One of Bristol’s best restaurants is hoping to pave the way for change in the hospitality industry.
Payment will be required when booking a table at The Ethicurean, with service charge included on food in the overall cost.
When it reopens its doors, the acclaimed Wrington restaurant will have a smaller capacity and be open only from Friday to Sunday.
The full ‘Ethicurean Experience’ – with a “welcome broth, arrival drink, several snacks, freshly baked bread & ferments, multiple savoury courses, dessert, petit fours, hot drink and fireside sweet treats” – will cost £120 per person, and Sunday lunch £55 per person.
In a statement, The Ethicurean said that the “innovative new reservations system and a new business structure… will benefit both guests and their team”.
The new booking policy follows in the footsteps of Michelin-starred Casamia in Redcliffe, whose pre-paid reservation costs £180 per person; with restaurant bookings at the Breaking Bread pop-up on the Downs costing £47.50 per person in advance for a four-course menu.
The statement said: “The past six months have been difficult for all hospitality venues, with the future still very unknown.
“For brothers and owners of The Ethicurean, Matthew and Iain Pennington, the forced pause gave them time to reflect, to consider and to imagine.
“After ten years of existence, they have decided to design the kind of experience that they have always wanted to give their customers.
“At the same time, they have decided to reinvent their approach to the business of running a restaurant. Matthew and Iain have always endeavoured to create a place of opportunity, security and enjoyment for everyone who chooses to work with them.”
The statement added: “It will take years of undoing the flaws in the industry to get to a point where the energy put in by the workers is reflected in their financial gain.
“The Ethicurean team are paving the way for change, the hope is that others are able to follow suit.”
The restaurant will continue to offer an ever-changing menu, with most of the vegetables and salads coming from their own walled garden.
Techniques such as curing, pickling, lacto-fermentation and smoking feature heavily across both the food and drinks menus.
The team promise a “fully immersive experience (that) takes guests on a truly unique culinary journey”, starting with a walk through the walled garden and ending with “a warm fireside sweet treat out on the lawn nestled into the Mendip hillside”.
Main photo: The Ethicurean