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One of my best mates deserted Bristol a year and a half ago to live in South Korea to teach kids English. Before she left I tried to spend every waking moment with her and actually quite a lot of moments when we were not awake. There were a few places we used to go: The Mother’s Ruin for cheap cider, Browns so we could drink wine and stare at people in the sunshine, Hyde and Co because it’s amazing (but not too much as we racked up an immense tab in there once, I lost my coat while wearing it, and Mel got into a fight with some toff who ate our bar snacks) and it was always the Lansdown for a roast. My mate was back this weekend so we decided to honor tradition and go to the Lansdown to get our roast on!
The Lansdown is a lovely traditional pub tucked away in a little corner just outside of Clifton Village. As a rule I don’t step foot in the Village (Sorry Clifton, I just don’t get you and you don’t get me) but I’ll always make an exception for the Lansdown. It’s got a great atmosphere, it is very relaxed, and the staff are lovely. It also has a great outside space which is perfect in the summer and covered and heated in the winter. There’s not a huge amount of room downstairs, where the bar is, and I would avoid going upstairs if you can as the atmosphere is not as good. We booked ahead (recommended as we saw lots of people being turned away) so got a table in the downstairs bar.
The Lansdown has a good roast selection on Sunday but the 4 of us were sticking to our red meats so it was beef and lamb all round. I went for the lamb shank as I know how good it is at the lansdown and it did not dissapoint! The meat was beautifully cooked and just fell off the bone plus they served it with both mint and cranberry jelly, so they get bonus points for that. The beef looked equally as good, lots of it and not too overcooked which is really hard when you do roast beef on mass. All roasts come with a good selection of veg and in my opinion a sub standard bit of veg can ruin a roast! You go to all of that trouble with the meat and then let it all down by plating it with a soggy carrot. The Lansdown definitely do not do this, both roasts were served with a spiced red cabbage, buttered savoy cabbage, buttery carrot and swede mash, roast potatoes with their skins on (so good!) and we went for cauliflower cheese as an extrta (totally worth it).
Considering how busy the pub was we were served quickly, in fact just as the first “I’m going to eat my own face” was murmured the food arrived. My only small complaint is that we felt very rushed towards the end of our meal. Our plates were cleared before everyone had finished and we overheard the waiter saying that he would try and rush people out. I appreciate that they had lots of people wanting a roast and it’s a sign of how good they are that they do but I actually thought my friend Lynsey would explode (she was the one left eating) and there were lots of mumbles of “it’s just bad manners”. I have never experienced this at the Lansdown before so I’m sure that it was just a one off.
Despite this very small issue, I really do recommend the Lansdown for a Roast (and they have a great wine selection too I should add)! So get yourself down there next Sunday but book in advance!