Bristol, a City Tasting Tour
These days, locavorism (eating locally produced food) is trendier than ever. And the people of Bristol have figured that out: in just the past few years this British city, named Green Destination of the Year in 2015, has become a specialist in organic and local dining.
Fine Dining Lovers takes you on a tour of the best places to eat in Bristol: graffiti artist Banksy’s hometown, a stronghold of hot-air ballooning, with traditional tea rooms and ecological modern dining halls.
BRISTOL’S ORGANIC AND TRENDY RESTAURANTS
To find out why Bristol is a champion of locavorism, head for the Stokes Croft neighbourhood. There you’ll find Poco, a cosy tapas bar where everything is organic and seasonal. In December, for example, you can enjoy roasted cauliflower with cardamom and orange, or duck leg confit served with a parsnip purée.
The restaurant also serves appetising weekend brunches featuring scrambled eggs, bacon and beans, accompanied by a homemade beet Bloody Mary. Finally, Poco also has an extensive and very tantalising gluten–free menu.
If you’re the type who enjoys checking out Michelin-starred restaurants when you travel, think about booking a table at Pony and Trap in Newtown. This gastro-pub run by Josh Eggleton received one star in the 2011 Michelin Guide and has long been cooking local to the extent possible. The chef takes care to get his provisions mostly from the Chew Valley and southwest England.
Plusses: the prices are more than reasonable (about 27 euros for a set menu) and when the weather is nice you can enjoy the fabulous garden.
Another venue, less centrally located, is well worth a detour: the Greens Restaurant. Here chef Martin puts together seasonal menus spanning traditional British dishes and influences from elsewhere, particularly France. The menu changes seasonally and differs from lunch to dinner. Right now you can try a spiced pumpkin soup with chestnuts and porcini mushrooms, roast lamb or braised beef.
FISH AND CHIPS AND CUP OF TEA
Despite being a modern, multi-ethnic city, British tradition has always predominated here. So you won’t want to leave the city without trying a classic fish and chips or drinking a cuppa. Just a stone’s throw from the Atlantic, Bristol is a port city where the fish is fresh. For that reason, Josh Eggleton opened another establishment here called Salt & Malt, on the banks of the River Avon. He serves some of the finest fish and chips in the city, and customers can even choose between cod and haddock to go with their garden-fresh peas. Right now the chef is also featuring special Christmas menus with traditional turkey and homemade gingerbread.
Finally, interrupt your visit with a gourmet break at one of the city’s tea rooms. If you really want to please yourself, sit by the fire at the superb Berwick Lodge hotel. Trays of little sandwiches, pastries and biscuits will pass before your eyes all afternoon long to go with England’s most refined tea. Those more festively inclined will appreciate the champagne option to replace the hot beverage at snack time.
On a more contemporary and affordable note, Café Sewciety, located in the Clifton neighbourhood, serves excellent homemade scones and many kinds of smoothies made on the spot, and tea. This pretty room also offers dressmaking classes.