“A restaurant is a fantasy-
a kind of living fantasy in which diners are
the most important members of the cast.”
I don’t dare to guess how many times I have passed the GlassBoat in a taxi on my way to some other fantastic restaurant in Bristol and every time I have been thinking … next time I will asked to be treated here. Never happen, because everything was always so well planned for our visits .. so I though when I came to Bristol “free” I want to dine there. And at last it has happen and it was so good as I thought it should be. Even better.
Bristol BS1 4SB
Phone: 0117 929 0704
Modern French – £££
Head Chef: Chris Rutherford
Normally I always take notes about what I have been eaten, but that happens more often when I travel alone, in company I always forget. So when I planned to do this review I went to their website and there I found out that they had changed menu. So I dropped them a line and asked them if they had a copy of menu for our evening with them. It took a couple of days then I got an very nice email from their restaurant manager, James .. that was on holiday, but told me that so soon he was back in business he would look into it.
Couple of days later he sent me the menus. What a fantastic service … top class. He have really made our evening more special .. he walked that extra mile so I would be able to name the dishes right in this post. Hat off to James. If I had a restaurant I would nick you!!!!
Looking around on the net I can see that the GlassBoat is a very popular venue for weddings and I understand that so well, because the setting is just beautiful and very romantic. The restaurant is also Swedish owned – something I didn’t now until my friends told me. Arne Ringner is the owners name and he opened the restaurant in 1989.
In 1984, Arne had his big idea: a floating botanical garden on Bristol’s docks. To house this arcadia, Arne and his friend Magnus had found themselves the ideal craft. Built in 1924, the barge Yew Mead.
After spending £500 securing the barge, Arne and Magnus had £850 remaining in their budget. Almost all of that went to the architects, who produced the necessary drawings for planning approval, leaving just £50 for the boat’s furnishings. And see what they manage to do with £50. And no Bristol restaurant has stayed that long under the same owner as the GlassBoat – 26 years. (info: restaurant’s website)
Neither Oscar or me had it in us for the evening – no focus in the shots at all …. only blur. I think it was mostly because we been up since 5.15am for the Hot Balloon ascent, …. the food ones became okay. So I have used images from the restaurant’s website.
Paula and I enjoyed our second evening in Bristol with them, we got the most wired taxi driver .. that didn’t have a clue where he was going and hardly spoke any English, so we arrive a bit late – but the manager just said .. tonight everyone is late. Love that comment.
The restaurant was very busy and very soon all tables were taken, not that many staff – but they had everything under control .. service was very good, relaxed and attentive. No stress at all … not over-fussy, which I hate (the fuss).
My menu for the evening:
Seared sashimi tuna loin, nicoise salad
Rack of lamb, ratatouille, olive jus
Roast beetroots & Minted new potatoes
Melon granita, lemon sorbet
Paula had oysters with a glass of champagne as her starter was followed by “Fillet steak, heritage carrots, girolles” and a great cheese board – she were VERY pleased with everything.
My wine choice became with a glass of each, Grange Des Rocs 2013, Pays d ‘Oc with my starter and fantastic red, Château Haut Mondain 2014, Bordeaux. I could only see French wines on their menu.
I have enjoyed many “Salade Niçoise” – my favorite salad – but I have never had it presented so pretty as the GlassBoat does – it was a symphony a colors and flavors. How lucky was I to get my favorite fish and meat in one evening. Lamb, I have very hard to resit if I see it on a menu.
Lamb was cooked to perfection … and I didn’t need to add any seasoning, I hardly have to … I trust the chefs. The herb crust was spot on and the lamb so tender. Couldn’t been done better. For the roasted beetroots, loved it .. different colors of beetroots. What a fantastic side dish. Wonder why I didn’t take a photo???
The dessert was so refreshing and fantastic combination. Not a sorbet fan, but once in a while .. when the combination of the sorbet and I click. And so we did that evening. Really summery and presented in a nice cocktail glass. I eat with my eyes all the time, sucker for “packaging”.
We had our cappuccino and the damage (bill) that was very moderate for what we had … food quality, presentation, service and drinks. We asked the staff to arrange a taxi for us and they didn’t have good news, about one hour waiting time – it was Saturday evening. But they told us to walk over to the taxi stand by the bridge .. and so we did and got a taxi in less than 10 min. That both knew where he was going and spoke English.
So glad I made it … and there will be a return the “crime scene” at my next visit. The breakfast menu look fantastic and it looks like they can do a perfect poach egg. Always a good sign. *smile
All images expect 3 of mine are provided by and thanks to glassboat.co.uk