The cosy Bristol pub with roaring real fires and ‘perfectly kept’ beer

The pub is adorned with memorabilia including a red telephone box in the bar
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The mercury is dropping and home energy bills are still soaring. With snow already forecast, it’s certainly time to wrap up and head to the nearest pub for a pint next to a roaring real fire. Who knows, it may even be cheaper than having a beer next to your lukewarm radiator at home.

It was certainly cosy next to the woodburner in the Post Office Tavern this week - one of two real fires in this charming pub. The fire close to the dartboard was belting out heat and coats and scarves were soon removed.

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Perched at the top of Westbury Hill in Westbury-on-Trym, this former mail coach house used to be frequented by coach drivers (and their horses) after dropping off prisoners at the lock-up across the road.

The prisoners would be held there on the way to court so the coachmen would take liquid refreshment at what is now a single story red-brick pub.

A retro ‘first class’ railway sign hangs above the entrance to the small left-hand bar, with its book-lined shelves. This tends to be the quieter area where the regulars hold court at the bar.

On a beam at the other end of the long main bar, a humorous sign reminds especially thirsty customers ‘If you are drinking to forget, please pay in advance!’.

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Carpeted throughout, this is a smart, traditional pub that tends to attract the more discerning ale drinkers looking for a perfectly kept pint. Landlord George keeps his beers in immaculate condition and some are drawn directly from barrels in a room behind the bar.

This is not a pub that has embraced trendy craft beers. Old school Courage Best and Bass are two of the bestsellers and other ales on tap this week were Butcombe Original, Doom Bar and the crystal clear, perfectly kept Wye Valley Butty Bach I ordered.

The ‘first class’ bar of The Post Office TavernThe ‘first class’ bar of The Post Office Tavern
The ‘first class’ bar of The Post Office Tavern

Cider drinkers can enjoy Stowford Press, and Guinness Extra Cold, Foster’s, Birra Moretti and Heineken are also on draught.

Since the pandemic, the pub has stopped serving hot food - it once had a reputation for its excellent pizzas - but hopefully that will come back at some point. Until then, crisps and filled rolls are the way to go.

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As the name suggests, the Post Office Tavern is full of Post Office memorabilia, including a red post box and a red telephone box in the main bar.

The Post Office Tavern on Westbury HillThe Post Office Tavern on Westbury Hill
The Post Office Tavern on Westbury Hill

The mail box has a sign warning people not to post letters in it as it’s only decorative. But with Royal Mail workers still planning strikes and the pre-Christmas letters and parcels already piling up at the sorting offices, a festive card posted in this fake collection box still might arrive quicker than one posted the official way.

And with the fire roaring and the excellent beer flowing, the Post Office Tavern is certainly a pub that will bring plenty of cheer throughout this winter of discontent.

Post Office Tavern, 17 Westbury Hill, Westbury on Trym, Bristol, BS9 3AG.

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