This Awesome Floating Pub Is Bristol’s Best Spot For Sundowners • The Grain Barge

Alice Lorenzato-Lloyd Alice Lorenzato-Lloyd - Staff Writer


We can certainly get on board with this dreamy setting.

Moored in Hotwells and opposite Spike Island, this converted 1930s barge-turned-pub has just about everything you might need for just about any occasion. Catch a gig or exhibition, make your way through the never-ending selection of beers, or join the avid crowd of brunchers at the weekend.

The Grain Barge started its life as an engineless transport barge that carried barley and wheat from Bristol to Cardiff across the Severn Estuary, but now you can enjoy a few bevvys on board the top deck. You may even catch the odd performance of live music or comedy at the Hold Bar, as well as exhibitions by local artists with their most recent one featuring work from illustrator and animator, Laurel Molly.

The barge boasts epic views of the harbourside, including its original berth at Charles Hill dockyard (now Albion Dockyard) and Brunel’s SS Great Britain, but its interiors and yard aren’t a sorry sight either. It’s extremely cosy down below and their outdoor planters are brimming with greenery, while the top deck is a dream in the summer.

The food offerings screams gastropub grub, with pies and posh chips topped with Cornish Gouda and truffle oil featured on their menu. That said, vegans and vegetarians are also very well catered for, with small plates such as house focaccia, roast cauliflower with romesco sauce and pea falafels, and mains like vegan brisket bourgignon.

As for the bar, they’ve got a selection of cask and keg ales, which features award-winning beers from Bristol Beer Factory – including their National Champion Milk Stout – plus a carefully curated roster of guest tipples, including IPAs and wheat beers (being a grain barge, of course). And in true Somerset fashion, this pub is not short of cider. Their drinks menu includes local, Bristol-made North Street cider as well as ciders with intriguing notes like lemongrass and hedgerow fruits.

The Grain Barge has now reopened their top deck for outdoor dining. The barge is also available for private hire, but there’s more about that on their website.

The Grain Barge, Mardyke Wharf, Hotwell Road, BS8 4RU

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Food & Drink