Harbour House occupies an enviable position on the stretch of waterfront overlooking the harbour, its terrace in sight of the magnificent spire of St May Redcliffe, and opposite the pastel dappled colours of the serene Georgian terrace at Redcliffe Parade. Naturally there’s a nautical feel about the place but it has a vibe of being happily un-themed, furnished with pictures collected from the past and lots of green plants to create an airy dining space. Lucky for us it was a beautiful evening, and we were offered a table on the terrace, which is a lovely place to eat, decorated with dozens of flowering hanging baskets which were a perfect Instagram opportunity.
The menu prides itself on sustainability and local suppliers majoring in fish and seafood, there are more oysters, mussels, and scallops than you can shake a stick at all supplied by Wings of St Mawes with the promise that the fish on your plate today was swimming in the sea yesterday. I’d taken a sneaky peek at the menu before we arrived, putting whole plaice on my wish-list but discovered the last one had swum onto someone else’s plate bearing out the restaurant’s policy of all fresh today! Everybody’s old friend Reg The Veg supplies the greenery and Gloucester butcher Ben Creese, the meat.
Set up with two foamy glasses of Grolsch (on tap, who could resist) we perused the menu with the gentle peal of St Mary Redcliffe’s bells in the background and the swish of oars as the rowing clubs went about their business below. To start we chose St Mawes smoked haddock kedgeree arancini with coronation dip, and dry-aged beef carpaccio with crispy capers, rocket, shaved Parmesan and truffle oil, then as main courses, Cornish haddock fish and chips and chicken supreme with ‘nduja butter beans, cherry tomatoes and charred hispi cabbage.
So say my dinner companion, the carpaccio was one of the best he’d ever eaten with a delicate flavour and not too oily; the crispy capers being an inspired addition. The arancini were straight out of the pan piping hot, the smoky flavour of the haddock perfectly offset by the spicy coronation dip. A good bottle of Provence rosé was the perfect pairing to the large haddock draped enticingly over a mound of chips, and I loved my juicy chicken supreme, the ‘nduja butter beans most enjoyably piquant and as we know all pulses are good for you.
To finish our dinner, we shared desserts of chocolate tart with raspberry sorbet and mixed berry crumble with fresh yoghurt which were delightful. We enjoyed our evening very much, service was excellent, the food top notch and I can think of no more pleasant and relaxing place to eat.
The Grove, Bristol BS1 4RB