Having tried many restaurants in the Bristol area and found myself getting in a rut by frequenting the same favourites I took advice both from friends and TA reviews to compile a list of new places to try.
As Cadbury is closest to where I live (Cadbury House and Restaurant is actually closer to Weston Super Mare then Bristol - worth bearing in mind if you are a visitor to the area and searching on "Bristol restaurants") I chose it for recent celebration meal.
Firstly, Cadbury has had a major refurbishment in recent years, and whilst not having stayed at the hotel myself, I have heard very good things about the rooms and service.
The decor is to a high standard throughout the restaurant and ante rooms (though possibly the bar furniture is a case of style over substance, as backless seating for an area that serves bar food seems a bad choice and made for uncomfortable seating even in the short time we spent with a pre dinner drink).
We were shown in to the main restaurant by a friendly, well mannered waiter (who failed to carry our unfinished drinks to the table and left us to carry them ourselves)* and seated (this was the first point where I noticed that the "classic" service stye only appeared at certain points) - my wife was not helped with her seat, but napkins were laid onto our laps.
The restaurant itself has good views over the hotel grounds (water fountain, fake cows (!!??!!) in fields) and a nice ambience to it - on the night we attended, a works group dined but they were very well behaved and if anything added to the relaxed atmosphere.
The room had a piano and I see from other views that a pianist attends on some nights so this would no doubt add to the welcoming feel.
Bread rolls were then offered, these were brioche style and of high quality though I noted Cadbury has fallen to the recent fad of serving the butter on slate (happily though, the butter had been softened, unlike many restaurants!).
Cadbury charge at the upper end of pricing (particularly for the Bristol area) with most main courses around £18 - £25, but I was prepared for this having viewed the menu online prior to booking.
We ordered from the set menu, as this appeared to have more choices that appealed to us (given that neither of us eat fish and foie gras is a definite no no for me - it amazes me that any restaurant can sell such a product that is unlawful to produce in the UK, but not to sell? Odd).
The starters - parma ham and rocket for my wife and smoked haddock with poached egg for myself - arrived and both were of high quality.
We were asked if we required another drink and duly ordered another round, which came promptly enough with the main following shortly behind (unfortunately the old glasses from the previous drinks were left on the table until such point as I pointed this out and requested their removal)*
The main courses chosen were a courgette and tomato risotto for my wife and a lamb rump for myself.
My wife thouroughly enjoyed the risotto, however, for the price paid the portion seemed a little small to me.
The lamb given this is a restaurant that makes reference to its locally sourced high quality ingredients did not make the grade and seemed a little tough and lacking taste.
Cooking may have played a part here - for high quality cuts (such as rack/fillet) I normally choose rare, so knowing rump was lower grade I stepped up to medium rare but I feel the cut may have benefited from medium (though this obviously wouldn't have improved the taste).
On a further note I had a side order of brocolli with hollandaise and this arrived with a very watery substance around it from where the brocolli had not been correctly drained prior to the sauce being poured on*, so I had to request a seperate sauce jug.
For dessert we both chose rasberry parfait and found this highly enjoyable.
You will note that throughout the review I have a * at certain parts where it is my belief that were I reviewing a restaurant that charged lower prices this would not even be mentioned, but the total bill (with two rounds of drinks) for Cadbury (utilising the set menu that still meant £18 for a main course) was almost (bar a few pence) £80 - this places it, in my view at least, in the upper class of restaurants (given that had we dined a la carte with a bottle of wine, it could easily have exceeded £120 for 2 people) and for that price level service and food must be absolutely impeccable.
In this, Cadbury fell short for me in that several elements of the meal were highly enjoyable but at the price charged I did not feel it was somehwere I would happily recommend to friends.
Overall, my wife and I both agreed a 7/10
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