Best places to eat and drink in Portishead

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By thepickler | Thursday, June 02, 2011, 16:40

If there's one thing everyone enjoys - it's eating!

Whether it's Indian, Chinese or something more traditional, Portishead has an excellent range of restaurants for the discerning diner.

Here Portishead People gives you the low down on the best restaurants in the growing town.....


I am a real fan of Indian food and for me there is no better place for a Korma than Spicy Aroma in Portishead High Street.

I have visited this restaurant on a number of occasions over the years and the quality of the food and service is always top class.

The restaurant, at Clarence House, is cosy and welcoming and spotlessly clean and the staff friendly and attentive.

I can't say that I am a hot curry eater - I leave that to the male diners in my group -but I am particularly fond of a good korma.

In my opinion, Spicy Aroma serves the best one in Portishead. Tenderly cooked chicken in a creamy korma sauce - curry heaven. I enjoy it with the Sag Paneer - cheese and spinach - and some Bombay Potatoes. There is also a wide range of naan breads to choose from, with the garlic and the cheese naan being a particular favourite of mine. All washed down by a Tiger beer  - it doesn't get much better!. The bar staff also serve up a mean cocktail if requested. I can recommend a Black Russian - delish, but not in large quantities if you don't want a sore head. The great thing about Spicy Aroma is that it also offers a take away service. Great if you fancy a night in with a take away infront of the X Factor! Plus there is a 20 per cent discount on all take outs.

The restaurant also offer a gourmet night on a Thursday night for £12.95 where diners can enjoy any main dish, a vegetable dish, rice, naan and a coffee.

There is also a Sunday buffet for £9.95 per person and a range of delicious set meals available


Bottelinos opened in Portishead at the Mirage Building at Harbour Road. The restaurant chain, owned by the Botta family, had announced plans to open in the town a couple of years ago, but they were  put on hold temporarily.

But when the restaurant finally opened in August this year,  it was well worth the wait for those who had longed for a Bottelinos in the town.

The restaurant is the latest venture for the Botta family which has eight successful Bottelino's restaurants across the south west.

They have spent £500,000 on transforming the ground floor of the landmark building into a light, airy and contemporary 160-seater restaurant which has stunning views across the marina.

The kitchens are open plan so diners can see their meals - and fresh hand-made pasta - being prepared by a team of top chefs.

The food is first class, whether it be a pizza or a pasta dish, there is plenty to tempt everyone.

I have experienced Bottelino's myself and tucked into lobster and salmon. Cooked to perfection, fresh, and utterly delicious.

It was melt in the mouth, quality fayre which I am sure will have customers coming back for more. There is also a great variety of Italian wines, red, white and rose, to sample. Well, it would be rude not to, wouldn't it?

The restaurant itself is bright and airy and the floor to ceiling glass windows ensure diners have a fantastic view across the marina.

The staff are also attentive and friendly, making sure customers have everything they need and that plates and tables are cleared quickly.

The Botta family, which has Bottelino's restaurants in Weston-super-Mare, Emersons Green, Bristol, Nailsea, Bath, Broadmead, Cheltenham, Bedminster and Swindon and has been operating since 1978, say they are delighted to open in Portishead.



Traditional pub fayre

For great pub food, great real ales and a lovely view over the channel, then the only place in Portishead to eat is The Windmill.

A warm welcome awaits you at the Windmill Inn, situated on Nore Road, Portishead. The inn, once called the Hole in One because of its location next to the golf course, benefits from commanding views across the Severn Estuary to the Welsh coastline. The Windmill Inn is very popular in Portishead and the region and prides itself on its excellent service, fresh home-made food and real ale. All food is made on the premises and where possible is locally sourced. The haddock comes from sustainably sourced stocks on the South Coast and freshly cooked in restaurant's own beer batter.

For those wanting to save some cash while still enjoying quality food, The Windmill offers an early bird deal. Diners can choose a main course from the menu or specials board and get a dessert for free. The offer runs from 3-7pm Monday to Friday and from 3-6pm on Saturday. A great place to stop off and eat after work - and that's a personal recommendation!The offer is not available on Sundays or Bank Holidays.

The pub has recently undergone an extensive modernisation programme which has included a double storey extension with a glass fronted wall from which views across the Severn Estuary can be enjoyed.  The interior of the Windmill was redecorated and restyled including a new bar and furniture in light oak to give a modern contemporary feel. An enlarged family area, new kitchen to match the increased seating capacity and new toilet facilities have also been added.

The pub has a large beer garden and car park. I am a regular at The Windmill and can say, hand on heart, it serves the best lasagne I have ever tasted. Oh, and in the summer, try the goat's cheese and chilli jam - it's delicious!



Modern British - A La Carte


The LOCKHOUSE LOUNGE bar and restaurant offers something a little different, with an enviable setting on Portishead Marina.

This unique establishment offers a bar area - formally known as the Lock-keepers Cottage - a superb glass structure restaurant and a terrace.

The award winning restaurant opened in the summer of 2008 and has fast become one of Portishead's favourite eateries.

The team, led by Deborah and Martin, are extremely welcoming, making you feel relaxed from the minute you walk through the door.

The contemporary seasonal British-based menus are proudly compiled using the best local and West Country produce. Fresh menus typically offer a selection of vegetarian, fish and meat dishes, followed by a selection of delicious desserts to make the mouth water.

And it's not just the food that is there to tempt the palete. The distinguished wine and Champagne list is comprised of both established and up-and-coming regions, and, with local bottled ales, beers and ciders to boot, there are no compromises when it comes to quality and choice.

The 52 seater restaurant enjoys outstanding views of the Welsh coastline and Portbury Docks. Diners can choose from an a la carte main course from £11-£18 and  lunch for a fixed price of £13.95.

Prices are for guidance only and diners should check when booking for current rates.

Children are welcome at The Lockhouse and the menu offers childrens' portions. There are disabled facilities and plenty of parking.

Starters include crayfish salad with Clementine dressing while tempting main dishes include mouthwatering darne of salmon with watercress, new potatoes and cauliflower puree.


If you fancy a good night out down the pub, Portishead has a lot to offer the discerning drinker.

Whether you fancy a quiet pint and chat with your mates, something to eat or a boogie with a live band, the town's hostelrys have something for everyone.

One of my favourite pubs is The Poacher in the High Street.

The pub is a central hub of the town and has a good band of locals as well as lots of passing trade and is particularly popular with people popping in for lunch.

The pub also holds regular charity events and live music nights including live mic nights with Kevin Saunders each Wednesday from 7.30pm.

Live music and bands are generally on Friday nights, with the music kicking off at 9pm.

If eating and drinking is more your bag, another fave is The Windmill at Nore Road. The pub has just undergone a large conservatory extension at the rear so diners can enjoy a meal while taking in breathtaking views of the channel and watching the ships as they travel to Royal Portbury Dock.

The pub has a large beer garden at the rear - perfect in the summer - as well as plenty of parking.

It serves a great selection of real ales - with many brews offered as a special tipple - as well as a good range of wines from around the world.

The Albion at Bristol Road is another popular haunt. This is a family orientated pub which holds regular fun days as well as lots of charity events. The pub also hosts monthly live music nights.

It also has big screen televisions and screens special events such as football matches - I've been personally at the atmosphere was great.

The pub, which is part of the GreeneKing chain, offers a wide menu, from snacks for lunch to something more substantial.

Particular favourites among customers are the Shropshire Blue Cheese and the pub's burgers. Oh, and for those fancying a tipple, there are a good range of ales, wines and spirits - and you can double up on these for just £1 extra.

There is plenty of parking at The Albion and there is a garden area with smoking shelter.

The Royal Oak at West Hill is a bit out of town, but a busy pub nonetheless. The pub has karaoke on Sundays and Thursdays as well as live entertainment at the weekend.

Live music fans should also make a note in their diary to visit The White Lion in the High Street.

The pub has recently been given an overhaul and is  a popular haunt for locals with live music a regular feature.

The pub offers a bar menu and a range of ales, ciders and wines. It is a buzzing place to be, especially on a Friday or Saturday night and the locals are friendly. This year the pub held a number of live music events on a stage on the car park of the pub which attracted large crowds. Keep an eye on for details of future events.


Live music is also a regular weekend feature at  Portishead Working Mens Club at Slade Road. The club was first registered in 1936 under the Friendly Societies as a non profit making private members club. Originally for men only, the club is now fully mixed with men and ladies afforded the same rights.

Other watering holes in Portishead.....


* The Phoenix - great cosy pub. Very friendly locals and big screen TV. Garden area and smoking shelter. The pub do a lot of charity events and can be seen each year in the carnival parade!

* The Plough, High Street, - locals pub. Regular live entertainment.  Garden front and back.


What do you think is Portishead's best pub and restaurant and why? Tell us at Portishead People... Review your boozer!



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