The Harbourside pub based in a pumping station ran by an award-winning chef

The Pump House is within the Harbourside area and is a prime venue for a summer day.
-Credit: (Image: PAUL GILLIS / Reach PLC)


As summer approaches, the idea of grabbing a pint and a bite to eat at a pub becomes incredibly appealing to those enjoying the sunshine. In a true Bristolian spirit, we are surrounded by pubs offering beer gardens, views of notable landmarks and there are plenty of options available.

Gastropubs are becoming increasingly popular as well, offering quality food as well as the drinks that you’d expect. This is exactly what The Pump House in Hotwells does, and does well.

The Pump House, overlooking the Harbourside, is a stylish and comfortable pub serving a range of dishes including pub classics, meat mains and desserts. Operating as a pub since 2007, it has been recognised in The Good Food Guide every year since 2011 and its chef, Toby Gritten, won the best chef award at the Bristol Good Food Awards in 2013.

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The Pump House serves food from 12pm to 3pm and 6pm to 9pm on Monday to Saturday, and 12pm to 4pm on Sundays.
The Pump House serves food from 12pm to 3pm and 6pm to 9pm on Monday to Saturday, and 12pm to 4pm on Sundays. -Credit:PAUL GILLIS / Reach PLC

Drinks are reasonably priced when compared to other pubs in Bristol, costing between £6.20 and £6.50 a pint for cider, beer, ale or their guest versions. Spirits can set you back a little more with prices starting from £7.70 for a single and £11.50 for a double, with alcohol-free options also available.

The Pump House serves snacks all day. The kitchen is open from 10.30am to 3pm and 6pm to 9pm everyday except Sunday, when the kitchen is open from 12pm to 4pm. The pub makes a point of using locally-sourced ingredients and supports local communities.

The staff are friendly and welcoming, and are even up for a chat to make the experience feel personal. The hospitality is second to none.

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The food was incredible, we had the dry-aged rump steak and the salmon and smoked haddock fishcake, and we loved it. The fishcake melted in your mouth and as it came with hollandaise and a poached egg, there was plenty to enjoy and it is maybe the best fishcake we’ve ever tasted. It also looked stunning.

The salmon and smoked haddock fishcake, which came with a poached egg, hollandaise and seasonal greens was amazing.
The salmon and smoked haddock fishcake, which came with a poached egg, hollandaise and seasonal greens was amazing. -Credit:PAUL GILLIS / Reach PLC

The steak came with Isle of Wight tomatoes in its salad, which made it taste more refreshing and made the salad a focal point of the dish with the steak rather than an extra. The fishcake main cost £16.50 whilst the steak cost £25.

The dry aged rump steak came with Isle of Wight tomatoes, Café de Paris butter and triple cooked chips.
The dry aged rump steak came with Isle of Wight tomatoes, Café de Paris butter and triple cooked chips. -Credit:PAUL GILLIS / Reach PLC

If that wasn’t enough, being at The Pump House made you feel so relaxed and it had a great atmosphere. The historic decor from the days when it was a Victorian pumping station (hence the name) just gives that special something which you can’t describe, but you know it makes it stand out.

Make sure to head upstairs also as it is so beautiful. Staff paintings fill up the walls and it makes The Pump House so homely. It is also a dog-friendly pub, meaning it is perfect to visit whilst on a walk around the Harbourside. It is a card or contactless payment pub only.

The décor inside the pub gives off a historic personality.
The décor inside the pub gives off a historic personality. -Credit:PAUL GILLIS / Reach PLC

As an independent pub, The Pump House takes care of its customers and that is reflected in the great service and great time. It is symbolic of what a pub should be and there is no wonder why it is so highly regarded.