Sunday, 20 September 2009


Let me state at the outset that I am well aware that this feeble attempt at a restaurant review is no threat whatsoever to A A Gill who I regard as supreme in this field. (He refers to one of his dining partner's as 'The Blonde'. Since my wife is blonde, I shall do the same without fear of plagiarism!) In case you either don't know him or have not fully appreciated him before let me cite an example of his work.

Describing a visit with friends to restaurant where his group were sitting round a selection of delicious dishes he wrote this:
"The plates came, the forks hung over the table like metal herons in a linen pond...". Poetry!

So the blonde and I found ourselves in The Juniper Restaurant, Bristol. The blonde loves the place for its decor alone which is an amalgam of her favourite colours, purples, mauves and lilacs. It feels intimate with its minimal homely lighting and furnishing and you just feel welcomed and comfortable as soon as you enter.

The waiting staff were naturally friendly and chatty as opposed to forced politeness which led to a pleasant level of banter. For instance having asked for time to rest a while while we finished our wine, the waitress asked me to attract her attention when we were ready. I said I'd stick my leg out as she passed and she laughed and retorted that she would prefer it if I ensured she was empty-handed as I did so.

So foodies, if you're starter consisted of oak-smoked salmon served with welsh rarebit, beetroot pickle, drizzles of mustard sauce and something delicious which I shall name chive & cheese terrine having forgotten how it was described on the menu. This was the best of the three courses by a nose and was truly scrumptious since it achieved what a good starter should by offering the diner the chance to create several different taste combinations. This means that the palate is titivated seductively but without filling you up, leaving you totally ready for the main course.

I chose a bottle of 2008 French Merlot which went very well with our selections, together with a large bottle of sparkling mineral water.

In my case the main dish was duo of organic pork (tenderloin & crispy belly), black pudding, bubble & squeak cake, warm apple & shallot purée and creamy rosemary jus. The tenderloin came as medallions and the belly as a satisfying crispy-topped chunk. This was served with a selection of steamed vegetables which included leeks, carrots, sprouts and cabbage. I thoroughly enjoyed this dish but was pleased to discover that I just about had room for one of the delicious sounding desserts.

My choice was the 'Trio of peaches and cream'. Not that I am greedy or anything, but the more discerning of you will have spotted that my eyes had been drawn to the 'Duo of' and 'Trio of' options! So how do they manage a trio of peaches? The answer is firstly a large ramekin of hot peach crumble (which was to die for). Secondly a scoop of peach and vanilla ice-cream which was just perfect with the crumble. Having consumed those, I still had the delight of the peach trifle which was served in a tall glass topped with whipped cream and mint leaves.

We rounded things off with coffee feeling totally replete and wondering how soon we could justify a return visit.

The prices are not cheap but we regard them as commensurate with the high quality of the food. Our bill including service came to £82 for the two of us. There are various schemes which Juniper is party to which can give you a discount. In our case our dining card took £20 off that bill so we paid £62.

You will gather that I strongly recommend Juniper but as always, I'd advise you to book well ahead because it is very popular.


  1. sounds wonderful it's so nice to find a good place that stays good the trio of peaches has me longing for it all. What pray tell did your platinum partner have? :o)

  2. It all sounds so divine... but what the heck is a bubble and squeak cake?! I do so love some of the British terms, they are so funny (as I'm sure some of our American terms are to you Brits!)

  3. Been a while since I had my palate titivated. You may have missed your calling