The Old Stillage has the feel of a country pub in an area of Bristol where you would least expect it, and behind a frontage where you would also least expect it. Redfield may have Grounded, one of my favourite cafes in Bristol, but until I visited the Old Stillage that was the sole draw of this part of town.
The first pub opened by Kingswood’s Arbor Ales (their second is the Three Tuns) now gives me another reason to visit Redfield. With beams on the ceiling, wood partitions, and hops over the bar, the Old Stillage is a proper pub in the best sense of that term.
I visited on a Sunday with two Aussies who just happened to be passing through Bristol, Krystal and Christian, and it was a joy to enjoy a traditional Sunday lunch with them over a few pints of traditional real ale, with our post-lunch entertainment an intriguing three-player game of cribbage.
Between us we also got through most of the selection of the Arbor Ales range on tap. One of this range, Brigstow, gave me the excuse to tell my new Australian friends about the origin of the name of our fair city and the infamous ‘Bristol L’.
The design of Hunny Bear saw me go off on a tangent about Cheo, one of Bristol’s best and most prolific graffiti artists, who as well as designing many of the Arbor Ales beer pump clips has also painted his trademark bees on the front of this pub.
A reason all by itself to visit Redfield, the Old Stillage is one of those rare pubs that you walk into and feel right at home.
The Old Stillage, 147 Church Road, Redfield, Bristol. 0117 939 4079.