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BAT H & BRISTO L

SPECIAL VEGAN ISSUE

NO.84 JANUARY 2019

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ISSUE 84 JANUARY 2019 EDITOR

JESSICA CARTER jessica.carter@mediaclash.co.uk DEVELOPMENT EDITOR

MATT BIELBY matt.bielby@mediaclash.co.uk ONLINE EDITOR A LICE W H ITBY

DAN IZZARD dan.izzard@mediaclash.co.uk ART DIRECTOR

TREVOR GILHAM ADVERTISING MANAGER

KYLE PHILLIPS kyle.phillips@mediaclash.co.uk

SwEET BITTER LOvE

DEPUTY ADVERTISING MANAGER

ALISTAIR TAYLOR alistair.taylor@mediaclash.co.uk ADVERTISING EXECUTIVE

NATALIE BRERETON natalie.brereton@mediaclash.co.uk PRODUCTION AND DISTRIBUTION MANAGER

SARAH KINGSTON sarah.kingston@mediaclash.co.uk PRODUCTION DESIGNER

GEMMA SCRINE gemma.scrine@mediaclash.co.uk CHIEF EXECUTIVE

JANE INGHAM jane.ingham@mediaclash.co.uk CHIEF EXECUTIVE

GREG INGHAM greg.ingham@mediaclash.co.uk large version

MediaClash, Circus Mews House, Circus Mews, Bath BA1 2PW 01225 475800 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 checked out the new Crying Wolf bar, chowed down on Honest Burgers’ lush Plant Burger, and tucked into a fondue at beer and cheese shop Two Belly.

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IT’S NOT THE most convenient thing to eat, is it? Its skin doesn’t peel neatly like a handily packaged banana, and you can’t just bite straight into it like an apple. Nope, grapefruit isn’t a great fruit (ahem) to tackle unless you’ve got an eating station, the appropriate tools, and ideally a means of washing your hands too. (Sticky, much?) But hey, we all have strengths and weaknesses, right? And this citrus is no different. First among its virtues are its health-giving properties; this is a food hailed for everything from supporting our immune systems to helping hydrate us and being a rich source of antioxidants. And at this time of year – after countless mince pies, a few too many sherries and a seasonal sabbatical from the gym – I, at least, could do with all of those benefits. Secondly, it’s delicious. I know a fair few people won’t join me in applauding its flavour, though – grapefruit is no guaranteed crowdpleaser, thanks to its bitterness and sour tang. Definitely an acquired taste. But if someone has taken the time to design a spoon specifically for eating it, history clearly deems it worthy of persevering with. Aside from singing the praises of an opinion-dividing fruit this issue, we’re also championing plant-based food in its many forms – and especially its most comforting. Vegan versions of our favourite comfort foods have become plentiful on this patch of late, and we have the products, recipes and dishes – as well as the insider knowledge – to help you address any culinary hankering with straight-up plants. Until next month!

Jessica Carter, Editor jessica.carter@mediaclash.co.uk

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TABLE OF CONTENTs NO.84 JANUARY 2019

STARTERS 08 HERO INGREDIENT A bitter alright! 14 OPENINGS ETC Your culinary update 23 SIX PACK Eat, sleep, repeat at these hotels Chef! Amazing recipes from the region’s top kitchens and cooks 32 Black bean and squash chilli, by Alan and Vicki Mowat 35 Tomato croquettes, by Efthymios Vasilakis 36 Borscht, by Rachel Demuth 39 Purple croquettes, by Jen Williams 42 Parsnip pie, by Jo Ingleby ADDITIONAL RECIPES

12 Citrus salad, by Freddy Bird 27 Smoked aubergine, by Matt McConnell 56 Vegan crumble, by TJ Waterfall

KITCHEN ARMOURY 51 CRUMBS COOKS WITH Vegan nutritionist TJ Waterfall 60 THE WANT LIST Kit to keep you occupied this winter MAINS 68 JUNK OF THE HEART The rise of vegan junk food 79 THE LOW DOWN Why low-alcohol drinks are totally trending right now AFTERS New and notable restaurants, cafés and bars 88 Suncraft 90 The Inn at Freshford 94 The Restaurant at Lowden 96 Pintxo PLUS! 98 LITTLE BLACK BOOK Stacey Fordham from Zero Green lets us in on her favourite foodie haunts


Sleep, Eat, Explore...

The Castle Hotel, Castle Green, Taunton, TA1 1NF 01823 272671 www.the-castle-hotel.com


START E Rs INNOVATIONS, REVELATIONS AND TASTY AMUSE-BOUCHES

GOT SKILLS

FANCY LEARNING A NEW CULINARY SKILL IN 2019? HERE ARE SOME OF THIS MONTH’S BEST COOKERY CLASSES TO HELP YOU DO JUST THAT...

11 January WINTER WARMERS AT LUCKNAM PARK

Learn how to make the most of winter’s culinary bounty and get some ideas for comforting, hearty meals to keep you warm this season. This one-day course is priced at £185 and can be booked online. lucknampark.co.uk

12 January VEGAN FAST AND DELICIOUS AT DEMUTHS

This course will equip you with plenty of recipes and inspiration for whipping up delicious mid-week meals and desserts, as well as teach you to how to cook with tofu and make vegan mayo. This is a full-day course and costs £180. Book online. demuths.co.uk

17 January BREAD MATTERS AT SQUARE FOOD FOUNDATION

Get the knead-to-know (ahem) info on baking your own loaves at home while trying your hand at making five different types. You’ll even come away with your very own sourdough starter. This evening class costs £39 and can be booked online. squarefoodfoundation.co.uk

19 January CLASSIC BRITISH CAKES AT HOBBS HOUSE

The bakery’s very own patisserie pro will show you how to create the cakes and treats that afternoon tea wouldn’t be the same without. You’ll also learn the art of cake decoration and finish the day with high tea. Fancy. This full-day course is £140. hobbshousebakery.co.uk

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grapefruit THE SHARP, BRIGHT, ZESTY BITTERNESS OF THE GRAPEFRUIT IS ONCE TASTED, NEVER FORGOTTEN, MAKING EVERY OTHER FRUIT SEEM LIKE AN OVERLY-SWEET, TRY-HARD PEOPLE PLEASER. I’M NOT FOR EVERYONE, SAYS GRAPEFRUIT, BUT IF YOU LOVE ME, NOTHING ELSE WILL DO…

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S T A R T E R S

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ome people don’t much like grapefruit – too sour is the common complaint, and (to be fair) we can sympathise – but to call it ‘the forbidden fruit’ seems a bit much. Yet that’s what grapefruit was nicknamed by naturalist Griffith Hughes around 1750, and it stuck – even the scientific name, Citrus х paradisi, would follow suit and reference Genesis. So did Griffith find them tart, unwieldy and awkward to eat, as many modern naysayers claim, and thus call them ‘forbidden’ so we’d avoid them? Far from it! He dubbed them such because grapefruit comes from an earthly Eden – Barbados, in the Caribbean – and, he reckoned, was quite good enough to belong there, too. There’s something about the grapefruit that encourages myths. Another has it that a mysterious Captain (or perhaps Colonel) Shaddock (or maybe Chaddock), possibly working for the East India Company, brought seeds from Java – or somewhere – which interbred with native Bajan citrus to create the grapefruit; certainly, grapefruit were popularly known as ‘Shaddocks’ up until the 19th century. Though the good Captain (or Colonel) is hard to track down, grapefruit certainly seem to have first appeared in Barbados during the 1700s, probably as an accidental hybrid cross between Jamaican sweet oranges (themselves an ancient hybrid, originally from Asia) and Indonesian pomelos, a hefty fruit that (along with citrons and mandarins) is great grandparent to all today’s popular citruses. Unsurprisingly, then, grapefruit look a lot like oversized oranges, but have taken their current, most enduring name from their resemblance to yet another fruit. You see, the way these whacking great things cluster together on a tree, they look like bunches of grapes, just vastly oversized. The peel is almost always yellow, sometimes with a blush of pink, but the flesh comes in every shade from white through pink to the deepest red – this last being by far the most popular these days, not only for its dramatic looks, but also because it tends to be sweetest. (All grapefruit are a bit of a surprise on first bite, something we’ll explore further down the page, but that intensity varies from properly acidic to a much more palatable sweet/tart combo.) For a while, grapefruit were something of a specialist fruit, but when one Count Odet Philippe, a French doctor who also brought cigarmaking to Florida’s Tampa Bay region, started growing them in what’s now called Safety Harbor in 1823, they began to take off. Indeed, inventive breeders began crossing the grapefruit – already something of a mongrel – with impunity, a chap called Kinball Atwood planting the world’s largest grapefruit grove, which was soon producing some 80,000 boxes of them a year. It was here that sweeter pink grapefruit were first discovered in 1906, and when one pink grapefruit tree started producing the occasional, even-sweeter red grapefruit, these were deliberately mutated yet further – by irradiating them. It sounds like the origin story of some Marvel superhero, and it had similarly dramatic results – the creation of the mighty Ruby Red, the first variety to be patented. Sweeter than most and striking to look at – plus, it turns out, more nutritious than any other variety – it was a huge commercial success.

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e’re celebrating grapefruit this issue because it’s a great winter citrus – and a cool, healthy breakfast habit to get into. (Especially, we’d suggest, during January, when we all start thinking about rejoining the gym and find ourselves fighting off colds.) But there’s another reason too. Y’see, in America grapefruit have become something of a seasonal cult item, thousands of parents and grandparents shipping baskets of the things to loved ones over the Christmas period. (Think of them as a tangerine-like stocking filler, but on a Texan scale.) This is no recent thing either, but a tradition that goes back to the Great Depression of the 1930s, when nourishing, ‘useful’ gifts were in vogue, and the durable, in-season grapefruit became the long-distance present of choice.

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These days, America still loves a grapefruit, and Florida remains a major growing centre (though China now edges it for sheer numbers, and the likes of Mexico aren’t far behind). Though available year-round, grapefruit are at their best in winter and spring, when you want to pick the plumpest, firmest, heaviest, and least bruised or puffy fruit – these will be juiciest inside – then simply cut it in half to serve for breakfast. Eaten with a special grapefruit knife or spoon (you know, with a part-serrated edge, to separate flesh from skin), they need little interference; perhaps a sprinkle of sugar (and maybe a light dusting of ground ginger or star anise, for grapefruit loves a spice), if you fancy. That, popped under the grill for a few minutes, makes a great addition to a warm winter salad, too. Cooking with grapefruit is usually about either tempering the bitter aftertaste or making a virtue of it, which is why they’re so good in marmalades and the punchier salads, either of the fruity dessert variety or the savoury kind. It’s also why they go so very well with seafood. Prawn, grapefruit and avocado is a great starter, for instance, but they sit very nicely alongside everything from red mullet to smoked salmon too. And then, of course, there’s the vast range of grapefruit-based puds. We’re rather partial to a school dinner-style grapefruit sponge ourselves, but it goes just as well in all kinds of cakes and cheesecakes, sorbets and jellies. Finally, there’s grapefruit as a drink. The juice itself – you’ll often find it blended with other citrus, to take the edge off – crops up in plenty of cocktails, from the Hemingway Daiquiri to the muchloved Greyhound, and who could forget the garishly crimson Italian Campari, a polarising liquor with bold grapefruit notes that stars in one of the stone-cold classic cocktails, the mighty Negroni?

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ocktails may not exactly be health drinks, but grapefruit-based ones somehow seem less evil than most, and in the majority of other applications this fruit is properly good for you too. For a start, it’s both low in calories and high in fibre and nutrients, from vitamin A (great for the eyes and immune system) to vitamin C (aces for the skin), plus useful amounts of magnesium, calcium, potassium and more. There’s evidence for grapefruit aiding weight loss, lowering the risk of strokes and improving cholesterol blood levels too, none of which are to be sniffed at. But that’s not the entire story, and grapefruit’s many naysayers will be quick to point to the downsides. The first is fairly serious, for the fact is that some of us shouldn’t eat grapefruit at all. You see, this fruit can impact on common prescription drugs in a couple of ways. Sometimes it blocks absorption into the intestine, making the medication pointless. Alternatively, an enzyme (contained in both grapefruit’s skin and its flesh) can either boost or stifle said drug in similarly unhelpful ways. Plenty of medical treatments are marked as incompatible with grapefruit. The second, which we’ve already touched upon numerous times, will be obvious to anyone who’s ever tried eating one – grapefruit is such an acquired taste that some of us, well, won’t ever acquire it. Certainly, the white pith is always pretty bitter (though heaving in antioxidants, nutrients and fibre, so eat it if you can bear it), but even the flesh of the reddest grapefruit can be a bit of a shock if you come expecting the sweet citrus burst of, say, an orange. But hey! All this is part of what makes the grapefruit so refreshingly singular – and such a great breakfast food. After all, you’ll never feel more awake than you do after eating one…

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R E C I P E

VEGAN

FREDDY BIRD HAS A NUTRITIOUS NO-COOK, NO-MEASURE DISH, WHICH LEAVES US WITH NO EXCUSE TO NOT GIVE IT A GO, REALLY... GOING INTO JANUARY it’s all about trying to be a little bit healthy (or so we pretend), but I’m always keen to make sure we can still feel like we are treating ourselves a little. This dish ticks all the boxes. I pull out this recipe regularly for vegans, and although I normally just use blood oranges and clementines, grapefruit is a great addition to the mix. This might be a tad controversial, but I quite like a tinned grapefruit. Fresh is always best, sure, but I think boarding school breakfasts gave me a bit of a taste for the canned stuff!

CITRUS SALAD WITH MINT AND PISTACHIO S ERVES 2- 4 2 clementines 1 blood orange 1 pink grapefruit few drops orange blossom water 3 medjool dates, sliced 2 sprigs fresh mint handful nibbed pistachios icing sugar, to serve 1 Peel all the citrus fruit and slice into rounds, then arrange on a plate. 2 Pour over a few drops of orange blossom water. (Not too much, or you won’t be able to taste anything else!) 3 Scatter over the sliced dates, pick a little mint over the top and then add the pistachios. Just before serving, dust over a little icing sugar. As simple as that, but bloody delicious! lidobristol.com

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Openings etc

WHEELY COOL

Bristol-based online grocery shop Good Sixty has teamed up with eco delivery service Three Bags Full to bring its popular food delivery service to Bath. There are currently 12 local independent retailers signed up, with more to be added to the site in coming months. Bathonians can now view, order and pay for products from local producers and suppliers on the website, before booking a convenient time slot for delivery via zero-emission electric bike. The service aims to help people support local independent businesses and cut down on unnecessary food packaging, whilst providing a green delivery option. Its introduction into Bath is a timely one too, with the city having been named one of 28 local authorities ordered by the government to reduce harmful levels of NO₂ in the shortest possible time. goodsixty.co.uk

CABINET MEETINGS

A brand new kitchen design business has just launched in Bristol – and it’s all about making drop-dead and long-lasting kitchens more affordable. Husk was founded by the duo behind bespoke furniture biz Young and Norgate, who realised there was nothing bridging the gap between high-end and high street options when it came to kitchen design. So, they came up with a pretty great idea. It works like this: Husk makes a range of fronts and worktops which are specifically designed to fit affordable Ikea cabinets. Everything is created at the Montpelier workshop, and can be customised with different handles and colours, and well as other fixtures and fittings. That dream kitchen may have just got a little closer to our grasp… madebyhusk.com

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S T A R T E R S

NEW KID ON THE BLOCK

SUNNY SIDE UP

IT’S MATTHEW LISANTI, THE CIRCUS RESTAURANT’S NEW SOUS CHEF

Ollie Edwards has worked in most areas of the catering industry – from food service counters at supermarkets to restaurants and cocktails bars – and now has set up the business we’ve all been waiting for: Epic Breakfast, a breakfast delivery service. Happy days. Assembly Bakery pastries, apple juice from Barley Wood Orchard and locally roasted coffee will keep you going while you cook up the main event – for which you have a choice of a meat, fish, or vegan option. Ingredients are sourced from local, sustainable producers and suppliers, and arrive at your door in reusable packaging – think glass bottles and containers, and beeswax wraps – inside a wooden crate, which will get picked back up from you once you’re done with it. epicbreakfast.co.uk

So, what made you want to work at The Circus Restaurant? Its reputation has always been huge in Bath. I want to continue to learn and test myself, so working with this ever-changing menu is great for me. It also has really decent working hours; you work hard while you are there, and then have time off to recover and see friends and family.   And where were you working before arriving here? The Marlborough Tavern, which is quite close by.   How would you describe the concept of the food at The Circus?  It’s unpretentious food that you really want to eat. Everything on the plate has a reason for being there.   What current dish do you think best illustrates the restaurant’s style? Maybe the venison. It’s in season now, and comes with earthy cavolo nero and a savoury dark chocolate sauce that adds an elegant twist. 

TWO BECOME ONE

What are your favourite ingredients at the moment? I quite like Asian flavours, such as miso. I’m also currently loving the flavour combination of game and fruit, like the game bird terrine we have on our winter menu.

Many were disappointed when Wallfish Bistro owners Seldon Curry and Liberty Wenham announced that the restaurant was to close. This was a venue known for simple, seasonal food cooked with love and care, and would be missed. Although the site’s now shut for good, it’s not the end for Wallfish, as it has joined forces with neighbouring joint Wellbourne and its head chef Ross Gibbens to become Wallfish and Wellbourne Bistro, housed in Wellbourne’s site on The Mall. Expect exciting new dishes such as bacon chop with Wallfish brown sauce, Cacklebean egg and sour cabbage, and hand-rolled linguine with shellfish sauce and red mullet. wellbourne.restaurant

Which other local restaurants do you like to eat in? I’m still a fan of the Bath Pub Company, which The Marlborough

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Tavern is a part of. If I get the time, I’ll also venture over to The Bunch of Grapes in Bradford-on-Avon; I’ve worked with the chef, Tony Casey. What makes the local foodie scene so great? The independents. They’re the ones with soul, and also fly the flag for the local suppliers!  When did you begin cooking?  While I was at university, to help fund my studies. By the time I’d finished I realised I preferred being in the kitchen to being on the building site that I had trained for.    What was your very first job in the food industry?  A pot wash. It’s not glamorous, but it’s often the way chefs start out. Fondest foodie memories from your childhood?  Eating my Dad’s homemade lasagne – it’s a dish that really makes me think of home.   Favourite cookery book?  I have a massive collection! If I had to choose one, I’d say Larousse Gastronomique. That gives you everything you need to know in order to start.     Foodie heroes?  I have a few, but Nathan Outlaw is probably my favourite. thecircusrestaurant.co.uk


S T A R T E R S

ASK YOUR WAITER

B E N PRYO R

MEET BARRY SYMONDS, GENERAL MANAGER AT POCO How long have you worked here? Three years. And where did you work before? A small tapas restaurant in Westbury Park called Manna, which isn’t there any more. Been in hospitality long? For about 12 years. What do you like most about working in the industry? The people. From the morning coffee guy to the small army of independent, local suppliers and my inspirational colleagues, it’s the people that really make the difference. And what’s the best thing about your current job? Love – it’s the love! There are a lot of aspects of my job I really enjoy. However, working for an employer who cares makes all the difference. Poco cares passionately about the things we sell, cares about the customers we serve, and cares about us. And the most challenging part? Keeping the standards consistently high in everything we do. Being a coffee shop by day and tapas restaurant with cocktail bar at night means there is a lot going on, and we do not want to be average at a lot of things – we want everything to be the best it can be. What first attracted you to Poco? The marriage of the style of food and the ethos. And what have you learnt since coming here? That it is possible to have real life connections with the people growing your food. We have regular visits out to local farms, staff meetings where suppliers come in to address the whole team, Meet the Producer events, which have really allowed

us to connect so much deeper with what we – and many other people in the industry – are striving to achieve. Tell us one thing you’re responsible for in your role that customers wouldn’t know about? Recording, weighing and monitoring all waste that leaves the building. What do you think makes Poco a special place to visit? It’s humble – nothing is rammed down anyone’s throat. Everyone at Poco could talk for days about sustainable food practices, but we’re a restaurant and just want people to have a great time. What kind of a vegan offering do you have?  Vegetarian and vegan food is always on our minds here; more veg and better meat is something constantly going around in our heads. Have you seen the popularity of vegan dishes change among your customers? Definitely, even just in the last three years. What’s your favourite vegan dish on the current menu? Smoked cauliflower with chestnut, tahini and date. What cocktail would you recommend for punters partaking in Dry January?    Our non-alcoholic Mojito; it’s the Stream Farm apple juice that makes it. What do you think makes great customer service? Belief, knowledge and awareness. Where have you visited locally where the customer service was excellent? Dela in Easton is always great. pocotapasbar.com

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post-waste

Smaller Footprints is the latest packaging-free shop to open in Bristol – the third one the city welcomed in 2018 alone, in fact. Located on Regent Street in Clifton Village, it’s the venture of locals Grant Mercer and Hazel Foster. This place aims to help shoppers cut down on waste by selling its goods unpackaged and by weight, with punters bringing in old containers to reuse. So, gather up those bags, jars and lunch boxes and take your pick from a wide range of products; you’ll find the usual supplies of rice, lentils and muesli, as well as the likes of chocolate-covered fruit, honey and coffee. There’s also a great range of kitchen items like metal straws and beeswax wraps. As well as cutting out all that unnecessary plastic, buying ingredients by weight like this is an easy way to cut down on food wastage, as you can get the exact amount you need. We call that win-win.  smallerfootprints.co.uk

GLASS ACT

An exciting new cocktail bar has opened on Cotham Hill in Bristol. Focusing on seasonal drinks that show off the best of the South West’s natural larder, Crying Wolf uses homemade syrups and cordials in its expert concoctions, while spirits, wines and beer come from nearby makers. It’s the creation of Louis Lewis-Smith, also responsible for the popular Dark Horse on Kingsmead Square in Bath, which opened at the end of 2015. There is a menu of bar food on offer here as well, including pork pie from Buxton Butchers with red ale chutney, and Bristol rarebit featuring Moor beer and locally baked sourdough. Crying Wolf spans over two floors and sports a unique style; everything from the décor to the playlist has been carefully thought out. We suddenly have a thirst on. cryingwolf.co.uk

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@_fussfreefoodie makes a warming soup

HIP SHOPS

INSTA FEED

Left to right: Alexandra, Jan and Georgie

haRvest, BRistOL WHAT: WHOLEFOODS AND GENERAL GROCERIES (NO MEAT, MIND) WHERE: 11 GLOUCESTER ROAD, BRISTOL BS7 8AA WHEN: MON-FRI 9AM-6.30PM; SAT 9.30AM-5.30PM

@nataliebrereton fills up courtesy of @formiceandmen

@newbslovesfood gets her chip on @saltandmalt YOUR PIC COULD BE HERE! Just use #CrumbsSnaps on your foodie Insta posts and we might print one of yours next issue...

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arvest is very much at home on Gloucester Road – an area that’s widely celebrated for its wealth of independent businesses, eclectic retail offering and community feel. These values are of no small importance to Alexandra Davies, Georgie Pearce and Jan Phillips, who own and run it together as a worker co-operative. This set-up means that these three are not only on the front line – interacting with customers, cleaning and filling shelves – but that they also have full control over every decision, allowing them to put the knowledge they gain from being out on the shop floor to good use. This store has been around since 1990 (although was on Cheltenham Road until 2003) and stocks everything from fresh fruit and veg to dry store ingredients, herbs and spices to handmade deli goods, teas to packaging-free grains and seeds – all with a focus on organic and ethical principles, as well as, of course, straight-up quality. While a lot of the stock comes from Bristol’s Essential (the shop’s sister company), there is plenty from small, local makers and producers here as well. And very carefully chosen they are, too.

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“The money people spend here really does go back into the community, because of the small, local suppliers we use,” says Alexandra. “You can actually see your money making a difference.” “It’s about funding the world that you want to exist,” adds Jan. “I don’t think our standards are particularly high – it’s just how things should be. We only get to vote once every few years – and that doesn’t seem to do much! – but shopping here is a way to express your views regularly.” Amongst the ever-evolving stock, which develops to favour the most ethically sound and best quality versions of each ingredient available, there’s a growing vegan offering. The increasing demand for plant-based products has been particularly notable with the dairy-alternatives. “The vegan cheeses are really popular,” says Georgie. “We have them from Raw Food Rosie’s and Bath Culture House – they’re so good.” Fancy a bit of a bargain? Drop in on ‘loose Tuesdays’, when there’s a 10-percent discount on bulk items, and ‘Essential Wednesdays’, for the same deal on Essential products. An even better deal: that tip’s free. harvest-bristol.coop


THE HOP POLE, BATH pub, garden & kitchen

QUOTE ‘CRUMBS’ FOR 10% OFF YOUR FOOD BILL IN JANUARY & FEBRUARY. T’s & C’s apply

NEW CHEF, NEW MENU Sam Attwood joins The Hop Pole kitchen team as Head Chef. In 2013, Sam picked up his chef whites to train at one of the UK’s most well-regarded cookery schools, the Ashburton Cookery School. Passionate about fresh ingredients, seasonality and local producers, Sam is going to be making many exciting changes to The Hop Pole’s food offering.

OPENING HOURS Drinks Mon–Thu: 12–11pm | Fri–Sat: 12–11:30pm | Sun: 12–9pm Food

Mon–Fri: 12–2pm (lunch) & 5:30pm–9pm (dinner) Sat: 12–9pm | Sun: 12–7:30pm

CONTACT 7 Albion buildings, Upper Bristol Road, Bath, BA1 3AR 01225 446 327 | info@thehoppolebath.co.uk

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www.thehoppolebath.co.uk


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In the Larder

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PLaNT The Seed

WE’VE SPENT THE MONTH SCOURING THE LOCAL AREA FOR EATS WORTHY OF OUR VEGAN COMFORT FOOD ISSUE… 1. Nutcessity Mocha Hazelnut Spread, £4.99 Organic and vegan, this espresso-spiked (take a bow, Wogan Coffee), roastedhazelnut and cocoa spread is a rich and grown-up take on this childhood fave. The local maker recommends trying it as a porridge topper, and we reckon you could do a lot worse than getting it involved with a smoothie or milkshake, too. Find it at Better Food and Harvest in Bath; nutcessity.co.uk 2. Pieminister Chooks Away Pie, £3.70/270g The second of Pieminister’s vegan creations, Chooks Away is a plant-based version of a creamy chicken pie. The dairy-free pastry is filled with a rich mix of celeriac, smoked garlic and sherry. Hearty but not heavy, it’ll go down a treat with vegans and non-vegans, and makes for a comforting mid-week supper. Find it at the Pieminister shops and online at Ocado; pieminister.co.uk 3. Bath Culture House Garlic and Herb Chease, £6.50 This cultured cashew number backs up its cheese-like tang with extra flavours of garlic and herb. It’s soft in texture but holds its shape well; we’ve been eating it with sweet vine tomatoes on crostinis for a herby, flavoursome snack. It’s handmade in Bath by self-confessed fermentation geek and tutor Lucie Cousins, and you can find it at Fox and West and Chi Wholefoods in Bristol; twitter.com/fabfermented 4. Norty Salted Choc Cheesecake, £3.50/75g Made in Bristol by an indie startup, this little pot of indulgence is layered with a crumbly base, soft and sweet date caramel and smooth chocolaty cheesecake mix with a salty backbone. The result is a dairy- and gluten-free pud that hits that sweet spot without being sickly or heavy. Find it online (along with its banoffee-flavoured cousin) or, if you can’t wait, get it delivered courtesy of Deliveroo in Bristol; getnorty.com 5. Guildhall Deli Lentil, Cranberry and Onion Slice, £1.80 This deli, tucked inside Bath’s Guildhall Market, has a counter packed with homemade snacks. We’ve been controlling our hunger pangs with this savoury slice, which can be eaten hot or cold. Crumbly pastry encases a smooth filling punctuated by chunks of cranberry. Find it at Guildhall Deli in Bath; theguildhalldeli.co.uk

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Six Pack

ShOULd I STaY OR ShOULd I GO NOW?

HOTEL RESTAURANTS DON’T ALWAYS HAVE THE BEST REP, RIGHT? HERE ARE SIX THAT WE RECKON BUCK THE TREND, THOUGH, AND ARE WORTH CHECKING OUT, WHETHER YOU’RE STAYING OVER OR NOT...

THE GAINSBOROUGH BATH SPA Smack bang in the heart of the city, this pretty sizable Bath hotel – which contains 99 guest rooms and suites – is Georgian in architecture but modern in style, having opened in 2015. Dan Moon heads up culinary proceedings, and he means business too, creating refined and meticulously prepared dishes for a range of fine dining menus. As well as the a la carte and six-course tasting option, there’s a great-value set lunch menu, which two can dine from for the price of one (that’s more money left to spend on that room, or maybe in the spa, then). Perhaps start with the parsnip velouté with spiced pear chutney, goat’s curd and walnut, and follow up with poached cod with lobster bisque and crab risotto. thegainsboroughbathspa.co.uk

COMBE GROVE You can’t ignore the views at this Grade II listed, 18th-century manor house, set just outside of Bath. It’s perched on a hill, affording it sweeping views out onto the lush grounds and Limpley Stoke Valley. The food in the restaurant is informed by the changing bounty of ethical ingredients the South West has to offer, with fish being line-caught of the coast of Cornwall, and fruit and veg coming from trusted regional suppliers. The aim is for each dish to be big on flavour and nutrition, whether that’s the pickled beetroot and kale salad with whipped goat’s cheese, walnuts and beetroot balsamic, or the slowroast porchetta with tabbouleh and herb vinaigrette. If you can’t make it home after all that, there are nine rooms and suites in the main house, each with its own individual style, and a further 31 in the Garden Lodge. combegrove.com

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HOTEL DU VIN, BRISTOL CITY CENTRE This handsome hotel, made up of ancient sugar warehouses, is all about old-school style with a modern edge. On the menu at the bistro-style restaurant, for example, is the likes of coq au vin and duck shepherd’s pie, where gravy-doused leg meat is topped with potato. In the evening, candles are lit in the restaurant – where polished glassware sits on dark wood tables, framed art hangs on every wall, and round pillars support the high ceilings – to make for a cosy, elegant atmosphere. There are 40 rooms, should you wish to make use of one after your feed, ranging from standard fare all the way up to large loft suites, like Harveys, which is open plan and has French windows leading onto a private roof terrace. Fancy, no? hotelduvin.com

BRISTOL HARBOUR HOTEL Set in the former financial district of the Old City, this hotel is housed in two restored banks. Its restaurant, The Jetty (located in the original banking hall and sporting lots of marble and brass), specialises in seafood. These star ingredients are served in forms that range from battered fish and chips to oysters, cockle popcorn to whole market fish, with the new a la carte and express menus having just launched. The hotel itself has 42 bedrooms and suites, where guests will find complimentary sherry and gin to sip while they take a soak in a roll top bath, which most of the guest rooms have. You know, make yourself at home, and all that. harbourhotels.co.uk

THE BATH PRIORY Standing among acres of expertly preened gardens, this historic hotel does a great impression of one that’s not, in fact, located right near an ever-bustling city centre. It has a proper country manor feel, with sitting rooms furnished with comfy sofas and framed artwork, and a terrace overlooking the lawn. Food is classical French in style, but prepared with modern finesse by head chef Michael Nizzero (formerly of the three-Michelin-starred Waterside Inn and The Ritz) and his team. Menus change daily, and list the likes of butternut squash terrine with goat’s curd and hazelnut to start and braised pork belly with salt-baked swede and Bath Ale sauce for mains. There are 33 classically styled guest rooms and suites here, for those wanting to make a night of it. thebathpriory.co.uk

THE QUEENSBERRY You may well have heard that this hotel’s Olive Tree Restaurant was awarded its first Michelin star in October, thanks to the creativity and attention to detail of its long-standing head chef Chris Cleghorn. Lunchtime three-course set menus give way in the evening to five- and seven-course tasting menus (although you can pick and choose dishes to have a la carte style, if you wish). They feature the likes of smoked eel with celeriac, apple and lovage, and grouse with Jerusalem artichoke, kale, elderberries and bitter chocolate. In terms of accommodation, there are 29 rooms, perhaps the most impressive being the Four Poster Suite – named after its huge, sevenfoot-wide bed. thequeensberry.co.uk

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FROM CALCUTTA TO MELBOURNE VIA LONDON, THIS MONTH’S RECIPE BOOKS COVER SOME SERIOUS GROUND...

ASMA’S INDIAN KITCHEN

Asma Khan (Pavilion, £20) Asma Khan’s Darjeeling Express restaurant in Kensington reps an all-female crew and began as a hit supper club, while her own food journey started not in her native Calcutta, but in a lonely Cambridge flat where she taught herself to cook. So well, in fact, that she’s the first Brit to star on the hit Netflix show Chef’s Table. The recipes here come from all over the subcontinent, and are grouped as different types of ‘feast’: midweek recipes for two; easy, less spicy family dishes; fancier Feasts for Friends; and show-off speciality dishes. Asma’s celebration of her heritage and community is engagingly human, but it’s the recipes you’ll stay for. From simple anda curry (hard boiled eggs in spicy gravy) and macha malaikari (fish in coconut milk) to zafrani murgh (saffron roast chicken with apricots) and Anglo-Indian ball curry (not what it sounds like, thank goodness, but meatballs in coconut cream with the unexpected British inclusion of parsley), this is Indian food with proper character. MATT B IEL BY

EAT AT THE BAR

Matt McConnell with Jo Gamvros (Hardie Grant, £25) Matt McConnell and Jo Gamvros have been running their Mediterranean restaurant, Bar Lourinhã, in Melbourne for a decade, and this book takes us back to how it all began. The pair toured around tapas-style

joints in Spain, Portugal, Greece and Italy, picking the best recipes from each and giving them an Aussie spin. (It’s why the southern Spanish dish of ‘shark and waxy spuds’ is made with ‘gummy shark’, which sounds to us like something you’d grab at the pick ’n’ mix.) An engaging, inspiring collection, this is very much cookbook rather than travelogue, but it finds time for little interludes including maps of the cities that inspired them, showing where the best tapas bars are. From the spiced chickpeas and spinach to the rabbit empanadillas, the salted pork and giant clams to the soft-shell prawns al ajillo, we’d happily order – or cook – it all. MATT BIELBY

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SLOW

Gizzi Erskine (HQ, £25) Speedy, convenient recipes help time-poor and disorganised cooks (I hold my hands up) get good meals on the table on many a weeknight. But, Gizzi points out, focusing solely on the end result and the speed with which it can be achieved is to sort of miss the point – cooking can be far more than simply a means to an end. This book is full of recipes worth taking time over, and that you’ll want to feed to the people you love. Throughout the chapters (including Braise, Bake, and Roast) there are hearty, wholesome soups and stews (like the curry soy miso ramen, which takes an hour and


S T A R T E R S

a half ); snacks like salt beef bagel (up to eight days); centrepieces like Mallorca slowroast lamb shoulder ( just over six hours); and comforting dinners like beetroot and horseradish pierogi with brown butter and braised cabbage (an hour and 50 minutes). In an age where time is always of the essence, it’s refreshing to be reminded that some things are worth slowing down for. J E SSI CA CA RT ER

FRESH VEGGIE KITCHEN

VEGAN

David and Charlotte Bailey (Pavilion, £12.99) David and Charlotte Bailey run a street food van, Wholefood Heaven, working with simple, unprocessed ingredients to fuel hungry festival goers. This fun, bouncy book features plenty of variations on their signature Buddha bowls, plus street food spins on global dishes, all looking superhealthy but by no means dull. There are salads, soups and stews, breakfast options, puds and drinks here, as well as main meals, all clearly marked as vegan, wheat-free and gluten-free, as appropriate. The Singaporean breakfast dish of kaya coconut jam on toast with boiled eggs and tamari is sweet, salty and somewhat bonkers, while the cannelloni bean, fennel and seaweed bouillabaisse with garlic and saffron rouille is tempting as anything. You could eat out of this book all year, never get bored, and doubtless feel your best ever at the end of it. MATT B IEL BY

SMOKED AUBERGINE, HAZELNUT AND GREEN CHILLI From: Eat at the Bar by Matt McConnell with Jo Gamvros (Hardie Grant, £25); photography © Mark Roper

VEGAN EASY

Denise Smart (Ebury Press, £15) The idea of quick, easy recipes that use no more than five ingredients is hardly new – hello, Jamie Oliver – but for midweek suppers they’ll always be in demand. And if they’re vegan, even better – whatever our feelings about meat eating, we could all do with incorporating more plant-based dishes into our repertoires. Denise Smart specialises in simple fare (one of her other books is called Meal in a Mug), and if she slightly cheats on her ingredient limit at times (oils, milk and the like aren’t included, while ‘mixed Mediterranean vegetables’ counts as one), it’s arguably forgivable if you’re after speed (dishes rarely take longer than 45 minutes) as well as plant-based goodness. Whether it’s a warming lentil pie, Thai red pumpkin curry, or jerk cauliflower steaks with rice and beans, you’re bound to find something to try. Not a glamorous book, but a useful one. MATT B IEL BY

THIS IS STRAIGHT out of Samos. We used to get eggplant [aubergines] and rub them in olive oil and salt and pop them on the embers of a fire to cook. Normally, the pulp would go straight into a baba ganoush, but at Bar Lourinhã, we cook it so it still holds its shape and you get beautiful chunks of smoked eggplant. SERVES 6

3 medium-sized aubergines (eggplants) olive oil ½ green chilli, finely sliced 5g flat leaf parsley leaves, chopped 15g coriander leaves, chopped 1 tbsp roasted hazelnuts, crushed ¼ tsp pink peppercorns, crushed For the dressing: 1 tbsp red wine vinegar ¼ tsp demerara sugar 3 tbsp olive oil 1 garlic clove, finely sliced

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1 For the dressing, mix the vinegar, sugar, olive oil and sliced garlic in a bowl. Leave to sit until needed. 2 Use a skewer to pierce the aubergines, making sure they are evenly pricked all over. Rub a little olive oil on them and season well with salt. 3 Place on a barbecue chargrill plate, in a chargrill pan or over a naked gas flame and cook, turning continuously, until the skin is blackened and the aubergine is cooked. Place in a bowl to cool and add any liquid that draws out of the aubergines to the dressing. 4 Halve the aubergines lengthways and gently peel. Arrange in a serving dish and season well. 5 Loosely scatter the chilli, parsley, coriander and hazelnut over the aubergine. Dress generously, then finish with the pink peppercorns.


CHEF!

WHAT TO MAK AND HOW TO E MAKE IT – DIRECT FROM THE KITCHENS O OUR FAVOURITF FOODIES E

Beetroot is rich in healthsupporting nutrients – get your fix with Rachel Demuth’s hearty borscht

BITE-SIZED BEAUTIES

HIGHLIGHTS

39 PLUS!

PROPERLY PURPLE CROQUETTES

GET STUFFED

ROASTED SQUAsH GETS PACKED WITH BEAN CHILLI PAGE 32

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WE CAN'T GET ENOUGH OF THESE SWEET AND GOOEY MORSELs PAGE 35

PIE HOPES

A COMFORTING, VEG-FILLED VEGAN PIE PAGE 42


C H E F !

VEGAN SQUASH AND BLACK BEAN CHILLI SERVES 4

2 onion squashes 2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for roasting 1 large onion, chopped 4 celery sticks, finely chopped 1 red pepper, deseeded and chopped 1 green pepper, deseeded and chopped 3 large garlic cloves, crushed 1-2 tsp crushed chipotle chillies (if you can’t find them, use another fresh or dried red chilli) 1 tsp dried marjoram (or handful of fresh oregano) 2 bay leaves 2 tsp ground cumin 1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes 2 x 400g tins black beans, rinsed and drained 1 lime, juice only small bunch coriander, leaves finely chopped

ChILL-I-am BIT COLD? ALAN AND VICKI MOWAT OF RIVERFORD BATH RECKON THIS SHOULD THAW YOU OUT NICELY...

“Squash – in all its beautiful forms – is surely the most comforting of all the veg, and appears quite often in our veg boxes throughout the winter,” says Vicki. “This recipe can be made in advance and reheated, or even prepared in a slow cooker – ideal when you’re coming in from a frosty winter walk and want something really hearty and warming.” This chilli looks great served stuffed inside smaller squashes, but if you have a larger one to hand, you can simply chop it up into cubes, roast it, and add to the chilli mix at the end of cooking. Either way, this dish is great topped with some cheese or sour cream. To keep it vegan, perhaps use cashew-based versions.

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1 Heat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. 2 Cut the squashes in half, scoop out the seeds and pulp, and roast for 30-45 minutes until tender. 3 Meanwhile, make the chilli. Heat the oil in a large, heavy pan over a medium-high heat. Add the onion and celery. Reduce the heat to medium, and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes, until soft. Add the peppers and continue cooking for a further 10 minutes or so, stirring frequently. 4 Stir in the garlic, and cook for another minute. Add the chilli, herbs and cumin, and season with about 1-2 tsp salt and 1 tsp black pepper. Give everything a good mix, then add the tomatoes. Simmer, uncovered, for about 30 minutes. 5 Stir in the beans and continue to simmer for a further 10 minutes. Remove the bay leaves, stir in the lime juice and coriander and adjust the seasoning to taste. 6 Fill each roasted half with the chilli mixture. Finish with vegan cheese crumbled over the top, and/or a drizzle of vegan cream, if you like. riverford.co.uk

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AMAZING VALUE LUNCH DEALS STUDENT AND NUS DISCOUNTS CLIFTON 83 Whiteladies Road, Bristol, BS8 2NT | 01173 290887 BEDMINSTER 240 North Street, Bristol, BS3 1JD | 01173 292790

theburgerjoint.co.uk f a

YOUR HOME, YOUR TABLE, YOUR EVENING. Hearth can produce a menu that can be brought right to you. We believe in using only the best quality produce and our menus have been designed, using locally sourced seasonal ingredients, operating closely with local suppliers, farmers and growers. We pride ourselves on excellent service as well as our beautifully presented food, which is prepared in our 5-star hygiene rated kitchen. We even bring our own cooking equipment, hand selected tableware, and provide attentive table service. VISIT OUR WEBSITE TO FIND OUT MORE AND CATCH ALL THE PROMOTIONS IN 2019

07845164846 sales@hearthdining.com www.hearthdining.com f a x hearthdining


VEGAN

YOU SAY TOMATO

GET YOUR CHOPS AROUND SOME DEEP-FRIED VEGAN DELICIOUSNESS, BY EFTHYMIOS VASILAKIS Efthymios co-founded The Athenian in 2014, serving up that Greek street food staple, souvlaki. For those who haven’t yet grabbed one from the shipping container these guys opened at Bristol’s Cargo in 2017, they involve soft, warm pitas, marinated, skewer-grilled meat, chips, fresh herbs and homemade sauces. Of course, there are meat-free versions too – including one particular number stuffed with these tomato croquettes, which are also served as a side. “We make them with tomatoes from the Greek island of Santorini,” Efthymios says. “It has volcanic soil, therefore all the fruits and vegetables that grow on the island have a unique taste.” Fear not, though – he tells us they can be substituted for regular tomatoes in order for us to make them at home. Get the best-quality toms you can; it’ll make all the difference.

C H E F !

TOMATO CROQUETTES SERVES 6 750g ripe tomatoes 3 spring onions (white and tender green parts only), finely chopped 2 tbsp flat leaf parsley, finely chopped 2 tbsp mint, finely chopped 180g flour (approx.) ½ tsp baking powder vegetable oil, for frying 1 Grate the tomatoes into a large bowl. Add the chopped spring onion and herbs, season with salt and pepper, and mix well. 2 Combine the flour and the baking powder in a small bowl, then add it to the tomatoes, mixing well. Add more flour as necessary to achieve the consistency of a thick batter. Taste and adjust the seasoning. 3 Heat about 4 cm of oil in a large, heavy pan over a medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, drop 1 tbsp of the batter at a time into the skillet and fry the tomato fritters on both sides until golden. Remove with a slotted spoon and allow to drain on paper towels. Serve hot.

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The Athenian, Cargo 2, Bristol BS1 6WD; theathenian.co.uk


VEGAN

SPOONING

RACHEL DEMUTH SHARES HER TAKE ON A TRADITIONAL COMFORT DISH FROM THE OTHER SIDE OF THE CONTINENT “Borscht originates from Eastern Europe, and each country and household will have their own variation on this hearty, slightly sour soup,” says plant-based chef Rachel Demuth of Demuths Cookery School. “It doesn’t necessarily contain beetroot, but the best known is dark red beetroot borscht. Here we’ve added buckwheat for texture and extra nutrition, to make it a warming, complete, one-pot meal.”

BORSCHT SERVES 4

2 tbsp olive oil 1 onion, chopped 1 carrot, finely diced (preferably purple) 1 stick celery, finely diced 2 garlic cloves, chopped 500g raw beetroot, peeled and finely diced 750ml vegetable stock 1 lemon, juice only 1 tsp red wine vinegar ½ tsp brown sugar 50g toasted buckwheat (kasha) For the topping: 2 tbsp olive oil handful Brussels sprouts (or kale), shredded

2 garlic cloves, crushed fresh dill, chopped, to serve soya cream (optional), to serve 1 Fry the onion, carrot and celery in the olive oil until the onion is translucent. Add the garlic and fry for a couple more minutes. 2 Add the diced beetroot along with the vegetable stock, lemon juice, red wine vinegar and sugar, and bring to the boil. Turn the heat down and simmer gently for 15 minutes, or until the beetroot is tender. 3 Meanwhile, place the buckwheat into a medium saucepan with 200ml cold water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat a little and simmer just until you can see the buckwheat pop open. Turn the heat to low and cook with a lid on for 5 minutes. The buckwheat should have absorbed most of the water and be just tender. Drain any remaining water and stir into the borscht. Season to taste. 4 For the topping, heat the olive oil in a frying pan and gently sauté the shredded Brussels sprouts (or kale) with the crushed garlic. 5 To serve, ladle the hot borscht into bowls and garnish with the sautéed greens, chopped dill and a spoon of soya cream (or yoghurt), if desired. Demuths, 6 Terrace Walk, Bath BA1 1LN; 01225 427938; demuths.co.uk

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C H E F !

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VEGAN

C H E F !

uLTRA VIOLeT

JEN WILLIAMS HAS CREATED PROBABLY THE MOST COLOURFUL CROQUETTES YOU’RE EVER GOING TO GET YOUR CHOPS AROUND...

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C H E F !

Flow is a little hidden gem, tucked away just off the Bearpit in the centre of Bristol. Taken on by presiding head chef Jen Williams at the end of 2017, this cosy restaurant serves up fun yet refined plant-based dishes that time and again seem to hit the spot for even the most dedicated of carnivores. “We usually serve these croquettes with a combination of fresh herbs, lightly pickled vegetables and a seasonal condiment,” says Jen. “Also, if you end up with any leftover mix, they make great potato cakes for brunch!”

VIOLETTA POTATO CROQUETTES SERVES 4

300g violetta potatoes 300g maris piper potatoes 1 tsp Dijon mustard 250g panko breadcrumbs ½ tsp beetroot powder 250g plain flour 400ml barista-style plant milk rapeseed oil (or vegetable oil), for deep frying 1 Peel all the potatoes and put each variety into a separate pan of cold water. Bring to the boil and simmer, until cooked through. 2 When cooked, remove from the heat and drain, retaining approximately 100ml of the liquid. Set aside to cool, making sure both varieties remain separate. (The

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colour gets darker in the purple potatoes the longer they sit, so if you leave them separate until the end you’ll get lovely speckled colours in the croquettes.) 3 Once cool, mash both types of potato together, seasoning with the mustard, and white pepper and salt. Mix well and let sit for around 10 minutes to let the colour further develop. 4 Line a baking sheet and, using a 2cm-wide (approx.) round-tip nozzle, pipe on the mix in straight lines. (Add a small amount of the potato cooking liquid if the mix seems too dry.) Freeze until the croquette mix is solid enough to cut into portions. 5 Using a food processor, blitz the panko breadcrumbs with the beetroot powder. Set up 3 bowls; one containing flour, one milk and one the pink crumbs. 6 Cut the piped lines of potato filling into desired portions (roughly a couple of inches long) and coat each twice – first with the flour, then milk, then breadcrumb, ensuring all sides are evenly covered. Store in the freezer until needed. 7 To cook, heat 4cm or so of oil in a heavy bottomed pan to 180C. Cook a test croquette until crisp (it should take approximately 6-7 minutes), then remove, and cut it in half to ensure it is cooked all the way through. This will show you your timings for your batch of croquettes. Do not overcrowd the pan, as this will reduce the overall temperature of the oil, leading to soggy croquettes. Use a slotted spoon to remove each one and place onto a paper towel to drain, then serve. Flow, 8a Haymarket Walk, Bristol BS1 3LN; flowbristol.co.uk

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PETE GOODRUM

VEGAN

C H E F !

ThaT PIe-daY feeLING

JO INGLEBY HAS A VEGAN PIE RECIPE TO MAKE THE MOST OF WINTER’S VEGETABLE BOUNTY

The Community Farm is a social enterprise based in Chew Magna. The team here farm on 15 acres, overlooking Chew Valley Lake, growing a host of seasonal, organic produce which is packed into veg boxes and delivered to houses all over the area. Jo Ingleby – BBC Cook of the Year for 2015 – creates the monthly recipe cards for The Community Farm’s veg boxes. Aside from that she’s also a cookery tutor and leads an innovative food programme for children at Redcliffe Children’s Centre. Busy lady. For this recipe, you will need a loose bottom tart case, approximately 25cm wide.

ROASTED PARSNIP, MUSHROOM AND BEAN PIE SERVES 6 400g parsnips few sprigs thyme 2 garlic cloves, unpeeled olive oil, for roasting 100g chestnut mushrooms 2 shallots 1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes 1 x 400g tin cannellini beans parsley, chopped For the pastry: 200g plain flour 75ml olive oil

75ml soya yoghurt ½ tsp poppy seeds dairy-free milk, for brushing 1 Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 5. 2 Wash (don’t peel) the parsnips, and chop them into 1cm-thick half-moons. 3 Place the chunks in a roasting dish with the thyme, garlic and a splash of oil, then season. Roast for 20 minutes until soft. Remove the tray from the oven and add the mushrooms, then cook for a further 10 minutes. 4 To make the pastry, mix all the ingredients in a bowl then knead gently until well combined. Leave in the fridge to chill for at least 10 minutes before using. 5 Heat a saucepan with a splash of oil and add the shallots to soften. Add the cooked parsnips and mushrooms, and squeeze the cooked garlic out of its skin into the pan. 6 Drain the tinned tomatoes and the beans, then add them to the mixture. Simmer for 10 minutes and taste; add salt, pepper, lemon or spices to your taste. 7 Pull off ⅓ of the pastry and set aside. Roll out the remaining pastry so that it is about 2mm thick and carefully line the tin with it, trimming off the edges leaving an overhang. Prick the bottom of the pastry all over with a fork, and place in the oven for 10 minutes. 8 Remove from the oven, spoon in the filling, then roll out the rest of the pastry for the lid and lay it over, trimming off the overhang and pressing the edges together with a fork. Brush the top with a little milk. 9 Bake for 30 minutes, or until the pastry is crisp and golden. Allow to cool slightly before cutting. thecommunityfarm.co.uk

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FARM SHOP & BUTCHERS OPEN DAILY • FRESH FRUIT AND VEG AWARD-WINNING BUTCHERS • LOCALLY SOURCED MEATS Cowslip Lane, Hewish, N.Somerset BS24 6AH • www.puxton.co.uk


Have you got what it takes? ChefvChef is a Bath-based culinary competition, open to all talented local chefs within a 50-mile radius. The annual competition is a joint not-for-profit venture organised by Bath College, The Initiative at BANES and Catering Services International, the UK’s leading specialist in catering and hospitality recruitment. This well established competition is hosted by Bath College and specifically designed to promote culinary excellence throughout the region. Simply submit your menu and you could be invited to compete head-to-head in a live cook-off!

CATEGORIES Professional chef 2 course cook-off, with 2.5 hours to prep

Bath College students

Competitors in the professional chef category will be required to compile a 2-course menu consisting of a main course featuring guinea fowl and a dessert incorporating comice pear. Winter seasonal produce should be included as part of your additional ingredients when planning. You must include a full description of both dishes complete with the recipe, cooking methods and diagram outlining presentation of both dishes.

ö Kitchen skills – 4 levels (to include knife skills, kitchen skills, canapes and a team challenge) ö Restaurant skills – individual challenge (to include napkin folding, table presentation, wine waiting and silver service)

PRIZES

HOW TO ENTER

BECOME A SPONSOR

1st £250 cash prize, engraved ChefvChef trophy, certificate, champagne and one week estage (work experience placement) at 2 Michelin starred Midsummer House in Cambridge.

Entrants should be working in a commercial kitchen, whether it be full time or part time, within a 50-mile radius of Bath or attending a full or part time hospitality course at college. Establishments may submit a maximum of two entries per venue.

Drop an email to info@chefvchef.co.uk and we’ll get in touch to discuss in more detail.

2nd £50 cash prize, champagne, certificate and dinner for two at 1 Michelin starred Olive Tree restaurant at the Queensberry Hotel, Bath. 3rd £25 cash prize plus bottle of champagne and certificate.

ö Exhibition stands available ö Marketing opportunities

Email entries to: info@chefvchef.co.uk no later than 25 January 2019

www.chefvchef.co.uk


Bath’s specialist commercial flooring company


ARMOURY CHOOSE YOUR WEAPONS

hOT SPOT

WANT HEALTHY, PERFECTLY COOKED VEGETABLES EVERY TIME? OF COURSE YOU DO, SAYS MATT BIELBY, AND THE UK’S FIRST FRYING PAN DESIGNED SPECIFICALLY FOR VEGGIES IS HERE TO HELP

The 28cm Tefal Veggie Pan costs £30, and can be found at John Lewis in Bristol; tefal.co.uk

140C? That’s good, is it? They tried it on peppers, and found up to 30 percent more of the vitamin C was preserved at that heat.

It’s a frying pan. Yes, and…? It’s a frying pan with a little sunflower in the middle of it. Again, and…? It’s a sunflower with a T on it, which presumably stands for something important…? Right third time! It stands for ‘Tefal’, who makes this thing. Or possibly ‘Thermo-Spot’, which I’ll explain. You see, that blob in the middle is the really important thing, as it’s not just there to look pretty – oh no – but instead has an important job to do. The little purple petals around the Thermo-Spot turn green when they hit 140C, the optimum cooking temperature for vegetables. Right, now it’s time to chuck in your courgettes, broccoli and baby sweetcorn. Easy!

But what if I’m making eggs or something? Then just ignore the Thermo-Spot. No-one’s telling you what you can or can’t do with your own pan. Well, it’s that time of year when we’re all thinking about eating more healthily, I suppose… That’s the spirit! And it’s a pretty nifty pan anyway, with an extremely strong, durable, stone-effect non-stick ceramic coating – tough enough to resist metal utensils, not just plastic or wooden ones – and a green Bakelite handle, oven-safe up to 175C for an hour. It works with induction hobs, too.

THIS MONTH • FRY DAY FEELING • MR CRUMBLE • TIME TO SLOW

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VEGAN

Crumbs Cooks With

TJ waTeRfaLL WE CALL IN ON THIS VEGAN NUTRITIONIST TO TALK PLANTS, EAT CRUMBLE, AND NOSEY AROUND HIS KITCHEN words by JESSICA CARTER photos by ED SCHOFIELD

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s a science, nutrition really isn’t that old – especially when you compare it to something like physics, which began hundreds of years BC. There’s a lot that we still aren’t sure about, then, when it comes to food and its impact on our bodies. It was TJ who brought this point up, as we chatted in his kitchen, cupping a hot mug of fresh coffee. Sure, we know the basics – we know about compounds that are beneficial versus ones that might be detrimental if we over do it – but the true extent of food’s nutritional and medicinal power is still a bit of a mystery. We’re years away from being able to really pin down researchers for hard and fast facts that go beyond what we already think we know. That’s part of what makes nutrition such a fascinating field of study. TJ definitely thinks so; he studied for a masters in the subject at University College London, and since set up Meat Free Fitness – a service that provides nutritional advice and programmes alongside recipes and lifestyle information, all with a focus on vegetarian and vegan values. Having moved from London in 2018, he runs the business from his Bath home now – alongside his day job in workplace wellbeing – and serves clients across the country, creating tailored nutritional guides for them. He’s also hosting a class in vegan nutrition at Demuths Cookery School this January. About time, we

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C O O K S

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OUR PASSION Ston Easton Park holds the culinary crown when it comes to serving awardwinning cuisine in the most exquisite surroundings. We pride ourselves on using only the finest, freshest and seasonal produce and we’re proud to be well renowned as one of the best restaurants in Somerset.

OUR CHEF Our Head Chef creates daily dishes in accordance to the ingredients grown in our own food garden by our dedicated Gardeners. The dishes are dictated largely on the ingredients available seasonally, producing the best possible flavours.

Looking for a f ine dining experience with a difference? Contact us to make a reser vation

01761 241631 Ston Easton, Nr Bath, Somerset BA3 4DF | www.stoneaston.co.uk | reception@stoneaston.co.uk

Crumbs readers will rece ive a complim entar y gla ss of wine w ith (ser ved b lunch etween 12 noon - 2pm) when qu oting SCMB0 1.


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thought, to pop over to meet him – and have the obligatory nosey at his kitchen. As luck would have it, we found him overrun with apples (thanks to his family’s glut, the bounteous surplus of which was offloaded on him) and a with plan to bake them in a crumble that very afternoon. (How did he know it was one of my favourite childhood puds?) “These are from my sister and brother-in-law’s garden,” TJ explains, as he starts to core and chop them. “My mum and dad and my neighbours brought me loads, too – so I’ve been trying to come up with as many apple recipes as I can to use them up. I make a lot of apple crisps – I just finely slice them, sprinkle lightly with cinnamon and bake in the oven on a really low temperature until they dry out and crisp up.” TJ gave up meat years ago, with ethical motivations. Once he’d done that, the leap to cutting out animal products altogether didn’t seem very daunting any more. “When I realised that it wasn’t going to be detrimental to my fitness,” he says, “I went vegan – which was a really smooth transition, actually.”

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VEGAN APPLE AND BLACKBERRY CRUMBLE WITH OAT AND WALNUT TOPPING “This is a vegan take on a British classic,” TJ says. “By making a few simple switches, not only can this dessert be easily ‘veganised’, but also made a little healthier than traditional recipes. “For instance, using whole grain flour means it contains more fibre, B vitamins, and antioxidants than it otherwise would, and the added oats are loaded with more of the same, as well as beta glucans – soluble fibres which have been shown to promote the growth of good bacteria in our gut and reduce cholesterol levels. The addition of walnuts in the topping also adds extra protein and essential omega-3 fatty acids – as well as a beautiful crunch!” SERVES 10

As he speaks, he’s mixing up the topping for his crumble – rubbing vegetable oil (in place of the usual butter) through the flour, oats and walnuts to create a course crumb texture. “I want everyone to know how straightforward it is to eat vegan and get all the nutrients necessary. Pulses are great – they have everything you need and are so cheap, too. And nuts and seeds – like fruit and veg – all have different benefits. These [he indicates the leftover walnuts he’s nibbling on] are a great source of omega-3, and Brazil nuts are the best food source of selenium.” Half an hour in the oven, and the mini crumbles have turned golden, with fruit oozing out from around the edges. Finished with a splash of vegan cream, we tuck into this warm, comforting pud, with not a second thought about its strictly plant-based composition. meatfreefitness.co.uk

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7-8 apples (approx. 1kg) 150g golden sugar 300g (approx.) blackberries 150g whole grain flour 150g oats 120g vegetable oil handful walnuts, crushed 1 Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. 2 Start by coring and roughly chopping the apples. Spread them out in a large pie dish (or 3-4 smaller dishes if you plan to freeze a few portions of the crumble to save for a rainy day). 3 Sprinkle the chopped apples with 50g of the sugar and scatter the blackberries on top. 4 Next, to make the crumble topping, just tip the flour, oats, the remaining sugar, vegetable oil and crushed walnuts into a large bowl and mix with your fingertips until everything’s thoroughly combined. 5 Distribute the topping over the fruit. (If freezing, do so at this point; store for up to two months and take out of the freezer a couple of hours before cooking to defrost.) 6 Bake in the oven for around 20-30 minutes, until the fruit has softened and the topping has turned golden.

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Riverstation sits majestically on the harbourside as it has done for the last 20 years. Our iconic building boasts one of the best sunshine locations in Bristol and offers al fresco dining in abundance. You can dock on the pontoon from the ferry and enjoy the whole day in this wonderful setting. The newly refitted restaurant offers fantastic views across the water and delivers monthly rotating seasonal menus. Balcony seating also allows you to leisurely watch life go by. The up-beat ground floor hosts a large sunshine terrace so you can while away a night with cocktails, or enjoy a bottle from our extensive wine selection. We proudly support local Bristol breweries, as well as offering our flagship Young’s ales on tap. Be sure not to miss out on our great events hosted in proper Bristol fashion. Follow our social networks for updates.

Enjoy our new heated terrace! Head over to www.riverstation.co.uk to check out our upcoming events or give us a call on 0117 914 4433

The Grove, Bristol BS1 4RB; 0117 914 4434 riverstation@youngs.co.uk www.riverstation.co.uk

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The

cakery the

Artisan Coffee | Fresh bread LUNCH | Custom made cakes

Gluten free, dairy free and vegan options available é Visit the shop to book your party or event! é 21 Claverton buildings, Bath BA2 4LD tel 07891 211852 email thecakery-@hotmail.com b The Cakery  @TheCakeryBath  thecakerybath www.thecakerybath.co.uk


BATH’S BEST BUTCHER

The Larkhall team are experts at sourcing local produce and, most importantly, you can really taste the difference Dan – Larkhall customer

1 Lambridge Buildings, Bath BA1 6RS 01225 313 987 | info@larkhallbutchers.co.uk larkhallbutchers.co.uk


K I T C H E N

A R M O U R Y

The Want List IT’S COLD OUTSIDE – SO WE’RE SPENDING EXTRA TIME IN THE KITCHEN WITH SPECIALITY KIT LIKE THIS… 1

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1. Stainless Steel Maslin Jam Pan and Handle, £29.99 This hard-wearing stainless steel pan is designed to prevent sticking on the bottom and encourage liquid to evaporate to help the jam-making process. Find it at Lakeland in Bath and Bristol; lakeland.co.uk 2. Fermentation Crock, £40 Fancy having a go at making sauerkraut or kimchi? Now’s the time – and this is the gear. Find it online at Sous Chef; souschef.co.uk 3. Beechwood Pasta Cutter Rolling Pin, £7 Making pasta from scratch suddenly sees a quick dinner become a long – but really rewarding – process. Get gorgeous ribbons of fettuccine with this cutter from Kitchens Cookshop in Bath; steamer.co.uk 4. Moroccan Tagine, £50 This colourful, handpainted ceramic tagine will have your dinner guests’ full attention before they’ve even seen what’s inside it. From Rossiters of Bath; rossitersofbath.com 5. Swan Retro Slow Cooker, £24.99 Take it slow with this cool vintage-style bit of kit, or let it cook you up a hearty dinner ready for when you come home from work. Find it at Leekes in Melksham; leekes.co.uk

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G AD VA N IS CED AD BO VIS OK E D IN

FULLY LICENSED PLANT-BASED EATERY WITH DAY & EVENING MENUS

99% gluten free menu* Organic Veg • Local beers & ciders Roasts (Sunday only - booking required) Safe space • LGBT+ friendly • Dogs welcome

*both gluten free and sourdough bread available

OPENING HOURS Wed to Sat: 10am - 10.30pm | Sunday: 12.30pm - 5.30pm Kitchen hours: Wed to Sat 10.30am-2.30pm / 6pm-9pm

SUNDAY ROAST: BOOKINGS ONLY 156 Wells Road, Totterdown, Bristol BS4 2AG 01172398704 • eygbristol@gmail.com eatyourgreensbristol


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Welcome to Mantra, an Indian Restaurant in the heart of Bath, that specialises in serving progressive Indian food. Mantra is a family run authentic Indian restaurant. Our dishes are healthily packed with flavour, crunch, punch and zing offering plenty of choice to vegetarians and vegans.Inspired by seasonal ingredients, our food contains only the freshest produce prepared in a way that captures the amazing diversity of India’s regional cuisines and childhood street food memories. 5, Bladud Buildings, The Paragon, Bath BA1 5LS Tel: 01225 446 332 Email: info@mantraofbath.co.uk | www.mantraofbath.co.uk

Helping you have a good day, every day. Open for Brunch, Lunch, and Speciality Coffee Tuesday-Sunday.

Follow our story:

gooddaycafe


Brand new Plant based Deli, Cafe & Take Away Find us right next to Bath train station 10 Brunel Square, BA1 1SX

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MA INs

Seedlip’s ‘Nogroni’ is a far cry from the syrupy mocktails we’ve probably all persevered through

TOP CULINARY CAUSES, INSIDER KNOWLEDGE AND FOOD PIONEERs

HIGHLIGHTS

JUNK FOOD FOREVER

VEGAN COMFORT FOOD IS HAVING A MOMENT PAGE 68

SOFTLY, SOFTLY

INCLUDING!

OLD SCHOOL SOFT DRINKS HAVE STIFF COMPETITION

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R OB L AW S O N

ALCOHOL- IL FREE COCKTA RECIPES


’TIS THE SEASON FOR COMFORT FOOD – AS THE MERCURY DROPS, CRAVINGS ESCALATE, RIGHT? THANKS TO THE EVER-GROWING VEGAN OFFERING ON OUR PATCH, WE NOW HAVE THE CHOICE TO GO PLANT-BASED WHEN IT COMES TO ALL THAT CULINARY FILTH WE’RE HANKERING AFTER. WE SPEAK TO LOCAL PROS ABOUT THE RISE OF VEGAN COMFORT FOOD... WORDS BY JESSICA CARTER

L OV e With everything from decadent cakes like this one by Relish, to monstrous burgers such as Burger Joint’s opposite, the local vegan offering can more than cater to our cravings

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## LOVE2SHARE Welcome to Koocha, a friendly, cosy escape that brings a taste of Persia to Bristol. Experience plant powered food as you never have before. Vegan or not, you’ll love our fresh, colourful and creative dishes. Step inside for a taste of mouth-watering Persian mezze and a signature gin cocktail. Serving lunch and dinner and everything in between, come visit us for good times and great food!

Walk ins are always welcome, but we recommend booking a table for groups of 6 or more.

10 Zetland Road, Redland, Bristol BS6 7AD koochamezzebar.com | 0117 9241301


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small group of people is herded out of Swoon just off Bath’s Kingsmead Square by Jenni Tame, most of them still talking about how creamy that dairyfree sorbetto was. The small assembly is made up of a mixed bag of hungry punters – some local, some tourists, some vegan, some most definitely not. This is The Herbitour – Bath’s dedicated vegan food tour. Jenni established the business in 2018, in order to showcase the best local spots for vegan grub – even in the pint-sized city of Bath, the offerings are exciting and plentiful. “We have had a fantastic first six months,” she tells me. “The response to the tours has been amazing.” And she’s not just talking about the uptake from vegans, either. “So far we have had a 50/50 split of curious meat eaters and vegans. Meat eaters want to see what all of the fuss is about – and always leave impressed with how much variety there is with vegan food.” Indeed, the vegan market isn’t driven by vegans alone. The proliferation of vegan food and drink – and the demand for it – isn’t just down to people deciding to stick to an entirely plant-based diet (although, a survey last spring found that the number of people who have dedicated themselves to such a lifestyle in the UK has now tipped the 3.5 million mark), but also those looking to cut back on animal products, up their veg, and just generally broaden their culinary horizons. So, veganism has gone mainstream. It’s no longer seen as the domain of moccasin-wearing, out-there bohos – everyone wants a slice. (Of vegan cashew cake, natch.) “The misconception that [veganism] is all kale salads has flown out the window – and been replaced by dirty burgers, decadent cakes and banging meat-free roasties down the pub,” notes Gemma Ann Lewis, founder of Dark Matters brownie-making biz. While this might seem really forward-thinking and progressive, that’s probably only because of the huge reliance in our food culture on animal-based products. Ariel Czackers, co-owner of Biblos and Calypso Kitchen along with William Clark, points out that, for many cultures, plant-based food is actually the norm. “Culturally, vegan food has always been around in both my and William’s families – but we never thought of it as ‘vegan’.  A large proportion of Middle Eastern and Caribbean dishes are traditionally vegan by default, rather than by design.”

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Dark Matters’ gooey and indulgent brownies, and Calypso Kitchen’s killing plantain wrap (below)

BUSINESS TIME

Vegan food – including the dirty kind, the type that curbs those cravings and hits the spot usually nailed by cheese-drenched carbs and the like – has started to become a really integral part of many food businesses, and has begun to change the commercial dynamic. “From doing the vegan Herbitour tours, I was inspired to start the Hungry Herbie, which is a vegan discount card,” says Jenni Tame. “We are still in very early days, but have already had a lot of uptake. We currently have around 50 venues offering discounts on dining, markets, lifestyle and beauty, with the list constantly growing.” The rise in demand for vegan offerings also led to Amy Magner founding her biz, Relish. “It all started with a small weekly supper club and has now grown into a catering company, providing food for weddings, corporate events and birthdays – and a sell-out market stall, which I’m truly blown away by,” she says. “I’ve had so many people through my door to try my food, and it’s been something that I feel has been fully welcomed by the people of Bath. People are so curious about vegan food, and it’s great that the general public are so interested in learning about changing to a more plantbased lifestyle.”

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Not only has the public’s interest in plant-based food carved out new niches to be filled, but it has informed the development of pre-existing food businesses, too. “[Vegan food] has been the biggest growth area in our business over the past two years, without a doubt,” says Dan Bekhradnia, founder of The Burger Joint. “And I know we’re not alone in experiencing this. The increased demand has forced restaurants to raise their game with what vegan options they offer.” Amy agrees – and has noticed a marked development in the local offering, which is now rich in food that ticks the guilty pleasure and vegan-friendly boxes. “I think the range of vegan comfort foods in Bath has grown enormously over the last year,” she says, “to the point where, whichever restaurant you go to, you’re bound to be able to eat something really delicious and filling. I remember doing Veganuary a few years ago, and having to eat chips and salad everywhere I went – because there were just no vegan options. Now there are so many, it’s sometimes difficult to choose! From pies at The Raven to loaded vegan pizza at Dough and The Oven and hearty roasts at Nourish, it really is tough to decide, and the choice seems to be increasing on a weekly basis, which is amazing. There’s always room for more, though!” And we’re not only seeing this in the bustling cities, where trends spread like the winter lurgy, either. It’s very much being noticed in more rural areas and smaller towns, too. Anna Southwell is the foodie behind the nowvegetarian Loves Café in Weston-super-Mare. She was hesitant about making the transition away from meat at first – and understandably so. “I’d wanted to make the change for a number of years, but was concerned with how it would go down in Weston,” she says. “Being outside the mainstream has always brought its own challenges here. “But last January we ran a Loves Yourself month, where we focused on vegan food, and our menus were so well received that it gave me the confidence to finally make the change.”  And the team continue to be surprised at the popularity of plant-based alternatives among their customers, too. “We keep almond, soya and oat milk as dairy alternatives for hot drinks, and have sold six times more of them than dairy milk this year, so are seriously considering stopping cow’s milk from January onwards. The alternatives are so good now.” Noda Marvani opened Persian mezze bar Koocha in 2018, and it’s been 100-percent plant-based right from the get-go. The team here has watched as vegan food has been

Koocha has been vegan since it opened last summer

introduced to longtime meat eaters, and again, found new audiences in unlikely places. “We notice lots of parents and grandparents being encouraged by their adult children [to try our vegan food],” says Noda. “Whilst they are very apprehensive initially, they all seem pleasantly surprised that, not only is the food full of wonderful flavour, but it’s also filling.”

MEAT-ISH

Of course, there are plenty of dishes that simply have no call for meat, dairy or other animal products. But there are a whole lot – especially in this comfort food genre – that do. So, recreating these dishes and products using plants has become something of an on-going endeavour for many forward-thinking food businesses – and with remarkably successful results. “There has always been really good plant-based vegan ingredients and products,” says Biblos’ William

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b

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d

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STILL HAVE A HANKERING?

HERE ARE A FEW MORE EXAMPLES OF PLANT-BASED COMFORT FOOD TO BE FOUND ON OUR PATCH, SOME WITH PICS AND SOME WITHOUT...

(A) Did someone say Dorset Sea Salt caramel brownie? Yep, Dark Matters did – it’s their popular Salty Dog creation.

Calyspo Kitchen and Biblos are introducing a brand new vegan jerk ‘chick’n’ dish for January, served with coconut rice and peas, and salad.

(b) The Strawberry Thief’s vegan dirty fries are comforting

(D) Roots and Shoots’ creamy mac and cheese has a

and more than satisfying – they’ll go down nicely with one of those vegan beers, too.

herby bread crumb crust and is topped with crunchy coconut ‘facon’.

A particularly popular combo at build-your-own gaff Burger Joint is the spicy sweet potato, bean and quinoa patty with vegan cheese, guac, pulled jackfruit and salsa.

(e) Find Relish’s vegan Bakewells at one of its market stalls;

(C) Dal is a great winter comforter – and Cascara’s red lentil number will do just nicely, we reckon.

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they’re the first things to sell out. Loves Café’s Tree Huggers breakfast is a bestseller, with bubble and squeak, homemade smoky beans, scrambled tofu, smashed avo and sourdough.

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TO WASH IT DOWN

TRIPLE-THREAT

“There seem to be three main reasons why people choose to lead a vegan lifestyle,” says Jenni. “The animals, the environment, and the health benefits. Certainly, I’ve had people who’ve turned to the vegan lifestyle for all of these reasons on my tours, and it is always very personal to them. They might have seen a video, decided to improve their health or discovered the massive effect animal agriculture has on the environment.” And, in some cases, these are the same reasons that businesses decide to change up their offering to focus on plants – it’s not all simply to do with meeting demand and cashing in. Take Gemma of Dark Matters – for

because they have things like lactose in. It’s all about the finings.” Finings are substances that are added to cloudy beer in order to clear it – they get rid of the yeast and proteins that make it hazy, and can also help stabilise the brew. There are plant-based options, but some producers do still use animalderived ones. “There are definitely a few breweries we use that have changed their processes to become vegan, but probably the most obvious thing that’s changed is being able to easily find out whether or not they are vegan, which has been surprisingly difficult in the past. “As an inclusive bar, it’s really important that there is loads of choice for everyone who makes the decision to spend time with us, so it’s great that it’s far easier to identify products people can have, irrespective of dietary preferences – almost all our 70-ish beers are now vegan.”

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her, the moral implications meant she had to make her bakery vegan or close it entirely, she tells me. “The decision to transition the business to being completely vegan was an easy one,” Gemma says. “After running for a few years we became very conscious of the increasing quantities of ingredients we were buying, and the possible impact this may have on the world around us. I had friends who were vegan but also friends living and working in the farming industries, so I was aware of the arguments involved on each side, but had never really given either much more thought. “We were spending a lot of money every week on eggs, milk and dairy products and, as I envisioned the business growing, I thought it our responsibility to find out as much as I could about the industries we were funding. Unfortunately, we didn’t like what we saw. A big issue for us was sustainability, but our research into the animal welfare issues and industry practices, and the cruelty that is rife in these kinds of industries, was the real deciding factor. “We were initially somewhat worried about the decision to transition the business. However, I’d made the personal decision that, if it didn’t work out, I wouldn’t be able to continue running a non-vegan bakery business.”

steve ryan

Clarke. “But the big shift recently has come from products that have the texture and taste of meat, which hits a spot with many vegans and non-vegans alike.” We’ve all seen that test-tube meat in the media, right? We’re talking proper burger patties – grown in a lab by people in long white coats – that even bleed like real beef. While that’s quite an extreme version of a meat impersonator, there are plenty of decidedly more natural examples being served on our patch, ones that you don’t need a science qualification to make. Take Honest Burgers’ Plant Burger. It features a vegan patty that’s been made from vegetables by Beyond Meat. Despite its ingredients, this burger seems pretty meaty; it’s brown on the outside and blushes pink within (thanks to the clever addition of beetroot), and, while it’s a bit softer than your average beef patty, and more subtly flavoured, it has a great ground texture – not unlike the burger chain’s hand-chopped mince versions. “Texture is the big issue,” says Honest Burgers co-founder Tom Barton. “And this one is very convincing. There are a lot of new plant-based burgers on the market, but the Beyond Meat patty is handsdown the best – it has a great bite, a tender texture and sears like meat. And, unlike many of its competitors, it’s We’ve given Honest gluten-free and uses no GMO ingredients.” Burgers’ plant-based At Honest Burgers it’s topped with smoked vegan creation a whizz – and it gouda cheese and vegan chipotle mayo, made with got the thumbs up aquafaba, to give what might be the city’s closest vegan example of a real, meaty burger. Elsewhere in the city, Koocha serves a vegan doner kebab; its grilled seitan (a wheat gluten product that can be cooked much like meat) makes a great-textured replica of the meat that’s carved from the rotisserie in a takeaway joint. It comes with all the usual trimmings, including It’s not just the food scene that has embraced tzatziki and chilli sauces, tucked up the plant-based movement; the drinks industry inside a warm pitta. is developing into a more vegan-friendly sphere, I’ve also had some great tacos too. I spoke to Make Harris of Bristol bar The from plant-based joint Nourish in Strawberry Thief about our options when it Bath, where barbecued jackfruit does comes to vegan beer. a convincing impression of pulled “Nowadays, most breweries use vegetarian pork, and is topped with pico de processes in beer making,” he says. “But there gallo, guac and a coconut yoghurt and are exceptions, and a fair few beers are not vegan coriander sauce.


Bristol’s first zero waste shop

Buy in Bulk Buy Local

Tel: 01179638406 12 North Street, BS3 1HT Bristol hola@zerogreenbristol.co.uk www.zerogreenbristol.co.uk

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Gourmet vegan sandwiches catering for all tastes. We also take “suspended sandwiches” for the homeless of Bristol as well as catering private events.

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Dark Matters High quality, high cocoa 70% dark chocolate brownies.

Small batch baked in West Bristol. 100% Vegan and Palm Oil Free.

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Laura Willoughby showcases the growing range of alcohol-free drinks through Club Soda events

sOft pOwer WHETHER YOU’VE RESOLVED TO STAY DRY FOR JANUARY OR NOT, HERE’S ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE RISE OF ‘LOW AND NO’ DRINKS, AND WHAT THE HANGOVER-AVOIDING ALTERNATIVES ARE TO YOUR CHOSEN POISON...

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Dee Davies and Danny Walker are two local drinks pros who’ve been watching the ‘no and low’ scene develop on our patch...

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or those gallantly taking on Dry January, the first alcoholic drink of 2019 is still weeks away. There might well be a few dips in willpower to navigate during that time as well; ordering another water or overpriced cola at the pub while your mates enjoy some deliciouslooking craft concoction or other isn’t an ideal scenario for most. If the mere thought of going cold turkey makes you suddenly really fancy a brew (and not of the caffeinated kind), though, don’t sweat – that’s okay too. Whether you’re giving up booze, thinking about cutting back (as seems to be a trend, UK-wide) or are just bored of the sickly after-thoughts many pubs call their soft drinks, we have some good news. The ‘low and no’ scene is gaining momentum on our patch, with local breweries now producing small beers, distilleries making ABV-free spirits, and new specialist retailers and events showing them all off. It’s not a moment too soon, either. Much like with eating, drinking is intertwined with socialising, meaning that avoiding booze may not be as straightforward an endeavor as it might seem. Add to that the lacklustre range of softies we’re all used to, and abstaining gets even trickier. “For a lot of people, drinking is definitely ingrained in our culture,” says Dee Davies, bartender, creator of Jinzu gin and co-creator of Bristol Syrup Company. “It’s a social activity, which a lot of us have been involved in for years, possibly even having been taken to the pub with the family as a child. However, there is a shift towards better drinking, less often. More and more young people are cutting back or fully abstaining from drinking – which in turn calls for more and better quality alcohol-free options.”  And the market has obliged, too. “The drinks industry has always been quick to cater for trends,” continues Dee. “The rise in no-ABV options is a classic case of supplying a demand.” In light of these new products, the alcohol-free drinks that have historically been served in bars look even less appealing than they did before, right? “My heart sinks when I ask for something alcoholfree and the staff tap the top of the hose

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YOUR ROUND! HERE ARE SOME

‘LOW AND NO’ SIPS THAT WE’VE BEEN GIVING A DRY (AHEM) RUN...

CALEÑO JUNIPER AND INCA BERRY NON-ALCOHOLIC SPIRIT

WIPER AND TRUE SMALL BEER

This is the newest product on this list and, as we write, hasn’t even launched yet. As of January 2019, though, this Colombiainspired ABV-free spirit will be available to the masses, offering an exciting new alternative to booze-infused lubricants. Sunny and tropical, it’s fresh and vibrant, showing off the sweet and zesty nature of the South American Inca berry. It’s the creation of Ellie Webb, and has been in the making for the last year. “To make this, we follow a similar process to gin,” she says. “However, we aren’t looking to create alcohol, but capture the delicate botanical flavours that you’d normally find in a spirit. A selection of 10 carefully chosen botanicals are gently distilled, including juniper, cardamom, coriander, Sicilian lemon and, of course, the Inca berry. We use a process of ‘steam distillation’ to ensure we capture the essence of each botanical. “Our hero ingredient is the tropical Inca berry; golden and sweet yet tangy, with pineapple, mango and citrus fruit flavours.”  calenodrinks.com

With the same distinctive character and full-bodied nature of this Bristol brewery’s standard creations, this beer might be low in ABV (2.7%), but it’s not short on flavour. Bright and zesty, it’s got some serious hop factor, too. “We’ve been brewing it for a few years and it’s always got great feedback, but it’s only been the last six months or so that sales have really taken off,” Wiper and True’s Martin Saunders tells us. “There are three main differences between how we brew it versus our other beers. Firstly there’s less malt, which means less sugar for the yeast to eat and therefore less alcohol. We balance this by having a higher ratio of oats as part of the malt bill, as that adds body. Finally, we tend to choose hops with sweeter flavour profiles and less bitterness. It’s probably the hardest beer for us to get right, as precision is paramount with a more delicate flavour profile.” So, alcohol is actually an important part of a beer’s taste, then? “It’s kind of like salt in cooking – it enhances the flavours from the other ingredients,” says Martin. wiperandtrue.com

£24.99/70cl, available online from Wise Bartender and direct from Caleño

£1.99/330ml, from Independent Spirit of Bath, Corks (North Street and Cotham), and online from Beer Hawk

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SEEDLIP GARDEN 108 NON-ALCOHOLIC SPIRIT

£27.99/70cl, from Grape and Grind in Bristol, Neston Farm Shop near Bath and online from Wise Bartender Founded in 2013 by Ben Branson, Seedlip was perhaps the first example of distilled ABV-free drinks on the local market. It’s now served all over the world and is no stranger among Michelin-starred restaurants and high-end bars. Not bad for a business that began in Ben’s kitchen. “I had no idea what would happen [when we launched],” Ben says. “I made 1,000 bottles that I thought would last five months. They sold out in Selfridges in three weeks! The next batch sold out in two and a half days, and the third batch in 30 minutes online. It was surreal. “This movement is still so young, but the early signs are extremely positive; 2019 will set the trajectory for the next five years. All I know is that the movement will gather pace and continue to change very quickly.” There are three drinks in the range – and Ben’s hinted at new launches coming soon. This grassy and herbaceous Garden 108 is made with garden herbs and pickings from Ben’s family farm and has a juicy, almost sweet edge – perhaps thanks to the peas in there! – and a lingering earthiness. Try serving it simply with tonic to let the botanicals shine. seedlipdrinks.com


M A I N S

attached to the bar, or offer me a coke with a straw,” says Laura Willoughby, co-founder of mindful drinking movement Club Soda. “I am not 12 and I am not about to go and sit in the car with a packet of crisps and wait for my dad.” At the end of last year, Wiltshire welcomed its first ever pop-up alcohol-free bar – courtesy of Club Soda. The venture offers information, advice and events for those who don’t drink or are curious about cutting back. And part of that is showcasing how much the soft scene in changing. “Low- or no-alcohol drinks designed for an adult palate have always been a rare find,” says Laura. “What this new wave of drinks achieves is to design something for grown-ups to be enjoyed in the same way as alcohol. An experience, not a compromise. Compared to traditional soft drinks they are lower in sugar (and often in calories), pair better with food and are sippable. They have complex flavour profiles, tannins, bite and are not so sweet. They’re great drinks in their own right.” We can expect to keep seeing substantial growth in greatquality booze-busting drinks this year, then. Particularly in a couple of specific areas. “Alcohol free spirits have grown massively,” says Tom Ward, founder of South West alcohol-free-drinks retailer, Wise Bartender. “And I think there’s lots of potential in alcohol-free cider, too.” Watch out for more local ‘low and no’ drinks to start dripfeeding into bars, pubs and bottle shops – we’ve already heard word (shh!) that Bradford-on-Avon brewery Kettlesmiths is developing something new. Didn’t find out from us though, mmkay?

SHAKERS GON’ SHAKE We hit up Dee Davies and Danny Walker – drink pros and two of the brains behind Bristol Syrup Company – for some grown-up, alcoholfree cocktails. “Classic soft drinks don’t have what it takes for a lot of customers; just because you aren’t drinking alcohol doesn’t mean you want to settle for something boring or sugary,” says Dee. “The new 0% drinks make interesting, well balanced mocktails possible – good news for those abstaining.” “The key is to drink less but drink better,” says Danny. “It’s about making the most of each drink, essentially drinking things that are definitely worth it. It’s tough choosing not to pop open a cheeky throw-away bottle of wine with dinner on Tuesday after a long day, but if you do then opening a bottle of something really special on a Sunday afternoon is all the more rewarding.”

AQUA APPLE FLORA 50ml apple juice 25ml elderflower syrup 20ml lemon juice 5ml egg white ice 75ml soda water pineapple leaves, to garnish edible flowers, to garnish   Shake up the apple, elderflower, lemon and egg white with ice. Fill a Collins glass with cubed ice then strain the mix over and top up with the soda. Garnish with two pineapple leaves and a flower.

RASPBERRY SHRUB FLOAT ice  20ml raspberry shrub syrup 5ml citric acid solution (citric acid dissolved in twice the amount of water) ginger ale fresh mint, to garnish raspberry sorbet, to garnish Fill a highball with cubed ice. Pour over the raspberry shrub syrup and citric acid solution, top with ginger ale and garnish with a sprig of fresh mint and a scoop of raspberry sorbet, if you’re feeling fancy.   bristolsyrupcompany.com

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We are a friendly, family owned inn offering hearty home cooked food, in a small country village setting. Whether you are local or travelling from further afield, you are guaranteed a warm welcome. PUB • RESTAURANT • FUNCTION ROOM • ACCOMMODATION

8:30am – 4pm

Tunley Road, Tunley BA2 0EB • 01761 470408 Email: info@kingwilliaminn.co.uk • f T @kingwilliam84 www.kingwilliaminn.co.uk


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Wholesale Sourdough bakery Quality produce that is seasonal and local where possible. Varieties and prices that you often won’t find in the supermarkets.

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Open Monday to Saturday 9-6, Sunday 11-4 6, Boyces Avenue, Clifton, Bristol BS8 4AA | 0117 9706777

Reach the best in the west Affluent, active and influential and just a call away Call Natalie 01225 475824


AFTERS NEW RESTAURANTS DEVOURED, NEW CAFÉS FREQUENTED, NEW BARS CRAWLED, AND WHAT WE THOUGHT OF THEM

Have you checked out Suncraft, Gloucester Road’s colourful plant-based gaff, yet?

HIGHLIGHTS

GET FRESH

LUNCH WITH A SIDE OF LOG FIRE IN FRESHFORD PAGE 90

SPAIN'S WORLD

PLUS!

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RUSTIC TAPAS AND PLENTY OF SHERRY TO COMBAT THE WINTER BLUES

CENTREPIECE

NOT YOUR AVERAGE GARDEN CENTRE CAFÉ PAGE 94

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H AT T I E E L L I S

SUNSHINE ON A RAINY DAY WITH PLANT-BASED GOODNESS CRUMBSMAG.COM


VEGAN

(VEGAN JOINTS)

SUNCRAFT

JESSICA CARTER FINDS AN ANTIDOTE TO EVEN THE GREYEST OF DAYS IN THIS LITTLE GLOUCESTER ROAD DINER

PH OTOS BY H AT T I E E L L I S

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long weekend in Ireland had left me with a bit of a hangover. Not a boozy one, mind – more of a culinary one. See, I’d spent the whole trip comfort eating carbs in temperatures which were brisk, to say the least. And if any of said carbs just so happened to be deep-fried then, well, all the better. By day two, I noticed a bit of a racing heart, and by day three I’d ascertained that my heightened BPM wasn’t, in fact, down to the rugged, beardy fiddle player I’d been watching go full throttle. Lucky, then, that it was Suncraft I was heading to for lunch the day after I touched back down in Bristol. Having opened at the end of September, this is sister venue to The Gallimaufry, which sits on the opposite side of the road. It was opened with the intention of creating an ethically minded, plant-based offering that promises all the speed and convenience of more traditional fast food – and a whole lot more nutritional value. Meals start at around £6, making them just as affordable, too.

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A F T E R S

crowned the lot – this is a traditional pancake of sorts, which is made with teff flour and fermented (a bit like sourdough), to give it an almost spongy texture and slight tang. A gochujang stew (£6.50) was hot with spice and topped with cucumber namul. Hiding in the orange sauce were Korean rice cakes (plump and glutinous but still light), tofu and kimchi. That heat, along with the rice, made it nice and filling, and its fiery poke was extinguished well by the fresh and fruity kohlrabi, carrot and green mango salad (£4). Yes, there are plant-based desserts here; they’re a lot lighter and more savoury than your average dairy-aided puds, but manage to detour around Naff City – home to many of the plant-based puds I’ve had. A pecan and cinnamon stuffed pancake with gooey black sesame ice cream (£4.50) was packed with comforting toasted flavours, and a carrot kheer (a bit like a rice pudding) was topped with freshtasting coconut yoghurt and slivers of pistachio and almond (£3.50). The food here really feels nourishing, without being preachy. It’s wholesome – although not in an eye-roll-inducing, sweet-potato-brownie, clean-eating-circa-2015 kind of way – and really satisfying. And there’s plenty of beer and wine (the latter from award-winning local natural wine specialist Billings and Briggs) on the go as well. So don’t feel like you need to polish that halo or dig out the hessian before swinging by for a quick lunch or drawn-out dinner. Come as you are – carnivores and all.

The sunshine-yellow exterior, with its colourful, hand-painted signage and large windows, will be just as magnetising on a bright summer’s day as it was against the drab backdrop of a late-November, yellow-weather-warning-bestowed afternoon, I’d imagine. Inside you’ll find more of the same cheeriness. Plants hang on walls that show off raw stone, rustic reclaimed-wood panelling and pastel green paint. Pendant lights with yellow shades hang above the two largest lightwood tables, while smaller tables for two – made from recycled yoghurt pots –  line the bench seating down one side of the restaurant. There’s in-house hydroponics on show too, which was set up with Grow Bristol to allow the kitchen to produce some of its own edible greenery. Service is relaxed and unfussy – it’s an order-at-the-bar kind of affair. So we did just that, and grabbed a bottle of cold pressed Korean pear, apple and raspberry juice (which comes in reusable glass bottles), and a nicely light, fruity and smoky-tasting kombucha to drink while we were at it. Heading up the kitchen is Jilisa Barnaby – formerly of vegetarian restaurant 1847 – and she’s curated an offering that’s globally diverse and happily wallet-friendly. The Caribbean ital stew (£7.50) was thick and creamy with coconut milk, and contained a jumble of chunky vegetables. On top was crunchy battered okra, and a mound of plump, almost sticky rice poked out from beneath. Meanwhile, the Ethiopian lentil stew with chilli jam and pepper salsa (£7.50) was topped with rings of mellow-tasting pickled red onion, whose sweet and sour characteristics made it the perfect buddy to the earthy lentils, lifting them really nicely without being too sharp. An injera

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Suncraft, 39 Gloucester Road, Bristol BS7 8AD; suncraft.co.uk


A F T E R S

(FOODIE PUBS)

THE INN AT FRESHFORD

GIVE JESSICA CARTER A COMFY SEAT BY A FIRE WITH HER HOUND AND SHE’S HAPPY – GIVE HER THAT AND A LUNCH OF DECENT PUB GRUB, AND SHE MIGHT NOT EVER LEAVE...

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kinny country lanes, hulking 4x4s coming the other way, and no signal to work out which direction I’m meant to be driving in is a combination that stirs much fear in me and my tiny Aygo. At least this last issue was (sort of ) covered on this trip: Crumbs’ own Mr Bielby was in charge of the route. Thing is, his navigation technique largely relies on me guessing when I’m turning and him confirming whether or not I was correct afterwards. Luckily, we only had 20 minutes of this farcical travel to see out; Freshford isn’t actually that far from Crumbs’ central Bath HQ. It’s managed to bag itself an enviable spot within easy reach of the city (it has its own train station too), while also being tucked inside the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural

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Beauty. The village inn’s suitably rustic-cum-contemporary look flows throughout the relaxed bar area (flanked by two large stone fireplaces, where flames were happily crackling on our visit) and into the restaurant, where there’s another fireplace and a blend of weathered wood, brushed metal and mirrored glass. We sat in the bar, next to one of those fires and a huge bookcase filled with vintage tomes (we’re talking the likes of volumes II-V of The Second World War by Winston Churchill), which my busy-handed lunch pal couldn’t leave be. I’m not sure the books are strictly there to be thumbed through as he did – they’re more for décor than a community book exchange. Just something to bear in mind... There are a few light bites on the menu (£4 a pop) for kicking off your meal or nibbling with a drink – the Cheddar and spring onion soda bread is stodgy and comforting, and was served warm with soft, truffle-infused butter. Underneath those are a dozen or so small plates (£7 each, or three for £17) ranging from crab on sourdough with sardine ketchup to homemade sausage roll with piccalilli and sumac-roasted squash with baba ganoush – good for grazing sharers or starters. It was a fairly misty, Highlands and Islands-style day outside, so, for us, it was hard to see beyond the haggis, neeps and tatties with whisky sauce. The star ingredient was the work of George Cockburn and Son – Scottish champion haggis makers. America, which has banned haggis for decades, doesn’t know what it’s missing.  Pulled beef brisket burger with smoked Dorset red rarebit sauce and turmeric-roasted cauliflower salad with teriyaki dressing bookend the spectrum of mains, which it helps to not be ravenous when you’re trying to read. Only now, with full belly, am I noticing the likes of mushroom and garlic butter chicken Kiev and smoked haddock fishcake with mussel chowder, which both sound right up my street.

The celeriac, truffle and Old Winchester arancini (£13), which I did manage to notice – and order – was good, though; three large, golden spheres were topped with crisp curls of celeriac and inside the thin breadcrumb shells was a subtly flavoured (if a spot dryer than I’d have hoped) risotto mix. The gracious whisper of truffle and mellow cheesiness was added to by a drizzle of smoked tomato sauce and zingy salsa verde, which cut through the creaminess. The roast rump of lamb with potato, heritage carrots, roasted celeriac, kale and gravy (£16) was a generously proportioned, juicy and beautifully cooked slab of beast, prettily pink in the middle, and accompanied by a well-considered range of differently textured veggies. Bielby is a sucker for a lemon-based dessert, so his eyes lit up when they happened upon the lemon drizzle cake (£7). Served with poached pear and coulis, it showed more effort than was strictly required – but was all the better for it. The apple crumble (£7) was just as a crumble should be, and came served old-school with a jug of skinon, slightly gloopy Bird’s-style custard – just as Mrs Carter used to serve me. I’d be more than happy with this gaff as my local; good for a leisurely pint (as someone was demonstrating with a paper by the fire) as well as a coma-inducing feed (demonstrated by yours truly). And Prudence the basset hound (happily in tow) would agree – those sad eyes of hers earned three fig rolls and many a smooth during our lunch. The Inn at Freshford, The Hill, Freshford, Bath BA2 7WG; 01225 722250; theinnatfreshford.com

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A F T E R S

( G R E AT C A F É S )

THE RESTAURANT AT LOWDEN A REGULAR GARDEN CENTRE THIS IS NOT, CONCLUDES DAN IZZARD AFTER A DECADENT TUESDAY LUNCH THERE...

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owden sprang up in its current setting back in 1987 as a plant nursery (when this reviewer was still in a human one), allowing locals to stock up on poinsettias. In the years since, owners Jonathan and Alison Sinclair have evolved the business and now the sprawling series of outbuildings and greenhouses resemble something of a cross between a garden centre and luxury holiday park, complete with gift shop, restaurant and even an event space for the odd wedding. Odd as in infrequent, not weird. It’s really quite nice. On the brisk November mid-morning when I showed up, the 150-cover restaurant was buzzing with diners working their way through cooked breakfasts of sausages from Bishop’s Canning in Pewsey, Sandridge Farmhouse bacon, Hobbs House bread and even lesser-seen hog’s pudding. This is not just a glorified canteen in a greenhouse, though. With a kitchen to rival that of established restaurants (there’s a dedicated pastry section and a smoker out back), the chefs are afforded a degree of freedom with what they put on the menu. Jonathan tells us that they are in a fortuitous position, being able to use the on-site farm shop as their own walk-in larder, raiding the incredibly well-stocked in-house butchery at their whim. Today, they’d got their mitts on three-bone racks of Wiltshire lamb, which

they were serving for a very reasonable £12.95. The hunk of meat was topped with a thick layer of crisp fat and sat alongside a long slab of potato dauphinoise and seasonal veg. Not a bad offering for somewhere you only popped into to pick up a couple of hanging baskets, I thought to myself as I poured my port and blackcurrant jus over the tender meat, which had a perfectly pink centre. As I tucked in, one of the chefs tended to a pizza oven, in full view of diners. Out popped the paddle, bringing with it a traditional-style crispy based pizza with parma ham and wild mushroom (£8.95), which caught the full attention of a couple of hungry office workers, probably happy they’d ‘forgotten’ to bring their packed sandwiches to work. There’s something insular about this place – it has a selfcontained village kind of atmosphere (complete with its own solar panels), and feels removed from the city, despite Bath being so close by. It attracts keen gardeners as well as shoppers looking for local produce and, judging by the crowds enjoying a spot of lunch, it’s a well-known destination for a good meal, too.

Lowden Garden Centre, Bath Road, Shaw, Wiltshire SN12 8EZ; 01225 702345; lowdengardencentre.com

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GREAT VEG

GIE

9 West Street, Weston-super-Mare BS23 2LH 01934 645672 lovesweston.co.uk

FOOD AND AND VEGAN

ACE EVENTS SP


A F T E R S

( T R A D I T I O N A L TA PA S )

PINTXO

JESSICA CARTER CHECKS OUT THE THIRD RESTAURANT FROM THIS SOUTH WEST GROUP, WHICH OPENED IN BRISTOL LAST SUMMER

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f long winter nights are good for one thing, it’s ducking into cosy candlelit restaurants from dark streets for a good feed. And to those who are now thinking, ‘but you can do that in the summer, too’, you can’t if you like to eat at 6pm. À la me. Daylight kind of kills that vibe. Pintxo on Whiteladies Road has the ingredients for great atmosphere – it’s all dark moody blues, bare brick and rustic Mediterranean feels. One side of the dining area is covered in vintage-look ceramic tiles, inherited from Venetian restaurant Polpo, which vacated last January, and is lined with tufted banquette seating. A blackboard above is chalked with a guide to sherry styles. Speaking of which, the sherries here are plentiful, this being a Spanish Basque-inspired joint an’ all. Although, you’re not expected to be as up on your shez as our Mediterranean cousins; on the drinks list they’re helpfully accompanied by tasting notes and suggested food matches. Despite the stylish set up inside, there’s an underlying homely, comforting feel when it comes to the food – which is served in those classic terracotta tapas dishes with matching earthenware cups and jugs for water. Marinated olives (£2.50) come with tiny pearl onions and cornichons, and the pan con tomate (£3.50) involves a basket of several round slices of

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lightly toasted, garlic-smeared bread and a bowl of tomato sauce, of course spiked with plenty more of the pungent bulb. This is rustic Spanish food as we’ve come to know and love it on these shores – hearty and big on flavour. Think bold seasoning, richness and, of course, a whole load o’ garlic. It’s the kind of place you just have to go all in at, no polite avoidance of breath-spoiling ingredients or using cutlery for what could better be eaten with fingers. This is social food that comes without the constraints of standard etiquette. Chestnut mushrooms cooked with yet more garlic and white wine (alright, perhaps waking up breathing fumes that could wilt a daisy was partly our own fault following all these menu choices) were pungent and peppery. Albóndigas (£6), or meatballs in tomato sauce, came on the recommendation of our waitress and were lean and juicy, slathered in a rich, gently spicy tomato sauce that had been reduced to concentrate its flavour and make it thick enough to really cling to the meat. ‘Pintxo’ (pronounced pin-cho, just in case the question was in your mind) is the name that’s given to the little snacks that are served in bars in parts of Spain (or sometimes as mini appetisers, to ease you into a meal proper). But, to be fit for purpose here, they’re portioned up, usually into bite-sized pieces that can be eaten with your fingers. The pintxo de alcachofa (£6) were of this ilk. Little mouthfuls of soft artichoke were wrapped in ribbons of courgette and arrived sat on a bed of olive tapenade, the whole lot drizzled with good olive oil.

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The croquetas came in three forms: cauliflower, jamón (listed among the specials) and spider crab with saffron. We chose the latter (£7) and were served five crunchy, crumbed parcels, which contained a loose, silky filling of cheese and sweet crab. We’d stuck with the sherry throughout dinner – choosing our lubricants from the specialist menu of varieties sourced from a local importer. Working our way from dry (a light Manzanilla, which had subtle whispers of saltiness that made it a great companion to those olives especially) to slightly sweeter, heavier varieties, we hung onto the recommendations of the team, who seemed to really know their fortifieds. We’d been going for comfort tonight, and weren’t about to swivel from those principles for dessert. Warm churros (£5.50) were coated in a heavy dusting of cinnamon sugar and came with a terracotta pot of chocolate sauce for a-dunkin’. I’m not the biggest fan of churros – too many over-fried, slickly sweet incarnations at fairgrounds and festivals – but polished these ones off willingly. Punters are encouraged to swing by (no booking needed) as they would in the slow-paced, laid-back kind of joints on the Continent that this place is inspired by. It was a little quiet for a Friday, perhaps – there’s no shortage of Spanish-focused competition in this end of town, after all – but, nonetheless, it’s a really good shout for a relaxed drink with a bar snack or a full-on dinner session. Pintxo, 50 Whiteladies Road, Bristol BS8 2NH; 0117 973 1535; pintxobristol.co.uk

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BREAKFAST? If venturing out it’s usually North Street Standard, which is just opposite the shop. BEST BREW? Margot May – another North Street neighbour. You can tell I’m at work a lot! GROCERY SHOP? You mean aside from ours...? I also love Hugo’s greengrocers just up the road from us – we opened around a similar time. BOTTLE SHOP? Corks of North Street has a great selection and really nice, knowledgeable staff. And it’s handily on the way home, too… SUNDAY LUNCH? The Tobacco Factory Café Bar has great vegan options on Sundays. CHEEKY COCKTAIL? I’ve not been to Milk Thistle for ages, but it’s a favourite. It’s so secret that you would walk right past if you didn't know it was there.

L I T T L E

B L A C K

POSH NOSH? I love Koh Thai in Clifton; I’ve spent many a celebration there.

B O O K

STACEY FORdhAM

FOOD ON THE GO? The Tobacco Factory Market on a Sunday always has an amazing range of street food. HIDDEN GEM? Viandas Spanish Deli. This is a great place to get lots of different kinds of olives in bulk. ONE TO WATCH? Poco in Stokes Croft is continually doing great things.

CO-OWNER OF SOUTHVILLE’S WASTE-FREE SHOP ZERO GREEN SURE MAKES THE MOST OF HER LOCAL AREA…

WITH FRIENDS? The Jersey Lilly on Whiteladies Road. I have just started playing football again, and we go there after practice and matches to have beer and food. COMFORT FOOD? Thali on North Street has an everchanging menu with warming flavours. Anything from there makes me feel better. WITH THE FAMILY? Bocabar in Paintworks has a lovely lounge area and restaurant. Oh, and great pizza!

Quick! Now add this little lot to your contacts book... North Street Standard, Bristol BS3 1EN; northststandard.co.uk Margot May, Bristol BS3 1HW; facebook.com/margotmaytearoom Hugo’s, Bristol BS3 1ES; hugosgreengrocer.co.uk Corks of North Street, Bristol BS3 1ES; corksofbristol.com Tobacco Factory, Bristol BS3 1TF; tobaccofactory.com Milk Thistle, Bristol BS1 1EB; milkthistlebristol.com Koh Thai, Bristol BS8 1EY; koh-thai.co.uk Viandas Spanish Deli, Bristol BS1 5LJ; viandas.co.uk Poco, Bristol BS2 8JP; pocotapasbar.com The Jersey Lily, Bristol BS8 2SB; thejerseylily.co.uk Thali, Bristol BS3 1TF; thethalirestaurant.co.uk Bocabar, Bristol BS4 3EH; bristol.bocabar.co.uk Eat Your Greens, Bristol BS4 2AG; facebook.com/eatyourgreensbristol Earthcake, Bristol BS3 1ES; earthcakebristol.com VX, Bristol BS3 4ER; vxbristol.com Beets and Roots, Bristol BS6 6JY; facebook.com/beetsnrootscafe Souk Kitchen, Bristol BS3 1JP; soukitchen.co.uk Eat a Pitta, Bristol BS1 1LJ; eatapitta.co.uk

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BEST VEGAN OFFERING? Eat Your Greens on the Wells Road. My business partner, Lidia, has recently been and fell a little bit in love! SOMETHING SWEET? Earthcake – again on North Street. It serves amazing cakes that you really wouldn’t be able to tell are vegan! BELTING BURGER? VX on East Street – I can’t resist vegan junk food! ON THE HIT LIST? I’m really looking forward to trying Beets and Roots on Cotham Hill. MOST UNDERRATED? Souk Kitchen – more people need to know more about this place! ON A BUDGET? Eat a Pitta has the best falafel ever, and at a very good price. zerogreenbristol.co.uk

CRUMBSMAG.COM


Crumbs Bath & Bristol - Issue 84  
Crumbs Bath & Bristol - Issue 84  
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