After countless recommendations from friends and an array of Instagram snapshots hinting at the delicious looking, locally sourced and seasonal fares, we made plans to get ourselves to the Ethicurean Restaurant in Wrington, on the outskirts of Bristol, ASAP.
With the promise of eating at one of the ‘best restaurants in Bristol’ I pre-booked a table for the nearest weekend and we set about planning how to get there. With The Ethicurean being just south of Bristol, without having our own set of wheels, out of town dining isn’t the easiest. We soldiered on with the promise of the amazing food we had both heard (and seen!) plenty of.
Our journey consisted of two buses, via a stop over at Bristol airport. We jumped aboard from our starting point of Bedminster and made it in quick time to the airport stop. Here we had twenty minutes until our next departure, bought a quick cup of coffee and waited patiently outside for the next bus’s arrival. No sooner had our empty coffee cups entered the bin, the A2 bus, our carriage for stage two of the journey, sped past leaving us with another hours wait – luckily we had given ourselves plenty of time to make it for our reservation.
Finally we made it to the village of Wrington and the walk to The Ethicurean from the bus stop wasn’t a long one, twenty minutes or so. Nostalgic on my part, past my great grandmother’s old house, and through the little village and lovely country gardens.
Having visited the walled garden a few times before, under previous ownership, I knew there was great potential from such a lovely location and it did not disappoint. The decor is wonderful and rustic but not consciously so. With rows of jars, wooden tables and chairs and The Ethicurean cookbook also lying around for us to leaf through. We were seated in the glasshouse overlooking of the walled garden and the breathtaking views of the Mendip Hills beyond.
We were lucky enough that all seats were full, meaning we were able to have a nose at plates all around us. A few customers had spilled out into the outdoor seating and we could also see them tucking into a Ploughman’s which looked like perfect lunch for an outdoor country walk
Although we often like to try different dishes to get a taste of as much as possible we ended up plumping for the same starter and main. To start, the ham hock terrine which was delicious.
This was followed by the 12 hour pork belly, adorned with vegetables and crackling. Probably one of the most delicious pork dishes I have ever eaten.
Although completely full we absolutely were not leaving without trying the puddings. After having seen a few of the Milk Stout Chocolate Sponge with cream brought to those near us it just had to be tried. It was perfect and the not-too-sweet flavour of the stout was complimented by cream and I could have eaten it ten times over. We also tried the affogato which was completely delicious.
Over paying the bill we discussed our journey with our server, she mentioned that had it not been for staff working through to the dinner service perhaps someone could have driven us back towards Bristol as they might be heading that way. A nice touch and not even needed given that the food alone was enough to secure a second visit from us, but we were happy enough to walk our way back to the bus and work off the meal!
Post dinner we decided to wander around the walled garden, stopping for a chat with the owner and chef, Mr Pennington himself, out picking herbs for dinner. A walk around the victorian garden was the perfect way to end dinner. Had we been in a car we would have certainly bought a few items from the vegetable stall at the bottom of the garden too.
Finally it was time to make a start on the return part of our journey. So very full but completely content we walked back through the garden to the exit.
The Ethicurean experience is one that once you have eaten you have to share, like those before me I have told people about it, instagramed and am now sharing a blog post. One thing is for certain, we will be making the journey back again soon.
To book a table, or just take a look at their menu head on over to http://www.theethicurean.com/
Barley Wood Walled Garden,