The Volunteer Rifleman’s Arms, as the name suggest, has a heavy military theme. It's also a welcoming local boozer with some excellent ales and good pub grub.
This tiny pub is clad with military memorablia. On the walls are replicas of Second World War posters with warnings such as Talk Kills and Another Word, Another Cross. There are also army related illustrations and tributes such as 'Never Was So Much Owed By So Many To So Few.' Apart from the military theme though, The Volly, as it is known, is a pretty traditional looking boozer with a brightly lit bar and lots of wood panelling.
There's a fair number of regulars who spend the evening propping up the bar and glancing at the door every time it opens. It's possible some of them served in the war, and if you sit at the bar long enough and start talking to them they'll more than likely spin you a yarn.
This pub is also a strong supporter of the Bath rugby team and the only other thing you will see on the walls that is not military related is the team jersey and photo. Usually there's a mix of old and young. The two groups don't interact much, but they're both regulars.
There's a decent choice of light lunches (£3.75 to £5.50) and substantial mains, divided by type of food and key ingredient. There is more to choose from than in a typical pub and meat dishes cost £5.50 to £8, a curry costs £7, fish dishes are £6 to £8, and a traditional pie or pudding is £6.50. There are also burgers for between £5 and £6 and vegetarian options for between £3.75 and £8, and kids meals for £4. Sides cost £2.50 to £4.
There's also a decent selection of toasties, freshly prepared baguettes, and jacket potatoes for something light and you can choose from dishes like liver and bacon casserole, Bellringer sausages, gammon steak, calamares, steak and kidney pie pudding, veggie kiev and many others.
You can choose between the local Bellringer, Sharp’s Doombar and Golden Spring. Blackthorn Dry Cider could not be missing since it is the official sponsor of the rugby team. Another option is the strong Black Rat Dry Cider. All draughts are £2.60 to £3.10, while the bottles are all £3 and the selection includes Efes Mythos, Merrygodown, Natch cider and Reef.
The Last Word
The Volunteer’s Rifleman is a good local pub, and if you have a thing for military memorablia it's a worth a visit.