I'm a student from the West Midlands, now in my final year studying Music at university in London.
Published October 29th 2016
A fun and unique pub experience ideal for cat-lovers
The highlight of my recent trip to Bristol was a visit to The Bag O' Nails – simply referred to by my sister and I as "The Cat Pub". We are used to constant feline company in our family home, so being around animals is what we miss most while away at university. Without a doubt, this pub was the solution to our cravings.
The signs hung around the front doorway – banning large groups, hen and stag parties, and pub crawls – are the first indication that this establishment is a little different to your typical local. Despite this, the building was crammed full when we arrived at 5:30pm on Saturday evening.
This is a pub for those with a real passion for cats. The bar was littered (pardon any unintentional connotations here...) with cardboard boxes containing sleeping cats, and kittens were roaming around enjoying attention from visitors and playing with the toys which were scattered around for them – judging by some not inconspicuous tears in the wallpaper, however, their fun isn't limited to their shop-bought toys. It was lovely to see the real affection the bar staff had for these animals; we'd often see the staff talking to the cats and giving them a fuss whenever there weren't drinks to be served.
Refreshingly, The Bag O' Nails doesn't feel like the kind of place that attracts hordes of hipsters that you might find in somewhere like Shoreditch. The prices of the drinks are very student-friendly, there is a relaxed atmosphere, and the people visiting were of a large range of ages with a genuine fondness of cats – in no way did this pub feel like a gimmick.
Thankfully, we weren't met with disapproving gazes when we brought out our Cats: Best in Show card game…