The World According To... Sam Kershaw

16 May 2016

From The Dark Horse in Bath, Sam Kershaw talks Muppets, mince and tatties with Clinton Cawood

‘All the best bar backs are Mexican, so we’ve got a guy, and we call him Pedro. His name’s not Pedro. It’s like, the role of Pedro. It’s an affectionate term for bar back.’

‘I didn’t play cricket. I can’t catch for shit, so I wasn’t able to flair, either. Which is probably not the end of the world, actually.’

‘A friend once described my preferred cuisine as “war food”. Mince and tatties, stews, stuff like that.’

‘I like education. In the two years I’ve been back, I’ve tried to use my contacts to bring people to places like Bristol and Bath for cool trainings.’

‘When your bartender leaves his cash card out at the end of the night and your initial thought is to set it inside a jelly...’

‘We’re not South-West for the sake of being South-West. There’s just so much great stuff in the surrounding hills – I love cider brandy. Bath is a feast – there’s so much good stuff happening here.’

‘We don’t allow dogs in the bar, which is a pain in the arse. I’d have one if I could. He’d be the mascot. I think I’d get a Golden Retriever. Terriers can’t retrieve – they’re rubbish.’

‘I get on with Louis [Lewis-Smith] so well. We laugh together so much that one of our customers calls us Bert and Ernie.’

‘My team say that if you cut me open I’d bleed scotch, cider brandy, amaro and sherry.’

‘We have a massive iron eagle on the bar top. People say, “You’re called the Dark Horse. Why do you have an eagle?” I say, “Just because”.’

‘I’ve never been a fan of tequila. It seems faddish. I like it, but if there’s a shot going, I’d rather have scotch.’

‘I’m a do-er of The Times crossword. Not the cryptic one – the stupid person’s one.’

‘The ideal drink for me is a beer and a scotch. Talisker Distillers Edition and whatever’s on tap. I’m a big fan of cider.’


1996-2004 Started out as a porter at Swallow Royal Hotel in Bristol, then worked in other
four- and five-star hotels in the South-West

2004 Opal Lounge and Tonic, Edinburgh

2003-2004 Roxburghe Hotel, Edinburgh

2005 Tigerlily, Edinburgh

2006-2007 Death & Co and East Side Company Bar, New York

2008 Martin Miller’s Gin brand specialist, New York

2009-2010 Rick’s Bar, Edinburgh

2010-2012 Hyde & Co and Milk Thistle, Bristol

2011 Bacardí Tactical Training Team, South-West

2012-2014 Babington House and Electric House

2014-2015 Somerset House and St Vincent’s

2015-forever The Dark Horse, Bath

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