The Shakespeare, Redland: Review

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This guest review comes from Sarah Harding, who blogs over at Bedsit Bonne Vivante. You can see more of Sarah’s reviews for Bristol Bites here


The highlights of being a glutton is getting to know your local chefs. These people are the celebs of my world: much like the local brewers, café owners and bakers, I keenly follow them on Twitter and Facebook, mouth watering with anticipation and not a hint of realisation of how sad that makes me…

It is this full time stalking that led to me recognising the Chef in my new almost local, The Shakespeare in Redland. He used to grill exotic meat in the form of burgers at The Gryphon, a quirky metal pub sat in the centre of town so chefing at this newly refurbished pub taken over by the crew at The Royal Oak on Gloucester Road (famous for the beer garden that is nearly the size of a football pitch…I could be exaggerating) seemed to be a change of pace and clientele, with not a leather jacket, skull or tankard to be seen.

I have to admit the old Shakespeare was not somewhere I would have gone before, It was an old fashioned boozer with old fashioned “Old Boys” propping up the bar and I have worked in enough of those in the past to pass it over for somewhere a little more “upbeat”. On entering the new premises I was first struck by how open and fresh everything felt. A warm welcome from the bar staff who were really lovely, a fine combination of ales, ciders and lagers on tap (Including a pint of Fox which I of course jumped at, I stalk foxes too) and a lovely sunny beer garden. I really loved the wooden cover and countryside theme mural on the wall. Lots of benches and heaters will make this a really popular spot at the peak of summer. I also adored the chunky benches inside by the beer garden entrance. They reminded me of medieval dining tables and I shook off the temptation to don a horned hat and eat a leg of something with my hands.

After a chat with the landlord, Olivia, about Twitter, pubs and bloggers, my friend showed up and we looked at the menu. We were both pleased that it was a reasonably-sized menu, I hate being faced with 200 choices, and they were split into categories. Burgers of course, standard pub grub, salads that could possibly even tempt me for lunch, sandwiches, small bites, kids and desserts. Easy. I went for ham, egg and chips for £10.50 and my friend had the fish and chips for £11.50.


The Shakespeare, Redland - Menu


First I would like to congratulate the pub on using plates. I shouldn’t have to do this. I hate having to mention it but yes, old fashioned plates were used. Hurrah! The portions were great value for money, I had three thick slices of Wiltshire ham, skin on chips and two eggs with runny yolks.


The Shakespeare Redland - Ham, egg and chips


My friend got a big piece of haddock, chips, mushy peas and tartare sauce (which were separated in small bowls, a touch I liked, no one wants to get peas in their sauce. If you do, you are a monster.


The Shakespeare Redland - Fish and chips


We were both convinced that we were full…but we were asked if we wanted pudding and greed took over and we readily accepted. We chose the praline brownie (£5) and the baked lemon cheesecake (£5.50) to share between us and couldn’t finish them. The brownie was how they should be, soft, gooey and crunchy around the edge with a dollop of ice cream and the cheese ake was baked (which usually I don’t like) but had a fantastic, tangy lemon taste with a lovely berry compote with it. We left harbouring food babies and very satisfied. The portions were also huge which is a thumbs up in my book.


The Shakespeare Redland - Cheesecake

The Shakespeare Redland - Brownie


Overall we were both really impressed with the pub, there was a lovely mix of people – labourers, office workers and student types – the atmosphere was light and friendly and the tiles were bloody gorgeous (I like a good tile, me!). They also offer a steak night (Thursdays, two steaks and a bottle of wine for £30), burger takeaway service, lunch deals and breakfast so you really have no excuse to head over to try them out. Plus the corner shop is really close if you run out of fags. Winner.


The Shakespeare Redland - Tiles


Please note: our meal was received free of charge, but this in no way impacted on our opinion. We were not obliged to write a positive review, and the venue did not see this review before it was put up on the site.



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