Given its name, it’s not really a surprise that The Christmas Steps really comes into its own at this time of year.
Based at the bottom of the eponymous Christmas Steps in the city centre, the historic boozer has all the ingredients required to make the ideal festive drinking spot.
Dating back to the 16th century and boasting exposed brickwork, an old log burner, a higgledy-piggledy layout and high ceiling beams, the pub wouldn’t be out of place in a Harry Potter novel.
When you add two massive Christmas trees and other festive decorations into the mix, it’s hard to think of a pub anywhere in the city that’s better when it comes to wiling away a wintry afternoon.
Tom Bird has been landlord at The Christmas Steps for the past four years, joining from the former Hare pub on North Street, now wine bar Kask.
For decades the pub at the foot of the quaint Christmas Steps was called The Three Sugar Loaves, before being bought by Crack Magazine and the owner of The Spotted Cow, also on North Street, four years ago.
Tom said: “Given our name we’d be silly not to capitalise on Christmas. We let a florist have free rein of the place to make it look festive and she’s done a fantastic job.
“We had our first Christmas bookings at the end of November as that’s when people started enquiring and we’ve been slammed ever since.
“It’s the fourth Christmas I’ve done here and it’s just got bigger and bigger each year. Every day is fully booked which is crazy.
“There’s been a really good crowd in here every day and a really broad mix of people, including students, office workers, families and more. It’s nice not having to cater just for one group of people.”
Not just for Christmas…
Just like a dog, The Christmas Steps is not just for Christmas.
While it is a cracking pub over the festive period, that’s not to say it isn’t worth visiting when attention isn’t on Christmas.
“It’s always just been a really good boozer,” added Tom, aged 29. “It’s not trying to be something fancy or anything like that, it just serves great beers, great food and it has a cracking environment.”
As it’s heavily influenced by Crack Magazine, you can also rest assured that there will always be decent music being played through the pub’s speakers, with live DJs supplying the tunes on Fridays and Saturdays.
Like any good pub The Christmas Steps has a first-rate beer offering, with a solid choice of locally-sourced tipples across five cask pumps and four keg lines.
“In terms of our beers we stay as local as possible. There’s so much amazing choice in Bristol it’s ridiculous,” said Tom.
“Sometimes we’ll venture further afield if there’s a certain beer we want to get in but we tend to stick to local breweries.
“We’re big fans of New Bristol Brewery, Bristol Beer Factory and Twisted Oak in particular, but also stock beers from other breweries.
“We’ve also got our own beers, Crack Hops on keg and Crack Gold on cask, which have both been staples for years and are both popular.”
What’s on the menu?
Tom said The Christmas Steps mainly serves pub classics, usually with a bit of a twist.
It also has a strong vegan following, he said, and a superb Sunday roast which usually gets booked up in advance.
Chefs place a focus on fresh local ingredients, creating a hearty lunch and dinner menu with an emphasis on innovation and quality.
Meaty options on the menu include Louisiana fried chicken for £6, a beef burger for £10 or the bavette steak for £11, while vegans can enjoy the Steps Buddha Bowl for £8 or the vegan Thai curry for £9, to name just a few.
Lovers of Sunday roasts have the option of beef brisket, slow roasted pork belly, buttermilk chicken supreme or veggie options, ranging from £11.95 to £12.95.
For more information about The Christmas Steps’ food offering, or to book a table, visit The Christmas Steps’ website.
The pub is located at 2 Christmas Steps, Bristol, BS1 5BS, 0117 925 3077. Its email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
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