Bristol has some brilliant drinking holes. If you’re after sophisticated speakeasies, look for The Library or Hyde & Co. After a more traditional boozer? Head to the Bag Of Nails for real ales cuddly cats or, one of our favourite cider spots, The Coronation Tap.
But wherever you go, you’ll find it hard to discover somewhere ‘a bit crap’. That said, The National Pub & Bar Awards were announced for 2023 recently and we were left a little perplexed. The annual event names a total of 94 venues as the best in their respective counties, aiming to “highlight the positive and inspiring work being carried out across the UK’s hospitality industry.” And for Bristol? The award went to The Lost & Found on Queen’s Road in Clifton.
Not too take anything away from the talented team at The Lost & Found, but the fact that the award went to a chain bar (with locations in Birmingham, Sheffield and Leeds) leaves a slight bitter taste in the mouth. There are so many Bristol-born independent pubs and bars that surely could have been championed?
Of course, there are any number of reasons as to why The Lost & Found beat out all other Bristol competition. Firstly, all pubs and bars had to submit themselves to be considered, which can take up a lot of time. While The National Pub & Bar Awards also decided their choice based on “the details of their operation, summarising the work that goes into design, training, team welfare, sustainability, food, drink, marketing and many other areas.” We will say that the whimsical interior tastes of The Lost & Found do have a certain charm, however, that might have nudged them over the finish line as well.
Tristan O’Hana, editor of Pub & Bar magazine that runs the awards, said: “We were overwhelmed by the level and quality of entries this year. It just goes to show what magnificent work is going on across the UK hospitality sector. With outrageous energy costs, recruitment shortages and a punishing taxation system, these businesses are once again facing tough times. Now, more than ever, it’s vital that people support their local pubs and bars. So, ahead of the long Easter weekend, why not check out the finest in your county?”
What do you think: Is The Lost & Found the best bar/pub in Bristol? Head to 85 Queens Rd, Clifton, Bristol BS8 1QS to find out.