Lounge Cafe Bar

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 2 reviews

227 North Street,

(0117) 963 7340

The ViewBristol Review

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Review byMartin Chapple21/05/2008
For a relaxed and informal meal, a drink, or both, this groovy bar has few rivals nearby. A great mix of interesting people, freshly cooked food and loads of character.

The Venue
This is the first of the chain of Loungers which were started by three friends from Bristol who had worked in the bar and restaurant and decided to try having a go themselves. The risk paid-off as Lounge bars have been springing up all over the place, in England and Wales.

Situated right in the centre of activity on North Street, Lounge looks different from the other, more traditional shop-fronts nearby and in a former life this building was an opticians, although you wouldn't know it. Large windows invite you to check out who's mingling around the bar and inside they throw lots of light on what could be a rather dingy venue.

Entering on the left of the building, you're guided towards the bar ahead by old wooden tables and chairs on both sides. Following the bar around to the right leads into another eating area and the exit to the outside seating area. The walls are decorated with a number of interesting photographs and memorabilia from Bristol and the West Country.

The People
The atmosphere can vary dramatically but at its heart this is a student and young professionals’ hang-out. It's got an informal vibe that buzzes with lively conversation.

During the morning, after the school run, young mums and dads with their little 'uns make up the main of the customers while lunchtime attracts a wider variety of people with office workers and students. As the evening progresses there is a livelier, more cosmopolitan feel to things. And on days when Bristol City are playing at home, it's very busy. Don’t walk in with a Rovers’ shirt on. You have been warned. The staff are friendly, efficient and patient.

There's a host of board games, newspapers and magazines so you can rock up on your own and feel very homely, or come friends and have some fun if the conversation dries up.

Lounge operates a non-reservation policy, so it's worth arriving earlier than you would normally, especially during the weekend.

The Food
Lounge has a seasonal menu and takes pride in the fresh produce it uses. In summer, for a light snack, the chicken, spinach and Somerset brie panini is an excellent choice. Tender meat, beautifully cooked spinach and tangy brie combine to tingle the tastebuds.

There's a good choice of brunches, ciabattas and salads, too. Added to this are tapas and mezze selections and a range of burgers. The sardine bruschetta stands out. Just close your eyes, imagine hot sunshine and munch into this little treat and you feel like you could be in Italy or Portugal. This is much more like fettunta, the oily slice from Tuscany, than the simple grilled bread that is served elsewhere.

The three choices of burgers include a vegetarian option, the borlotti bean burger, and the traditional beef or chicken.

The specials board provides daily alternatives to the main menu and offers some delicious fish, pasta and vegetarian options.

The Drink
Lounge has a good selection of spirits, vermouths and liqueurs including a range of Appleton rums that are worth trying, although the Wray and Nephew overproof will splice your main brace. In a good way.

There's nothing very adventurous about the beer and cider choices and the wine list is short, but carefully selected. The light, creamy palate and subtle pear hints of the Gumfields Sauvignon Blanc is recommended. A nice treat are the reasonably priced cocktails, which you can choose from the menu, but you can ask if you have a favourite that's missing.

The Last Word
Lounge is a good name for this place because whether you're alone or in company, you can chill out here and enjoy good quality eating and drinking in a friendly, unhurried ambience. The only slight concerns are the length of time orders take to arrive and the size of the menu. Overall, it’s a great place to spend a lazy afternoon.
Lounge Cafe Bar has been reviewed by 2 users

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Content updated: 04/01/2012 15:47

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