We were surprised by the food at the Conservative club at the heart of Jacob Rees-Mogg’s constituency
A chicken korma cost £8.95
and live on Freeview channel 276
Four years ago, as the ‘red wall’ crumbled in many areas across England, Bristol held strong. Karin Smyth, Darren Jones, Kerry McCarthy and Thangam Debbonaire held on to their seats at the 2019 General Election as colleagues fell by the wayside with the Labour Party in disarray under the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn.
But outside of Bristol it was a very different picture. The likes of Luke Hall, Jack Lopresti, Liam Fox and Jacob Rees Mogg kept on to their seats for the Conservative Party, leaving the city like an island surrounded by blue sea.
So, on this basis, it’s highly unlikely many in Bristol would want to visit the Grade II-listed Conservative Club on Keynsham’s High Street - and it could also be why the club is now called The Club @ 22 (it sits at 22 High Street), while the kitchen inside is the Indigo Club?
Yes, for some politics will come before budget and quality when choosing a place to eat. Something which is a shame, as this place is actually quite a find within an area already well populated with lounge-style diners and coffee shops.
The first thing I noticed when I went inside was how old fashioned the place felt. Like entering a hotel, a receptionist stand stood in front of me as I entered the lobby covered with posters on upcoming social events - although there was no staff member there.
I stepped past the stand and into the bar area where I was welcomed by a friendly bunch of regulars. ‘They’ll be over in a minute’, one of them said as he moved over to allow me to sit on a wallside seat facing a wooden table.
Looking around, there was a long bar with a large function space at the back. It was a Thursday lunchtime and it was surprisingly busy. People of all ages sat around tables deep in conversation while a couple played pool.
A lady came over and provided me with a menu and ran through a few specials. It was reasonably priced. Chilli con carne with rice was £6.95, lasagne was £8.95 and chicken burger with chips and coleslaw was £8.95 - cheaper than other places on the High Street.
I went for a special. Chicken korma with rice for £8.95. ‘Very popular’, the lady smiled before turning away. Meanwhile, a regular sitting next to me helpfully went up to the bar to get my pint of Jail Ale - now that’s service!
The food came out not long after, and it was delicious. The chicken pieces were of good size and quality while the korma was obviously homemade and suitably spiced. Finally, the serving was generous - as it should be for a homemade dish.
I finished by well-poured drink while talking to those around me who I think weren’t used to a ‘newbie’ coming in, although the club is open to non-members (members get a discount on their food and drink).
Quite a find - it’s just unfortunate many in our region will want to visit.