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“Beautifully Decorated and Atmospheric”
Review of The Old Bookshop

The Old Bookshop
Ranked #126 of 1,579 Restaurants in Bristol
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: British, Bar
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children, Bar scene, Special occasions
Dining options: Drinks, Dinner, Lunch, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Free Wifi, Full Bar, Outdoor Seating, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff, Wine and Beer
Description: The Old Bookshop is a small, eclectic cafe/bar that serves good food at a fair price. The atmosphere is friendly and relaxed. The walls are covered in old photographs, typewriters and curiosities. We have guest chefs and pop-up kitchens each month, so menu changes regularly. Don't expect a stuffy restaurant, we are just a quirky little bar that does great food! We also serve delicious cocktails. Our smoking garden has a wood burner to keep you warm on chilly evenings.
Weston super Mare, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
180 reviews
122 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 114 helpful votes
“Beautifully Decorated and Atmospheric”
Reviewed May 17, 2014

We found our way to The Old Bookshop via a music event we wanted to attend which took place on a saturday afternoon, and which was surprisingly well attended for a non-evening gig. The venue is located south of the city centre, in Bedminster though it's easily reached via the 24 bus which stops nearby and travels between here and the Centre every 12 minutes or so during the day. It's also a short walk from Bedminster Railway Station. This has traditionally been something of a poor relation to the city itself, but there are signs of the area becoming a little less down-at-heel and somewhat more hip at present - not least in the presence of business like The Old Bookshop. North Street feels a little more vibrant generally with some interesting street art, junk shops and other nooks and crannies to explore.

The building is a corner store which has expanded into the neighbouring former restaurant building. Thus it has a somewhat haphazard interior, with steps up and down to the various areas. The bar is small, but very well stocked with three or four often local guest ales which are perfectly kept and well chosen for the season. There are also a range of freshly made soft drinks, including lemonade which was selling very well on the hot afternoon when we visited. Above the bar hangs a chandelier made from decommissioning brass musical instruments. That sets the tone for the eclectic decoration around the place, which runs from Victorian tiling to sinister taxidermy covering most bases in between. One drawback of this unusual building is the smaller than usual provision of bathroom facilities. Expect to queue for a few minutes - guys and girls alike!

The staff here know the drinks on offer well, and manage a large crowd in a noisy place very well - which is rarer than it sounds! I've seen one or two reviews which focus on the 'style over substance' angle - I think the thing is, whoever you are, the staff of The Old Bookshop are probably going to be hipper, younger and more attractive than you. Since I abandoned any attempt to be all three of those things years ago, this didn't worry me at all. The important thing is you'll get good service! The atmosphere is friendly, welcoming and laid-back and the clientèle seem to really love their local.

We didn't get a chance to sample the food as we were here for an afternoon gig, but we'd definitely like to return and sample the interesting sounding menu.

  • Visited May 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank MikeGTN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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243 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    174
    49
    11
    5
    4
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Portishead, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
48 reviews
43 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Quirky ”
Reviewed April 23, 2014 via mobile

Been a few times with friends and always enjoyed it.
A small place with a huge character.
Staff are friendly, plenty of drink choice and the food is amazing especially the burgers! Nomnom

Helpful?
1 Thank Matthew D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bristol
Level Contributor
22 reviews
22 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Great breakfast and great coffee”
Reviewed April 10, 2014 via mobile

We went here for breakfast at the weekend, we were very impressed by the good quality food, polite staff and general atmosphere. The food was a little bit late coming from the kitchen but the staff apologised in advance and knocked 10% off the bill. I had the eggs Bedminster which were fantastic and I think they deep fry the sausage which is refreshing since this is the way it should be done!! Eggs were also cooked to perfection and the hollandaise sauce was great. The decor is quite alternative and very Bristolian, all in all a great place to visit.

Helpful?
Thank Food_Hopper_101
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bristol, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“GREAT MEAL”
Reviewed March 31, 2014

We visited for a family Mothering Sunday lunch. The staff were helpful & very pleasant. The food was excellent & great value. I loved the quirky artefacts & atmosphere of the place.
Sandra age 69. 10/10

  • Visited March 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank sandra w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bristol, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“perfect”
Reviewed March 27, 2014

I went into the okd bookshop this eve with 3 friends and of course me being an annoying vegan asked if they had anything I was able to eat. The guy who I spoke too was really helpful and went and spoke to the chef who without hesitation said he could make me something up. When it came out it was amazing and all of my friends meat and fish dishes looked great too. Also very reasonably priced and fantastic atomosphere with very helpful and friendly staff

  • Visited March 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank kcepek
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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