December Fourteenth – River Grille


A group of us were out for dinner last night at the River Grille – the restaurant of The Bristol Hotel, in Bristol. It’s a lovely venue that we’d never visited before. The main dining room is at the level of the floating harbour or you can enter through the hotel and down through the piano bar. The atmosphere is very swanky with live music, glam lighting and good linens.

We came for the steaks, which were good, as was the fish of the day. However, everyone was jealous of my meal which was venison and winter veg. It was quite a Mastercheffy dish with venison done three ways (loin, sausage and a shoulder meat croquette) on a bed of thinly sliced beetroot, braised red cabbage and spinach. The sausage especially was fantastic.

We all thought it felt like a more expensive restaurant than it actually was and T said the wine was good value – an Argentinian Malbec which was £23 for a bottle.

I think we’ve found a new favourite.

*No photos for this post – I was too interested in eating my food to get a good photo of it!


December Thirteenth – social Saturday

A busy day today. T went wine shopping at Averys first thing.

All these boxes are full of wine!
All these boxes are full of wine!

We’re hosting Christmas Day at our house (first time since we’ve been married) so it’s good to know we’re in absolutely no danger of running out of wine!

Later, we went shopping for exciting festive items including: tinsel, lights (below), bath sealant and an extractor fan. This was followed by a spontaneous lunch with friends at The Flyer on Gloucester Road. It was surprisingly quiet for a Saturday afternoon – unlike Tinto Lounge which was jam-packed. T and I shared a fab brunch for two – it included all the normal brunch items plus pork & beans and bubble & squeak, all served up in a big cast iron frying pan. Yum.

Christmas lights

A busy afternoon of DIY and destroying cardboard boxes has left us pretty hungry. Time for dinner!

December Twelfth – I’m not a morning person, but I’ll get up before dawn for a toastie from Hart’s

Harts Bakery, Bristol

OK, so getting up before dawn is made slightly easier by the fact that the sun didn’t come up till 08.06 today (08.05 in Bath, which is 10 miles further East). Only 9 days till the shortest day.

T and I started a tradition this year. On Fridays we go to Hart’s Bakery, under the arches of the Temple Meads station ramp in Bristol, for breakfast before work. It’s good to celebrate the week being almost over, even if it does mean getting up a little earlier. He has a cheese and ham toastie with a tea, I have a plain cheese with a coffee and we chat about the weekend and what we’re up to that evening until I have to go for the train. Then I get teased for having “coffee breath”.

Hart’s is usually jam packed with breakfasters and the takeaway queue. They do the best (and best value) coffee in the station vicinity and of course the best pastries, cakes and toasties. You should definitely check it out if you pass this way.

Milk Thistle

Milk Thistle
Champagne coupes at Milk Thistle

Late to the party, but this weekend I went to Milk Thistle in Bristol for the first time. A few of us had a girls’ night out including dinner at Thai Edge (very good £10 pre-theatre menu and very close to the Hippodrome), a show (West Side Story) and a few drinks.

To my mind, the main benefit of so-called ‘doorbell bars’ is the table service and the option to book a table – it makes for a relaxing and civilised night out!


Village EastTo Bermondsey for a night out with the girls to celebrate R’s birthday. We had dinner at Village East – a stylish, buzzy, narrow, vintagey bar and restaurant. I had stone bass and grilled waldorf salad and a margarita instead of dessert. We ended up back at R’s flat with fizzy wine and dancing around the living room. Somehow, we didn’t get to bed till 5 a.m. It’s been a VERY long time since I stayed up so late!