The Shakespeare is warm, inviting, and most importantly, excellent quality, writes Sammy Milton
I haven’t been to a really great local pub in ages. Not to knock my own, of course, but it’s always nice to visit another pub and to think how nice it would be to live round the corner. That was exactly my first impression upon arriving at The Shakespeare in Redland.
Arriving on an apocalyptic Wednesday evening (it really was horrible, I was soaked!), I was delighted to spy the pub, tucked away down the delightfully residential location of Lower Redland Road. It’s an attractive building and one that, particularly on an evening like that, seems to welcome you in off the street.
The interior is warm, friendly and very, very pretty. A proper bar greets you on arrival, and the high ceilings and windows look majestic, whilst keeping the heat in. Once seated by a member of their lovely staff, we looked over the menu to see what The Shakespeare has to offer – an excellent-sized menu of pub classics, something that everyone enjoys.
We opted for a starter of one of my favourite things – salt and pepper tempura squid (£6.00), to share. It arrived on a wooden board, complete with a little tub of garlic mayonnaise and some great chilli sauce. The squid was blisteringly hot and delightfully fresh, the batter light as opposed to greasy and the squid itself was very well cooked. It was such a generous portion that we didn’t finish it due to the fear that we might stuff ourselves too early – by no means a bad thing.
We were informed that it was The Shakespeare’s burger and beer night (only £10.00, great deal), so it only seemed fitting that we tried at least one of the delightful choices off the menu. Staying classic, we went with a cheese burger (£10.50) with Red Leicester, iceberg lettuce, tomato and mayonnaise. They have a range of delicious-looking options, including a very impressive vegetarian burger, so whatever your preference, you won’t be disappointed.
Our burger was perfectly cooked, mildly seasoned and the Red Leicester made a refreshing change from Swiss or Cheddar cheese. The accompanying slaw and fries were both tasty, as was the smoky, garlicy dip that came along too – we could’ve eaten buckets of the stuff.
As well as the burger, we decided to go with another pub classic – fish and chips (£11.50). A firm favourite that doesn’t always stand up to its reputation, The Shakespeare has got the British staple nailed. The batter was crispy and indulgent, the fish flaky and fresh and the crushed peas spot on. We were both very full and very satisfied.
We couldn’t resist trying a chocolate brownie with praline, white chocolate and vanilla ice cream for dessert (£6.00). I’m so glad we did. It was simply divine. The entire menu is wonderful, but the desserts alone need a round of applause.
The Shakespeare is doing that rather lovely thing of being affordable, fun and doing everything to the highest standard. Come and see for yourself – I wish it was my local.
Lower Redland Rd, Bristol BS6 6SS
0117 9739 850