BRISTOL COCKTAIL WEEK IS BACK
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BRISTOL COCKTAIL WEEK IS BACK
A little slice of foodie heaven
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MANIC FOR VOLCANIC VOLCANIC WINE SUPPER CLUB GOES WITH A BANG
NO.67 OCTOBER 2017
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ISSUE 67 OCTOBER 2017 EDITOR
JESSICA CARTER firstname.lastname@example.org DEVELOPMENT EDITOR
MATT BIELBY email@example.com ONLINE EDITOR
DAN IZZARD firstname.lastname@example.org
MARK TAYLOR, JOANNA CLIFFORD ART DIRECTOR
TREVOR GILHAM ADVERTISING MANAGER
KYLE PHILLIPS email@example.com DEPUTY ADVERTISING MANAGER
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KIRSTIE HOWE firstname.lastname@example.org CHIEF EXECUTIVE
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GREG INGHAM firstname.lastname@example.org large version
MediaClash, Circus Mews House, Circus Mews, Bath BA1 2PW 01225 475800 www.mediaclash.co.uk © All rights reserved. May not be reproduced without written permission of MediaClash. MediaClash reserves the right to reject any material and to edit such prior to publication. Opinions are those of individual authors. Printed on paper from a well-managed source. Inks are vegetable-based; printer is certified to ISO 14001 environmental management. This month we had a party with all our Crumbs Awards finalists! Check out Jess up the top of the page hanging out at Yurt Lush with ’em all, while supping wine and nibbling on ace canapés. It’s alright for some, hey?
There was a bit of commotion among food purists last year, when scientists cast doubt on the future of one of the UK’s most traditional and best-loved dishes. Remember? There were news headlines and everything. Basically, the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (yeah, catchy name, isn’t it?) did a bit o’ research and found that our beloved cod and haddock – those classic chip shop staples – weren’t very much enjoying the increasing temperatures of our seas. Cold-water species like these are moving further north to hang out with the cool kids in more chilled-out spots. Meanwhile, creatures that we associate with holiday destinations, like the Mediterranean, are wasting no time in jumping in their graves. One such eager beaver is the squid, which seems to quite like our British sea temperatures; the aforementioned scientists found these guys in three times as many of its survey stations in 2016 as it did in 1984. And, as our seas are predicted to become warmer and warmer as time goes on, it’s likely that we’ll see this trend continue. So, naturally, this led to talk of the usual white fish suspects down the chippie being replaced by what will perhaps become a far more sustainable alternative: squid. And, as our stock of squid grows, we can expect to come across them more and more on restaurant menus and in our fishmongers. Which makes us think we’d better swot up on some good recipes – and we’ve got a couple of corkers in this issue for you. Elsewhere, we’re chatting about the big O (organic, obvs) with pioneering farmer Helen Browning for Organic September; sweet talking Yotam Ottolenghi to find out about his new sugar-coated book; and getting excited for our special appearance at Abergavenny Food Festival. See you there?
Jessica Carter, Editor email@example.com
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Table of Contents NO.67 OCTOBER 2017
STARTERS 08 HERO INGREDIENT Doing it for the squids 18 SIX PACK Cracking cake pros 21 LOCAVORE Manic for organic, with Helen Browning
34 Melanzane parmigiana, by Phillip Howard 37 Salt and pepper squid, by Pranee Laurillard 40 Wild mushroom risotto, by Amanda Stowell 43 Clover Club cocktail, by Danny Walker ADDITIONAL RECIPES
10 Squid with bomba rice, by Freddy Bird 58 Hake en papillote, by Becci Nicolle
KITCHEN ARMOURY 51 SUPPER CLUB A volcanic wine-themed dinner with Fuga 60 WANT LIST
MAINS 69 STREET TALKINâ€™ The rise of street food culture 77 FESTIVAL FEASTING Gearing up for Abergavenny Food Fest 83 THE C-WORD Christmas parties are go 97 GRILLED We chat to internationally celebrated chef and writer Yotam Ottolenghi
AFTERS 112 Burger Theory 115 Spuntino 120 Woolley Grange PLUS: 66 LITTLE BLACK BOOK Tom Bowles shares his fave foodie joints
START E RS INNOVATIONS, REVELATIONS AND TASTY AMUSE-BOUCHES
15 SEPTEMBER COCKTAILS IN THE CITY Held at The Passenger Shed, this event will bring together mixologists from top Bristol bars such as Milk Thistle, Red Light and Harvey Nichols to offer masterclasses, games, food and drink pairing experiences, and delicious refreshments. Tickets are £12 and include a welcome cocktail; cocktailsinthecity.com
27 SEPTEMBER FLAVOURS OF INDIA AT THE SECOND FLOOR RESTAURANT Celebrated Indian chef Romy Gill will be taking over the kitchen at Harvey Nichols in Bristol for the evening to cook a four-course menu of colourful, authentic fare inspired by the subcontinent. Tickets are £50, and include a gin cocktail; harveynichols.com
29 SEPTEMBER OKTOBERFEST AT KOMEDIA Celebrate the best of German culture at Komedia in Bath’s first Oktoberfest celebration, with live music, authentic food and top German beer. Tickets start from £10 and can be bought online; komedia.co.uk
8 OCTOBER WELLS FOOD FESTIVAL This year’s event is set to be the biggest and best yet; check out the market stalls and street food vendors, as well as the brand new Discovery Zone, where you’ll find fun interactive stands. Talks, tours and tastings will also be taking place, as well as kids’ activities; wellsfoodfestival.co.uk
PICK ’N’ MIx THERE’S A WHOLE HOST OF DIFFERENT LOCAL EVENTS GOING ON THIS MONTH; WHICH DO YOU FANCY THE LOOK OF?
S T A R T E R S
ack in the day, your chip shop choice was easy – cod or haddock, and no-one was going wrong with either. But then came overfishing and temperature rises, and a sudden topple into the Marianas trench for stocks of the classic whitefish varieties. (Cod numbers, at least, have recovered somewhat since.) Where regular swimmers have been struggling, though, the cephalopods are thriving. This tentacled trio (squid, cuttlefish and octopus) have been increasing in numbers dramatically thanks to warmer oceans – which these invertebrates love – and yes, perhaps the lack of rival fish to eat the squishy snacks when they’re little. In places like Australia and South Africa, squid is already a staple of the fish and chip shop, and we’re surely not far behind. Strangely enough, many people who are funny about oddball food still quite like squid, perhaps because they’re most often encountered as calamari – crisp, salty, deep-fried morsels, not unlike chewy onion rings – which hold little fear, or discernible seafood taste. (Even the name ‘calamari’ is cute: it derives from the latin for ‘ink pot’.) By the time most kids realise these things are not a close cousin to the chicken nugget, but are actually
a jelly-like oceanic weirdo that wouldn’t look out of place in an Alien film, it’s doesn’t matter; they’ve got used to them. (This is not to knock calamari, of course; it’s ace when done well, especially by a good Thai or Mediterranean chef.) Squid really are incredible creatures, surprisingly intelligent (some are known to hunt in packs) and moving by a very precise form of jet propulsion, sucking water into their body’s mantle cavity then shooting it out of a siphon to power them on their way. They each have three hearts and, though most squid are no more than a couple of feet long, some species get famously bigger. The giant squid can reach 13m long, for instance, and the lesser seen colossal squid is even larger. While everything from sharks to seabirds love eating squid, these suckers are happy to return the favour, using their speed and excellent eyesight to locate and close on fishy victims, which they grab with two long, hooked, suckered tentacles and kill with a bite from the beak. (Squid are, however, fussy eaters, often taking the best flesh and discarding the rest; blame their fear of fish bones, which can puncture their throats and pierce the surrounding brain.)
WIBBLY-WOBBLY INVADERS FROM WARMER SEAS, OR A FUTURE CHIP SHOP STAPLE? ACTUALLY, THEY’RE BOTH, BECAUSE WHILE FISH STOCKS STRUGGLE, THE SQUIDS ARE ALRIGHT…
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Squid season runs from August to November in the UK, though you can actually buy them fresh or frozen (squid freezes better than most seafood) all year around. Though there are around 300 species, the local catch are the European and Atlantic varieties, mostly about five to eight inches long. These are inky beasts most of us would rather avoid cleaning at home – that’s okay; you can get your fishmonger to do it – but if you’re feeling bold, cut off the tentacles then feel inside for the quill (it's like a long, plastic shard) and remove it, then do the same for the entrails and silvery ink sac, putting that to one side. (You might want to use it later, perhaps to colour and flavour pasta, risotto or soup.) Last things: peel the purple-and-white membranelike skin from the meat, and remove the beak from the head (it’s the bit of white bone with a hole in the middle). Job done. For many of us, squid is best cooked quickly in a super-hot pan, where it starts to curl and splutter within seconds. Dressed simply with citrus juice and paired with an onion and tomato salad, fast-cooked squid makes a great centrepiece for a light summer lunch that talks of white houses perched above small harbours, and the wine-dark Mediterranean sea. The alternative is cooking your squid very slowly (both techniques result in sweet, tender meat, whereas anything in the middle risks rendering it rubbery), perhaps with red wine in a stew. Or, you could go traditional and slice your squid into rings, then dip it in batter and deep-fry for calamari. Naturally, squid pairs well with other seafood – prawns are an obvious choice – while its mild taste works with hot, strong flavours, from garlic to chilli, Tabasco to tartar sauce. Just as each southern European country has its own range of squid specialities, so do most Asian ones, meaning there are plenty of recipes to explore; tiny Spanish chipirones (baby squid) are especially delicious, for instance, as are many classic Thai or
Chinese dishes, like salt and pepper squid. The body (or mantle) can be stuffed with mince or rice and breadcrumbs and gently stewed; squid is a great mainstay of rustic fish soups, and it’s amazing simmered in squid-ink sauce and served with spaghetti. Alternatively, squid stars in many Japanese sushi, sashimi and tempura dishes, while marinating works wonders, and in Korea it’s sometimes served raw with mustard or soy sauce, or as a dried, shredded snack. (Rolled thin in a sort of mangle, it emerges as a fishy crisp, ready to be dipped in sweet-and-sour sauce.) Be bold is our advice, for while raw squid may not be to all tastes, the cooked variety is a surprising versatile ingredient, one we’ve seen successfully paired with everything from chorizo to pork belly, meatballs to avocado. And few things are quite so sustainable…
R E C I P E
THIS MONTH FREDDY BIRD COOKS UP A SEAFOOD PARTY, AND SQUID IS THE GUEST OF HONOUR… THE LESS YOU DO to squid the better; my favourite way to eat it is cooked briefly over charcoal and then served with a touch of harissa. If I am going to make more of a dish out of it, though, I’m still careful to fuss about with it as little as possible, and make sure the squid remains the star of the show. This is exactly what this dish is about...
SQUId WITh CARABINEROS aNd BOmBa RICE SERVES 4
INGREDIENTS 8 garlic cloves 2 egg yolks 1 lemon, juice only extra virgin olive oil 4 carabineros (jumbo-size prawns) 1 ltr (approx) good crab stock ½ fennel bulb ½ Spanish onion 300g bomba rice brandy Anis del Mono white wine 4 squid, cleaned and split open (you can get your fishmonger to do this for you) small handful parsley, very finely chopped METHOD 1 First make your alioli. Crush three of the garlic cloves in Maldon salt flakes until smooth. Whisk the egg yolks, lemon juice and the garlic together, and add the olive oil until you get a creamy consistency. 2 Next, take the heads from your carabineros and fry ’em in olive oil. Pour over the crab stock and simmer for 10 minutes. Pour the stock through a mouli, crushing the heads to extract as much of the intense flavour as possible. 3 To make the rice, finely dice the fennel, onion and remaining garlic cloves. Sweat them down in olive oil until just starting to colour. Add the rice and cook until a little toasted. Deglaze with a splash of Anis del Mono, brandy and white wine. Then add the crab and prawn stock and cook until just tender. Cover and rest. 4 To prepare the squid, score a criss cross pattern in the bodies, to a depth of half way. Heat a pan or skillet until screaming hot, then cook for a maximum of 30 seconds on each side. Do the same with the carabineros and the tentacles – those should take no more than about 90 seconds in total. 5 Stir a good spoonful of alioli and a good pinch of the chopped parsley through the rice. 6 Spoon the rice onto the plate (it should ooze like molten lava) and arrange the carabineros, squid and tentacles on top. Serve with a glass of Albariño!
LIDO, Oakfield Place, Clifton, Bristol BS8 2BJ; 0117 332 3970; lidobristol.com
S T A R T E R S
In the market for some new tableware, or after some one-of-a-kind pieces of crockery to update your collection? Check out the Peacock Arts Trail, running between 30 September and 8 October: it’ll see artists across North Wiltshire flinging open the doors of their studios for us all to go and have a nosey at their wares. Not only will you get to find pieces that aren’t available in shops, but you’ll also meet the artisans and see where they work. More than 60 artists and craftspeople throughout Corsham and the surrounding areas are involved, including Libby Ballard and her coastal-inspired ceramics; carpenter Paul Carter and his containers made from reclaimed wood; Virginia Graham and her vintage-style teapots; and Claire Baker and her nostalgic tableware. There’s also plenty of food-focused art to find, which’ll look right at home on your kitchen wall. peacockartstrail.co.uk
ROCK THE GOAT
It’s no secret that we here at Crumbs are big fans of goat meat, so we’re excited that next month will see restaurants all over the country champion it, by featuring specially created dishes on their menus. Goatober is now in its second year in the UK, and aims to celebrate and promote the meat of male goats born into the dairy industry. As the market for goat meat grows, more of these young billys are being taken on by goat farmers, and reared for their lean, nutritious and flavour-packed meat. As part of the Goatober programme, Roth Bar & Grill in Bruton is hosting a special supper club with goat roasted over fire, and former Flinty Red chef Matt Williamson is putting on a special pop-up at Hamilton House with a five-course menu using both kid and nanny meat. Check out the website for more details and tickets. cabrito.co.uk
Fans of coffee, crockery and cacti will heart the new plantadorned Albatross Café on North Street. Louie Sandy and Imogen Schäfer moved back here from Berlin to bring a taste of German-style cool to their beloved Bristol. A short, seasonal menu accompanies the excellent coffee – think slow-cooked beans on Mark’s Bread bread, and buttermilk crumpets with ricotta, cherries and almonds, all served on plates made by Imogen’s mum. Inspired by the ‘flexible spaces’ of Berlin, on Friday and Saturday evenings Albatross transforms into a bar offering cocktails, wine and tapas-style food. In future, Imogen and Louie are keen to serve ceviche, which they fell in love with during a trip to Peru, they tell us. instagram.com/albatrosscafebristol
WELL, WELL, WELL
Brand new restaurant Wellbourne has landed at The Mall in Clifton. The contemporary all-day dining venue comes courtesy of three industry pros, well known for their work in the Big Smoke: front of house man Martin Irwin, and chefs Michael Kennedy and Ross Gibbens. The refined food is informal during the day – think bar snacks and sandwiches, and brunch at the weekend – while a three-course a la carte menu is on the go during the evenings, featuring dishes such as red Russian tomato with fresh almond and wild horseradish, and turbot with Berkswell crust and girolles. Wine is a big focus here too, with around 20 varieties available by the glass, alongside a collection of craft beers. Perfect for washing down a few of the kitchen’s vol au vents (yes, they’re back, folks), we reckon. wellbourne.restaurant
CHEERS TO THAT
Marty Grant and Richard Knighting, the guys behind Bath’s uberpopular Corkage, have opened a second site. An indie wine bar and small plate restaurant, the idea of Corkage is to allow guests to graze on quality food while sipping well-matched wines from a pretty sizeable collection. The new Corkage, on Chapel Row, launched on 11 August in response to the increasing demand its sibling was under (tables at this place are pretty tough to come by, as you might well have leaned firsthand!). Mâté Andrasko, formerly of The Fox in Broughton Gifford, Beaujolais and The Circus, has joined the team as head chef at Chapel Row, and will be cooking up the same quality seasonal food that has made the flagship venue such a success. corkagebath.com
So, Cargo’s Chicken Shed is no more, but that’s okay, ’cause in its place is Root: a vegetable-celebrating, sustainabilitychampioning restaurant from the same Eat Drink Bristol Fashion team, headed up by chef Josh Eggleton. An outfit that puts ethical sourcing at the top of its priorities, it chose to transform its chicken-focused gaff when it came up against challenges that might mean compromising high welfare standards. While local meat is still very much on offer at Root, it’s more of a support act to the vegetable-based small plates, which are made to be the real stars of the show. Flipping the culinary roles like this has enabled the team to adhere to their principles, but also helps promote the sustainable and ethical values of plant-based food, with imaginative, exciting and top-quality dishes. eatdrinkbristolfashion.co.uk/root
A new restaurant is set to launch in Stokes Croft on 15 September. Behind Jamaica Street Stores is a team of five locals – who, between them, have experience as everything from head chefs to company directors. Charlie James, Mitch Church, Lee Peacock, Alfie Allen and Billy Trigg have come up with a modern restaurant concept that will focus on ethical sourcing. Expect a really decent proportion of plant-based offerings, as well as some novel raw dishes. Determined to become a valuable member of the Stokes Croft community, these guys have been working with the People’s Republic of Stokes Croft and the local authorities while transforming the former printers space into this intriguing new eatery. jamaicastreetstores.com
S T A R T E R S
Ask the wine merChant THIS IS NICK BURTON, SHOP MANAGER AT AVERYS So Nick, how long have you been at Averys for? It’s about six months now. And where did you work before? I previously ran independent wine shops in the Cotswolds and London. Before that, I spent ten years as a professional musician in indie rock band The Candyskins – we toured around the UK, Europe and the USA, and probably never touched a bottle of decent wine! Ironic, no? How long have you been working in the wine biz, then? When the band split in 1999, I walked into Oddbins in Hampstead and got a job – so I guess that makes it 18 years. And the industry has changed massively over that time; people are now much more informed about wine, and are not too fazed when presented with the dreaded wine list in a restaurant. Our job is to make wine as exciting, interesting and accessible as possible. What’s the best thing about your job? One of the most rewarding parts of wine retail is finding the perfect bottle of wine to suit each customer. As everyone has different tastes, it’s great to get feedback from them and know that they’ve enjoyed what we’ve sold them; this also means that, in the future, we can let them know of any parcels of wine coming in that they might enjoy. It’s also amazing to be working in these incredible historic vaulted cellars in Bristol – if you haven’t been in to check it out, you really should. And the most challenging part? Getting customers out of their comfort zones and into trying something new. Fortunately, though, we have a well-stocked tasting table in the cellars, with bottles open to try throughout the week. Had any new wines in lately that you’re particularly excited about? We have an amazing wine from Sicily – Nicosia Classic Etna Rosso (£12.99) – made from the Nerello Mascalese grape, grown on the slopes of the volcano. This wine manages to combine both the richness of a good Italian red with the freshness and
CRUMBS AWARDS: THE BUILD UP
finesse of a great Burgundian Pinot Noir. Pop into the store and try it for yourself – I will have a few bottles open on our tasting table. And what food would you recommend to eat with that? I knocked up a lamb ragu and parpadelle with some Sunday lunch leftovers recently, and this wine was the perfect match. How about vineyards – any newbies on the English wine scene lately? We are big fans of sparkling wines in the shop, and love the Classic Cuvée from Hattingley Valley in Hampshire. They are right up there with Champagne in terms of quality, and have plenty of awards to prove it. What new trends are you seeing? Wine tastes are constantly changing, and people are increasingly more interested in pairing their wines with food; there are some brilliant wines coming out of north west Spain, with grape varieties such as Godello for white and Mencía for reds that complement food superbly. How do you see demand changing now that we’re heading into autumn? People will be moving away from the lighter whites and rosés and tucking into the weightier reds from Spain and southern France. We also see an increase in Champagne sales on the run-up to Christmas; keep an eye out for some great Champagne offers! averys.com
FULL JUDGING LINEUP REVEALED! OKAY GUYS, things are getting serious now – the first ever Crumbs Awards are but a matter of weeks away. With that in mind, we thought it a good idea to share a bit of news to get you as excited as we are (if that’s possible – we’re pretty giddy over here), as well as take a weight off our minds. You see, Team Crumbs is now relieved to be able to tell you (’cause keeping secrets is hardly our strong point) exactly who is on our esteemed panel of independent judges. So let’s get on with it, shall we? Judging our 16 categories of cracking local businesses, projects and people are: Aine Morris of Abergavenny Food Festival; food TV producer Andy Clarke; exec chef at Lido Freddy Bird; food writer and restaurant owner Kate Hawkings; farmer, and founder of The Story Organic, Luke Hasell; food critic and journalist Mark Taylor; food PR Pam Lloyd; chef and author Ping Coombes; chef and cookery tutor Rachel Demuth; cookery teacher Simi Rezai; chef, writer and TV figure Tim Maddams; and Fabulous Baker Brother Tom Herbert. That is one crackin’ lineup of culinary rock stars, we think you’ll agree. Now the cat is out of the bag, all that’s left to do is get excited about awards night on October 1! (You do have your ticket, don’t you? If not, get to the website below and snap one up before they’re officially extinct...) crumbsmagawards.com
S T A R T E R S
makes pork gyoza
COFFEE + BEER
bare wood. It stocks coffee from local roasteries THIS SHOP AND espresso bar has only been trading for little over two months, making it the (think Extract and Roundhill, as well as the less familiar micro-roastery Triple Co Roast); other newest resident of the pretty exciting strip of top South West producers (like Origin); and independent food and drink outfits you’ll find also some lesser-seen businesses, like on Cotham Hill, Bristol. Birmingham’s Quarter Horse. There are even Owner Dan Williams is a fan of keeping Nespresso-compatible capsules from things straightforward (hence, Colonna on the shelves, and brewing of course, the name of his new What: Coffee and equipment is also on offer. joint), as well as informal and beer (duh) As the name suggests, there’s unintimidating. Where: 16 Cotham another type of product Dan sells here: “Sometimes both industries Hill, BS6 6LF; beer. Two shelves of local bottled ales – coffee and beer – can come 0117 329 3010 and lagers (think brews from Good across as pretentious. It scares When: Mon-Fri Chemistry Brewing, Wiper and True, people off,” he says. “And we 8am-7pm; Sat and Bristol Beer Factory) are, again, need to be open to these 10am-7pm accompanied by other crafty kinds from people who don’t necessarily all over the UK. feel like they know very much Not only are there bottles of the stuff, but you about either subject. I hate the clique culture can also buy it on draft by the litre to take you sometimes find in fields like this; I want to away; a set of taps display various styles of beer, break it down.” and glass vessels can be bought for a couple of Dan’s interest in speciality coffee stemmed quid, filled up, and used over and over. Sealed from his time working in a café in Oxford. properly, these will keep the beer good for “We opened in 2011 when there was a bit of a boom in coffee, and the game was changing,” he three or four days in the fridge, Dan assures us. It’s not all retail here, though; the site also explains. “I love that you can think you know acts as a café, serving tea, coffee and cakes from everything about something, but find out that Pearly King. Dan’s got plans a-brewing (sorry) you know nothing. I totally geeked out there, and started experimenting with coffee and how to use the shop for even more, though – like coffee and beer workshops and events. I was making it.” Basically, keep your eyes peeled… The shop is light and welcoming, with a hint of Scandi style in its white walls and touches of coffeeandbeer.co.uk
picks up some tips @matt_inwood’s Instagram masterclass
pops into Box-E to chat to co-owner (and front of house pro) Tess Want to see your pics in the mag? Tag #CrumbsSnaps and you bloomin’ well might do!
S T A R T E R S
In the Larder
WE’VE BEEN TAKING INSPIRATION FROM MORE EXOTIC CLIMES THAN OURS WHEN FILLING UP OUR KITCHEN CUPBOARDS THIS MONTH… 1 RUM AWAY Mahiki Canned Cocktails, £2.95/250ml These Tiki-style treats feature Mahiki Coconut Rum liqueur – itself made of a blend of Polynesian and Jamaican rums. Great for summer, and especially for taking to festivals, the singleserve cocktail cans come in three varieties: traditional Pina Colada, Treasure Chest (which sees the rum liqueur mixed with sparkling wine, brandy and peach liqueur) and Coconut Grenade (with passion fruit juice and lime). Available at Independent Spirit of Bath. independentspiritofbath.co.uk 2 OPEN SESAME Alfez Tahini, £2.15/160g A favourite ingredient of Ottolenghi (whose interview you can read in a few pages time!), tahini might be most popular in the Middle East, but it’s also made
on our patch in Fishponds, don’t cha know? Food producer Al’Fez was founded by Sam Jacobi, who grew up in Jerusalem, and it now makes all kinds of Middle Eastern-inspired products which are popular across the whole country. Use this quality tahini to whip up a batch of hummus (or perhaps another dip); you can find plenty of recipes on the website below. Available at New Manor Farm Shop in Bristol, as well as Goodies Delicatessen and Prior Park Garden Centre, both of which are in Bath. alfez.com 3 CURRY UP! Spice Sultan Recipe Kit, £2.95 Based in Bath, The Spice Sultan aims to make cooking authentic curries easier by offering freshly ground spices, pre-portioned for each dish. A former chef at Thali Café, David Jessop knows his onions when
it comes to spice, and his recipe kits range from the Indian Goan Fish Curry that we got our mitts on (which includes a masala spice blend, as well as various whole spices) to Thai and Moroccan numbers. The kits also give you a shopping list for the remaining fresh and store cupboard ingredients you’ll need. Happy days. Available from the website. thespicesultan.com 4 GOING LOCO Ginger Beard’s Preserves Jalapeño Loco, £4.50/140ml This Bristolian condiment biz teamed up with restaurant Pasta Loco to come up with this hot, herby number, made with jalapeño, green pepper, capers, parley, basil and mint. You could do all manner of things with it – the makers suggest adding it to pasta, or serving with lamb. We’ve yet to find something that its fiery freshness doesn’t pep
up, and have been slathering it (not too generously, mind – it has quite the kick!) on a hot and charred corn on the cob. Lush. Available online, and at markets throughout Bristol. gingerbeardspreserves.co.uk 5 FRESH-FACED Tideford Organics Fresh White Miso, £4.99/320ml These launched this summer, marking a first for the grocery shelves of the UK. Before thesy arrived, there hadn’t been a fresh, unpasteurised miso paste containing live cultures on the market here. An ancient Japanese product made from soybeans and rice, miso is fermented, meaning it does great stuff for your gut. (Especially this fresh variety, which you’ll find in the fridge as opposed to on the shelf with the dry goods.) Pick it up it at Better Food in Bristol. tidefordorganics.com
SPONGE RS! WE’VE ROUNDED UP SIX LOCAL BAKERIES THAT KNOCK UP SOME OF THE REGION’S FINEST CAKES...
1 Absolutely Cakes Bristol-based Jan Jones had long made cakes for friends and family as a hobby when she set up Absolutely Cakes. Noticing a gap in the market back in 2008 for upmarket cakes, she based her venture on the principles of using high-quality local and organic ingredients to create her top-notch bakes, with no artificial nasties involved. Absolutely’s St Clement’s number is a particularly well-decorated creation (we’re talking awards, not frosting), and is probably their most popular, closely followed by their brownies and macarons (both of which also have Great Taste awards). Of the mindset that cake should be for everyone (and we’re inclined to agree), Absolutely Cakes also makes a special range of allergy-friendly and free-from options. absolutelycakes.co.uk
2 Ahh Toots
This place is a right little find among all the smells and sounds of the historic St Nicholas Market in Bristol’s city centre. Well frequented by the city’s sweet-toothed foodies, this little café and cake stall was founded back in 2014 by Tamarind Galliford, who’d been working in bakeries and delis in London and Bristol. Influenced by her studies in fine art, Tam is renowned for her artistic, colourful cakes, which look as impressive as they taste. The team bakes hundreds a week – both for their cake cart at the café, and for outside orders. In fact, the team had so many orders coming in recently that they had to take out some of the seating from the café (and do away with the pantry) to add a mini bakery to the shed! ahhtoots.co.uk
S T A R T E R S
3 The Boho Bakery This biz is a pretty unique one; with bohemian influences, it aims to make alternative and experimental cakes using local and organic ingredients. The team’s novel style (and bold attitude to flavour combinations) attracts customers with similarly unconventional ideas. (Take, for instance, the one who asked for a peanut butter, lime and chocolate cake. Founder Pennie Shonk and her team of savvy bakers suggested bringing some chilli to the party, and had one awesome bake on their hands.) Spreading the love is what these guys are all about, and they don’t just do it through their fun cakes and professional bakes; they’re also working on venture The Good Life, which will see them take on vulnerable young people and teach them the trade. thebohobakery.co.uk
4 Minky Kitten These guys have been supplying Bath and the surrounding area with delicious spongy creations since 2010. This year has been a particularly great one for Minky Kitten too, as they’ve got themselves a brand new cake studio (sounds swish, right?), which can also accommodate cake-making classes and children’s cupcake parties. Sarah-Jane Shepherd – the brains behind the biz – is a pretty creative baker with a speciality in decoration; she can model all kinds of characters, and create bespoke designs to take her cakes to the next level and make them unique to each customer. Underneath the impressive design, though, is always greattasing cake, crammed with fillings – it’s about substance as well as style, here. minkykittencakes.co.uk
5 The Organic Cake Company Based on a farm in Timsbury, Le Cordon Bleu-trained Jessica Langford-Snape has been baking under the name of The Organic Cake Co with pal Rachel Milsom for two and a half years. Still growing, the pair have just moved into a new, larger space on the farm, to give them the room they need to meet their sweet-toothed customers’ demand. They don’t only work on bespoke orders, though; these guys have a successful wholesale arm too, meaning you may well have enjoyed their seasonal bakes in cafés and coffee shops across Bath, Bristol and Somerset without even knowing it. Working in small batches and using natural ingredients, these bakers focus on great flavour and fresh decoration, as opposed to sugar craft. theorganiccakecompany.co.uk
6 Pullin’s The oldest cake maker on this list, the Pullin’s story dates back to 1925, when farmer Thomas George Pullin opened a bakery in Somerset. The business may have grown over the last century, but the important stuff has stayed the same; the Pullin family are
6 still at the helm (they’re now into their fourth generation) and every single bake that you’ll find on the counter is still hand-finished. That said, no-one can accuse these guys of not moving with the times; they like to take a simple, classic recipe and give it a fun twist, to ensure their range stays fresh and exciting. For example (and seeing as you asked), the Wild Bakewell is a traditional frangipane sponge made with ground almonds and freerange egg, but with the addition of plump, tart raspberries and wild blueberries. Their foray into gluten-free bakes recently has earned them a whole new fan base, too (check out the Trillionaire Shortbread, and Rocky Road). pullinsbakers.co.uk
IN CELEBRATION OF ORGANIC SEPTEMBER, EMMA DANCE PAYS A VISIT TO ONE OF THE UK’S MOST CELEBRATED AND PIONEERING ORGANIC FARMERS, TO FIND OUT HOW FAR THE ORGANIC LANDSCAPE HAS COME OVER THE LAST 30 YEARS…
A N DREW C A LLA GHA N
hankfully, we’re at a point now where organic food is hardly a novelty. Go into just about any food shop anywhere in the country, and you’ll find shelf upon shelf of the stuff. Rewind 30-odd years, though – back to 1986, when Helen Browning first took the reins at Eastbrook Farm in Bishopstone, a place that had been run by her father since 1950 – and you’d have found things to be rather different. There was barely a whisper of the O-word in supermarkets; you could count on the fingers of one hand the number of organic farms in the country; and anyone who insisted on eating organic was regarded as, well, just a bit weird. So, Helen’s decision to start using organic practices was, by anyone’s standards, a brave one. “This place created quite a stir,” she admits as we drive past fields growing cereals and pulses, and grass just waiting to be cut to become the silage and hay that will feed the livestock through the cold winter months. “Not only was I a young female at a time when there were not many women of any age farming, but there were not many organic farmers either. At that time, organic farming was thought of as a kind of hippy, The Good Life sort of thing – or a rich man’s hobby.” Helen stops the car at an innocuous looking field, and we get out and hang over the gate, admiring the view. “This was where it all began,” she explains, pointing at the swathe of green in front of us. “We began with a 20-acre test site, and this was it. My great friend from university, Kate, was working here with me, and she was planting the carrots, looking after the chickens and running around trying to sell things – we still refer to this field as ‘Kate’s Folly’. “I was managing about 10 men at the time, and most of them were about twice my age and very sceptical about the whole organic farming idea. But having this site gave everyone the chance to have a look at it, and see how it would work. The other day I was with one of those same guys, and he said to me, ‘We all said you’d have us bust in a year, but look at us now!’ That was really nice to hear.” Indeed, there’s no doubt that Helen’s farming practices are rather different from those of her father before her.
S T A R T E R S A NDR E W CA L L A G HA N
A N DREW C A LLA GHA N A NDR E W CA L L A G HA N
“Farming really changed in the 1960s and ’70s,” she explains. “The bigger machines were coming in, and new chemicals, and it was all transforming farming. Dad was very much at the forefront of the latest technologies.” Helen’s decision to go organic came during her time studying for her Agricultural Technology degree. “We were taken around these pig and poultry places, and they were horrific,” she says. “I wanted to show that you could do it differently.” And there’s no arguing that Helen hasn’t made a success of the venture. As well as the arable crops, there are pigs, which are bred for meat, and cattle (mostly dairy, but with a bit of beef and veal produced too). That’s as well as a thriving village pub (Helen Browning’s Royal Oak), which actually sits on the farm estate; a Chop House in nearby Swindon; and Helen’s just created a new orchard area, where she’s experimenting with agro-forestry. Oh, and let’s not overlook the fact that she’s CEO of the Soil Association, too. Small wonder, then, that in 1998 she was awarded an OBE for services to farming. During the week, while Helen fulfils her Soil Association duties, farm manager Henry is in charge of the farm, and Helen’s long-term partner Tim Finney leads the hospitality side of the business.
“The pub came about in 2006, basically because it was a terrible pub that had been allowed to fall into ruin,” says Tim. “But it was right in the centre of the village. Arkells, the landlord, were very happy for us to take it on and have a go at turning it around. It’s a labour of love, but being farming-type people we’re in it for the long haul. “It’s difficult to run a pub the way we want to do it. We have our own meat supply from the pigs and the cows, which is great, but we don’t kill every day. It means that the kitchen can’t always have fillet steak or pork chops on offer, and the menu has to evolve over the week. It makes the chefs very inventive!” For most people, the enormity of the task of running a farm would be more than enough to keep them occupied, let alone having a pub and restaurant – and, indeed, holiday lets, too. Not so for Helen and Tim, though. “There are still so many opportunities,” says Helen. “When we’re producing all these things, it throws up possibilities; some Italians are using our milk to make mozzarella on the farm, for instance, which is great fun – and they’re making a good product, too. I’m very keen to be doing more stuff with dairy and adding value to milk, so we’ll end up having more cows here in the longer term.” Despite the growth of the organic market and awareness of the benefits involved – which she has played a large part in – this ambitious, multi-tasking farmer is showing no signs of letting up, as far as we can see… helenbrowningsorganic.co.uk
THE COTTAGE INN Welcome aboard! The Cottage Inn, Bristol has reopened its doors and welcomes you to come and try our brand-new seafood inspired menu which has been crafted to give you a perfect waterside experience. Weยนve even got a take away menu now available, so why not don your deck shoes and head on down to relax with us by the water. THE COTTAGE INN 01179 215256 Baltic Wharf, Cumberland Road, Bristol BS1 6XG
B O O K
T H E
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FROM REVAMPED CLASSICS TO NEW WORKS OF CULINARY LITERATURE, MARK TAYLOR’S BEEN DEVOURING IT ALL
BLACK BEAN & BEETROOT BURGERS SERVES 4
P H OTO M IK E LU SM O RE
THE ART OF THE LARDER Claire Thomson Quadrille, £20
Even if you aren’t lucky enough to have a proper old-school pantry or stately home-sized larder, the shelf or cupboard in your kitchen is still likely to be the place where most of your home cooking starts. With a well-stocked storecupboard, anything is possible, perhaps supplemented by fresh meat and fish or fruit and vegetables. In her latest book, Bristolbased food writer Claire Thomson shows us how empowering it can be to have a larder full of spices, grains, pulses, flours, oils and preserved goods. From a speedy week night family supper of pappardelle with cream, radicchio and prosciutto to an indulgent afternoon slice of Portuguese molasses cake, this is a book of thrifty and inspiring recipes for all occasions.
Serve these beet burgers with your choice of sour cream, mayonnaise, aïoli, pickles (sliced gherkins are fabulous here), lettuce leaves, goat’s cheese or feta. On rye bread or in a roll, find a combination that works for you. INGREDIENTS
1 onion, finely diced 1 tbsp olive oil 2 garlic cloves, finely sliced 2 medium beetroots (about 300g), peeled and grated 1 x 400g tin of black beans, rinsed and drained, then roughly mashed with a fork 1 tbsp Dijon mustard ½ tsp sweet paprika (smoked or unsmoked) 1 tsp cumin seeds, toasted and ground 1 tsp coriander seeds, toasted and ground small bunch of fresh dill, roughly chopped 80g rolled oats (or use breadcrumbs) neutral cooking oil (sunflower or vegetable)
1 Cook the onion in a small saucepan with the olive oil until soft and translucent, about 8-10 minutes, then add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes more, until fragrant. Remove from the heat and set to one side. 2 Combine the grated beetroot, beans, mustard, spices, dill, oats/breadcrumbs and seasoning in a bowl. Use your hands to work the mix together until cohesive. 3 Shape the mix into burgers about 2cm thick and place them on a tray or plate. Put them into the fridge and leave them to firm up for an hour or so. 4 Heat a large non-stick frying pan with enough oil to go about 1cm deep, and fry the burgers over a moderate heat for 2-3 minutes on each side, until crisp and the interior is hot. 5 Remove from the heat and serve immediately in buns.
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ICE CREAMS, SORBETS AND GELATI Caroline and Robin Weir Grub Street, £18.99
Seven years since it was published, this is the first time this classic book – for many people, the definitive book on the subject – has been issued in paperback. Caroline and Robin Weir’s exhaustive work is the biggest-selling book on ices, and it features over 400 recipes covering ice creams, gelato, graniti, bombes and parfaits, as well as instructions on making wafers, biscuits and punches, and there are even ice creams for diabetics and vegans. As well as the history of ice cream, there is also a comprehensive section about the physics and chemistry of ices and ice cream. Far removed from the bought products, which are often loaded with sugar and additives, these recipes are for everybody – from beginners making homemade ice cream to professional chefs.
THE IVY NOW
FAST & FRESH
Fernando Peire (recipes by Gary Lee) Quadrille, £30
Miguel Barclay Headline Home, £16.99
London’s iconic restaurant The Ivy this year celebrates its 100th birthday, and the lavishly illustrated The Ivy Now is the first book about the restaurant in over 25 years. Featuring 100 recipes to celebrate 100 years, it includes not just the classic dishes one would expect to find – shellfish cocktail, shepherd’s pie and knickerbocker glory – but also an array of dishes that highlight executive head chef Gary Lee’s creativity and versatility, such as Thaibaked sea bass; dukkah spiced lamb with smoked aubergine and quinoa tabbouleh; and Strawberry Fields jelly with Champagne granita. It’s all interspersed with director Fernando Peire’s highly entertaining account of life at The Ivy, and the fascinating story of how it became the most famous restaurant in the world.
One Pound Meals by Miguel Barclay became an instant bestseller and went on to be the biggest debut cookery book of 2017 when it was published in January. Back with his second book, Miguel focuses on fresh and light food, again for £1 per person. Featuring warm salads, light soups, nutritious stir-fries and plenty of vegetarianfriendly meals, these pocketfriendly recipes range from tom yum soup and white bean fish cassoulet to chicken and chickpea stew and Goan cauliflower curry. Using ingenious shortcuts and often sticking to seasonal produce (because it’s cheaper) and frozen food, these short, simple recipes are ideal for people who want to eat healthy and tasty dishes on a budget, and would especially suit homeleaving students.
THE LEGENDARY CUISINE OF PERSIA Margaret Shaida Grub Street, £25
First published in 1992 and a recipient of a Glenfiddich Award, Margaret Shaida’s acclaimed book about Persian cooking has been redesigned and newly photographed by Grub Street. One of the oldest and greatest cuisines of the world, Persian food is refined, sophisticated, subtle and varied. Fruits, nuts, herbs and spices are combined with rice, fish and meat in combinations whose ancient influence can be found in the cooking of the Middle East, Spain and India. It may be centuries old but Persian cuisine is still relevant to the modern style of eating – many of the dishes are vegetarian, and there’s a distinctive marriage of sweet and savoury. Standout recipes include split pea and lamb stew; duck with walnuts and pomegranate; and saffron rice pudding.
WINTER WONDERLAND CHRISTMAS PARTIES AT THE BRISTOL MARRIOTT HOTEL CITY CENTRE If you are hoping for a white Christmas this year our Winter Wonderland theme might be the one for you. Our Conservatory Suite will entice you and your guests into a magical winter wonderland. Join us for a sparkling arrival drink and dine from our festive three course menu. After dinner why not try your hand on the Roulette, Black Jack tables or enjoy dancing with our resident DJ. Before your evening ends ensure you take a selﬁe on our Icicle Throne! Packages start from £39.95 per person* *Available for private parties 70 -120 guests. All Packages are subject to availability depending on day of the week.
BRISTOL MARRIOTT HOTEL CITY CENTRE 2 Lower Castle Street, Bristol, BS1 3AD BristolMarriottCityCentre | 01179 294 281 For more information or to make a booking call or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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smokin’ aces Bristol biz Smoke Catering brings food from the deep south of the US to the South West of the UK...
orn in Texas, raised in Bristol. This is Smoke Catering, an authentic Texan barbecue catering company, created by Rob and Claire Dacey from Somerset. The pair, together with their 12ft smoker, pitch up at locations all over to cook using the Texan methods taught to them by one of the best pitmasters in Texas. The nine-hour smoked beef brisket is a particular favourite of theirs – it’s so juicy and buttery it practically just melts in your mouth, and has a light crunch from a special spice rub. The sevenhour smoked pulled pork shoulder (from the award-winning Newton Farm near Bath), meanwhile, is splashed with barbecue sauce right before serving, and the handmade beef and chilli sausages also come from Newton (and are great with the maplesmoked bacon that Smoke Catering produce, too). It’s not all for the die-hard meat-eaters though; fish fans listen up. These guys hot smoke salmon sides over cedar planks, before sprinkling with their homemade rub and finishing with a hit of maple to bring out the sweetness and the heatness for ya’ll! All their food is homemade; from the rubs and pickles to the barbecue sauce and all the sides. The big boy smoker offers a great conversation piece, always draws interest and even acts as a heater during the colder months – bonus! This is truly a labour of love, with Rob and Claire spending up to 12 hours tending to the fire to ensure the food comes out with a beautiful hint of spice, gentle smoke, and pretty unique flavour. This pair have a combined total of over 30 years in the hospitality industry from cheffing, waitressing and bar management to eventual hotel and event management, so they’re fully equipped to help with planning any function you need! Find them at smokecatering.com, on Twitter (@catering_smoke) and on Instagram (/Smoke.Catering)
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WHAT TO MAKE AND HOW TO MAKE IT – DIRECT FROM THE KITCHENS OF OUR FAVOURITE FOODIES
As we come into autumn, it’s time to really be making the most of fresh, wild mushrooms
H I G H L I G H T S
This Italian classic is a meatfree treat to cook for a group Page 34
THE SQUIDS ARE UNITED
A popular Thai dish that makes great use of this month’s Hero Ingredient Page 37
A REAL FUNGI
Wild mushrooms are back, and they make ace risottos... Page 40
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MELANZANE PARMIGIANA SERVES 8
INGREDIENTS 10 large aubergines olive oil for frying 2 large onions, finely diced 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped or grated 175ml white wine 4 x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes 2 sprigs of rosemary and thyme 50g fresh basil, roughly chopped or torn 500g mozzarella (smoked, if you can find it) 200g Parmesan, grated (rind reserved for sauce) 2 tbsp sugar 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar flour, for dusting
PHILLIP HOWARD RECREATES A COMFORTING ITALIAN MEAL THAT’S GREAT FOR SHARING WITH FRIENDS… Rosemarino in Clifton is well known for its brekkies – and it’ll be serving them among the clouds this month, as it gets involved with Bristol in the Sky. This unique, adrenaline-filled dining experience will see hungry guests tucking into food by top local chefs, while suspended 100 feet up. (Find out more, and book tickets, at eventsinthesky.co.uk.) It’s not just breakfast that this long-established joint is known for, though; its top-notch Italian fare is an equally big draw. Head chef Phillip, who’s of New Zealand descent, has travelled extensively through the different regions of Italy and has a passion for their unique cuisines. Here, Phil has chosen a classic vegetarian comfort food dish to teach us. “Melanzane parmigiana is a southern Italian dish, which sees baked aubergine layered with rich tomato ragu, mozzarella and fresh basil,” he says. “We make ours a bit special by using our home-smoked mozzarella (scarmorza), and serve it with charred focaccia bread and a fresh herb side salad, or marinated courgette ribbons.” ROSEMARINO, 1 York Place, Bristol BS8 1AH; 0117 973 6677; rosemarino.co.uk
METHOD 1 Slice the aubergines to about 5mm thickness and sprinkle with salt to extract any liquid. Leave for about an hour. 2 Meanwhile, heat a glug of olive oil in a pan and sweat the onions and garlic over a medium heat with plenty of seasoning until golden. Deglaze the pan with the white wine and reduce by half. Add the sprigs of thyme and rosemary (holding some fresh rosemary back), tinned tomatoes and Parmesan rind. Now turn the heat down and reduce further, until thick. Once reduced by a third, remove the Parmesan rind and herb sprigs and add the sugar and balsamic vinegar, and stir. 3 Remove from the heat and blitz, using a hand blender. Add the remaining fresh rosemary while blending, and stop once you have a smooth, rich sauce. If you don’t have a blender, the sauce can be left chunky for a more rustic style. 4 Returning to the aubergine slices, squeeze out any excess moisture and lightly dust them with flour. Gently shallow fry them in olive oil until golden (this will need to be done in batches) and put to one side. 5 Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. 6 To assemble, in a large lasagne dish, put down a layer of the fried aubergine, and cover with a thin layer of the tomato sauce. Sprinkle with some of the fresh basil, chopped mozzarella and a sprinkling of the grated Parmesan. Repeat this process until the tray is full, and finish with a layer of aubergine, sprinkled with the remaining Parmesan and a drizzle of olive oil. Bake for 35 minutes, until golden. 7 Once cooled slightly, serve with salad and chunky focaccia bread to mop up that delicious sauce!
a Grape match! Morellino di Scansano, Fattoria dei Barbi 2014 £14.95, Great Western Wine This southern Italian dish, full of sweet, unctuous richness, will work best with bright, juicy reds to lift the freshness in the tomato. This gentle yet lively red is made from the same grape as Chianti, but in a softer, juicier style. Packed with bright cherry aromas, it has a delicious freshness.
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sqUId yOU nOT
SALT AND PEPPER SQUID
FOUNDER OF GIGGLING SQUID PRANEE LAURILLARD REVEALS THE RECIPE FOR ONE OF HER RESTAURANT’S MOST POPULAR DISHES. EVEN BETTER, IT FEATURES THIS MONTH’S HERO INGREDIENT…
“In this dish, tender squid is lightly coated in flour, then deep fried until fluffy,” Pranee explains. “The moreish flavour comes from a scattering of salt, ground black pepper, spring onions and sliced chilli.” Back in 2008, Thai-born Pranee Laurillard was sat in the basement of a tiny fisherman’s cottage (which is, in fact, now the Brighton Giggling Squid restaurant), with a dream of replicating the food and flavours of her home country in the UK. She started out with a straightforward menu of Thai small plates – the idea being to create simple, rustic, fresh food to share, as she’d loved to do in Thailand. Despite her having no money, a leaky roof, dodgy wiring and a pile of washing up that climbed to the ceiling, her menu was a massive hit – and she now has several branches of her restaurant across the country, including one in Clifton, Bristol and the brand new Bath site. GIGGLING SQUID, Bluecoat House, Saw Close, Bath BA1 1EY; gigglingsquid.com
INGREDIENTS For the squid seasoning: ½ tsp fine white pepper ½ tbsp sugar ½ tsp salt ½ tbsp chicken powder For the batter: 100g self-raising flour pinch of sugar pinch of salt 300ml water 1 tsp vegetable oil For the squid: 500ml vegetable or groundnut oil (or enough to be about 1cm deep in a frying pan) 500g fresh squid, sliced or cut into rings (ask your fishmonger to prepare it for you) 2 tbsp self-raising flour 1 tbsp red chilli, sliced (remove the seeds if you don’t like heat) 1 tbsp spring onion, sliced Sriracha sauce, to serve METHOD 1 Place all the squid seasoning ingredients into a bowl and mix. Easy! Now set to one side. 2 To create the batter, mix the flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Pour over the water and vegetable oil. Mix thoroughly again, and set aside. 3 Pour the vegetable oil in a frying pan over a high heat. 4 Dip the squid in the batter so it’s completely coated, and then roll in the flour. Then, when the oil is hot (not quite smoking, but almost), very carefully drop in the squid, piece by piece, and cook until golden (approx. 3 minutes). 5 Once cooked, place the battered squid into a bowl lined with a paper towel, and leave to sit for 1 minute. 6 Add the squid seasoning, sliced red chilli and sliced spring onion. Toss together and serve with the Sriracha.
a Grape match! Howard Park Mount Barker Riesling 2014 £15.95, Great Western Wine Fresh and crispy, yet with spice, this recipe needs a bright, aromatic white to match. This one is bursting with the zestiest lime and passion fruit character, with hints of acacia honey, and scents of flowers to cut through the richness of the batter and to play along with the heat of the spice.
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SUMMER SNACKIN’ BURTS CHIPS introduces two new exciting flavours for a true taste of the South West this summer!
lymouth-based crisp maker Burts Chips is excited to announce two new flavours this summer – both repping some of Britain’s favourite classic dishes. Due to popular demand from its loyal customers, Burts Chips is bringing home the bacon by launching its Smoked Crispy Bacon flavour. Having collaborated with Devon-based bacon producers Spoiltpig, they’ve captured the delicious mouthwatering taste of crispy bacon in potato snacks that you can enjoy on the go. The exciting new recipe is made using quality ingredients, including real bacon, so the flavour comes to life with every crunch. And, for those who want a true taste of the seaside this summer, this crisp maker has teamed up with another fellow Devonian – award-winning seafood restaurant Rockfish – to create a brand new, limited-edition Fish ‘n’ Chips flavour.
It get’s better, too: not only do you get a taste of the coast with a pack of these beauties, but you also have the chance to bag yourself a meal at the seaside, too. Look out for the exclusive on-pack promotion to win a luxury meal at any of Rockfish’s five restaurants in Devon. Thick-cut and hand-cooked to perfection, both of these new flavours use only the best ingredients in order to deliver the ultimate taste of the South West – in a crisp bag. Both the Smoked Crispy Bacon and Fish ‘n’ Chips crisps join the core range of Burts Chips in selected retailers across the South West.
For more information about Burts Chips visit the website at burtschips.com, like them on Facebook (/BurtsChips) or follow them on Twitter (@BurtsChips)
C H E F !
AMANDA STOWELL OF THE FINE FOOD COMPANY USES SEASONAL INGREDIENTS TO CREATE A TOP AUTUMNAL DISHâ€¦
“During September, we will see a great supply of some delicious wild mushroom varieties,” says Amanda. “These include pied bleu, girolles, trompette de la mort, ceps, pied de mouton and chanterelles. Many kinds of mushroom are available all year around, and can also be purchased dried, but September is a great month for these kinds of fresh, wild varieties. “Our fresh black autumn truffles are of both premium quality and optimum freshness. The earthy taste of the black autumn truffle, along with the various flavours of the different types of mushrooms listed above, also works beautifully in game dishes, which is ideal as September sees grouse, partridge, wood pigeon and venison become readily available.”
AMANDA’S GUIDE TO MUSHROOM VARIETIES
MUSHROOM AND WOOD PIGEON RISOTTO SERVES 4
INGREDIENTS 1ltr chicken stock 2 tsp olive oil 1 onion, finely chopped small sprig thyme 1 garlic clove, grated 2 rashers streaky bacon, diced 400g carnaroli rice 150ml white wine 8 wood pigeon breast fillets 350g wild mushrooms 100g Parmesan cheese, grated 60g butter METHOD 1 Gently bring the chicken stock to a simmer and set aside. 2 Heat the oil in a sauté pan over a medium heat and fry the onions, thyme and garlic. Cook until soft, without colouring. 4 Add the bacon and rice, and stir continuously. Cook until the rice begins to turn translucent. 5 Add the white wine and stir while the rice absorbs it. 6 Once the rice is dry again, pour in a ladle of stock and stir until it has been absorbed. Repeat until the rice is cooked and your risotto has a thick, creamy consistency (approximately 20 minutes). 7 When cooked, cover with a lid and allow to sit for 2 minutes. 8 In a hot pan, sauté the pigeon breasts for 2 minutes either side and lightly season. Leave to rest for 5 minutes, then slice. 9 In the same pan, add and sauté the wild mushrooms in a little butter and season. 10 Stir the wild mushrooms and the grated Parmesan cheese into the risotto and check the seasoning. 11 Spoon the risotto into bowls and arrange the sliced pigeon breast on top.
THE FINE FOOD COMPANY; 01963 34699; email@example.com; finefoodco.co.uk
Pied Blue is given its name due to the blue hue of the stem. It has a deliciously rich and earthy flavor that can work well in both sweet and savoury dishes, but lends itself especially well to game, and sits nicely alongside the flavour of onions and leeks. Girolles have a deliciously nutty and peppery flavour that works well in risottos, sauces or even a chicken and mushroom pie. They’re perfect paired with similarly rich flavours such as pheasant, chestnuts and bone marrow. Trompette de le mort have delicate, Parmesan and blue cheese aromas with intense mushroom flavours. Often, dried trompette mushrooms are rehydrated in warm water, and are then pulled into long, thin strands and used as a delicate garnish for scallops, white fish or beef. Porcini mushrooms, also known as ceps, are the king of all mushrooms, and are starting to make an appearance as we head into autumn. They are meaty, rich and very versatile, and work best cut up in slices and pan-fried in olive oil and butter. Pied de moutons are light-tasting with a peppery flavour, and are best cooked slowly in casseroles and soups. They’re also known in England as ‘hedgehog mushrooms’. Chanterelles stand up well to the main ingredients in stews, soups and the like, in terms of flavour. These yellow mushrooms bear a fruity smell, reminiscent of apricots, and have a mild peppery taste.
a Grape match!
Mohua Pinot Noir, Peregrine Estates 2014 £17.50, Great Western Wine There are lots of rich, creamy, sweet flavours going on here, so the silky smooth, velvety softness of the lighter style Pinot Noir is perfect. This delightfully vibrant red is packed with juicy, bouncy raspberry fruit, with a herbal tang, delivering a gorgeous mouthful of smooth, red berry flavours, and a natural sweetness, which dances perfectly in partnership with the pungent richness of the aromatic, autumn-themed dish.
C H E F !
MIX UP, LOOK SHARP!
IT’S TIME FOR BRISTOL COCKTAIL WEEK FOLKS; GET IN THE MOOD WITH THIS CONCOCTION BY DANNY WALKER... You might know Danny as one of the guys behind Bristol’s Psychopomp, and will usually find him at his microdistillery and bar on St Michael’s Hill. He’s teamed up with two other local bar pros, Gareth Aldridge and Ben Alcock, to organise the seventh annual Bristol Cocktail Week, which runs from 25 September until 1 October. “Bristol Cocktail Week is basically a series of exciting and engaging events that showcase cocktails in many different ways,” he says. “It’s all about broadening people’s cocktail horizons, showcasing what the city has to offer, and, along the way, providing some education about delicious things and how to drink them. “When it first launched, it was very much an event just for the trade to get together to share knowledge, learn and help push the scene forward. As we introduced more consumer activity, though, it really picked up speed. Consumer events get more engagement across the city, and help get more people out into bars and drinking cocktails.” And to get punters even more involved this year, the team of three have come up with a great idea... “We’ve made a fully playable cocktail-themed board game, featuring the bars of Bristol,” explains Danny. “We have boxed versions (available for people to play in all the bars involved with Cocktail Week this year), and also some fold-up travel versions that we’ll be distributing.” So: to the cocktail. This little beaut features a brand new product from a fresh-faced local producer, the Bristol Syrup Company, which will be officially launched at Red Light during cocktail week – check out Danny’s programme highlights for more info...
CLOVER CLUB INGREDIENTS 20ml Bristol Syrup Company raspberry syrup 50ml Psychopomp Woden gin 20ml fresh lemon juice 20ml egg white METHOD 1 Just pour all the ingredients into a cocktail shaker, and get those arms working. Now strain into a coupe glass, garnish with fresh raspberries, and enjoy.
DANNY’S 2017 BRISTOL COCKTAIL WEEK HIGHLIGHTS Tuesday UNLEASH THE BEAST An Ardbeg whisky tasting at the newly refurbished Clifton Observatory. We are super-lucky to get this great location, and the whisky that’ll be served is some of the best in the world, I reckon. Wednesday GOOD THINGS TO DRINK OUTSIDE After the roaring success of last year’s Good Things To Drink At Home, this event at HMSS is going to be a winner. Thursday THE BRISTOL SYRUP COMPANY LAUNCH Having a national product launch as part of cocktail week is really exciting, and the event itself, held at Red Light, looks pretty special. Friday CHAMPAGNE AT THE GOLD BAR This is a new bar, which is always exciting, and there will be cocktails made with some really great Champagnes, including Dom Perignon! Saturday I will be at Psychopomp with Emilio, pairing cocktails with great cheeses from The Bristol Cheesemonger – what’s not to love? To find out more about Bristol Cocktail Week, and our ace local bar scene, read the full interview with Danny over on crumbsmag.com; for tickets, visit bristolcocktailweek.bar
Break the routine! Break that back to school routine and indulge in our famous afternoon tea in the elegance of the drawing room, just quote ‘Crumbs’ to receive 20% off your bill. OFFER SUBJECT TO AVAILABILITY. Available Monday – Thursday. Afternoon Tea offering subject to change. To book please call 0344 879 9106 and quote ‘Crumbs’ For details please email firstname.lastname@example.org
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Christmas Lunch or Dinner at Winford Manor Winford Manor has perfect surroundings for any kind of Christmas lunch or dinner: MANOR RESTAURANT WITH GARDEN VIEW AND TOP OF THE LINE CHEFS WELL STOCKED MODERN BAR PRIVATE FUNCTION ROOMS AMPLE FREE PARKING TWO COURSE XMAS LUNCH START AT £18.50 Remember our traditional Winford Manor Xmas Lunch on Xmas day. There are still spaces, early booking recommended.
Call 01275 472 292 See our website www.winfordmanor.co.uk
Our experienced chefs and our event managers can also help you put together a perfect client or staff evening. Buffet, plated meals and taster menus all available.
Of course, we also have accommodation, should that be required. If you quote “Crumbs” when you book your stay, we will give you an upgrade to one of the Manor Rooms for a standard room price (£90).
Perfect for a romantic night out.
Choose your weapons It’s weird, isn’t it? I hate it when a cup of hot coffee goes cold – I won’t drink it – but cold brewed coffee is a very different thing. That’s because it’s smooth and chilly and perfect for summer – especially the hot, people-packed summers of New York – but not at all watery or bitter. (At least, not if you make it right.) And it’s a million times better than your basic iced coffee – which is just regular filter coffee poured over ice – or the big coffee chain versions, which are sweetened to within an inch of their lives. It doesn’t get as hot here as New York, though, so cold brewed coffee seems more an affectation than a survival essential… That’s true, which is why we should enjoy it for its other pleasures too. A good cold brewed coffee, you see, is rich in flavour, subtle in its sweetness, and utterly refreshing – and its secret is that it’s steeped in cold water from the start, not brewed hot then cooled down with ice. Traditional iced coffee is made hot, fast and very strong – so the taste can survive dilution with all that frozen water – but this is a process that also makes it horribly bitter. Cold brew is different, its gentler infusion process taking up to 24 hours and keeping the acidity low throughout, leaving it sweeter. And because it’s already cold, you don’t need to serve it with much – or even any – ice, meaning there’s little dilution going on. It’s just coffee, though, so surely it’s easy enough to make at home? Indeed, and without extreme barista skills too; all you really need are coarse coffee grounds, cold water, a big jar, a big bowl, a sieve, some paper towels – and the patience to wait overnight for your brew. It’s possible to make it using your regular cafetière, too. So what do I need this thing for? I was about to say! Basically, the KitchenAid Artisan Cold Brew Coffee Maker is a way to make everything easier for yourself, reducing the process to three simple steps: grind, brew and pour. It steeps your coffee in cold water for at least 12 hours, and up to 24 (though over-steeping can result in the bitter flavours we’re trying to avoid), giving smooth, balanced results every time. There’s no need
BeST SeRved COLd
THE JAPANESE AND AMERICANS HAVE LONG SAID THAT COFFEE, LIKE REVENGE, IS BEST SERVED COLD. NOW, RECKONS MATT BIELBY, KITCHENAID HAS COME UP WITH A EASY WAY FOR US TO ENJOY ITS UNIQUE MELLOW QUALITIES TOO… to drink it all at once either, as – unlike regular coffee – the low acidity means it will keep in the fridge for weeks, actually saving you time each morning. Since it’s by KitchenAid, it’s pretty cool looking too, right? Yes, and solidly made – all stainless steel and chunky glass – as well as easy to clean and small enough to fit easily on a fridge shelf (or even in the door rack). From the fill guideline mark to the reusable stainless steel steeper for custom brewing, it’s designed to make the whole process as fool-proof as possible. Oh, and it’s surprisingly cheap, too.
THIS MONTH • COOL KIDS • EXPLOSIVES• GRAPE BUYS
Remortgage the house cheap, right? Not so; you can pick one up for £129. Not much, considering how cold brewing drags all the flavour (and, yes, all the caffeine) from your beans, but leaves behind everything that can make coffee sour. And when the weather turns you can just warm your cold brew up for the perfect hot cup, less bitter yet more caffeinated than filter coffee. You may have discovered your new morning pick-me-up. The KitchenAid Artisan Cold Brew Coffee Maker costs £129; find yours at KitchenAid stockists like Kitchens Cookshop or branches of Debenhams in Bristol and Bath; kitchenaid.co.uk
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RING OF FIRE AS THE VOLCANIC WINE TREND EXPLODES (AHEM), THIS SUPPER CLUB EXPLORES THE VINOS THAT HAVE ALL THE WINE GEEKS TALKINGâ€¦
WORDS BY JESSICA CARTER PHOTOS BY NICCI PEET
ast year, the Masters of Wine held a seminar on volcanic vino. The theme went on to be the focus of the London Wine Fair, and has continued to gain traction both as a drinking trend and a hot topic of discussion. It was also the inspiration for the offerings at the first pop-up event from brand new Bristolian venture, Fuga. Behind it are two mates – wine and beer buyer Madeline Andrews and events pro Becci Nicolle – who both have some real kitchen skill to bring to the table, alongside a ton of experience in their respective industries. “The volcanic trend started in Sicily, where Mount Etna is,” Madeline says. “There were studies carried out on the soil, to see how it affected the wines. “Volcanic soils are not very fertile at all, so the root of the vine has to dig deeper into the ground to get nutrients – this makes the resulting grape more complex. It also means the vines have lower yields, which in turn sees the fruit they do produce grow to be more concentrated.
I NS U T P H PE E SR T C U LD UI O B
Top Lane, Whitley, Wiltshire SN12 8QX 01225 704966 T f @peartreewhitley
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Becci (left) and Madeline (right) set up their new venture, Fuga, this year, and plan to host more food and wine focused events in the coming months...
“Vines grown in these soils are also high in iron – this is one of the only nutrients that can actually penetrate the grape. Really, minerals from the soil don’t make it into the grapes, but iron does.” As most of the world’s volcanoes (95 percent, no less) are arranged around the ‘Ring of Fire’ in the Pacific Basin, there were wines from Chile, New Zealand and California on the liquid line up, as you might expect, but also examples from Italy, Hungary, Greece and Germany, which have had varying degrees of volcanic influence. This first supper club was held at Floating Harbour Studios, in a converted early 20th century Dutch barge, moored on Welsh Back in Bristol. With a super set of green credentials, the boat collects rainwater, uses solar power, and has an eco-sanitation system. Guests came in couples and groups; some were there for the wine geekery, some just to share food and drink with mates, but everyone sat together in this intimate venue on two communal tables. The menus came equipped with information on each wine, and Madeline and Becci were both on hand to introduce each sip and small plate, which were carefully matched. “As I had a very specific idea about the wines I wanted, Becci created the menu around them,” Madeline tells us. “We went for simple, seasonal
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food that wouldn’t overpower the drink. Next time, we’ll work the other way, theming the evening around the food, with me finding matches for Becci’s dishes.” The guests began with glasses of Hungarian and Greek wines, the drinks’ acidity making them great partners to the heritage tomatoes that Becci served with mozzarella, Greek basil and a drizzle of coldpressed rapeseed oil. Next came a couple of Italian vinos; richer than the last, they stood up well to the confit fennel, oil and butter in the hake en papillote. Sirloin with pearl barley, red grapes and parsley was paired with reds light enough to let the fresh flavours shine through, while the roasted figs (served with prosciutto and Cheddar) had arguably the match of the night with a Zinfandel from Napa – the fig bringing forth the wine’s jammy character. So, what’s next for Fuga? More events, certainly (maybe even another before the year is out) and, who knows – perhaps even their very own wine bar in the future? In any case, if this first event is anything to go by, we reckon this collaboration can only get hotter. Ahem. Follow Fuga on Twitter and Instagram (@fugapresents) and Facebook for event info
Christmas AT Industry We are extremely proud of the ingredients we use here at industry, sourcing them exclusively from the amazing independent businesses on Gloucester Road.
2 COURSE £19.95 - 3 COURSE £26.95
Pre-orders & deposit of £5 per head required for all bookings. Glass of prosecco on arrival
STARTERS - Parsnip & cumin soup, malted toast, truﬄe oil. V - Duck, pork, bacon & pistachio terrine, rocket, caper dressing, toast. - Breaded single Gloucester from Jonathon Crump, Berkeley honey, red watercress. - 6 o’clock gin cured salmon, aioli, beet & dill pickles, rye crackers.
MAIN COURSE - Carved turkey crown, date & shallots stuﬃng, roast potatoes, seasonal vegetables, cranberry gravy. - Braised short rib of beef, mashed potato, cavelo nero, roast carrots, mulled jus. - Seared hake, chorizo, caper berries, beets, new potatoes, spinach, crème fraiche. - Roast butternut squash, spiced ﬁg ragu, rocket, seeds. V
DESSERT - Chocolate tart, honeycomb ice cream, honeycomb - 3 scoops of our homemade ice cream (choose from vanilla, chocolate, banana and choc, honeycomb or raspberry ripple) - Local cheese, crackers, chutney. - ½ Pint pot of blackforrest gateaux - Apple & cider crumble, custard.
Industry Bar & Kitchen - 141 Gloucester Road, Bishopston, Bristol, BS7 8BA. 01179 422735 firstname.lastname@example.org
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hake eN papiLLOte with cOnfit fenneL SERVES 4
INGREDIENTS 2 fennel bulbs, sliced 1 lemon, zested 2 garlic cloves pinch of chilli flakes rapeseed oil 1 leek, sliced 4 fillets of hake (approx 150g each), skinned and boned knob of butter 4 sprigs of dill METHOD 1 For the confit fennel, preheat the oven to 150C/300F/gas mark 2. 2 Place the sliced fennel in a baking dish, season with salt and pepper and scatter over the lemon rind. Crush the garlic cloves and add, along with a pinch of chilli flakes. Finally, cover with rapeseed oil and cook for 90 minutes. Once ready, turn off the heat and leave to cool in the oven before removing. 3 Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/gas mark 5. 4 Cut 4 circles of grease proof paper (dinner plate size), and in each place a handful of sliced leeks, Âź of the confit fennel and the hake fillet. Season with salt and pepper. Add a knob of butter, slice of lemon and sprig of dill. 4 Fold the paper over the filling and crimp the edges together, Cornish pasty-style. 5 Bake for 15 minutes, and serve in the parcel.
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K I T C H E N
A R M O U R Y
The Want List
INSPIRED BY THE TOP VINO GAME AT THIS ISSUE’S SUPPER CLUB, WE’VE BEEN HUNTING FOR JAZZY WINE GEAR...
1 LE CREUSET WINE AERATOR & DECANTER £49 This will make a great centrepiece on the dinner table; just stick the bottle in, neck down, and let the air bubbles do their thing, as this expertly designed decanter gets your wine ready to drink in no time. From Rossiers of Bath. rossitersofbath.com 2 SLIVERED GEODE COASTER £14 These gorgeous coasters are almost too pretty to put your glass on. (We said almost – nothings worth risking those ring marks for.) From Anthropologie in Bath. anthropologie.com 3 RANELAGH CHAMPAGNE FLUTES £38 With their etched design and vintage-style shape, these Champagne glasses (sold in packs for four) might well steal the thunder from the fizz itself... Available in Oka in Bath. oka.com 4 HARE BOTTLE STOPPER £8.95 Okay, okay; we know it’s rare there’s a bottle of vino left unfinished, but when the sitation does arise, this little guy can be put to great use. Available from Homefront Interiors in Bath. homefrontinteriors.co.uk 5 SAGAFORM ICE STONES £13.50 These stone cubes are made from Swedish glacial rock, and can be used to chill cold drinks or keep hot ones warm – we’re thinking about all the mulled wine we’ll be drinking this winter… From Salcombe Trading. salcombetrading.co.uk
SATURDAY 16TH SEPTEMBER THE
GLOUCESTER OLD SPOT
“Wonderfully fresh flavours... inherently satisfying dishes; staff are cool and calm and the atmosphere terrific.” MICHELIN GUIDE 2016
3RD BIRTHDAY PARTY! FOR THE KIDS 12PM - 5PM FACE PAINTING 1PM - 3PM BALLOON MODELLER 4PM - 5PM KIDS ENTERTAINER
LIVE MUSIC 3PM STORM FORCE 10 5PM CHINA BOWLS 7PM BENNY J HAYES 9PM VICTORIA KLEWIN & BAND 11PM DJ EMBO
B R E A K FA S T S E R V E D
9AM - 11.30AM MAIN MENU SERVED
12PM - 9PM
BBQ 12PM - 7PM
COMPLIMENTARY SPRITZ for you and your guests when dining To redeem, simply quote ‘crumbs’ on arrival
OPEN UNTIL 1AM www.theoldspotbristol.co.uk 0117 9247 693 email@example.com 138 -140 KELLAWAY AVENUE
Polpo Bristol 50 Whiteladies Road, Bristol BS8 2NH 0117 973 3100 www.polpo.co.uk
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to help create a more sustainable product. The juice then goes through pasteurisation, and that’s it. What kind of apples do you use, and where do they come from? We grow a lot of them here in our orchard. We also buy from local farmers and growers – we really believe in supporting other small local businesses like us. We use a selection of different apples, the ones that we will be picking in September will be Lord Lamborne, then we’ll move to Falstaff, Cox, Bramley and Jonagold.
JUICY GOSSIP! Meet Miles Bradley, the guy behind Somerset-based drinks producer BRADLEY'S JUICE...
t’s all kicking off on the Somerset farm where Bradley’s Juice is made right now; it’s a pretty exciting time. Having just launched their jazzy new labels, the team are eagerly awaiting a brand new, British-built belt press, which will streamline the pressing of this season’s West Country apples. Speaking of which, the season is nearly upon them: they’re all gearing up to start harvesting and pressing again this month. On top of that, they’ve recently won Great Taste Award stars for several of their drinks, and have been shortlisted as finalists for both the Bristol Life Awards and the Crumbs Awards. Founder of Bradley’s Juice Miles knows all there is to know about the juice business, and is about to let us in on the behind-the-scenes gossip... So, Miles; how long have you been making juice for, then? It’s about eight years, now. And how did it all start in the first place; what inspired you to start making juices? Well, we originally ran a veg box scheme, and had so many apples that we made some juice to put in the boxes. People started asking for the juice more than the veg so Bradley’s Juice was born!
Impressive. So what do you love most about working on this fine patch of the West Country? The people make the place. If you talk to growers and the farmers we deal with in this area, we find they’re all such nice people and willing to go out of their way to help you out. Who wouldn’t want to live and work somewhere like that? Plus the apples aren't bad either! Bradley’s Juice is perhaps best known for its apple juice – can you talk us through how it’s made? There is nothing in our apple juice except apples. We take our apples, we wash them, we hand-select them and then we put them through the mill before pressing them. We make sure nothing goes to waste from this process, too – we are currently looking at new ways to use the apple pomace, including working with a company that reintroduces it back in to the food chain. We believe in recycling as much as possible
We really can’t stand sweet, syrupy juices; please, please tell us these are different? We only use completely natural ingredients in all of our juices – nothing from concentrate. We believe that the best taste you will get will come from the fruit when it’s kept just as it is. We take our time to make our juice: for example, our ginger beer brews for up to eight days to give it the right flavour. So you’ve just had a rebrand, and we spy a pair of cricket bats on those new labels. Bit of a fan then, are we? Yes, I’m a big time supporter. I support England and the county (my son used to play as a junior for them as well). Somerset is, after all, the home both of good apples and good cricket! When you’re not drinking softies, what’s your tipple of choice? I do enjoy a good South African red wine (being South African I may be slightly biased!) but our cider, 'Bradders', is also pretty tasty!
Bradley’s Juice Company Box Bush Farm, Somerset BS24 6UA Tel: 01934 822356 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org x Find us on social media www.bradleysjuice.co.uk
Everything’s made in Somerset, right? Yep, all our juice is made by us (there are seven people in the team) on-site, here on our farm in North Somerset. We grow as many of the natural ingredients as we can ourselves, too.
Big bold American flavours! THIS ISNâ€™T THE KIND OF BBQ YOU COOK AT HOME!
COLSTON TOWER I BRISTOL I BS1 4UB
PE FOR GRFECT R NO N OUPS! PRE-OEED TO RDER !
0117 992 3999 | thesmokehaus.co.uk b @thesmokehausbristol I b @thesmokehausuk I x @thesmokehausuk
â€œRajasthan tasting menuâ€? available throughout September and October
10 The Mall | Clifton | BS8 4DR | 0117 360 0288 | email@example.com | www.nutmegbristol.com
M AI N S TOP CULINARY CAUSES, FAB FOOD DESTINATIONS, AND PEOPLE THAT MATTER
H I G H L I G H T S
THE STREETS How our street food culture is growing bigger and better... Page 69
There are some pretty unique places offering Xmas party packages this year – like these converted swimming baths in Bristol
We prepare for one of the local food calendar’s most exciting events Page 77
Ottolenghi tells us all about his latest book, ahead of a visit to Bath Page 97 P L U S
VENUES for your Xmas do
THE RUSTY STAG
The Street, Broughton Gifford, Wiltshire SN12 8PN 01225 308541 Open Tuesday – Sunday • Lunch & Dinner
MANIC STRE ET E ATE RS BATH AND BRISTOL HAVE DEVELOPED SOME REAL STREET CRED WHEN IT COMES TO THEIR FOODIE OFFERINGS; WE SPEAK TO LOCAL TRADERS ABOUT HOW PEOPLE ARE SWAPPING SIT-DOWN MEALS FOR ROADSIDE REFRESHMENTS...
S TA L L I N G
et’s begin by stating the obvious here; street food is hardy an exciting new concept – not by any stretch of the imagination. Some historians trace the trade as far back as ancient Greece, in fact. Historically, it was always a cheap, no-frills way to eat, and was considered to be primarily for the lower classes. Well. How things have changed, eh? The quality of food that street vendors now whip up roadside is better than ever, not to mention the variety, too. There are tonnes of reasons for this boom, one of the most obvious being our growing appetite for great quality
grub, coupled with the fact that mobile stalls are rather more financially forgiving than permanent premises and all their associated costs. This means that potential business owners are able to take more risks and test out the market in a wee bit more of a tentative fashion than committing to a full-on bricks-and-mortar site. Flora and Robin Slater of The Pickled Brisket would agree with that: “The street food circuit proved a supportive place to try and test our idea,” they tell us, when explaining how they took inspiration from Robin’s childhood to bring a new food concept to Bristol.
Robin was brought up on salt beef, not only eating it in specialist bars such as Selfridges’ Brass Rail and the famous Brick Lane Beigel Bake, but also at home with the family; his great aunt Gert used to brine salt beef under the bed in the spare room in their Stanmore home. Now, the pair cure their own beef – from cows farmed on the Somerset Levels – and serve it on bread from a local family bakery. They even have their very own mustard, produced by Gingerbeard’s Preserves. And the whole outfit has ended up being so successful they recently opened the city’s only salt beef bar alongside their street food business. And this isn’t the only local culinary first that was born on the street. Vic and Guy Siddall, for instance, were perhaps the first to really popularise Japanese gyoza in Bristol, by launching their stall, Eatchu. Having started off spending a summer cooking their dumplings at festivals, the pair quickly bagged themselves a coveted pitch at the famous St Nick’s market. People around the city were soon going crazy for their offering – so much so, the business took on some restaurant space there to complement their mobile business. Like Robin and Flora, Vic and Guy credit the local street trade with allowing them to take the leap in the first place. “Bristol’s street food scene is by far the most friendly, supportive and collaborative group of people that we’ve ever worked with,” says Guy. “Everyone we trade alongside knows just how hard it is to be running your own own business, so there is far more of a sense of camaraderie rather than competitiveness.” These guys have proved that starting a street food business is – as well as being a venture in itself – a great springboard from which to launch yourself into other branches of trade. That might be opening a permanent site, or it could be building up an events catering business – like Pizza Monkey has done. Nick Higgs started his business in 2012 and the popularity of his pizzas has seen his company evolve hugely over the last five years. “We spent the first few years ‘on the streets’ before starting to get corporate and weddings bookings – which are now our main business,” he says. “We put this 100 percent down to the exposure and experience that street food gave us, and for this are very grateful. With minimal investment, street food allows budding foodies to follow their passion and perhaps share age old family recipes and cuisines with the people of Bristol – and I think that’s great.” Two such “budding foodies” were Clare and Rob Dacey, who were able to pack in their jobs and launch Smoke Catering. Having been born in the USA, Rob already had a connection with the food there, but it wasn’t until the pair took a southern road trip that they were inspired to recreate US-style barbecuing in the UK, and commissions a custom-made smoker from Texas. “Rob’s American and his brother lives in Dallas so we’ve been out there a few times now and just love how they do their incredible barbecues; their passion is unreal, and so are the results,” says Claire. The pair smoke their meat using mostly oak and ash logs; expect to find nine-hour-smoked brisket,
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baby back ribs and hot smoked salmon on cedar planks among the options on their menu. This relatively new focus on street food in the UK is certainly gaining traction, but it has taken us far longer to catch onto the concept than many other countries, where it’s been bound up in their culture for centuries. This explains why such a high percentage of our traders here are influenced so heavily by food from overseas. All across Asia, for instance, eating roadside is a part of the every day, and the same is true of much of South America. While we may be familiar with these foods in general, we’ve anglicised a lot of it to a pretty extreme extent, Chris and Kerry Hall of The Little Taquero, might argue. “When in Mexico, we were blown away by how different the authentic food was compared to what we have come to know as Mexican food in the UK,” Chris explains. “The idea was to learn the recipes from the locals and bring them back, unchanged. “One of the cornerstones of Mexican street food is the soft corn tortilla. We were not satisfied with the quality and freshness of the corn tortillas available here in the UK, though, so have hand-made every single tortilla ourselves since beginning in May 2015, and these form the base of our tacos.”
aving yourself a great idea, a set of perfected recipes and a portable kitchen are just the first challenges of starting a street food biz, though; let’s not downplay the task of finding yourself a regular pitch to trade from. Sure, Bristol has its fair share of markets – now. Think back to 2013, though, and there were a few less. In fact, the number of stalls completely outweighed the number of available pitches, meaning people found it tough to get a regular spot. This led to Bristol Eats being founded that year, when a group of like-minded traders got together with the aim of putting on their own markets on privately owned land, such as The Tobacco Factory in Southville. “At the time, this kind of thing did not exist,” Darrin Dart of Bristol Eats tell us. “It was a real struggle to get regular market pitches, as the council events were oversubscribed, and we knew that between us we could offer something more ethical, creative and local than what was out there.” Despite the events (which are held in all kinds of locations across the city) having become so popular, the team still adhere strictly to their original criterea – not only in terms of food, but also ethics. “We have very high standards which each trader must achieve in order to have the chance to be voted in by our existing members. These include using biodegradable packaging, sourcing local produce, hand-making their dishes, having good hygiene standards, offering a vegetarian option...” Speaking of veggie choice, with more and more people cutting back on their meat intake, that’s something which Darrin reckons Bristsol Eats could do with more of. “I really feel that we need more vegetarian and vegan traders as part of our collective. While all our traders are able to offer alternatives to meat as part of the selection process, we only have one truly veggie trader in Gopal’s Curry Shack. And times are a changing, so we’d love to hear from people offering plant-based options.”
From Southernstyle barbecue food by Smoke Catering (above and top left) to wood-fired pizzas by Pizza Monkey (left), mobile ovens can knock up all sorts of grub
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Bath Artisan Market and its brunchfocused sibling (right) are providing more opportunity for vendors in Bath; The Little Taquero (below) offers authentic Mexican food in the South West of the UK
FIND ’EM HERE!! Bristol Eats: Tobacco Factory on the 9 September, Temple Quay every second and fourth Thursday of the month, Steam on 29 September. (They’re also launching a new street food village this month, in collaboration with the Bristol University campus at Royal Fort Gardens, behind the new physics building); bristoleats.co.uk Eatchu: Exchange Avenue, Monday-Saturday lunchtimes; eatchu.co.uk Enggi's Kitchen: St Nicholas Friday Market, Tobacco Factory Market, Old Mill Portishead Saturday Market; enggiskitchen.com For Mice and Men: Temple Quay Market, Finzels Reach Market, Harbourside Market; formiceandmen.com. Gopal’s Curry Shack: Tobacco Factory Market (first three Sundays of the month), and Cargo 2 from Tuesday to Sunday; gopalscurryshack.co.uk Gosha’s Pierogi: Tobacco Factory Market on Sundays; goshaspierogi.com The Little Taquero: Temple Quay Market, Harbourside Market, Tobacco Factory Market, King Street Night Market; thelittletaquero.co.uk Pickled Brisket: Temple Quay Market, The Frome Independent, Cargo 2; thepickledbrisket.co.uk Pizza Monkey: Bristol Eats events; pizzamonkey.co.uk Planted: check Facebook page for dates; facebook.com/plantedfood Smoke Catering: Bristol Eats Market, check Twitter for updates on whereabouts; smokecatering.com
The Tobacco Factory holds its own Sunday markets too, where you’ll find Gopal’s Curry Shack, Gosha’s Perogies, For Mice and Men, and new vegan food biz, Planted. As well as events like these on private property, markets held on public land have grown, too – both in size and number. Think of the re-launched Farmers’ and Producers’ Market (every Wednesday on Corn Street and Wine Street); the Harbourside Market (Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays), which all but doubled in size not long ago, and added an extra day; Temple Quay Market (Thursday lunchtimes), which has gone from monthly to weekly; Finzels Reach Market (Friday lunchtimes), which launched earlier this year in this newly developed part of the city; and the new BS5 Market (first Sunday of the month), which takes place in St George Park. “We had three things we wanted to achieve with the market,” says co-founder Holly Chalmers. “Provide a platform for people to try out their new business idea, celebrate the amazing local food talent, and invite locals, and all of Bristol, to our beautiful neighbourhood.” And they quickly experienced, firsthand, the demand. “We started out with just nine stalls. Now we regularly have 20, and have to turn people away. We’re currently working with the council to see how we can expand.” Bath has seen a similar increase in street food-friendly markets, too. The guys behind the Bath Artisan Market have now launched the Bath Brunch Market at Green Park Station (which itself hosts markets every day), on the second Sunday of each month. “The street food scene seems to be thriving in Bath, and it’s exciting,” comments the founder of these markets, Catherine Stokes. “Bristol has long been a proponent of street food, but Bath seemed slow off the mark. Maybe this was because there were fewer outlets for traders, who are usually start-ups or people making a side-income out of their passion. But we’re now offering them an opportunity to showcase their creativity in a low risk, low cost way.” The street food scene isn’t just confined to the cities, mind. The Frome Independent is an epic, award-winning market-cum-festival which takes place on the first Sunday of the month (March-December) in this eclectic market town. Traders are chosen for their innovative food and use of locally made produce, meaning you’ll find everything from Chinese food by Ah-Ma’s Dumplings to Italian treats by Stefano’s Homemade Food, and great British grub, like freshly grilled sausages from Penleigh Farm. Thanks to its variety, quality, convenience and good prices, street food is still gaining traction, and the more it grows, the higher the bar is pushed. It seems our patch is really making up for lost time.
BEATS AT TOBACCO FACTORY FACTOBERFECT!
TEMPLE QUAY MARKET LEAVE YOUR LUNCH AT HOME
End of Summer King St Night Market
BEATS EATS STEAM SUMMER STREET FOOD PARTY
WE WOULD LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU
Get in touch about any of our traders, or for events and press enquiries - www.bristoleats.co.uk
SERVING UP THE BEST FILIPINO STREET FOOD IN BATH My street food is served fresh at Green Park Station, Bath. Meals include lechon manok rotisserie chicken, belly pork, sour dough wraps, salads, potatoes and spicy bean rice. Need catering for your event? Let me know! I can bring something special to any event. Your guests will receive the best food as well as the best service!
LOCATION & CONTACT
Green Park Station, Bath BA1 1JB | 07713642206 | firstname.lastname@example.org
FOR CATERING EVENTS OF ALL SHAPES, SIZES AND BUDGETS
• Weddings • Corporate events • Milestone birthdays
• Private parties • Charity events • Product launches
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A WHOLE LOTTA LOVE LOVEJOYS LARDER is celebrating its first year of trading...
fter many years as a market gardner Neil Mortimer set up Lovejoys Wholesale in 1995 to supply locally grown fruit and vegetables to the catering industry. The business now has a customer base of around 250, with a fleet of 15 vans supplying an area which includes Bath, Somerset, Wiltshire and Gloucestershire. Tracy Hillier has worked for 20 years in the fresh food industry and recently joined forces with Neil to launch a new venture. Thanks to the pair’s shared passion and enthusiasm for fresh, quality food Lovejoys Larder was formed in the summer of 2016, to enable chefs to get most of their
everyday ingredients delivered to their door every day through Lovejoys Wholesale’s existing delivery service. As well as supplying the necessary items from further afield, Lovejoys Larder strives to source the best collection of ingredients and foods that the West Country has to offer. A year later it has proven that building on the same important Lovejoys ethos – quality, service and personal attention – is the key to a successful business. For instance, you can pick up the phone and speak to someone for advice and information, and any unusual or hard-to-come-by products can be requested and their team will do their utmost to source them. Supplying not only pubs and restaurants but also schools, nurseries and nursing homes, Lovejoys Larder has become very versatile. Although the store cupboard staples are an important part of the business, the gluten-free and organic ranges have grown immensely. Tracy has worked tirelessly to establish the new business over the last 12 months, and has even achieved an Organic
Wholesale Licence with the Soil Association. Lovejoys is also working with independent local producers to supply as much local produce to their customers as possible. They have some fabulous local artisan ice creams and gelato, handmade with natural flavourings. Cheese is also available from various producers in the local area. The Larder has recently moved to their own independent warehouse after outgrowing the space available within Lovejoys Wholesale. This has allowed their product range to expand as their customers requests continue to grow. Focusing initially on existing customers, Lovejoys Larder are excited to move onto the next phase and introduce new customers and new product lines.
For more information lovejoyslarder.com 01225 790674
The Prince Street Social is a very welcoming modern style city centre bar & restaurant.
Twitter - @princestsocial Instagram - prince_street_social Facebook - @princestreetsocial
Open 10am til late 7 days a week delivering an exceptional food menu be it breakfast, lunch or dinner throughout the day until late evening, complimented with a wonderful wine, beer & cocktail collection. All dishes freshly prepared on site using the best local ingredients where possible. If it’s just a drink you’re after, then relax with one of our house original cocktails, a wine from our discerning wine list or one of our beers brewed just around the corner by our sister venue the King Street Brewhouse. Perfectly situated close by to the picturesque Queens Square, harbour side, all of the theatres, hotels, shopping areas with car parking facilities on our doorstep for all of those colleague, family and friends social occasions. email@example.com www.theprincestreetsocial.com 0117 4058949 The Prince Street Social, Prince Street, Bristol BS1 4PS
The King Street Brew House is an urban style city centre pub with its very own micro-brewery. We create our own range of cask and keg beers which complement our selection of ever changing guest craft brews. We serve a delicious array of modern classic pub food all day from lunchtime until late, all prepared using fresh ingredients. Reserve a table for getting together with friends, family or colleagues, or hire our Tank Room on our lower ground floor for private dining, parties or watching live sports.
13 Welsh Back, Bristol BS1 4RR 0117 405 8948
Brewery tours and Brewery experience days can be booked in advance if you’d like to learn more about the beers we make and the general brewing process. Gift vouchers are available, so whether you’d like to have a look around our brewery, or go the whole hog and brew a batch of beer with Simon, our head brewer, then get in touch!
www.k i n g st r eet b r ew h o u s e.c o.u k
TALKIN’ ’BOUT OUR GENERATION
WE AT TEAM CRUMBS – ALONG WITH A HOST OF LOCAL CHEFS AND FOOD EXPERTS – ARE GATHERING OUR LOOSE CHANGE FOR THE BRIDGE TOLL, AS WE HEAD FOR ABERGAVENNY FOOD FESTIVAL TO HOST OUR VERY OWN EVENT...
he biggest, most established food festival in Wales happens every September in the rather lovely little market town of Abergavenny – and this year it’s coming of age, as it’s turning 18. Founded in 1999 by a couple of farmers who wanted to connect consumers to their local food and producers, it ain’t half grown, and now sees as many as 30,000 hungry visitors showing their faces in the town over the course of the two-day festival. Although it’s had a bit of a growth spurt – well, it is officially an adult now, after all – the festival very much stays true to its roots; something that Bristol-based Ishita Wilkins – food blogger and founder of book club-cum-supper club concept Eat Your Words – loves it for. “There is a feeling of authenticity about the festival that’s hard to
reproduce elsewhere,” she says. “There’s a real sense of connection here, which links growing and farming with small-scale and high quality producers. The festival is also great at demonstrating the kitchen skills needed to get that food on the plate.” Ishita will be at this year’s event, which takes place on 16-17 September, to put on a very special Eat Your Words session with celebrated chef and food writer, Olia Hercules. Another familiar face from our patch (and these here pages), Freddy Bird, will also be in attendance, as will Elly Curshen (Elly Pear, to some), food photographer Rob Wicks, brewer Kelly Sidgwick, drinks pros Fiona Beckett and Kate Hawkings, Indian chef Romy Gill, Psychopomp founder Danny Walker... and the list goes on. And we should all car pool really, because – yes! – Crumbs is also amongst the names in this delicious-sounding lineup. Get us, hey?
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K I RS T I E YOU N G P H OTO GRA P H Y
Our very own ed, Jess, will be chairing a special event on the Sunday: Revolting British Chefs will see Jan Ostle from the much-ravedabout Wilsons (Bristol), eco-chef Tom Hunt from award-wining ethical restaurant Poco (Bristol and London), and Zoe Adjonyoh, of Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen (London), discuss the current crop of hot young chefs who are changing the way we cook, serve and eat our food. We’ll be talking about the way they run their kitchens, what changes they feel we need to see in our food industry, what impact diners have, and the challenges we’re all facing. But let’s back up for a sec, and set the scene here. What, exactly, has induced this uprising? What is the problem with conventional ways of running restaurants? And how did we get to this point in the first place? “Food’s too cheap,” Tom told us, when we gave him a buzz recently to chat about the event. “I don’t mean that in an undemocratic way – everyone should have access to good food. But, through our current food system, we’re exploiting resources and it’s costing us all; through the effect it’s having on local environments (polluting waters and things like that, thanks to the overuse of pesticides and fertilisers), but also globally, through climate change and the global food system. We’ve created an incredibly efficient food system which makes food unrealistically cheap, and then causes all of this destruction. “I want everyone to be able to afford good food, and I think that, through practicing root-to-fruit eating – eating whole foods, and adopting a plant-focused (but not necessarily vegetarian) diet – everyone can create a budget that will allow them to buy good food without doing harm.” And it’s not just about the financial challenges impacting on consumers, but chefs and restaurant owners too. These issues have shaped the way Jan Ostle runs his restaurant, Wilsons, too. “The biggest problems are ultimately financial,” he says. “Put quite simply, rents have gone up, as have wages, VAT and cost of ingredients – but the price most people are willing to pay for a meal has not changed. It makes the already difficult margins more complex, and leads to issues like staff shortages and other massive problems that we all experience. “At Wilsons we are lucky in our ability to grow a lot of our own produce – it doesn’t defeat the issue, but does help limit its impact.” Indeed, Jan’s efforts to try and bring down his outgoing costs has resulted in him actually serving some of the best-quality ingredients a chef can – meat which he’s shot himself, and in-season fruit, veg and herbs that have been homegrown and picked fresh. Zoe – who founded hugely popular Ghanaian supper clubs in London, which led to the launch of a restaurant and a cookery book – can relate to Tom and Jan’s points, too. “The costs of producing high-quality food is always on the rise,” she says, “and trying to make sure consumers are getting a fair deal whilst sticking to principles in the kitchen is probably the biggest challenge – no matter what cuisine you are cooking.” So, if we’re not paying the price for good food in cold hard cash, the planet – and, to some extent, our health – may well be footing the bill instead. But it’s not all bleak. Tom, Jan and Zoe own successful and responsibly run businesses, and are helping to carve a path that more are beginning to follow. Come hear them talk, and learn how our food landscape is changing, thanks to pioneers like these guys.
HE PB UR NPHOTO
Abergavenny Food Festival has grown from humble beginnings, and now attracts many big name, pioneering chefs – some of whom we know from this very region
Revolting British Chefs takes place on Sunday, 17 September at 1pm; for tickets to this, and any other festival event, visit abergavennyfoodfestival.com
A cut above...
Come and try our fabulous wine pairing tasting menu! 12-16 Clifton Road, Clifton, Bristol BS8 1AF Tel: 01173 291300 Longmead Gospel Hall, Lower Bristol Road, Bath BA2 3EB Tel: 01225 446656 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.themintroom.co.uk
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FANTASTIC FEASTS & WHERE TO FIND THEM (THIS CHRISTMAS!)
THIS YEARâ€™S OFFICE XMAS DO, FESTIVE SHINDIG WITH MATES OR ANNUAL FAMILY REUNION HAS THE POTENTIAL TO BE THE BEST YET; CHECK OUT THE FOOD, DRINK AND PARTY VIBES THAT OUR LOCAL JOINTS ARE SERVING UP THIS YULETIDE SEASON... 83
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ABBEY HOTEL Bath
There are a ton of ways you can celebrate the festive season at this popular Bath venue. Think a three-course dinner with fizz, wine and a disco in its restaurant Allium or Igloo room (from £45pp); fondue parties in the aprés-ski bar (£12.50pp); festive buffets (£30pp); and loads more. Seriously – loads more. And all feature the skilled cooking of this top kitchen team. abbeyhotelbath.co.uk
With a Middle Eastern-inspired menu, this place won't be offering your standard poultry over Crimbo. Available for lunch (£19.95) or dinner (£24.95), the festive menu here kicks off with mezze for the table – falafels, skewers, dips and flatbreads – before moving into mains such as rotisserie lamb with pine nut and gram pilaf, and desserts to share. No matter what the wintry weather is doing outside, this colourful, casual restaurant will have you in good spirits. bambalan.co.uk
Bristol and Glastonbury As well as offering the customary threecourse affair (from £17), these guys have put a festive spin on the creations that they’re probably best known for, to offer Christmas groups something a little different. For £20 you get a welcome cocktail, 13-inch pizza and dessert. The generously-topped pizzas on offer include Ye Faithful (turkey, chorizo and caramelised parsnip), and Mushers Delight (pan-fried Brussels sprouts, artichoke, caramelised parsnip and creamed mushroom). bocabar.co.uk
BRISTOL SPIRIT Bristol (duh)
The team at this cool little bar in Redfield can create a fully bespoke party package for you this Christmas. With a space that will allow for 30 people seated or 40 standing, your group could tuck into a festive buffet or mingle while nibbling on cracking canapés (give the team
a shout for prices). The drinks list is pretty impressive too, with the venue using its own brand of spirits to mix into cocktails. This kooky bar can also host film screenings, so pick your favourite Xmas flick and get yourself in the festive mood. espensenspirit.com
Five courses for £30? Sounds like a bit of a bargain to us, especially considering the quality that this well-established pub and restaurant is known for. Your amuse-bouche will be followed by the likes of beetroot three ways with goat’s cheese and hazelnut, then perhaps turkey breast and leg with red cabbage, cranberry and sprouts, then a predessert, and finally you might go for cinnamon panna cotta with plum sorbet. But, you know, we’d really better let you choose. thechequersbath.com
GAINSBOROUGH BATH SPA
Bath Exec chef Dan Moon is working his magic in the kitchen this festive season, and has come up with a blinder of a lunch menu, which is running from 23 November. Guests will be welcomed with a glass of mulled wine before getting stuck into a classy four-course spread (including a main of roast partridge with chestnut purée, creamed sprouts and pickled red cabbage). It’s all on a super-value two-forone basis as well, at £40 per pair. Yes, really. thegainsboroughbathspa.co.uk
sausage, for a fancy French take on the classic festive main that we all love so much. glassboat.co.uk
Moored on the river alongside the cobbles of Welshback, this floating restaurant is inspired by refined bistro-style cooking, and will be serving prix fixe lunches (from £16.50), Christmas a la carte meals (£37.50 for three courses), and sharing menus (from £37.50 a person). The chefs have come up with a festive turkey dish, but not as you know it; here, the bird will be served with butter braised leg, pommes Anna and Toulouse
This contemporary bar and kitchen is a great space for a party. The menu that they’re putting on for festive celebrations in the lead up to C-day (£23 for two courses or £27 for three) this year covers meat eaters, veggies and pescatarians, with mains such as slowcooked brisket bourguignon, herb-crusted cod, and honey roasted vegetable tart. And yes, the bird of course makes an appearance, as well. thegreenhousewg.co.uk
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GROUNDED All Over Grounded has given some of its usual culinary suspects a bit of a twist for this year’s festive menu – think spiced turkey burgers and festive pizzas – and is also cooking up more traditional dishes, like rolled turkey crown with cranberry and chestnut stuffing. Aiming to cater for the whole crew, the chefs will make sure there are vegan and gluten-free options available. The menu is £22.50 for three courses, or £18.50 for just two, and is running throughout the whole of December. cafegrounded.co.uk HARBOUR HOTEL Bristol
It’s just about a year since this jazzy new hotel opened in the city centre, moving into two handsome former banks in the historic financial district of Bristol. It offers shared or private Christmas party packages (from £30) in two gorgeous rooms, with dishes including black truffle and mascarpone tortellini in wild mushroom and lentil broth, and traditional stuffed turkey with creamed sprouts. bristol-harbour-hotel.co.uk
HARE AND HOUNDS Bath
This ace gastropub – which has some of the best views in Bath, we reckon – will be kicking off its top three-course feasts (£28.50) with extra amuse-bouches. Well, it is Christmas. Available from from 24 November, the menus include roast cod with bread-crumbed risotto cake; duck breast with a spiced honey glaze; and roast butternut squash with goat’s cheese, caramelised onions, balsamic and pine nuts. That’s as well as the classic T-bird, obvs. hareandhoundsbath.com
HOLBORNE MUSEUM Bath
Looking for a venue with a bit of pizazz? This one ought to do the trick. The team will
as 6 O’Clock gin-cured salmon with beet and dill pickles; traditional turkey crown with date and shallot stuffing; and apple and cider crumble. industrybarandkitchen.co.uk
KING STREET BREW HOUSE
work with you to create a do that’s tailored specifically to you and your group (from £60 per person). Maybe you’re after a threecourse meal, a Champagne reception, or a fancy cocktail and canapé party? You can get it here, and enjoy it in a pretty unique setting, right in the centre of Bath. holburne.org
HOP POLE Bath
Is there anywhere that’s going to be more quintessentially festive than a traditional British pub this Crimbo? If cosy and classic is what you’re after, have a chat with these guys, who’ll be serving two- and three-course festive menus (£21.95 and £24.95), featuring braised beef; seabass with vermouth crab bisque; and a roast cauliflower, chestnut, cranberry and lentil number – as well as the classic bird. All the Christmas comforts. bathales.com
INDUSTRY BAR AND KITCHEN Bristol
This place sources almost all the ingredients that feature on its menus from neighbouring indie Gloucester Road suppliers – and the Christmas offering is no different. The two(£19.95) or three-course (£26.95) options both include a glass of Prosecco, and dishes such
Bristol Fancy mixing it up a bit this year? How does a tour of the microbrewery at this joint sound? See where the magic happens before tucking into a buffet (from £13.50 a head) of pigs in blankets with honey and mustard glaze, and smoked mac ’n’ cheese fritter, or sitting down to a traditional three-courser (£24.50). Psst: there are drinks deals to be had for parties booked for Mondays and Tuesdays. kingstreetbrewhouse.co.uk
KING WILLIAM INN Bath
From 25 November, the Xmas menu at this friendly inn will be a go, with the chefs being careful to cater for dietary requirements – everyone should be able to enjoy a festive dinner, after all. Available as a two-course (£18.95) or three-course (£23.95) meal (and, go on, add a cheese course for an extra three quid too – it’s Christmas), the festive menu includes starters like roasted pepper and sun-blushed tomato terrine with balsamic glazed onions, mains such as 12-hour-braised shoulder of lamb in red wine sauce, and desserts like baked vanilla cheesecake with berry compote. kingwilliaminn.co.uk
This awesome venue – a revamped Victorian swimming baths – serves up a gorgeous menu of Middle Eastern, Spanish and north African-inspired food, all year round. And you’ll be happy to know that Christmas time is no exception – expect mussel, saffron and celeriac soup; seared Iberico pork;
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wood-roast pumpkin with pekmez tahini dressing; and slow-roast suckling pig with quince aioli on December’s menu. Choose to go for a classic three-courser, or try something a bit more social and have the sharing menu (both are from £37.50 a person). The restaurant and private dining room are both available for exclusive hire, too. lidobristol.com
THE LOCKSBROOK INN Bath There’s a bit of an incentive for all you party organisers here: if you book for a group of 10 or more, you’ll bag yourself a £25 voucher to use here in the new year. Do we have your attention now? Thought so. The meal will begin with rustic bread with tapenade, olive oil and aioli, followed by starters like chicory, pear, blue cheese and walnut salad, then mains such as roast turkey with chestnuts and bread sauce. Rounded off with classic, comforting desserts like bread and butter pudding with cream, this menu is looking pretty great value for £27, we’d say. thelocksbrookinn.com
will be available too, to complete probably the most stylish Christmas do you’ve had. milkthistlebristol.com
THE MALAGO Bristol
Having only opened in the summer, this indie neighbourhood restaurant has put together its first ever Christmas menu – and it looks pretty good to us. Running throughout December and priced at around £25 for three courses, it features locally sourced ingredients in dishes such as pheasant breast with bacon, leek and cider broth, and feather blade of beef with celeriac purée, kale and pancetta. (There’s turkey available to pre-order, too, if you like to keep things classic.) themalago.club
THE MARLBOROUGH TAVERN Bath
Designated drivers, give us a cheer! You all drink for free during Christmas parties at this popular Bath gastropub. Either book a table for a four-course festive meal (£28), or go the whole hog and hire out the private dining room for your group. The special party menu is populated by the likes of venison haunch with fondant potato and red wine jus, and butternut squash, wild mushroom and spinach Wellington, and is available as of 24 November – best get booking. marlborough-tavern.com
NESTON FARM SHOP AND KITCHEN Atworth
METHUEN ARMS Corsham Talented chef Leigh Evans is well known throughout our patch for his cooking, and this will be his first Christmas at the helm of this newly redesigned and much-loved restaurant and pub. Expect a bit of theatre from his festive party menus (from £27.50), which include dishes such as pressed salt beef with pickles and beef dripping sourdough; venison with blackberries and smoked garlic dauphinoise; hake with onion bhaji and curried butternut squash; and artichoke ‘tart’ with Stilton. themethuenarms.com MILK THISTLE Bristol This speakeasy-style bar in the city centre is set over four floors, and gives you a number of options for a Christmas party – maybe have canapés (£15pp) in The Parlour; a buffet (£20pp) in The Lounge, or a private sit-down meal (£39.95) up in The Attic. Of course, those premium cocktails that the bar is known for
If you’ve got a good-sized gang that needs catering for at your festive shindig, then the chefs at this farm-based restaurant just outside of Bath can cook you up a grazing menu (for 40 guests and up, from £6pp) of mulled pork sliders, pigs in blankets, blue cheese and fig sticks and the like, or a more traditional but still chilled two-course meal (from £15 to £20), which offers roast beef from sister farm Hartely, or Castlemead turkey. nestonfarmshop.co.uk
NO.15 GREAT PULTENEY
Bath You can have your choice of private dining room here – The Pulteney Room or The Dispensary – for a three-course lunch (£29) or dinner (£39) with no hire fee. Just pre-order your food (Bath Blue cheese beignets with Turkish figs; 18-hour braised ox cheek; or roast Cornish hake with caramelised cauliflower, perhaps), and get your festive playlist sorted for the occasion! There are also various drink and canapé packages, too. no15greatpulteney.co.uk
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How about some warming, vibrant Indian food for your do this year? Priced at £32.50 for two courses or £35 for three, Nutmeg’s festive party menus include a welcome drink, amuse bouche, and bread and rice for the table. A carefully chosen selection of their top Indian dishes will be on offer for parties, and you can have yours any time from mid-November until 23 December. nutmegbristol.com
THE OX Bristol
There are different festive menus on offer at both the Corn Street and Clifton branches of this popular steak restaurant, and we reckon both will upstage whatever you ate least year. Available for lunch (£29.50) or dinner (£39.50), the menus include the likes of 75-day aged rump with bone marrow gravy and triplecooked chips, and fillet of cod with shellfish chowder, and you can either book for a group or go for exclusive hire. Throw in a glass of fizz on arrival for four quid per person too. theoxbristol.com
PATA NEGRA Bristol
If you’re, like, so over turkey, then this Spanish tapas joint is good shout, as it’ll be shunning British tradition for social Mediterranean food, and offering tapas feasts this festive season (£28pp) of Spanish charcuterie, seasonal croquetas and wild mushroom empanada. For larger groups the chefs can whip up a tapas buffet, or for a more chilled out affair you can opt for platters of bitesized pintxos (£2 per piece), which will go perfectly with a sherry. (Why should we save it all for Father Christmas, anyway?) patanegrabristol.com
PALMER STREET BOTTLE
Frome This cool new bar-cum-bottle shop is getting right in on the festive action for its first Christmas season. Make the most of its selection of top craft beers, wines and spirits while you graze on ace West Country cheese boards and canapés in this cosy, urban-style joint. Party options include hire of the whole venue (which accommodates 30-40 people), and prices start at £20 a head. palmerstbottle.co.uk
PEAR TREE Whitley This lovely farm house-style pub will be just the place to warm up with a tipple and share a big festive meal this winter. Available throughout December up until Christmas Eve, a meal from the celebration menu might start with maple and mustard-glazed belly pork with plum dressing, continue with a main of beetroot and squash Wellington, kale pesto and spiced red cabbage, and be rounded off by baked egg custard tart with spiced pear and nutmeg ice cream. Choose two or three courses each, for £23 or £28 respectively. peartreewhitley.co.uk PIEMINISTER Bristol There will be four festive pies on the go at Pieminister’s Bristol locations this Xmas, which will surely get you into the spirit of things. The Cracker is a brand new addition for this year, and contains free-range British turkey and ham, along with cranberries, parsnips and sherry. This, along with the other fine pastry treats, will be served with buttery mash, gravy and either crushed, minted peas or braised red cabbage. It’s not only about the
pies, though; Pieminister can offer bespoke party packages of all kinds – contact the team to find out more. pieminister.co.uk
Keeping things low key for Crimbo, this tapas and sherry bar will be offering mixed tapas for £15 per head. With house wines starting from £19.95, it’s a pretty great-value option for groups who want to bypass the usual turkey dinner, and instead want a relaxed, social shindig with great food in a cosy and festive atmosphere. pintxo.co.uk
PRINCE STREET SOCIAL
Bristol These guys are offing a discounted rate on parties booked for between 23 November and 7 December (except for ThursdaySaturday bookings), so it’s no wonder they’ve got a good few dos already penned in the diary. Buffets (from £13.75 a head) include the likes of chestnut, sprout and leek rolls, and smoked duck with pomegranate and celeriac remoulade, while you’ll find the classic bird on the sit-down, multiple-course option (from £19.50). princestreetsocial.com
THE ROMAN BATHS KITCHEN and THE PUMP ROOM Bath
From 23 November, the chefs at these famous Bath venues will be offering three ways to celebrate the festive season: a Christmas menu (from £20 for two courses); a cocktails and canapés package, where guests get to create and drink winter cocktails while enjoying great nibbles (£36pp); and a cocktail and dinner party, which rounds
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off a guided cocktail-making session with a yuletime meal (£46pp). romanbathkitchen.co.uk
THE RUMMER Bristol
It’s not the usual suspects that make up the evening Christmas party menu at this historic Bristol bar and restaurant. We’re talking venison tartare with horseradish and burnt shallots, followed by Jerusalem artichoke and truffle soup, then rolled goose with kale and chestnut. Then, you might get a brandy set custard, and finally mulled cider apple pie with fig ice cream. That little lot is £34.99, although they may be able to sort you out with a bit of a discount if you’re booking your party for early in the week, and there’s also a lunch option for £29.95. therummer.net
SALT AND MALT
Chew Valley Available for private hire this year, as well as for smaller Christmas party bookings, this place, owned by Michelin-star chef Josh Eggleton, has packages for all sorts of budgets, party sizes and preferences. Drinks, canapés, fish and chip buffets or suppers start at £12 a head, while turkey roasts are available from £14, and there are two- and three-course set menus as well (£17 and £22). Perched right on the edge of Chew Valley Lake, this place definitely has a draw in its picturesque, out-oftown location. saltmalt.com
SHOP 3 BISTRO Bristol
In keeping with the rustic style and focus on wild ingredients that you'll find at this top Clifton restaurant all year round, the festive menu features the likes of roast haunch of Dartmoor venison with braised shoulder pie, winter sprouts and hedgerow jus; fresh Cornish market fish with cockles, olive oil roast cauliflower and vanilla parsnip;
and pumpkin and pumpernickel gnocchi with buttermilk ricotta and caramelised radicchio. The three-course menu is £34, and there are discounts for groups of six or more who book for off-peak times. You can even hire the whole of this pretty little venue if there’s a heap of you. shop3bistro.co.uk
SS GREAT BRITAIN Bristol There’s a pretty spesh festive do going on onboard this former ocean liner: the Christmas Captain’s dinner (£54) is taking place on 16 December, and will see guests treated to a festive cocktail on arrival, followed by four courses of fine dining fare (the turkey comes in the form of a parcel wrapped up in smoked pancetta with cranberry and onion stuffing), and a tour of the ship. Brunel will be in attendance (okay, probs not the man himself), telling tales and recounting the ship’s history. ssgreatbritain.org THREE TUNS Bristol
This indie pub is serving a Christmas menu created by chef Chris Hogg from Porchetta, who had a pop up residency during the summer. Now he’s back and cooking up both traditional and sharing menus (£25 a person), as well as the regular Porchetta offering. Red wine-braised beef shin with roasted onions, and chestnut and shallot tart tatin, are just two of the hearty dishes that you'll find on offer. Book for 10 people or more and everyone will get a free glass of Prosecco too – happy days! the3tuns.com
WINFORD MANOR Bristol Want to make a real night of it? Book some accommodation for the evening of your Christmas do at this rural hotel, which dates back to the 1800s. The restaurant – which looks out onto the gardens – is offering both festive lunches and dinners (starting
at £18.50 for two courses), and can also organise buffet and taster menus, if you fancy. winfordmanor.co.uk
YURT LUSH Bristol This cosy venue with its warming fires and pretty fairy lights will make for a rather unique Xmas do, we think you’ll agree. Get a table, a single yurt, or go the whole shebang and hire out the entire place. The chefs have created a set menu which starts at £20, as well as a buffet option from £16 a head. No matter what you go for, it’ll all feature the ethically sourced produce that they’re known for. eatdrinkbristolfashion.co.uk ZERO DEGREES Bristol
A three-course festive menu starts at just £19.95 at this micro-brewery-cum-bar-cumrestaurant, and if you book your do before 31 October you’ll get free fizz on arrival, too! Alongside the usual line up of brews, there will be some festive small-batch beers on offer. And food-wise, expect the likes of arancini, followed by Christmas ale stew and traditional Xmas pud on the menu. zerodegrees.co.uk
See in the last of the lazy summer evenings in our fabulous garden whilst sampling one of our 600 gins.
The Pump House Merchants road, BS8 4PZ. Tel:01179272229 email@example.com - www.the-pumphouse.com
( adverti sing feature )
EATING ORGANIC Top places to fill your face during Organic September (and beyond!)
inding a great place to eat that’s as passionate about good food as you are can be tough. And as a customer it can be hard to know if you can trust what’s said on a menu or website. To make life easier, we’ve launched Organic Served Here. It’s a new Soil Association award for restaurants and cafes that are committed to sourcing quality organic ingredients for their menus. You’ll know if a restaurant holds the award – they’ll display the Organic Served Here logo in their window, on their website and menus. All Organic Served Here cafes and restaurants buy a set percentage of their food from certified organic suppliers. The more organic ingredients the cafes source, the higher the number of Organic Served Here stars they hold. Here's a few Organic Served Here cafes to try during Organic September:
Better Food, Bristol betterfood.co.uk Better Food achieved their 4 Organic Served Here stars this year in all three of their Bristol cafes. They serve organic home-cooked meals and snacks, cakes, teas and great coffee, as well as freshly made organic juices. Stop by for brunch and try the impressive menu of hearty, organic breakfasts: Full English, Vegan, Vegetarian, and check out the amazing Avocado Guacamole on Hobbs Quern Toast amongst others!
The Folk House, Bristol bristolfolkhouse.co.uk The Folk House achieved 3 Organic Served Here stars this year. They are a Bristol-based café that changes their menu with the seasons and uses organic, locally sourced ingredients to make delicious and comforting dishes. Choices include soups, home-made bread, savoury tarts, toasties, salads, casseroles, curries, dahls, pasta bakes, fishcakes, falafels... among so many other delicious things!
WHY ORGANIC? ✔ Fewer pesticides ✔ No artificial colours & preservatives ✔ Always free range ✔ No routine use of antibiotics ✔ No GM ingredients To learn more about Organic, find special brand offers for Organic September, and exclusive promotions for Organic September Saturday on the 16th, visit www.soilassociation.org
Kate’s Kitchen, Bristol kateskitchenbristol.co.uk Kate’s Kitchen makes a wide variety of food including gourmet sandwiches and baguettes, warm dishes, and homemade cakes. Nearly a quarter of the menu is made up of organic ingredients, earning them their first Organic Served Here star. They cater for an array of dietary preferences including coeliacs, vegans, vegetarians and dairy-free. Daylesford, Gloucestershire www.daylesford.com Daylesford’s 5-star Organic Served Here restaurant sits alongside their farmshop, creamery and farm in Gloucestershire. Every day, they pick produce fresh from their organic market garden to be used in the restaurant and serve beautiful food straight from the farm all day and into the evening. There are four 5-star Organic Served Here restaurants in the Daylesford family to visit and you can find them all, plus many more Organic Served Here awarded eateries, on the Soil Association website.
Christmas at the Holburne Book your Christmas party at the Holburne Museum for an electric mix of celebration and culture. We can oﬀer: • Cocktail Parties • Champagne Celebrations • Unique 3 Course Menus Meet with one of our team today and we will help you create your perfect party. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 01225 388560
Your intimate neighbourhood bistro for every celebration Perfect for your Christmas Party
3 Private Dining areas seating 8–22 guests. www.shop3bistro.co.uk 3a Regent Street. 0117 382 2235
Our hidden gem, tucked away in Bath’s City Centre - it¹s small, snug but oh so special. You’ll find The Salamander just off Queen Square in the heart of the Georgian city of Bath. The premises consist of a well-stocked bar on the ground floor, cosy corners to sit and eat, and plenty more seating upstairs.
3 JOHN STREET, BATH, BA1 2JL 01225 428 889 SALAMANDER@PKPUBCO.COM
Our family-friendly country pub with a modern face and a traditional heart. If you’re looking for a country pub in a rural setting - and one that’s only ten minutes away from the busy Bath centre - then you really can’t do much better than The Swan. BATH ROAD, SWINEFORD, BS30 6LN 0117 932 3101 SWAN@PKPUBCO.COM
THE HOP POLE
Our cosy country pub in the heart of Bath with its secret courtyard garden. The Hop Pole is a firm favourite with lovers of good food - and where better to eat than in a pub that offers suitably wellkept cask ales and a wine selection to suit all tastes. You can dine in the rooms around the bar, in the pub’s restaurant or, when the weather allows, in the spacious beer garden. In fact, the garden is one of the pub’s most popular features - no wonder people call The Hop Pole a country pub in the heart of the city!
7 ALBION BUILDINGS, UPPER BRISTOL ROAD, BATH, BA1 3AR. 01225 446 327 HOPPOLE@PKPUBCO.COM
AS THIS CHEF, RESTAURATEUR AND WRITER PLANS A VISIT TO BATH TO PROMOTE HIS BRAND NEW BOOK, JESSICA CARTER CATCHES UP WITH HIM TO TALK ABOUT DEMYSTIFYING BAKING, BEING A MODERN CHEF, AND WHY HEâ€™S NOT ABOUT TO JUMP ABOARD THE SUGAR-HATING BANDWAGON...
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his year marks 15 since the first Ottolenghi deli opened for business – and you could argue Yotam’s newest book has been in the making for just as long. Originally from Jerusalem, he came to the UK in the late ’90s as a successful academic, having just completed his masters degree in comparative literature, following a degree in philosophy. Instead of continuing to trot down the expected route of academia on his arrival, though, Yotam Ottolenghi turned his hand to cookery, signing up for a course at Le Cordon Bleu. Turns out, his intelligence extended into the kitchen and, at the age of 30, he embarked upon a career in professional patisserie. So, you see, the sweet stuff is where it all started for Yotam, who has since then become not only a chef but also a restaurateur and muchcelebrated cookery writer. “This book, Sweet, was going to happen no matter what,” he tells us, when we grab him for a chat ahead of his book tour, which will soon bring him to Bath. “This is how I started in the kitchen – I began as a pastry chef, so it’s kind of my roots. “When we opened Ottolenghi, I was in charge of the pastry department: the pastries, the cakes and all the sweet things that were on display, and Sami (Tamimi, co-founder) was in charge of the savoury food. So, although we’ve been detouring into the vegetables and other things since, there was always going to be an Ottolgenhi pastry book – it just never happened until now.” So, really, this is less of a departure from Yotam’s norm, and more of a return home to his beginnings in food; indeed, he keeps commenting on how “it felt very natural”. And, although it may have taken a while to get here, he tells us why it was so important that he made it eventually. “I think demystifying baking is a really important mission to have,” he says. “I know quite a few people who say, ‘Oh, I cook, but I don’t
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This one’s called ‘Franceska’s Flourless Coconut and Chocolate Cake’; it looks delicious
bake’. When you ask them why, most of the time they don’t even know what the reason is. There’s often this myth around baking – that you need more precision, that more can go wrong… But, in actual fact, I think it’s quite the opposite; if you follow a good recipe, it’s a manual – everything is weighed out to the gram – so it’s actually very reassuring. Of course, if you burn a cake that’s not great, but the same could happen if you were grilling chicken, or whatever. “So what we’ve done in this book, in particular, is try to really hold people’s hands throughout the process. The instructions are very detailed. Some of the recipes look long, but when you actually read them they’re not, they’re just telling you about every eventuality. It was really important to me to give this reassurance to people who have not baked.” Yotam has written Sweet with the help of Helen Goh, who he’s been working with for a decade, developing products for the delis. “She’s a very, very gifted baker,” he says of her. “She’s got great intuition about what’s right, what will work, what won’t… She’s just obsessive, a bit like myself. We write in the book about how much attention goes into the creation of every recipe. I feel quite reassured to work with someone like her; we’re on the same wavelength. We both won’t rest until we get the absolute perfect cake.” As the pair have been developing recipes together for so long, they have a solid working process in place, with Helen coming up with the initial recipe and sending it to Yotam and his team in the test kitchen,
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latest ingredient to come under fire and be blamed for obesity issues, cases of diabetes, and rates of tooth decay – we’re being told to cut back for our own health. So, releasing a book that, as Yotam notes in the introduction, was almost called ‘Sugar’ – so prevalent is the ingredient throughout it – is a bit of a brave move, perhaps? Not for this writer. “It doesn’t make me nervous,” he tells us, “because I know that, by and large, people still enjoy baking and eating sugar in a sensible kind of way. I think it’s justified to be worried about how much sugar you consume if you have it through processed foods, but I think if you make a cake, and serve it to your friends and family, you know what has gone into it, you’re fully aware of how much sugar and everything is in there, so you eat a small slice and move on. “I think the trouble with sugar is that it’s being used extensively in the processed food industry, and so people just consume it with everything: with their ready meals, snacks, with all those kind of quick fixes. So that’s when you consume sugar beyond what you should. But if people have a cake once in a while – once a day, once every two days, a little slice – I don’t think it’ll hurt them. “It would be a complete shame to stop enjoying that little bit of sweetness that I think we should all be celebrating.” • • •
These messy fellas are Blackberry and Star Anise Friands
where they’ll make it with her, then on their own, and then discuss what they like and what they want to change in order to get the result that they want: “It’s a very lengthy process!” he tells us. • • • Although, in many ways, right now seems like an opportune time to release a book on sweets and baking – “there’s a resurgence in baking in the UK; you can just walk into a supermarket and see how much the baking departments have exploded over the last decade or so” – it’s also difficult to ignore all the sugar-hating that’s going on, right? It’s the
Celebration is a theme that seems to run throughout Ottolenghi’s recipes – be they sweet or savoury. Big, vibrant platters of food to share and enjoy together are what he has become known for. Having helped shape the way many home cooks now work in the kitchen, Yotam and the Ottolenghi team have almost created a genre: it’s not uncommon to hear food described as Ottolenghi-style. But, how would the man himself describe it? “Very colourful, very generous – so it feels like it’s being produced with quite a lot of love, not just to feed one person. It’s food for a crowd. I think, probably, it’s food that’s very heavy in vegetables and grains, quite bold in the flavours, so it has spices and heat and lots of herbs; it’s interesting in the mouth. It’s not just one dimensional; there’s a lot going on in the dish.” And it’s not just what’s on the plate that you’ll find to be multidimensional: Yotam is known and loved as a food writer for the stories and anecdotes he contextualises his recipes with. They’re in all his cookbooks, as well as the recipe columns he writes for The Guardian and The New York Times. We talk about how his experience in academia might have informed this. “I give a lot of thought to what goes around the recipes because, for me, since the beginning – and especially since I did Jerusalem, which was more of an autobiographical book about my childhood,
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and Sami’s childhood, back in Jerusalem – I realised how important it is to give a story. So, whenever possible, I write one around a recipe, to give people some context. There are a lot of recipes around, and there are a lot of cookery books, and I think the ones that make more of a mark are the ones that feel quite personal to the people who have written them: it’s not just about the recipes – it’s the story about how they happened. “The fact that I went to university and did something else before I became a chef helps, because I can judge what’s a good narrative, what’s a good story to tell, what’s relevant… But I think most chefs these days do understand this, and try to create a story around their recipes.” Yotam’s mention of the modern chef is definitely a discussion point: the food landscape and industry has evolved hugely since he first arrived in it, and he’s not only stayed relevant but thrived, having left the day-to-day running of a commercial kitchen behind to concentrate on his food and recipe writing that’s in so much demand. And, for this master of many culinary trades, it’s looking past that plate of food that matters. “Chefs these days are more aware of how they’re involved in society. They need to have some kind of social conscience, and understand what they stand for and what people see in them. I think it’s quite important that we, Yotam and Helen, playing with their food as chefs, are active in other parts of life, that we don’t just restrict ourselves to the kitchen. Because chefs are quite visible, people look at what they do, and young people want to become chefs, so you want to make sure you stand for something that’s beyond just making food.” And for Yotam, a lot of that is this sense of celebration: the sharing to know if there are any new, unfamiliar ingredients in Sweet that we of food. The colour, the intrigue, the waste-not-want-not school of can expect to have to hunt down, until they inevitably go mainstream – thought. It’s getting people excited with not only new ingredients, but or if his usual staples lend themselves just as well to patisserie? new ways to enjoy more familiar ones. “Some ingredients that we use in savoury food are definitely “At the moment I love playing with old traditional root vegetables, transferable – many of the spices and the herbs I love using are and just giving them a really interesting twist,” he says. “So right now definitely there. We use tonnes of cardamom, which I use both for we’re working on beets, celeriac, turnips – all the traditional British savoury and for sweet cooking, and star anise, allspice, clove, all those roots – and brassicas and cabbages as well, but really trying to give kind of spices that I love. Then herbs: we use tarragon, sage, rosemary, them a new angle. So I’m roasting these whole, or slow-cooking them ingredients that are very prevalent in the savoury cooking. Then there quite a lot, then finishing them off with a salsa. We’re taking something are some typical Middle Eastern ingredients that I use a lot in the book, that is essentially very northern European and giving it a bit more of like pistachio, pomegranate, dates, date syrup, and flower essences like an exotic twist – I really enjoy doing that. rosewater and orange blossom water. “The other week we took a whole pointed cabbage, roasted it and “There’s definitely a crossover between the savoury and sweet food in served with both with a Thai sauce – which was spicy and hot and how we use ingredients. With some cakes you can see that it’s definitely savoury from fish sauce, and very sharp from lemon zest – and a more an Ottolenghi cake, and when we do a salsa with pistachio, rosewater and Mediterranean salsa with pecorino cheese and tarragon. honey or rapeseed oil, that could almost, with slight alterations, go as “I think what we’re missing at the moment is imagination with old well over a kebab as over a cake! So the crossovers are quite big.” ingredients, rather than finding new ingredients. That’s why we’re We can expect in Sweet, then, all the character, style and substance trying to, kind of, create those combinations, and we’re having quite a of Ottolenghi’s savoury food; all the colour, all the abundance. Only lot of success with it now. It’s about taking something that feels familiar with a focus on patisserie, which he started with two decades ago. This and defamiliarising it, giving it different angle.” is a kind of food that’s very much intertwined with our British customs, Having recently turned his hand to this kind of remarketing of our social interactions, and our special occasions: “It’s a part of our classic ingredients – showing us traditional produce in a new and daily celebration of what we do, what we love and enjoy,” he says. exciting guise – this chef is also partly responsible for growing our store cupboards and injecting new and exotic ingredients into our cooking, thanks to his Middle Eastern style. Think about it: do you reckon we’d Yotam and Helen will be hosting an event at Komedia in Bath on be able to chuck a punnet of pomegranate seeds into our basket at the 19 September; tickets are £27 (price includes a copy of Sweet), shops, as readily as we now can, if it wasn’t for his recipes? So, we want and can be booked at toppingbooks.co.uk
INDEPENDENTLY OWNED FOR OVER 30 YEARS. THIS COSY CAFE HAS BEEN A FAVOURITE OF LOCALS AND VISITORS ALIKE. The Courtyard Cafe is situated just a stone’s throw away from Bath Abbey in the historic Lilliput Court. The home made food is hearty and chef Kirsty’s cakes are quite moorish, making this cafe a great spot for breakfast, lunch, or a quick stop for a little something sweet.
Christmas parties Abbey style!
The Abbey Hotel is wellknown for its spirit of entertaining, so let us be your hosts. Whether you’re planning a seasonal shindig, large or small, we can help you to plan the perfect party. ♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦ TO BOOK OR FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CALL 01225 805895 OR EMAIL EVENTS@ ABBEYHOTELBATH.CO.UK
A taste of Sardinia at the top of Gloucester road
We are a Sardinian family run restaurant opened last February. We offer home-made, fresh, authentic Italian/Sardinian cuisine. Our menu changes regulary depending of what is inspiring us and what is seasonal 26 Filton Road BS7 0PA â€˘ 01179047646 email@example.com www.zankysbristol.co.uk
Quote Crumbs to get a 10% discount
We are a friendly, family owned inn offering hearty home cooked food, in a small country village setting. Whether you are local or travelling from further afield, you are guaranteed a warm welcome. PUB • RESTAURANT • FUNCTION ROOM • ACCOMMODATION
Christmas menu out now
Tunley Road, Tunley BA2 0EB • 01761 470408 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org • f T @kingwilliam84 www.kingwilliaminn.co.uk
For parties over 8 we offer a £15 mixed tapas menu to include the most popular dishes from our menu. Wines start from £19.95 a bottle.
BRING A TASTE OF
SPAIN TO BATH Pintxo de Bath, 31, Barton Street, Bath, BA11HG. Email email@example.com | 01225 463861
Celebrating? Then you need to contact the Home of Lusciousness â€“
Absolutely Cakes! We will create the perfect sweet treat to delight and astonish your guests. All our cakes are hand-crafted using premium, locally-sourced ingredients and Azo-free colourings, so nothing to send you or your loved ones loopy!
Have a unique bespoke cake created by our hard-working elves, or visit us at the Tobacco Factory Market every Sunday!
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or see our Facebook page for inspiration... www.facebook.com /pages/Absolutely-Cakes/156325814400922
Best Western Plus Centurion Hotel Charlton Lane, Midsomer Norton, Nr Bath BA3 4BD | 01761 417711
Exclusively for Crumbs readers we are continuing our 'bring a friend' offer.
INSTALLATION | SERVICE | MAINTENANCE
Throughout the month of September its two for one, enjoy a 45 minute yoga class and a delicious juice. Come in say Goji on arrival then its yoga, juice and maybe lunch, cake, coffee, tea, smoothies...... Download our Pacific yoga app or see website for a list of lunchtime classes.
COLD ROOMS | STORAGE CHILLERS | DISPLAY CHILLERS FREEZERS | REFRIGERATED TRAILER HIRE
www.pacificyoga.co.uk/cafe The Ground Floor, The Brewhouse, Georges Square, Bristol BS1 6LA.
Tel: 0117 321 5445
w: www.ianhobbs.com t: 01225 444171 e: email@example.com /ianhobbstech @ianhobbstech
Unit 8, Charlton Business Park, Westfield Industrial Estate, Radstock, BA3 4BE
A Gold Award Winning cake making business known for unique, contemporary, quirky and personalised cakes. We offer a bespoke wedding cake design service where your ideal cake can be sketched and created to make your wedding special. We are incredibly proud of the home baking style we use and the attention to detail we take in making sure that every cake that leaves our kitchens is of the highest quality and made from the best ingredients.
We donâ€™t just make cake, we make the moment.
Please call me on 07801 511274 www.minkykittencakes.co.uk
Room available for large Christmas doâ€™s Private Party
Infused Gin and Cheese Taster Boards. Introducing our new Autumn Taster Boards including infused Vodkas, Tequila and Brandy! To book please ring 01179443100 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Nibbled Catering specialise in marquee wedding catering as well as other private and corporate functions.
Nibbled Catering 22 Northend, Batheaston, Bath BA1 7EN England 01225 851 072 07803 616 063 email@example.com
At The Organic Cake Co we love it when you say...’that’s the best cake I’ve ever tasted!’ In our bakery on the farm, we bake seasonal cakes, in small batches using locally sourced organic ingredients. - Gluten Free and Vegan Cakes - Wedding and Celebration Cakes - Wholesale tray bakes for Cafes and DeliS
Naturally guilt free cakes! (.. sort of)
SERVING LUNCH, AFTERNOON TEA AND DINNER, 7 DAYS OF THE WEEK Backwell House, Farleigh Road, Backwell BS48 3QA 0117 325 1110 firstname.lastname@example.org www.backwellhouse.co.uk
We are an independent wholesome bakery with a big heart. Our team would love to hear from you.
For orders or enquiries email: email@example.com or Tel: 07723 770800
LAST CHANCE TO JOIN BRISTOL AND BATH’S OWN FOOD REVOLUTION Watch the film at Seedrs.com/fresh-range
The fresh-range equity crowdfunding campaign is closing soon
“Food-tech pioneers” -
☎ 0117 332 2813
A F T E RS
NEW RESTAURANTS DEVOURED, NEW CAFÃ‰S FREQUENTED, NEW BARS CRAWLED, AND THE TRUTH ABOUT WHAT WE THOUGHT OF THEM
This shipping container restaurant is quite different from its big sister, Polpo
H I G H L I G H T S
Burger Theory now has a restaurant of its very own, and we paid a visit Page 112
Cool Cargo 2 is where we found New York-inspired diner, Spuntino Page 115
THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT As are the adults, at the ace restaurant at Woolley Grange Page 120
( N E W R E S TA U R A N T S )
BURGER THEORY A RESTAURANT THAT DOESN’T TAKE ITSELF TOO SERIOUSLY, THIS PLACE SERVES UP FUN, CREATIVE (AND DOWN RIGHT BRAVE) BURGERS, FINDS JESSICA CARTER
’ll go the Monday after they open, I thought. They’ll be a bit quieter then, I thought. Ha. Thought wrong, didn’t I? Having officially launched on Friday 18 August, the new Burger Theory restaurant was still full three days later on Monday – the day always thought of as the quietest night for restaurants. That’s also after having been so busy at the weekend that they ran out of burgers on Sunday and had to close early. Okay, let’s address the obvious, then: yes, there are quite a few burger restaurants already on the scene. But these guys have actually been kicking around in Bristol for longer than a good proportion of ’em. It was in 2013 that Burger Theory first landed in the city, as a pop up. It took long-term residencies in the kitchens of The Golden Lion on Gloucester Road and Kongs on King Street, before finally opening this here place of its own. When it comes to burgers, the chefs care not for convention. They dream up ideas ranging from a Thai-inspired burger (Clucking Nuts) with satay chicken, peanut sauce and ginger pickled cucumber, to a pizza-style creation (The Don), with a beef, garlic, oregano and chilli patty topped with pizza sauce, mozzarella and pepperoni. The busy menu lists about ten staple burgers (rather ironically called ‘classics’), and there were three specials available as well when we went along. To drink, we instinctively headed for beer in the first instance, until our waiter brought the cocktail list to our attention,
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and proceeded to do a pretty good sell on the Daiquiri and Rhubarb Sour. He won. Well, he had a captive (and rather easily persuaded) audience, to be fair. The freshtasting, juicy concoctions offered some sweet relief to the meaty feast that we were about to get stuck into... Our warm-up consisted of the Korean fried chicken (£5.95) and salt and pepper squid (£6.95) starters. The former saw soft, plump chicken pieces wearing crisp golden jackets and sitting in a sticky, Asian-style sauce with sliced red chilli. Topped with spring onion and chopped peanuts, it had that moreish salty and sweet thing going on, which we lapped up. Great stuff. Minds were changed several times before we finally decided where to aim for on the burger spectrum – which runs from the straight up Simple Things (£6.50) all the way to The Hairy Beast (£12.95), consisting of a beef and jalapeño patty with fried chicken, bacon, melted cheese, hot sauce and blue cheese dressing. There’s a choice of bun for all burgers, too: brioche, Italian herb, seeded whole meal or gluten free. The Prairie Girl (£8.95), which we had in a shiny-topped brioche number, contained a good quality Southern fried chicken breast – juicy in texture and generous in size – topped with a great balancing act of hot sauce and cool blue cheese dressing. The second burger – the Moor Burger Please (£11.95) – came from the list of specials. This beast had a double serving of beef patties, topped with bacon jam made with Moor Beer’s award-winning Old Freddy Walker ale, Dijon mustard,
Swiss cheese, fried gherkin and garlic mayo. Think that’s a mouthful to explain? Try actually cramming it into your gob. No mean feat. The sweet stickiness of the bacon jam was nicely prominent among the other fillings, and the battered gherkins provided some extra texture in amongst it all. You need to have your head in the game to tackle this tower. Of course, there are meat-free options, too – and they’re just as out there. The Fu-Chi (£8.95), for instance, sees a tofu and quinoa patty topped with melted cheese, kimchi, pickled peppers and sticky Korean chilli sauce, and the Hey Tempeh (£8.95) is all about a marinated and fried slab of tempeh with pickled red onion and carrot, mint, coriander and peanut sauce. Sides come separately: we ordered kimchi fries (£3.95), but there’s also Canadian-style poutine, wings, onion rings and the like. There are halloumi fries too (£5.95), which see the fried salty cheese covered with tzatziki and sweet pomegranate seeds. With burgers mostly around the ninequid mark and sides as extras, common sense will tell you that portions are generous (and that sharing is wise). So no, we didn’t have dessert (what do you want from us?), but did spy sweets going to the table in front of us, so if you can manage one, then they’re there for the eating. It’s great to see this fun Bristol business grow into a restaurant (which looks cool and contemporary, with no whiff of the former traditional Italian gaff that lived here), and a seemingly already popular one, at that.
BURGER THEORY, 37-38 St Stephen’s Street, Bristol BS1 1JX; 01179 297818; burgertheory.co.uk
Come and join us for a Christmas feast 2 COURSES £19.95 / 3 COURSES £24.95 Pop in, call or email for more information and to request a booking form: t: 0117 952 1391 w: www.innonthegreenbristol.com e: firstname.lastname@example.org Inn On The Green, 2 Filton Road, Horfield, Bristol BS7 0PA
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SPUNTINO JESSICA CARTER GOES ALL OUT WITH THE GUILTY PLEASURES AT THIS SHIPPING CONTAINER RESTAURANT WITH A VIEW…
s a sibling of Venetian-inspired joint Polpo, and with a similarly Italian name, Spuntino is almost like that rebellious teenager who won’t do what’s expected of it. Y’see, far from looking to quaint, rustic European hangouts for its lead like its big sister, this place is all about the fried, juicy,
sauce-drenched grub of the Big Apple – albeit with a bit of a continental accent. Housed within two adjoining shipping containers at Cargo 2, the restaurant has a long bar, lined with stools, while more seating comes in the form of tall communal tables and a few cosy booths tucked away in the back corner. Its cohesive and
contemporary style is professionally put together (you can tell these guys are wellpracticed in decking out premises), and the sliding glass doors lead out to more seating on the terrace that looks onto Wapping Wharf and the harbour. The menu lends itself to a number of different scenarios. Before now I’ve
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visited just for a bottle of wine (it has good house varieties, as well as a decent cocktail list and collection of local beers) and a snack. Equally though, you could go all out with aperitifs and three courses. As I did on my most recent visit. I say ‘three courses’, but this menu isn’t conventional like that – you won’t really find traditional starters and mains here. Instead there are snacks (pea and Parmesan crocchette, stuffed olives, bacon devilled eggs); sharers (truffle toast, lobster mac ’n’ cheese); burgers and hotdogs; and salads and sides. Make of it what you will; treat it all like small plates to share, or order a larger dish for yourself, slapping away any busy hands that get too close to your plate. Tasty strips of crumbed, deep-fried aubergine (£3.80) have golden, crisp layers wrapped around their silky centres (which arrive with us super-freshly cooked and hotter than the sun – let them cool down before you tuck in). The steak tartare (£8) from the specials board arrives second. Light in texture and taste, it features tangy chopped pickle that cuts through the richness of the wellseasoned meat. An egg yolk sits on the top,
spilling its liquid centre into the mix, which we scoop up with the crisp slices of bread it was served with. The Eagle Rock Dog (£7.50) looks deliciously excessive: the quality frankfurter is cosied up inside a fresh, shiny bun, and the whole lot is drenched with Russian dressing (that’s a mix of ketchup, mustard, egg yolk, spring onion, gherkin, Tabasco and Worcester sauce) before being finished off with more gherkin, shallot, and a good sprinkling of crushed crisps. The sausage’s signature smokiness isn’t overpowered, though, and joins that lot at the wellattended flavour party. The burgers here are classic Americandiner in style: think flat, well-cooked patties in grilled buns, with plenty of sauce. The Swiss cheese, chipotle and jalapeño number (£7.80) contains lean beef and fits comfortably in yer gob, without the fillings oozing out through your fingers. From the sharing section, we tried the Bismarck pancake (£9). Deep and spongy in the centre, it’s served in the cast iron pan it’s cooked in, with its thin sides curling up around the edge to form a crisp crust. It’s
filled with bite-sized pieces of buttermilkfried chicken and drizzled in maple syrup, which brings both moisture and a hint of sweetness to the whole outfit (and creates a kind of sweet chilli scenario, coupled with the red flakes that are peppered on top). Okay, in terms of colour, it’s easy to end up with a meal here that’s a bit fifty shades of beige. There are a couple of salads on offer, but that’s pretty much it in the way of greenery, and we didn’t order either. It’s more about good-quality guilty pleasures, it seems, and less about your five-a-day. Desserts follow suit (obvs) with a fun peanut butter and jelly ice cream sandwich (£7), and a nicely subtle brown sugar cheesecake (£6.50). To summarise: don’t go here if you want to pack in the veg and leave feeling nourished and virtuous. Go if you want a good drink, and decadent, diner-type feed. And go for the adaptable, social menu and the chilled, European-style vibe. SPUNTINO, Unit 12, Cargo 2, Wapping Wharf, Bristol BS1 6ZA; 0117 376 3698; spuntino.co.uk
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The Malago is a friendly bar and restaurant with a focus on fresh, locally sourced, quality food. Our dishes offer something for everyone. Our menu is inclusive of vegetarians and vegans, we have a delicious, freshly prepared children’s menu, and our chefs can cater for all dietary requirements. We look forward to welcoming you to The Malago. Open Monday to Saturday 9am to 11pm Sunday 9am to 10pm Our kitchen is open daily serving brunch 9-3pm, lunch 12-3pm and dinner 5.30-9.30pm (5.30-9pm on Sundays).
www.themalago.club email@example.com 220 North Street, Southville, BS3 1JD 01179639044
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WOOLLEY GRANGE IT’S NOT ALL ABOUT THE KIDS, AS JESSICA CARTER FINDS OUT OVER A GROWN-UP DINNER AT THIS FAMILY-FRIENDLY HOTEL...
kay, I’ll be straight with you: I’m not exactly child friendly. While my mum wills me to settle down and sort her out with grandchildren, I pour another G&T and say I have a dog and quite frankly don’t know
why that’s not good enough. That in mind, it’s unsurprising, really, that I don’t often frequent venues that are specifically billed as family friendly – like Woolley Grange. This Jacobean country house in gorgeous Bradford-on-Avon is all about the family, and its restaurant, spa and gardens all cater
for the little ’uns. Heck, there’s even high tea at 5pm each day for the kids, so they can have dinner without sabotaging bedtime. A few years ago (okay, and a few more on top of that), I would have thought I was in bloomin’ Disneyland here (still not over the fact I never went, by the way, Mum). They’ve literally thought of everything for their tiniest guests; if I didn’t know better, I’d think they employed four years olds to carry out mystery visits... Here, ‘family friendly’ doesn’t just mean kids get the special treatment, though; it translates into ‘grown-up friendly’, too. As much about the adults as the kids, the hotel offers all kinds of services to give parents a break, like two hours’ complimentary childcare with your overnight stay, and a Children’s Breakfast Club, designed to take
care of the kids while the ’rents get a lie in. (Family-friendly also means dog-friendly, by the way, although, like the terrible parent I am, I didn’t invite mine along this time.) Not a child or a parent (or a dog?). Well, nor am I, and I had a great dinner here. Grown up dining starts at 7pm in the main restaurant (there’s a family dining room too, The Orangery, which serves from 6pm), which is all white tablecloths, polished cutlery and candlelight. The menu is often informed by what’s growing in the walled garden (and vice versa), which is open for guests to take a stroll through. Gardener Eliza grows all manner of fruits, vegetables and herbs out here, and works closely with the kitchen so that they can all make the best use of it. Back in the restaurant, though, me and my similarly childless, gin-loving mate got the wine in, and had a good old gander of what was on offer. The ham hock and foie gras terrine (£9.50) was recommended by the lovely restaurant manager, and, it turned out, rightly so. A spot-on temperature (a fridge-cold terrine is no friend of mine), it was silky and meltingly lardy in texture. It came with pickled veg (carrot, beetroot and onion), which ripped right through that rich texture and flavour, both with their tang and crunch. Across the table was a peach-coloured quenelle of smoked salmon mousse (£8.50), with a fresh and light crab salsa and dollops of golden-yellow saffron mayonnaise. These were colourful and well-pitched starters.
There was a slightly longer list of main courses on the menu, with a few meaty dishes, a couple of fish-based choices and two vegetarian options. Despite being a happy carnivore, my mate settled on the herb gnocchi (£20.50). The pillowy dumplings, green with fresh herbs, had been pan fried for a slight golden crust, and were nestled among leafy greens, mushrooms and roasted beetroot. Soft hunks of Helford white cheese were in attendance there, too; the deep, tangy
flavour and smooth, gooey texture melting into the mix of earthy ingredients. My beef feather blade (£22.50) really was ace; having been cooked nice and slowly, the fat had rendered down to impart its flavour into the tender, flakey meat, which was compacted into a cylinder and given a nice dark crust. It fell apart at the lightest touch of the fork. A serving of polenta was a good alternative to heavier potato, and came pimped with a hit of truffle, while red cabbage purée gave a subtle sweetness to the rich components. The pastry chef here has worked in several very decorated kitchens, and the resulting skill shows. Dessert (they’re all £8) came as an impossibly light strawberry mousse with toasted cubes of marshmallow and ice cream, with a scattering of shortbread crumbs, fresh strawberries, and tiny basil leaves. Sure, I would maybe have been initially dubious about coming to this restaurant if I’d known the extent of its family focus, but by visiting you get to see the extent of its commitment to more grown-up priorities, too – like good quality food, great wines, and ace service.
WOOLLEY GRANGE, Woolley Green, Bradford-on-Avon BA15 1TX; 01225 864705; woolleygrangehotel.co.uk
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TIM McCORd AS GENERAL MANAGER, TIM CAN MOSTLY BE FOUND AT BATH ALES HQ – BUT WHEN HE’S NOT THERE YOU CAN BET HE’LL BE AT ONE OF THESE LOCAL JOINTS… Breakfast? My first stop on any Saturday in Bristol: Broken Dock. It’s a recent addition to the vibrant docks area, and avo ’n’ egg is always my go-to dish. On a hot day, it arguably has one of the best alfresco terraces in the city. Best wine merchant? Definitely has to be Independent Spirit of Bath. I could while away hours pondering the various craft wines and spirits it has to offer. The downstairs tasting room is always a hit too. Sunday lunch? The Lansdown is a regular haunt for us – great pub which boasts fabulous food and a friendly service. The Sunday lunches are generous and they also do a great trio of puddings when you can’t make up your mind on what to finish with. Quick pint? Gem, naturally! Although if I’m not drinking our own beer a pint of Independence always goes down a treat. Posh nosh? Wilks is our go-to restaurant for celebrating; they absolutely spoil you from the moment you walk in. The food is always exquisite, the wine list is perfect and the atmosphere is on-point. With the family? We love The Pig for special family gatherings. It has a luxury feel but with a homely touch. It’s definitely a favourite of ours when celebrating a family special occasion.
Alfresco feasting? For meetings or an afterwork bite, I often find myself in the warmer months on the outside terrace at Graze Bath. Edging onto the station platform, it’s not hard to pass away the time with a pint in hand watching the trains go by, while feasting on a cured meat sharing board. Best curry? The Mint Room always serves up Indian food with real flair. If you can handle the heat, opt for the Chettinad-style lamb rump dish. Best value? Sotto Sotto is an intimate Italian, which always delivers. The food tastes great and, although it is presented to a really high standard, it’s really reasonable. Best atmosphere? The Canteen always has a really good vibe, super happy staff and great, simple food. Each time I go here there seems to be a different live act playing, which really adds to the feel of the place.
Hidden gem? Although slightly biased, in my mind The Salamander in Bath (part of the Bath Ales estate) is the epitome of a hidden gem. Tucked away just off Queen’s Square, there’s always a well-stocked bar, and foodwise the pub has long been known for its good mix of pub classics. Belting burger? Hands down Schwarz Bros. The best burgers in the area, without a doubt – I think I’ve worked my way through most of the menu! With children? The Ring O’ Bells in Compton Martin is a traditional village pub which serves up great dishes for all the family. Let the kids tuck into a fresh toasty while you take your pick from its great cask beer selection. Comfort food? You can’t beat Pieminster. Its Moo Pie (steak and ale) always hits the spot, although I am quite partial to the Wild ’Shroom, too!
QUICK! Now add this little lot to your contacts book • Broken Dock, Bristol BS1 5SY; brokendock.co.uk • Independent Spirit of Bath, Bath BA1 1LN; independentspiritofbath.co.uk • The Lansdown, Bristol BS8 1AF; thelansdown.com • Wilks, Bristol BS6 6PG; wilksrestaurant.co.uk • Graze, Bath BA1 1SX; grazebath.co.uk • The Pig, Bath BS39 4NS; thepighotel.co.uk • The Mint Room, Bristol BS8 1AF; themintroom.co.uk • The Salamander, Bath BA1 2JL; bathales.com • The Canteen, Bristol BS1 3QY; canteenbristol.co.uk • Sotto Sotto, Bath BA2 4AL; sottosotto. co.uk • Schwartz Bros, Bath BA1 1EY; schwartzbros.co.uk • Ring O’ Bells, Bristol BS40 6JE; ringobellscomptonmartin.co.uk • Pieminster, Bristol, BS1 1JQ pieminster.co.uk