Pretty Plates & Venetian Interiors: Is This Buzzing Brasserie In Bristol Worth The Hype?

After what felt like forever, I finally made it down to Browns Brasserie & Bar in Bristol. The lush restaurant has been the talk of the town for years, so I was eager to see what the hype was about - and I have to say… I fully agree with the hype.

Located next to the glorious Museum and Art Gallery, and the iconic Wills Memorial Building of Bristol, I would say the interior of this restaurant is, much like its nearby attractions, yet another sight to be seen in Bristol. The venue transported us directly to a dreamy Venetian palace - it was surrounded by expansive arched and circular gothic-like windows accompanied by a black, white and vintage emerald colour scheme for an extra touch of glamour. For a fancy eatery straight out of a fairytale, it surprisingly had a cosy and familiar feel - much thanks to the highly attentive staff which only added to the palace vibe they rightfully had going on.

Browns Brasserie & Bar Bristol | DesignMyNight

All of Browns' restaurants are total beauts, and the Bristol outpost is no exception.

Just as I thought this couldn’t get any better, our starter, the baked camembert for two (£14.50) and our accompanying wines made their entry to our table. We went for the pinot noir (£14.65 per glass), but they had quite the extensive wine list if you’re feeling adventurous. The baked camembert, topped with fresh rosemary and thyme, came with delicious sourdough bread, olives and dried fruit - and though both my guest and I agreed that it was too much for two, I still dream about it. 

After greedily finishing the entire block of cheese, we had little to no time to make room for our mains. I went for the avocado salad with fresh chilli, mango and feta (£14.95) and a portion of truffle and parmesan chips (£4.95), while my plus one got the British classic shepherd's pie (£18.50) and marinated mushrooms (£4.50) on the side side.

Browns Bristol Menu Review | DesignMyNight

Everything on the Browns Bristol menu was hearty and comforting.

I was a bit disappointed to find out that one out of their three vegetarian mains was not available, and yet they had plenty of meat-based options, but the heavenly camembert and the accompanying sides made it difficult to hold any grudges. Despite not being my first choice, the salad nailed the delicate balance of light and tasty, delivering a perfect bite each time. My only wish? More mango - but that’s not a surprise to anyone. Interestingly, my dining partner, although impressed by the tender beef in their pie, found the mushroom side dish to be a surprising scene-stealer.

Even though we were almost too full to move, we couldn’t resist the allure of their special dessert cocktails. Our choice? The Banoffee Mai Tai (£12) and the Black Forest Martini (£12.50). If you don’t have a mega sweet tooth, these cocktails might not be up your alley - which, as delicious as they were, was the case for me, so I ended the night with my staple spicy margarita (£13), while my guest joined with a bloody mary (£10.50). Pro-tip: if your waiter asks how spicy you want your cocktails, and you say make it a 10, they will not be stingy with Tabasco - so proceed with caution.

The DesignMyNight Digest

An evening at Browns comes with many guarantees; a fairytale-like venue, a delicious culinary experience, lots and lots of Instagram-worthy pictures and probably significantly less money in your bank account. While it’s quite the spenny restaurant, if you want to treat yourself or impress a loved one with a high-quality dinner and a luscious night out, Browns will not disappoint you.

  💰 The damage: £135, plus service charge.

  📍  The location: 38 Queens Rd, Clifton, BS8 1RE.

  👌 Perfect for: Date nights and special occasions.

 ⭐ Need to know: There are limited plant-based options on the menu, but for cheese lovers, the baked camembert is a must-have.


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