Peppers is a popular Sports Bar & Restaurant in Bangtao and tonight it’s celebrating St George’s Day, the Patron Saint of England. It doesn’t really matter that St George is shared by no less than 18 countries around the world and that, being born in Greece, he’s about as English as a plate of moussaka, Peppers is partying and that’s all that counts.
Red and white balloons flutter in the breeze, bouncing off waitresses and diners and believe me, it gets pretty breezy in Peppers – after all, a lot like a British Aerospace wind tunnel, the pub has almost 30 wall fans – that’s got to be some kind of record on Phuket. Blackboards announce the kids’ menu, specials, desserts, and the bare brick walls are er, peppered with Beatles posters and pop memorabilia. The place is divided into two sections, one for dining and the other contains the bar but both have a lighthearted and friendly atmosphere, especially so tonight.
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We sit with the owner, Claire Cookson from Liverpool. She also runs a beach club at nearby Surin Beach called ‘Salt on Surin’ so it makes one wonder what her next venture will be called; so far we’ve had ‘Salt’ and ‘Pepper’ so maybe ‘Vinegar Joe’s’ would be appropriate. Claire’s a bit of a live wire and there always seems to be something going on here, not least of all live sports on the wide-screen TVs and a Wednesday evening pub quiz.
Those looking for crisp white tablecloths, a snooty French waiter, crystal wine glasses and a menu more expensive than your airfare home can forget Peppers, as there’s no wagyu steak served with mille feuilles for dessert here – just down-home pub grub with a great list of ales to go along with it. It may be quite a distance from Patong’s saucy Soi Bangla but you can still get Sex on the Beach for a mere 190 baht but the drinks menu doesn’t specify with whom.
It’s only 19:00 but the place is hopping as family after family file in to take their places for the feast: we order chicken and leek pie with baked beans and mashed potatoes along with a plate of English sausage, fried onions, mashed potatoes and gravy. Claire also insists we try the house chips (French fries) and they’re excellent, which is a nice surprise because many top-flight chefs in Phuket have a hard time getting the best out of Thai spuds.
The food here is absolutely unpretentious and (best of all) filling, the soundtrack of the evening British eighties music and the atmosphere reminiscent of a house party. As for drinks, it’s a no-brainer – a pint of Guinness followed by a half of Old Speckled Hen. The rest of the menu features sandwiches for 120 – 150 baht, spaghettis for 160 – 250 baht, pies for 250 baht, pizzas from 220 – 300 baht and much more.
Yes, Peppers delivers when it comes to ambience, ale and satisfying dishes served with warmth and humour. For a family destination it’s up there with the best in Phuket.
Peppers Sports Bar & Restaurant
- Opening Hours: 08:30 – 01:00 kitchen closes at midnight
- Location: Tinlay Place, Cherng Talay – near the entrance of Bangtao's Laguna Complex
- Tel: +66 (0)76 325 112