Situated 12 miles north of Bristol, the unassuming, historic market town of Thornbury is home to one of the best destination dining experiences in the South West and, according to a Good Food Guide Restaurant of the Year award, the UK. The AA team have also been keen to recommend Ron Faulkner’s gorgeous modern bistro; Ronnie’s boasts two rosettes alongside numerous accolades from national and regional food critics alike. Ron has also recently taken on Bristol; The Muset by Ronnie opened in Clifton earlier this year. But however convenient the new venture may be for those who prefer not to voyage too far beyond the city limits, a trip to Thornbury won’t disappoint even the most resolute urbanite.
Housed in a former 17th century schoolhouse and showcasing a perfect example of how successfully the past can seamlessly blend with contemporary innovations, Ronnie’s offers an uplifting, inviting ambience from the word go. Menus are based around impeccably sourced, right here, right now ingredients presented to their very best advantage, while the wine list combines an array of classic and lesser-spotted varietals. Menu superstars at the time of writing include the kitchen’s signature dish of Italian bacon-wrapped Lyme Bay scallops accompanied by a soft, garlic-infused puree; a wild mushroom risotto elevated to wow factor status courtesy of champagne and truffle oil; an extraordinarily complex partnership of wild sea bass, shallot puree and pickled ginger salad, and a daringly tart crumble which is perfectly offset by properly creamy ice cream. At coffee time, an unpredicted sprinkling of space dust in the chocolate truffles seals Ronnie’s reputation as a stellar foodie experience.