Harbour House, The Grove: Review

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If you’ve wandered down The Grove recently, you’ll have spotted that Severnshed disappeared during lockdown. In its place, you’ll find Harbour House: a new all-day pub and lounge that now resides at the former boathouse beside the river.

With its lofty, open space and terrace overlooking the water, it’s easy to implement social distancing measures at Harbour House. And it’s beautifully decorated, too, with plenty of seafaring and Bristol memorabilia on the walls, and a mixture of both regular tables and more casual, cosy seating.

 

Harbour House, The Grove - Interior 1

Harbour House, The Grove - Interior 2

 

The toddler and I were sat bang in the middle of the open plan kitchen and the enormous bar – and while the place was quiet when we arrived for our lunch, it filled up pretty quickly.

 

Harbour House, The Grove - Bar

Harbour House, The Grove - View

 

Waiting staff were masked, which was good to see – it’s not been the case everywhere we’ve eaten since COVID-19 struck – and our order was taken via tablet, meaning less contact between waiting staff and the kitchen team. Our server was incredible – very friendly, interacting well with my toddler and being patient while waiting for him to say thank you – as well as having the awareness not to put plates and glasses directly down in front of him!

The food menu is very much of the gastropub ilk: think brunch dishes, Caesar salads, fish finger sarnies, burgers, and plenty of vegetarian and vegan offerings, from their summer risotto to vegan burgers and gnocchi dishes. There’s a set lunch menu too, as well as Sunday roast offerings – plus a kids’ menu priced at £5.95 for a main and drink (or add an extra 99p for ice cream to finish).

It was the chicken schnitzel (£14) that caught my eye – something I’ve not had in a restaurant for years – served with a fried egg, sauerkraut, mixed salad and fries. And it was ok. The chicken was slightly overdone but nicely seasoned, and while the egg yolk was still soft enough to dip the slightly over-salted chips, it had more of a deep-fried texture round the edges that suggested it had been cooked swimming in oil. The sauerkraut was pretty good – crunchy and with a relatively mild fermented flavour – and while the mixed salad turned out just to be leaves, it was nice and fresh, dressed with what tasted like a decent quality olive oil.

 

Harbour House, The Grove - Chicken Schnitzel

 

The small person chose the risotto with peas, tomato and basil from the kids’ menu (surprisingly choosing this over his normal fish goujons preference). It was certainly a generous portion, and while I was surprised that the tomato was just raw chunks on the side, he (and I) loved the risotto’s fresh and light flavour: summer in a bowl.

 

Harbour House, The Grove - Kids Risotto

 

The dessert menu is currently pretty small, and the ice cream selection limited (Oscar had a choice of salted caramel or vanilla for his kids’ portion, but we were promised this would be extended down the line). For the grown ups, the sticky toffee pudding with vanilla ice cream (£6) is one of four options on the menu – and it wasn’t what I’d expected. The pudding itself was soft and light, not too rich, with a few slivers of date that had sunk to the bottom. I was a bit surprised at the lack of sauce: a few softer bites suggested that there was some there, somewhere, but it could have done with more – without the vanilla ice cream it would have been far too dry.

 

Harbour House, The Grove - Sticky Toffee Pudding

 

A little hit and miss, all in all – but with our meal half-price (we ate during August) we couldn’t complain. The service was fantastic, and it’s a beautiful place to sit and eat or drink. I think it’s incredibly for any venue to open during the current climate, and I wish the Harbour House team every success.

 

One Response to Harbour House, The Grove: Review

  1. Pingback: Harbour House, The Grove: Review – Bristol Bites – Food Blog

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