Bristol has tons of fun, lively restaurants that are great for dates one and two with that lovely law student you met in Lounge. However, when it comes to a slightly more special occasion, going for a curry may not quite cut it. Luckily, we’re here with some tried-and-tested recommendations to ensure that magical evening for two:
Nestled half way down Park Street, Goldbrick House comprises a split-level restaurant, a cocktail bar and a café. All polished wooden floors, dark staircases and period furnishings, it is smart yet not at all stuffy. The puddings deserve a special mention: delicious fresh sorbets and a “Mississippi mud pie with chocolate macaroon soil”—how could you say no?!
A popular chain, the Bristol branch of Loch Fyne is located in a pretty listed building on the waterfront—rather appropriately, since it is a seafood restaurant. Enjoy fresh dishes such as rope-grown mussels with crusty bread, smoked haddock and seafood tagliatelle, or splash out on oysters and baked lobster.
Hotel du Vin
This beautiful, French inspired bistro can be found in a converted sugar warehouse near the Christmas Steps. Walls covered in framed pictures and a mantelpiece littered with empty wine bottles give the warm feel of a private dining room. The Chateaubriand steak for two is dreamy.
The Cow Shed
Not one for the veggies, this restaurant recently enjoyed a huge extension, and now dominates Whiteladies. The meat comes from next-door butchers, Ruby & White. Farmhouse-style wooden tables and chairs, light floorboards and pretty white candleholders create an airy yet cosy atmosphere. The “steak on stone” option allows you to cook your own steak on a boiling hot lava stone.
Bristol loves its boat-based entertainment. You can club on a boat (Thekla), drink on a boat (The Apple) and, naturally, you can eat on a boat too. This romantic floating restaurant updates its menu regularly, but you can always expect tasty European/British dishes.
In the heart of Clifton Village sits this elegant French chain. By day, it’s a relaxed, elegant setting for lunch; come nighttime, the candles are lit and the place takes on a smart yet cosy vibe. Enjoy classic dishes such as French onion soup, roast chicken and moules frites.
As you might expect from its name, this Clifton eatery overlooks an open-air pool. The restaurant is in the old viewing gallery, with floor to ceiling glass walls to prevent any splash from a rogue canon-baller below. A menu inspired by southern Europe completes the holiday vibe.
Avon Gorge Hotel
Finally, for spectacular views of the Suspension Bridge, head to this Clifton institution (the huge outdoor terrace overlooking the gorge is a student favourite). Its British-French menu is seasonal and they also do a traditional Sunday roast.