Any trip to Bristol is a good trip to me, and on a recent jaunt to visit my friend she introduced me to the River Cottage Canteen, part of the Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall empire.
Now I like a bit of Hugh, a little bit of me wants to live at River Cottage, spend my day making bread and cooking fabulous food grown on my land, but then I suddenly remember I do not like gardening and I get bored easily so me and the countryside only ever have a short romance. Hugh in the city is just what I need.
In this relaxed and open plan restaurant you are greeted by cheerful staff who make you instantly relaxed. Set out on two levels we sat within view of the almost now traditional open kitchen. The restaurant was busy but in this bright and breezy open plan converted 19th Century church it never felt crowded.
The menu is set up as small plates and big plates. Small plates are a great size to share. We went with the Merguza sausage and fava bean houmous and the Slow Cooked cauliflower with cumin, yoghurt , almonds and flat bread. They were just the right size before tucking into our bigger plate of pork shin ragu with Orecchiette pasta. I would have prefered the ragu if the pork was smaller as the chunks were quite big and a tad on the dry side but the sauce was bursting with flavour and the wild garlic was so good. Of course after all this there was still room for desert – chocolate torte!
This was a lovely meal. It felt home cooked, it was warming and filling. If you find yourself in Bristol or at one of their other venues then dive on in to River Cottage Canteen for their relaxed and friendly menu.
(ps. since writing this I have been back again- different menu but just as lovely!)