Pub Review – Bag o’ Nails, Bristol

Immediately on walking into this pub, I am faced with a large, bearded man attempting to eat three pickled eggs in less than forty seconds. He fails, but I’m still impressed. Behind him, a cat lay lapping up water next to a sign offering “kittens on toast”. Already, it’s pretty clear I was onto a winner here.

Kittens on toast
Only three left, get them while they’re fresh!

The Bag o’ Nails sits on St George’s Road, surrounded by estate agents and curry houses. It’s a beautiful old traditional building, matched inside with an interior that still has all the traditional features under a thick layer of oddness. There are many rules. In particular, I like the hastily scrawled rule above the bar: “no fucking stupid inflatable animals or fish”.

The walls are lined with bottles of Belgian ales, but the real stars here are the pumps – four on today, though I’m assured there’s usually more. Behind them on the back wall, there’s a row of “hipster beers” on tap. In case you were starting to think this might be a reputable establishment, to the left of the bar is a tap serving Babycham. It’s a bit weird.

Babycham pump with cat
Babychat, if you will.

The bearded man has just made another attempt at the pickled egg challenge. That’s six pickled eggs in the space of fifteen minutes. I sincerely hope his spouse was born without a sense of smell.

The Bag o’ Nails kept me guessing the whole time I was there, with its strange, busy decor, feline bar staff, and liberal rule lists. It made a very pleasant place to stop off for a pint and a pork pie, and I can see myself dropping by for many more. 5/5


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