The Eastfield Inn, 219 Henleaze Road, Bristol, BS9 4NQ
The Eastfield in is a family-friendly pub in Henleaze, Bristol. Boasting a large beer garden, a conservatory and private hire spaces with on-site catering and a range of family-friendly events throughout the year, there is plenty to see and do.
Price Range: ££
Matt ordered: 100% Beefburger with chorizo and cheddar cheese, with chocolate brownie and vanilla ice cream for dessert
I ordered: 100% Beefburger, with sticky toffee pudding and clotted cream ice cream for dessert
When our food arrived, we were initially impressed. Our rustic-style chisps were crisp and served in a small metal basket, lined with greaseproof paper. The burger was held together with a skewer and served on a slate and there was a small pot of coleslaw in the centre. For presentation, we awarded the Eastfield Inn full marks. Unfortunately, our food wasn’t as nice as it looked.
The inside of the brioche bun had been blackened until it tasted burnt and the coleslaw was seriously lacking any of that wonderfully sweet, creamy mayonnaise. The burger relish was nice but it was quickly impeded by the burnt toast flavour of the equally burned brioche base. The onion rings were good too. although Matt did state that his chorizo also tasted excessively smokey, so it’s a mixed bag for the burgers. Dessert was equally mediocre and it swam in a puddle of toffee sauce. The sticky toffee sponge also had a acrid burnt sugar aftertaste, though the clotted cream ice cream was silky smooth and I would have been oh so happy with a bowlful of that, all on its own!
Even if we are a bit biased with this pub being an old favourite, given it’s significance in our thirteen-year relationship, it is is under new management now and so we were keen to see how it had changed. The saving grace for the night was definitely in the staff. When I headed for the toilet, I noticed the symbol for the mens’ toilets and the disabled toilets, so I asked the barman where the ladies’ were and he pointed around and to the side of the bar. He then told me I could use the disabled toilet to save me the walk, which I thought was rather kind of him!
Food was served and cleared up rather quickly and the same barman served us throughout our evening, making pleasant conversation throughout. My only criticism was no ice with my Old Mout Cider, that has to be a first for me!
When I asked Matt how he rated the atmosphere in The Eastfield Inn, his question to me was “what atmosphere?”, which about sums it up. It was a quiet Tuesday night, but even still. our group of 5 huddled over a tealight was rather romantic at best. The lighting was dark enough for me to contemplate curling up for a snooze and there wasn’t really anything interesting on the walls for me to look at or read. Two older gentlemen had bought personal DVD players with them which made me wonder whether that was the level of entertainment that some had stooped to. There was nothing by way of pub classics – no dartsboard, pool table or trivia machines. It has a great pub feel, but asides the sports TVs, it lacks entertainment, originality and history of the pub, or of Henleaze. The beer garden is nice and I’m sure in the summer months it must be hugely popular with families with it’s play area, but for the grown-ups inside, there really isn’t anything to do.
The Eastfield Inn has a wonderful, familiar ‘local’ feel about it. The staff are friendly and there are definitely plenty of nooks for a social catch-up with an old pal. Under the latest management, the pub has been refurbished and seems to have really taken off once more. Unfortunately, new management means a new chef, and the new chef seems to have let our once-loved local watering hole down. For drinks, it’s fine. For food? Not so much.