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The Clifton
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Rating: 4.9/10 (3 votes cast)

The Clifton

The Clifton is situated in the heart of Clifton Village and has a reputation as being a bit of a trendy bar. Its located in the perfect ‘main street’ spot for passing trade, just down from the junction of Royal York Crescent and Regent Street, and has a sufficiently good reputation with the locals that it is pretty busy throughout lunchtimes. Booking is a good idea but not critical to getting a table as far as I could tell.

It’s a sizeable pub with a front ‘bar style’ dining room and a much larger seating area come restaurant to the rear. In the summer if you’re lucky you can opt for street side seating as well, but you’ll have to be there early to get these.

We visited on a fairly chilly day and I have to say that inside it was a bit cold for comfort. The room is large and open plan with a big sky light, which may well have made it feel colder than it was, plus the 2 imitation fires were not kicking out much heat, however it is important to make the room comfortable and we were not the only ones still wearing coats inside. The chill was not helped by the fact that we waited over 30 mins for our food to arrive.

At £13 for beef or pork, I was a bit surprised to have to pay an extra £3.50 for a side of cauliflower cheese and felt definitely hard done by when they produced a finger bowl with 2 lumps of cauliflower nestled within it, that said however the overall quality of the food was very good. I had the beef which was lovely and well cooked (still a little pink) though there were moans about the pork not coming with any crackling.

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Rating: +2 (from 4 votes)

In essence we all left full and contented, but I have to say that for the price, the experience wasn’t as good as it could have been. A slightly warmer room, warmed plates for the food (or hotter food in the first place) and swifter service would have been appreciated. The service itself was good and the staff were very pleasant and friendly but speed of order to bellyful could be improved.

It’s the quality of the meat that has saved The Clifton from getting a lower score.

 

16 Regent Street, Bristol BS8 4HG
visit The Clifton’s website

3 Comments

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  1. Mr Vernon says
    23/11/2013, 5:56 pm
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    Nice pub in a nice part of town. BUT… and that is a big BUT… we waited over an hour for our meal and when it came it was, to put no finer point on it, bloody awful. The meat was rubbery. The potatoes were inexcusibly rubbish – no crunch, no flavour…

    It was utterly dire. And was surprisingly the only place free when we were searching for a roast that particular sunday… moral of the story: book ahead and go somewhere else.

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  2. Lunch with a View
    Lunch with a View says
    20/01/2013, 9:44 pm
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    I’ve always quite liked the look of the Clifton, with its large spaces that use a few pieces of eclectic furniture and lighting that’s mashed together amongst the more typical wooden barstools stuff. I particularly like the large bay window onto the world that encourages passersby to look inside and see warm and toasty Sunday lunchers feasting, drinking and being merry. Once in though you do wonder if they know where the thermostat is. Okay it was a cold day, but the need for coats on inside?

    With a smidgen of a hangover and a growling belly and a chill in the air I might have been unintentionally focusing on the time that lunch was taking to arrive. At about 30 mins it did feel a bit long. As I say there were other factors at play and may be I’m an impatient Englishman, after all by French standards that was probably just enough time to think about the Pastis your going to quaff as an aperitif. In any event we tucked in promptly as your liable to do on a chilly day and the service was warm and friendly and that made up for the wait.

    The food was also very good. The beef particularly so, tender, pink and full of flavour. The veg and the Yorkshire pud were certainly better than average. The roasties, hmmm, not sure it’s a good idea to leave the skin on a potato when roasting, they were kind of a cross between roast and boiled but didn’t quite know which.

    On price I thought it a little expensive, particularly when you had to pay for additional bits and pieces like creamy leeks and cauliflower cheese. However, it wasn’t extortionate and the portions were good if not plate busting.

    Overall it was a good, positive experience. I would certainly go back, may be in the summer, and next time I might have a pudding….if only someone had caved in first I might have gone for one this time….

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  3. HungryHoddie
    HungryHoddie says
    20/01/2013, 5:58 pm
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    Almost blown in through the doors, thanks to the ice cold wind from outside, we stamped our snow covered boots in the welcome mat of this well presented pub in the heart of Clifton.

    A large bar separates two main areas, front and back. The front seems to have more of a “saloon” feel, while the back maintains the aura of a food focused pub. The large food serving prep area that juts into this back room leaves the potential diner in no doubt that they mean business. It also means you start getting the delightful smells coming from the kitchen – a better mechanism for creating hungry patrons you’ll not find.

    Once seated, we chose from the offered roasts of beef, 1/2 chicken, belly of pork or nut roast (heretics!). Fans of lamb, however, will be left lamenting. Our order was placed with a roving waitress (who helpfully and happily took our order), but I think you’re supposed to order at the bar.

    It was at this point our entire table noticed that we’d all left our coats on. It was just slightly colder than is comfortable. Some fake electric fires drew their strange back lit “faux flames”, but sadly emitted no heat. We weren’t hugging each other for warmth, but a little hotter would have been better.

    Within the space of a slightly-longer-than-normal wait (30 minutes), our roasts arrived. Presentation was pretty good. One member of our party commented that the gravy smelled “of Bovril” but I thought aroma was good.

    Tucking in with standard “slight hangover” Sunday gusto we all piled in. One of my personal methods of measuring general satisfaction of a meal round a table is how long the initial silence lasts from when we start eating. Based of this very scientific measurement, the meals were a big success.

    My pork was excellent, but crackling was conspicuous only by it’s absence. No real deal killer, but a little odd. Yorkshire was a good one. Potato’s were a slightly strange “skin on” affair, but there were tasty, if a little under-crisp for my liking. Veg was good and not over cooked. We’d ordered sides (Cauliflower cheese and leaks in white sauce). At £3.50 a pop, they tasted good, but it was simply a too small a portion. Not good for their value-for-money mark.

    Pud’s looked great, but we restrained ourselves. I’d love a crack at some of them on another occasion, though.

    And will there be another occasion? Most definitely. With roasts this good, it won’t be long before we’re back. Just remember to take a coat!

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