The Whitmore Tap, Whiteladies Road: Review

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Please note: our food and drinks at The Whitmore Tap were 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.

 

Apart from their general lack of exciting ciders, I do love a good Butcombe pub. When we lived on the harbourside, The Cottage and The Ostrich were two of our regular haunts – both with fantastic food, good service, beautiful decor and a lovely friendly vibe.

The newest addition to their Bristol pub collection is The Whitmore Tap on Whiteladies Road – formerly The Penny. Open since May 2021, it’s the first taproom offering from the local brewery, serving the full Butcombe range of beers and cider, as well as various small-batch brews and seasonal beers.

I always remember the downstairs seeming quite dark and dingy when it was The Penny – it’s not the biggest of spaces. With its materials including plenty of stripped wood and leather it’s still got quite an intimate vibe – although the lighting seems to be better than it was.

What IS new, though, is the upstairs dining area: head upstairs and the first thing you’ll see is the kitchen, complete with Robata charcoal grill, which is used for many of the dishes on their menu. There’s a single large table right next to the kitchen, beautifully illuminated thanks to a huge roof lantern, and a few steps down to the main dining area with plenty to look at on the walls, and views over Whiteladies Road.

It was where we were sat for our Saturday brunch visit, accompanied by gentle jazz music from a live musician, which set the perfect tone for the afternoon.

 

Whitmore Tap - Interior 1

Whitmore Tap - Interior 2

 

It took a while for our brunch menus to be brought over once we arrived, but in the meantime, drinks…

A good Bloody Mary is one of my all-time favourite cocktails, and the perfect accompaniment to brunch. The Whitmore Tap’s version (£8) promised a blend of Ketel One vodka, guindilla chilli and cornichon, and sounded like it would pack a punch.

It didn’t disappoint: this Bloody Mary was bloody attractive, and generous too. With its slice of dried lemon, sprig of rosemary and skewer of fresh lemon and chilli and served in a tall, crystal glass, it was a beautiful-looking drink – as well as being good and spicy with a decent vodka kick.

 

Whitmore Tap - Bloody Mary

 

The brunch menu at The Whitmore Tap featured a whole host of options, from a selection of five egg-based dishes to a full English, eggs and avocado on toast, a vegan cooked breakfast and waffles with a choice of toppings. What we were most intrigued by, though, was the campfire breakfast for two to share (£23.95) – especially with a toddler between us who wanted to get in on the action.

And just look at what arrived at our table, alongside a dish of butter to slather over the toast.

 

Whitmore Tap - Campfire Brunch for Two

 

The promised mushrooms were missing from the platter, but there was more than enough food for two adults and the toddler. And the incredible provenance of the ingredients – as well as the effects of the Robata charcoal grill – shone through. I loved the crunch of the outside of the hash browns and how densely packed the shredded potato was inside. The house-made baked beans were a world away from the regular tinned variety: rich and fruity and with a little pepper kick. The flavour of that thick-cut bacon – especially when cooked over charcoal – was incredible. My only minor issue with it was that the thickness left some of the fat a little tricky to manage. Hearty and firm sausages, beautifully cooked pork belly squares (with incredible crackling), crisp and firm black pudding and runny-yolked eggs finished the meal off perfectly.

 

Whitmore Tap - Brunch portion

 

The Whitmore Tap runs its brunch menu from 10am to 5pm on Saturdays. Tempted? Book via their website. We’ll be heading back for sure…

 

 

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