Girl in Bristol visits Under the Stars for al-fresco tapas dining …
Bristol is known for it’s pub boats, Three Brothers Burgers, the Grain Barge and the Apple being just a few of them. However none are quite so well located as Under the Stars which is tethered to Bristol’s harbourside, a stones throw away from the fountains. It’s also a great sun-trap in the summer months with it’s on-deck seating and benches which are placed on the cobbles beside the boat.
Although Under the Stars is first and foremost a bar, it also serves a selection of pizzas and tapas dishes which are a far cry from stereotypical greasy pub grub; the menu split between meat, seafood and vegan/vegetarian offerings with complimentary baskets of bread if you order three or more tapas dishes.
With the sun melting into the horizon beyond, casting pink and orange hues on the water, there was a romantic feel to the venue which seemed to have rubbed off on everyone there when we arrived. Groups of friends and loved-up couples huddled around tables laden with cool pints of cider and steaming plates of tapas, picking at different dishes and laughing about the day’s events. The waitresses weaved between the tables and chatted cheerfully to their customers as they checked up on everyone in turn, it was just a really great atmosphere to be a part of.
To begin our feast, we first whet our appetite with a fruity cider before our order of meatballs (£4.50), pan-fried duck (£5.50), sweet potato wedges (£3.75), creamed mushrooms and spinach (£4.00) and deep fried halloumi (£4.25) arrived with two baskets of French bread. Everything was delicious and served in a way which allowed us to easily pick at different things, dunking our bread into the leftover sauces at the end.
There was just one problem. Seagulls. Incredibly bold seagulls which were the size of a human infant. But really this was of no surprise once we had witnessed their ruthless activities, watching them swoop in on unsuspecting diners and grabbing food directly off the plate.
I’ll admit we found it pretty funny at first, watching neighbouring diners flailing their arms helplessly in the air as the mutant gulls closed in. But then they came for us. My friend went to the loo and sensing my vulnerability, they came in waves. First they took a meatball, then they set their eyes on my sweet potato wedges. It was a battle but after some speedy eat-now-or-don’t-eat-at-all dining I feel we won the war.
With it’s Monday film nights and acoustic/open mic sessions on Wednesdays and Thursdays, Under the Stars has always got something going on. It’s the perfect spot to hole up in after a day at the office and the service and quality of the food is on point. We had a great time sat outside on the benches and will undoubtedly be returning to try the pizza. Although next time, we’ll bring a bat.
Narrow Quay, Harbourside, Avon, Bristol BS1 4QA