Jess has been hard at work in Bristol finishing up her PCGE and has raved about the place since she arrived last September.
So off we went, Maddie and Lucy went on the Saturday followed by Arione and myself on Sunday. It was the perfect bank holiday weather, so lovely and warm that I bravely went without a coat. (*this was an error, never trust British weather)
We had a long lunch catching up with each other before sadly it was time for Lucy to head off back to London.
After deciding we didn't really fancy a night out, we tried to find a restaurant that could take us on a bank holiday Sunday. Jess had plenty of places up her sleeve but sadly there was no room at the inn. Finally The Cowshed came up trumps and offered us a late table. We accepted it gratefully and decided the best way to kill the time was.....
Then we headed off to The Cowshed for a long, late dinner. How grown up!
It was such a beautifully decorated place with so much thought put into everything. We felt like we were having dinner in someones house it had such a cosy atmosphere.
I loved the paintings and all the furnishings.
Opening the menu I immediately wanted to order everything and there were some tough decisions ahead, but I bravely made it through the other side.
We kicked off with starters, it was go big or go home at this point we had decided.
I opted for the roasted quail on creamed celeriac, spinach with a cherry jus. Really quite amazing, actually all of it was.
Maddie had mussels in a bacon and cider sauce with bread for dunking.
Jess really hit it out of the park with her starter of poached duck egg on soda bread with cured ham and broad bean and pea fricassee. It may not look like much but...
Look at that yolk
I mean seriously. She gave me a mouthful and it was just heavenly rich goodness.
Arione went with her favourite of scallops with shaved spring vegetables and a sherry caramel.
Silence descended as we tucked in.
I was already excited for mains and they certainly didn't disappoint.
I have a rule that I never order chicken in a restaurant because, to be honest, chicken is pretty boring. I ate my words when Maddie and Arione's meals arrived. This was no boring chicken.
Ive tried to capture it from every angle so you can see its full glory.
May I present, the tasting of chicken which includes: a mini kiev, a pan roasted breast, a ballotine made out of the leg and stuffed with spinach and a chicken "lollipop". All brought together with a wild mushroom sauce, tender stem broccoli and a potato fondant.
No boring plate. The best bits were the kiev and the ballotine and the lollipop certainly had a kick!
We all oohed and ahhed and then Jess and I asked to try bits.
Jess had the confit pork belly with scallops, carrot puree and an apple fennel and potato salad.
I opted for the lamb which was both griddles rump and confit neck sitting on top of shallot puree and wild garlic. Wild garlic is one of my favourite things so it was a pretty tasty plate.
Then I was cheeky and swapped my new potatoes to dauphinoise because how can anyone had new potatoes when there are dauphinoise to be had?
We munched and talked our way through mains and by the time our plates were empty we were stuffed and had to reject the pudding menus.
We then continued to sit and finish off our wine as the restaurant emptied around us and the waiters were making it clear that they would really like us to go home now so they could to.
The Cowshed was honestly one of the best meals I've had in ages, both for company and food.
My only tiny niggle was that service was a touch slow but it hardly mattered as we were in for the long haul and we also appreciate that they were filled to the brim!
I'd love to go back to sample more of there amazing menu. Have a snoop on the website if you fancy it. It's so easy to get down to Bristol from London if you ever fancy a weekend away!