The Bristol Flyer, Gloucester Road's newly-renovated old favourite, offers choice, comfort and style, says Rebecca Paddick
As a proud Bristolian I know full well of the delights of Gloucester Road. A thriving focal point for local businesses, the bustling street’s vast selection of bars, pubs and restaurants make it one of the best places in the city to grab a bite. One of its landmarks has always been The Flyer, or The Bristol Flyer as it is more traditionally known, situated on the Bishopston/St Andrew’s section of the road.
The pub has recently re-opened after being renovated, complete with a brand new menu. Part of the refurb includes an outdoor bar, perfect for enjoying those jugs of Pimms when the sun is shining. Unfortunately for us, the night we decided to dine was a very chilly and drizzly Thursday evening, so we stuck to a cosy indoor booth. The décor is warm and welcoming, yet still modern and fresh – lots of contemporary greys, cool blues and dark brown leather sofas. The increasingly popular Edison-style light bulbs help give the place a golden glow.
When we arrived we were surprised to see the bar and dining areas already busy. Our friendly waiter showed us to our seats and offered us an Australian wine called Scribble. Light and fruity, I was instantly a fan. The Flyer is also known for its great selection of ciders and cask ales.
Perusing the revamped menu, I saw that the eatery offers some all-time pub classics such as chicken and ham hock pie and mash (£9.50) to the more adventurous plates like Spitfire Ale shallot tart (£9).
We opted for a selection of small plates to share (three for £13, for five for £19.50). Slightly larger than traditional tapas dishes, the small plates are a great way to try a variety of dishes. The braised brisket cubes with buffalo sauce was my favourite out of our choices. The chilled spicy sauce provided a striking contrast to the warm beef.
The confit duck, shallot and thyme rillettes with chutney and toasted bread was the most flavoursome dish. I’m a huge chutney fan, and this deliciously sweet and thick savoury jam didn’t disappoint. It was the perfect accompaniment to the hearty duck.
My dining partner preferred the pea, feta and mint arancini balls with smoked tomato houmous. The stuffed rice balls, which are coated with breadcrumbs and then deep fried, are usually filled with ragù, mozzarella, and peas but the crumbly feta was a welcome change.
We also chose the chicken skewers marinated in Ras el hanout, quinoa salad and coconut dressing. The quinoa’s crunchy texture complimented the succulent chicken pieces really well. A hint of coconut provided a refreshing twist.
We finished off with an old favourite, a scotch egg with HP sauce. A perfectly cooked runny yolk encased in a crusty shell was a simple, yet delightful way to end our main course.
For dessert, The Flyer again offers classic dishes like sticky toffee pudding and chocolate brownie, but I'd highly recommend the salted caramel profiteroles, salted caramel ice cream and Devonshire toffee sauce. Wow, this was simply delicious, moreish and pure indulgence. I could have eaten it twice, but instead chose to try the carrot cake and orange cheesecake with Devonshire toffee sauce. Not for the faint hearted, the generous slab of sweetness is the perfect combination of two classic desserts. All the puddings on offer are around the £5 mark, value for money indeed when you see the portion sizes.
A relaxing retreat for city dwellers the all-new Flyer has retained its cosy local quality for the people of Bristol, and beyond, to enjoy.
96 Gloucester Road
0117 944 1658