CRUMBS BATH & BRISTO L NO.70 DECEMBER 2017
E N O B ETIT! ATHEPP
A little slice of foodie heaven What do you get if you cross a walnut with a spacesuit? An astronut!
BEST IN DOGFRIENDGLY DININ
N D EC O.70 EM 2017B E R
FESTIVE mUST-makeS FROM OUR FAVOURITE FOODIES
WHY waLNUTs ARE THE ULTIMATE CHRISTMAS (NUT) CRACKERS!
GET MERRY! WITH ACE
WE BUSTED A NUT!
NUTS ABOUT YOU
A LITTLE BIT COUNTRY
THE BEST OF NORTH EAST SOMERSET
•HYdE & CO •jP dESTINY •AquA
NOEL NIBBLES! CANAPES FOR PARTY SEASON
THE XMAS SHOP! WHA
T TO STOCK UP ON
2017: Th REPOER T hAVE
BEEN T YOu ThESEO ALL OPENINNEW GS? £3
BATH'S BEST BUTCHER
Bath Good Food Awards Best Butchers 2013-17 Crumbs Best Food Retailer 2017
arkhall butchers combines passionate, traditional butchery with a modern take on the profession. We strive to create an atmosphere that is welcoming to customers, especially those unused to the more involved experience of local independent retailers.
or feed the family with one of our midweek deals – you will ﬁnd something for every household. At Larkhall Butchers the provenance of food is as important to us as it’s quality. Using close ties with local farms, we are able to ensure that the meat is being sourced both humanely and ethically as well as being of the best quality.
Supplying to Bath and the surrounding areas, we have a reputation for providing produce of the highest quality to restaurants and the community alike.
Christmas orders now being taken
We stock a wide range of not only meat and poultry, but also ﬁsh, game and condiments. Our friendly staﬀ will help to provide you with invaluable knowledge and ideas to bring to the table,
“Larkhall Butchers goes the extra mile for its customers. It’s an innovative business in a traditional area and is notably customer-focused.” – Crumbs Magazine
01225 313 987 | firstname.lastname@example.org | larkhallbutchers.co.uk
CRUMBS BATH & BRISTO L NO.70 DECEMBER 2017
A little slice of foodie heaven What do you get if you cross a walnut with a spacesuit? An astronut!
BEST IN DOGFRIENDLY DINING
NO. DEC 70 EMB 2017 ER
FROM OUR FAVOURITE FOODIES
WHY waLNUTs ARE THE ULTIMATE CHRISTMAS (NUT) CRACKERS!
WITH ACE YULETIDE COCKTAILS
WE BUSTED A NUT!
NUTS ABOUT YOU
A LITTLE BIT COUNTRY
THE BEST OF NORTH EAST SOMERSET
CANAPES FOR PARTY SEASON
THE XMAS SHOP!
WHAT TO STOCK UP ON
2017: ThE REPOR T
hAVE YOu BEEN TO ThESE ALL OPENINNEW GS? £3
PLUS! •dELA •HYdE & CO •jP dESTINY •AquA
ISSUE 70 DECEMBER 2017 EDITOR
JESSICA CARTER email@example.com DEVELOPMENT EDITOR
MATT BIELBY firstname.lastname@example.org ONLINE EDITOR
DAN IZZARD email@example.com
ThAT’S NuT MY NAME
TREVOR GILHAM ADVERTISING MANAGER
KYLE PHILLIPS firstname.lastname@example.org DEPUTY ADVERTISING MANAGER
NEIL SNOW email@example.com ADVERTISING EXECUTIVE
ALISTAIR TAYLOR firstname.lastname@example.org PRODUCTION AND DISTRIBUTION MANAGER
SARAH KINGSTON email@example.com PRODUCTION DESIGNER
GEMMA SCRINE firstname.lastname@example.org CHIEF EXECUTIVE
JANE INGHAM email@example.com CHIEF EXECUTIVE
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 got fed-up (in a good way) at The Frome Independent market; tested out the new fisherman’s lunch at The Scallop Shell,;did a shop at the new Meat Box; and had a go on The Old Bookshop’s new menu.
TO BEGIN, LET’S GET the obligatory, ‘Gosh, where did the year go, as if it’s Christmas already,’ chat out of the way. Yeah, it’s nearly here, and no, we’re not at all prepared (I’ve taken the liberty of judging everyone by my own standards, here). But it’s coming nevertheless, and, to be fair, has been getting closer every single day for almost the last year, so we really have no justifiable reason for our annual shock and last-minute panic. (Again, I’m hoping you’re all with me on this.) In fact, in the world of magazines, Yuletide preparations have been happening since July, and I legit received an email about Mother’s Day – that’s March next year, people – mere hours ago. So, in all honesty, team Crumbs’ mental calendars are unavoidably pretty much all over the place. Now though, as we polish off our Christmas 2017 issue, we’re doing a bit of an exhale and properly relaxing into the idea of the impending festivities. Helped, we might add, by the top Christmas recipes (party canapés, festive cocktails and a new take on the smoked salmon starter for C-Day lunch) this issue, not to mention the seasonal shopping lists (for the edible and the decorative, naturally) we’ve got for you. As well as starting to look forward to washing obscene numbers of mince pies down with more Baileys than could be ever be considered wise, we’re also looking backwards, and considering just how much our food and drink scene has changed in 12 little months. When we counted how many new openings we can remember springing up across Bristol and Bath in that time, we totted up almost 40. To make sense of it all, we’ve put together a retrospective piece – a culinary timeline of our eating-out landscape, if you will – to help us all take stock of just how much our collection of restaurants and bars has grown. So, before we toast in the New Year, let’s give 2017 the kudos it deserves.
Jessica Carter, Editor email@example.com
Crumbs is now an app! You can read all editions of Crumbs – Bath and Bristol, Cotswolds and Devon – on iTunes or Android. Search ‘Crumbs’, or go to crumbsmag.com
INDEPENDENTLY OWNED AND RUN • SOUTH BRISTOL’S BEST STEAKHOUSE
Home to Bristol’s infamous 96oz steak challenge, as seen on LADbible
The Ashville Steakhouse, 15 Leigh Street, Bristol BS3 1SN • Tel: 0117 939 6897 • Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Table of Contents nts NO.70 DECEMBER 2017
STARTERS 08 HERO INGREDIENT Wicked walnuts 12 OPENINGS ETC Word on the street 19 SIX PACK Dog-friendly dining
34 Honey and mustard glazed gammon, by Josh Eggleton 36 Three Christmas canapés, by Barbora Ormerod 39 Seasonal cocktails, by Chris Stutt, Kate DohenyAdams and Marcello Cauda
AMAZING RECIPES FROM THE REGION’S TOP KITCHENS
32 Smoked and cured salmon, by David Campbell
10 Walnut tarator salad, by Freddy Bird 25 Civet of venison, by José Pizarro
49 SUPPER CLUB Lia Leendertz’s book launch 56 THE WANT LIST Dressed to impress
NEW & NOTABLE RESTAURANTS, CAFÉS, BARS
MAINS 67 GROWTH SPURT How our dining scene has exploded during 2017 76 SOMERTIME Somerset scran
86 Dela 89 JP Destiny 92 Aqua 95 Hyde & Co PLUS! 98 LITTLE BLACK BOOK Author Laura Madeleine’s tastiest hotspots
STA RT E R S INNOVATIONS, REVELATIONS AND TASTY AMUSE-BOUCHES
deLICIOUS deCeMBeR 2 DECEMBER
WAPPING WHARF CHRISTMAS FARE
The independent businesses at Wapping Wharf will be celebrating the Christmas season by offering special deals and festive food and drink from noon ’til 6pm. Think limited-edition Christmas baos from Woky Ko, a 10-percent discount at Gopal’s Curry Shack, mulled cider at The Bristol Cider Shop, and a hog roast at Pigsty – and that’s just for starters…
A Tavola is returning to The Forge in Bristol to host this cosy popup from 3pm until 11pm; enjoy European natural wines, and maybe even some dishes from the list of antipasti, pasta and desserts that’ll be served too. You can prebook a place for £16.50, which will be redeemable against your bill. facebook.com/atavolabristol
Cook and restaurateur Clare Liardet launches her new book, Dry, which is packed with delicious, inventive cocktail recipes – sans booze. Great inspo for those going teetotal in January. The event is at Topping & Co in Bath; tickets are £9.99, and include a copy of the book. toppingbooks.co.uk
WINTER WINE BAR
16 & 17 DEC
Some proper cheesy traders will be gathering at Motion to celebrate everyone’s favourite dairy product as this travelling event lands in Bristol. Expect cheese in many forms – warm raclette, mozzarella sticks and halloumi fries, for instance – and learn about pairing it all with beers and wines. Tickets cost £5, plus a booking fee. cheesefestuk.com
S I L KI E L LOY D
DRY BOOK LAUNCH
JO N C RA IG
WHAT BETTER WAY TO WARM UP YOUR APPETITE FOR CHRISTMAS THAN BY FEASTING YOUR WAY THROUGH THE LEAD-UP?
S T A R T E R S
THE WORLD IS FULL OF FAMOUS SECOND-PLACE FINISHERS – SUSANNE BOYLE, SCOTT OF THE ANTARCTIC, THE DUTCH FOOTBALL TEAM OF THE ’70S – BUT FEW ARE AS APPEALING AS THE WRINKLY WALNUT, A CHRISTMAS STAPLE THAT DOESN’T JUST LOOK LIKE A BRAIN, BUT IS GOOD FOR YOURS TOO…
ll nuts have a place at the Christmas table, but one of the most delicious and popular is the walnut – and with good reason. Walnuts are, you see, supremely versatile and, though a baking mainstay, actually appear in any number of unlikely recipes, sweet and savoury, where they respond to crushing, toasting, chopping, blitzing – whatever you please. Walnuts generally come in two forms. There are the young, ‘wet’ ones, which are in season over the Christmas period and are pale, milky sweet and mostly used for pickling – though they’re rather fine when eaten as they are too, or added to a simple salad. And then there are the far more common brown, kiln-dried versions, available shelled or unshelled all year around (although, again, you’ll mostly find the unshelled versions at Christmas). These, too, are great raw – they have a nutty, tannic, slightly bitter flavour – but are even better when cooked.
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Like many sO-CALLED Nuts, the walnut isn’t technically a nut at all, but rather the seed found in the middle of the drupe of the walnut tree. (Drupes are those fleshy fruits you get with a big seed inside, like a peach or plum.) There are many types of walnut tree, some cultivated more for their patterned, attractive wood – that staple of the Bentley dashboard – than their ‘nuts’, but it’s the common walnut – also called the English or Persian walnut – that we eat the most. Though they grow widely across Europe, they’re actually native to a central lump of Asia that stretches from the Balkans to the Himalayas, with Kyrgyzstan especially inundated with them. Take away the husk of your walnut drupe and you’ll find inside a wrinkly shell and, inside that, the kernel or meat, which usually comes in two halves and is even more wrinkled, not unlike a brain. The English walnut and its hybrids dominate commercial walnut production, though the American black walnut is also delicious; the problem with those is that their shells are just too hard. The walnut is, of course, delicious to eat on its own. It’s a staple of the Christmas nut bowl, and a fun one to attack with the nutcracker, the shells splintering everywhere. (The wise greedy guts, of course, squeezes them gently until they crack, which gives a better chance of retrieving the kernels whole.) But you can cook them too, and any number of ways. Toasted works (ten minutes on a baking sheet at a medium heat), and they make a great addition to pies and soups, cakes and muesli, coffee and ice cream. Though the gregarious walnut has many flavour-matching pals, it goes particularly well with blue cheese, beetroot and orange. Walnuts can even be a main ingredient: there’s an Iranian stew called a Fesenjān which is basically chicken and walnuts, and the walnut-heavy Waldorf salad is a classic. And then there’s the bittersweet north Italian liquor Nocino, first made of green walnuts as a treat for monks in the Middle Ages. LIKE MOST NUTS, walnuts are plenty good for you. They’re rich in plant based omega-3 fats, as well as B vitamins and minerals like copper and manganese, to the point where it’s been suggested that a walnut-heavy diet can reduce the risk of heart disease, not to mention prostate and breast cancer, as well as help with weight loss, brain health, sperm quality and all sorts. (The downside is that the bitter, waxy skin of a shelled walnut – which most of us peel off and discard – is the real hero in all this.) Beyond furniture and foodstuffs, people have found all sorts of uses for the walnut. You can make kitchen oil from them (better for salads than frying), and in the past they’ve been pressed into use as drawing ink, hair dye, and even an abrasive for cleaning helicopter parts. (A practise discontinued since a fatal Chinook crash was blamed on walnut shells clogging up the engine.) The final classic use of a walnut, of course, is in a Walnut Whip – that ridged pyramid of milk chocolate filled with vanilla fondant and topped with a little walnut toupé – which was long a Christmas stocking staple (er, at least when Crumbs was growing up), and is now courting controversy by losing the walnut entirely from most recent versions. (Happily, Nestlé – current custodians of this British institution, first made by Duncan’s of Edinburgh in 1910 – insists the walnut-topped original will remain on sale for the foreseeable, and in six-packs at Christmas. Phew.) Blame the usual chocolate bar shrinkage for the walnut’s disappearance from supermarket ‘Whip’ multipacks, then, but also blame the ever-decreasing walnut harvest – at least in Europe. Still, for now the walnut remains by some counts the second most popular nut in the world (after the almond), and one of the most appealing…
R E C I P E
FREDDY BIRD HAS A TOP BOXING DAY DISH THAT NOT ONLY MAKES GREAT USE OF WALNUTS, BUT ALSO SOME OF THAT LEFTOVER TURKEY…
WALNUT TARATOR WITH BABY GEM LETTUCE, MINT AND TARRAGON SERVES 6 (ISH) THIS IS A GREAT WAY to use up leftover turkey, and is something a little lighter and refreshing for Boxing Day. Choose the very best walnuts; we use Perigord walnuts in the restaurant, as they’re light and creamy without any bitterness. If your walnuts are at all bitter, you can simmer them in water for a few minutes before lightly toasting them. Classically, this dish is made with lemon juice, but I like to use Moscatel vinegar for its sweetness. Pine nut tarator is next level – but then so is the price!
INGREDIENTS For the tarator: 200g walnuts 2 large garlic cloves, crushed in a pestle and mortar with a large pinch of Maldon salt 1 slice sourdough, crust removed, soaked in milk 1 large pinch ground allspice 50ml extra virgin olive oil 50ml Moscatel vinegar 50ml water For the salad: oil, for deep frying 2 handfuls tinned chickpeas handful coarse breadcrumbs, toasted 2 tbsp butter chicken or vegetable stock 500g(ish) shredded, leftover turkey 4 baby gems, cut into small wedges 1 small bunch of mint, leaves picked 1 small bunch of tarragon, leaves picked pinch of Turkish pepper flakes pinch of nigella seeds METHOD 1 To make the tarator, preheat the oven to 170C/325F/ gas mark 3. 2 Lightly toast the walnuts in the oven for no more than 3-4 minutes; you want the oils to start to release but not for the walnuts to colour. Blitz ⅓ of the nuts with the bread (leaving the milk behind) until fairly smooth, but not a paste. Set aside in a bowl. Next, blitz the remainder of the nuts (reserving a handful to sprinkle over the top of the salad), but keep them a little coarser for texture. 3 Combine all that with the rest of the tarator ingredients and mix well. Leave it for about 20 minutes for all of the flavours to combine (the nuts will absorb a lot of the water). Taste it after 20 minutes and decide if it needs more vinegar, oil or seasoning. It will thicken up the longer you leave it, and for this dish you want it to be loose enough to dress the leaves in. 4 Heat the oil and deep fry the chickpeas in it until crisp. Meanwhile, toast the breadcrumbs under the grill. 5 Heat the butter gently in a pan. Once it’s melted, it’ll eventually begin to foam. When starts to turn golden and smell slightly nutty, remove it from the heat. 6 Bring the stock to a simmer and add the turkey for 10-20 seconds. Remove the meat and mix with the tarator, along with 2 tsp of the stock. Toss the baby gem in the mix, adding ½ the herbs, salt and pepper. 7 Arrange the tarator on a large plate. Scatter with the breadcrumbs and crispy chickpeas, the rest of the herbs, a pinch of pepper flakes and nigella seeds, and finally drizzle with the brown butter.
Lido, Oakfield Place, Bristol BS8 2BJ; 0117 933 9530; lidobristol.com
S T A R T E R S
FRESH MEAT The award-winning farmer behind organic meat biz The Story, Luke Hasell, launched a butchers at Cargo this month. Meat Box is housed in two adjoining shipping containers, and focuses on ethically sourced, local and traceable meat, using the whole animal wherever possible. There’s everything from pork to poultry, fresh cuts to charcuterie on these shelves, as well homemade burgers, mince meat, and ready-to-eat, homemade snacks like pasties and Scotch eggs. Customers can order by email or fire off a text and the team will call them back, and an online system is in the pipeline, too. Christmas preorders are of course a go, as well. meatboxbristol.co.uk
PICK YOUR BATTLES The Battleaxes in Wraxall has undergone a pretty hefty refurb, to the tune of £300K. Inside the new-look pub you’ll find bespoke furniture, specially commissioned wallpaper, chandeliers and a mix of artwork ranging from local finds to vintage oil paintings and taxidermy. It’s not just the décor that’s changed, though; the menu has also been overhauled, and now features grazing dishes along the lines of Wookey Hole Cheddar and leek croquettes with sunblushed tomato ketchup, and salt and pepper squid with pepperonata dip. If you’re not so much of a sharer, then fear not; there are full-sized mains as well, such as aubergine and chickpea tagine, and 12-hour cider-braised pork belly. flatcappers.co.uk/battleaxes
CAKE UP! New caff The Cakery has just opened at Widcombe in Bath. Local Ella Cooper is behind the new venture, which – as the name suggests – specialises in sweet baked treats. Ella is keen to offer cake that everyone can eat, so has plenty of allergen-free and veganfriendly creations on the go. It’s not just cake that Ella whips up here, though – bread is also homebaked (she attended Le Cordon Bleu in London to hone her skills for this) and available to buy by the loaf. With seating inside and out, this new little lunchtime spot also serves sandwiches, salads and coffee, with everything that’s not made in-house being sourced locally. thecakerybath.co.uk
new kid On the bLOCk
SAY HELLO TO BEN EDGERLEY (RIGHT) WHO, ALONG WITH BROTHER JOE (LEFT), HAS OPENED NEW BRISTOL ICE CREAM BAR, BROZEN
The former Townhouse site on Whiteladies Road has reopened as tapas joint Rosa. The new venue comes from the guys behind the Zazu’s Kitchen group, and is taking inspiration from around the globe to inform its modern menu. On the bill of fare there’s everything from bar nibbles and pintxos to full-sized sharing plates – think flame-grilled octopus in black pepper sauce with noodles, and Korean fried chicken with gouchujang chilli sauce. There are some examples of traditional Spanish tapas too, so expect to see some familiar favourites like patatas bravas and Spanish anchovies. Behind the pass? It’s Tim Denny, formerly of The Star and Dove in Totterdown. rosabristol.co.uk
SHOP AROUND Stephen Gilchrist and Kathryn Curtis – the pair behind the Crumbs Award-winning Shop 3 Bistro in Bristol – have unveiled two brand new adjoining sites. Otira serves up two-, three-, and four-course set menus of imaginative and contemporary food, while adjoining venue Chandos Social at Otira promises a more casual experience, with bar seating, a solid drinks list and small plates. Cocktails feature foraged ingredients, the craft beer menu has a Bristol and New Zealand focus, and the food menu includes plates such as croquettes and empanadas. otira.co.uk
So Ben, let’s start with the fondest foodie memory from your childhood? When Joe was four, he was found by our parents on their bed eating a tub of ice cream with his hands. We have four other brothers, so it was a family-size tub! What (apart from Joe’s obvious love of the stuff) inspired you to start experimenting with ice cream? Initially, it was because our hens had laid too many eggs! But we really started to experiment during our time at university; the science that underpins the structure and flavour of ice cream is relatively complex. Then, after university, Joe and I cycled across Europe in search of the best ice cream. A lot of our inspiration came from the different gelaterias we visited during our trip. And how did you come up with the liquid nitrogen concept? We first came across using liquid nitrogen to freeze ice cream whilst at school. I remember how it made the smoothest ice cream I had ever tasted – it was surprising that no one was selling it. How, exactly, does it make it so silky? Ice crystals grow as a liquid changes state – the longer the freezing process takes, the less smooth the ice cream. The best commercial ice cream makers might take anywhere from eight to 30 minutes to
freeze ice cream. Liquid nitrogen is -196C, and allows us to freeze it in under a minute! And what other ingredients go into your ice creams? We only use natural ingredients and, currently, they’re all made with a dairy base, but we’re exploring alternatives for our Bristolian vegan population! And, at our new bar, we’re combining ice cream with alcohol to create frozen cocktails with a twist, too. Where’s the ice cream actually made? We make everything ourselves on site, and source ingredients locally. What would you say gives you the most job satisfaction? Definitely a happy customer. I remember one particular time, shortly after opening, when an Italian lady said it was the best ice cream she had ever had – we were pretty flattered! What’s your most popular ice cream? The G&T sorbet. We had a great Friday night refining that recipe! Can you let us in on any new offerings that might be on the horizon? Look out for our Sgroppino, an Italian invention of Prosecco and sorbet... brozen.co.uk
S T A R T E R S
tucks into beef with oyster and kohlrabi @wilsonsbristol
A new cake shop has popped up on Chandos Road, just a handful of doors down from Otira (the local residents there must be pretty smug lately). Leanne Purton founded Pearly King about four years ago, and has been working mainly on wholesale since then, supplying restaurants and cafés all over Bristol. This is her very first shop, where she’s selling cake by the slice (visit on Saturdays for the very best selection) and also taking orders for celebration cakes. There are vegan and gluten-free varieties on offer, and Leanne focuses on using natural ingredients in her nostalgic bakes, as opposed to lots of colourings. The shop – which smells blummin’ incredible, we can attest – is open Wednesday to Saturday, and also sells takeaway tea and coffee. pearlykingcake.co.uk
TAP IN! Bristol brewery Wiper and True has just launched a taproom at its St Werburghs brewery. The Tasting Table and Bottle Shop is open every Saturday, and gives visitors the chance to drink the latest brews while sat among the tanks in which it was made. You’ll find a handful of weekly rotating varieties on tap at any one time, as well as the brewery exclusive Phantasmagoria – which is served straight from the tank. This fruity, floral new IPA is designed to be drunk as fresh as possible, which is why you’ll only find it at the brewery, on draught from the source. You can get your mitts on beer to take away here too, by the bottle or the case, and brewery tours run every Saturday. wiperandtrue.com
tries the fried chicken with kimchi @jamaicastreetstores
is all about that sherry cheesecake @rootbristol Want to see your pics in the mag? Tag #CrumbsSnaps and you ruddy well might do!
S T A R T E R S
What: Er, guess Where: Unit 4, Cargo, Gaol Ferry Steps, Wapping Wharf, Bristol BS1 6WE; 0117 929 3203 When: Tues-Sat 11am-7pm; Sun 11am-4pm
asK the Waiter
MEET BEAU CLARKE, GENERAL MANAGER AT BATH’S BISTROT PIERRE So, Beau, been working here long? Since January 2016, so almost two years now. And where did you work before? I’ve actually been at Bistrot Pierre for 10 years; I worked at the restaurants in Leamington and Torquay before coming here to Bath. How long have you been in the hospitality trade for? More than 16 years – starting with a Saturday job as a 15-year-old kitchen porter. What’s the best thing about your current job? Working with the fantastic team in one of the – if not the – best cities in the UK. It’s great to be around such dedicated, hard-working people who want to achieve the best. Most challenging part? Competing against some of the other great restaurants in Bath! That said, we’re proud to be amongst them. What’s going down well on the menu right now? Our new chicken chausser dish; it’s received wonderful feedback from our regulars. If you were a customer today, what would you order? The new pork medallions dish is to die for and, I think personally, one of the best dishes we have ever produced. What do you think makes great customer service? Being genuine and personal, and building a relationship with your guests. Where have you visited locally where the customer service was excellent? The restaurant at The Gainsborough; very professional and precise. bistrotpierre.co.uk
H I P SHOPS BRISTOL CIDER SHOP
he name of this long-standing indie business seems to be pretty selfexplanatory but, over the years, The Bristol Cider Shop has become way more than just somewhere to buy cider from. Founded by Pete Snowman, it was located on the Christmas Steps for six years before moving into a pair of shipping containers at Cargo about a year ago. And yes, first and foremost it sells cider. Award-winning varieties, all made traditionally and within a 50-mile radius of Bristol. And, very importantly, each variety is derived from 100 percent apple juice. (D’you know, cider only has to be 35 percent apple juice to be called cider? It’s why those mass-produced, chemically enhanced varieties taste so different to the craft kind.) In fact, as Pete tells us when we pop in to check out his wares, the way craft cider is made is pretty similar to the process of winemaking – and that means that there are lots of crossovers between the two. “Cider is great for food matching,” says Pete. “The same principle applies as for wine and grapes – cider made with local apples goes with local food. Craft cider is very locally specific like that.” Pete and the team are gearing up for the festive rush; December is busier by far than any other month, with the shop’s tills constantly ringing, and the online orders flying out, too. And there are loads of different presents to choose from; think everything from gift boxes for a tenner, to hampers, glassware, and full-blown tasting kits. And, of course, there’s also Somerset cider brandy – made from distilled
matured cider – and liqueurs, which are super popular Christmas presents. You’ll also find perry, and Champagne ciders (fancy, eh?). The majority of the stock, though, is straight-up craft cider, from indie makers. “We like to think of ourselves as champions for those small, independent producers, who are often one-man bands, making great cider but not able to market it.” The shelves are arranged helpfully from dry on the left to sweet on right, and the team are always more than happy to guide customers through and give tastings. They’re less about selling their stock than about selling the concept of cider, it seems: “As long as someone leaves the shop knowing more about cider, and being more enthusiastic about it, then that’s job done,” says Pete. With that same sentiment, Sebastian, the shop manager, hosts guided tastings every Friday evening. At Christmas, these kinds of events ramp up; the whole shop is available for exclusive hire or festive tasting parties with food, and Fridays become big communal Christmas dos. So, what’s Pete got in right now that he’s particularly excited about? “Press Head has always been a really great cider,” he tells us, picking up a bottle of its Ital Drop. “But it’s recently had a rebrand, which is really helping its sales. Perry’s Cider is a maker with great branding – that’s probably our best-selling cider. You need great cider and great branding, which you’re starting to see more of. People say cider is about a couple of years behind craft beer like that.” Seems to us it’s catching up… bristolcidershop.co.uk
HOT D OGS
HERE ARE SIX LOCAL FOODIE JOINTS THAT ARE PARTICULARLY GREAT FOR POOCHES. BECAUSE WHO CAN BEAR THE GUILTINDUCING EYES THEY MAKE AT US WHEN WE ATTEMPT TO LEAVE WITHOUT THEM?
#1 The Bank Tavern
#2 The Cambridge Arms Over in leafy Redland, The Cambridge Arms is never knowingly without a soggy-nosed guest. It’s no real surprise this pub is so popular among pooches, though; it sits just on the edge of the Downs, making it a great place to warm up and refuel after W-A-L-K-I-E-S. On the menu for humans is the likes of Toulouse sausage, flageolet bean and smoked bacon cassoulet with sourdough; slow-braised lamb shoulder shepherd’s pie; and Moroccan vegetable tagine with feta and herb couscous. Meanwhile, for the mutts there are lots of doggie treats – grab a couple from the communal jar (that oughta keep ’em busy while you tuck in). There’s even a dog wall of fame, with photos of some handsome canine visitors; is your four-legged friend there? cambridgearms.co.uk
This quirky central Bristol pub – hidden away among the cobbled streets of the Old City – has been around since the 1800s, and is still as popular as ever with those in the know. Food is served during the daytime here, and comes in the form of devilled lamb kidneys with toast, and honey roast ham with bubble and squeak during the week, while on Sundays you’ll find The Bank’s renowned roasts on the go. Sundays are especially great for the canines too, as there’s a special doggie menu available (which not only keeps the hound happy, but also puts potential food waste to good use), featuring bones, ears and other treats. You might also get to hang out with resident pup Charlie, the landlord’s Staffordshire bull terrier; she likes to personally introduce herself to all her guests. How polite. banktavern.com
S T A R T E R S
#3 The Old Bookshop This North Street staple has a whole pack of dogs in its family; there are six between all the owners and staff. Pop in on any day, and you’ll most likely meet Siren the Staffy (who one of the pub’s owners, Ben Gatt, belongs to); he’s there most of the time, doing his rounds and overseeing the whole operation like a boss. Whether you’ve got four legs or two, or are in for a pint or a full-on feed, the relaxed and cosy layout here means everyone shares the same space – so you can tuck into a great meal with Fido right by your side (probably looking on rather enviously). Having recently gained a new chef and menu, The Old Bookshop is now serving a selection of small plates – think skirt steak with chimichurri, and roasted sprouts with pearl barley and almond – as well as main meals of burgers and fish and chips, and there are plenty of craft beers, wines and cocktails to wash it all down with. theoldbookshop.co.uk
#4 Sign of the Angel After a wet winter walk, the hound will be all over the huge fires at this rustic village inn. Let ’em dry off and catch some zeds in the warmth while you sort yourself out with something to eat from the two-AA-rosette awarded menu. Maybe the lamb rump with leek and rosemary potato cake, or aubergine with curried spring roll and tomato risotto? If the four-legged one still has energy, though, there’s a pretty garden with a stream that’s perfect for playing in. Plenty of punters come in with their pooches on the regular; Toby the cocker spaniel from Bath is pretty keen on this place – he brings his owners in all the time! signoftheangel.co.uk
#5 Victoria Pub and Kitchen Sat right opposite the prime walking grounds that are Bath’s Royal Victoria Park, this pub wouldn’t be able to keep the dogs out if it tried. It, of course, doesn’t though, and welcomes all the furry companions of its human punters. Many of them visit daily, and are all but part of the furniture now: that’s Mooch on the right at the bar, and on the left is manager Becky’s Diesel, in the garden. The bar is where the dogs hang out, and there are a couple of dining tables there, meaning you can sit down to a proper meal of good old pub grub with the mutt at your heel (best to book if you’re after one of those though, mind). Take advantage of the lunchtime and early bird offer while you’re here; two courses from £12 or three for £16. victoriabath.co.uk
#6 White Hart Just on the edge of Bath’s busy city centre – close to the train station – this pub, restaurant and inn sits next to the Kennet and Avon Canal. So, whether you’ve been mooching with the pooch in town, or enjoying a lovely little walk alongside the water, this is an ideal pit stop for all six legs to get a bit of rest. The hound will probably sniff this place out too; there are dog biscuits a-plenty here, and they’re handed out at the wag of a tail. Hounds are allowed throughout the space – in the bar and dining room as well as the garden, so you can tuck into the likes of harissa lamb rump with chilli and mint couscous, and pan-fried goat’s cheese and sundried tomato risotto cake alongside your favourite company. (No doubt with their hungry eyes doing the business...) whitehartbath.co.uk
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In the Larder 2 3 1 6 5
aLL we waNT FOR ChRISTMaS… 1 XECO FINO from £15.99/75cl This is the first release from new wine producer Xeco – founded by an all-female team of three. They decided to create a new variety of sherry which reflected the modern drinker and might encourage those unconvinced by sherry to give it a go. Made with Palomino grapes, it has a pale colour and light, crisp flavour. Hide it from Santa on Xmas Eve so you can drink it really well chilled as an aperitif before C-Day lunch. Available online from Master of Malt. xecowines.com 2 CHILLI ALCHEMIST SMOKE POTION: MAGNUM OPUS £9.99/200ml Bottled in these cool apothecarystyle vessels, this fruity hot sauce will be sure to fire up the meats and cheeses on Xmas Eve. We love the smoky heat from the ghost pepper, and the dashes of honey bourbon and mustard help bring out that sweet-savoury flavour. Made by a Bristol business
using fresh ingredients, this is an award-winning condiment that’ll be welcome at any festive table. Find it at The Chilli Hut in Bath and online. chillialchemist.co.uk 3 ARJ CHRISTMAS PUDDING CHOCOLATES £5/box of 6 This tiny Wiltshire-based chocolatier business handmakes all kinds of treats, and has an ace Christmas selection on the go this year. These little Christmas pudding numbers see smooth, dark ganache hide inside a milk chocolate shell. They’d make great treats to pass around in place of the usual mince pies when the festive visitors come a-callin’. Find ARJ Chocolate at Bath’s Green Park Christmas Market on 10 December, or buy them online. arjchocolate.co.uk 4 IN A PICKLE BOXING DAY CHUTNEY £3.95/285g Based just outside of Bath in Wiltshire, this award-winning
condiment company has grown from a one-woman-band to an outfit that supplies shops and restaurants all over the UK – although everything is still made by hand. This chutney, designed to work a treat with the B-Day cold spread, is packed with apples, cranberries and winter spices, so expect sweetness and a festive warmth to it. Find it at Allington Farm Shop, Papdeli in Bristol, Newton Farm Shop, and online. inapicklefoodco.co.uk 5 LUSCIOUS ICE CREAM SPICED ORANGE £5.99/500ml Ice cream? In winter? Absolutely. This ice cream by new Bath-based maker Luscious is made with 100 percent natural and organic ingredients, including fresh milk from Neston Farm’s herd of Jersey cows. Based on the farm, Doug Whitelaw and Kate Clark collect their milk and use it the same day to create their range of 10 flavours. This spiced orange number –
delicate in flavour and silky in texture – is warm with winter spices and ideal for the festive season. Eat it with your Xmas pud, or just straight from the tub with the biggest spoon you can find. theorganicdairy.co.uk 6 ALDWICK COURT FARM JUBILATE ROSÉ BRUT 2014 £29.95/75cl This English sparkling rosé, made on our patch in Somerset, is just the thing to toast Yuletide with. Pale in colour, it’s light and delicately fruity, while staying refreshingly dry. We love the fine fizz and the almost creamy mouthfeel, and reckon this will go down a treat to kick off the celebrations – it’s definitely a bottle with a sense of occasion. It’s made from Pino Noir grapes grown in the hand-tended vineyards at family-owned Aldwick Court Farm. Get it direct from the vineyard or online from Novel Wines. aldwickcourtfarm.co.uk
POPTI & BEAST New butchers and bakers in Bristol. Want info on us? Drop an email to email@example.com or pop in to 94 Mina Road, St Werburghs, Bristol
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CHECK OUT THE FRESHEST ADDITIONS TO MARK TAYLOR’S EVER-EXPANDING FOODIE BOOKSHELF...
P H OTO GRA P H Y © L AU RA E DWA R DS
CATALONIA José Pizarro Hardie Grant, £25
With the northeastern Spanish region of Catalonia in the spotlight since its controversial independence referendum, this is certainly a timely release for José Pizarro’s latest book. London-based chef Pizarro is a passionate ambassador of this region, which has always had a strong identity and desire to hold on to its unique culture and cuisine. Divided into chapters on meat, fish, vegetables and desserts, this beautifully illustrated book captures the essence of traditional and new recipes, whether it’s duck, pumpkin and pardina lentil salad, salt-baked sea bream with orange and pickled red onion salad, or clementine sorbet. There’s also a handy directory of the best places to eat and drink in Barcelona, making it as much a guide as a cookbook.
CIVET OF VENISON WITH CEPS SERVES 8 INGREDIENTS
1 ½ kg haunch of venison, cut into large pieces 660ml Spanish lager 1 carrot, finely chopped 1 celery stalk, finely chopped 1 onion, finely chopped 2 garlic cloves, peeled 1 bay leaf 2-3 sprigs of thyme olive oil, for frying 200g chorizo, cut into chunks 500ml fresh beef stock 25g dried ceps
1 Put the venison in a bowl with the beer and all the vegetables and herbs. Leave to marinate for 3-6 hours. Drain, saving the liquid and vegetables. Pat the meat dry with kitchen paper and season well. 2 Heat a layer of oil in a casserole dish and brown the venison and chorizo all over. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add a little more oil and fry the reserved vegetables for 10 minutes, then return the meat to the dish with the reserved cooking liquid. Bubble for a few minutes, then add the stock and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook for 2-2½ hours, until the meat is very tender. 3 Soak the ceps in 150ml boiling water until softened. Drain, reserving the liquid, and roughly chop. When the stew is nearly done, add the ceps and reserved soaking liquid and finish cooking. Serve with creamy mash.
S T A R T E R S
HAWKSMOOR: RESTAURANTS & RECIPES Huw Gott and Will Beckett Preface, £30
Since it opened its first place 11 years ago, Hawksmoor has become something of a steakhouse institution, with seven award-winning restaurants. Hawksmoor: Restaurants & Recipes is an essential read for anyone interested in the realities of restaurants; it reveals the trials and tribulations the team have encountered, as well as the people and plates that have made it so successful. Bringing together recipes from all the Hawksmoor restaurants, the book gives insights into how to cook signature steaks like the Tomahawk, as well as favourites like mac ’n’ cheese and the famous steak slice. There is also a chapter of fish and shellfish recipes from Mitch Tonks, the Devon-based chef who has helped Hawksmoor develop its seafood dishes, including lobster ’slaw and fried ‘queenie’ scallops with devilled tartare.
THE PALESTINIAN TABLE
David Tanis Artisan, £32
Reem Kassis Phaidon, £24.95
Weighing in at 480 pages and featuring 200 recipes, the latest book from New Yorkbased chef David Tanis is his most ambitious yet. Tanis, who for 25 years worked at the hugely influential Californian restaurant Chez Panisse, guides the reader through the market, ingredient by ingredient, with fuss-free seasonal recipes accompanied by photographs of both step-by-step techniques and finished dishes. Although dishes such as cumin lamb pittas and French chicken tarragon catch the eye, this is a book that makes vegetables the star of the show. Seared cauliflower with anchovy, lemon and capers; parsnips with turmeric and feta; and glazed shiitake mushrooms with bok choi and sesame are among the deliciously simple meat-free dishes that make this book such a delight.
While interest in Palestinian food has blossomed in recent years, the authentic dishes have until now remained relatively unexplored. The Palestinian Table takes us on a vibrant gastronomic journey across Palestine, showcasing the rich culinary history of the area. Reem Kassis was born in Jerusalem to a Palestinian family of accomplished home cooks, and this book is packed with dishes inspired by three generations of family tradition. The 150 recipes have been adapted to suit the modernday cook, while still retaining traditional techniques and flavours. From cauliflower fritters and spinach and chickpea stew, to lamb and yoghurt rice stew and chicken, onion and sumac casserole, these easy-to-follow recipes demonstrate that Palestinian food is simple, yet the dishes have a real depth of flavour.
THE SPORTSMAN Stephen Harris Phaidon, £29.95
The long-awaited book from self-taught chef Stephen Harris of Michelin-starred Kent gastropub The Sportsman is more than simply a collection of recipes. This is a beautifully written book telling the story of the journey that took a rundown, sticky-carpeted coastal boozer and turned it into one of the most acclaimed restaurants in the world. The Sportsman uses the best ingredients available from the land and sea surrounding it – the salt marsh lamb comes from the farm next door, the sea beet and gutweed is picked on the shore outside, and salt is sourced from the sea itself. The 50 recipes cover all The Sportsman classics, from mussel and bacon chowder to turbot with smoked roe sauce. It’s a stunning debut from the former financial advisor.
Book now to be entered into our raffle for a ÂŁ100 bar tab for January
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Spiced confit duck salad with beetroot and orange (Serves 6)
INGREDIENTS For the duck: 3 good sized duck legs ½ cinnamon stick 1 clove 3 juniper berries 6 coriander seeds 75g Maldon sea salt 500g duck fat For the puree: 2 red beetroot 1 tbsp rapeseed oil 1 tsp cumin seeds 1 garlic clove (cut in half horizontally) ¼ tsp cumin powder (toasted in a dry pan) ¼ tsp sherry vinegar To serve: 2 tbsp Greek yoghurt 1 candy beetroot, peeled and cut into fine matchsticks handful micro coriander or ⅛ of a bunch of coriander 1 orange (segmented) ½ pomegranate, seeds only
Your Christmas starter sorted!
Tom Green, chef director of Bristol caterers, Fosters Events, has got a top seasonal starter that can be prepared in advance – leaving you free to enjoy the festivities... METHOD – For the duck, roughly grind the spices, mix with the salt and rub evenly into the legs. Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours. – Preheat the oven to 140C/275F/ gas mark 1. – Remove the duck legs from the fridge and wipe with kitchen roll. – Heat the duck fat until it boils, then place the duck legs in an ovenproof dish and carefully pour over the hot fat. Cover with greaseproof paper and then tin foil, and cook in the oven for – 2 ½ to 3 ½ hours, or until meat comes easily from the bone. – Remove from the oven and allow to cool, but not to set, in the fat. – Remove from the fat and take off the skin. – Gently remove the meat from the bone (it should fall into bite-sized pieces) and cover with foil to keep it warm. – For the purée, preheat the oven to 160C/310F/gas mark 2. – Wash and dry the beetroot and rub lightly with oil. Sprinkle with cumin seeds and a little salt and wrap in foil with ½ the garlic clove.
4. Bake in the oven for 1 ½ hours, or until soft in the middle. 5. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before peeling (use disposable gloves for this if you have them). Then purée the beetroot with the toasted cumin powder and vinegar until smooth. – To serve, place a large spoonful of purée in the centre of a coupe plate and spread into a rough circle, making a shallow pool in the center. – Take a large handful of meat (approximately ½ a leg per person) and pile it in the middle of the purée. – Drizzle Greek yoghurt in a circle around the duck meat (about 1cm inside the edge of the purée) – Top the duck meat with some of the beetroot matchsticks and coriander leaves. – Cut each orange segment into 3. Take 5 each of the orange pieces and pomegranate seeds and place at approximately equal intervals on the yoghurt circle. Fosters Events 0117 9776611; fostersevents.co.uk Follow us: @fosterscatering
CHEF! WHAT TO MAKE AND HOW TO MAKE IT – DIRECT FROM THE KITCHENS OF OUR FAVOURITE FOODIES
Cauli is salmon’s BFF in this issue’s smoked salmon recipe
H I G H L I G H T S
This bit o’ salmon will work a treat as a Xmas lunch starter Page 32
Festive honey and mustard glazed gammon Page 34
PARTY FAME These canapés will make your Xmas party one to remember Page 36 P L U S !
cocktails to make your Crimbo properly merry...
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SaLmON LIKe YOU
FAN OF A SMOKED SALMON STARTER ON C-DAY? TAKE IT TO THE NEXT LEVEL WITH THIS VERSION BY DAVID CAMPBELL
David is executive head chef at Bath’s five-star Royal Crescent Hotel. Housed in two of the adjoining buildings on the famous 250-year-old Royal Crescent, looking out onto Royal Victoria Park, the building is rich with history and character, and makes a pretty special setting for a meal, afternoon tea, or even just a leisurely glass of Champers. The flagship restaurant here is the three-AA-rosette Dower House, which overlooks the building’s gorgeous preened gardens. There’s an a la carte offering as well as a six-course tasting menu available here, both packed with modern, dedicate dishes created by David and the team from carefully sourced ingredients. This starter is a great example of the kind of food that you can expect, and would make a great first course to impress the family with on Christmas Day...
CURED AND SMOKED SALMON WITH CAULIFLOWER SERVES 4 AS A STARTER
INGREDIENTS 1 side Loch Duart salmon, skinned, trimmed and pin boned 250g Maldon sea salt 250g caster sugar 2 lemons hay, for smoking rock salt, for smoking ½ cauliflower, trimmed to florets knob of butter ½ bay leaf 300ml milk 100ml double cream sugar 1 star anise ½ bay leaf smoked oil, to serve onion seeds, toasted, to serve (optional) METHOD 1 Skin the salmon, remove any brown fat from the skin side, trim neatly and ensure all pin bones are removed. Mix the sea salt and caster sugar together well and zest 1 lemon into this mixture (reserving the fruit). In a tray, pack this mixture onto both sides of the salmon evenly and allow to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. This firms up the salmon, cures it, and seasons it at the same time. 2 Wash off the sugar and salt mix under cold water, pat dry on a cloth and transfer to a sous vide bag. Cook in a sous vide bath at 40C for 24 minutes. (Alternatively, you can steam the salmon.) Then chill, still in the bag, in an ice bath. 3 To smoke the salmon, remove it from the bag and place on a
steamer tray. Wrap the top of the tray tightly in cling film – three layers should be enough. Place the hay and some rock salt on a separate tray and blow torch it, then quickly drop the tray with the salmon on top. This extinguishes any flames and causes smoke to form. Leave to smoke for 10 minutes. 4 For the cauliflower purée, sweat the florets (reserving three) in a sauté pan with butter, add the bay leaf and season with salt and pepper. When the florets are just starting to cook, add the milk and double cream. Cook on a high heat for 15 minutes or until the florets are soft, then drain the cauliflower, reserving the cooking liquid. Transfer to a food processor and blitz on high. Add the liquid slowly back in until the mixture is smooth and shiny – the consistency should be a similar thickness to custard. Chill and reserve. 5 Break 1 of the reserved florets down into mini florets the size of a small finger nail. Blanch in boiling water for 30 seconds, drain and refresh in cold water. Slice the remaining two florets with a mandolin. 6 Make a sugar syrup: mix 1 part sugar with 2 parts cold water and 1 star anise. Place over the heat and gently bring to a boil. It’s ready when all the sugar has dissolved. 7 Peel 1 lemon carefully (just remove the yellow outer skin, don’t get the pith!) and add it to a pan with the syrup and the juice of the other lemon. Leave over a very low heat for 1 hour, then set aside and slice. 8 Peel the remaining pith from the lemon to just leave the flesh. Segment this neatly, remove any pips, and place in a little stock syrup with lemon juice to balance. Reserve. 9 To serve, cut a piece of salmon to approximately 4cm wide, and plate. Place 4-5 dots of the cauliflower purée carefully on top, add some mini florets, some of the lemon segments and then the raw cauliflower slices. Garnish with a few strands of the lemon zest and a few slivers of radish. Add a tiny bit of smoked oil and rock salt on top. Place a generous blob of the purée next to the salmon, and top with a pinch of onion seeds. The Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa, 16 Royal Crescent, Bath BA1 2LS; 01225 823333; royalcrescent.co.uk
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JOSH EGGLETON SHOWS US HOW TO KNOCK UP A CRACKIN’ HONEY ROAST HAM THIS CHRISTMAS... Bristolian chef Josh is nationally known, having held a Michelin star at his Chew Magna pub The Pony and Trap since 2011, and repped the South West on TV’s Great British Menu. Here, he shares a recipe for a glazed ham that’ll serve the family for a hearty dinner and probably have plenty left over for those festive cold spreads and sarnies, too.
HONEY MUSTARD GLAZED HAM SERVES 15
INGREDIENTS 2 ½ kg shin of raw gammon, femur bone removed and hock bone left in 2 onions, peeled and halved 1 carrot, peeled 1 celery stick 1 bulb of garlic, cut in half 6 peppercorns 2 bay leaves, torn 25 cloves 2 tbsp olive oil 100g honey 100g Maille wholegrain mustard 25ml sherry vinegar
METHOD 1 Soak the gammon in a large bucket or pan of cold water overnight – this will help to reduce the salt content. The next day, remove the gammon and discard the soaking water. 2 Place the gammon in a large pan and cover with fresh water, then bring to the boil. Once the water is boiling, drain and then refill the pan with cold water. 3 Add the halved and peeled onions, whole peeled carrot, celery, halved garlic bulb, peppercorns and the bay leaves to the water. Bring to a slow simmer and leave simmering for 2 ½ hours. Top up with boiling water if needed, and skim any scum off the top during the cooking process.
4 Probe at regular intervals to check if it’s cooked; it should be a minimum of 63C. Do not cook above 70C, as it will dry out. When ready, leave to cool for an hour in the liquid. 5 Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. 6 Remove the ham from the liquid (which you can reserve and use in an accompanying parsley sauce or pea soup) and place in a roasting tray. Remove the skin, ensuring you leave a thin layer of fat, then score with a criss-cross pattern. Stud cloves in each square. 7 To make the glaze, mix the oil, honey, mustard and sherry vinegar together in a mixing bowl. With a spoon, smear some of the glaze over the ham and bake in the oven for 10 minutes. Then, baste with more of the remaining glaze and juices from the ham. Repeat the process every 10 minutes for the next 30 minutes, until golden all over. 8 Rest for 10 minutes before carving. The Pony and Trap, Chew Magna, Bristol BS40 8TQ; 01275 332627; theponyandtrap.co.uk
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EACH RECIPE MAKES 10
LAMB TARTARE AND AUBERGINE IN A PARMESAN BASKET
FOUNDER OF ONLINE COOKERY SCHOOL THE DEVILLED EGG, BARBORA ORMEROD SHARES SOME FESTIVE CANAPÉS FOR PARTY SEASON…
“Throwing a successful dinner party requires balance,” says Barbora. “You want to wow your guests, but also have time to host and mingle. These three canapés won’t keep you busy all evening, but will make an excellent impression on the eyes and palate!” thedevilledegg.com
INGREDIENTS 1 small aubergine 1 garlic clove, sliced rapeseed oil 200g Parmesan, grated For the lamb tartare: 1 best quality lamb fillet 1 tbsp Dijon mustard ¼ tsp salt 1 tbsp capers, chopped 1 anchovy, finely chopped 1 tsp rapeseed oil 1 tbsp parsley leaves, chopped 1 tsp tarragon leaves, chopped 1 tsp chives, chopped METHOD 1 Preheat the oven to 170C/325F/gas mark 3. 2 Slice the aubergine in half, and score the flesh with a knife. Stud with the slices of garlic, sprinkle with salt and drizzle with a little oil. Wrap tightly in foil and bake for 1 hour until completely softened. Then, blend or finely chop the contents of the foil parcel and leave to cool, straining if the mixture is too wet.
3 For the lamb tartare, heat a little oil in a frying pan to high and sear the fillet briefly (no more than 2 minutes in total), then leave to cool and shred finely. Combine the meat with the rest of the tartare ingredients and season to taste. Leave to marinate for at least 30 minutes. 4 For the Parmesan baskets, preheat the oven to 200C/400F/ gas mark 6. 5 Line a baking tray with baking paper, and divide the Parmesan into 10 tight little mounds on it (one for each basket). Cook for 8-10 minutes until golden brown. When you remove them from the oven, immediately place over a small cookie cutter or a shot glass to shape into baskets. Once they’re done, leave to cool. 6 To assemble, place the baskets on a platter, filled with a small spoonful of the aubergine purée, followed by the lamb tartare. Serve topped with more of the herbs.
SALMON SKIN CRACKER WITH CRÈME FRAÎCHE AND CAVIAR INGREDIENTS skin from 4 salmon fillets, scaled rapeseed oil 1 tbsp seaweed powder 100g creme fraiche 50g salmon egg ‘caviar’ few sprigs of dill METHOD 1 Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/gas mark 6. 2 Cut the skin into 10 squares and lay them on a baking sheet. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt. Bake for 10-15 minutes until golden and crispy, then leave to cool. 3 To assemble, sprinkle the fish skin crackers with the seaweed powder, then top with the crème fraîche, caviar, and dill.
BUTTERED JERUSALEM ARTICHOKE AND KALE CUPS INGREDIENTS rapeseed oil 10g butter 5 Jerusalem artichokes, washed and chopped into small cubes large pinch sumac powder ¼ tsp of chermoula powder 50g kale leaves 1 tbsp pine nuts, toasted 10 pastry cups METHOD 1 Heat 1 tbsp rapeseed oil in a pan with the butter, and add the Jerusalem artichokes, along with some salt and pepper. Keep on a medium heat until golden, stirring occasionally (around 10 minutes). Then add the spices and 2 tbsp of water. Simmer until soft and cooked through (adding more water if necessary). 2 Finely slice most of the the kale (reserving a few small leaves for decoration) and add to the artichokes. Cook for another couple of minutes, add the nuts and leave to cool. 3 For the decoration, fry the remaining kale leaves in plenty of oil on high heat (190C) for 30-60 seconds, or until crispy. Then remove with a slotted spoon and leave to cool on kitchen paper. 4 To assemble, fill the cups with the artichoke mixture and top with the kale crisps.
New Inn bar and kitchen staff required Contact us for more information
Cask ales â€˘ homemade food â€˘ stunning views Christmas orders now being taken Pop in to pick up a menu
Park Lane, Blagdon, BS40 7SB Tel: 01761 462 475 www.newinnblagdon.co.uk
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ChRISTmAS SPIRIT MIX UP A FESTIVE STORM THIS CRIMBO WITH THESE FESTIVE COCKTAILS...
1 THE ORANGE CAROL
BY KATE DOHENY-ADAMS AT CIRCO The perfect festive cocktail to sit by the fire with after a busy day. Don’t have a fire? Pop in to Bath’s Circo and use that one! 20ml whisky (we use Monkey Shoulder) 10ml Baileys 10ml Curaçao 50ml full fat milk 10ml vanilla syrup peel of ½ orange, plus extra to garnish ice 10ml Mozart chocolate liquor 2 dashes orange bitters chocolate, grated Add the whisky, Baileys, Curaçao, milk, vanilla syrup and orange peel into a shaker with some ice and shake for 20-30 seconds. Chill a glass with ice and strain the shaker over the top. Then add the Mozart liqueur and the orange bitters to the top of the drink, and garnish with the grated chocolate and a strip of orange peel. circobar.co.uk
2 WHAT THE DICKENS?? BY CHRISTOPHER STUTT AT THE CLOCKWORK ROSE
Notice the sweet cherry on the nose, before enjoying a mouthful of boozy almond and orange flavours, thanks to this treat from Bristol’s new steampunk cocktail bar. 37ml Hennessey Fine de Cognac 20ml Cointreau Noir 20ml Disaronno Amaretto 1 tsp morello cherry syrup ice orange peel, to garnish Stir all the ingredients together with ice, strain into a brandy glass and garnish with a sliver of orange peel. theclockworkrose.com
3 ADMIRAL CHARLES BY MARCELLO CAUDA AT BAR 15
Like a cool refreshing take on mulled wine, guaranteed to put you in fine festive spirits, the Admiral Charles is named after one of the very first residents of No.15 Great Pulteney.
60ml red wine 2 dashes Angostura bitters 2 brown sugar cubes crushed ice fresh orange Known as a soak, build and churn number, you can make this cocktail straight in the glass. Put the sugar cubes in the tumbler, add a couple of shakes of Angostura bitters and then a slice of orange. Muddle together until the sugar is nicely crushed before adding the wine and a handful of crushed ice. Stir together quickly to chill. Top up with more ice and garnish with red grapes and a slice of fresh orange. Sit next to the fire, and enjoy. no15greatpulteney.co.uk
Organic, Biodynamic and Natural Wine S HO P O N L IN E N OW! 15% off your first order with code CRUMBS17
A Christmas Party to remember at the Macdonald Bath Spa Hotel Celebrate your Christmas Party with friends or work colleagues at the Macdonald Bath Spa Hotel and enjoy an evening of sumptuous food and dancing. SILVER PARTY NIGHTS
Dates throughout December 2017
£29.95 per adult / Stay overnight from £145.00 per room
6.30pm Bar opens; 7pm Dinner; GOLD PARTY NIGHTS 12am Fri 24th & Sat 25th November 2017 Carriages Dates throughout December 2017 £40.00 per adult / Stay overnight from £145.00 per room Private parties catered for, minimum 70 guests Private events catered for, minimum 50 guests
For bookings or enquiries please contact 01225 476 892
M A C D O N A L D B AT H S PA H O T E L
Sydney Road, Bath BA2 6JF 01225 444 424 www.macdonaldhotels.co.uk
We are a dog-friendly, family-friendly local pub that serves traditional pub food along side being the only pub in Bristol to serve Pieminster which pairs well with our 2 guest ales on tap.
75-78 St Luke’s Rd, Bristol BS3 4RY f staranddoveltd
Christmas isn’t Christmas until you’ve tried our fabulous Christmas menu! 15th November – 25th December Bookings now open!
Book now for our New Year's Eve dinner event! 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
10 The Mall | Clifton | BS8 4DR | 0117 360 0288 | email@example.com | www.nutmegbristol.com
Choose your weapons
answer – an accurate internal temperature reading on the That looks like something stolen from a little LED display. (Er, as long as the internal temperature children’s hospital of the future – a jolly is between -49.9C and 299.9C, that is.) way to inject the darlings with the sleeping drafts needed to make Christmas bearable! Sounds like quite a range! Ah, full of seasonal spirit, I see! Though this It is: even the very hottest domestic oven never gets beyond thing – the latest addition to the well-established 260C. (The only ones that do are in pizza restaurants, where Thermapen range, an independent British success they often hit the 300C-450C range – but you don’t need a meat thermometer story – does, actually, have a role to play in making for pizza, obvs.) Christmas less stressful than it otherwise might be. The hero product of an outfit called, snappily, Electronic We’ve all seen food thermometers before, of course… Temperature Instruments, it’ll easily take away the risk of Of course – and many of them were probably earlier Thermapens. (The last your turkey being undercooked in the middle. incarnation, Thermapen 3, was Britain’s bestselling food thermometer, after all.) And this new one is even better, the fastest and cleverest on the market. It doesn’t look very Christmassy… The display self-rotates through 360 degrees, for one thing, allowing you to I must confess, the bright lime you see here isn’t the most easily see it whatever position it’s in. The backlight automatically turns on if seasonal of colours – I’d prefer mine in the Santa-esque red it’s dark enough for you to need it, too, while the whole thing turns itself off or snow-referencing white they also do, amongst a ten colour when you put it down, saving the battery. Then it comes on again when range – but at least you’ll not lose this little thing in the thick of you pick it up. (Indeed, they say its single AAA battery will work for the inevitable detritus of Christmas dinner prep. All you need do is 3,000 hours in normal use.) It’s waterproof and washable, too. grab it, stick the folding prong in your turkey like Arya Stark wielding Needle, and in no more than three seconds you’ll have your It’s not cheap though, is it? No, but it’s not super-expensive, either. And remember, this is no once-a-year item, but will work just as well with a humble weekday chicken – not to mention bread, cakes, fish and big ol’ lumps of meat – as it will the turkey. A Thermapen is not just for Christmas, it seems…
THE NEW THERMAPEN ISN’T THE CHEAPEST MEAT THERMOMETER, SAYS MATT BIELBY, BUT IT’LL MORE THAN PAY FOR ITSELF AT CHRISTMAS. YOUR TURKEY WILL NEVER BE UNDERCOOKED AGAIN!
The SuperFast Thermapen 4 costs £64.80, but earlier versions that are significantly cheaper are still available too; get yours at thermapen.co.uk
THIS MONTH • FEEL THE HEAT • HART’S ON FIRE • LEAGUE TABLE
WE MUNCH OUR WAY THROUGH A RATHER SPECIAL PARTY TO CELEBRATE A NEW BOOK AND THE TURN OF 2018... WORDS BY JESSICA CARTER PHOTOS BY KIRSTIE YOUNG
C R U M B S
C O O K S
W I T H
nd, boom; it’s suddenly winter. When did that happen? we all ask ourselves as we reluctantly fire up the central heating, dig out last year’s winter coat and realise we’ve not seen daylight outside of working hours for weeks. Every year it seems to catch us by such surprise. Every year we’re completely blind to the changing of the season until that first shiver causes us to take a proper look at the calendar and realise it is, in fact, almost the end of the year. This shock is not for nature’s lack of warning, though. Subtle changes happen every day, indicating the progress of the seasons and passage of time – we just don’t pick up on them like people once did. Probably because we’re not really reliant on these triggers anymore: we get the weather forecast on the TV or radio instead of trying to predict it from what’s going on outside; we can buy all kinds of fruits and veg all year round, so there’s no need to work out when we should be sewing or harvesting; and as we can easily whack on the heating when there’s a chill in the air, there’s no need to prepare for the cold weather. As a result, we – as modern human beings – have become somewhat disconnected from nature’s seasonal prompts. Which is a pretty big shame, really – one that Bristol-based gardener and food writer Lia Leendertz tries to help remedy in her new book. The Almanac: A Seasonal Guide to 2018 is a handbook that will take you through the entire year, month by month, bringing your attention to feast days, what to forage for and when, seasonal gluts to make the most of, and ways you can get your garden working hard for you all year round – as well as moon phases, constellations, daylight hours and tides. Bristol-based Lia celebrated the publication of the first of her hopefully annual almanacs with a bit of a do at Hart’s Bakery and, with the promise of good food, great company and a sneak
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peek at her just-released volume, we wrapped ourselves up in our winter layers and headed out for the party. This was a laid-back kind of shindig, with people milling around the bakery with drinks, chatting and flicking through their brand new copies of The Almanac. Nibbles came from the book, with Lia’s mate, cook and author Claire Thompson helping out in the kitchen. “The theme of the evening’s food was ‘eat around the year,’” Lia later told us. “I used recipes from the different months of The Almanac – albeit slightly tweaked to make use of seasonal ingredients.” To kick off were seedy crackers with whipped goat’s cheese, quince jelly and quick pickled cucumbers. “It’s from February, and is in The Almanac to mark Imbolc, the ancient Celtic festival that celebrates a stirring into life after winter,” says Lia. “In the book I use fresh sheep’s cheese, as Imbolc (which is pronounced imulk) is thought to have been named after ewe’s milk, and the huge importance the start of the milking would have had in the diet of our ancestors. Unlike fresh sheep’s cheese, soft goat’s cheese is available year round, hence me using it as a substitute!” Soon enough, steaming bowls of goat curry and rice began doing the rounds. The hunks of meat were tender, and the warm spices complemented by a fresh-tasting coconut chutney, and cooling, sweet mango salsa. “It’s a recipe from the August section, and is in the book to mark Notting Hill Carnival.
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APPLe and mINCemeaT CRUMBLE CRanaChaN SERVES 8-10
This is based on The Almanac’s ‘crumble blueprint’, which gives the basic ratios of sugar, butter, flour, nuts and fruit for the perfect crumble. To make it more Christmassy, I’ve added mincemeat into this version. INGREDIENTS For the crumble: 75g cold butter, diced 50g plain flour 50g ground almonds 75g golden caster sugar 50g oats 1 tsp mixed spice 1 lemon, zest only 50g almonds, chopped For the fruit mixture: 600g Bramley apples, peeled and chopped 200ml apple juice 3 tbsp golden caster sugar 1 stick cinnamon 4 tbsp mincemeat To serve: 1 ½ ltrs double cream, whipped honey apple brandy or calvados
“Goat meat is available all year, but is particularly good and plentiful in August, as increased production is timed to coincide with carnival season and Eid al-Adha. The recipe is by one of the book’s contributors, Natasha Miles, who writes the Food I Fancy blog.” Dessert was a twist on the book’s crumble recipe, fancied up a bit for the special occasion, and served in large wine glasses. “For a party, crumble felt too filling and stodgy, so each element was made separately and then combined at the last moment to make a cranachan,” says Lia. The sprinkling of crumble mix hid delicately spiced fruit, which bathed in apple brandy and was interspersed with dollops of whipped cream. A crisp, dried apple slice crowned the pud, whose end marked our cue to wrap back up and head out into the dark autumnal evening. The Almanac: A Seasonal Guide to 2018 (Unbound, £9.99); unbound.com
METHOD 1 Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/gas mark 5. 2 Put all of the crumble ingredients except the chopped almonds into a large bowl and rub the butter in until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Then add the chopped almonds and rub them in too. 3 Spread the mixture across a baking tray and bake for about 20 minutes, or until it is starting to look toasted in places. Remove from the oven and leave to cool. 4 While the crumble is baking, put all of the fruit mixture ingredients into a saucepan over a low heat. Slowly the apple will start to disintegrate into a sauce, and once it has reached a spoonable consistency you can remove it from the heat. (This can be used warm or at room temperature in the final dish.) 5 When you are ready to serve, whip the cream, then layer fruit, cream and crumble. Top with a drizzle of honey and apple brandy, and serve.
K I T C H E N
A R M O U R Y
The Want LList
WE HAVE YOUR FESTIVE TABLE SORTED…
1 SHARING STAR CRACKER £9.99 The whole family can get in on the action with this sixway cracker; it’ll make a great centrepiece on the festive table, too. Find it at Lakeland in Bath and Bristol. lakeland.co.uk 2 GREEN ETCHED WINE GLASS £8.95 These vintage-style wine glasses (matching Champagne flutes are available too) will help complete the festive colour palate on the Xmas table with their lovely green tint. Find them at Homefront Interiors in Bath. homefrontinteriors.co.uk 3 EMMA BRIDGEWATER MINCE PIE PLATE £22.95 Made from British earthenware and hand-decorated, this plate is made to last, so you’ll be serving your festive treats on it year after year… Find it at Rossiters of Bath. rossitersofbath.com 4 STAR BRASS SPOON £6.95 Stick this lovely antique-look spoon in the cranberry sauce on C-Day, and get it involved with the chutneys amongst that cold spread, too. Find it at Fig 1 in Bristol. fig1.co.uk 5 BRASS CANDLE HOLDER £29.95 The geometric design of this candle holder makes it a great centrepiece for the festive table, and one that can be reused at any time of year. Order it online from Somerset-based online shop, Decorator’s Notebook. decoratorsnotebook.co.uk
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M AI N S TOP CULINARY CAUSES, FAB FOOD DESTINATIONS, AND PEOPLE THAT MATTER
This Mediterraneanstyle restaurant in Wells is one of a heap of reasons to explore Somerset...
H I G H L I G H T S
12 months, countless new foodie hangouts... Page 67
GET OUTTA TOWN Whatâ€™s going down in north east Somerset? Page 76
M A I N S
Class of 2017 THIS YEAR HAS BEEN YET ANOTHER BELTER ON THE LOCAL FOOD AND DRINK SCENE, WITH NEW RESTAURANTS, CAFÉS AND BARS CROPPING UP LEFT, RIGHT AND CENTRE. HERE ARE JUST SOME OF THE MOST NOTABLE NEWCOMERS – HOW MANY HAVE YOU BEEN TO?
January Cafe Matariki, housed in the Pacific Yoga
DO MINIK A SCHE IB ING E R
studio, was one of 2017’s first new Bristol openings. Serving fresh and wholesome food from an almost daily changing menu, the team are all about nourishing, local and organic grub. They’ve created their own take on the Buddha bowl (which they’ve named the Pacific bowl), which changes all the time but always includes a variety of flavours, colours and textures to keep it interesting (think organic beef or black bean chilli with spiced sweet potato, Cheddar cheese, yoghurt, salsa, avocado and chilli cheese cornbread). Over in Redfield, new bar Bristol Spirit opened its doors for the first time on 14 January, launching with a Bowie-themed brunch. Inside, it’s full of music- and film-related art, and has become known for its movie screenings, music-themed events and regularly changing kitchen residencies. Most recently, Wing’s Diner set up shop there with its Korean fried chicken, and when the bar reopens after Christmas in February you can expect creations from Mission Pizza. From the guys behind infused-spirit brand Espensen Spirit, this bar serves up its own booze alongside a host of others, including local beers and cider.
February Horfield residents got lucky this month,
with the opening of a new neighbourhood Italian gaff, Zanky’s. Perched on Filton Road, just outside Southmead, it’s run by a locally based Sardinian family and serves up a menu of pasta, pizza and ever changing specials in its unassuming little dining room. This comforting, homemade Italian food has seen it become popular with both local residents and native Italians from across the city. Try the pappardelle – the pasta is made fresh every day, and it comes topped with the likes of wild boar ragu – or one of the Sardinian specialities.
March The team behind the super-successful Old Bookshop
opened a second site on North Street at the end of this month. The Old Butcher’s is located just a few doors down from the flagship venue and was launched in collaboration with local brewery Wiper and True, whose craft beers populate the drinks menu, along with other local brews. A couple of months after opening in this former butchers shop, the bar’s food offering arrived in the form of Carol’s Crab Kitchen. Mere weeks ago, the next kitchen residency was launched: now, Scott Hislop (formerly executive chef for the No. 1 Harbourside, Canteen and Old Market Assembly group) is behind the pass, cooking up top Spanish tapas, and a new wine list has been added to help wash it all down. In St Paul’s this month, Josh Bower opened Milk Teeth, giving local residents not only a place to get a good coffee, but also great-quality groceries. Just off Portland Square, the café and deli is housed in a formerly disused site, and serves up simple brekkies, sandwiches, salads and waffles – all available all day, and made using carefully selected ingredients from small, local producers such as Ginger Beard Preserves, Severn Project, The Bristol Loaf, and Homewood Cheese.
April French wine bar Le Poivrot – which launched on
Colston Street in Bristol – was opened by the guys behind Red Light cocktail bar, and has built up an impressive but concise food menu. Full of fresh and simple flavours, the dishes feature great quality ingredients and are designed to be washed down perfectly with one of the carefully chosen wines. A great hangout for a quick after-work drink, leisurely bottle of plonk or a lovely little feed.
Just outside of Bristol, reborn country house hotel Backwell House opened its new restaurant this month, an’ all. Local chef Ross Hunter, along with his team, cooks up a daily changing menu that makes the most of Backwell’s own produce (cattle, pigs, bees and chickens are kept on the land here, and veg and herbs are also grown). If you want a snapshot of Ross’ contemporary cooking, then order the muchInstagrammed strawberry cannelloni for dessert.
With the onset of summer came a heap of new food and drink outlets. Cargo 2 was launched, doubling the size of the shipping-container development in Wapping Wharf and adding even more variety to the already eclectic mix of eateries in the exciting new food hub. Tare, up on the top floor, is the first venture from Matt Hampshire (previously of Riverstation and Rosemarino); it serves set four-course tasting menus in a small, 20-cover dining area, with the offerings changing around every four weeks. The recent mackerel tartare with pickled turnip and wasabi has been a particular triumph. Meanwhile, two neighbouring containers were taken on by the Eat Drink Bristol Fashion outfit, and became ethical fried chicken joint Chicken Shed (but we’ll come back to that one later). A number of other Cargo 2 units were similarly taken by pre-exiting businesses, like Salt & Malt, Harbour and Browns (from the team at Brace and Browns), Mexican-inspired Cargo Cantina (by the Bravas team), Spuntino (a sibling to the Soho original) and Greek kebab joint, The Athenian. It also gave opportunity for a couple of street food businesses to set up permanent shop, with market regulars Gopal’s Curry Shack and The Pickled Brisket both opening there. Oliver’s Ice Cream also relocated here from Wells, serving fresh, handmade gelato and sorbet. The team have around 60 rotating flavours (including the super-popular Thatcher’s Gold Cider Sorbet), and always welcome customers to try before they buy. There are also waffles and crêpes, and you may not be aware that the team are also chocolatiers – so will soon be launching a new range of choccy treats! Elsewhere in South Bristol, independent neighbourhood gaff The Malago was opened by chef Helly and her brother John, who took the site over from the Zazu’s Kitchen group. With a focus on local and sustainable food, the kitchen cooks right through from breakfast until dinner, and recently started serving Sunday roasts too (they run until 7.30pm – great for those slow-coaches who usually miss the gravy boat…) They’re dog friendly as well, so you can bring the pooch along
with you any time of day. Keep an eye out for some new and exciting vegan offerings here, as the kitchen are currently building on their already popular plant-based dishes... Over in Bath, relaxed Spanish tapas bar Pintxo appeared, serving an authentic-style menu inspired by Spain’s many different regions – particularly San Sebastian. The garlic prawns and panko-crumbed calamari with squid ink alioli have become the most popular dishes, we’re told, and sherry is big news here too, with several different varieties on offer to try.
June Framptons café and bar opened in Bath this month at
The Empire: an early 20th-century former hotel that now houses swish apartments and restaurants. Established by friends Tom Walker, Ed McAdam and Sam Westlake, Framptons has made the most of the characterful building in its interior design, and serves a menu of locally produced food that changes regularly. An all-day kind of venue, this place opens at 9am, and carries on until late into the evening, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as coffees, cocktails and craft beers. Gloucester Road gave a warm welcome to Italian-inspired restaurant Bomboloni in June, too. Founded by long-serving Bristol chef Andrew Griffin and his family, this place is casual and welcoming, serving food and drink throughout the day. The bomboloni (Italian filled doughnuts) are made fresh each day – as are the rest of the pastries and cakes – and the menu offering shifts from salads and pizzettas at lunch to comforting, well-cooked main meals in the evening. Pesto and straccio gnocchi with brown butter, asparagus and ricotta; local pork chop with salsa verde; and whole grilled sea bream with lemon and rocket spring to mind. On Colston Street, meanwhile, Asado was born, promising burgers with an ethical edge. Made with local, organic beef and free-range chicken, they’re cooked over the kitchen’s South American-style asado grill. Bar the Bristol Loaf-baked buns, everything is made in-house, from the pink and juicy beef burgers to the mayo that tops ’em, and the moreish rosemary-salt chips that are well worth a side order of. Keeping the menu pleasingly concise with just four different burgers, the chefs also run regular specials that are worth looking out for. Word on the street is that we can expect some permanent new menu additions in the coming year, maybe even including a dry-aged steak. You heard it here first (probably)...
M A I N S
This month kicked off with the addition of yet another food and drink biz on the already mouth-watering Cotham Hill. Coffee and Beer is a café and bottle shop run by Dan Williams, and aims to showcase the top-notch coffees and beers (duh) that are being produced in the UK – both locally and further afield. Customers can sample the coffee before they buy the beans, or pull up a pew and have a full cup – there are six different filter varieties to choose from. Beers, meanwhile, are to take away, and come both bottled and on draught – with multi-use vessels available to purchase and return with to refill. Dan hopes to run coffee and beer workshops and tasting events in the near future – so keep your eyes peeled. Just around the corner from there on Whiteladies Road, Hubbox opened the very next week in the former Las Iguanas site. New to Bristol but already well-established in Cornwall and Devon, this places focuses on American diner-style burgers and hot dogs, and has a cool, urban interior – think bare brick walls and lots of industriallook furnishings. Try their signature, hand-cut Dirty Fries; they’ve been flying out the kitchen.
August This was a particularly busy month in the local
food world, with several new joints opening within days of each other. Familiar West Country bakery Hobbs House actually has previous with Bristol, with the Herbert family first trading here in 1953. In August the business, still run by those very same Herberts, returned to the city with the opening of its Gloucester Road site (followed by a sibling on North Street in October). As well as somewhere to pick up some award-wining, handmade bread, these bakeries and cafés are a great spot for a coffee and slice of cake – or a full on brunch (try the popular sourdough waffles, which come loaded with toppings). Similarly, Burger Theory may not be totally new to the Bristol food scene (it had residencies in kitchens across the city for a couple of years), but in August it opened a place of its very own on Baldwin Street. You’ll find perhaps the most whacky and imaginative burgers on our patch here (the Kimcheese involves a beef patty topped with melted Cheddar, kimchi, black pepper-glazed pulled beef rib and chipotle mayo, for instance) as well as cocktails, shakes and craft beers. Oh, and a pretty sweet playlist, too. Veggie or vegan? There are burgers for you here, too – and darn fine ones at that. If you want to try it all, then the Bottomless Burger Club is the way to go: held every last Sunday of the month, it promises unlimited food and drink for £29 per person. Stretchy waistbands at the ready! Hot on the heels of that town-centre joint, Clifton restaurant Wellbourne opened the very next day. During the daytime, an informal vibe dominates the small venue, as the team serves up local coffee, bar snacks and open sarnies, as well as brunch. Come evening, the lights are dimmed and candles lit, as everything becomes more moody and atmospheric. There are more than 20 wines available by the glass, so there’s plenty to accompany the carefully curated menu of seasonal dishes (which might come in the form of venison tartare with walnuts and trompette mushrooms). Of course, this place has become known as the new home of the VaV (that’s Vol-au-Vent for those who’ve been inhabiting the space underneath a rock of late); served all day, they’re an absolute must-try. Back down at Cargo, and the team behind The Mint Room were busy opening Sholay. This new canteen-style joint has a far more casual approach to Indian food than its fine dining siblings; named after and themed around a classic ’70s Bollywood film, it’s all about street food and informal, communal dining. The Sholay chaat and
dhai baingan (aubergine in a yoghurt and coriander sauce with Indian bread), have quickly become favourites on the menu. And just underneath Sholay, in the same month, opened Squeezed. A fast food joint that’s all about quality, it focuses as much on its drink offering as its food – the former being lemonades, and the latter burgers and fries. Blood orange and rose, orange and thyme, and brown sugar and saffron are just three varieties of lemonade that you’ll find here – although they all work just as well for washing down the sizeable burgers. The Reverse Cowgirl with its peanut chipotle barbecue sauce has become an instant hit since the diner launched on 22 August, and joins the already well-loved St Werburger – which itself involves smoked bacon and caper aioli, and confit shallots – on the imaginative menu. Sticking around Wapping Wharf, Chicken Shed was reborn as Root in August. With the team finding it a struggle to balance their ethics with the food they wanted to serve, they relaunched the restaurant with an entirely new name and new concept. Vegetables take centre stage here, with former Pony and Trap chef Rob Howell creating an exciting menu packed with thoughtful and imaginative meat-free small plates – although there are a handful of seafood and meat sides on offer, too. Bath residents were pretty chuffed as in-demand Corkage opened a second venue on Chapel Row this month too, serving the same style of awesome small plates and wines as its older sibling.
Thoughtful, local, organic and homemade
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M A I N S
There was plenty of excitement surrounding the launch of Jamaica Street Stores at the start of autumn, which was conceived by a group of Bristol food pros. This cool, industrial-style former printing studio promises contemporary and imaginative small plates with a thoughtful by-the-glass wine list. The menu features a large vegetarian section (including the likes of king oyster mushroom ravioli with mushroom ketchup and pickled shiitake), and there’s a choice of raw creations too. Crumbs is loving the fried chicken with kimchi and peanut sambal here, and the new Sunday roasts, launched just a few weeks ago, have really taken off. The long-awaited Dela became Easton’s newest foodie destination this month. The brainchild of Lara Lindsay and Mike Orme, the cool, Scandi-style canteen is located on the ground floor of the Mivart Studios, and serves a largely meat-free menu of thoughtful, relaxed sharing dishes, such as the ‘cauliflower top-to-tail’ board, which involves charred steak, baked cauli purée, and tempura battered leaves. The Danish sourdough flatbreads are especially worth a try, and come with a variety of toppings – the pig cheek is a fave here at Crumbs HQ. (Read more about Dela in our review on p86.) A quirky steampunk cocktail bar arrived in the city centre in September too, in the form of The Clockwork Rose. Centring on the fictional character of Captain Sebastian Commodore, its menu tells the story of his adventures through boozy concoctions. The homemade spirit infusions are going down a storm– find them in mixes such as the Capability Gimlet (rosemary-infused gin with blueberries, lavender syrup and lime juice) and The Engineer’s Daughter (cacao vodka with smoked sea salt, coffee, chicory syrup, and Fentimans Curiosity Cola). There are some popular nonalcoholic alternatives as well – like the Turkish Tea Party, which mixes Bluebird Tea Co. Enchanted Narnia Tea, with elderflower and rose cordial, lavendar syrup and apple juice.
to be a relaxed space serving food all day, the restaurant has made a splash with its brunches, which range from hot buttermilk pancakes with berries and yoghurt to the traditional eggs Benedict. A new first floor dining area, and al fresco terrace, is planned for the spring… Meanwhile, in Bristol, Oowee was opening its second venue – and this one has space for eating in. The popular burger joint took over the former Bagel Boy unit on North Street, and has been constantly heaving ever since, thanks to its selection of monstrous burgers and excessively topped fries.
October Now housed in the former NatWest bank on
November Having opened their first Bristol venture Shop
Milsom Street, the new Ivy Bath Brasserie opened on 11 October, and is pretty fancy-looking inside. You’ll find chandeliers hanging above tables dressed with crisp white linen and polished cutlery, and surrounded by lots of the building’s restored original features. Designed
3 Bistro less than a year ago, Kathryn Curtis and Stephen Gilchrist launched Otira and Chandos Social at Otira – two adjoining venues – on Chandos Road. The former is a restaurant offering set menus, while the latter is a more informal, bar-style affair, with a great selection of wines and Argentinean-inspired small plates. Following the Crumbs Award win for Shop 3 Bistro, we reckon this is definitely going to be one (or two?) to watch. In between Bristol and Bath, in Keynsham’s new Chocolate Quarter development, a new independent restaurant has been opened by local chefs Adrian Kirikmaa and Ben Sacree (former Flour and Ash head chef). B Block specialises in stone-baked pizza (chorizo, woodroasted jalapeno, fior di latte and mizuna, anyone?), but also serves breakfasts, lunches and evening meals – as well as coffees and snacks.
December And to look out for? This December Noya
Pawlyn – cookery teacher and creator of an uber-popular, bookedout-for-months Vietnamese supper club – is opening her first permanent gaff, Noya’s Kitchen. Down on Bath’s St James’s Parade, a grade II listed building will house the new restaurant, where there will be regularly changing set lunches on offer for drop-ins, as well as pre-bookable, five-course supper clubs in the evenings between Thursday and Saturday. Word is that Noya will also be offering takeaway lunches from early next year, too.
Have we missed off your favourite new opening of 2017? Tweet us @crumbsmag, go on!
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Dine in our elegant Pullman carriage restaurant in our bustling eclectic pub. Whatever your mood or occasion there will always be a warm welcome and fantastic food.
NEW UPSTAIRS LOUNGE NOW OPEN ALSO taking Christmas bookings: 01373 466949
GOODFELLOWS RESTAURANT & CAFÉ
NEW YEAR’S EVE GALA DINNER Five courses with reception drink for £65 per person
OPENING SPRING 2018 GOODFELLOWS NEW PROJECT 7B cookery school run by Adam Fellows. Learn to cook restaurant style dishes. Full and half courses available 5 Sadler Street, Wells, Somerset, BA5 2RR 01749 673 866 | firstname.lastname@example.org
M A I N S
IN THE NORTH EAST SOMERSET COUNTRYSIDE IS A CLUSTER OF TOWNS AND VILLAGES (AND PERHAPS THE SMALLEST CITY IN ENGLAND), WHICH WE’VE BEEN DOING AN EXPLORE ON...
This listed Frome pub has a modern, glass-surround mezzanine dining area that contrasts stylishly with the more traditional stone walls, exposed beams and wooden floors that you’d expect from an inn of this age. You can tuck into up-to-date, seasonal dishes such as sautéed pumpkin gnocchi with sprouting broccoli, hazelnut and Stilton, and pork tenderloin with pressed terrine, parsnip mash, and cider and thyme jus. It’s not just the food that makes this place worth a visit, though; the cocktails are also pretty special, changing with the seasons and featuring homemade fruit syrups. With drinks offerings like that, it’s a good job the Archangel also has guest rooms, hey? archangelfrome.com
Right in the centre of the tiny, historic city of Wells is this relaxed European-style café and restaurant. Run by chef Adam Fellows and his wife Martine, it’s all about chilled out, social Mediterranean dining, with ingredients coming from the great surrounding suppliers. Adam’s speciality is fish; he uses freshly caught seafood that’s arrived straight from Brixham to create dishes like roast hake with Moroccanspiced tomato and chickpea broth. In fact, there’s a whole five-course tasting menu dedicated to seafood, which is well worth a look. goodfellowswells.co.uk
THE HOLY COW
This cool café, sat on a working farm in Chilcompton, has a fresh, contemporary style, with low-hanging exposed bulbs, bare wood, Scandi-style furnishings and a colour palate of whites and greys. The friendly café was originally intended as somewhere for nearby workers to head for coffee or some lunch, but it’s now become a destination for all kinds of punters. The menu is all about good-quality food at friendly prices, and includes everything from fresh breakfast pastries to lunches of deli-style salads, sarnies and burgers, and afternoon teas. There even beer, cider and wine available, too. A unique little spot for a bite to eat or chilled out drink. theholycowchilcompton.co.uk
KING WILLIAM INN
A family owned pub, the King William is at the heart of the little village of Tunley, which sits just south west of Bath. Tom Watson is both the chef and landlord, and serves an almost-daily changing menu, using ingredients from the local area and producing as much as possible on-site, from scratch. The result is hearty, unpretentious food that shows skill and attention to detail. Food runs along the lines of game pie containing venison, rabbit and pheasant; rockettoppled pumpkin, sweet potato and Parmesan risotto; and lamb, sweet potato and spinach curry with rice and poppadoms. While you’re in the area, perhaps go for a bit of a country walk before you sit down to your meal, to enjoy the views and work up a proper appetite – you’re going to want one. kingwilliaminn.co.uk
THE NEW INN
Under new ownership as of September, this Blagdon pub now has Iain Webb (former long-standing head chef of the popular Spotted Cow in Bristol) and Lynda Owen at the helm. Cosied up among the Mendip Hills and overlooking Blagdon Lake, it’s got the gorgeous rural surroundings, open fires, wooden beams and cosy atmosphere that make the drive out here worth any city-dweller’s while. And that’s not to mention the food; line-caught trout comes straight from the lake and is served with caper-crushed potatoes and creamed greens, while Sunday roasts are made with organic meat and game is sourced from Combe Lodge. Also on offer might be beef and pancetta ragu with pappardelle, and Fowey mussels in Thai green curry sauce with homemade chips.
away), be it for a feed or just a chinwag over a drink at the bar. With a lunch deal of two courses for £15, though, a meal is going to look pretty tempting; perhaps go for a blue cheese, pear and walnut salad, followed by bubble and squeak with poached egg, mushrooms and Parmesan. theoakhillinn.com
OLD STATION INN
A proper old-school watering hole, this place has a unique quirk in the form of a converted Pullman carriage which now acts as the dining room. Here, guests can enjoy a meal of classic British food while seated in train-style booths. Expect the likes of pulled lamb shoulder in red wine and mint jus, roast Gressingham duck breast with forest berry sauce, and butternut squash filled with mushroom and pine nut risotto. theoldstationandcarriage.co.uk
This village inn has everything you’d want from a traditional pub: we’re talking log burners, comfy furniture, lots of surrounding countryside to admire, and a friendly, familiar atmosphere. A popular hangout for the local community, this place also gets plenty of visitors from further afield (especially Bristol and Bath, which are both short drives
PALMER STREET BOTTLE
This indie bottle shop, bar and café opened in April, specialising in craft beer, wine and spirits. The drinks range from locally made varieties to hand-picked imports, and you can take your sip away or grab one of the comfy seats to drink it in. (There’s great coffee on the go, too,) To eat, the new slow-cooked beef burritos and the rarebit made with local cider have been going down well, and there’s also a cheese counter packed with carefully chosen organic varieties. This year will see both the food offering and the guest capacity expand – so keep your eye on this cool, urban-style venue in Frome. palmerstbottle.co.uk
THE PIG NEAR BATH
This old Georgian manor house in the tiny village of Hunstrete was given a new lease of life when the Pig group took it on and redesigned it in its signature rustic style. The menu is inspired by what’s growing in the garden at any one time, and all other ingredients come from within a 25-mile radius, so you can gear up for the likes of slow-roast Pensford pork ribs to share, leg of Hunstrete Estate venison with thyme roasted celeriac purée, and Hunstrete fennel risotto. Surrounded by a deer park, the hotel and restaurant has plenty of outdoor space of its own, on which it keeps quail, chickens and pigs, and grows fruit and veg. It even has a smokehouse out there, too. thepighotel.com
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THE PONY & TRAP
This 200-year-old pub, just on the outskirts of Chew Magna, was taken over by brother and sister Josh and Holly Eggleton over a decade ago, and has held a Michelin star since 2011. Still very much a relaxed and down-to-earth gastropub, its menu illustrates Josh’s straightforward, unfussy approach to food, while showing the talent of the kitchen team. The offering changes all the time, but could include snacks such as tikka lamb tongue with pistachio and sultana, starters like Salcombe scallops with wild rice, curry sauce and yoghurt, and mains like 40-day-aged rib-eye with smoked bone marrow sauce. This place is well known for its Sunday roasts too, where you can expect two courses for £30, or three for £35. theponyandtrap.co.uk
THE REDAN INN
Taken over in 2015 by the guys behind popular Bristol hangouts The Pump House and The Bird in Hand, this Chilcompton pub is still frequented by locals as the neighbourhood watering hole. Complete with open fire, large bar offering and games to play as you drink, it also serves restaurant-standard food, in both the bar and dedicated dining area. Dishes ranges from classic pub food (River Fal mussels with cider, parsley and cream, and beerbattered fish and chips with bashed peas) to more modern creations (fried semolina gnocchi with autumn squash, hazelnut and Colston Bassett cheese) and even fancy tasting menus. There’s an enviable gin collection here as well, so don’t leave without trying one of the unusual varieties on the backbar… theredaninn.co.uk
RED LION BISHOP SUTTON
This family (and dog) friendly pub is a great shout for somewhere to enjoy a proper good ale by an open fire this winter. Located in Bishop Sutton – a little village in the Chew Valley – it serves traditional pub grub, done well. We’re talking homemade pies, beer-battered fish and chips, and braised beef brisket in red wine and thyme gravy. Although all the food has an emphasis on quality, this place stays true to its roots as a watering hole as opposed to a restaurant, meaning there’s a laid-back, inviting atmosphere and Cask Marque accredited thirst-quenchers at the pumps. redlionbishopsutton.co.uk
THE RESTAURANT AT CENTURION
Right between Bath and Wells in Midsomer Norton is the family-run Centurion Hotel. And overlooking the building’s preened nine-course golf course is its relaxing restaurant, which currently holds two AA rosettes, thanks to the elegant and seasonal food that chef Sean Horwood and his team serve there daily. Expect the likes of sea bass with bok choi in a Thai broth, and roasted Mendip venison loin and pie, with celeriac and raisin purée. centurionhotel.co.uk
Rye Bakery is a relatively new and already popular addition to the Frome food scene, having opened just last May. It’s housed in a 300-year-old converted church, and now sees all kinds of fresh bread, pastries and other treats baked and
served daily in the unique setting. The team here don’t do things by halves: they mill ancient grains for their flours, churn local cream to make their own butter, and grow a lot of their ingredients in their walled garden. As such, the menu is kept concise and unfussy, letting the great quality ingredients do the talking – think wild rabbit cassoulet, and chard, pistachio and lemon pizza. This community hub is super child friendly too, with a dedicated area for playing and lots of comfy spots for chilling out. Don’t just visit for lunch; pick up a fresh speciality loaf while you’re there, too. facebook.com/ryebakeryfrome
We are a friendly, family owned inn offering hearty home cooked food, in a small country village setting.
Backwell, BS48 3BH
Whether you are local or travelling from further afield, you are guaranteed a warm welcome. PUB • RESTAURANT • FUNCTION ROOM • ACCOMMODATION
Christmas menu now available Come and celebrate Christmas with us this year. 1
Come and stay in one of our 3 beautiful en-suite B&B rooms
Book a table of 10 people or more from our fantastic party menu and we will treat the organiser to a gift card to the value of £25 to be spent in the new year at any OHH pub Sign up to our loyalty card for free and receive 20% off your food bill throughout January 2018.
Tunley Road, Tunley BA2 0EB
Come and visit us or have a look at www.ohhpubs.co.uk T: 01275 4622154
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M A I N S
SALT & MALT
Sat right on the edge of Chew Valley Lake, this oh-soBritish fish and chip restaurant and tearoom sure does have location on its side. Not that it needs more of a draw than its top food; breakfast starts at 8.30am, and ranges from porridge to the full English, while lunch brings sandwiches, snacks and afternoon tea. Come evening, the dinner menu emerges, offering three-course affairs, with mains such as hake with a spinach and hazelnut crumb. Of course, classic fish and chips with crushed garden peas is available all day, with all seafood being MSC certified and sustainably sourced, and the veg coming from local farmers. If it’s a nice day, order a takeaway, and sit by the lake to tuck in while you admire the views. saltmalt.com
STON EASTON PARK
This award-winning country house hotel dates back to the 18th century, when it was built as a family home, and has maintained a classic style in keeping with its history. Sat in 36 acres of land, the hotel has its own Victorian kitchen garden, which is tended to by the estate’s own gardeners and provides the chefs with more than half of their produce. This is used to create the two-AA-rosette worthy food, served in The Sorrel Restaurant. Here, there’s a five-course tasting menu on offer – which will lead you from the likes of goat’s cheese panna cotta with Parmesan crumb to roast lamb with aubergine caviar – as well as an a la carte, and an afternoon tea offering. stoneaston.co.uk
THE TALBOT INN
This rustic and stylish inn can be found in the rural village of Mells, just outside Frome. Centuries old, it’s now a cosy gastropub serving good quality pub dishes as well as more restaurant-style creations. Alongside the main menu – on which you’ll find the likes of freshly caught fish with chips, and pork chop with charred hispi cabbage and creamed pearl barley – is the Coach House Grill offering (Friday-Sunday), with all dishes cooked over fire, like half a Castlemead chicken, or whole Brixham mackerel. There’s also a bar and snug, if you just wanted to hunker down with a liquid refreshment. Walk off your meal by exploring the local area on a scenic walk, maybe: check out the old iron works or the Grade I listed church, perhaps. talbotinn.com
YEO VALLEY CANTEEN
This might well be the coolest staff canteen you ever eat in. And the best bit? You don’t even have to work here to get yourself a spot for a feed. (Speaking of spots, grab one by the huge windows; the dining room looks out over the farm and gorgeous Mendip Hills.) Serving brekkie, lunch and afternoon tea, the kitchen team work with ingredients from the farm – dairy, beef, pork, lamb and herbs – and trout from the lake. These guys are big on organic, and aim to showcase it at its most delicious and affordable in dishes such as the Mendip Meze (with Somerset charcuterie, Community Farm beetroot hummus, parsley pesto hummus, marinated Ubley feta and olives); spinach, leek and Westcombe Cheddar tart; and Holt Farms burger in a brioche bun with pickled cucumber. yeovalley.co.uk
THE PUB AT THE HEART OF THE COMMUNITY New menu and excellent specials board Monday – Saturday, 12-2.30pm and 5.30-8.30pm Delicious roasts on Sunday, served from 12-4pm Please book to avoid disappointment
Now taking bookings for Christmas parties Sutton Hill Road, Bishop Sutton BS39 5UT 01275 333042 www.redlionbishopsutton.co.uk Open Monday – Thursday 12-2.30pm, 5-11pm and all day Friday, Saturday and Sunday
VIBRANT, SEASONAL INDIAN STREET FOOD
tâ€™s the biggest party night of the year so dress-up, indulge in good food and wine and dance your way into 2018; choose between a Hollywood Glitz and Glamour themed evening in Allium or a more informal 70s affair in Igloo.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Call: 01225 805895 Visit: abbeyhotelbath.eventcube.io
Unit 2, Cargo 2, Wapping Wharf, Bristol BS1 6ZA Weddings | Parties | Private hire www.gopalscurryshack.co.uk
Now taking Christmas orders
143 Gloucester Road, Bristol BS7 8BA | 0117 924 1988 lovethefishshop.co.uk
BUTTERMILK FRIED CHICKEN
CRAFT BEER & COCKTAILS
CHRISTMAS CHEESE, ALCOHOL, GIFT & BEER SUBSCRIPTIONS NOW ONLINE
On the riverside, Taunton 01823 252466 | email@example.com x eatthebird a tw_eatthebird
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NEW RESTAURANTS DEVOURED, NEW CAFÉS FREQUENTED, NEW BARS CRAWLED, AND THE TRUTH ABOUT WHAT WE THOUGHT OF THEM
This Italian restaurant is housed in a former church, which makes a unique setting for dinner
H I G H L I G H T S
Scandi-inspired food in new Easton gaff, Dela Page 86
ALL THAI’D UP Have you heard of this ace neighbourhood Thai restaurant? Page 89
Cocktails at Bristol’s original Prohibition bar, Hyde & Co Page 95 P L U S
LUNCH IN A CHAPEL
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t the beginning of this year, the spot that Dela now occupies was a pretty blank canvas – one of the many spaces inside the redbrick Victorian factory building that’s now Mivart Studios. Used by a heap of Bristol creatives – from designers to musicians – the building has been in need of a good canteen for some time, but it’s got way more than that in this cool, relaxed and social venue. It’s the creation of mates Lara Lindsay and Mike Orme – who both have backgrounds in the food industry – and has been in the making for a good couple of years. During that time, the pair hosted several popular pop-up events at Hart’s Bakery, and spent months transforming the empty space into a dining area and commercial kitchen.
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DELA THIS CANTEEN-CUMRESTAURANT HAS HIT THE NAIL ON THE HEAD WHEN IT COMES TO CHILLED-OUT, SOCIAL DINING, RECKONS JESSICA CARTER…
Dela is Swedish for ‘share’ – and from that information you can probably make a decent few assumptions about the restaurant. Firstly, of course, that the dishes are made for sharing: think mixed boards and bowls of food to pass around the table. Secondly, that there’s some proper Scandi influence going on. And that’s not just in the sharing style of the dishes, but also in the ingredients themselves. The menu is packed with veg (there was only one meat and a couple of fish options when we went); you’ll notice a few pickled offerings; and there’s a clear waste-not-want-not mentality, with dishes such as top-to-tail cauliflower on offer. The décor, too, is classic Scandinavian in style, but with a bit of a Bristolian edge. The minimalist canteen-like space has white painted brick walls, lots of natural wood and
P H OTO S B E N B R YO R
plenty of greenery. Far from feeling a bit cavernous and cold, though, which venues in these kinds of buildings often can, the dining area has a softer, warmer edge. The wine list focuses on organic, natural and biodynamic varieties, with a handful each of whites and reds, while beers come from local breweries – Arbor, Wiper and True, and Good Chemistry, for instance. A board of sourdough and rye breads (£8) arrives with warm, thick cauliflower purée, and claret-coloured beetroot and butterbean hummus, and is followed closely by a bowl of tempura cauliflower stems with aioli (£4). The latter is especially good, with the light, super-crisp, and very well seasoned batter making it a particularly moreish snack – and one that doesn’t stick around for long. No matter, though, as tempura leaves arrive with the top-to-tail cauliflower board, which also includes charred steak and smooth purée. Each part of the vegetable, including the usually disposedof trimmings, earns its place at the table through its flavour, as opposed to novelty. Next come the hasselback potatoes (£14). These baby spuds – which wear tasty, seasoned, golden jackets around their soft, silky insides – share a bowl with slices of griddled green and yellow courgette, generous dollops of creamy, mild goats’ curd, and a good peppering of earthy seeds. Wafts of pungent Ogleshield make their
way down the table in waves as the charred hispi cabbage (£4.50) arrives, steeped in a cheesy, buttery sauce, greasy in the most satisfying way. The slow roast pig’s cheek (£5.50) is the sole meat dish on the menu – although we only notice the fact in passing, and don’t want for more. The soft, pulled meat is coated in thick, rich, tomatoiness – making it rather like a ragu – that’s eagerly scooped up with fresh bread and shovelled into busy gobs. Really great stuff. I only manage to grab a spoonful of the belting fig frangipane tart and plum compote (£5) before it’s all gone, but make sure I do better with the tarragon-poached pear (£5), which comes surrounded by gently spiced ricotta and a pleasantly contrasting white wine reduction. Confession time: I actually went here two nights in a row (an example of my terrible planning skills, but in this case one that had a happy result), of which this was the second. My initial visit made me a fan – the concept of the menu and the style of the food really did it for me – and the second reassured me of Dela’s consistency and quality. I really like this place, and won’t pretend not to be envious of the Easton locals who live right near it. Dela, Mivart Street, Bristol BS5 6JF; 0117 951 1499; delabristol.com
JP DESTINY THERE’S SOME FRESH AND AROMATIC ASIAN FARE TO BE HAD AT THIS UNASSUMING LITTLE REDLAND JOINT, FINDS JESSICA CARTER…
his little Thai restaurant first opened its doors in October 2014, having been founded by husband and wife John Jeremy and Mantanee Lewis. It’s Thai-born Mantanee who heads up the kitchen, and her interest in food from not only her home country, but also China, Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam, has led her to curate a menu that fuses them all together, including everything from dim sum and tempura to nasi goreng and curry. Open all day, the restaurant sits on the end of a small row of shops, takeaways et al on Kellaway Avenue, in Bristol’s leafy northern suburbs. This residential patch is pretty quiet and probably doesn’t offer much in the way of passing trade – however, on the Wednesday we swung by for dinner there were a decent number of punters in. Striding in with familiarity, everyone seemed to have been heading here purposefully, probably regulars. Even if you’ve never been here before, though, it’ll probably still seem familiar. There are no frills or fancy touches inside, just tables laid with menus, napkin-wrapped cutlery and small vases of flowers, a la most little neighbourhood Thai joints.
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The welcome is swift and friendly, and within seconds you’ll be sipping a Singha and nibbling on prawn crackers. If I’m being totally honest, I really didn’t feel like going out that evening – I was tired (no surprise there, then), it was properly cold outside, and my dog had done a sterling job on her guilt-inducing expression that says, “You’re leaving me alone?” when I was tying up my shoes – but as soon as I was in that cosy dining room, pouring my beer out and grabbing a prawn cracker, I was a pretty happy camper. You’ll, interestingly, notice some English café-style offerings on the menu here too – think breakfast fry-ups, sarnies and jacket potatoes, all served during the daytime. The two of us kicked off with a couple of bits from the ‘small dishes’ section, and something from the dim sum options. The chicken satay (£5) saw golden, marinated meat – nice and tender, and not painfully dry like you so often get – skewered and plated up with a pot of chunky peanut sauce (thick, with a pasty consistency), and token salad garnish. The barbecue spare ribs (£5) were properly meaty – there was no biting at measly shreds of pork from the bone – and coated in a sweet, savoury, fruity and zingy glaze, along with hunks of red pepper and onion. The Chinese Peking chicken dumplings (£5) came in a portion of five, with nicely thin dough which had been fried until golden and crisp. The extra sauce, served on the side for dipping, gave a smack of saltiness to each mouthful.
The first main course to be settled on was the sizzling lamb (£8.50). Thin slices of lamb arrived on a small iron platter in a dark sauce that bubbled around it. Chunks of red and yellow peppers and slices of green spring onion added a bit of sweetness, zing and crunch. The massaman chicken curry (£8.50) was second. Served in a deep bowl, it involved slices of chicken and hunks of soft potato, swimming in a sauce that was creamy with coconut milk and fragrant with spice. Light and fresh, it had us repeatedly spooning extra portions onto our plates. It’s apparently a favourite among customers, and you can probably include me in that pool now. We ate it with a heap of fragrant rice (£2.50), which was pleasingly sticky – the sauce seeping down through the dense clusters of fat grains when spooned over. There are desserts here too (like sticky mango with rice, and banana fritter), but it was all we could do to manage a couple of scoops of ice cream before we dragged ourselves off our seats and out into the cold. Obviously, this place isn’t reinventing any wheels – but if it ain’t broke, and all that. What it is doing, though, is serving freshtasting, authentic-feeling Thai-fusion food, which doesn’t leave you feeling all weighed down and greasy. The service is friendly and the prices rep really decent value, too. (And yes, it does do takeaway – knew you were about to ask.) JP Destiny, 24 Kellaway Avenue, Bristol BS6 7XR; 0117 924 5450; jpdestinythaicorner.com
Award Winning, Family Run Farm Shop Established for over 30 years Selling Quality Local Produce Open Daily 9am – 6pm (9.30am – 5pm on Sundays)
HOME & LOCALLY REARED FRESH MEAT, POULTRY & GAME HOMEMADE SAUSAGES, BURGERS & FAGGOTS Christmas orders now being taken
LOCAL CHEESES & HOME COOKED MEATS LOCALLY GROWN VEGETABLES, FRUIT & SALADS HOMEMADE CAKES & PIES LOCALLY MADE CHOCOLATES & FUDGE FINE WINE, LOCAL ALE & CIDER PRESERVES & CHUTNEYS GIFT HAMPERS www.allingtonfarmshop.co.uk | 01249 658112 Allington Bar Farm, Chippenham, SN14 6LJ
SBC STEPHANIE BOOTE CATERING EVENTS/PRIVATE DINING/WEDDINGS
Let us help create your special event www.stephaniebootecatering.com
( L O N G - S TA N D I N G R E S TA U R A N T S )
AQUA AS THIS RESTAURANT GROUP APPROACHES A MILESTONE BIRTHDAY, JESSICA CARTER CHECKS OUT THE BATH BRANCH TO SEE WHY IT’S STOOD THE TEST OF TIME...
amily-run Aqua turns 20 next year, and in that time has opened seven restaurants across the country, although most can be found in the South West. It all began in Bristol, back in 1998, with the aim of serving up-to-date, Italian-inspired food in a casual, versatile restaurant. Basically, a bit of good old crowd-pleasing. A couple of decades on, and the local food scene has seen something of a boom (to put it mildly), with these kind of modern, laid-back restaurants popping up all over our patch, doing their own thing. This hasn’t seemed to hinder Aqua, though; it appears to still be going strong in both its Bristol locations (the original on Welsh Back, and the Whiteladies Road venue), as well as the Bath site. The latter was the group’s second restaurant, and opened in 2007. An old Arts and Crafts church building on Walcot Street, it now houses a gallery-style dining room with high, arched ceilings and leaded, stained-glass windows. An impressive, mosaicked bar sits at the far end, stacked with cocktail shakers and lined with longlegged chairs. Banquette seating runs along both sides of the room, curving around individual tables to help give a feeling of privacy and cosiness in the large open space, while tables for two and four are lined up in the middle. There’s even more seating downstairs too, which is where you’ll find
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the open kitchen. Sweet-smelling tray bakes, fresh from the oven, lined the pass when I took a nosey down there just before the lunchtime rush. There are a few different menus on the go here: breakfast, a set lunch-and-early dinner option, and an a la carte – that’s as well as gluten-free and vegan lists, and the Sunday lunches. The a la carte kicks off with sharers – from which we ordered the olives (£3), which arrived fiery with chilli and garlic – before leading into oysters (available individually as well as by the half or full dozen) and starters. The meal proper began with meatballs (£5.50), and king prawns (£8). The former was a really generous starter, with large, lean meatballs coated in a thick and fresh tasting tomato and red pepper sauce. The large hunk of soft foccacia served on the side was ideal for mopping up all that rich, spicy sauce with. The prawns were plump and plentiful in number, and were muddled in a chunky onion and tomato peperonata sauce – for a bit of a stew-like effect – along with hot and salty salami and briny, zingy caperberries. Although these starters would probably have done us for lunch on their own, we of course ploughed on. There’s a real mix of mains on the sizeable menu – which is supplemented by a few additional specials – ranging from pasta and pizza to joints of meat, steaks and burgers. Prices start around a tenner, and go up to £37 for a whole lobster. I aimed
for somewhere in the middle with lobster linguine (£21). A tangled heap of spaghetti hid beneath two halves of the grilled crustacean, the fresh, sweet meat still in the shell. The pasta was cooked just so, retaining a good bit of bite, and the sauce it came in was rich with sundried tomato. Next to that little lot sat one of the day’s specials: chicken supreme (£14.50). Slices of cold, herby roast chicken lay with thin, brittle strips of salty streaky bacon on top of crisp-on-the-outside rostis. Underneath all that was a mound of shredded red cabbage, and a red wine jus pooled at the bottom, adding some welcome moisture. Desserts (all £5.50) follow the Italianstyle theme – think fig, honey and almond tart, crème brulée, pimped up with red berries, and tiramisu. It was that classic, coffee-soaked option that won out for me, while my pal went for a much more uplifting, zesty lemon posset. A smaller group of restaurants than I originally assumed, Aqua’s food is wellcooked, generously portioned and of decent value (especially in regards to the set lunch and early dinner menu, which promises two courses for £11 and three for £13). A good shout for groups, I’d say – everyone will find something they like (yep, even that notoriously fussy one).
Aqua, 88 Walcot Street, Bath BA1 5BD; 01225 471371; aqua-restaurant.com
CAKERY ARTISAN COFFEE CUSTOM MADE CAKES Wholesale suppliers of ﬁne food to the catering trade based in the South West. La Bottega oﬀers regular deliveries of fresh Italian and continental produce, as well as locally sourced British food, in Bath and the surrounding area. Bringing an Italian ﬂavour to your Christmas table. Retail Shop & Warehouse Unit 6 Brassmill Enterprise Centre Bath BA1 3JN Tel: +44 (0) 1225 317044 (answerphone) www.labottegaltd.co.uk Opening Hours: 8am - 3pm Monday to Friday; 8am - 1pm Saturday; Closed Sunday
Celebrate New Year No.15 House Party For an opulent New Year celebration, with a focus on fabulous food and drink in extraordinary surrounds, No.15 is the venue for you. We’re going all out, so it’s your chance to bring friends, dress up, sip on champagne, enjoy a fabulous ﬁve-course feast and revel the night away with dancing until the early hours...
Gluten free, dairy free and vegan options available 21 Claverton buildings, Bath BA2 4LD tel 07891 211852 email firstname.lastname@example.org b The Cakery @TheCakeryBath thecakerybath www.thecakerybath.co.uk
the home of rice and noodles Classical Thai cuisine in a relaxed and friendly authentic Thai environment.
Set over two ﬂoors with beautiful views of the Weir. Party bookings are welcome
New Hot Pot Menu Traditional East Asian cuisine, consisting of a simmering metal pot of stock at the centre of the dining table with ingredients placed in the pot, cooked at the table and served with a dipping sauce To book simply email email@example.com, call us on 01225 800509 or visit www.no15greatpulteney.co.uk
01225 444 834
16 Argyle Street, Bath BA2 4BQ firstname.lastname@example.org | www.thaibytheweir.com
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( C R A C K I N ’ C O C K TA I L B A R S )
HYDE & CO JESSICA CARTER VISITS BRISTOL’S ORIGINAL SPEAKEASY…
or almost eight years, an illuminated sign showing a bowler hat has been displayed down a dark side street just off The Triangle in Clifton. Walk past it, and you’ll come to a pair of nondescript black painted doors. This is the home of what was – correct me if I’m wrong – Bristol’s first Prohibition bar. It was launched in 2010 by three locals, inspired by the rise of speakeasy-style bars in New York (all modelled on the forbidden watering holes of the 1920s US Prohibition). It didn’t take long for word to spread across Bristol of a ‘secret bar’, where you had to ring the doorbell to be admitted... Inside, light comes only from muted wall lamps and candles that sit on saucers on the tables. The decor is very much in keeping with the ’20s theme: bowler hats hang on the rich red walls, lamps are topped with vintage, tasselled shades, and dark-wood coffee and side tables are surrounded by stools and banquette seating. There are plenty of nooks and crannies to hide away in here, and even a private room with a door disguised as a bookcase. Behind the bar, a taxidermy pheasant perches on a tree stump inside a glass box,
and bottles of spirits and liqueurs are lined up in front of a mirror, lit by a yellow glow. The door is answered to us by a smartlooking bartender, wearing a bowtie and rolled up shirt sleeves. We’re shown to our seats in a little alcove, which is decoupaged with newspaper and faintly illuminated by an old-school wall light. The playlist is on point, floating from cool Southern rock to classic-style jazz. Earlier this year, the team launched its new conceptual menu, The Last Carnival. Bound like a book, it tells the story of a New Orleans detective in the ’20s, and cocktails have been designed to each represent a different chapter. Of course, the staff will happily fix you up something off-menu if you’d prefer, but it’s well worth stepping out of your cocktail comfort zone for one their own concoctions. One of our favourites – possibly due to the bitter winter weather and encroaching festive season – was Winds of Change (£8). The mix of blackcurrant vermouth with cherry brandy, Ramazzotti, lemon and soda was dark, well balanced and warming; those rich wild fruits gave a subtle, autumnal sweetness, which worked a treat with the tiniest hint of spice. Date with the Devil
(£9) was a clever little number: featuring date bourbon, Aperol, orange, lemon and soda, it was garnished with sprigs of fragrant thyme which protruded from the top of the glass. This of course meant you inhaled a gentle waft of it whenever you took a sip, giving the mildly fruity and citrusy drink an extra dimension. Meanwhile, a Little Death (£9.50) took my mate by surprise, mixing mezcal, tequila, ‘miracle mix’, lime, bitters and egg white for a pokey, slightly smoky finish. Served in a short, cut-glass tumbler with a foamy top on which fresh petals rested, it looked the part too. Having recently scooped a Crumbs Award, and with a brand new menu on the way, Hyde & Co seems to be having a bit of a resurgence. So if you’ve not been back for a while, now’s the time to revisit. Hyde & Co, Upper Byron Place, Bristol BS8 1JY; 0117 929 7007; hydeand.co
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L I T T L E
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B O O K
THE BRISTOL-BASED AUTHOR OF THE CONFECTIONER’S TALE AND WHERE THE WILD CHERRIES GROW SHARES HER LOCAL FOODIE HOTSPOTS BREAKFAST? An almond croissant is one of my favourite things on this earth, and Hart’s Bakery is my first stop for pastries.
POSH NOSH? I’m more into honest food that haute cuisine; I really enjoyed Birch when I went, and am after an excuse to go back!
CHILD FRIENDLY? Part café, part deli, wholly kid-friendly, No.12 Easton has a proper neighbourhood feel and is a popular spot for brunch, lunch and coffee.
BEST BREW? Small Street Espresso. Great coffee, chilledout atmosphere.
FOOD ON THE GO? Edna’s Kitchen in Castle Park does lovely Middle Eastern-style food, including falafel and halloumi wraps, and salad boxes, packed with dolmades and other fresh ingredients.
BEST CURRY? Chai Shai, next to the Bag of Nails. Great food, cosy atmosphere and, if you order to take away, you can grab a drink in the pub and they’ll come and get you when it’s ready.
HIDDEN GEM? The Folk House Café, tucked away behind Park Street. It’s a haven when the rest of Bristol is busy. I sometimes go there to write.
SOMETHING SWEET? Ahh Toots in St Nick’s Market. Looking at the beautiful cakes is almost as delightful as eating one (but not quite).
WITH FRIENDS? Bar Buvette – for excellent wine, obscene cheese toasties and cornichons.
TOP STREET FOOD? I love Mexican food, and The Plumed Serpent is currently serving up tacos, fritters, fries and other tasty treats at Small Bar.
FAVOURITE GROCERY SHOP My local, The Banana Boat in Totterdown. I can always find everything I need, plus interesting seasonal things like persimmons, fresh turmeric and smoked garlic. BEST WINE MERCHANT? I tend to stop by Averys if I need a bottle of something special. They usually have a few things open to sample… QUICK PINT? The Bag of Nails in Hotwells. Good beer, music via a record player, and the odd moggy wandering around. What’s not to love? CHEEKY COCKTAIL? Her Majesty’s Secret Service, next to Clifton Down Station, is a great place to take friends for a surprising cocktail or two. It doesn’t take itself too seriously, which is a bonus.
COMFORT FOOD? For me, baked goods are the ultimate comfort. Luckily, Baked is just up the road. They do amazing focaccia and even better brown butter and sultana cookies. WITH THE FAMILY? Souk Kitchen is one of my Bristol favourites. Consistently delicious, great for vegetarians and my first port of call for a celebration.
BEST VALUE? The Kitchen at The Station do brilliant, goodvalue food, including bloody lovely salads, flatbreads and daily specials. It’s a social enterprise, run by the YMCA, and the great food is a testament to their hardworking staff and volunteers.
QUICK! Now add this little lot to your contacts book Hart’s Bakery, Bristol BS1 6QS; hartsbakery.co.uk • Small Street Espresso, Bristol BS1 1DW; smallstreetespresso.co.uk • The Banana Boat, Bristol BS3 4RL; 0117 972 3302 • Averys, Bristol BS1 5LD; averys.com • Bag of Nails, Bristol BS1 5UW; facebook.com/TheBagofCats • Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Bristol BS8 2PH; hmssbristol.com • Birch, Bristol BS3 1QS; birchbristol.co • Edna’s Kitchen, Bristol BS1 3XD; ednas-kitchen.com • Folk House Café, Bristol BS1 5JG; folkhousecafe.co.uk • Bar Buvette, Bristol BS1 1RG; barbuvette.co.uk • Baked, Bristol BS3 4RL; bakedbristol.co.uk • Souk Kitchen, Bristol BS3 1JP; soukitchen.co.uk • No. 12 Easton, Bristol BS5 6DL; 12easton.com • Chai Shai, Bristol BS8 4NF; 0117 925 0754 • Ahh Toots, Bristol BS1 1LJ; ahhtoots.co.uk • The Plumed Serpent at Small Bar; Bristol BS1 4DZ; smallbar.co.uk • The Kitchen, Bristol BS1 2AG; thestationkitchen.co.uk
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