Frosty winds and dark nights have arrived, and with them comes the instinct to slink home at 5pm and sit under a blanket with a hot beverage.
But what about those evenings when you have to meet a client, or need to socialise with some colleagues after a long day of Skyping and spreadsheets?
At this time of year, there’s no better place to warm up and wind down than in a pub with a glass of mulled cider, in a cosy chair, next to a roaring fire. Here are our picks of Bath and Bristol’s cosiest establishments.
Venues in Bristol
THE RUMMER, ALL SAINTS LANE, BS1 1JH
An unrivalled bar selection (over 500 at the last count), large leather sofas and an impressive original fireplace, this historic building in St Nicholas Market dates from 1742 and is one of the more sophisticated bars in the city centre.
Choose from one of their premium cocktails, or ask the bar staff for their recommendations from their whisky or rum store; a sure way to impress any visiting clients.
THE FAMOUS ROYAL NAVY VOLUNTEER, 17-18 KING STREET, BS1 4EF
Get ensconced in one of their high-backed leather chairs or in a comfy booth once you’ve managed to choose from their floor-to-ceiling selection of craft beers, ales and ciders. The menu is also reliably good should you and your guests need some winter stodge.
YURT LUSH, CREATIVE COMMON, BS1 6DG
If there’s a more welcoming structure than a yurt, I’ll eat my yak’s wool hat.This quirky venue next to Temple Meads is run by the group behind Eat Drink Bristol, so the food is top quality without being expensive. The cushions, carpets and wood-burning stove also add to the relaxed feel of the place.
If you want to put your guests at ease whilst you enjoy a great meal (their steak deal on a Wednesday is particularly good value), this is the place to go.
BARLEY MOW, 39 BARTON ROAD, BS2 0LF
The menu is a mix of familiar favourites such as fish and chips, steaks and sandwiches; the drinks selection is extensive and reasonably priced. Pull up a pew close to the fireplace, choose a board game, and settle down for the evening – give your clients the best Bristol welcome!
THE STAR AND DOVE, 75-78 ST LUKE’S RD, BS3 4RY
It doesn’t take itself too seriously, though – there are open mic nights, quizzes and some of the best home-made bar snacks in town. If you want a high-end experience for your guests whilst still having the choice of six ales on tap, or 50 bottled beers and ciders, look no further.
THE LION, 19 CHURCH LN BRISTOL BS8 4TX
A big favourite with locals, The Lion is well worth a stroll through colourful Cliftonwood for a sturdy burger or scotch egg – best enjoyed by their roaring fire. This is the epitome of a cosy traditional pub and is famed for its roasts too if your guests happen to be staying for the weekend.
THE ROSE OF DENMARK, 6 DOWRY PLACE, BRISTOL BS8 4QL
It may not be as central as some of the other pubs on the list, but this Hotwells pub is always busy for a reason. Pop in with colleagues or clients and find a comfy corner for their jazz night, or for one of their sharing platters – either way it’ll be an evening well spent.
Venues in Bath
THE GARRICKS HEAD, 7 & 8 ST JOHNS PLACE, BA1 1ET
This city centre pub and dining room plays on its location next to the Theatre Royal, with an ever-changing pre-theatre menu, along with an extensive list of premium wines, spirits and beers in a sophisticated pub setting.
It also does a special eight-course tasting menu on Fridays and Saturday evenings if you want to treat any visiting clients or maybe your team to something extra special.
THE PULTENEY ARMS, 37 DANIEL STREET, BA2 6ND
Usually attracting a rugby and tourist crowd due to its proximity to the Recreation Ground (or the Rec), this pub aims to appeal to all, with a fine dining room, a pub quiz, and a variety of board and pub games for customers to use.
Maybe after giving a client a tour of the city you could pop in for some real ale, a ‘Pulteney Burger’ and a game of shove ha’penny for a proper pub experience.
THE RAVEN, 7 QUEEN ST, BA1 1HE
They serve a hearty menu which includes pie and mash, and if you time your visit right you can sit in on a science café, a storytelling circle or an art group. What better way to introduce any visitors to the diverse crowds of Bath?
THE BELL, 103 WALCOT STREET, BA1 5BW
The infamous untameable bar of Bath – this pub is now a co-operative after being bought by the local community, and so it continues to provide the locals with great live music, an extensive choice of real ales, and a warm and friendly atmosphere.
Head here for a relaxing evening and experience a more laid-back side of this refined city.
KING WILLIAM, 36 THOMAS STREET, BA1 5NN
The King William aspires to be the best in British food in the city, whilst also serving a fine choice of ales, craft beers and wines.
If you really want to treat some guests to a sophisticated evening, book a table here before they all get snapped up.
THE SALAMANDER, 3 JOHN ST, BA1 2JL
A Bath Ales pub with lots of character and cosy corners – pop in for comfort food such as beef & onion pie or beer battered fish & chips, washed down with one of the house ales. A spot of refuge in the centre of town.
COUER DE LION, 17 NORTHUMBERLAND PLACE BA1 5AR
One of Bath’s smallest pubs, but packed to the rafters with character. Their menu is full of rustic pub favourites and due to it being owned by Abbey Ales, there’s always a good selection of beers on tap too. If you can nab a seat, this is one of the cosiest spots in town.