of sour grapes.
droggs - 31 Jan 2020 22:06
A good pub just went up even further in my estimations. The University of Bristol Conservative Association have now resorted to the Wetherspoons for their cringeworthy 'celebrations'... where they belong.
JonNgog - 31 Jan 2020 21:53
What a great business move in one of the UK's most pro-European Union cities - smart cookies.

Have ten-out-of-ten, ladies and gentlemen.
Hulots_hat - 31 Jan 2020 19:54
By all accounts they cancelled a booking for a BREXIT celebration party .
ALBEERT - 31 Jan 2020 19:32
Historical pub that has been turned crafty - taking the worse elements of a crafty conversion. Pumps with no clips. Beer board to work out what you want but the icing on the cake was the urinals converted from metal barrels. Wasn't funny the first time I saw it.
Mappiman - 6 Jan 2020 17:31
The Volley (the local name by which it seems to prefer itself to be called) was the first of several pubs/bars we visited in King Street last Thursday and it made a good impression. 18 beers from several different breweries (including Wylam, Siren Craft, Wild Card, Partizan, Lost & Grounded and Hunter's) and 6 ciders all listed on a board to the right of the bar with full tasting notes - do other people not read these notes before ordering to save us all queuing time at the bar?! Prices vary depending on beer strength and glass size - for instance a pint of 8% something was £5.60 whereas the 3.8% Bristol Beer Factory Independence was £4.30 per pint but you can also have 2/3, 1/2 or 1/3 of a pint. A burger (without fries) was £5 and the food was clearly very popular as staff were always in and out of the kitchen (to the slight detriment of the bar service). Being from the provinces, I had never seen urinals made from beer kegs before Christmas Eve and yet here they were again! Not one for dyed-in-the-wool CAMRA members perhaps with its tendency towards keg beers but a cracking start to 24 hours in Bristol for us.
paul_d102 - 1 Jan 2017 13:07
Stank like an blocked urinal, not the sort of atmosphere to make you want to drink there, so I left before wasting my money
cellarbuoy - 27 Dec 2016 18:32
Another establishment where it is difficult to work out what is cask and what is keg. The interior was quite dark and dingy. But there is plenty of space and it stretches back a long way. I quite liked the beer barrel urinals in the gents. The full beer selection was Wiper & True Milk Shake, Brew By Numbers 11/15, The Kernel IPA, Hammerton Life On Mars, Gloucester Saison 2, Crafty Devil White Riot, Mondo May The Schwartz Be With You, Purity Lawless, Pure Gold & Mad Goose, Electric Bear Edison & Red, Boss Blaze & Buzz, Hawkshead Red, Vibrant Forest Black Forest & Siren Broken Dream. Ciders and perries were Hogans Pickers Passion, Soured Cider & Poachers Perry & Lilleys Stargazer. Wasn't overly impressed.
blue_scrumpy - 5 Jun 2016 18:39
Since my previous review, this has been shut for a few months and has now re-opened under new management after a refurbishment. The basic layout is still an inverse “U” shape, with the right hand side being signed as a restaurant. The left hand bar is mostly one open space, although divided in to a separate area at the rear. Leaded windows look out on to the cobbled street.

Decor wise, the paintwork is a mixture of cream and a very pale brown and there are plenty of nautical pictures such as old sailing ships on the wall. The flooring is some type of laminate wood and there were candles on all the tables as is the vogue in many pubs these days. At the rear were several brown leather arm-chairs and sofa’s which created a somewhat more relaxing ambience, although this made the plasma mounted up in the corner seem all the more out of place. Fortunately it was not in use on our visit, but a blackboard listed a number of forthcoming sporting fixtures which seems slightly out of kilter with the image the pub presents. An interesting feature were the gent’s urinals which were all made out of old beer kegs, with the top and part of the front cut away. The cistern too was an old keg.

Unusually the hand pumps on the bar were all unlabelled, with the beer choices being displayed on a board to the right. There were quite a number of both cask and keg options, although whether it would be called a good selection or not is debateable, since they were all, at least as far as the cask went, from just one brewery, Yorkshire’s Summer Wine. On this occasion they were Calibo Cali, Rouge, Diablo, Oregon, Zenith, Resistance, Teleporter and Barista Stout. A similar number of keg options were available, some of which were duplicated with the cask offering and all but one still from Summer Wine. The only other choice was Williams Draught. Ciders were Sandford Orchard’s Devon Mist and Purbeck’s Dorset.
Blackthorn - 7 Oct 2013 12:34
Great new pub. unrecognisable from the tired, stale décor under the previous owners. Enjoyed trying four of the five of their beers but there are enough different pints and bottles to last you months.
ecsaro - 27 Aug 2013 16:10
What a transformation! New owners have changed this from a dingy, tatty pub to a bright, inviting space. Great range of beers on when we visited including wonderful Magic Rock Curious and Camden Hells. Kids made very welcome at weekends and they produced a high chair, colouring pad and crayons for my daughter without me even asking. Food was good - spicy chicken sandwich & pub platter (including purple eggs!) well worth a try. TVs not on when we were there and are saved for big events which was a refreshing change. Very much worth a visit if you're in town, we'll be heading back
raecroberts - 20 Aug 2013 09:38
Never quite recovered from a chintzy refit by Greenalls a few years back. Often good choice of ales, well kept but truly bizarre opening hours; January is never going to be the busiest of months but a town centre pub closing every Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday?
curioushistory - 26 Jan 2012 11:38
A cracking pub in the historic King Street area of Bristol.
An institution in its time and since refurbed to bring things up to date a few years ago.
Constantly delivers a fine choice of ales from Moor, Sharps, Cotleigh, Timothy Taylors among others. Always impeccably kept and can be enjoyed in a relaxed and friendly environment.
Tends to be open from Weds through Saturday
drinker73 - 20 Nov 2011 20:32
Large pub right in the centre of King Street. It's almost two pubs in one, with two long rooms either side of the bar and a comfy snug at the back.

As others have said, it has lost some of it's atmosphere since it's refurbishment a few years ago, but it's pleasant enough. Nearly all the seating is comfy leather arm chairs which makes for a real oasis of calm away from the hustle and bustle of the road outside.

Staff were friendly, and on there was good range of unusual beers on tap. On this occasion it was Cotleigh's Golden Hawk, Moor Revival, Jenning's Cumberland Ale, Timothy Taylor Landord, and, of course, Doom Bar. Ciders were Aspall's Sufflok and Kingstone Press. I feel I must make some comment on the prices though - 7.45 for a pint of the Aspall's and a Vodka & Orange seems to be really taking the proverbial. A point deducted for that.
Blackthorn - 18 Mar 2010 10:33
Was closed on bank holiday monday, despite there being a jazz festival occurring right on the street outside the pub, which was a pity.
LukeD - 1 Sep 2009 09:48
I would love to own this pub, This is the first pub I would take people to visit if I was drinking in the centre, The ales are selling well and looking good and it seems that dave has this pub heading in the right direction. well done.
steve_stars - 26 Apr 2009 17:35
I went in on saturday night for a couple of pints and the place was really really busy. Great pub, good bit of singing by the crowd and a really good atmosphere only spoilt by the mad landlord closing at eleven when he has got at least another hour of permitted time to go. And not to mention the really annoying doorman shouting at FIVE past for us to start drinking up, i only bought my last pint at five to and got the impression that although we spent a lot of cash there we were not welcome to finish are drinks at a resonable pace but had to neck them and clear off.
thebighairyone - 26 Apr 2009 17:08
Not been in The Volly for a while so thought give it a go. Impressive range of ales including Cotswold Spring Brewery, Moors and Cotleigh. Very busy with office staff going in after work, terrible piped RnB coming through the speakers, not too loud, but just doesn't fit with the place. Still, well worth a visit and beer served in good condition.
Dandillus - 31 Jan 2009 20:27
Wipe your memory clean of this pub's glorious previous life as a red-nosed Bass drinkers' den and accept it for what it is in 2008: a popular meeting place with a landlord committed to good ale, especially local rarities you won't find elsewhere in the centre of town.
WebelMC - 16 May 2008 21:05
One of the worst 'renovations' I have ever seen. Just a few years ago this place was precious - a rare gem and you could feel the history seeping from the dark moulded ceilings, flagstone floors and delightful characters that were drawn to the place. It had clearly remained pretty much unchanged since the days when it was genuinely used to find naval recruits in the 18th century. It is now a standardised souless place in comparison. An appauling job that should genuinely have had the owners served with a prosecution order.
oliverhylton - 30 Apr 2008 17:24
The last 3 times I've been in The Codrington Codger has been excellent. If you're in Central Bristol you could do far worse than head here and unwind with pint in a big leather chair!
strongarmboy - 9 Apr 2008 17:04
Nobody's mentioned if the pub still gets Guiness direct. In the 1950s it got Guiness straight off the ship from the City Docks!!

Just memories now
brabazon10 - 5 Apr 2008 00:12
Never patronise this 'pub' under any circumstances. A large group of customers, well over 20, were drinking there on a friday night when last orders was called at 1035 because the staff were too lazy to keep working. Time was called at 1045 and they were hassling us to leave before 11. These people have no business being in the pub trade - please do not encourage such shocking behaviour by drinking in this establishment.
walshatkins - 8 Mar 2008 00:35
Never patronise this 'pub' under any circumstances. A large group of customers, well over 20, were drinking there on a friday night when last orders was called at 1035 because the staff were too lazy to keep working. Time was called at 1045 and they were hassling us to leave before 11. These people have no business being in the pub trade - please do not encourage such shocking behaviour by drinking in this establishment.
walshatkins - 8 Mar 2008 00:35
Improved range of ale lately,reportedly now a proper "freehouse". Codrington Codger,Cotleigh Reinbeer and Moor Old Freddy Walker along with some cooking ales on the other night. Pleasant staff/manager. Bit like a sitting room yeah.

Strangely,this pub is owned by the council!! Probably the only good thing about Bristol City Council.....
an_ecunemical_matter - 15 Dec 2007 14:22
Reasonable pub, good range of unfamilar beers/lagers/ciders, so not sure which brewery owns this place now. Best described as family-friendly owing to a lack of chacter in other areas. Give it a go if you like that 'middle-of-the-road' feel.
gbiddlegbiddlegboh - 10 Apr 2007 13:38
This is a famous pub in Bristol with a history going back hundreds of years. It is situated in one of the few ancient areas of the docks which did not fall victim to bombing in WW2. I can remember when this was a 'Real' real ale house. Stone flag floors, Bass served straight from the barrel! Now it resembles someones front room... re-developed and ruined. May be you like pubs like this but... If it was still as it was I would give it 10/10 as it is it barely hits the scale.
DickStilton - 22 Nov 2005 15:02
Being a first time visitor to Bristol, this was by far the best pub we visited (me and my 4 mates). Friendly, clean and a wide-range of ales available. Full of cosy snugs and rooms. Top draw boozer this, and a MUST for anyone visiting Bristol.


Scousefire - 25 Sep 2005 17:38
Superb Atmosphere, friendly staff.. Lot's of little corners to hide away in, and lots of open spaces to socialise. Great food! And all for a good price.
Mark - 30 Dec 2004 10:27
Can't disagree with Ian's comment was just surprised to see an overcoated bouncer needed to protect someones front room. Smiles beers
lout_from_the_lane - 13 Apr 2004 15:34
Comfy after-work pub with lots of space and easy chairs grouped around low tables.
Ian - 18 Sep 2003 08:46

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