Ladies and Gents, Valentine’s Day is almost upon us. Whether you are surprising your loved one, planning something together as a couple or if you have simply forgotten (we’ve all done it) here are some romantic Bristol venue inspirations that might help you impress your Tinder date or better yet, get lucky! I also don’t blame those of you who decide to slob it out on the sofa with a bottle of Malbec, ten boxes of Milk Tray and Netflix (that’s usually how I roll on the big night, alongside a card from a “secret admirer” – who I know is my Mum because she never remembers to disguise her handwriting).
♥ Greens Restaurant – 25 Zetland Road, Bristol http://www.greensbristol.co.uk/menus.php
If you want fine dining and great wines in a relaxed atmosphere then why not book a table at Greens. Fresh, seasonal and modern British food with a twist is what you will find on the menu and they are offering three courses for £29.50pp for Valentine’s Day. Not bad at all considering dishes include Gurnard Fillet and Venison Stew. There are vegetarian options also for the non-meat eaters. The modest and charming restaurant is perfect for a romantic dinner date and you’ll get extra points for going off the beaten track of the centre and choosing a restaurant that doesn’t get its name dropped all too often. Plus, you are right by Gloucester Road – so plenty of choice for a cheeky drink before or afterwards (I’d recommend The Library Wine Bar because it’s perfect for date night).
♥ The Glassboat – Welsh Back http://www.glassboat.co.uk/valentines-night/
The picturesque view from this restaurant is bound to add the wow factor to your Valentine’s date. The Glassboat, situated in Welsh Back on Bristol’s floating harbour, has the floor to ceiling windows in the dining area which provide the perfect setting to accompany a lovely meal; the reflection of twinkling lights rippling on the water’s surface accompanied by candles on the tables make for a very romantic picture. For Valentine’s, you can get three courses and a glass of fizz on arrival for £50pp. The menu sounds divine and this is a great idea for if you really want to go fancy and really push the boat out (like what I did there?!)
♥ Bells Diner & Bar Rooms http://www.bellsdiner.com/
Over in Montpelier is Bell’s, where all the focus in this unassuming restaurant is on delicious dishes and wines. Relaxed, laid back with signature quirky touches, there is nothing pretentious here apart from the food itself, which is fantastic. Modern Mediterranean cuisine is the best way to describe the food here, with specials also popping up on a menu that changes seasonally. With an alive atmosphere full of chatter and glasses clinking there has never been a better excuse for the two of you to get together and order lots of small plates and work your way through. Tip: try to request the table for two by the window, its lovely. (Sorry @PXandtarts).
♥ Zitto & Bevi – https://www.facebook.com/ZittoandBevi
Intimate restaurant Zitto & Bevi is dripping with authenticity and perfect for getting a slice of Italy whilst being tucked away in the corner of Stokes Croft. It might be small, but if you are a fan of all thing Italian and a food lover you will find it impossible not to be impressed here. Treat yourself to some light bites to start (bread, olives, or bruschetta) before moving onto bigger dishes (lasagne or polenta) and enjoy the delights. Wash it down with a bottle of one of their selected wines, which are all sourced independently from family wineries throughout Italy. If you have ever been to Venice, got lost and found yourself in a traditional Osteria (and loved it) then this gorgeous place is definitely for you.
♥ Box-E http://www.boxebristol.com/
Small but perfectly formed, Box-E is a fantastic venue for a truly romantic and intimate evening. With only 14 covers, you and your date will most definitely feel exclusive and more importantly, very special. Tess and Elliot welcome you to enjoy a unique dining experience in their shipping containers at Whapping Wharf where you will be the envy of all your friends. The menu here changes regularly (almost weekly) but you can find a sample one on their website; recent dishes have included crispy pigs ears, charred romanesco and their famous pannacotta. If you really want to go all out and there is availability, you can also opt to sit at the ‘kitchen table’. 4 stools right in the thick of the action where you can watch Elliot at work creating his food masterpieces and sip on delicious hand-picked wines. Booking is essential and you will need to be quick to secure your place – this is one of Bristol’s hottest restaurants.
♥ The Rummer http://therummer.net/
Tucked away in Bristol’s Old City is where you will find independent bar and restaurant The Rummer. An old favourite, you are able to enjoy cocktails in front of an open fire or fine dining down in their historical cellars. Another recent addition is also their micro-distillery they have on site, a small still which produces Bristol Dry Gin. At the time of writing this, they are running a 5 course Gin Project menu for JUST £30, where they are using botanicals in both the cocktails and dishes. They have appeared in the Good Food Guide for three years on the trot and offer dining experiences and tasting menus to suit all tastes. This is a venue not to be forgotten or overlooked whilst newcomers pop-up around it. If your date enjoys cocktails then you’ll definitely be picking up big brownie points in choosing this spot.
♥ Adelina Yard http://adelinayard.com/
I heart Adelina Yard. Now I can’t guarantee it, but you might get a marriage proposal if you decide to spend your valentines evening here, simply because it is faultless. What I can guarantee is that you will enjoy fine dining in a charismatic restaurant and they are offering 6 courses for £60pp and an optional wine pairing for £39pp on Valentine’s Day. It promises to be pretty special and if the Perigord truffle and 48 months old parmesan risotto course doesn’t tempt you to go along then I’m not sure what else will. If you and your date are foodies then this is one not to be missed; the restaurant not only receives rave reviews from Bristol’s critics, they have also just been ranked as one of the 100 best restaurants in Britain thanks to the Sunday Times (you could drop that fact into conversation during your date by the way, you’ve got to show off a little bit).
♥ The Ox http://theoxbristol.com/
If you have visited The Ox before, then you already know. However, for those that haven’t, this place is definitely a little bit sexy. It’s decadent, dimly lit and feels like you have stumbled across a well-kept secret. Not to mention they serve up impeccable food and cocktails. Hidden away on Corn Street (underneath the Commercial Rooms) this venue has romance all over it. If you enjoy steak The Ox is an absolute must, however they also do small plates, charcuterie and vegetarian menu options so you are not limited. Don’t be afraid to dress up if you are going here, its date night so why not – you want to remind your other half that you are still smoking right?! With The Ox’s upmarket decor you will not look out-of-place.
If you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of Bristol’s city centre then the warm and cosy Yurt is a brilliant idea for a chilled valentines evening. Situated by Temple Meads you can relax by the log burner whilst tucking into a seasonable and sustainable menu (Yurt have just launched their bistro evening service) with a glorious glass of plonk. The menu changes weekly with the concept being that all ingredients and meat cuts are used to their full potential to minimise food waste whilst still providing big flavours in classic dishes. A great idea for if you want to enjoy fantastic food without the fuss.
♥ El Puerto http://www.el-puerto.co.uk/
I feel that El Puerto might fall victim to being overlooked when it comes to dining in Bristol; we have so many fantastic venues for small plates and tapas and whilst I would never throw shade as each venue individually has a place in my heart, this restaurant is still always a joy to visit. It is typically romantic and once inside you could be forgiven for thinking you are miles away from the centre. A vast selection of authentic Spanish tapas awaits and although the restaurant is large, they are several corner tables tucked away just for two of you. If you are venturing here, please order the Manchego cheese, its delicious.