Food Reviews Restaurants

The Ethicurean, Barley Wood Walled Garden, Bristol

Entrance to The Ethicurean restaurant, Bristol

We ate at The Ethicurean almost a month ago so this review has been quite a while in the making. This is because every time I’ve sat down to write it, I’ve been rushed and not able to give it the care it deserves. Hands down, The Ethicurean is one of the best places I’ve ever eaten in my life.

The experience was steeped in romance – it was a surprise visit, coupled with the new Ethicurean cookbook which was presented to me by my other half only once we were sat down in the beautifully rustic restaurant. With all of this in mind, you could say I’m typing on a rose tinted keyboard. But honestly, I don’t think so. And fantastic reviews by The Guardian and Foodie Bugle back me up!


‘Ethicurean’ adj. ‘the pursuit of fine-tasting food whilst being mindful of the effect of one’s food production and consumption on the environment’ 

The name of the restaurant sums up their whole ethos perfectly. Housed within the picturesque victorian Barley Wood walled garden with a vista of rolling hills, this place is run by a small team of family / friends. The menus are small, incredibly seasonal and change daily, showcasing the produce grown around them. Tucked away in a crumbly old greenhouse, adjacent to artists studios, this place feels magical, secret and special.

To start I went for the chilled beetroot soup & horseradish creme fraiche. Dave had the rabbit rillettes, anise yoghurt, apple & cucumber pickle.  The first thing which struck me was the stunning presentation – easily as good as some Michelin starred plates I’ve seen in the past. My soup was stunning, the earthy flavour of the beetroot was incredible. The rabbit was soft and perfectly seasoned. We polished both dishes off in what felt like seconds!!
Beetroot soup at the Ethicurean
For our mains we had confit duck leg, burnt onion, potato cake & pickled mushrooms. Again, this was a stunning dish to look at. The duck melted away from the bone and the burnt onion puree was so good, I was surreptitiously running my finger along the plate to get every last bit!
confit duck leg, burnt onion, potato cake & pickled mushrooms.

For pudding we shared the milk stout & chocolate steamed pudding, milk stout chocolate sauce & double cream and the British artisan cheese course. Obviously we paid for all 3 of the cheeses on offer. These were all locally sourced; a mature cheddar, a ewes milk cheese and my favourite – a soft and creamy dorset blue, and came with a sharp piccalili and a deliciously rich apple & cumin chutney.

British artisan cheese course at The Ethicurean
milk stout & chocolate steamed pudding, milk stout chocolate sauce & double cream
I just had to share the below pics – silence descended as we devoured the milk stout pudding. Our faces say it all. Heaven. The recipe is in the cookbook so I’ll definitely be trying to recreate it at home soon! Watch this space.
Enjoying a fantastic pudding at The Ethicurean

Take veg home

Before we left, we took a long walk around the grounds and stopped in the ‘honesty shed’ to grab some things for the next few days dinners and we even watched our rainbow chard being picked. We hardly had any cash on us otherwise we’d have bought everything in sight because the quality of the produce was stunning! In summary, this place blew us away in both its beauty and the tastes. I would highly recommend The Ethicurean to anyone wanting a special meal. Price wise, I felt it was reasonable at around £40 – £50 a head including drinks.

Picking freshly grown chard in an allotment
Winter squash for sale at the Barley Wood walled garden in Bristol
Find The Ethicurean on twitter and online or even better, go visit them: 

Square Meal


  1. WOW! It looks absolutely beautiful there. The aesthetics and consideration of the setting is almost as important as the food itself as it really can set the atmosphere of a restaurant. Romantic is definitely the right word by the looks of these photos!

    That pudding has my stomach rumbling too! ♥

  2. Thank you ladies for your comments – it really was fabulous and that pudding.. OMG!! Plus.. if you head down there from the Midlands you can hit up the amazing Gloucester Services on the way home! 🙂

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