My Highlights of 2014 : The Ethicurean - My Birthday + Eat Drink Bristol Fashion

Whilst we are still in the first month I thought I'd share a series of my highlights from last year which I may not have blogged about at the time. First up my favourite foodie experience of 2014...

The Barley Wood Walled Garden and The Ethicurean restaurant located there has been a favourite place of mine to visit for sometime now. We have often been there on weekend afternoons to look around the beautiful gardens, have coffee and a slice of one of their amazing cakes and it has become a bit of a tradition to take friends there when they stay with us for the weekend. Will and I always leave with a veg box teeming with produce from the kitchen gardens. But, despite our many visits, perusing the menu on numerous ocasions and even owning the cook book, until this year (cake aside) I had never actually eaten at The Ethicurean. However, in 2014 this has well and truly been remedied as I have now eaten there twice - sort of. First Will and I visited the restaurant for lunch on my birthday in early March and then in May we treated ourselves to The Ethicurean's takeover at the Eat Drink Bristol Fashion event in Queen's Square. There have of course been a fair few trips for cake and veg as well!
On my Birthday I had a completely delicious three courses and was particularly keen on the starter I chose - a Salad of Goat Bacon (yep, goat), Chicory and Chipotle Crackling Salt. As you can see from the pics above the presentation of their food is simple stunning, with the dessert even being severed up on a beautiful birdy plate that matched my shirt! 

The second time in 2014 we got a chance to try their amazing food the day was a complete contrast to our chilly, windy visit on my birthday, it was a glorious, not-a-cloud-in-the-sky, almost *too hot* kind of a day (remember those?!). But although the weather could not have been more different the food was equally delicious. Eat Drink Bristol Fashion is an annual event held at Queens Square in the centre of Bristol. Across the three weeks, in the festival's pop-up fine dining tipi restaurant, each lunch and dinner service is hosted by different guest chefs and restaurants who showcase their best food with a six course tasting menu. 
The Ethicurean's tasting menu included the goat bacon salad which I tried last time and was only too happy to eat again, as well as 5 other incredible courses. The Poached Pollock with Samphire and Squid ink was a highlight but the main course of Bavette of Gloucester Beef is without doubt one of the best things I ate last year! Oh and THAT Toffee Apple cake of theirs which finished the meal was just perfect! 
As it was an open kitchen and we had seen them working away, after the meal we went to say hello and thank you to Ethicurean's chefs Matthew & Iain Pennington who were so lovely and friendly - they made me happier still by commenting on my Instagram photo later!
It really was a pretty perfect day; once we had left the lovely yellow glow of the Eat Drink tipis we enjoyed a pint of local ale on a hale bale in the sun, complete bliss! I can't wait to frequent Queen's Square again at this year's event.
Well all this reminiscing has got me longing for another trip soon. Luckily enough my Birthday is just around the corner. As I'm sure you've gathered I would highly recommend you paying a trip to the Walled Garden and Ethicurean restaurant yourself, I'm certainly you'll love it and their food too!


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