The Living Room, Bristol - lavish, luxurious and loud

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image from shutterstock

On the lookout for a sophisticated, but relaxing and homely place to eat, Bristol’s Living Room seems the place to start. The décor is classy and chic with heavy wooden tables, contemporary artwork, wall to wall wine cabinets and lavish chandeliers hanging above you.

You feel an air of elegance as soon as you walk in, yet you still feel comfortable and at home, as the name of the place may suggest.
Most evenings they offer live music; something you don’t often get in many restaurants at least five nights a week. The soothing sounds of a tinkling piano, soulful jazz voices and soft guitar grooves are the perfect accompaniment to your sophisticated dining experience.
Being amongst this setting makes you want to sample the finest of wines and the most avant-garde gourmet.image from bristolbites.co.uk

All of this is lovely, but you are brought back down to earth with a bump when you start to notice the bar staff doing their best banshee impressions when shouting orders at each other, disregarding any thought for their dining customers.
Another thing, when you spy the suits having after work drinks at the bar becoming more and more rowdy, you start to realise this place is more of a bar than a restaurant. Before you know it, your table is being passed by stumbling teens juggling two cocktails in four inch heels.
Maybe due to the bar-laden Harbourside location, this does deflate the portrayed sophisticated atmosphere.

However, on to the food. The menu is varied, but never strays too far from the gastro pub feel. They offer traditional pies, roast meats and beer battered cod and chips all with a modern twist (it’s duck eggs and chilli glazed pineapple with your gammon and chips here don’tcha know). You can also try the beef and fine bean Malayan rendang curry (£11) or the chicken breast filled with cep duxelle (£12.75). There’s also plenty of fish on offer; sea-reared trout, monkfish and sea bass.
The steak is fantastic. 21 day aged fillet steak (£20.95) cooked to perfection depending on your preference. A fantastic cut full of flavour, accompanied with hand cut chips and a peppercorn sauce worthy of it’s creamy crown. If you’d like a sauce that’s not on the menu such as mushroom, the chef is happy to oblige.image from gourmetsociety.co.uk

The staff will never keep you waiting and will ask for your drink order straight away. Whether you opt for a Chilean Chilcas Estate Reserva Merlot (£23), or the crisp, fruity bottle of Argentinian Tarquino Sauvignon Blanc (£21.50) or even treat yourself to the De Castellane Croix Rouge Champagne (£45), you know you are about to receive good quality as they pride themselves on their relationship with Bibendum wine merchants.

As for puddings, where do you start? A list of chocolatey, fruity naughtiness, all locally sourced and served with style. If you simply can’t decide – or are just plain greedy - then the sharing platter for two (£11.95) is the perfect choice, A little sample of each dessert including chocolate brownies, strawberry and chocolate fondue and Eton mess.

This restaurant should be a little taste of the refined, but unfortunately it could do with some lessons in etiquette. The chic surroundings, fresh ingredients, fashionably prepared dishes and a very good drinks menu are tainted by the boozing revellers and fog horn bar staff. A shame, as the Living Room looks so cosy.