We had a pint in the Bristol bikers’ pub that serves cheap pints, cooked breakfasts and Sunday roasts

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The pints are as affordable as the food

Within seconds of sitting down with my pint at Bristol bikers’ pub The Packhorse, I could feel the eyes staring at me. And I don’t mind admitting I was a little wary about pushing open the door of this red and white-painted pub in the first place. 

I’d never been in before but must have passed it hundreds of times - to be honest, it has always looked slightly intimidating, scary even. And I’m somebody who happily walks into ‘proper’ pubs on a regular basis.

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Thankfully, those eyes staring at me belonged to the resident parrot in a large cage with the reassuring sign reading ‘I bite, please don’t put your fingers in my cage’.

And everybody else in the bar seemed friendly, too, including the landlady and her grandson who was serving.

From the ‘nobody leaves sober’ sign on the door to the various RIP messages for regulars who have passed away (including Doc Puffer, Rusty, Gary, Maverick and Tank), The Packhorse is certainly a locals’ pub with bags of character.

Outside the pub, there are signs for AFFA - meaning Angels Forever, Forever Angels, a slogan of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club - and bikes are often parked on the pavement outside.

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Inside, there are Hells Angels posters, pictures of Harley Davidson bikes and signed photos of boxers including Tyson Fury.

Inside The Packhorse in Lawrence HillInside The Packhorse in Lawrence Hill
Inside The Packhorse in Lawrence Hill | Mark Taylor

There are also large Swiss cheese plants, a sofa, a large TV and a red pool table (you can play for free on Tuesdays). It’s actually quite homely.

The pub, which was once a hotel, serves breakfast from Monday to Saturday and the ‘Packhorse special’ fry-up costs £8, with the standard Full English just £6. They also serve £3.50 breakfast rolls and then £10 roast dinners on Sunday.

The pints are as affordable as the food, with handwritten prices on neon signs attached to each pump. It's a shame more pubs don't do this.

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Thatchers Gold and Foster’s are just £3.50, Stella and Amstel £4 and my pint of Guinness was a reasonable £4.50. Cans of Natch from the fridge are an even cheaper option.

Across the road, there is a faded ghost sign of the long-gone Lawrence Hill pub the Earl Russell Inn. Thankfully The Packhorse is still going strong and long may that continue.

The Packhorse, 166-168 Lawrence Hill, Bristol, BS5 0DN.

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