Restaurant reviews aren’t really my thing - I’m not a food critic nor am I aiming to become one. Honestly, I try to stay away from the fancy, this-rated, that-rated places and instead, stick to the low-key joints that serve up delicious, simple, mostly healthy food. But there are some restaurants around the world that I have come across that I do think are worth mentioning because they have a special something. Whether it be handmade pasta cut to perfection, a walled garden just outside its doors, or it’s location is in the middle of a rice field in Bali. These are the food places that get me excited and these are the ones that I like to write about.
The Ethicurean. Where to begin? Picture an enormous secret garden secluded within a 10 or 12-foot high brick wall that is strung on all four walls with ivy vines and ropy roots. Inside the walls are rows and rows of flowering shrubs, trees bearing fruit, veggies of all sorts, bees buzzing to and fro, and little benches strategically placed so that you can watch all this and more play out before you.
At the top of the garden is the restaurant. The old greenhouse has been converted into the dining room so you can sit and look out the tall windows into the garden as you eat your meal. The room is simply decorated with white walls, fresh flowers on the tables, bottles of homemade cider, and perhaps a few jars on the windowsills filled with fermenting goodies or preserved bits.
And the food. So simple and so incredibly good. Everything on the menu is crafted almost entirely of the food grown right on the property. The menu changes twice daily - lunch and dinner - depending on what fresh ingredients are available. And everything is seasonal. Lunches are a la carte (their Cheddar & Cider Welsh Rabbit (rarebit) is always available for lunch, and it is beyond incredible) and dinners are a set 2-5 course menu with a vegetarian option.
I ate here twice when I was in England and I would go back in a second if I ever find myself in the area again. They also do events like their annual Wassail which would no doubt be a celebration to remember.
How to get there: The Ethicurean is located about half an hour south of Bristol at Barley Wood Walled Garden, Long Lane, Wrington, BS40 5SA, GB
Cost: The full feast dinner (which I think is the only way to experience The Ethicurean) is £46 per person excluding drinks
Things to know: Closed on Monday’s. Reservations are a must. It is a true farm-to-table restaurant so you might find some grit in your salad.
Want the Ethicurean in your kitchen? Check out their coffee table-worthy cookbook here