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Wellbourne Bristol Review




Wellbourne Bristol

A new, modern wine bar and restaurant has joined the Bristol culinary scene, in the heart of Clifton village, and it’s made quite the entrance so far. In the vicinity of the likes of Cote, The Ivy Clifton Brasserie, Rosemarino, Wallfish and The Clifton Sausage, you might think attracting a strong crowd would be a tough feat for the newbie on the block, but Wellbourne is going remarkably strong. Bolstered by its charismatic team and intimate atmosphere (one that perfectly matches its minimalist menu concept), it’s safe to say I’m welcoming this new addition to The Mall with open arms.

The 36- seater space feels contemporary yet cosy. With tan seating, emerald panelling, wooden floors and white tables, its aesthetic is coastal meets urban jungle.  Chefs Michael Kennedy (recently a chef at Wallfish) and Ross Gibbens, and front of house whiz Martin Irwin all met when they worked in Michelin-starred Dabbous in Bloomsbury.

wellbourne bristol restaurant inside

Coming from the glitter of London to Bristol’s much loved Clifton village was a ‘huge change’ according to Martin. ‘It’s been a rollercoaster, but so far so good. Everyone, from other establishments to local diners, has been incredibly welcoming and embraced us with open arms which we’re thrilled about. The menu is going down well too, which is fantastic.’

We started with round of fizz, before perusing the drinks menu further. It was refreshing to see such an intriguing drinks menu accompanied by the equally knowledgeable front of house Martin, who entertained all my questions about the 7 gins and 9 rums on the list. We arrived pretty early at 7pm so it was only D and I, plus a few other tables. On a rainy September Monday night, we weren’t expecting things to get too bustling. By 8pm however, we were pleasantly surprised by the increasing number of diverse diners. Tables of couples, families and friends laughing over dim candle light, to the smell of great cooking (with something to prove)  – we were in for a treat it seemed.

The abundant wine selection was winking at us from the impressive fridge behind the zinc-finished bar. If you fancy something light with a glass of wine, there’s the vol au vents (one for £2.50, two for £4.50 or three for £6). Our favourites were the creamed girolles, new season garlic and thyme, and Cardigan Bay shrimps, smoked paprika and rapeseed mayonnaise.

Fresh bread is served with fig infused butter – a flavour that permeates across the menu. Rich, sweet and slightly sharp too, it was the perfect beginning.

bread at wellbourne

For supper, starters range from £7.50 (Red Russian tomato, fresh chestnut, basil and wild horseradish) to £9 (Charred lettuce, south coast crab, peanut and tagetes). D had the crab which melted in the mouth. It was so fresh and the simple presentation added to the honesty of the ingredients. My quail with cumin leaf, white radish and golden raisins was tasty (particularly the quail itself) – but perhaps better suited to those with a penchant for bitter notes.

quail at wellbourne

Mains start at £14 (violet aubergine, pistou, sesame and dandelion) rising to £20 (Veal, new season onions, mustard leaf and rapeseed dressing). My duck with wild sour cherries and sea beet was, again simply presented (part of the charm), cooked to perfection and the cherries made the whole dish pop. Even better was the veal – soft, succulent and earthy.

All puddings are £7.50. The slow cooked chocolate fondant with crushed fig leaf Arbequina olive was the star of the show for me. Pure, melted dark chocolate (rather than the typical small sponge format) is surrounded by chocolate soil – a chocolate lover’s fix.

Figs, mascarpone, sage and fresh honeycomb wasn’t too far behind the showstopper. The fresh, rich figs, creamy mascarpone and sticky honeycomb transported us straight back to our summer spent on the Amalfi coast a few years ago.

The service was the best I’ve had in a while and the décor, flavour combinations and dish presentation were intriguing and fresh.

During the daytime, you can order open sandwiches, vol au vents, bars snacks including crispy pig ears and olives (both £3) and there’s a quirky brunch menu – complete with favourite brunch dish of the moment, avo on toast, along with options such as hot smoked mackerel with wild horseradish on crumpets.

Overall, Wellbourne is very much a welcomed addition to Bristol’s ever-growing restaurant scene. The atmosphere is low key, yet refined and I’ve heard on the grapevine it can get pretty buzzy as the night goes on. The menu isn’t extensive but you know every dish on there has been carefully crafted and cooked with the utmost care. The prices are high for the mains considering the smallish size, but the starters, desserts and other daytime options are very reasonable.

I will be back – specifically to have that slow cooked chocolate fondant once again.

Visit Wellbourne website here for more information and the full menu.




Don’t Be A F***ing No Show, Bristol



Don’t be a Fucking No Show

This is an article I’ve wanted to write for a long time, but the recent chaos that the snow caused in Bristol reminded me to get on with it – as apparently our lives had to stop and we all lost our minds. Restaurant no shows are becoming a real problem in Bristol, especially for our independents. They’re losing money, and if we’re not careful we’ll lose them.

I do understand that plans/life can change, I don’t want to hold a gun to your head and force you to stick to every plan you’ve ever made. However, there are some very easy rules to follow if you want to go out and enjoy a lovely meal at one of our restaurants. They’re called manners. Simple, basic manners.

1. If you book somewhere and then your plans change, maybe you were snowed in or you got sick? Call and fucking cancel!

If you were going to meet a mate and then you couldn’t make it would you just think “ah fuck it, they’ll work it out when I don’t turn up”. No, you’d call, apologise and make new plans (unless you’re a complete prick). If the restaurant knows you aren’t coming they can try and find someone to fill your place, especially if they are popular and have waiting lists – but they need to be allowed the time to do that.

2. Don’t make multiple bookings and then choose one closer to the date and cancel the rest.

This is still complete fuckery. How hard is it for you to make up your mind? Why does the restaurant have to pay for you being a complete wet flannel? It seems that this is quite a common “thing” for people to do and think it’s ok if they cancel far enough in advance, and fair that takes away some of your dickishness, however, there are lots of other people trying to book restaurants. What if they call and can’t book because you’re holding a table just because “you can’t decide” and then they go somewhere else and then you cancel – see how cuntish this is? You’re basically a German hogging a sun bed on holiday, even though you spend all of your time in the pool. (Sorry for the horrible stereotype to my German friends.)

3. You are a grown ass person, start acting like one. The restaurant does not need to call you to remind you of an appointment you made.

Put it in your diary and sort your life out. I am a self-confessed idiot when it comes to organising my life and I still know when I’m booked to eat somewhere (mainly because I get all the food feels and think about what I’m going to eat for days pre-booking). If you fuck up, and we all do it, call to apologise. If the restaurant calls you, apologise. Don’t hang up, or pretend like life isn’t happening outside of your bubble.

That’s it. Three simple points. In summary, if you make a restaurant booking turn up to it, if you can’t make it apologise and cancel, don’t book multiple restaurants and then select your chosen one closer to the date, if you fuck up make sure you apologise. BASIC FUCKING MANNERS.



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Bristol’s First Ever Seabin Could Be Coming To Harbourside



Crowd funder for a Seabin in Bristol

You may not have noticed but Bristol’s harbourside is filled with rubbish, plastic and pollutants.

However ‘The Bristol Seabin Project’ is looking to increase clean up efforts by raising enough money for Bristol’s first ever Seabin.

What’s a Seabin I hear you ask?

sea bin

Well it’s essentially a bin that can catch;

  • 90,000 plastic bags/pieces of debris a year
  • an estimated 1.5 Kgs of floating debris per day (depending on weather and debris volumes) including microplastics up to 2 mm small

seabin catch

And how does a Seabin work?

It will cost £3,000 to get Bristol it’s first Seabin and in the last few days over £2,585 has been raised and it’s looking likely that the target will be hit.

The project has managed to get the full go ahead from Bristol City Council, Harbourmaster and several other organisations now with more support coming in everyday.

You can help the project hit the goal even faster by donating here 

More about Bristol SeaBin Project






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The Downs Bristol Tickets Go On Sale



downs festival
Credit Chris Cooper

Forget the snow, this is the most Bristolian thing you’ll do all summer

Yep, it’s a winter wonderland out there. Bristol looks beautiful in the snow, people have been skiing down Park Street, making snowboards out of ironing boards, and being good Samaritans helping cars and people out of the snow. Bristol, you’re good in the snow. But, know what you’re also good at Bristol? The summer, with a pint of cider in hand and amazing music in your ears.

So, for one minute let’s delay that snow angel, hold fire on the snowball fight, put the toboggan fashioned from a bin lid down because tickets for The Downs are on sale- RIGHT NOW! And this year looks like the best one yet. We’ve got Noel Gallagher, Paul Weller, Orbital, Basement Jaxx, The Heavy and Goldie and the Heritage Ensemble all playing at what will be Bristol’s biggest outdoor music event. Sweet Bristol goodness!

If you are among the Bristol hardcore today then you can get your ticket in person from the Bristol Ticket Shop in Broadmead and The Love Inn at Stokes Croft.

For the rest of us we can just get the via, and



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