Gluten Free at The Townhouse, Bristol

As far as first world problems go, having too many restaurants to choose from must rank quite highly. But that’s the issue The Hub and I faced for our wedding anniversary recently. We are truly spoiled in Bristol for good places to eat. But when you are counting the pennies, choosing a restaurant becomes much more difficult. You don’t want to leave somewhere feeling ‘worse off’. We’ve all been faced with a £120 bill after a bad meal – a meal that wasn’t as enjoyable as a bag of chips for a 1/10 of the price or a meal that left you hungry and searching for a takeaway on the way home.
You do whatever you can to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

If you live in Bristol, you’ve probably heard the Table Pouncer ads on the radio. “Bristol’s top restaurants” offering up to 50% off a meal if you book “empty tables” at the “last minute”.
I had a quick look, not expecting much, but found The Townhouse – a restaurant that I’d heard was gluten free friendly and I’d been wanting to go there for ages.

I’ve since found out that The Townhouse won ‘Best Sunday Lunch’ and ‘Best British’ at the Bristol Good Food Awards, 2012.

The interior and staff of the Townhouse are welcoming and warm. It’s an easy place to spend a few hours with a couple of bottles of wine and friends. I don’t often feel that relaxed and un-rushed in a restaurant. The menu is described as ‘Modern British’ with ‘classic regional dishes’. The portions are generous and the ingredients are well combined and high quality. It’s good home cooking, comfort food done well. Take a look at a sample menu and you’ll see what I mean.

Our waitress explained that they had gluten free bread if I wanted to order any of the dishes that involved bread i.e. beef dripping and toast. I told our waitress what I wanted to order and she checked out my options with the chef. I ordered potted shrimp to start which came with gluten free toast. For my main, I ordered roast fillet of Cornish hake, creamed leeks with bacon, peas and straw potatoes. I cannot describe to you how pleasurable this dish was. Just. So. Good. The Hub (in his role of chief wine taster and orderer) would have preferred a different Shiraz but his mammoth dish of slow roasted pork belly, Stornaway black pudding, mashed potato and chantenay carrots with rhubarb and ginger sauce silenced any complaints! We shared a cheese board at the end and I was provided with more gluten free toast (but some GF biccies would have been even better.)

I felt that it would be a little unromantic to take photos of my food when we were out for our anniversary so I didn’t take any pictures unfortunately - but that is an excellent excuse to go again!

I actually “phew-ed” when we left. A new favourite restaurant and money well spent.

We had post dinner drinks at Charlie’s Bar – the espresso martinis are melt-into-the-couch-and-then-spring-up-into-a-song-and-dance-number good. And they have a doggie.

The Townhouse Bar & Restaurant,
85 Whiteladies Road,

Tel: 0117 973 9302


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