Riverside pub facing setback after opening beautiful new decking feature

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The Bird’s Nest is not quite fully open yet

It looks wonderful. A brand new boutique-style decking area with seating, colourful flowerbeds and fairy lights at the bottom of the car park at the popular Bird in Hand pub in Saltford.

Under the new ownership of Carl Say, the area, appropriately named the Bird’s Nest, looks to be the perfect pit stop for cyclists on the Bristol to Bath Railway path behind it.

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But there’s a problem, we discover on a visit to the pub as part of a walk on Friday. First of all, there’s a slight staffing issue. Then we hear there’s been a complaint from nearby resident(s). And now it appears full opening of the feature is currently on pause.

That’s a shame, because although the pub is still a great place to eat and drink, its offering would have been heightened during the summer months by the Bird’s Nest, which despite being empty has its own active Instagram account.

But don’t let that stop you visiting this charming pub, which dates back all the way to the 1850s. Inside there is a traditional pub vibe to with stone walls, framed black and white pictures and a long L-shaped bar serving a wide selection of drinks.

The Birds Nest at the Bird in Hand in Saltford is closed.... for nowThe Birds Nest at the Bird in Hand in Saltford is closed.... for now
The Birds Nest at the Bird in Hand in Saltford is closed.... for now | Alex Ross

Its best feature is the decking area out the back with views on the car park below and the old railway line. There’s also a small garden with a water feature and fish. The food is good too from past experience. However, on Friday I called in for just a half of Butcombe and a packet of scampy fries - priced at £3.05.

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Back in March, we reported on how Mr Say had taken over the pub after the family who had run it had decided to retire after 36 years. Mr Say, who also runs The Crown pub in Saltford, said he planned to give the pub a major refurbishment in the autumn.

He said he’d keep in mind the views of regulars who may not way too many changes - but it appears it wasn’t the regulars Mr Say needed to have feared. We wait and see what happens to the Bird’s Nest...

Bird in Hand, 58 High St, Saltford, Bristol BS31 3EJ

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