I need to make a massive apology to Josh and the team at Venue 35, Westbury-on-Trym, for the massive delay in posting this blog review from the Bristol Coeliac Group’s Christmas meal at the venue. Due to personal reasons things have been a little busy of late and blogging has had to take a back seat, but I think this review was worth the wait…
Towards the end of last year we floated around some venue suggestions for the group’s Christmas meal. Having been to The Townhouse the previous year, we wanted to try somewhere different and I’d heard good things about Venue 35 and in particular how much of their menu is gluten free, but I wasn’t sure if its location would be suitable for those in the group that travel quite a way to come to our monthly meals.
It turns out that there was nothing to worry about as those that could attend overwhelmingly agreed that we should give it a go. I got in touch with the venue and had regularly chats with the manager Josh to make sure everything was well prepared for the meal.
Before I come to my review, here’s a little bit more information about Venue 35, taken from their website:
Come to us for the best in the area. Venue35 Café Bar is a fully licensed premises in Westbury-on-Trym, Bristol. Come by today and choose from our amazing menu. In our cafe, we offer breakfast, lunch and early dinner seven days a week.
Venue35 Café Bar is proud to say that our premises have been rated five stars by the Food Standards Agency. This shows that we have the highest of standards across our premises, giving you the best possible service. Ensure that your family has the best tasting food in the cleanest premises – drop by our place today.
Our young family business has gone from strength to strength since its inception four years ago, and looks set to just get better and better. We’re family oriented and have tons of space in our cafe for mums to bring their babies and toddlers. Enjoy the spacious outside areas as well as our many suites, and try our delicious food made from locally sourced ingredients.
Due to the number of people attending we were asked if we could pre-order our menu choices a couple of weeks in advance of the meal.
Now, I normally hate doing this as it’s quite time consuming to sort, but for a Christmas meal you can totally understand why this would be needed, especially when they had so many great options, most of which were gluten free! 🙂
As you can see from the menu on the right, there were so many options and at a reasonable price for a Christmas menu too.
I’d looked at a few others menus and some were a lot more expensive, but yet had far less choice for us coeliacs, and as the group had already agreed that we wanted a traditional Christmas meal, you can see why Venue 35 ticked all the boxes!
Rich and I were the first to arrive at the venue (I always like to arrive early to make sure everything is going smoothly before everyone else arrives!) and having never been to the restaurant before, I was very impressed with the amount of space in the venue and also with how Christmassy it was. There was a lovely Christmas tree, decorations and crackers on the tables!
The other members of the group arrived soon afterwards and after a quick introduction from Josh and a round of complimentary bubbles or elderflower presse, the starters were soon presented.
I had chosen the creamy smoked salmon, leek and potato soup for my starter, as I do love a good soup, but also because I was intrigued as to how salmon would work in a soup! Well, the answer to that was very well indeed!
The soup was extremely smooth and creamy, whilst still being full of flavour. It was great that you could individually taste all of the key ingredients and the gluten free bread was lovely too. I think it’s fair to say that other members of the group also enjoyed this starter…. 🙂
On to the main course and for this one I had chosen the traditional turkey option, which is strange for me as I tend to go for alternative options as I eat so much turkey over Christmas, but sage and onion stuffing will always win it for me!
Above is a photo of the main course itself, before I had even added the extra vegetables to my plate! How utterly immense is this! Venue 35 are certainly very generous with their portion sizes, but along with the good portions comes first class quality. This course was outstanding – perfectly cooked, seasoned and just quite generally amazing!
The only problem with such a big main course, is how are you going to manage a dessert?? Well, there’s always a way isn’t there! Especially when it’s a chocolate brownie that looks like this….
Presentation is clearly also a bit part of Venue 35, as this dessert looked magnificent, but it also tasted pretty good too! This has to be one of the best gluten free brownies I’ve had and the accompanying sauces were immense too. Wonderful!
So, all in all, I think it’s fair to say that I had a lovely meal at Venue 35 and this was echoed by comments from the rest of the group both at the venue and on Facebook once everyone had returned home.
Thank you to everyone at Venue 35 for their service on the night and also thanks to the rest of the group for coming along and being great company! 🙂
This is certainly a restaurant that we would all highly recommend if you’re looking for a gluten free venue and are happy to travel that little bit further out of town – it’s definitely worth it!