Bristol’s Milk Thistle named British Bar of the Year


Bristol cocktail bar Milk Thistle has been voted ‘Bar of the Year’ in a national readership poll.

The city center cocktail bar has been shortlisted along with six others from the UK, including the legendary Connaught Bar in London, for the 2021 Food and Travel Reader Awards.

Milk Thistle opened in Quay Head House on Colston Avenue in 2011 and spans four floors of a building originally built in 1850 as a meeting place for adventurous merchants.

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The cocktail bar is part of the Bristol-based Hyde & Co group, established in 2010 by Nathan Lee, Jason Mead and Kevin Stokes.

Since then, the team have opened a number of highly successful bars and restaurants across Bristol, including The Ox steakhouse in Corn Street, the Japanese-influenced Seven Lucky Gods and Bambalan at the bottom of Beacon Tower.

Their most recent opening in Bristol was Flour & Ash on Whiteladies Road and they are also launching two locations in Newport over the next few months.

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Milk Thistle’s award-winning cocktail menu takes drinkers on a journey through a fictional 19th century Bristol, with its weird and wonderful characters.

Skilled bartenders have crafted a menu that ranges from long and fruity to short and smoky, with many drinks featuring Milk Thistle’s extensive whiskey collection.

Cocktails include Falling Flowers (Toki, Cherry Blossom Vermouth, Aperol, and Yuzu Sake) and Wild-Lily Fix (Aviation, Belvedere, Elderflower, Pear, White Wine).

The stylish interior of the Milk Thistle cocktail bar in Bristol city center

Milk Thistle managing director Ben Peacock said: “Winning Food & Travel magazine’s award for best bar in the UK means so much to me and my team after such a strange few years in the industry.

“It’s always nice to win an award, especially one that’s only given by customers, and it certainly motivates us to keep improving.

“Apart from being named in the top 50 cocktail bars this year, 2022 is certainly shaping up to be one hell of a year for The Milk Thistle.

“We are so grateful to all of our loyal customers for the incredible support they have shown us both during the pandemic and as we navigate the challenges of reopening, and we will continue to make The Milk Thistle the best it can be! “

Co-owner Nathan Lee said, “We are really happy to receive this award. It’s great to get some recognition from readers and it’s a testament to the skill and dedication of our staff.

“They take so much pride in their work and go out of their way to provide a great experience for all of our customers. Hopefully we’re flying the flag for Bristol’s innovative and exciting cocktail scene a bit!”

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