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The Full Moon and Eclipse, Bristol

A busy and trendy (in a sense) down beat kind of place that is nice in summer as all the colourful people can sit outside and suck on sisha pipes. My most recent trip was not so blissful howoever and can be narrowed down to two factors. Firstly the 'too cool for school' bar staff who seem to adopt arbitrary policies of serving people, when they do it seems resentful. Odd that without us they'd have no job. The second is the state of the gents (and I presume ladies) loos. Filthy and full of people taking drugs. Rather off putting if you just want to use the cubicle as you'll find yourself waiting 15m. while fellow occupants dust their noses! A welcome change from the clone bars that litter the city centre, but be careful and expect to really rough it - all at London prices!

22 Jan 2013 17:55

Westbury Park Tavern, Bristol

I had a very unfortunate experience at this pub recently concerning some Courage Best Bitter, normally a fairly reliable, workaday pint in most places. Not at the WPT, oh no. The young lady who served me, whilst carrying on a conversation with some regulars slumped at the end of the bar, poured two foamy yet lifeless, cloudy looking pints. She let them settle and topped them up, which I�m not sure Courage Best normally requires, but none less paid and sat down waiting for my mate to arrive that lived round the corner. I had biked up from St Anne�s � the other side of Bristol � so was thirsty and taste buds feeling quite sharp. Needless to say the beer was foul; it was �off� and there was no other way to describe it. It had an emulsion-like quality, an unhealthy looking head, like sea spume and a flat insipid distinctly acidic taste. I took the pints straight back to the same young lady and told her what I had tasted. She insisted straight away the �no body else has complained� and that �they�re all drinking it over there� pointing vaguely at a table of drunks under a large flat screen TV showing Man City beating QPR. After much insisting on my part and her flat denial that there could be anything wrong she got one of the bunch propping up the bar to taste it. He immediately confessed to having no knowledge of beer and indeed appeared to be more of a drinker than a d�gustateur and he duly, if slowly, agreed with the barmaid. I�m no fool and that beer had a distinctly dodgy quality to it, I complained and was told in no uncertain terms that I was wrong, which is the worst kind of service you can give. I shan�t be visiting this round pub again, regardless of the fact it was used by BBC in the early 80�s. I doubt Rick and his mates were that discerning about their beer, so it was the ideal choice!

2 Sep 2012 10:17

The Old Duke, Bristol

The Old Duke

In my last three or four trips to the Duke I�ve been nothing but disappointed with the place, the beer and the music. It seems this pub is doing nothing more than resting on its laurels but sadly that doesn�t seem to be enough judging by what I saw tonight. OK, I don�t expect a city centre pub to be full on a weekday and I appreciate that modern jazz is a refined taste, but paying city centre prices to sit in a place that has no proper seats is wearing a bit thin, not just with me but with pub goers and tourists alike. The latter may find the Duke in their �Rough Guides� but will be sorely let down when they arrive to find a half full pub full of old white men watching yet more old white men play ten minute solos in music that seems to have no structure or purpose. Bebop happened sometime in the middle of last century and jazz has not really moved on since. Lengthy solos and improvised numbers may have sounded good in 1950�s New York, but on a rainy night in Bristol they are frankly boring. Another gripe with this place is the regularity and audacity at which the bar staff come round asking for money �for the band�. I almost expect to be asked for cash in nearby King St with its colourful inhabitants of hostel dwellers and drug users, but not twice in a night inside the same pub. My question is this: If the music you�re putting on is so cutting edge and veritable how come the pub doesn�t make enough money to pay the band properly? It may be free to get in perhaps that is a mistake. Charge a fiver, leave the begging to the beggars outside and put on some entertaining jazz, ideally with a singer!

8 Jun 2012 00:10

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