It’s no coincidence that the Financial Times Weekend Magazine declared Bristol as having ‘arguably the best food scene in the UK’. Bristol prides itself on its independent restaurants and bars – anybody who visits is spoilt with the choice of food.
Usually, if a friend was visiting, I’d have several recommendations on where to go for drinks or dinner rather than staying in a hotel restaurant – there are so many amazing places to eat on every Bristol doorstep.
Having said that, there is one exception – and that is if you are staying at the Bristol Harbour Hotel. In fact, even if you’re not staying at the hotel – you should make the special trip to seek out The Jetty Restaurant and Gold Bar on Corn Street.
I’ve been lucky enough to visit a few times now, for birthday drinks and an annual Christmas meal with the girls. It’s definitely a place to go if you’re feeling fancy.
I had the pleasure of being invited to The Jetty’s new menu launch and came away really excited to spread the word.
Our evening started in the hotel’s Gold Bar, my favourite hidden gem in the city. The bar has luxe speakeasy vibes, with marble surfaces, gold finishes and mismatched furniture. Complimentary popcorn is served in shell dishes with your cocktails, and in the winter the flicker of candles makes the room feel very cosy and intimate. It’s a great place to come with your other half for a special occasion.
After a few drinks in the bar, we moved into the restaurant to sample a five-course menu. It wasn’t long before the wine was flowing and we were tucking into a selection of nibbles, including truffle arancini and tempura prawns. This was followed by a trio of starters; crab on toast, stone bass cerviche and octopus carpaccio. The Jetty’s seafood game is strong. Had I looked at the menu, I would have passed on anything containing octopus (it’s a texture thing), but I happily munched away enjoying the delicate flavours, unaware I was eating thinly sliced tentacles.
This theme followed into the main course, where we were served cod with mash and crushed peas. It sounds simple, but simple was delicious. I felt like I was eating posh fish and chips – the cod was light and melted in the mouth and the mash was creamy and smooth. Every mouthful was heavenly.
Barely able to eat anything else, we were presented with s’mores and baked cheesecake for pudding – I couldn’t have picked two more perfect desserts. The s’mores, dusted with chocolate, were spongy and gooey with a hot creamy flavour. I could have eaten three in one go, maybe even four.
Lastly, after more wine, we finished with a round of espresso martinis for the road. It was an evening of flavourful food, impeccable service and great company. I left full, smiling and eager to return.
Thank you to the Bristol Harbour Hotel for inviting me along.