Bristol Stories and Tips

Eating Out In Bristol

Bordeaux Quay Photo, Bristol, England

We stayed in Bristol for 3 nights and ate out in a different restaurant each evening. We had 2 meals that we really enjoyed and would recommend, but one evening we were very disappointed and would not go back to that particular restaurant.

The first evening we ate out in Bordeaux Quay. This is one of the restaurants that overlooks the Floating Harbour. It has an outdoor eating area overlooking the water, and a big restaurant on 2 floors inside. We ate here on a trip to Bristol last year, thoroughly enjoyed it and decided to return. We were not disappointed.

This year we ate inside the restaurant - it was raining and cool. It is a very stylish, cool and contemporary place. As well as a restaurant, they have a cookery school and emphasise that their meals and ingredients are all sustainably sourced. There are lovely views out over the water, with all the boats coming and going and it is also a great place to people watch. The atmosphere in the restaurant was relaxed and we really enjoyed the food. My husband had mussels, I had duck leg confit with beetroot and new potatoes and our son had a small portion of food from the adult menu.

The food was delicious, very well presented and the service was excellent too. It was not the cheapest option, but in our view definitely worth the money.

The second evening we ate at the Spyglass Restaurant. This is called a barbeque restaurant and is on a converted barge on one of the canals. It has a wonderful setting and has the potential to be a lovely place, but it did not live up to this for us.

The interior of the restaurant is lovely - there are cushions and blankets on the chairs and it is styled very nicely. However, despite being called a BBQ restaurant, I saw no evidence of a barbeque. We were the only people in there, and walking past the next evening it was empty as well. The menu was plain, but fine. I ordered mussels, about 10 minutes later the waitress came back and said they had no mussels. I then asked for crab and was told there was no crab either!! The options were steak or chicken.

When the food did come, it was bland, presented in a very bland and average way and definitely disappointing. This place should have been wonderful, but the food let it down.

On our last evening we ate in a bar/restaurant called The Hole In the Wall. This is just off Queen's Square and is very easy to find. It had a buzzing atmosphere in the bar downstairs, the restaurant upstairs was quiet, but there were a few people dining there.

Apparently the pub was named after a spy hole that 18th century sailors and smugglers used to keep watch for customs men and press gangs.

The service was very good, and we opted for a special they had on Fridays - "Fizz and Fins" which meant if you ordered a fish dish, you got a bottle of champagne for £20.00. I ordered mussels which were delicious and the champagne went down very well. Everyone in our party thoroughly enjoyed their meal, the atmosphere was lovely and I would recommend this place without hesitation.

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