Pub/Bar of the Month February 2016: The Old Green Tree, Bath
The Old Green Tree, Bath, UK
City pubs come in all shapes and sizes. Many are big and brash; a declining number are small and intimate. Each has its merits, as a recent visit to Bath underlined.
Meeting up with a few old friends, I toured a number of the pubs in the historic city centre. I enjoyed them all – the cavernous, noisy ones and the cosy, conversational alternatives, but it was one of the latter that pleased me the most.
The Old Green Tree stands in a Georgian terraced sidestreet off the main thoroughfares of this Roman city.
The small Dickensian frontage is immediately welcoming, with old street lamps, flower troughs and small mottled windows stickered with pub guide recommendations.
The front door opens into a corridor and three homely drinking areas, all richly oak panelled.
The room at the back is simple and rectangular with a parquet floor, small brick fireplace and a number of framed collections of banknotes. Benches line the walls.
At the front, behind another of the latched doors, is an even more intimate lounge with a central fireplace, more cushioned bench seating and the softening impact of a carpeted floor.
Between the two is a central lobby, lit by a skylight.
The bar is located here but there is also room for some stools and for vertical drinking – if you can squeeze in – aided by the presence of a shelf on which to rest your glasses.
Five handpumps dispense a good range of ales and the cellarmanship is such that the pub warrants a regular entry in the Good Beer Guide.
On offer is a house beer from the local Blindman’s brewery, as well as RCH Pitchfork and other changing selections from breweries such as Franklins in Sussex and Stonehenge in Wiltshire.
I haven’t eaten here but the lunchtime food, prepared in the kitchen upstairs, gets good reviews.
When catching up with old friends – or making new ones, as is quite likely in places such as this – snug little pubs like the Old Green Tree – as simple as they come, with no music, TVs or machines to detract – are exactly the sort of place you need.
The Old Green Tree, 12 Green Street, Bath, BA1 2JZ, UK
Tel. (01225) 448259
Opening Hours: 11–11; 12–10.30 Sunday (may close earlier Sunday)