The Star & Dove

75–78 St Luke’s Rd, Bristol BS3 4RY

I absolutely love this place, from the mutton chops on the barman’s face to the strange ship’s biscuits presented as a pre-starter upstairs and the chandelier hanging up in the beer garden out the back. The Star & Dove is a gastro-pub with locals and their dogs lingering in corners, a roaring fire in winter and fantastic roasts every Sunday. But what sets it apart from everywhere else is its ambition. The pub snacks are better than anywhere else – huge hunks of sausage roll that you can’t say no to – and there’s a downstairs bar menu of English tapas that is irresistible, including the likes of pint pots full of prawns, Welsh rarebit and ham hock. Upstairs it’s completely different: an elegant restaurant that serves English food from history, quirky and with a concept-dining feel; you could be eating an 18th-century stew flavoured with ‘plague water’ and various other challenging dishes that put the fun back into food. Book ahead, especially on Friday and Saturday night. Don’t come if you want fish and chips; do if you want a taste experience and a dinner to talk about. Warm, friendly and irresistible.

Places to stay near The Star & Dove