One of the undiscussed risks of pub ticking is that of “ticking the wrong pub”. Amber Valley Mark had the excellent idea (I think it’s copywrite) of adding postcodes to his spreadsheets, but where’s the fun in that.

I knew my second Bristol pub was called the Shakespeare and was close to King Street and the Harbourside and claimed to be ancient, so from Left Handed Giant I set off the wrong way there.

Oh, this is an ancient Shakespeare,

but there’s no little sticker. I checked What Pub (top pic)and found there were four named after Bill, and then had to check on the GBG app to make sure the one I wanted was in Prince Street.

The stroll takes you through King Street, Brizzle’s craft central, which looks quieter than usual,

despite the rebirth of the Llandoger Trow, which I now read has twenty-eight taps. 28 !

My target looks the part, but there’s Greene King livery,

and I didn’t think Greene King pubs were allowed in the Guide, so how has it made it;

No idea.

But be glad it has, because there’s a nice collection of cask, craft in cans, and a really great welcome.

How often do I say the staff are great, effortlessly dealing with the two sides of the bar and being welcoming to the foreign tourists and remembering my half a pint of Cheddar Gorge.

Didn’t I just pour you a Cheddar ?

“That was for the chap round the other side; that’s why I had it as well”.

Mmm, cool and chewy. NBSS 3.5 I think.

Lots of big menus say “Food”, and it’s ticking over decently on a Thursday with fish and chip orders, but there’s still space for the Old Boy on the bench seating to shout into his phone about “struggling to get the lead up” and “You know what serfdom is. S.E.R.F.D.O.M. Ask Jimmy Carter” (I’m not making it up), before scuttling out to his mobility scooter at the front.

I’ve just noticed the pub’s claim about age claims 1722, which if my maths are correct is later than 1616 but since I was born in 1964 (22 December) I can’t believe anything that old anyway.

The sound of budgies in the distance may have affected my judgement, or perhaps it was The Cure,

but I scratched out that 3.5 on my NBSS parchment and wrote in NBSS 4.

One day I will remember to send all these NBSS scores off.


  1. [Image]

    Shame that Nick, the manager, had changed his Abbot pumpclip from his retro version ?

    Martin ________________________________


  2. It’s OK now – Greene King pubs are allowed back in the GBG since GK started to seemingly abandon any significant tie a few years back 😉. Use several GK pubs that serve virtually no GK beer… which is not unconnected as to why use them 😁.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I reckon that’s at least 27 taps too many.

    Loved the overheard bit of the guy spelling out “serfdom.” And how fitting that he headed off to a mobility scooter, the proof of a good pub!

    Have you ever accidentally ticked the wrong pub? (I mean, if there’s such a thing as a “wrong” pub!)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I remember visiting that pub 10 years ago when I was in Bristol, and rating their house beer, basically it was just GK IPA with a Shakespeares badge label on it, as no more than a NBSS 2.75, so theyve improved for definite. And it only got that much as I warmed to it, as I do remember really liking the pub as a venue, it really had that old fashioned sense to the place considering its surrounded by lots of more modern buildings going up all the time, and the staff were really friendly & chatty too. And Im sure they had a story about why its called the Shakespeare, that possibly included ghosts of smugglers, pirates, actors & haunted pubs, and may well have been something they spun a yarn for the more obvious visiting tourists, it sounded good anyway, even if my beer wasnt as nice back then. But Id definitely try the place again.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can’t really explain why beer quality in pubs has edged up post-Covid. It’s not as if the beer range in the Greene King Shakespeare would drag CAMRA folk there away from the more specialist ale houses..


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