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Published July 19th 2017
'Old Green Tree'- Best Bath Pub
The Old Green Tree is a tremendous pub, and a truly delightful place to visit. From the beautiful flowers that adorn the windows to the paneled walls and parquet floors within, it exudes a traditional, welcoming Englishness that is very hard to find in most towns and cities. The staff are among the most lovely and friendly people in Bath, and customers are greeted and treated like royalty there, whether established regulars or one off visitors. For me, it typifies what a traditional, relaxed English pub should be like, and I feel incredibly at home there.
This cosy pub can be found on Green Street, which has the lovely St Michael's Church at one end, and the junction of New Bond Street and Milsom Street at the other. The street itself is a real mix of boutiques, eating venues and even a Post Office, and the Tree is towards the St Mike's end. There are many ways to reach the pub as a pedestrian, but if arriving by car I would advise parking in the Broad Street car park, located at the top of the steep one way street (opposite Waitrose). Allow yourself plenty of time when visiting, because you will not want to leave after you step over the threshold.
The spaces inside have a timeless elegance to them and could date back to any time in the 300 year history of the pub. There is dark, hardwood paneling throughout, but large glass skylights and windows flood the interior with light. The space is narrow which creates a cosy atmosphere, especially when stepping in from the bustling city streets. Whenever I have been there are fresh flowers everywhere and the interior is immaculately clean. All of these elements combine to give the place the ambiance of a ship at port, with complete calmness and peace. I would go there just to sit and write, were it not a pub.
Oh, but what a pub it is! The tree proudly calls itself a 'Real Ale' pub, and has a whole wall of awards and accolades to prove it. On my last visit I very much enjoyed a pint of Old Green Tree Ale, brewed specially for the establishment. Arriving just as the barrels were changed, I also had the honour of being a 'tester' of this golden hued, refreshing ale. This, along with a bag of artisan crisps, made me feel very happy indeed. There is a whole range of ales on offer, and all of them brewed within a 100 mile radius. Whilst there, offers of 'cake and Prosecco' and hearty pub meals also caught my eye, and made me want to return with my wife.
I would happily stand or sit anywhere in the pub, but my favourite place is the front room, just to the left of the front door. The walls are adorned with dramatic paintings of World War One aircraft in combat, and the green leather chairs and benches are most inviting. The room shares a door with the bar, and so ideal both for ordering a round and having a chat with the bar staff.
I cannot stress how welcoming and friendly the staff and visitors of this establishment are. I gravitated towards the bar area and was greeted by two gentlemen as an old friend (one behind the bar and the other sitting in front). What followed was a very pleasant hour, complete with introductions to the four other occupants of the pub. When three American tourists came in for a quick drink we all talked, and it felt lovely. Increasingly in England it feels like pubs and bars blast music through their cavernous interiors, which completely destroys the opportunity for conversations. There was none of that here, and it felt remarkable to talk with people in such a lovely environment. I had a great time and out of over 150 pubs to choose from, I feel proud to say that this one is my 'local'.