Category Archives: Sunday lunch

Sunday Lunch at The Jetty, Bristol

SUNDAY LUNCH AT THE JETTY

 

The Jetty, Bristol Harbour Hotel & Spa,  55 Corn St,  Bristol BS1 1HT

RESTAURANT RESERVATIONS  0117 2034456
bristol.jetty@harbourhotels.co.uk

 

The Jetty inside

and out

My mother-in-law flew down from the frozen north for the weekend. She’s had quite a lot to deal with recently and we wanted to spoil her.

We spent lots on food that we cooked (badly). We sat round talking (sadly).  Come Sunday we went out for lunch (gladly).

Everything we tried to do ourselves we managed to make a hash of, possibly because we were trying too hard. Even the jolly chit-chat turned – inevitably –  to the ‘lot to deal with’.

And so, when we made our way to The Jetty, I for one wasn’t feeling hopeful. We’d tried booking The Pony and Trap at Chew Magna and The Lion at Cliftonwood but both had been fully booked.  There had been no problem booking The Jetty. I cynically wondered why not.

I feared we would be the only diners.  An awkward end to the weekend that we’d wanted to make so special.

But no.  The moment we set foot in the restaurant we were met with a host of smiling, attentive waiting staff and the sounds of diners eating, chatting, drinking, laughing. A waitress led us to a large, round table where my son Tom and his girlfriend Reb were already seated.  Reb’s just got a job and so I remembered to say ‘Congratulations!’

The interior is plush, tasteful, the high ceilings with suspended fans creating a very sophisticated, cosmopolitan atmosphere. The waiting staff are similarly very smart, which made me, initially, a little wary. It wasn’t a pub. It made me nervous about the ‘Sunday lunch’.

But not for long. We were handed the Sunday lunch menu – 3 courses and a glass of prosecco for £19.  As we’d taken our son and his girlfriend the week before to the White Hart at Lyttleton-on-Severn ( a very popular and pleasant country pub to the north of Bristol)  and paid on average £15 for one course this seemed good value.

We ordered.

Image result for glass of prosecco

 

The prosecco arrived. Reb’s just got a job and so it seemed fitting to toast her. Then came the starters, each one  looking  very special. As we purred and mmm-ed and nodded, it was safe to assume that they tasted very special too.  It’s no surprise the uplifting effect of great food in beautiful surroundings and wonderful service, but  every time these three elements come together I am amazed.

They came together at The Jetty on Sunday.

The main course followed, but not too quickly, allowing us to soak up the atmosphere, talk about the starters, take in the surroundings, and… order a bottle of wine.

I had the beef  which I ordered pink, and it was. My ideal Sunday roast. It was so delicious that I didn’t take that much notice of what the others were having. Pork? Chicken? They clearly enjoyed it as by the time I’d thought to look at their plates they were empty.

Then dessert! I’d not really wanted one. Or, at least that’s what I said. However, when the panne cotta that I’d reluctantly ordered turned up it looked like a dish from MasterChef (a successful one). With pretty, tiny pink meringues and sharp delicate cubes of jelly, this dish was so much more than a simple, wobbling panne cotta. A treat and feast for the eyes, I savoured my first mouthful and the tastes and textures – sweet, sharp, creamy, soft, crumbly – blew me away.  As I eagerly took my last mouthful  I felt the contentment you feel at the end of a wonderful meal. Sunday lunch at The Jetty! What a revelation. I worked out in my head the next time we could come. Perhaps I could bring my mother. My sister. Whose birthday is it next?

As we were sitting, thinking that perhaps we ought to ask for the bill, another plate turned up. ‘Oh, no! No, no, no! We’ve not ordered anything else!’ I protested.  Possibly too aggressively.  ‘But I thought…’. Before the waitress who’d pronounced the ‘t’ in sorbet (she was so lovely we didn’t have the heart to tell her) it dawned on me. The plate presented to Reb had two small squares of chocolate cakes with the word ‘Congratulations’ written on the plate in chocolate sauce. Reb’s new job.

We hastily said thank you, impressed and touched by her attentiveness. As I looked around the table I saw smiling faces. What a wonderful way to spend a Sunday. Time to take my mother-in-law to the airport.

As we kissed Tom and Reb goodbye I felt like kissing the waiting staff for having salvaged our weekend.  We’d done it. At the eleventh hour. We’d spoiled my mother-in-law.

 

LINKS

The Jetty

NOTE:  When I wrote this review Sunday lunch (3 courses and a glass of prosecco) cost an amazing £19.  It now (a mere fortnight later) costs £25.  But it’s still incredible value. And  it still comes with the glass of fizz.  I advise going as soon as possible before it becomes too popular.

How to make the dining experience even better :  change the background music.

Sunday Lunch at The Ram Inn, Firle, East Sussex

Sunday Lunch at the Ram Inn, Firle, East Sussex

After a visit to the lovely Charleston (home to Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant, key artists within the Bloomsbury group) this Sunday, Gabriel, my mum, Tom and I went in search of a pub.

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As Vanessa Bell’s sister, Virginia Woolf, had lived in the nearby village of Firle it seemed only sensible to look for one there.

Firle itself was a delight, tucked away in the beautiful East Sussex countryside. Pretty and oozing a sense of community, with its Arts Trail in full swing and residents’ gardens opened up as impromptu cafes, all fluttery bunting and clinking tea cups, it revealed an identity many of us only get a chance to experience in books. And when we saw the pub with its red brick and flintstone walls , offset by the colourful flower baskets and tastefully cream and brown sun umbrellas and dark green paint work, we knew we’d made the right call.

Nestled within the space created by the L-shaped red brick and flintstone building was a large outdoor seating area which on this surprisingly still and warm Sunday was buzzing with life and colour, people constantly coming and going, and so we got a table quite easily.  Excited by the menu we only hoped that we hadn’t cut it too fine to order lunch.

When the waitress emerged from an interesting side bar (‘The Farmers’ Bar’ decorated in a Farrow-and-Ball-Does-Muddy-Walking-Boots style which was rather wonderful. Dark walls, sparkly chandeliers, rustic barrels, deliberately aged ram painting, spit and sawdust floor), we knew that we had not.IMG_3227[1]Although not usually one for a starter for a Sunday lunch, I agreed (big of me…)  to share a cured fish and shellfish board. Mum was paying. And it did sound good. Delicious smoked salmon, smoked haddock, prawns…looked and tasted good too and the sharing board for two was more than enough to take the edge off the incredible hunger that the four of us had built up after walking round the small but perfectly formed Charleston garden…

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As main course, three of us ordered roast beef, only Gabriel lured away from the charms of  the traditional in favour of a Mediterranean tart. Must have been due to the surprisingly warm and sunny weather.

The drinks order came quickly, as did the starter.

Yet somehow the main course seemed pretty damned elusive for more than an hour.  And we didn’t mind. Making the most of the sun and red wine, we people-watched, marvelling at the intricacies of the tattoos sported by the bearded young men on the table next to us, learning that the Cotswolds were not, contrary to what we had previously believed, the exclusive habitat of the pink trousers brigade, and enjoying the sight of so many dogs attached to serious walkers (sun hats, shorts and walking boots – had to be).

The atmosphere was friendly and relaxed with most dogs sleeping peacefully under their owners’ seats, occasionally giving each other a gentle nuzzle before being roused to carry on their blissful country walk. Happy. Companionable. What an advert for having a dog of one’s own!

And this picture of a rural idyll just got even more idyllic when two riders ‘parked’ up their trusty steeds and came over for a drink.

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‘A beef and a chicken?’ A young waiter asked shyly. We said that we hadn’t ordered the chicken causing him to scurry back in with both plates and us to realise that we’d been waiting for over an hour.  Thankfully a mere ten minutes later two beefs appeared. When it was clear that the remaining two plates weren’t going to be appearing any time soon mum and I reluctantly started to eat.

With no staff around Gabriel went in to find out if there was any problem with the order. There was. They had forgotten about it.  With a party of 30 inside, the warm weather, not to mention the village art trail, attracting a never ending flow of customers looking for that perfect Sunday lunch in a quintessential English village, chaos had descended on the kitchen.

Thankfully Gabriel and Tom got their lunch. And they enjoyed it. As mum and I did ours.

The beef was pink and soft and served with a mustardy cauliflower that was not overdone and a delicious chunky home-made horseradish sauce.  I don’t know if it was because I had to wait for so long, my senses thus heightened, but even the kale, not my favourite vegetable, had a depth of flavour that married well with the meaty gravy. And Gabriel loved his little tart…So, fab food.

But we declined the pudding. This time.

And inspite of the long wait we’d had a magical afternoon in a bustling pub in a charming village.

FACTFILE

Address: The Ram Inn
The Street, Firle
Nr. Lewes
East Sussex
BN8 6NS

Tel: 01273 858222

http://raminn.co.uk/

The bill came to £84 for 4 people. Great value given the quality of the food and wine.

Service: Despite the pressures of an incredibly busy day the waiting staff remained polite and accommodating throughout. As did the customers when left waiting for their food. Good, kind people, mistakes and all, on both sides.

Walks (which I will definitely fit in next time – and there will be a next time – I visit Firle)

*

Firle circular walk : a six and a half mile walk that takes approximately two and three-quarter hours.

http://www.theargus.co.uk/magazine/sussex_walks/10591895.Firle_circular/

*

Firle and fine downland views walk : a 4 mile walk that takes two hours.

http://www.theaa.com/walks/fine-downland-views-over-feudal-firle-421096

*

 

Firle

This hidden gem of a village has no road markings, streetlights or through traffic which contribute to its calm and timeless feel.

http://www.firle.com/residential

To find out a little more about Virginia Woolf’s association with the village click on http://www.virginiawoolfsociety.co.uk/vw_res.firle.htm

The Lion, Cliftonwood, Bristol : where to go for the perfect Sunday Lunch

The Lion, Cliftonwood, Bristol : where to go for the perfect Sunday Lunch

by Isabella Morgan

 

lioncliftonwood

 

It was one of those rare weekends when we were all together. Me, Gabriel, and our 3 grown-up sons. And I could tell that I wasn’t going to be able to get away with a bag of kettle chips sat in front of the TV on a Saturday night, or a  ‘Lovely! Here’s a bacon sandwich for you’ on the Sunday morning to celebrate. Oh no. They’d come home. Together. And they’d come home expecting the red-carpet treatment.  Pressure on.

Not that they intended to stay around for long on Saturday evening. No, after filling their boots they all disappeared to the outer reaches of Bristol. Which left us with Sunday.

Sunday lunch.

And so I booked at table at ‘The Lion’,  a lovely, pretty little pub in the heart of what has to be the hilliest area in all of hilly Bristol, Cliftonwood. ‘The Lion’  itself is charming, tastefully decorated and strangely homely with enough bunting to satisfy even the most ardent of bunting enthusiasts.

IMG_2993[1]‘The Lion’ looking uncannily like my home

IMG_2998[1]Duck egg blue, tongue-and-groove, gilt mirrors, bunting, fairylights…

And the welcoming, homely feel just kept on coming at this family-run pub, with an uncle taking our orders, a nephew behind the bar,  a mother bringing out the food…

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As for the menu, it offered the perfect Sunday lunch. I’d heard this was the case and I wasn’t disappointed. Just take a look –

IMG_2982[1]‘The Lion’ is oft described as a gastro-pub and so I did worry about what that might mean for ‘Sunday lunch’ as we know it. But, with the exception of a little polenta here and a creamy dauphinoise there, the Sunday lunch had not undergone excessive gastro-fication. I just wanted Sunday lunch. A traditional Sunday lunch. And that’s what I got here.

looking happy with the menu despite being  hung over from the night before
looking happy with the menu despite being hung over from the night before…

And that’s what we ordered. I had the roast beef and yorkshire pudding and it was heavenly. As for the dauphinoise potatoes, they added a good, creamy taste to the meal and worked perfectly, making me think that perhaps we should make them next time we make our own Sunday roast.

We drank, we ate, we talked, we laughed.

We drank and laughed. And ate some more…

As for the puddings. Knickerbocker Glory. What can I say? Even the name’s great. And there was custard with the bakewell!  We were all in Sunday lunch heaven.

As we left, looking forward, sort of, to a long walk back across Bristol to walk off all the food and drink, I started to plan our return visit.

And now I’m on a mission to tell all my friends about it. There’s nothing better than spreading the word about a great place and ‘The Lion’ really is a great place. Can’t wait to go back.

LINK and FACTFILE

address :19 Church Lane, Bristol, BS8 4TX
telephone number: 07867 796961

website: http://www.thelioncliftonwood.co.uk/

Advisable to book in advance. ‘The Lion’ is not a huge pub but it is very popular.

Get ‘The Lion’ look : make some bunting using multi-coloured tiny polka dot  fabric, paint your walls duck egg blue (Fired Earth paint collection), put up some tongue and groove and paint it off-white, put fresh flowers in a jug on the table, put up a large gilt mirror, string fairy lights generously around the room! Ta dah!

Serves food all week, not just on Sundays!