waterway wining & dining
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waterside pub of the season autumn 2019
one pub per season recommended by our readers...
piesse of piddle, wyre piddle, river avon
We are back again at the Piesse of Piddle, one of our very favourite pubs of all time, and one which has been recommended to us by a good many boaters over the years. And it is a pub which needs a mention, because it is not in many canal and river guides.
The Piesse of Piddle, hotel, bar and restaurant, is managed by Graeme Piesse, and it is he who is the heart and soul of the place. Graeme is a connoseur of fine wines, a lover of fine cars and cricket, and a very fine singer and guitarist (especially when it comes to Donovan and Leonard Cohen).
The bar area is unique and interesting, with statues and enormous plants, and giant beer barrels supporting the bar itself. The walls display original paintings - mainly of musicians, all adding to the bohemian feel of the place. The atmosphere is relaxed, the locals very friendly and Graeme always has a small but very good selection of real ales on offer. There are guitars dotted about and with a piano in the hall, and many musicians amongst the regular customers, there is often the opportunity for a jamming session.
There is always plenty going on. There is a regular well attended quiz night on the last Sunday of the month, and an open mike night on the last Wednesday of each month. Live music acts are usually booked for the weekends, and Graeme has a knack of selecting varied acts of the highest quality.
The dining side of the business is run by relative newcomer Nick Bocking. Nick has spent most of his life in kitchens, starting as a pot washer when he was 15. Creating food is a passion for Nick, and he'd love to provide holistically prepared food. He is starting off cautiously though; in addition to his regular menu, he has introduced Sunday Roasts, and on Wednesday nights he offers 'small fish & chips' (including choice of peas and a delicious home made tartare sauce) for the very reasonable price of 2 for £10.00.
The hotel offers rooms with a wonderful view of the river, and the establishment has on occasion been the venue for weddings.
The outdoor space is wonderful, with a large top terrace, then a couple of smaller terraces with wild gardens leading down to the river. A brand new pontoon offers spacious moorings - perhaps in one of the loveliest spots in the country.
No-one knows what the future holds for the Piesse of Piddle. But it is, and will hopefully remain, a delightfully quirky, unique establishment and a wonderful place to spend a few hours or to stay for a few days (ask for the room with the four poster bed!). Dogs are welcomed, as are children - to a slightly lesser degree!! And if you are musically inclined, take a guitar, a penny whistle, a mouth organ - or even a saxophone with you - we're sure it will go down well!
Graeme offers everyone a very friendly welcome to his hotel and pub. He is always ready to chat or to entertain. At the moment the pub is open from 4.30 every day except Sundays when it opens at 12.30. Rooms are available for short or long term rental.