We’re fast approaching the end of the year and what a year it’s been! I’ve been meaning to update the blog for a while now but turns out having a very active 10 month old keeps your hands pretty full. But that’s another blog for another time…
We did however make time to celebrate our 3rd wedding anniversary recently by going out for a slap-up meal and a cocktail or two. We roped in the Grandparentals for more babysitting duty but with significantly fewer rules than last time – more along the lines of “pick him up if he cries and if we come home and you’re all up watching Hey Duggee that’s fine – byeeee!”.
We booked a table at The Glassboat Brasserie, which is a Bristol stalwart we had yet to visit although it had long been on our list. Serving up classic French butter-drenched cuisine and featuring a rather impressive wine list the Glassboat is ideally situated on the river giving a lovely view of the Welshback. With twinkling lights, tasteful Christmas decorations and candles flickering it’s a really romantic venue and perfect for a celebration meal. We started the evening with a lovely cocktail at Buttermilk & Maple (The Marriott’s bar) – the cocktail was great but the service was hilariously unfriendly. No seriously, I had more fun at my last smear test than I did trying to order with the bar staff – I’m not sure what the issues were but I would advise The Marriott to run a refresher course on ‘how to hide the fact that you for some reason passionately hate each and every customer’ very quickly. Anyway, on to the Glassboat and we arrived on a chilly December evening to a very warm welcome – the staff immediately congratulated us on our anniversary without having to check the booking and carefully stored the large bouquet of flowers safely for me until the end of the meal (well done Mr TGE!). We were shown to our waterside table and after accidentally burning the menu on one of the aforementioned romantic candles (so classily handled by the Waiter – “don’t worry, it happens all the time Sir”) we set about finding the most indulgent dinner options available.
I started the evening with hand dived Orkney scallops in Normandy butter, garlic and herbs. They were plump and perfectly cooked – served piping hot sitting in pools of garlicky butter. Mr TGE opted for the fried pigs head with sauce gribiche (posh mayonnaise) and pickled endive (similar to chicory) which proved to be a tasty fritter of lovely salty piggy naughtiness. It was gone before I had a chance to photograph it!
Knowing that we both can suffer from food envy we did the only sensible thing and order the same main course – the 42 day aged rump of Devon beef with duck fat chips and peppercorn sauce. Like the wild things we are we added on side dishes of sprout tops and green salad…and of course a bottle of the house red which proved to be very drinkable indeed. We both ordered our steaks rare – when we say we rare we really do want that steak still mooing which rarely happens in restaurants as it’s so easy to let it go over by a few seconds when cooking. However this steak was as rare as can be (although avoided being blue which is too much even for me) and super tender, a really excellent main course. The duck fat chips were as good as they sound and I’m ashamed to say that I couldn’t finish them due to the size of the steak. The side dishes added some much needed greenery and freshness to a decadent dish and the leafy sprout tops were very tasty indeed. Throughout the dishes there was a great level of seasoning and every mouthful was rich and naughty – just what we wanted.
Because we’re animals we ordered a dessert to share (because #romance) and opted for the coulant au chocolat with salted almond praline and caramel ice cream. The combination of gooey sticky molten chocolate with the salty praline was beyond gorgeous and as Mr TGE foolishly chose the moment it appeared to pop to the loo I’m not sure in all honestly how much ‘sharing’ actually went on… I’m sure he enjoyed his crumbs.
The food was gorgeous, the setting was beautiful and the staff were fantastic. A winner on all counts and somewhere we definitely wouldn’t wait so long to visit again.
(Incidentally we came home to a sleeping baby who gave us the best anniversary gift of all – sleeping through the night!)