FIRST VISIT: SATURDAY 8 NOVEMBER 2014
The Nest is a multi-purpose arts entertainment venue. I think it’s the place I saw Stereolab back in 1993 but it was the Hub Club in those days. It appears to be a bit of a hipster hangout – a bit grimy and basic but with comfy looking sofas and quirky artwork on the walls complimented by a pile of board games. Most of the clientele had a beard and thick rimmed glasses and a woolly hat on their head. The beer list was pretty poor. One cask ale which at my time of visiting was Bath Gem. The fridge was home to cans of Red Stripe. The upstairs space is pretty small but downstairs is massive. I had a look around when I went down to use the toilet but as there was nobody else around I felt a bit dodgy so cut short my exploration and headed back upstairs.
I had a Gem. The barmaid struggled to pour a full pint for me. She said the barrel had finished so if it didn’t taste quite right she’d replace it when the new one was on. It tasted as about as exciting as Gem always does. The there was a dude in the corner playing acoustic guitar. He was pretty fucking good. In fact he was so fucking good that he made me stay for another pint of Gem. Crazy shit!
Despite the crap beer – actually, I’m quite happy knocking back a few cans of Red Stripe – and the achingly-coolness customers I do believe I’d like to revisit the Nest and explore it a little further.
Upper Borough Walls
BA1 1 RH
FIRST VISIT: SATURDAY 6 SEPTEMBER 2014
I can’t really remember much about this place. I managed to get a seat but there was a load of people congregated round the bar. I’m sure the barmaid was nice and friendly and very possibly called me love – ‘welcome to the west county’. I had a pint of Forest Hare from Bath Ales – I think the other choices were Doom Bar or Gem or Spa. Ummm… yeah.
FIRST VISIT: SATURDAY 10 MAY 2014
Graze pitches itself as a ‘Bar, Brasserie & Chophouse’. It seems that plenty of people treat it as a bar but it’s not the kind of place I would choose to go to if I was merely out for a drink. But if you add food to equation it is very much a place that I would choose to go to. Décor is classy but not overly fussy: big wooden tables, leather seats and banquettes, burnt-orange walls that are complimented with artwork of cattle (and probably other things). The staff are attentive and informative but in a way that feels relaxed, unforced and natural. Cask are all from Bath Ales (who own the place) and will usually be Spa (Special Pale Ale), Gem and a couple of seasonal offerings. The keg taps were home to, among other lesser selections, Dark Side and Steenbrugge Blond. I had a look in the fridges but didn’t spy any bottles of beer, which I found a bit weird and perplexing. I opted for a pint of Wild Hare (5%)), which is pitched as ‘a golden organic pale ale’. It was refreshing enough and had a decent citrus tang but it wasn’t astounding. But it was more than good enough for a second pint. My food, however, was astounding. Calves liver, caramelised onions and potatoes with a red wine jus. It all tasted great but the calves liver was cooked absolutely perfectly. I would happily eat that dish many many many times again. As it is, I like Cirencester’s branch of Graze but if they up the beer selection I might just fall in love with it.