Dating; it’s scary stuff innit?! If you aren’t already fretting about what you’re going to wear, there’s also the added pressure of wondering whether the conversation will flow freely, who will decide what the date entails and WHAT IF WE DON’T FANCY EACH OTHER AND WANT TO RUN AWAY.
Here at Foozie, we’re in agreement that there is an abundance of food and drink venues in which to have some wicked dates – after all, who wouldn’t have a great time eating delicious dishes or sipping on creative cocktails?! Food can be a wonderful ice-breaker; however, we recommend perhaps not trying the old lady and the tramp spaghetti move until at least the third meeting.
Whether its a first date or your weekly date night, we’ve chosen some of Bristol’s best spots to indulge in the date night of dreams; from cool, casual, fun and downright romantic, you can take inspiration from us and who knows?! You might even get invited in for ‘coffee’ or ‘Netflix and ‘chill’…
THE STEAK NIGHT
Impress your date with this fancy evening of fine food and wine for if you really fancy pushing the boat out – make sure you dress to impress!
START: Begin the evening with a drop of sherry or a crisp Gin and Tonic at Pata Negra. Why not pull up a stool at the bar and ask for recommendations of their best Fino? (You’ll look like a fancy pants in front of your date knowing your stuff and you might even learn a little bit about Spanish sherry!)
DINNER: Head down into The Ox for a classy affair of prime steaks and delicious wines in the decadent restaurant by candlelight. Why not order the charcuterie sharing board to start your meal off before taking a look at their stonking wine list and cuts of steak.
DRINKS: If all is going well (and it should be after dinner at The Ox!), pop down the road for the cosy, calm atmosphere and rustic settings of Bar Buvette. Find a table in the corner and get to know each other over a few delightful French drops.
THE PIZZA NIGHT
This four-stop pizza and gelato night is an absolute winner. Two Pizzas, one night, and you decide which your favourite is. We’ve chosen two of the best spots in Bristol for the battle, but will it be love at first slice?
FIRST PIZZA: Berthas to share the first pizza (and perhaps take advantage of their cracking Negroni menu). Our recommendations would have to be the Meat & Heat, or the delicious and different Umami Bomb.
SECOND PIZZA: Pi Shop Pizzeria for the second round. Now, we may be biased but the ‘JR’ is pretty special, topped with black olives, basil and anchovies – you won’t find another like it elsewhere.
DESSERT: Grab a couple of scoops at Swoon Gelato, don’t forget that you can try before you buy, which could be fun for you and your date.
DRINKS: Up the ante to round off the evening by visiting The Milk Thistle. You’ll score extra points if your date hasn’t visited before, as they’ll wonder what you are up to knocking on the big secret door.
CURRY & COCKTAILS
Indulge your spicy senses in one of our favourite Indian restaurants before taking on a mini cocktail-crawl nearby.
DINNER: Keep calm and curry on at Indian hotspot Nutmeg. The vibrant and funky restaurant decor will make for a good talking point, but it’s Menu 29 that will delight your senses. Explore traditional Indian cuisine with a few imaginative twists; our highlights include the Monkfish Moli and the slow-cooked beef madras.
COCKTAILS: Head to the kitsch and quirky Amoeba tucked away in Clifton and get cosy amongst the lavish furnishings. These guys know a thing or two about craft beer (with over 70 varieties on tap) and present a cocktail list filled with signature classics and mixologist creations. Why not choose each other a cocktail and rate it out of 10?
MORE COCKTAILS: Step back in time to the prohibition era by moving to Hyde & Co. This gorgeously decadent bar has low lighting, a soft 20’s soundtrack and table service, so you and your date will feel like part of a secret society hidden away from the rest of the world. The New Orleans inspired cocktail menu is full of fantastic drinks, but we’d recommend starting with the ‘Winds of Change’. However, please do ask your server if you are unsure of what to enjoy because they can custom make a cocktail for you, reflective of your taste.
What could be a better way of getting to know someone than when sharing food?! Your hands might even brush against each other’s whilst reaching for that last olive… (no fighting now mind) followed by a movie and some fun cocktails.
START: Where else other than the impeccable Bravas? TIP: make sure you order the aubergine molasses, and thank us later.
MOVIE: We know, we know, going to the cinema means you aren’t able to ‘talk’, but trust us; The Everyman is not your average movie place. Big cosy sofas and candles make the theatre intimate and comfortable, so you can sit close and enjoy table service before the picture starts. In a cinema this special, it would be a shame not to try the old ‘yawning/oh wait I’m putting my arm around you’ trick.
DRINKS: You’re going to want to discuss the film once you come out right? So stroll across the road and into Bar Humbug. This low key long-running Bristol boozer has both inside and outside seating, so take your pick and choose a cocktail.
Perfect for a Friday or Saturday night; enjoy dinner at one of the hottest spots in town before plenty of fun and games in one of Bristol’s most exciting cocktail bars.
START: For the perfect ice-breaker, start with beats and booze at Flipside Cocktail Club. The playlist will get you in the mood for a great evening and there are lots of cosy little nooks to squeeze into and find out more about each other over a few drinks.
DINNER: If there is an eatery that’s going to knock the socks off your date, it’s Pasta Loco. Laid back yet seriously impressive, this fresh pasta joint is not your average Italian. The friendly and upbeat team will make you feel right at home and look after you. We’d recommend some dishes, but we’d be doing the place a disservice as everything is pretty much faultless. We will, however, suggest you try one of Dom’s signature cocktails – he makes a mean espresso martini.
DRINKS: It’s time to bring the fun. There’s only one bar in Bristol where the playlist pumps loud, the cocktails are like nothing you’ve ever seen and you enter through a telephone box… step forward Her Majestys Secret Service. Choose from a whole range of imaginative drinks from passport sized menus and why not sit at the bar to watch them being made? Plus, there’s mini jenga!
Sometimes, you don’t want a pressured, formal date, but more of a casual meeting. This is why burger night is perfect! Get down and dirty with a big bap and once stomachs are lined, head off nearby to some lively bars.
DINNER: City centre favourite Asado is the perfect mix of casual yet upbeat vibes, which makes it perfect for a burger date. With their own playlist on Spotify; your soundtrack for the evening will consist of Latin tracks mixed with old school hip-hop. It’s gonna get messy in here, so perhaps don’t wear white or your best shirt BUT, the burgers are ridiculous and we think if you can chomp on a big beast like these in front of one another, it’s the perfect match. We recommend ordering the rosemary fries, drizzled with the homemade house hot sauce.
DRINKS: After all that eating, you might not want to walk too far – luckily, lively venue Bambalan is a stone’s throw down the road. Weather dependant, you can sit out on the sprawling terrace or park yourselves inside surrounded by the colourful interior. Why not grab drinks and challenge your date to a game of ping pong? Loser buys the next round!
MORE DRINKS: A charming spot with picturesque views next, when you hop on board Under the Stars. Docked on the harbourside; you can choose to sit above deck with views of the water and passers-by, or go below where they often have live music nights. They also have an impressive gin selection, if that floats your boat.
OK, we’re aware it’s October but, summer will return at some point and in the meantime, what’s not to love about beanie hats, big coats and woolly jumpers? These are some of our favourite alfresco spots within the city which are perfect for an outdoors date.
START: The Mud Dock cafe has unrivalled views of Bristol’s harbourside and is a really relaxed place to come for a few pre-dinner drinks. The terrace has the perfect vantage point for watching the sun go down over the water, and you’ll score massive romance points.
DINNER: Having recently had a facelift, the shiny new Riverstation bar and Kitchen is a lovely venue to enjoy dinner whilst overlooking the water. Choose from the more formal restaurant to dine or within the casual bar and kitchen, as there are also two large open terraces. The menu is mostly modern British classics using local, seasonal ingredients.
DRINKS: It wouldn’t be a Bristol alfresco date without paying a visit to The Apple. This barge is a charming little venue to climb aboard or to sit outside on the cobbles. Specialising in ciders and perries, why don’t you and your date try something you’ve not had before? The team here know their stuff and are happy to guide cider-guzzlers and novices through the world of apples.
Sometimes, good old-fashioned romance and making a big effort really pays off, so this intimate date is fantastic for spoiling your loved one rotten and making them feel special.
DINNER: Wilsons has gained a sterling reputation (and rightly so) for keeping things brilliantly simple. This does not just apply to the menu, but to the restaurant itself as well; small, modest and unfussy, it makes for a wonderful and truly unforgettable dinner date. The menu comprises of a few dishes for each course, with the majority of the ingredients coming from owners Jan and Mary’s own plot of land. Enjoy 5* cooking in a warm, welcoming setting and together forget the hustle and bustle of life for a while.
DRINKS: You’ll want to follow up a delicious dinner with something just as good, so hail a cab and stop off at Psychopomp Microdistillery. This small independent Gin distillery runs from the site but also doubles up as a bar, so you can watch the masters at work and admire the copper stills whilst sipping on a Negroni or classic gin and tonic.
A NIGHT ON GLOUCESTER ROAD
If you are after a buzzing atmosphere, Gloucester Road never fails to disappoint. We’ve chosen three banging venues for both food and drinks which guarantee at least a peck on the cheek come the end of the night.
START: Keep it sophisticated with wine at The Library Wine Bar. If you don’t know your Malbec from your Merlot, don’t fret, as owner Louise is more than happy to help and guide you through. Partake in a mini wine tasting session or just ask for some recommendations, the low lighting and candles ensure the evening will start off smoothly.
DINNER: Hugely popular The Gallimaufry is a great spot for some quality plates and a lively vibe. We’d recommend getting a selection of ‘Galli plates’ and sharing between the two of you, that way, you get to try more food and from a menu like this one, you’ll want to eat as much as possible. Sharing is caring as well right, and you’re here to impress.
DRINKS: Just down the road is The Bootlegger, and this is where the party starts. Choose from a huge range of specially created cocktails and maybe even partake in a dance if the evening is going well. The Bootlegger often hosts live music and have DJs on the weekend; so if you want your date to continue into the evening, this venue will do the trick.