By Rosie Barden
With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, now is the time to consider some of Bristol’s student-friendly date night spots. Situated close to campus, the following list entails several restaurants and bars which are ideal for an evening with your partner, first date, or friend; they are great locations for any kind of one-on-one and are all tried-and-tested favourites of mine. With the promise of good food, an intimate atmosphere, and a fair amount of candlelight, the list below set their own charming mood to ensure a lovely evening with your loved one. So, whether it’s on Valentine’s Day itself, or just a date-night in general, I’d highly recommend the following places for an assured night of romance and money well spent.
The Coconut Tree, Gloucester Road
The Coconut Tree is a Sri Lankan chain with two restaurants open in Bristol. The inside is extremely appealing; every table is adorned with a candle sat inside half a coconut which adds to the warmth of the atmosphere. It is on the smaller side, but at least this means it’s never too loud to hear what your partner is saying from across the table! The menu is elaborate with a whole page dedicated to vegetarian and vegan options, but there is also a separate menu that is entirely plant based (so if you’re vegan this may be the place to go). Being made up of mainly small plates, it is implied that you order lots of dishes which can be shared – a nice touch when eating out with a partner. The food itself is super flavourful and original, and the servers are welcoming and attentive. Price wise, I couldn’t recommend it more; their cocktails come as cheap as two for £10, and on Monday to Wednesday all food is half price so, with Valentines falling on a Monday this year The Coconut Tree couldn’t be more fitting.
Snobby’s, Chandos Road
Situated in Redland, this quaint Italian restaurant is in close proximity to many of us students. Being somewhat tucked away from any main roads, Snobby’s is fairly understated and a bit of a hidden gem. It is ideal for a romantic dinner; the interior is gorgeous and low-lit, but the heated terrace outside is adorned with fairy lights and blankets are provided so you can cosy up next to your partner on particularly cold nights. The staff are super friendly and can offer great wine recommendations to pair with the food you’ve ordered. The menu is also designed towards sharing and offers a selection of small plates and mini ‘pizzettas’ so you can try multiple things. Their menu is more select, but there remains plenty of vegetarian options and vegan cheese alternatives for all the pizzas. Reasonably priced and delicious, Snobby’s is a delightful little restaurant which is both local and romantic.
Caribbean Croft, Stokes Croft
Located towards Bristol’s city centre, this restaurant is great if you’re planning on going out after your meal as there are tonnes of cool bars and venues nearby. Caribbean Croft has a lively feel to it due to its popularity which creates a friendly, more animated atmosphere. The inside matches the restaurant’s Caribbean theme, and colourful fairy lights are set up around the main bar meaning you could also come here just for drinks. The tables are nicely spread out and adorned with small vases of flowers which is a nice touch on date night. The menu offers traditional Caribbean food with a wide variety of meat, fish, and vegan dishes and is all delicious (cannot stress this enough), as are the cocktails which are 2-for-1 between 5-6:30pm and 9:30-11pm. Overall, this is a memorable place for a date-night dinner, especially when you want to be among a younger, livelier crowd for something a bit more fun.
Clifton Thai, Whiteladies Road
Clifton Thai is one of my favourite restaurants in general and is also a gorgeous spot for date night. Situated on Whiteladies, a few minutes from Clifton Downs, the location is conveniently nearby for many students. The atmosphere is relaxed and quite serene; tables are nicely spaced out and the restaurant is on the smaller side so it can’t get too noisy. The interior is elaborate with the tables being made from ornately carved wood and is candlelit in the evening. The menu has all the traditional Thai curries and dishes you could desire, and each has a meat, vegetarian, or vegan option. They also serve cocktails for a decent price – around the £6 mark. Overall, Clifton Thai is a lovely, quieter place for a chilled date night and especially good Thai food.
The Secret Garden, The Square Club (Berkeley Square)
The Secret Garden is an outdoor venue as part of The Square Club in Berkeley Square. This more luxuriant restaurant and bar is great for drinks in the evening, or drinks alongside your brunch in the day. Somewhat tucked away amongst the townhouses, The Square Club has a large, elegant interior that is particularly fancy – possibly one to save for a special occasion or anniversary – but the terrace, or Secret Garden, has a charming, relaxed feel to it that is very welcoming and really does emulate a garden. The cocktails are classic and delicious (we had espresso martinis) and although slightly on the more expensive side, the venue’s luxury and the high quality of food and drink makes it worthwhile.
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featured image: Rosie Barden
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