With her young family, Hannah Millbank checks out the latest addition to Bristol harbourside’s dining scene
I’ll be totally upfront here – we are not easy customers. With a just-about-toddling one-year-old and a curious three-year-old, we have approximately ten-minute intervals to sit down and eat, before having to chase one or both boys as they inevitably head off in opposite directions. Meals out require patience, planning and pace! But there we were, on a wet and blustery weekend afternoon, arriving at Buttermilk & Maple on Bristol’s Welsh Back for an early family dinner.
From the moment we walked in, the team at Buttermilk and Maple was accommodating, friendly and helpful. It did feel like our young family weren’t quite the target market for the low light, hushed vibe this place has going on, but the staff both front and back of house, couldn’t be faulted.
With no children’s menu, I had a moment of panic before we were informed that anything on the menu could be adapted for our little people’s taste and appetite. Cue some double-takes when we ordered the Lobster Mac & Cheese – what can I say, they won’t touch a simple green pea, but lobster? Of course!
So while we settled down with a glass of house white and a pint of lager, the boys quickly exhausted the colouring they were provided with on arrival. Luckily the staff’s recommendation of ordering the Maple Glazed Corn Bread to arrive first, was indeed a winner. Think soft, sweet, white bread… close enough to cake that the boys thought they’d won the lottery by having dessert first.
Their posh Mac & Cheese quickly followed, which they (and we!) enjoyed. And while my Truffle Poisson was a little fiddly for what it was worth, the dish made up for it with flavoursome chunky Home Fries. Ben’s steak on the other hand, was delicious: cooked perfectly, well-seasoned and melt-in-the-mouth.
As usual when we dine out with the boys, our meal came to a sudden conclusion as the youngest began throwing pasta tubes, and the eldest darted out of our booth for the 89th time. But was it worth it? Yes, the food was yummy, and the boys had fun. Will we return? Not for dinner (at least until the boys are a bit older), though we were drawn by the brunch menu, with its buttermilk pancakes which even they wouldn’t see go to waste on the floor, so for an early lunch, definitely!