Opened just over a year ago, the Canteen is housed in a fully restored Grade II listed 19th century church building in Clifton and since its opening, the venue has been living up to the River Cottage reputation for fine food and a unique cooking philosophy.
In fact, the awards are already rolling in: winner in the Taste of Bristol category at the Destination Bristol Tourism and Hospitality Awards, and winner of the 2014 Open Table Diners Choice Awards. Not a bad start, but with the calibre of pedigree it has behind it, it’s hardly surprising.
The River Cottage name first burst onto our small screen in 1998 when Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall brought his own brand of cooking to the, frankly, slightly over-subscribed celebrity cookery brigade who introduced glamour to the cooking pot! Ah, who remembers the days when there was just Fanny Craddock and her Johnny to watch?
Although the River Cottage headquarters in the south-west is perhaps the most familiar venue, with its Cookery and Chefs’ School and fine dining experiences, River Cottage Canteen at Bristol has joined the other two such outlets, at Plymouth and Axminster to offer the very best in contemporary dining.
River Cottage Canteen serves people in the true meaning of the phrase: daytimes offer a dedicated children’s menu and for those who want to sample the goods, there is the option of ordering half portions (just in case the Asian spiced southwest whiting curry with steamed Oshitoshi vegetable salad is too much for your taste buds!)
Alive with the Sound of Music
The Canteen is always offering something different, including monthly regulars Veg Out, Spice Night, Cocktails and Sharing Boards along with a host of River Cottage evenings, the next being Veg and Hedge with John Wright.
And to cook the meals, the Canteen uses a Rational SCC101 electric WE machine, which comes with an automatic two year warranty should anything go wrong. Not that the Canteen is particularly concerned, as they have AC Services (Southern) to call on should the need arise.
As Hugh himself pointed out at the time of the Canteen opening,
“The best seasonal local produce is always at the heart of the River Cottage approach to cooking, and we are very much looking forward to celebrating and contributing to the vibrancy of the local food community in Bristol.”
Job done so far, Hugh. Veg and Hedge, a dining experience hosted by River Cottage TV series favourite, John Wright is taking place on Tuesday 30th September . Why not trot along and see what the fuss is all about?