The Shakespeare sits opposite a quaint row of quintessentially Bristolian colourful houses. From the outside, it looks the rather unassuming pub, in the heart of residential Redland.
However, inside it oozes the comfort we crave as the weather turns to autumn, and it was packed on a random late August Thursday evening at 8pm. With warm wood interiors, exposed brick walls and stained glass windows, The Shakespeare feels like a country pub – but it’s tucked away in one of Bristol’s busiest and most affluent suburbs.
It seems almost ignorant to be reviewing a hospitality venue with autumn approaching, where all we’re doing is tightening our belts ahead of a worsening cost of living crisis. However, supporting Bristol’s local businesses, if we are lucky enough to be able to afford to do so, during what will become another incredibly difficult financial period for them, is important.
In an attempt at affordability and offering an opportunity for that special anniversary or birthday meal, The Shakespeare in Redland offers a £35 steak, chips and wine deal for two. We tried it out, along with what felt like the entirety of Redland, on Thursday evening (August 25) and it was delicious.
The Shakespeare also offers a £12 burger and pint deal on a Tuesday. Its main menu is rather pricey all things considered, with many mains hitting the £13+ mark, but it did feel like you got your money’s worth with the steak meal deal.
As part of the deal, you get two rump steaks, chunky chips and a bottle of wine of your choosing for the £35. The steaks were tender, the pub respected my ‘medium-well – more on the well side, please’ request (can you tell I’m used to chargrilled burgers rather than steaks?), the chips were the magic of both crispy and fluffy, and the bottle of wine described itself as having a ‘luscious, fruity, medium-bodied palate’.
You can choose to have on the side, at an extra cost, tomatoes or garlic mushrooms. There’s a choice of sauces, whether peppercorn or blue cheese.
We opted for a steak with garlic mushrooms, and another with blue cheese sauce. There were plenty of couples, families, and old friends catching up over an upmarket meal that’s as cheap as a steak can possibly be.
The Shakespeare is definitely one of those pubs trying to do more than your average neighbourhood boozer. Luckily, it does manage to succeed – we had a delightful dinner, and whilst we might not be rushing back as we look after our money towards the end of 2022, we’ll be looking to return.