Still on Thursday night, as I finish a long day in training for the Proper Pub Day Out in Bath with the inevitable crispy beef and Singapore Rice just off Whiteladies Road.

On the walk down from the Westbury I’d been scrutinising the Google reviews, it helps with bumping into folk, and found the Dragon Fountain so poorly rated I had to give it a go.

“Ten minutes” she said.

Ten minutes ? Just enough for a pint across the road in the Whitmore Tap.

Tap ? Sounds like a pre-emptive, and it might be, but this Butcombe flagship of sorts is more notable for the dull, thudding house music than the Bitter (NBSS 2.5) in a handled mug, a staggering £4.85.

It’s lively, and earthy “YES HE FU*KING DID !”, but the only highlights are the full set of 1970s Readers Digest short stories and a safe.

Perhaps Bristol is really into Readers Digest in 2022. Nothing would surprise me. I decide the Butcombe is actually only a 2, pick up my takeaway, and take some shaky photos on the way down St Michael’s Hill.

Atmospheric, huh ?

In 2017 I stopped outside the front window of the Highbury Vaults, top dog here 25 years ago, and admired a range of Youngs Bitter from five different pump clips.

And they’re still there.

One day, I will have a pint of each, and immediately regret it.

Pretty much as I later regretted the crispy beef an hour later.


  1. Who goes into a pub and picks up a Reader’s Digest? Perhaps the same people who meticulously go through Tim’s 10,000-word rants in the Spoon’s magazine. But what happens if you don’t finish your 1976 copy? I suppose dog-earing a page is a no-no. Are you supposed to bring your own bookmark?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The Whitmore Tap’s a new one for me, must have opened after I left Bristol coming up for four years ago now. Looks awful. I might have left it alone and gone to the Highbury. But I’m not a ticker so I don’t have to suffer for my cause.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. A bit of internet research reveals that the Whitmore is what used to be the Penny-farthing, a Wadworth’s pub, previously a NatWest Bank. It was a dismal dump when Waddies had it and it doesn’t look like it’s improved.

    Liked by 2 people

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