There are few views in Bristol that rival the harbourside at sunset, which is why it is intensely difficult not to feel positive when wandering up to The Stable’s wood and glass entrance. Even inside, the spot is illuminated by the evening sun; the pizza station and bar just peeking over the heads of the punters; a mix of young professionals and students with a few locals strewn through. Not unlike the drinks menu really.
Myself and a friend, who is known to be well acquainted with both sides of the bar, enter to the comforting aromas of pizza and a smiling face waiting to show us to a table. Slight confusion over a missing booking sees us directed to an intimate corner just off the main restaurant area. Sofas directly overlooking the harbour, through floor-to-ceiling windows, prove to be more than acceptable. For the briefest of moments we forget our objective, comfy, yet thirsty, before remembering and making a beeline for the bar.
A wall of ciders greet us, and a chalk board recommending a tasting board catches my eye. A pint of the house Rapscallion for me, and my slightly more pretentious friend asks for something dryer and is obliged with the Crafty Cider Medium, at a punchy 6% and 6.5%, respectively. And a round for under a tenner is always value to a Londoner! The house Rapscallion is a worryingly drinkable pint at £4.50, and gave perhaps a slight overconfidence to the rest of the night.
Next it seemed only fitting to get one, (or indeed one each) of the cider tasting boards – I was pleased to see the Rapscallion was featured. Very amicable at £7.50 a pop, and a cheese board for two at £12 which actually included a decent quantity of cheese for once, including a personal favourite, an aged Wookie Hole cheddar. It was at this point we realised that we had overlooked the Tuesday pizza deal - tenner for a pizza, salad and drink - and consoled ourselves by working through the cheese and cider. The tasting board was an excellent choice, featuring a progression of easy drinking, more marketable ciders, to the hardier, traditional tractor fuel favoured by the locals (is my London coming out?!) with shades of both in between. For a cider lover, I am happy to add The Stable at the Harbourside to the illustrious, if blurry, ranks of Bristol’s cider legends.
Find The Stable on Canon's Road, Bristol, BS1 5UH; the restaurant is open daily from 12pm - 11.30pm.