I’ve not lived in Bristol long enough to remember the Steam Crane of old. There are plenty of pubs on North Street in Bedminster. All I can really say is that the Steam Crane, as it is now, is a very welcome addition to the list, particularly as it stands at the East Street end, where fantastic green shoots of independence are springing up almost every week.
We visited on a Saturday, early lunchtime. The food menu was freshly printed, as I believe it is every day. It’s mega cosy in the Steam Crane, we picked the perfect day to walk into such a warmly decorated pub. The festive decorations were going up, the colours of the handpicked and mismatched furniture are very rich and comfortable, and there were glowing candles everywhere.
Although I only had a soft drink, the Steam Crane probably deserves props for its beer, wine and spirit selection. It’s massive and there are some real gems there for folk who like something different. There was a tempting rum selection too. This time of year always makes me want rum. I guess, for the average pocket, some of the pint prices were top-end, but personally I think the value comes in other places. It’s not the sort of pub you’d smash down eight pints in, it’s a place where you’d take your time, ease into the bath of booze, not take the plunge.
The food was pretty much the main event for all three of us. I can’t really describe the beef, onion and bone marrow pie I ordered in words. You’d better just look at the picture. Look at it. It was even steaming when it came. It was big enough for all three of us. It was delicious. Next time, I might order some greens to offset the protein! My husband had the burger, which was absolutely bang on, perfectly cooked and seasoned, seeping with juice and with a sizeable melted tongue of cheese lolling out of it. Tibbs’ meal, spaghetti bolognese, was free with an adult order, and was just right. You can also get half portions of most dishes at half price for kids who have more experienced palettes.
There was fish on the specials menu (Brill), some crispy looking pork belly and some very tempting starters and sharing plates too. I found it hard to choose.
If you’ve got kids, the Steam Crane’s a great choice. The owner, Stephen and his partner have children themselves and have made a real effort. There’s a good toy box, colouring stuff, and furniture that’s easy for kids to sit on. There’s high chairs. There’s ambient but not really loud music. The door in, with a big buggy, might be a two person job, but there’s no steps into the pub or inside it. There’s baby change too.
As a festive lunchtime treat, it was a great choice. I hold our Bristol Parent book club here too, and it’s really chilled in the evenings, all sorts of folk enjoying a nice pint or a good meal. There’s mulled cider on at the moment, and some really cool looking festive entertainment. We’ll definitely be back.