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River Cottage hits Bristol!

River Cottage Canteen front

I’ve literally just returned from trying out the brand new River Cottage on Whiteladies Road in Bristol – opening to the public March 4 – and wanted to tell you all about it.

In a nutshell, it’s great. Lovely chatty staff, warm oak and iron dining room with a semi-open kitchen and more space upstairs, plus a cosy cafe-like snug to the right as you come in for coffee and cake or cocktails later on.

They have a different concise daily menu for lunch and dinner (which includes child options) and the theme is hearty comfort food, perfect for the end of winter. We ate roast pollack from St Ives with a cannellini and bacon stew, with purple sprouting broccoli on the side, and merguez spiced squash, followed by chocolate mousse and creme brulee. It was delicious – as you can see from the pictures, the portions were large (and we didn’t really need the side) and it’s great value for money, with mains around £9.50-£13 and desserts £5-6.

River Cottage Canteen fish

A blackboard on the wall named suppliers and all the food, according to the menu, comes from within 50 miles of Bristol (though St Ives, where the pollack came from, is 189 miles away, so says Google Maps, so that doesn’t sound quite right!). My other little niggle has nothing to do with the food here – they’ve called their Twitter feed @BristolCanteen – but there’s already an established eatery called Canteen in Bristol so that’s confusing. (And probably not that relevant, really).

Overall, though, without being horribly nitpicky, this is a restaurant that is worth booking now! There’s enough space for toddlers and prams – unusual – and it’s relaxed and lovely all at once. The food was better than Severnshed and it’s more modern than River Station so it gets my vote as best new swanky place to eat in Bristol. I just wish for my sake that it was south of the river…

About Laura

Laura Dixon has written 85 posts on this blog.

Travel writer, hotel reviewer and general fan of baking, bakeries and cakes.