We have a pint in the 'proper' Bristol pub where regulars arrive at 9am and drinks prices are 'unbelievable'

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Bristol pubs don’t get more ‘proper’ than The Barley Mow in Bedminster, where dedicated regulars arrive on the stroke of 9am like some people turn up for a hard day's work.

With its distinctive green and brown-tiled frontage and net curtains covering the windows, this legendary East Street pub opposite Asda doesn’t give too much away from the outside.

For anybody who hasn’t ventured in before, it can certainly seem intimidating but once you have, you might start to wonder why you haven’t visited sooner. It’s actually very friendly and conversations are soon struck up whether you’re a regular or not.

OK, the more sensitive souls might struggle with the language - if you have a deep aversion to the ‘C-word’, you’d best avoid the place (and I don’t mean ‘Christmas’) - and there might be the occasional beery belch or worse, but the regulars are salt of the earth characters.

The pub itself is simply a single room with a curved bar where thousands of elbows and pints have rested over the decades.

The cosy interior of The Barley Mow in BedminsterThe cosy interior of The Barley Mow in Bedminster
The cosy interior of The Barley Mow in Bedminster

Apart from the Christmas decorations currently up, it’s simply and traditionally furnished. There are tulip-shaped lamps, a wall of framed dog pictures, a Courage Best poster and a Beamish stout mirror. Under one of the TVs, there’s a pile of dog-eared paperbacks.

Cider is the chosen drink in this Bristol City supporters' favourite - Dry Blackthorn, Thatcher’s Gold and Cheddar Valley are on draught and Natch is served in cans.

And prices are unbelievably cheap. The cheapest pint is the Cheddar Valley at just £2.60 and my pint of Amstel was only £3.30 - half the price of many pubs in central Bristol. There aren’t many pubs where you can get three pints of that for a tenner and still get change.

Like the Little Grosvenor a short walk away, this is a proper drinkers’ pub where everybody knows each other and their business.

On the morning I visited, it was busy at a time when most pubs are still closed and bolted but arriving just after 11am, I felt a bit of a lightweight for starting so late.

After all, most of my fellow drinkers were probably on their fourth or fifth pint by then. I’ll have to report for duty a lot earlier next time.

The Barley Mow, 1 East Street, Bedminster, Bristol, BS3 4HH.

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