The Pumphouse

Impressive pub dining with a bar list to match

From under the craggy cliffs of Clifton warm water once flowed, naturally heated by the earth. While Bath boasted hot springs, the friendly rival spas in Bristol, aptly named Hotwell, were said to be a curative with the water, ‘as warm as new milk and much of that sweetness.’

Upon these revered waters, the Victorians built a hydraulic pump house, providing power to the bridges and machines of Bristol Harbour. Nearly 140 years later, this building has been reincarnated into The Pumphouse; a thriving destination for fantastic food and drink, with tables and chairs spilling outside onto the harbour front for dinner with a view.

The kitchen is headed up by Toby Gritten who places just as much emphasis on sourcing great quality, local and seasonal ingredients as he does creating the dishes themselves. His style is modern British – letting the ingredients speak for themselves, while packing each dish with maximum flavour.

Charming staff offer up cold pints and solid menus chock full of classic favourites with a creative twist – ­­ take the pulled pork and cider croquettes with apple sauce for instance, or the whole crab with aioli and brown bread. The Sunday roasts are the stuff of legend – traditional enough to satisfy when only a roast will do, but with each plate being just as carefully engineered as the a la carte.

If great food isn’t enough – The Pumphouse bar harbours a jaw-dropping array of 700 gins and an abundance of other carefully collected concoctions. Tell the team what you like and allow them to fix you a bespoke drink to your taste or to complement your meal.

Whether it’s the unusual location, the great food, or extensive bar, people keep flooding back to this iconic red-bricked bastion – there must be something in the water.

Insider’s tip

Check out the collection of Bristol crafted spirits behind the bar.

Merchants Road, Hotwells, Bristol, BS8 4PZ

01179 272229

Chef: Toby Gritten

Owners: Toby Gritten and Daniel Obern

  • Kids welcome
  • Dogs welcome
  • Wifi
  • Disabled access
  • Outside catering
  • Parking available
  • Private dining available
  • Gluten free options
  • Beer garden
  • Exclusive use
  • Wedding venue

Opening hours

Monday – Satuday: 11am – 11pm
Sunday: 11am – close

Sample menu

Onglet tartare with wild garlic, mushrooms and preserved hen’s yolk, £7.50

Whole plaice with brown shrimp butter sauce and spring greens, £19.50

Lovage and suet loaf with celeriac ice cream, £7

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