Fancy but Affordable Food at Aqua* | Blogmas Day 13

Fancy but Affordable Food at Aqua* | Blogmas Day 13

(A little apology for the branded posts – all my collabs have had deadlines at the same sort of time.  However, I only ever take collabs that work with my content, and as you know I love a lot of food.  So this Aqua Italia one is perfect.)

I’m back today with another addition to my Foodie Finds series!  This one focusing on Aqua Italia* – an Italian restaurant with 7 locations dotted around England (2 of which are in Bristol).  If you’re new to my Foodie Find’s series, it’s a series where I – a simple lover of food reviews a restaurant from a fairly normal perspective.  In these reviews, I discuss:

  • Their story
  • What I ate/drank
  • Stand out features (If any)
  • Likelihood of me returning

Who are Aqua Italia?

The creme brulee at Aqua Italia
Red Berry Creme Brulee

Aqua have been around for 20 years, and provide themselves on good quality, yet affordable food.  Though they have now expanded to 7 locations, they remain an independent, local Italian resturant.  They’re often misinterpreted as a “high end” restaurant, and while their restaurant is definitely fancy, their prices sure aren’t “high end”.  With mains ranging from £7-23, there really is something for every price range.

What I ate

Aqua Italia were nice enough to treat* me and my plus one to a three course meal, so we could really sample the menu.  So, I was able to get through quite a bit.  It’s very rare that I open up a menu and feel entirely spoilt for choice, but that’s how I felt with Aqua.  There were so many things that I wanted to try and it took me ages to decide.  In the end I asked the waitress for her recommendations, and she was an amazing help.

Risotto Balls: £5.00 (Starter)

These are exactly what they say on the tin.  Balls of flavoured risotto (That also had cheese inside!) that had been deep fried, with some spicy aoili on the side.  These were absolutely delicious – I bit into crunchiness and was met with some beautifully flavoured risotto with a good cheese pull.  A good cheese pull is important.  I could have done with more aoili (Which was very flavourful and not really spicy at all), but I am a sauce fiend…  So that’s probably why.

Burratina: £6.50 (Starter)

My friend and I only half read the menu, so we were under the impression that this was just mozzerella and vegetables.  Imagine our surprise when there was cream cheese stuffed inside the mozerella!  It wasn’t my starter so I can’t say all that much about it, but my friend seemed to seriously enjoy it.

Strozzapreti Ham Hock: £12.00 (Main)

The hamhock at Aqua Italia
The “fancy carbonara”

This was recommended to me by the waitress, who described it as a “fancy carbonara”.  Honestly, apart from the fact that it had ham pieces in it, I wouldn’t say that it was that similar to a carbonara at all.  It was, however, incredibly tasty.  It was creamy but not super heavy, and had enough vegetables and meat to really hit the spot and fill  you up.  I actually couldn’t finish it because the portion was very generous.  Big fan though.

Lobster Linguine: £22.50 (Main)

My friend had never had lobster before and was determined to try it today.  They were stuck between getting a half lobster and chips or the lobster linguine, and eventually decided to ease into the lobster world with the linguine.  Little did we know that the lobster linguine would come with a half lobster sitting on top of the linguine: a welcome surprise.  Again, didn’t taste this one, but it looked very impressive, and my friend was a fan.

Red Berry Crème Brûlée: £5.50 (Dessert)

I’m a big fan of creme brulee’s and this was another generous portion.  I was intrigued by what a red berry one consisted of, and essentially, it was a normal creme brulee with some summer berries thrown into the custard.  The size of it became a bit sickly for me.  I’m not a massive sweet person, so I ended up removing the hard sugar top and just eating the inside.  However, the custard was great!

Selection of mini desserts to share: £10.00 (Dessert)

Again, these were my friend’s so I didn’t really help myself to these.  However, it would be a nice sharing platter for two, especially if you can’t make a choice!  The selection consisted of  Tiramisu, Lemon Posset, Red berry crème brûlée & Fig, honey & almond tart, all laid out on an aesthetically pleasing wooden slab, with a scoop of ice cream in the centre.  I had a little taste of all the desserts, and the fig, honey and almond tart stood out.

Standout Features

Honestly I was amazed at the quality in comparison to the price.  I was saying to my friend that it seemed like the perfect place for a birthday celebration or meal with the parents.  You know, when you want something a little fancier but don’t have loads to spend.

I also liked that all of the desserts (apart from the sharing platter) were equally priced at £5.50.  It took the pressure off of choosing based on price.

Would I return?

Aqua Italia
A selection of desserts

Yes.  I’m always looking for a nice but not too pricey restaurant to take my parents when they visit me in Bristol.  Next time they come, we’re going to Aqua.  In fact, I may even choose it as a graduation meal place.  Aqua Italia, you have my seal of approval.

Get some money off!

Want to check Aqua out for youself?  In the spirit of giving, Aqua are giving people £5 off through this link!  I don’t get anything and it’s not affiliated, just a way for you to get a fiver off!  Just click here to check it out and claim it for yourself.

Do you like the sound of Aqua Italia? Let me know in the comments!

Lots of love,

Jas xx


*DISCLAIMER* This post was not sponsored, but the meal was provided free of charge by Socialight and Aqua.  However, this does not affect the integrity of my review.  I always keep my reviews honest and unbiased.  If you want to read more about my brand deals, you can do so here.



  1. December 16, 2018 / 10:41 am

    I love your foodie posts! Your photos are always so amazing and you can really tell when you’ve enjoyed something. This all looks really good. I’ve never heard of Aqua before, definitely need to check where the other locations are x


    • thoughtsfromjasmine
      December 31, 2018 / 11:28 pm

      Awwww Sophie that honestly means so much because I’ve been trying to work on my photography! You should definitely check out their other locations!

      Jas xx

    • thoughtsfromjasmine
      December 31, 2018 / 11:27 pm

      They were presented so lovely, and definitely tasted good!

      Jas xx

  2. December 16, 2018 / 12:16 pm

    I can’t believe how affordable this is considering the quality you’re getting! The risotto balls sound right up my street, I love anything cheesy and aioli is so yummy. I reckon I’d love the berry creme brulee as well, I have such a sweet tooth and brulee is one of my favourite desserts x

    Alice //

    • thoughtsfromjasmine
      December 31, 2018 / 11:26 pm

      Honestly, I was so impressed with the prices! The risotto balls were so good – would definitely recommend!

      Jas xx

  3. December 16, 2018 / 2:30 pm

    Ahh a girl after my own heart 🙂 I LOVE food! If they have gluten free options count me in! Those mini desserts look so good! Thanks for the restaurant inspo! Rach x

    • thoughtsfromjasmine
      December 31, 2018 / 11:23 pm

      No problem, let me know if you visit!

      Jas xx

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