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The Ostrich reopens with an enormous beer garden and revamped food offering

by Dan Izzard

15 April 2019

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We’ll stick our beak in and say this is going to be a Bristol hot spot this summer

Bristol pub The Ostrich, popular for its riverside location and expansive beer garden, has just relaunched.

Acquired by Butcombe in 2017, the well-known watering hole has had an extensive makeover, with the bar now sporting snazzy brass bar features (not to mention a 30-strong rum collection) and a fresh new colour scheme.

It’s outside that the fun really starts though, where there is enough seating for well over 400, thanks to a colourful mix of pub benches and striped deckchairs, giving punters great views across the river to Thekla and beyond. And in the middle of the outdoor space is the Floating Ostrich – the newly built outdoor bar, serving classic Butcombe brews as well as a new Ostrich Ale.

 

To service the throngs of peckish sun worshippers that descend on this little pub come the summer, an airstream caravan now sits outside too. It’s kitted out with all the necessary kitchen gear for serving pub grub to the masses and manned by head chef Jasper Pricket (formerly executive chef at The Urban Standard) and his team. We were straight down there on launch day, and tested out the Ship Wrecked burger (£8.75), which sees a hulking quarter-pounder beef patty from Buxton Butchers sandwiched in a toasted Hobbs House bun with rich slow-braised ox cheek, chimichurri, smoked paprika mayo, Swiss cheese, lettuce and pink pickled onions.

There’s plenty more on the go besides that bad boy though, with three menus to choose from, depending on how formal you’re feeling. Grab the ‘smash burgers’ menu at the airstream for a quick and delightfully filthy meal, or take a peek at the small plates if you’re after more of a gastropub vibe. Think Bath blue cheese fritters, lamb merguez sausage rolls, popcorn shrimp with smoked paprika mayo and Butcombe beer-braised ox cheek and bone marrow nuggets (of which you can get three for £18).

For a full-on sit-down affair, the main pub menu is festooned with larger plates of classic pub mains like Butcombe beer-battered fish and chips (which has become something of a signature over at sister site The Cottage), as well as creative pairings like Brixham mussels with Butcombe’s Blackbeard stout, bacon, cream and garlic.

New general manager Joseph Hanna has come from The Cottage and says, “Having seen that pub go from strength to strength, I’m thrilled to now be at the helm of The Ostrich, and to be taking it forwards at such an exciting time. During its short closure, the transformation has been amazing, and I think our customers are going to love its new look”.

And it’s open just in time for the Bank Holiday too. It’s almost too perfect.

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