Mon. Apr 15th, 2024

Coates House, Nailsea: Review

Coates House Nailsea - Exterior
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Coates House Nailsea - Exterior

 

What do you do when school has an inset day on a Friday? Go out for lunch, of course! We needed to head to Nailsea for some shopping, but with “neighbourhood café-bar” Coates House just down the road from where we needed to be, it just made sense.

Even better, the team had launched their new autumn/winter menu just three days earlier. The food on offer sounded fantastic and recent online reviews have been positive – and with a branch of Coffee #1 having opened almost opposite (plus a Costa around the corner), Nailsea’s independents have taken to Facebook to promote themselves plus other local businesses in a bid to encourage drinkers and diners to choose indies over chains.

Coates House retains no traces of the pub that it used to be in a former life. It’s one of those places that has an amazing feel as soon as you step through the gate. Its front terrace area (a little dishevelled on a blustery day) leads up to the entrance and a front room where you’re greeted by the bar and a delicious-looking display of cakes and other sweet treats. There’s a real mix of dining tables plus comfy armchairs for those who are just after a coffee or a quick tipple – or head left to go through to the main dining area.

You’ll pass through a small, cosy seating area with a bookcase plus a selection of kids’ games and toys, before reaching the back room where you’ll find a beautiful plant theme: various real plants dotted around the room plus plant-related decor on the walls. There’s another smaller terrace to the side plus a great view of the kitchen (the female chef who was working when we visited was friendly too, greeting us with a smile and answering the small person’s questions about what she was doing).

 

Coates House Nailsea - Interior 1

Coates House Nailsea - Interior 2

 

As well as the main menu – with various brunch dishes, sandwiches, grilled dishes and mains – you’ll find a separate fully vegan menu with a choice of 15 different dishes. Of course, as you’d expect from somewhere with kids’ toys and games available to use, there’s also a kids’ menu (featuring both a story and a wordsearch to keep them entertained). Our server also brought out a set of kids’ plastic cutlery in the cutlery tin after ordering.

 

Coates House Nailsea - Interior 3

 

The October 2022 kids’ menu had four options when we visited, priced at £5 each: mac and cheese with a breadcrumb topping; a buttermilk chicken (or Beyond Meat vegan) burger with fries; a mini cooked breakfast; or avocado hummus with crudités and breads. Unsurprisingly, this little fried chicken fan went for the burger – and a decent one it was, too, with plenty of flavour and a lovely crispy coating. It always frustrates me that kids’ burgers are served completely plain, though: it would have been nice to have the option to add extras (like salad and sauce) at the time of ordering. The skin-on fries were perfect, and a seriously generous portion for a four-year-old!

 

Coates House Nailsea - Kids' Chicken Burger

 

The Pig Stack Burger (£15) across the table from me was clearly so decadent that my phone refused to take a decent photo – apologies! Served with the same skin-on fries, the bun was piled high with a nicely seasoned beef patty, plenty of melted cheese and a fried egg. But it didn’t stop there…just below the top of the bun you’ll see the “pig candy”: a thick rasher of sweet, sticky candied bacon, which tasted incredible.

The only disappointment was the homemade hash brown, which was so overwhelmingly salty that it was near impossible to eat.

 

Coates House Nailsea - Pig Stack Burger

 

In a bid to try and be ever-so-slightly healthier, I chose the Coates House beef shin chilli bowl (£11). I loved the variation in colours between the hearty chilli (replete with tender chunks of beef and warming, but not overly hot, spices), the handful of crispy nachos, the tangy pink pickled onions and the white rice.

On top, a smooth and creamy guacamole and a dollop of sriracha crème fraîche – which was tasty enough, but could have done with a touch more sriracha, it was hard to discern the flavour.

 

Coates House Nailsea - Beef Shin Chilli

 

Coates House is a place with a lovely vibe and a real mix of clientele. When we visited, there were elderly couples enjoying lunch, people sipping coffee and tapping furiously on their laptops, groups of friends laughing and chatting together. We loved how varied the food menu was, and were impressed with the service, too. Expect to see me in there with my laptop in the near future – I quite fancy a change of working environment…

 

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