Thursday, 25 January 2018

The River Grille At The Bristol Hotel

The River Grille is a smart little restaurant that is situated on the ground floor of The Bristol Hotel, overlooking Bristol's bustling and atmospheric harbour. Lewis and I were kindly invited down to the River Grille last Saturday evening, to enjoy some fine dining and to taste their delicious menu - and we were not disappointed. 

The Restaurant

The front of the restaurant was made up of floor to ceiling windows that offered pretty harbour-side views. The restaurant itself was lovely, boasting wooden floors, exquisite art and tables laid with white cloth.  It was the perfect romantic spot, yet also felt welcoming towards families and children. In fact, we were surrounded by a mix of families and couples which created lovely vibes - everyone was chatting away happily and enjoying their food. One of the first things that I noticed in the restaurant was the calm and relaxed atmosphere - the staff were relaxed and friendly, yet constantly on hand for anything that we might need which was great. There was a saxophone player playing live jazz at the top of the stairs, sending soft notes floating around the restaurant and the bar upstairs. It was the perfect setting for a Saturday evening: jazz, red wine and harbour views. 

Food and Drinks 

We ordered a bottle of still water to start, followed by a glass of prosecco for me (of course) and a gin and tonic for Lewis. The service was impeccable and the waiter that looked after us was brilliant - he was super friendly, he helped us with recommendations and he never once left us with an empty glass. For our starters I ordered the Prawn and Crayfish cocktail with Marie Rose dressing and Lewis ordered the braised pork cheek croquettes with celeriac slaw, apple and cider chutney. While we were waiting for our starters to arrive, we were offered two complimentary salmon mousse canapes by the chef which got our taste buds tingling. 

The cocktail starter was absolutely delicious; the prawns were fresh and tasted flavoursome and it was a very generous portion (in fact, Lewis did have to finish some of it for me so that I still had room for the mains!) Lewis's pork cheek croquettes were also tender and tasty - the breadcrumb texture was lovely and really complimented the slaw that accompanied. Overall, the starters received a big thumbs up from both of us. 

After our starters had been cleared, our waiter brought us our bottle of Malbec to accompany our steaks that we had ordered as mains (you can't have a steak without some red wine to go with it, right?) The drinks menu, might I add, was excellent. There was plenty of variety and drinks to suit just about everyone - from local craft beers to juices, cocktails and carefully selected wines. 

For the main course, I ordered the sirloin steak with peppercorn sauce and Lewis ordered the fillet steak with a blue cheese butter. We also ordered some wilted spinach as a side. 

The mains were absolutely beautiful. The steaks were both tender and cooked to perfection - I requested medium rare and Lewis ordered his steak rare and they were both faultless. My peppercorn sauce was gorgeous - rich and creamy yet not too overpowering. I've been to so many places where they haven't got the peppercorn sauce quite right so it was lovely to have such a delicious steak accompanied by perfect peppercorn sauce (yes, I am a bit of a peppercorn sauce snob!) Lewis's blue cheese butter was also lovely - it was served in the form of a small block on top of his steak which melted into his steak as he ate. Yum. The steaks were served with fries and watercress which were both very nice too. The wilted spinach was a particularly big hit with us - something so simple yet so delicious. The spinach was flavoured with garlic and has inspired us both to start making our own garlic wilted spinach sides far more often. 

Once we had both devoured our steaks it was time for desserts. Although I was pretty full and couldn't quite manage a sweet dessert, I could not turn down a cheeseboard. For our final courses of the evening, I ordered the West country cheeses and Lewis ordered the Oreo cheesecake. Both were, again, divine. Lewis's cheesecake was light and fluffy yet deliciously rich with chocolate and Oreo undertones and my cheeseboard consisted of a tasty selection of cheeses with grapes, chutney, celery, crackers and nuts. 

Overall Thoughts 

Our dinner at the River Grille was faultless. The service was fantastic - it was quick, efficient, friendly and welcoming and we felt very well looked after. The staff were always on hand to help us with anything we needed which really made the experience stand out. The restaurant itself was lovely; it was clean and stylish, oozing class - yet at the same time it was relaxed, welcoming and easy-going. The food was, of course, delicious and I honestly couldn't fault any of it. Although I would mention that the food is a little pricey in some areas of the menu, it is easy to forget that you are not just paying for the food - the service, the environment and the live music made it all well worth it and completely justified the price. I would highly recommend the River Grille. 

Have you dined at the River Grille? What are your thoughts? 


  1. oh my I have not had lunch yet and now my tummy is rumbling this place loks and sounds amazing I sure need to visit myself and my word that cheesecake looks devine

  2. This is so perfect for a trip I'm planning to Bristol! Lovely looking blog too, well done you. x

  3. This place looks amazing! And the Oreo cheesecake - yum!!

  4. Oh my goodness how amazing does this all look, it amazes me some of the menu ideas some places come out with. That cheesecake I could treat myself to right now.

  5. The food looks great. Will have to eat here when i go to Bristol

  6. Oh my goodness this place looks like my idea of heaven! Love the sound of the food and the presentation is fab!

  7. That's so good about the peppercorn sauce, I find it quite hit and miss in places too x

  8. Ooo wow I love the way everything is plated! I think I would have gone for the cheese board rather than a sweet too. I can never say no to cheese and crackers!

  9. I literally just had lunch but now you’ve made my mouth water again, that food looks sooo good. Going to have to look this place up. I mean, Valentine’s Day is coming up 🙄 lol

  10. Oh my how yummy does this look, i love the look of that tasty cheeseboard x

  11. Oh my goodness that all looks so good. I haven't been in to the Bristol Hotel but am over that way all the time so will have to change that soon! Yum

  12. Wow, faultless is an amazing compliment. It does all look super yummy - I love wilted spinach too.

  13. Oh very fancy! Such a lovely little romantic spot. I've been there for afternoon tea (my fave in the city) but never for a main meal. :)

    T x

  14. I have wanted to visit Bristol for such a long time, and this review makes me want to go even more! I did have a little chuckle at the first photo as I had just got to the part where it said you ordered the prawn cocktail. I thought the two little jars was that! Glad to hear it was a tasting dish. I have to say that Lewis' steak look sublime. I would have had it with the Peppercorn sauce though as I don't like Stilton.
    I also prefer cheese boards to dessert so your final course would have been right up my street!

  15. Everything looks absolutely amazing! I am a bit of a peppercorn sauce snob too, we had one the other day with our steaks that was far too creamy and I was disappointed. I think if we ever go to Bristol we shall definitely be checking this place out x

  16. Wow this place looks awesome and the food looks supper Yummy!! Hope you enjoyed your time there :-)


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