The Apple, Welsh Back: Food Review

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Mick Dickinson of BuzzedUp heads to The Apple on Welsh Back for a midweek al fresco lunch…


What could be better than sitting in dappled sunlight while nursing a cool, fresh apple juice in the sure knowledge that someone would be delivering a picnic hamper to your table in the next ten minutes?


The Apple - Apple Juice


If there is such a feeling as ‘lazy anticipation’ then that was what my partner and I felt as we awaited lunch at The Apple on Welsh Back. Bristolians know this large Dutch barge, moored right at the end of King St, for its cracking ciders and perries, the large quayside terrace and proximity to the theatre and other night-time haunts. But we were there to sample the Farmhand’s Picnic Banquet for Two (£19.50 – see food menu here), a very generous and unexpected gift.

The Apple is a great place for people-watching and a summer’s day certainly brought out a fine selection of lost-looking tourists, business people having a sharpener before the next meeting, gaggles of mums with buggies and relaxed locals settling in for a session in the sun.

The Apple’s excellent choice of music should be noted without further ado: The Verve’s Forth, Paul Weller and Nina Simone all drifted out of the deck bar as our hunger notched up a gear.

And then the feast arrived – the picnic is presented in a simple hamper from which one tucks into a beautifully presented array of locally sourced goodies, and we dived in happily.


The Apple - Picnic Hamper


Our Murray’s Pork Pie was the perfect size for two and had crisp pastry and no fat, but was otherwise unmemorable. A big thumbs-up for the duck and peppercorn paté — “I don’t want the paté to end” — and the Manchego Cheese, Applewood Smoked Cheddar and three tasty chutneys served up with hunks of soft white bread. The jury was out on the pickled eggs, which seemed a nice idea at the time, but which looked lonely on our plates at the end.

The picnic is rounded out with lots of good crackers, a couple of bags of crisps and a Tunnocks caramel wafer. I have a personal gripe against most UK restaurant side salads as they invariably disappoint; our inoffensive mixed leaf salad did little to change my mind. To be fair, The Apple is not pretentious, and we very much enjoyed a tasty picnic in the sun washed down with the boat’s trademark juice: a lovely harbourside setting with plenty going on, simple, honest food, satisfying, filling and good value.


This picnic was won in a competition that The Apple ran on Twitter.


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