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Who else feels like a millionaire on pay day? Because I guarantee it’s not just me! And when pay day coincides with Friday lunch time you may as well just book me a table at The Ivy and stuff me full of foie-gras and oysters because my understanding of the value of money goes straight out the window. Lucky for my bank balance there’s nowhere that pricey where I can irresponsibly spunk my hard earned pennies within walking distance of the office. So after a little discussion, and Dizzard announcing that his two day hangover demanded something ‘comforting’, we decided The Christmas Steps was a solid bet.
The Christmas Steps, as the name suggests, sits at the bottom of Christmas Steps in Bristol, in a rickety old building which to my knowledge, has always been a pub. In the past it was something of an old man’s gaff, but since the fancy folk at Crack magazine took over it’s reputation has had a makeover, even if the interior hasn’t changed all that much. It may still look like a traditional British boozer, with wooden beams, bare brick work and a wood burning stove, but look a little closer and you’ll notice the famous faces peering down at you from the old issues of Crack magazine which are pasted to the wall. Pop in here on a Friday evening after work and the DJs playing and the crowd will leave you in no doubt that you’ve just walked into one of Bristol’s best drinking spots.
But their talents don’t end there! The Christmas Steps are also quite the gastro-pub! I’ve visited a couple of times now, but even before I’d visited I’d heard rumours of ‘the best Mac and Cheese EVER’ and ‘Bristol’s best ploughman’s’. Unlucky for me I’ve never visited when the Mac and Cheese has been on the menu (I’m something of a connoisseur) but I can report that the Ploughman’s is pretty special, and it wasn’t just the sausage roll (YEP!!) that won me over!
This time round, much like the rest of our group, I had a very clear idea of what I wanted – something carby and comforting. In short, something that would make me forget the dregs of my two day hangover! The menu changes regularly and is short and sweet. After a brief debate about whether sausage and mash was a step too far I settled for the salt beef sandwich and a portion of chips – a choice which definitely ticked all the boxes. Salt beef can sometimes be a bit hit and miss – sometimes it’s a bit fatty and more often than not you get a bit of a measly portion but this time round it was spot on. Chock full of beef, with tonnes of sauerkraut and chunky door stop bread I almost didn’t finish it. This had absolutely nothing to do with the generous portion of man-size chips I’d doused in salt and vinegar, drowned in mayo and devoured…
I’m yet to visit for dinner, but I’ll definitely be making the effort to head back if the quality of the lunch menu is anything to go by! Hats off Christmas Steps – we’ll be back!