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CRUMBS BATH + BRISTOL NO.88 MAY 2019

NO.88 MAY 2019

FOR GOOdnes s'

BAKe! cake shop

KIDS K C O R NUS E M IIN M 6 THE LITWTILLEL ONES E LOV

How do you make a cuttlefish laugh?

Give it ten-tickles!

6 F

inGeRLiC iCKin' Re R eCipes PRised frO the Grip m

The Hanham with a

of our favourite cooks

Stateside

edge

Inside st stO O R y Cool interiors&

Including YOUR Insta pic s!

quirky details at our best-designed bars & restaurants

faNcya

The food of the future is hiding in plain sight!

veRsatiLe ve e, pLentiFuL pLenti entiFuL + deLiCateLy deLiC CateLy Cate Ly tasty,

CRUMBSM AG.C OM

PRIME CUTT

cU TTLe? LL neveR we’L

Le CUtwtit h ties this fish!

+

Mantra Beckford Bottle Shop 1766 Bar and Kitchen

COun teR cuL cu Lture What is kombucha, anyway?

(And why should we be glugging it?)


CUTTLE UP CONTRARY TO THE belief commonly held amongst my mates, I don’t actually live in restaurants. This month I’ve sort of been wishing I did, though, because we’ve been looking at the coolest bar and restaurant interiors on our patch, and I certainly can’t pretend my actual home is half as chic as any of them. ‘Funky’, ‘contemporary’, ‘rich’ and ‘romantic’ are just some of the adjectives that were chucked around by the businesses we quizzed about the style of their venues. All of which make us want to curl up in them with some good grub for the foreseeable – especially considering that, as I write, it’s been chucking it down for two days straight and the mercury has dropped to a level only appropriate for winter, in my eyes. Elsewhere this issue, we’re celebrating the still rather underappreciated cuttlefish. Similar to squid in many ways – but identifiable by a few notable characteristics, not least their stouter bodies – cuttlefish have comparably firm but tender, sweet-tasting flesh. They’re happily abundant in UK waters, too, making them a pretty sustainable food source; keep your eye out for them on restaurant menus – they’re cropping up more of late, and we’re cheering them right on. I can’t sign off without pausing to raise a figurative glass to Andrew Griffin, who so sadly passed away last month. A much-loved and respected long-time Bristol chef, he opened the wonderful Bomboloni with his family in 2017. The popular restaurant has been no stranger to this mag’s pages and, for those that loved Andrew’s food or have never tried it, it is welcoming guests once more, promising as warm, inviting an atmosphere and delicious, hearty food as ever.

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

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ISSUE 88 MAY 2019 EDITOR

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

MATT BIELBY matt.bielby@mediaclash.co.uk ONLINE EDITOR

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

TREVOR GILHAM 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

TABLE OF CONTENTs STARTERS

ADDITIONAL RECIPES

08 HERO Monsters ink 12 OPENINGS ETC Hot gossip from the food scene 14 SIX PACK Great kids’ menus for foodie families

10 Cuttlefish ink rice, by Freddy Bird 21 Crayfish and spinach savoury rice pudding, by Alissa Timoshkina

CHEF!

WHAT SUP?

24 Vegan jalfrezi, by Henry Firth and Ian Theasby 27 Wild garlic and sunflower seed pesto, by Bod Griffiths 28 Spring pasta, by britishasparagus.com 30 Honey and rosemary cakes, by Kate Young

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; printer is certified to ISO 14001 environmental management. This month we ate our last Bar Buvette cheese toastie before the bar closes in April (sob), and our first dinner at No. 12 Easton, which has a new evening service

large version

34 THE DRIP FEED News from the drinks world 37 THE BOTANIST We check out Bath’s newest bar

KITCHEN ARMOURY 42 THE WANT LIST Plates for life

MAINS

48 INSIDER Check out the most stylish bar and restaurant interiors on our patch 59 WILT IN A DAY Delicious reasons to visit West Wiltshire

AFTERS

68 Beckford Bottle Shop 70 1766 Bar and Kitchen 72 Mantra

PLUS!

74 LITTLE BLACK BOOK Where does Portia Conn from local band Mauwe hang out?


START E Rs

D TASTY AM INNOVATIONS, REVELATIONS AN

USE-BOUCHES

2 MAY COCKTAILS AND JAZZ

● A special pop-up cocktail bar is coming to the cool, industrial-style Forge in Bristol, hosted by pro mixologist Theo Maxfield. Specially chosen contemporary drinks will be mixed for customers to the sounds of a live jazz band. Tickets are £9 and can be bought online. theomaxfield.com/events

3 MAY MODERN CHEESEMAKING WITH MORGAN MCGLYNN ● Cheese guru Morgan is coming to Bath to talk about her brand new book The Modern Cheesemaker as well as offer tastings and share her knowledge. The evening event will take place at Toppings and Company bookshop and tickets start at £10. toppingbooks.co.uk

10-12 MAY FOODIES FESTIVAL

● Back again for 2019, Foodies Festival will be landing on Durdham Downs with a packed programme of workshops, talks and tastings, with local chefs such as Jan Ostle from Wilsons, Chris Cleghorn of The Olive Tree and Louise McCrimmon from Harvey Nichols Bristol all making appearances alongside producers and street food vendors. foodiesfestival.com

11 MAY FOODS OF THE FROME

COme whaT MaY

AS WE EASE OURSELVES INTO SUMMER, THE MONTH OF MAY IS GIVING US PLENTY OF DELICIOUS REASONS TO GET OUT AND ENJOY THE WARMER WEATHER...

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JA MI E OR L A N DO S M I T H

● Get your forage on at Snuff Mills with horticulturalist Steve England. On this half-day course in the great outdoors you’ll learn all about the wild foods (and their poisonous relatives) that grow in and around the River Frome. Tickets are £35 and can be purchased online through Eventbrite. steveengland.co.uk


CUTTLEFISH FAR TOO GOOD FOR BUDGIES ALONE, IT’S HIGH TIME WE CUDDLED UP TO THE CUTTLE OURSELVES

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S T A R T E R S

L

ike the squid, octopus and nautilus, the bizarrely handsome cuttlefish is a specialised form of marine mollusc called a cephalopod – and an unusually smart one. Yes, your average octopus is pretty bright, using shells as tools, but the cuttlefish is even cleverer, with the largest brainto-body size ratio of all invertebrates. They can learn and remember like little else in the sea. Cuttles are special in other ways too, with a unique porous internal shell – the cuttlebone, used to regulate how buoyant they are – and large, immensely odd-looking W-shaped pupils (meaning they can see forwards and backwards at the same time), not to mention three hearts, green-blue blood, eight arms growing out of their faces, plus a pair of longer grabbing tentacles. Cuttles can swim normally – more on that in a moment – or make an emergency escape through jet propulsion, squeezing water out of their body through a funnel-shaped syphon to zoom away like an underwater Harrier Jump Jet.

CHUNKIER AND SLOWER moving than a squid, with a huge head and massive eyes – ‘cephalopod’ means ‘head-foot’, for their tentacles are attached directly to their faces – cuttlefish have a distinctive fin fringe that runs right around their bodies, which they can undulate to hover, crawl or swim. Though they can’t appreciate colour, they see contrast better than we can, and have developed a whole range of ways to communicate: by posture, by movement, and even by changing their skin surfaces from rough to smooth. Often called ‘the chameleons of the sea’, they can also change their colour to chat, hide or perform the underwater equivalent of a wolf-whistle, and can do so at great speed – sometimes a colour or pattern will only last a second before they’ve moved on to another. If they intend to attack, their faces go dark; and if a he-cuttle wants to get jiggy with a shecuttle to the left while scaring off a male competitor to the right, his two sides will show different patterns to attract the one and ward off the other. When hunting – and these are fierce predators, catching crabs, shrimps, worms and small fish – they sometimes put on a show-off ‘stop and watch me’ display, believed to hypnotise their prey. Cuttlefish are both lovers and fighters, and – since there are often up to 10 guys for every gal – the larger chaps spend unconscionable amounts of time seeing off rivals. Meanwhile, craftier little fellas use their camouflage skills to disguise themselves as females, the cuttlefish cross-dressers then sneaking past the male guards to get their jollies. After two or three minutes of head-to-head, tentacle-entwined cuttle-love, the female lays her eggs then heads back to the orgy, perhaps mating a dozen times until she’s out of eggs. Then, exhausted and empty, she’ll swim off quietly to die. The guys, similarly pooped, do much the same, leaving the next generation to grow on their own for a few months in their eggs, open-eyed and awake, before hatching as five-millimetre mini-cuttles, equipped to attack and eat shrimp as large as themselves. Sound amazing, don’t they? Well, cuttlefish are inquisitive, playful – and friendly too, able to count better than most primates, or even a one-year-old human baby. Divers report them interacting like a dog might. In fact, the only reason we can think of that cuttlefish aren’t popular pets is their fairly short lifespans, just a year or two.

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BUT WHAT ABOUT cuttlefish as food? They’re common around Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia, but totally unknown in the Americas – speculation has it that they’ve found the Atlantic and Pacific too deep, wide and cold to bother crossing. Even so, their huge geographical range means they’ve never troubled the Threatened Species lists, no matter how many we might pull out of the Baltic or Mediterranean. They’re cheap, high in protein, with slightly meatier, sweeter flesh than a squid, and are now starting to crop up more on restaurant menus. It means a home-cooking renaissance is long overdue. Unsurprisingly, most of the major cuisines have a place for the cuttlefish. In Italy, dark cuttlefish ink, with its rich seaweed flavour, is used to colour pasta and risotto; in Spain cuttles star in assorted tapas and deep-fried dishes (the Barcelona paella called ‘sea and mountain’ – combining cuttlefish with rabbit, snails and prawns – sounds amazing); and in Portugal they’re grilled in a sauce of their own ink. In East Asia, meanwhile, cuttles are often eaten dried and shredded as a snack or served in stir-fries. You can also grill them whole (if they’re small) or deep fry them in meaty chunks; serve them in kedgeree; pair them with spinach in a casserole; or stew them with wine, potatoes and tomato sauce. And here in Britain? We tend to ignore them, sending most of our catch to Europe (or, shamefully, throwing them away), though we do give the cuttlebones to our budgies for dietary calcium. One reason they don’t figure more in our diets is that fishmongers find them too messy and inky to deal with. Fish markets – or Italian, Spanish, Korean and Japanese supermarkets – tend to be a more reliable source of fresh cuttles (at their best from December to August), as are online specialists who’ll sell them cleaned and prepared. To be fair to those squeamish fishmongers, it must be said that prepping these beasts can make a right old mess: first you must remove the beak, eyes and tentacles, then gut the head, take out the ink sack and skin the whole thing. (Luckily, any spilt ink easily comes out in the wash.) As a reward, though, you get brilliantly white, delicate flesh that becomes less firm and more creamy towards the centre, and can be thinly sliced, then poached, steamed or pan-fried, plus a bunch of tougher, more muscular tentacles better used in a slow-cooked dish.

HERE IN BRITAIN we’re most likely to come across the Common Cuttlefish, which grows up to 45cm long – one Australian type gets to over a metre! – but there are a couple of smaller species too, the slimmer ‘elegant cuttlefish’ and the rare ‘pink cuttlefish’, plus assorted smaller ‘bobtail’ types. They’re especially common near us, on the south and west coasts, and – with the oceans getting warmer – their numbers are rising all the time too. Though most of the local catch tends to be from Cornish trawler nets – some 30 tonnes are landed on the south coast each day, mostly as by-catch – a more sustainable way to get them is through large traps, often baited with fake female cuttles. Since the male cuttlefish caught this way are likely to have reproduced before they’re taken (and so be on their way out anyway), it’s better to buy these if you can. The Poole and Christchurch fisheries in Dorset are especially good, as they take great pains to protect cuttlefish eggs, which the cephalopods often lay on the traps themselves. Actually, you know how clever we said they were? Perhaps we should reconsider…

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R E C I P E

splash Pernod splash brandy 1 very large turbot (or brill) frame, cleaned and chopped up into small chunks For the aioli: 4 garlic cloves 1 lemon, juice only 2 egg yolks extra virgin olive oil

CUTTLEFISH INK RICE WITH SEARED CUTTLEFISH FREDDY BIRD USES THE FLESH AND INK OF OUR HERO INGREDIENT IN THIS SHOWSTOPPER OF A DISH YOU KNOW, I think I prefer cuttlefish to squid. When I’m prepping it in the kitchen I always cut off a piece, scoring the flesh about two-thirds deep in a diamond pattern before dropping into rapidly boiling salted water for about 20 seconds. (It has to be the very freshest.) As soon as it’s out I throw it into bowl with a knob of salted butter and eat it as soon as the butter has melted. The flesh of such fresh, simply cooked cuttle is the sweetest you’ll ever try. When you’re prepping the cuttlefish for this recipe, give it a go. In terms of that prep, ask your fishmonger to do the dirty work for you – unprepped cuttlefish come covered in their own ink. Even at the fish market they have their own room where the floor is shiny, black and slippery with the stuff. (I always buy the ink separately.) This is a simple dish really, but to get the best results you need to put the time in. You can use shellfish or crab stock, but make your own if you can – this element is so important! The crab ‘middle’ is the frame from inside – this is what you’ll need to make the stock (the outer shells are tasteless!).

SERVES 4 1 Spanish onion, very finely diced ½ fennel bulb, very finely diced 4 garlic cloves, very finely diced glug olive oil 300g vialone nano (or bomba) rice 100ml white wine (approx) 25ml brandy (optional) 25ml Pernod (optional) 2 tbsp cuttlefish ink 600g-800g cuttlefish body, cleaned and scored knob salted butter handful parsley leaves, finely chopped For the stock: 1 ½ fennel bulbs, cut into chunks 1 leek, cut into chunks 1 carrot, cut into chunks 5 garlic cloves glug olive oil 5-6 crab middles, lightly roasted 200g tinned chopped tomatoes bunch parsley stalks 10 black peppercorns

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1 First make the stock. In a large pot sweat the vegetables and garlic in the oil, add the crab bones, tomato, parsley and peppercorns and cook for a few minutes. Then deglaze the pan with the Pernod and brandy. 2 Cover with water by a couple of inches and simmer for 1 hour. Then, when the broth is just covering the crab (add more water if you need to), add the fish bones and very gently simmer for around 40 minutes. Strain the stock and set aside. 3 For the rice, gently sweat the onion, fennel and garlic in the olive oil with a good pinch of salt and cook until the edges start to caramelise very slightly. Do this slowly over a low heat – don’t be tempted to rush it. 4 Next, add the rice and cook until it starts to toast a little and turn translucent. Deglaze with the white wine and (depending on how sweet the stock is) a little brandy and Pernod. I love this sweetness, but if you prefer it more savoury just omit this. 5 Now add the crab stock (you’ll use about 1¼ ltrs in total) a ladleful at a time, letting it be fully absorbed by the rice before adding more. Stir constantly. After about 2 or 3 ladles, add the ink and then continue to add the stock. After about 15 minutes the rice should be cooked but al dente. Check the seasoning, cover with a lid and allow to rest. 6 In a frying pan over a high heat, add a small dash of oil and fry the cuttle, scored side down, for around 90 seconds until caramelised. Turn over and cook for about another 60 seconds. Slice into thin strips then toss together with the salted butter and finely chopped parsley in a bowl. 7 For the aioli, crush the garlic to a paste with a couple of pinches of salt. In a bowl, combine it with the lemon juice and whisk in the egg yolks. Finally, whisk in the olive oil – just enough to get the mixture to a mayonnaise consistency. 8 Arrange the rice in the centre of a plate – it should ooze like lava in consistency (not be a thick lump). Spoon over the cuttlefish and serve with a little aioli on the side.


Openings etc S T A R T E R S

STE V E N JOYC E

NEW SHIPMENT

K I R S TIE YO U N G

BRISTOL RESTAURATEUR and MasterChef finalist Larkin Cen has opened a third restaurant in Bristol. Woky Ko: Kaiju is a Japanese grill and ramen joint housed in a shipping container at Wapping Wharf. In the kitchen is chef John Watson, having recently sold his own restaurant, No Man’s Grace. Inspired by the Japanese izakaya concept, the new gaff has a chilled out, bar-style atmosphere and there’s a focus on drinks as well as food. To eat, expect ramen (we loved the fiery tantanmen with ground pork) and lots of barbecued skewers cooked on the robata grill – think along the lines of duck meatballs with plum ketchup, and charred leek with Sichuan peppercorn (also killer). There is seating at the grills so diners can watch the chefs at work, too. wokyko.com

CHOP, CHOP

A FAMILY of steak restaurants is coming to Bristol this spring to open a new venue on King Street. Bar and Block has 10 sites across the UK, including one in neighbouring Bath. The new restaurant, which will be in the disused building looking out onto Welshback at the end of the cobbled street, will serve food all day, from breakfast (steak and eggs, anyone?) to dinner. A variety of beef cuts – everything from rib-eye to marinated spiral-cut sirloin along with ‘butcher’s block’ specials – will be on offer, alongside the likes of grilled lamb souvlaki, burgers and grazing plates. There’s a separate offering for kids and sharing roasts will be dished up on Sundays. The restaurant is set to open on 23 April and is offering two-for-one steak deals in May for those that sign up via the website before the launch. barandblock.co.uk

DUE NORTH

THE NORDIC Café is a new hangout on North Street in Bedminster, conceived by husband-and-wife team Benjamin and Alexandra Mitrofan-Norris (originally from Bristol and Transylvania respectively). As its name suggests, this place is inspired by Nordic cafés, with Ben having spent a long time working in Finland where he fell in love with the café scene, he tells us. The former Margot May site proved to be just the space the pair were waiting for and, after three weeks of work, the inside is now bright and airy with white floorboards and wood panelling, and splashes of deep teal. Foodwise, expect Scandi-style smørrebrød (open sandwiches), as well as soup, quiche and even pickled herring. There are also super-fresh cakes on the go – like a fluffy carrot cake and a beaut of an apple custard number. thenordiccafe.co.uk

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TWO’S UP

FRESH IDEAS

HEARD ABOUT the Bristol joint that’s combining Turkish and Italian café culture? Two Ways, tucked just off the Clifton Triangle, was recently opened by Seda Ozgul – originally from Turkey – and Walter Molinaro, who hails from Italy. Having both grown up with strong food cultures, the pair have been in the hospitality biz for 15 years and met at a restaurant in London before moving to Bristol a year and a half ago. The space is bright and fresh-looking, with white walls and a glass facade that lets the daylight flood in. To eat are filled focaccia and ciabatta (packed with the likes of halloumi, courgette, aubergine and mint yoghurt) as well as pastries and freshly baked cakes. Turkish coffee is joined by rich, full-bodied Italian blends, some of it prepared in a stovetop moka pot. twowayscafe.com

A CLEVER new way to redistribute fresh, surplus food has launched in Bristol. The city’s first ‛community fridge’ – located at Compass Point Children’s Centre in Bedminster – provided enough food for 1,000 meals in the first month of its trial period. Restaurants, shops, allotment holders and members of the public can save their surplus food from going to waste by dropping it into the fridge (which is open every weekday), and people are invited to help themselves to the contents, with recipe cards also available. This is the first of what is to become a network of community fridges around the city, set up by former CEO of food charity FareShare South West, Jacqui Reeves, and supported by Bristol Food Network and environmental charity Hubbub UK. hubbub.org.uk

VEG YOUR BETS

FLOUR POWER

A NEW bakery has opened its doors on Walcot Street in Bath, founded by three locals. Andrew Lowkes was working at Neal’s Yard in London when he met Westcombe Dairy’s Tom Calver, and it’s together with Tom’s wife, Melanie, that they’ve launched Landrace, a bakery focusing on naturally leavened bread. The flour these guys use comes from two specific farmers who grow their own grain and mill it on stone, and it makes for some unique loaves. These are the basis of the daily-changing food menu too, with many dishes incorporating the fresh and natural bread. After something sweet? Try the ‛four-day shortbread’, which is essentially a millionaire shortbread but made with a spelt biscuit base, reduced whey caramel (a byproduct from making Westcombe Cheddar) and a ganache top. It’s so called as it takes four days to get each element right. instagram.com/landracebakery

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ZERO WASTE is the name of the game at an ethically ambitious new riverside takeaway café-deli, overlooking the Harbour Inlet. The Vegetable Diva is the creation of Sonya Devi and is all about fresh, delicious grub that’s good for our bodies and easy on Mother Earth. We’re talking food made from locally grown, in-season produce (the team even have their own plot of land for growing their own ingredients). What’s more, this place is entirely packaging-free – customers can bring in their own containers for their takeaway breakfast or lunch, or hire a tiffin box. We recently lunched on a filling plate of spinach and feta tart, claret-coloured quinoa with beetroot, apple and dill yoghurt, and purple sprouting with soy and orange. You can buy ingredients here too, which are sold by weight. Dig out those containers! thevegetablediva.com


S T A R T E R S

SIX PACK KIDS’ CLUB

THROUGH THE SCHOOL HOLIDAYS AND BEYOND, HERE ARE SIX LOCAL JOINTS WHERE THE KIDS ARE MORE THAN WELL CATERED FOR...

BOCABAR

CHILDREN WILL BE spoilt for choice at this cool, family-friendly warehouse-turnedrestaurant. They have their very own list of brunches (because you’re never too young to brunch, right?) as well as lunches, deli meals and pizzas. So whether they fancy a gooey cheese and ham toastie, a bowl of something from the colourful deli counter, or pizza topped with local ham, their wish is these guys’ command. Soon as they’re done with their activity pack and get whiff of the ‘mini Boca glory’, their second stomach is sure to kick into action. bristol.bocabar.co.uk

THE LOCKSBROOK INN

THIS BATH PUB is always playing host to families – they come, we imagine, for the promise of a pit-stop while walking or cycling along the canal-side tow path, and stay for the carefully curated kids menu that’s full of the good stuff. The little ones’ bill of fare offers the likes of pasta with meatballs and mini margarita pizza – with homemade and hand-stretched dough. If we were them, we’d be grabbing an ice lolly from the outside bar for dessert, while settling into some narrow-boat spotting. thelocksbrookinn.com

SWOON

THIS GELATERIA, WITH branches in Bath and Bristol, is where all kids’ ice cream-drenched dreams come true. There are heaps of everchanging flavours on the go, from chocolate brownie to pistachio and strawberry with white choc, and the team have even come up with special ‘bambino’ cones, for little hands and big appetites. And parents can rest assured that all the gelato and sorbetti is made fresh on the premises with great quality ingredients, too. That also goes for the Swoondaes and milkshakes – they even make their own strawberry sauce. swoononaspoon.co.uk

WINDMILL HILL CITY FARM CAFÉ

THERE’S ALL KINDS of fun to be had at this family-focused city farm in south Bristol. Not only is there plenty to get up to outdoors, but there’s a great selection of dedicated kids’ offerings

Clockwise from top centre: Bocabar’s children’s offering, Windmill Hill City Farm’s bright café, and a few of Swoon’s many flavours of gelato

inside the Crumbs Award-winning café, too. The menu is made up of meaty and veggie breakfasts as well as sarnies and snacking plates of hummus and veggie sticks, and then there are mini sausage rolls, piggy biscuits made with dried raspberries, fruit lollies and – for the really little ones – Ella’s Kitchen baby food, in recyclable pouches. windmillhillcityfarm.org.uk

M CAFÉ

THE M SHED’S café – from which you can enjoy views across the harbour, thanks to its huge windows – sees countless little ones walk, toddle and crawl through its doors each year, thanks to the museum’s family friendly rep. During the school holidays the chef here has

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come up with a grab-and-go offering of locally sourced buns for the kids, but otherwise the small visitors can tuck into mini versions of adult meals – burgers and fish and chips, say – or else veggie pasta of the day, toasties and the like. There’re homemade fruit yoghurt pots for the sweet toothed, too. bristolmuseums.org.uk

THE DUCK AND WILLOW

DUCKLINGS ARE MADE to feel very welcome at this Downend pub, which has a real family feel. The large garden has been renovated with little ones in mind – it even has a kiddie’s dining area – and there are activity books to keep them busy inside, too. The children’s menu is made up of breakfasts (including pancakes and a mini full English), mains like pizza pockets and salmon fish fingers, and desserts such as chocolate brownies. Even better: the popular kids-eat-free promotion is back for the Easter and summer holidays. theduckandwillowbristol.co.uk


Award Winning, Family Run Farm Shop Established for over 30 years Selling Quality Local Produce Open Daily 9am – 6pm (9.30am – 5pm on Sundays)

HOME & LOCALLY REARED FRESH MEAT, POULTRY & GAME HOMEMADE SAUSAGES, BURGERS & FAGGOTS

Easter orders now being taken

LOCAL CHEESES & HOME COOKED MEATS LOCALLY GROWN VEGETABLES, FRUIT & SALADS HOMEMADE CAKES & PIES LOCALLY MADE CHOCOLATES & FUDGE FINE WINE, LOCAL ALE & CIDER PRESERVES & CHUTNEYS GIFT HAMPERS

www.allingtonfarmshop.co.uk | 01249 658112 Allington Bar Farm, Chippenham, SN14 6LJ


S T A R T E R S

HIP SHOPS

STICKY FINGERS BAKEHAUS What: US-inspired, handmade cakes Where: 61a Hanham High Street, Bristol BS15 3DG When: Mon-Sat 10am-4pm (closes at 1pm on Wed)

E

ver been in a cake shop with chipboard walls, copper pipes, scaffolding-plank tables, American number plates on the wall and Wonder Woman merch on display? If the answer is yes, you must already know about this cool little Hanham bakery. It’s the creation of Texan Greg Byczko who, formerly a hairdresser by trade, began baking five years ago while living in Bristol. It all started with a hankering for classic US-style pumpkin pie; not knowing how he could satisfy the craving, he made a very longdistance phone call. “My ma told me how to make it over the phone as I was baking,” he says, “and people went crazy for it and started ordering them from me. I tried making the pie into a cake, and it just all went from there, really.” After three years or so of running the business at home, Greg decided it was time to move into a professional kitchen and found this empty bakery in Hanham. The orders for his imaginative bakes have been rolling in ever since. “The biggest selling flavour right now is Prosecco and raspberry,” he says. “I got the idea from my ma, who did a pink Champagne and strawberry cake. People love it.” It’s not just the sponge that’s special, though – the sugarcraft is killer, too. Flicking through the portfolio of cakes he’s been commissioned to make for birthdays, weddings and all kinds of celebrations, we spot a British bulldog cake, a Game of Thrones-themed number and several eyebrow-raising multi-tiered monsters (“I’ve never said

no to anyone’s request!” he says), which look as if they’ve been crafted by someone who’s been in the trade for their whole life. “I guess I’m a little bit artistic,” he tells us when we ask how he learnt to decorate. “It’s just all practice, practice. I can’t tell you how many cakes I’ve thrown against the wall! My partner still laughs and says, ‘Remember when it used to take you five hours to cover a cake?’ Now I can do it in my sleep.” There are cupcakes, brownies and cookies on the counter too (we can personally vouch for the sweet-salty dreaminess of the peanut butter cookies, made to Greg’s mum’s recipe). Many of the bakes take

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Greg’s fun, characterful cake shop in Hanham is full of surprises

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inspiration from his home country, where chocolate-covered bacon (which you may spot here) is par for the course. On the counter when we visit are Guinness cupcakes with whiskey ganache, meringues in pastel shades and maple pecan cakes. “We’re really hot on gluten-free too,” Greg says. “You really can’t tell the difference – I used to make two kinds of brownie, but everyone bought the gluten-free ones so I stopped making the others, and no one ever asks.” These treats can be taken away or enjoyed in the shop, perhaps with a freakshake or good ol’ cup of joe from this self-professed “coffee freak”. stickyfingersbakehaus.com


S T A R T E R S

In the Larder 1

2

3

4

5

SPRead The LOVE

THESE SPREADS AND DIPS DESERVE TO BE SLATHERED ON MORE THAN JUST BREAD, Y’KNOW... 1 Norty Puds Salted Caramel Cashew Butter, £2.95/90g Be warned: once you unscrew the lid on this here jar, you might not do it back up until the whole thing’s empty. Made in Bristol by a small indie biz, this vegan nut butter has a moreish balance of sweet, salty and savoury. We’ve been putting it to work in banana pancakes, marbling it through the batter (and making it into a drizzle with honey for the top). Available from Zero Green and Fox and West in Bristol, amongst others; getnorty.com 2 Pelagonia Hot Aivar, £3.79/314g This hot aivar is the newbie in Pelagonia’s range of

Macedonian-inspired eats. The South East Europeanstyle condiment is made with chargrilled Romano peppers and has the sweetness that the veg is known for, along with a gently building heat. Tasting of summer, it’s one to crack out for the barbecue spread this season. From Papadeli in Bristol and Stourhead Farm Shop in Warminster; pelagonia.co.uk 3 Tracklements Chilli and Chorizo Jam, £3.30/100g Made with spicy chorizo, this moreish jam from Wiltshirebased Tracklements has it all going on – sweetness, spice, fruitiness and even a whisper of smokiness. Get it in those

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burgers, on that cheese and charcuterie board, dollop it on salads and use it as a dip. From Goodies Delicatessen in Bath and Chandos Deli in Clifton; tracklements.co.uk 4 Moist Carrot, Garlic and Paprika Hummus, £3.50/260g This small indie producer’s range of fresh, colourful hummus is made by hand in Bristol and features some belting flavour combinations. This bright number balances the sweetness of carrot with the gentle spice and smokiness of paprika, and the garlic flavour is bolstered by roasting the cloves. Look out for the ever-changing specials, too! Find the Moist stall at local

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markets, including Whiteladies Road on Saturdays, and the Tobacco Factory on Sundays; facebook.com/moistbristol 5 Black Bee British Heather Honey, £7.95/230g All of Black Bee’s single-source honey is raw and unprocessed to ensure that it maintains its natural goodness, as well as diverse and distinctive flavours. This ling heather honey (collected from local Somerset bees) is a rich gold in colour, thick in texture, and balances sweetness with more savoury, malty notes. You can find it at both Wild Oats and The Mall Deli in Bristol, and online via Good Sixty if you live in Bath; blackbeehoney.co


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S T A R T E R S

BOOK OF THE MONTH

THERE AREN’T JUST RECIPES TO READ IN THESE BOOKS, BUT STORIES OF CULTURE, HISTORY AND FAMILY LIFE, TOO

SALT AND TIME

THE CURRY GUY VEGGIE

TORTELLINI AT MIDNIGHT

Here is a book that’ll make short work of drawing you in. Originally from Siberia, Alissa left a career as a film academic and author to turn her obsession with food into her livelihood. Known for her cinema supper clubs KinoVino, she’s now putting paid to the false perceptions and old-school stereotypes that surround Russian cuisine. In Salt and Time, classic dishes sit alongside modern interpretations of old favourites, and you’ll be surprised at how approachable the dishes are. From snacks like piroshki (stuffed buns) and courgette dip to mains such as aubergine matzo bake and Siberian dumplings, the varied dishes span winter comfort food, fresh-tasting summer dishes and, of course, all-season ferments and pickles. In this eye-opening book, Alissa brings together the varied cultural roots of Siberian people and cuisines to help you diversify your kitchen repertoire.

Known for his curry house-style cookery, Dan Toombs (AKA The Curry Guy) has returned with his third book – and this time it’s meat-free. His down-to-earth recipes use familiar ingredients and fuss-free methods to create a range of veggie and vegan dishes – some familiar (like the butter paneer we rustled up immediately after reading) and some more novel, like the vada pan (deepfried spiced potato burger). As well as curries (which range from vegetable korma to baltic dal fry) there is a collection of street food dishes (think samosa chaat and bhel puri) and barbecue eats (grilled artichokes with curry mayo, anyone?). To complement those mains and allow you to create a spread worthy of any Friday night, there are snacks and starters like uzhunna vada (savoury lentil doughnuts); sides including chickpea fries and mango pickle; and even puds, like apple pie samosas. That takeaway menu can stay in the drawer this weekend.

Cookbooks are handsome things these days, but this is especially lovely, with roughly trimmed pages, cool little maps, and extensive photography of the main locations that inform the recipes: elegant Turin, the port of Taranto and Tuscany, where Emiko now lives. The twist to the nostalgic Tortellini at Midnight – named for a New Year tradition – is that AustralianJapanese Emiko has structured everything around heirloom recipes from her Italian husband’s family. She celebrates her granny-in-law’s life in late 1800s Taranto as well as further generations, detailing the sort of recipes they would’ve cooked: baked oysters and stuffed baby cuttlefish on the Mediterranean coast; roast veal in tuna sauce and stuffed peaches in Turin; and deep-fried meatballs and wedge clam stew in Tuscany. Italian recipes are always tempting, but the detail and production here make these ones especially compelling.

JESSICA CARTER

JESSICA CARTER

MATT BIELBY

Alissa Timoshkina (Mitchell Beazley, £25)

Dan Toombs (Quadrille, £15)

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Emiko Davies (Hardie Grant, £25)


NEW KITCHEN BASICS

Claire Thomson (Quadrille, £25) In her fourth book, Claire aims to breathe new life into our culinary routines. By focusing her recipes on staple ingredients that are likely already on our shopping lists, this book shows us how to use them in new and interesting ways, encouraging us to inject some variety and excitement into the roster of staple dinners we tend to rotate through. And with the novel but achievable likes of Sri Lankan aubergine and potato curry, South African bobotie, and tomato, courgette and tarragon galette, mixing things up sounds pretty appealing. Perhaps you’ll be tempted to swap out your usual spag bol for the lamb ragu with olives, peas and ’nduja, or your comforting but samey soup with the chicken curry mee (Malaysian curry soup). The book is organised into 10 chapters, each focusing on a carefully chosen ingredient (such as pasta, potato, egg or minced meat) and beginning with anecdotes, and notes on the produce’s virtues and uses. This is a practical book, packed with recipes that you’ll love to cook. JESSICA CARTER

,

CRAYFISH AND SPINACH SAVOURY RICE PUDDING

COCOA

From: Salt and Time by Alissa Timoshkina (Mitchell Beazley, £25); photos by Lizzie Mayson

Chocolate, and the cocoa it comes from, has been hypnotising devotees and casual fans alike for some 5,000 years, not least Guild of Food Writers award-winner Sue Quinn, who mixes her recipes – drinks, cakes, puds, biscuits, sweets and even savoury dishes like pork carnitas or pasta with gorgonzola, walnuts, rosemary and chocolate – with history and anecdote galore. Quinn tells how the first Spaniards to taste cacao in the New World found it “more a drink for pigs than a drink for humanity”; how early English chocolate parlours mutated into the first gentlemen’s clubs, the biggest of which was described by writer Jonathan Swift as “the most fashionable hell in London”; and why chocolate gained a spurious aphrodisiac rep, which takes in everything from love potions that mix chocolate with menstrual blood to suggestive Flake ads. Fascinating stuff, and the recipes aren’t bad either: chocolate and liquorice loaf cake with treacle syrup sounds suitably squidgy, and duck fat caramel and chocolate bay leaf tart intriguing, but we think we’ll start with the chocolate, marmalade and ginger steamed pudding.

A dish so decadent and rich that it could only belong to the pre-Soviet era of Russian culinary history. I came across this main course when delving into a classic cookbook of the Tsarist era, written by Elena Molokhovets in 1861. While I struggled to understand the exact method (my Imperial-era Russian is a bit rusty), the name alone immediately evoked a beautifully simple and delicate dish, as well as bringing to mind the creamy taste of rice pudding and spinach. So this recipe is a result of my guesswork and culinary improvisation.

Sue Quinn (Hardie Grant, £25)

MATT BIELBY

SERVES 4 30g unsalted butter ½ onion, diced 1 celery stick, thinly sliced 1 garlic clove, grated 100g pudding rice 500ml vegetable stock 150ml milk 50g double cream 250g crayfish tails, cooked and peeled 200g spinach, chopped ¼ lemon, zested and juiced

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1 Melt the butter in a medium-sized saucepan and fry the onion, celery and garlic over a medium heat for 8-10 minutes until they become soft and translucent but not caramelised. 2 Next, add all the rice and stir through for a minute or so, allowing it to absorb the butter. Pour in the stock and cook, uncovered, over a medium heat for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. If the stock you are using is already sufficiently seasoned, there is no need to add salt, but otherwise adjust the seasoning to taste. 3 Add the milk and cream, stir through and cook for a further 10 minutes over a low heat. 4 Finally, add the crayfish tails and spinach, season with salt and pepper to taste and dress with the lemon zest and juice. Turn off the heat, mix thoroughly and leave to rest under a lid for 5 minutes before serving. 5 This dish looks so vibrant and delicate on a pared back, plain white plate that I would encourage you to opt for an elegantly understated piece of dinnerware.


M Bar and M Bar Rooftop at M Shed;

This Summer M Shed’s M Bar, centred in the heart of Bristol’s flourishing Wapping Wharf area, boasts a unique and relaxing dockside setting to kick back and take in the Harbourside scenes. With sunshine through the evening and candlelight glows to warm you through the night, this summer at M Bar, it’s all heating up. Views to shout about! - M Bar Rooftop When you think of M Shed you think of the big red doors, the cranes, the museums and now, arriving this summer, a brand new Roof Bar with magnificent views across the city. Keep an eye out for any upcoming rooftop events; this new and exciting feature will be ready for Summer 2019.

0117 927 3086 | events.mshed@compass-group.co.uk | www.bristolmuseums.org.uk/m-shed | f a mshedbristol

An oasis of tranquility and nature in the heart of Bristol! Kitchen Garden – Play Area Party Hire – Farmyard Farm Produce & Shop www.thecityfarmcafe.org.uk

Windmill Hill City Farm, Philip Street, Bedminster, Bristol, BS3 4EA


CHEF!

WHAT TO MAK AND HOW TOE MAKE IT – DIRE FROM THE CT KITCHENS OF OUR FAVOURIT FOODIES E

Wild garlic is bountiful right now – and we’ve got just the recipe to put it to work

HIGHLIGHTS

24 IN A CURRY

A VEGAN VERSION OF A CURRY HOUSE STAPLE

28 SPRING KING

L MAKE THE MOST OF LOCAITH ASPARAGUS HARVESTS W SH THIS SEASONAL PASTA DI

30 HONEY SWEET

CAKES INSPIRED BY EVERYONE'S FAVOURITE HUNNY-LOVING BEAR 023

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C H E F !

VEGAN

CURRY UP!

DID YOU CATCH HENRY FIRTH AND IAN THEASBY ON THEIR VISIT TO BRISTOL THIS MONTH? IF NOT, THIS RECIPE FROM THEIR BRAND NEW BOOK SHOULD MAKE UP FOR IT...

Plant-based cooks Henry Firth and Ian Theasby have just released their second book, Bish Bash Bosh!, which is full of straightforward, imaginative meat-free meals. They recently rocked up in Bristol to show off this new vegan-focused tome at Waterstones, and gave us this flavour-packed recipe from its pages. “The spicy and flavourful jalfrezi has now overtaken tikka masala as Britain’s favourite curry!” write Henry and Ian. “This stock can be prepared in advance and frozen or kept in the fridge in an airtight container, so make a double batch to save time. Be sure to taste the curry as you go to get the perfect balance, as spices can vary in strength.”

CURRY HOUSE JALFREZI SERVES 2-3 1 large aubergine 4 tbsp sunflower oil (or olive oil) 1 onion 1 red pepper small bunch coriander 5 green bird’s-eye chillies 12 cherry tomatoes 3 tbsp curry powder 1 tsp garam masala, plus extra to taste ¼ tsp hot chilli powder, plus extra to taste 8 tbsp tomato purée

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For the stock: 1 onion 5cm piece fresh ginger 5 garlic cloves ½ red chilli 3 cherry tomatoes 1 tbsp sunflower oil (or olive oil) ¼ tsp ground coriander ¼ tsp ground cumin ¼ tsp ground fenugreek ¼ tsp ground turmeric ¼ tsp paprika 1 Preheat the grill to 200C/400F. Trim the aubergine and cut it into 2cm chunks, then spread them over the baking tray. Drizzle over 2 tbsp of the oil, season with a good pinch of salt, and toss to coat. Grill for 15 minutes, turning occasionally. Remove when golden brown all over but not burnt. 2 Meanwhile, make the stock. Peel and finely chop the onion. Peel the ginger by scraping off the skin with a spoon, then grate the flesh. Peel and grate the garlic. Put the ginger and garlic into a bowl and mix with 1 tbsp water to make a paste. Finely chop the red chilli and tomatoes. 3 Place a saucepan on a medium heat and pour in the oil. Add the onion and sauté for 5 minutes before adding 1 tsp of the ginger and garlic paste. Add the rest of the ingredients with 250ml water and stir. Simmer for 10 minutes until the mixture is browned and has reduced. Then, pour in another 250ml water, stir and transfer to a liquidiser. Blend to a smooth liquid and clean out the pan. 4 Back to the curry. Peel and thinly slice the onion, and then thinly slice the flesh of the pepper, discarding the seeds and stem. Pick the leaves from the coriander – finely chop the stems and roughly chop the leaves. Trim and thinly slice 2 of the chillies. Quarter the tomatoes. 5 Pour the remaining 2 tbsp oil into the clean saucepan. Place over a high heat and add the onion, pepper and sliced chillies and fry for 3 minutes, stirring regularly. Stir in the chopped coriander stems and remaining ginger and garlic paste (from making the stock). Add the curry powder, garam masala, hot chilli powder, tomato purée, grilled aubergine and stock. Taste and add more salt, garam masala and chilli powder if needed. Stir in the tomatoes and simmer gently for 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until slightly thickened. 6 When ready to eat, transfer to a serving dish. Cut the remaining chillies in half lengthways and use them to garnish the curry along with the chopped coriander leaves. Serve with rice.


BISH BASH BOSH! by Henry Firth and Ian Theasby (HQ, £20); photos by Lizzie Mayson

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A country pub in the time-honoured tradition; a place to eat, drink and sleep.

PIZZA WEDNESDAYS Wednesdays 5.30pm – 7.30pm*

STEAK NIGHT Two Steaks, Skinny Chips, Peppercorn Sauce, Watercress Salad & a Bottle of White or Red Wine £32

*weather permitting

Tuesdays 6.30pm – 8.30pm

Wood Fired Pizzas

The Wheatsheaf, Combe Hay, Bath BA2 7EG 01225 833504 | info@wheatsheafcombehay.com | www.wheatsheafcombehay.com


C H E F !

heaRd YOU weRe a wILd ONe SINCE THE FIRST TENDER LEAVES OF WILD GARLIC STARTED EMERGING FROM THE SOIL IN MARCH, BOD GRIFFITHS HAS BEEN PUTTING THEM TO GREAT USE IN ONE OF HIS FAVOURITE SEASONAL RECIPES...

Bod set up cookery school Vale House Kitchen with wife Annie after moving back to the West Country from London. Passionate about food, he also has a love of the countryside – something that’s apparent in the school’s programme of courses and field-to-fork ethos. At Vale House, guests are able to reconnect with food and nature, and participate in unique, hands-on experiences. “As spring approaches and the countryside bursts back into life after winter, it’s great to get out foraging and harvesting a few spring greens,” says Bod. “One of the most abundant and delicious is wild garlic. Also known as ramsons, these native woodland plants are great added to soups and sauces and make the most incredible pesto. “Wild relatives of chives, the broad green leaves are best picked young and give off a very strong garlicky smell – they start appearing around March and the flowers follow in April through to June. Wild garlic is easy to identify and signifies ancient woodland. If you are going to harvest some please do so responsibly, checking first with the landowner. “There’s nothing better than returning from a foraging stroll with fresh wild garlic, whizzing up a batch of pesto and having it on some freshly cooked pasta. Simply delicious!”

WILD GARLIC PESTO SERVES 8 75g wild garlic (ramsons) 50g sunflower seeds 50g parmesan 50ml rapeseed oil splash white wine vinegar 1 Wash the wild garlic carefully, ensuring there are no other leaves in the mix. 2 Finely chop them and add to a blender with the sunflower seeds, parmesan and half the oil. Blend until smoothish. Add the rest of the oil, the vinegar and a pinch of sea salt and blend again. Feel free to add some more oil if you like a runnier consistency. 3 Pour into small jars and store in the fridge. Use within 2 weeks.

Vale House Kitchen, Loves Hill, Timsbury, Bath BA2 0EU; 01761 470401; valehousekitchen.co.uk

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C H E F !

SPRING PASTA SERVES 4 400g British asparagus 170g frozen peas 350g dried pappardelle large knob butter 1 tbsp olive oil, plus extra to serve 4 echalions (banana shallots), finely chopped 2 garlic cloves, crushed 200ml crème fraîche handful mint leaves, chopped parmesan, grated, to serve

SPeaR LeadeR

CHRIS CHINN AND THE BRITISHASPARAGUS.COM GUYS HAVE PLENTY OF IDEAS FOR MAKING THE MOST OF THOSE SPEARS THIS SEASON – HERE’S ONE OF OUR FAVES

It’s finally asparagus season once more – and we’re pumped. Out of season, these spears are imported from far-flung countries such as Peru, so can be pretty lacklustre. (Just as we would be too, after that journey!) During the British asparagus season, though, sweet and juicy spears from these very shores appear in greengrocers in happy abundance. Chris Chinn and his team are responsible for our most local major harvest, which happens in the Wye Valley, just up the M5. “Four generations of my family have worked on this farm,” he says. “We have been harvesting asparagus since 2005, and now produce a million spears a day. Asparagus farming is an intrinsic part of who I am! “Even though the asparagus season doesn’t officially start until 23 April, our first asparagus harvest took place at the end of February, which was helped by the patch of warm weather in the middle of the month. We expect to harvest until the season finishes on 21 June, but all of this is dependent on the great British weather.”

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1 Put a large pan of water on to boil for the pappardelle and prepare a bowl of icecold water. 2 Trim the ends off the asparagus and chop the spears into 2-3cm pieces. Once the water has come up to the boil, blanch the asparagus and the peas in it for 2-3 minutes and then place into the cold water to refresh. 3 Keep the pan of water on the hob and boil the pasta in it according to the pack instructions. 4 Meanwhile, melt the butter in a frying pan, then add the olive oil, echalions and garlic and gently fry for 5 minutes until soft. Add the crème fraîche to the pan and stir gently to warm through, making sure it doesn’t split. Add the asparagus, peas and most of the chopped mint to the pan and stir through, along with a little of the pasta water to loosen the mixture up. 5 Once the pasta is cooked, drain well and add to the sauce. Season to your liking and then serve with a grating of parmesan, a sprinkle of more fresh mint and a drizzle of olive oil. britishasparagus.com


BATH’S BEST BUTCHER Vale House Kitchen is a bespoke country skills and cookery school situated in the village of Timsbury 8 miles southwest of Bath. We will be offering all the traditional courses you would expect from a cookery school but will have the added dimension of teaching skills such as fishing, shooting, foraging and butchery. 28th April – Fish Cookery 19th May – Beginners Cookery 15th June – Smoking and Curing Masterclass 14th July – BBQ and Outdoor Eating

I discovered Larkhall Butchers last year and they made my Easter, I wouldn’t go anywhere else. Natalie – Larkhall customer

01761 470401 | info@valehousekitchen.co.uk

www.valehousekitchen.co.uk

f

a @brockleystores

Brockley Stores, Main Road, Brockley, North Somerset BS48 3AT

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


C H E F !

HUNNY AND ROSEMARY CAKES MAKES 10 170g butter 115 dark brown sugar 175g honey 200g plain flour 1 ½ tsp baking powder ½ tsp ground cinnamon 1 tbsp rosemary leaves, finely chopped 2 eggs, beaten For the icing: 100g cream cheese 300g icing sugar For the drizzle: 150g honey 2 sprigs rosemary

LEAN TIMMS

a hUNNy STORY

HAVE YOU HEARD? TICKETS TO THIS YEAR’S BRISTOL FOOD CONNECTIONS FEASTS AND EVENTS ARE OFFICIALLY ON SALE! TO CELEBRATE, WE SECURED THIS SUMMERY RECIPE FROM KATE YOUNG, WHO WILL BE DEMOING IT AT THE FESTIVAL

bristolfoodconnections.com; thelittlelibrarycafe.com

Cook and food writer Kate blends her kitchenbased interests with her love of literature, bringing the food from her favourite books to life. Kate started blogging about these recipes – amongst which is the treacle tart that Harry tucks into in JK Rowling’s first book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone – and a cookbook soon followed, both of which have since picked up awards. Kate will be holding a demo at Bristol Food Connections – which is happening 12-23 June this year – where she’ll be making this recipe. It’s inspired by AA Milne’s Winnie-thePooh and appears in her aforementioned book, The Little Library Cookbook. “I have been making these cakes for years; they started life as Tessa Kiros’ and are now my absolute favourites,” says Kate. “They’re rich and floral, and I have a collection of pals who request them for their birthdays – I’ve made them a few times for weddings too. “If you can’t bear to wait for them to cool down, they’re really great warm, split open and with a spoonful of the icing and a drizzle of the honey over the top.” Kate’s second book, The Little Library Year, is released in October.

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1 Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4 and grease muffin tins with a little of the butter. 2 Place the rest of the butter, along with the sugar, honey and 1 tbsp water, into a saucepan. Heat gently, stirring only once, until the butter is melted and the sugar dissolved. It will look like it’s separated but don’t stress, this is normal. Set aside to cool. 3 Sift the flour, baking powder and cinnamon together into a bowl and add the finely chopped rosemary. 4 When the honey mixture is cool, stir in the beaten eggs. Add this to the dry ingredients and stir until the mixture is smooth. 5 Divide the mixture between the wellgreased tins, making sure they are all around two-thirds full. Bake for around 25 minutes, until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes in the tins, then turn out and transfer to a wire rack. 6 For the icing, whisk the cream cheese until it’s light and airy. Sift the icing sugar and beat it into the cheese, to create a smooth and creamy icing that holds its shape. 7 When the cakes are completely cold, remove them from the tin and ice them (use a palette knife to drop the icing onto each cake, then round it off at the edges). 8 To make the rosemary honey drizzle, put the honey in a saucepan with the rosemary leaves and bring to the boil. As soon as the honey starts bubbling, turn off the heat and allow the flavours to infuse for at least 20 minutes. 9 To serve, spoon the warm rosemary honey over an iced cake and eat immediately. (Pour the leftover honey mixture into a jar – it will keep for a good few weeks, and tastes wonderful on roasted carrots as well as on things like cakes.)


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LEAN TIMMS

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S T A R T E R S

WHAT SUP?

look!!

IT’S SECTION,OUDERDINECAWTE TO ALL THINGS D SUPPABLE

I DRINK, THEREFORE I AM

PuSh PINeaPPLe A NEW LOCAL GIN HAS BEEN LAUNCHED, AND IT SOUNDS SPOT-ON FOR SUMMER...

t

he South West’s Salcombe Distilling Co has just launched a brand new gin, created in collaboration with none other than Monica Galetti. Island Queen – of which only 2,500 bottles will be made – is a nod to the local area’s history. The tropical-tasting spirit is inspired by the fruit and spice trade of the 19th century, and is named after one of the specialist ships built in Salcombe for bringing these culinary treasures to the UK from the Caribbean. Expect notes of sweet and juicy pineapple and mango in this sip, as well as a suggestion of coconut and citrus. There’s an edge of spice too, courtesy of pink peppercorn. To make it, fresh pineapples are cooked over manuka wood then added to the base spirit to infuse for three days, meaning you may well pick up on a whiff of smokiness as well. This gin is available to buy locally in indie Bath bottle shop Great Western Wine, so you needn’t travel far to get your hands on it, either. To celebrate the launch, Monica and the team at her restaurant, Mere, have created a cocktail especially for Island Queen to star in. A twist on a Mai Tai, it goes a little like this... salcombegin.com; greatwesternwine.co.uk

CR A I G HOWA RT H

MAI QUEEN SERVES 1

couple of handfuls ice 35ml Island Queen gin 25ml spiced pineapple syrup 25ml pineapple juice 15ml lime juice 25ml chickpea aquafaba dash absinthe 4 drops Bittermens Elemakule Tiki Bitters pineapple crisp, to garnish Chill a coupe glass with ice. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice, add the gin, syrup, juices, aquafaba and absinthe and shake vigorously for 10 seconds. Discard the ice from the glass and pour in the mixture through a double strainer. Add 4 drops of bitters on the top, and run a cocktail stick through them. Garnish with the pineapple crisp on the side of the glass.

Monica Galetti and Salcombe Distilling Co’s Angus Lugsdin look pretty happy with their work... JASO N Y E O M A N

BEER + COFFEE + WINES + SPIRITS + MORE

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W H A T

S U P ?

THE DRIP FEED NEWS, BREWS, BOOKS AND TRENDS

BRISTOL FASHION LOCAL BARTENDER ALEX Godfrey was challenged by the guys at Scotch whisky brand Label 5 to create a cocktail that captured Bristol in a glass. Alex looked to locally made ingredients as well as the city’s history and culture for inspiration – and this is the result...

SHAKE IT OFF

BRISTOL 5 O’CLOCK TEA

A NEW POP-UP cocktail bar has moved into The Old Bookshop in Bedminster. You’ll find Betty’s Cocktails in a sequin-clad corner of the popular North Street hangout, run by Beth Phillips. This long-time front-of-house pro launched the new business to fill the gap between the cocktails you get in a pitcher down the local, and high-end, artisanal concoctions. The drinks that Beth mixes are fun, down-to-earth and wallet-friendly, while still featuring solid-quality ingredients and plenty of imagination (they’re vegan, too). Expect classic favourites like Negronis and Margaritas as well as original creations named after Beth’s female heroes, like the Mama Tea with sake, spiced rum, peach, green tea and soda. That’s as well as ever-changing specials, such as the Alabama Worley (vodka, triple sec, lime, pineapple, grenadine and fresh raspberries), which is a fun, fruity sip with a whisper of sourness. Happy hour runs Wednesday to Friday, 5pm-7pm, and promises two drinks for £10. On weekends there are brunch and dessert cocktails on the go, too. instagram.com/bettysofbristol

Q& A

MY LOCAL

PETE MILTON FROM LARKHALL BUTCHERS HAS A CRACKING LOCAL BOOZER – PUPPY REGGIE IS ALSO A FAN... My local is Hare and Hounds in Lansdown. Three words that describe the vibe are gastro, dogs, and views. What I’m drinking depends hugely on the weather but,

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30ml Label 5 Gold Heritage Scotch Whisky 20ml local beer cordial 15ml Amaro 15ml Harveys Bristol Cream 10ml creme de pêche couple handfuls ice cubes 1 large ice block, to serve orange rind, to garnish Stir everything (except the garnish) together with the cubed ice until perfectly diluted. Pour over a block of ice in a double Old Fashioned tumbler. Peel a strip of fresh orange rind and place on top, adding aroma and brightness to the cocktail.

for me, a G&T is always a sure bet. You’ll find me sitting outside, enjoying the picturesque views over Charlcombe. But if the weather isn’t with us then I’ll be in the comfort of the cosy lounge. The crowd is a good mix of foodies and people meeting for a quick drink. It’s a great place to catchup with friends – plus, as it’s dog friendly, I can take the new pupper, Reggie.

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My best celeb spot here was the Bath Rugby players, enjoying their bit of time off in the summer. The pub’s best asset has to be the glorious view: there’s just no pub garden quite like it in Bath. You should try my local because it’s a hot day and you need somewhere blissful to take that first refreshing sip of a drink. See you there! hareandhoundsbath.com


W H A T

A SWIFT CUPPA

Q& A

S U P ?

BAR TOOLS KIT TO UP YOUR DRINKS GAME

WITH

LUCIE COUSINS FERMENTATION GURU AND THE FOUNDER OF BATH CULTURE HOUSE, LUCIE MAKES LOCAL KOMBUCHA… So, Lucie, what actually is kombucha, please? It’s a refreshing live and fermented tea beverage, which contains gut-friendly bacteria and yeast, enzymes and healthy organic acids. And why do you love it? Firstly, I’m a fermentation geek! Secondly, it tastes delicious and is a great healthy alternative to sugary and fizzy drinks. Talking of taste, how would you describe kombucha’s flavour?  Slightly sour and zingy. Fruits and botanicals can be added to create different flavour combinations, too. It’s also naturally lightly effervescent. And how is it made? As it’s a fermented drink it starts with a ‛mother’, in this case the SCOBY (a Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeasts), which is a jelly-like disc. You feed it with a brew of sugary green tea, then the bacteria and yeast present within the SCOBY feed off the sugar to produce the fermented result.   So we could make our own at home, then, should the mood strike us? Yes – you’d just need water, green tea, sugar, a SCOBY, a Kilner-style container and muslin cloth.

It’s alcoholic, too, isn’t it? Yes, but the levels of alcohol present in kombucha are very low, likely to be less than one percent. The alcohol content varies with the recipe and method used, though.   So does it make a good low-alcohol alternative in bars? Yes, an excellent one. The complex and tangy flavours of fermented kombucha satisfy the taste buds, with some tasting similar to scrumpy cider.   What other types of fermented drinks are there?  I also love water kefir, which I brew at home for myself. But there’s also beet kvass, ginger beer and tepache, which are included in the fermented drinks workshop I teach at Demuths.   What kinds of kombucha do you make? I make three different botanical flavours: Floral Jasmine, Fruity Hibiscus and Zingy Turmeric and Ginger. The market is definitely growing.   Where can we buy your kombucha?  All over! Harvest in Bath and Bristol, as well as Chi Foods and Conscience Foods, just to name a few…  twitter.com/fabfermented

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HEART OF STONE

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he bottom of the glass is not where it’s at; those overdiluted dregs inhabited by tiny shrunken lumps of ice do not a satisfying last gulp make. That’s why we reckon these reusable ice cube alternatives are a great bit of bar kit – especially for the summer. Made from Swedish granite, the stones will keep your sip cold without watering it down – just chuck them in the freezer for a couple of hours before you want to put them to work. (Or, in chillier weather, warm them in the oven to keep your hot toddy or mulled wine toasty.) Sagaform Ice Stones are £15 (for a set of nine) from Salcombe Trading in Bath; salcombetrading.co.uk


W H A T

NEW BARS

THE BOTANIST

BATH’S NEWEST BOOZY OPENING SEES A DISUSED BUILDING PUT TO GOOD USE, SAYS JESSICA CARTER

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he Octagon on Milsom Street was originally built as a plush chapel for well-to-do worshipers. The huge building, complete with underground vaults, had been empty for a couple of years until The Botanist opened there in March. This bar group – which, in turn, is part of a larger parent group also responsible for The Florist, but not the identically named Botanist in Bristol – has gone big with this opening. A kind of ‘concept’ venue, it’s all about the olde-worlde apothecary vibes. The main dining area is octagonal (duh), and stretches skyward to the height of three storeys, peaking in a central panel of glass in the decoratively corniced ceiling. The space, then, feels open and airy, but not as cavernous as it could, as it’s stuffed with bountiful greenery, mixed seating, knickknacks and glowing lamps, all iron frames and glass shades. A tree bursts out of the

core of the circular bar, reaching up to the mezzanine dining area where we sit. Tall plants stand dotted about the space, while smaller clusters of foliage sit in brass racks. The substantial cocktail menu, with the drinks printed all side-by-side, looks quite overwhelming at first. Luckily, the team seem ready to help out, so instead of wading through the list in order to quench my thirst – which is peaking after the speedy march I’ve just completed to make it here on time – I ask our server what she’d suggest and am given a couple of thoughtful recommendations. One involves some kind of aromatic dry ice experience, but in the end I go for the signature Botanist (£8.50) of Bacardi, vodka, elderflower liqueur, red amaranth, mint and jasmine syrup. It comes in a glass vessel that looks like it was taken from an 18th-century science lab, with purple leaves scattered over the crushed ice and a misty liquid in the bulbous bottom (which has

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to be accessed via a straw and is served with what seems to be a plastic one, surprisingly). It’s light and fresh and, while not all that complex in terms of flavour, enjoyable and readily slips down the hatch. Across the table, a White Negroni (£9.95) sits looking clear and crisp, having forgone Campari for white port and been finished with a dash of elderflower cordial. It’s a nice, approachable concoction for those who find a Negroni a touch too pokey. To nibble, we choose a couple of small plates and sharers. Fried gnocchi (£3.95) is made into finger food by way of two wooden picks and a truffle mayo dip – a good idea (though the doughy mouthfuls are maybe a little dense). The lavender, honey and sunflower loaf (£4.75) is a winner, sprinkled with crystals of salt and served with moreish whipped goat’s cheese butter, drizzled with honey. There are deli boards too (£12.50), made up of your pick of four small dishes. I end with a Botanist Pornstar (£10.95) – a nicely smooth, fruity number, happily not too sweet – and a sneak peek at that basement bar, ominously named Beneath, which looks like a great after-dark hangout. It’s buzzy on this Tuesday lunchtime, with plenty of diners and drinkers creating a hum of atmosphere. With its thoughtful design, cool, energetic and friendly team and regular live music, The Botanist promises to bring new life to this one-time chapel. The Botanist, The Octagon, Milsom Place, Bath BA1 1BZ; 01225 632577; thebotanist.uk.com


Family or friends staying? Why not make the visit extra special and stay over at an OHH Pub. Save £10 when you book direct. Just visit www.ohhpubs.co.uk and at the point of reservation use this Promo Code: SAVE10

Tuesday night is Steak night Enjoy a mouth watering steak and homemade chips for just £10. Wash it all down with a fine bottle of House red wine for just £12. Served every Tuesday at all OHH Pubs 5pm - 9.30pm

Thursday night is Burger Night Choose from a selection of Chefs’ own burgers and homemade chips. All just £10. Served every Thursday at all OHH Pubs 5pm - 9.30pm

The Old House at Home: Near Castle Combe - 01454 218227 The Bear and Swan: Chew Magna - 01275 331100 The Rising Sun: Backwell - 01275 462215 The Northey Arms: Box - 01225 742333

www.ohhpubs.co.uk


Lose the tour guide. Rip your map up. Take a back street. 7 Nights · Embark in Lyon, France and return from Arles, France (or reverse) From romantic cities to foodie havens and artistic epicentres, this itinerary enlivens all your senses.

Embark in Lyon, France’s culinary capital. Savour the beauty of legendary vineyards and imbibe in local vintages like Beaujolais and Côtes du Rhône. Become an expert in all things culinary: go in search of the highly prized “Black Diamond” truffles; learn how to pair chocolate with wine; and discover how olives turn into the Mediterranean’s nectar, olive oil. Trace the steps of famous artists in Arles and Carriéres de Lumiéres before your return flight home. To request a full itinerary please contact us or visit: www.amawaterways.co.uk/destination/europe-river-cruises/2019/colors-of-provence

Discover amazing new cruise destinations... 01225 744 992 | info@silvercompass.co.uk

www.silvercompass.co.uk


The Catherine Wheel, Marshfield. A 17th century country pub with real ales, great food and accommodation. The southern gateway to the Cotswold hills, designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Marshfield, Bath SN14 8LR | 01225 892220 roo@thecatherinewheel.co.uk | www.thecatherinewheel.co.uk


CHOOSE YOUR WEAPONS

PEEL OR NO PEEL? You know what I hate most about fresh vegetables? Is it salting aubergines for an hour to remove the bitterness? It’s boring, it’s a pain, and you never know how necessary it is – for most modern aubergines are nowhere near as challenging as they used to be. No, it’s not that. Then is it knowing whether to bother cutting crosses on the bottoms of sprouts to help them cook evenly? Not that either. (And that one’s easily fixed: just skip the sprouts!) Then might it be peeling potatoes, carrots, parsnips and what have you? That’s the one! I hate it. So let me introduce you to OXO’s new large vegetable peeler, and three-piece assorted prep peeler set, both in their Good Grips Y-shaped peeler range. The big one’s purple like an aubergine, which reminds you to use it on ’em, as well as its similarly porky pals like butternut squash and pumpkin. In fact, each peeler in the trio has a different blade for different uses: the grey one

The large OXO Good Grips vegetable peeler costs £9, and the three-piece set £14. Find them at Lakeland or Kitchens in Bath or Bristol; oxouk.com

for spuds, the red one for toms and the orange one for carrots, though they’re all pretty versatile and can manage everything from courgettes to peaches between them.

THAT IS THE QUESTION. BUT IF YOU LIKE YOUR VEGGIES NUDE, THE EASIEST WAY TO GET THEIR KIT OFF IS WITH ONE OF OXO’S LATEST PEELERS, SAYS MATT BIELBY

And they make peeling fun, you say? Maybe not fun exactly, but they should certainly take the pain out of it. The sharp Japanese stainless steel blades and non-slip grips make them comfy to use and should slice through most things like a hot knife through butter. Butter! Now you’re talking! Hmm. I see your healthy diet is something of a work in progress, isn’t it?

THIS MONTH PEELER DEALERS + THE PLATING GAME

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K I T C H E N

A R M O U R Y

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HOW DISHY ARE THESE PLATES? SERIOUS CROCKERY GOALS… 1 Vintage Plate, £4 Drop into this bistro, Champagne lounge and homeware shop in Bath and you might find this plate on your table – if you take a shine to it you can buy it. From Comptoir and Cuisine; comptoirpluscuisine.com 2 Porcelain Dinner Plate, £23.50 Part of Rice’s new Porcelain range, this fun dish will make easy work of livening up the dinner table. Find it at Fig 1 in Bristol; fig1.co.uk 3 Fiona Side Plate, £10 This unique little number is made from glazed terracotta in Portugal – but you only need only take a trip to Anthropologie in Bath to get your hands on it; anthropologie.com 4 Peacock Side Plate, £14.99 Bristol-based designer Hannah Turner always comes up with fun and characterful ceramics, and this cool peacock plate is no exception. Find it at Bristol Museum Shop and Rossiters of Bath; hannahturner.co.uk 5 Happy Ceramic Tea Plate, £25 Made in small batches and painted by hand, these cute tea plates by local designer Isobel Higley are all unique. Find this happy little fella for sale online; isobelhigley.com

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The Restaurant at Lowden is relaxed and informal, we focus on friendly service and the quality of ingredients. The chefs use our Farm Shop as their larder to prepare their daily menus. The Farm Shop is stocked with fresh vegetables, the Butchery with amazing local meat & the Deli with delicious cheese, olives, meats and scrumptious homemade goodies. We have been supplying plants, shrubs & trees to gardeners for over 20 years. Lowden also offers an inspiring selection of gift ideas for men, women, children & pets.

Bath Road, Shaw, Wiltshire, SN12 8EZ | 01225 702 345 www.lowdengardencentre.com @lowden_garden_centre


MA INs

DGE AND FOOD LE W O KN ER SID IN , ES US CA RY TOP CULINA

The Bunch of Grapes is one of the many reasons you should get yourself over to West Wiltshire...

PIONEERs

HIGHLIGHTS

48 BEST OF TRENDS

ARE THESE THE MOST STYLISH HANGOUTS IN ALL THE LAND?

59 GO WEST

WEST WILTS IS SERVING BELTING FOOD WITH A SIDE OF LUSH SCENERY

INCLUDING!

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PICTURESQUE LOCAL TOWNS AND VILLAGES TO VISIT

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LOOK SHARP!

WHEN WE’RE EATING AND DRINKING OUR WAY AROUND BATH AND BRISTOL, IT’S OFTEN NOT JUST THE CAREFULLY PUT TOGETHER FOOD AND DRINK THAT INSPIRES US TO GET OUR ’GRAM ON – MANY OF THE VENUES THEMSELVES ARE AS PHOTOGENIC AS EMMA WATSON ON A RED CARPET. HERE ARE JUST SOME OF OUR FAVOURITE LOOKERS...

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BAR 44

Elegance comes with a cool moodiness in this dimly lit, contemporary tapas joint. It’s modern but with classic style, showing off the building’s history as a bank. Joints of cured meat hang against charcoal-grouted tiles, and marble-top tables are arranged near tufted banquette seating, upholstered in vintage-look leather. Look out for the white neon sign declaring that ‛sherry is sexy’, and the colourful modern artwork by Bristol-based Spanish artist, Andi Rivas. bar44.co.uk


M A I N S

BAR 44

Elegance comes with a cool, moodiness in this dimly lit, contemporary tapas joint. It’s modern but with classic style, showing off the building’s history as a bank. Joints of cured meat hang against charcoalgrouted tiles, and marble-top tables are arranged near tufted banquette seating, upholstered in vintage-look leather. Look out for the white neon sign telling you that sherry is sexy, and the colourful modern artwork by Bristol-based Spanish artist, Andi Rivas.

CIRCO

After a spruce up in 2018, this basement cocktail bar is looking every bit the cool, atmospheric after-dark hangout it is. Walls are a deep charcoal-blue, complemented by plenty of pops of brass and copper. Dark weathered wood paneling, wornleather armchairs, low hanging lights with twinkling crystal-look shades and candles in lanterns up the classy vibes, and greenery – by way of plants and palm-leaf wallpaper – softens the look. Check out the cool rum bar where you’ll also find the largest rum collection in the city.

NO 15 GREAT PULTENEY

This hotel’s décor is eclectic throughout, inspired by Bath and its surrounds. For instance, the decorative scale effect that you’ll find in Bar 15 reflects the detail featured in local architecture, while the mottled paint on the walls was inspired by the existing plasterwork (you can even spot some original Georgian wallpaper). The Dispensary restaurant, pictured here, has a look that’s based on an antique chemist’s shop, and is filled with apothecary bottles and curious knick knacks, like copper kettles and vintage whisks. no15greatpulteney.co.uk

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THE IVY CLIFTON BRASSERIE Art Deco, eccentric and opulent are all phrases that come to mind when trying to describe the current look of this former bank. High ceilings and huge arched leaded windows give a sense of space, while circular brass chandeliers hang overhead and panelled walls display an eclectic collection of art. With its lavish ’20s style – think dark polished wood, leather seating and marble floors – it’s a stylish joint to sip on a cocktail and pretend you’ve travelled back in time. theivycliftonbrasserie.com

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Out in the Victorian Barley Wood Walled Garden is a suitably rustic and pared-back restaurant that’s, incidentally, just had a redesign. Light floods in through the lead-framed glass of the lean-to-style dining room, with its slanted roof and low-hanging pendant lamps. Tables are made from rustic wood, and tiny strings of lights, plants and vintage kitchen and garden paraphernalia are displayed on the walls, echoing the kitchen’s garden-to-gob ethos and seasonality. theethicurean.com

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KYM G R IMSHAW

THE ETHICUREAN


DELA

This casual Danish-inspired restaurant in Easton’s Mivart Studios is all white painted brick, parquet flooring and tumbling greenery. The spacious dining area is filled with light and, despite its industrial undercurrent, still feels inviting and comfy. Specials (which complement the menu of Scandi-esque seasonal and sharing plates) are written on a roll of brown paper, hanging from the wall and surrounded by shelves packed with locally made beers, ciders and pottery. delabristol.com

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CIRCO

After a spruce up in 2018, this basement cocktail bar is looking every bit the cool, atmospheric after-dark hangout it is. Walls are a deep charcoal blue and are complemented by plenty of pops of brass and copper. Dark weathered wood panelling, worn-leather armchairs, low-hanging lights with twinkling crystal-look shades, and candles in lanterns all up the classy vibes, and greenery – by way of plants and palmleaf wallpaper – softens the look. Check out the cool rum bar where you’ll also find the largest rum collection in Bath. circobar.co.uk

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THE OX

This steak restaurant, hidden below pavement level in a basement on Bristol’s Corn Street, is all about the atmosphere. It might not be super photography-friendly, due to its ultra-low lighting, but sometimes you just have to take those pictures with your eyes, right? The luxurious antique feel comes from varnished wall panelling, framed artwork, wall lamps and impressive old cabinets, atop which you might spot the odd bit of taxidermy. Check out the retro glass light fittings that take the shape of bunches of grapes. theoxbristol.com

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MEANWHILE, ON INSTA... YET MORE OH-SO SNAPPABLE DIGS... 1 Thali Southville captured by @oldmarketplants 2 Castle Farm has made a fan of @kateauthers 3 The @gooddaycafe team love their bright space 4 Bambalan’s colour is snapped by @loco99_djs 5 @jamaicastreetstores balances its industrial feel with comfort

Have we missed off your favourite ’gram-worthy haunt? Tweet us your snaps @crumbsmag!

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THE HOP POLE, BATH pub, garden & kitchen

FREE FUNCTION ROOM FOR HIRE OPENING HOURS Drinks Mon–Thu: 12–11pm | Fri–Sat: 12–11:30pm | Sun: 12–9pm Food

Mon–Fri: 5:30pm–8:30pm Sat: 12–3pm, 5pm–9pm | Sun: 12–6pm

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


( advertising feature )

ESCAPE THE CITY FOR A WEEKEND IN DEVON Hidden in the depths of the Devons South coast, you will find a real hidden gem in multi-award winning family holiday park, COFTON HOLIDAYS

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ocated near the pretty Dawlish coastline, you will discover a holiday experience that is a truly surprising and unique country escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. Cofton provides the perfect blend of peace and quiet and fun activities for both adults and children alike. And the best news is that it’ll only take you a couple of hours to get there from Bath or Bristol. Step away from the stress of the dayto-day for a weekend and you will not be disappointed. Whether you’re looking to kick back and relax in a choice of modern caravans, luxury cottages or apartments, adventure through the picturesque surroundings (including endless forests and stunning beaches), or enjoy the fantastic delights of Devon food and drink, you will have plenty of choice on your escape to Devon, that’s for sure. On your arrival at Cofton, you will be greeted by our friendly team who will direct you to where you’re staying – there really is an accommodation type for everyone here. Even more impressive, though, are the outstanding facilities you will find onsite. You could easily spend the whole weekend without leaving Cofton,

taking time to enjoy 80 acres of glorious landscapes and views, making the most of the fantastic leisure facilities including indoor and outdoor pools, gym, sauna and steam room, and enjoying great food at the four onsite eateries. Cofton may be a holiday park at its core, but when it comes to the choice of food and drink, expect nothing but the very best of what Devon and the South West has to offer. With the majority of produce sourced from within a few miles of where you’ll be eating it, you will encounter the true taste of Devon – whether it’s a cold pint of Devon Ale, an old classic like fish and chips or something from one of our imaginative evening menus. The highlight of the Cofton eating experience is Amelia’s Pantry. By day it’s a busy café serving fresh cakes, coffee and a varied menu of light lunches and full-on favourites from hearty pies to classic steaks. At night the lights are dimmed and Amelia’s becomes an atmospheric restaurant with the glowing fire as the focal point. The beating heart of the Cofton experience is the Warren Retreat – the hub of entertainment in summer, but all year around the home of Exeter’s well-loved Sunday carvery. Perhaps

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the hidden gem of the Cofton foodie experience is the Swan, Coftons’ very own homely pub, serving delicious food with a twist. On a recent visit, food blogger Natalie was particularly impressed by the experience here, saying, “The restaurant options onsite are of an extremely high standard, not an option I believe you’d get from any other holiday park. Choose from a pub with its charming atmosphere and rustic food, the Warren Retreat for day and night dishes, and Amelia’s, where you can enjoy fine dining for as little as £20 for two courses. The staff are kind, friendly and helpful, and there is nothing that can’t be catered for onsite with the talented chefs who pride themselves on working with local producers and suppliers.” If you need an escape from your busy life for a moment, then it’s time to book a short break at Cofton.

Cofton Holidays, Cofton Lane, Exeter EX6 8RP; 01626 890111; coftonholidays.co.uk


Award-winning authentic Italian Food Hall & Deli in the heart of Bath Fresh pasta, delicious sauces, artisan wines, fresh food & drinks to eat in or takeaway as well as an astounding deli counter full of regional speciality meats and cheese. PLUS JOIN US FOR OUR MONTHLY SUPPER CLUB CELEBRATING THE BEST IN ITALIAN FOOD & WINE OR HIRE US FOR YOUR OWN BESPOKE SUPPER CLUB

The Italian Food Hall 8 Edgar Buildings, George Street Bath BA1 2EE

01225 334127 • info@theitalianfoodhall.com

@theItalianfoodhall

@theItalianfoodhall

@ItalianFoodHall


King Johns Hunting Lodge is a family run business, located in the historic village of Lacock. Nestling next to the 14th century Church of St. Cyriac. We are known for our wonderful hospitality, rich history and delicious food. Homemade is our mantra wherever possible, but we are also proud to use local producers and artisan creators. We look forward to welcoming you!

from

Jude & Steve

Contact us: 01249 730313 | info@kingjohns.co.uk | www.kingjohns.co.uk | 21 Church St, Lacock, Chippenham SN15 2LB f


WILT TRIP

THE CITIES OF BATH AND BRISTOL AREN’T THE ONLY HOTBEDS FOR GREAT FOOD AND DRINK ON OUR TURF, AS THE RURAL, HISTORIC PATCH OF WEST WILTSHIRE HAS PLENTY TO TEMPT CITY DWELLERS OUT OF TOWN...

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M A I N S This page: Corsham neighbours The Methuen Arms, The Deli at Corsham and Mother and Wild Opposite page: Lucknam Park and Sign of the Angel

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itting pretty at the upper end of West Wilts is the ancient village of Colerne, which lies within in the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. This ‘village on the hill’, as it’s known, is home to Lucknam Park Hotel and Spa, which happens to have two rather wellrespected restaurants within its estate. Restaurant Hywel Jones is the flagship venue at this luxury hotel, with its Crumbs Award-winning exec chef Hywel having maintained a Michelin star here for 14 years. As well as the a la carte, there are three different multicourse tasting menus to enjoy in the grand, high-ceilinged dining room. From the former, we’re told the slow-cooked Roundway Hill pork belly with caramelised apple, roast duck liver and glazed onion is a bestseller. While Lucknam’s Brasserie is more casual, it shares its larger sibling’s values when it comes to food, serving great quality ingredients cooked with real skill. It might be the less-talked-about of the two, but you can expect anything but a half-hearted effort. The kitchen is headed up by 2018 National Chef of Wales winner Tom Westerland, whose Burford Brown Scotch egg with crispy black pudding and apple purée illustrates the culinary style perfectly. A quarter of an hour in the car will see you to the neighbouring market town of Corsham, which boasts historic, picturesque streets you might notice off the telly (some footage for Poldark was shot here). Right at the top of the old, paved High Street of this quaint market town is popular gastropub with rooms The Methuen Arms, housed in a former Georgian family home. At the helm in the kitchen is celebrated Bath chef Leigh Evans, whose food proudly reps the West Country and illustrates his imaginative and precise cooking. Perhaps start with the crispy chilli beef brisket with pickled cucumber and crispy noodles, and, if you want a veg-based main, you can expect the thoughtful likes of leek arancini with potato purée and baby leeks. Around the corner from the pub is Mother and Wild. A relaxed café-by-day/restaurant-by-night affair, it serves hearty, straight-up food – think aubergine parmigiana with smoked mozzarella, and crispy chicken burger with chilli jam – that’s big on flavour and comes with really reasonable price tags. These guys get excited about game and other wild ingredients, but you’ll find plenty of plant-based eats, too. Sourdough pizzas are on the go an’ all, their bases afforded real depth of flavour from the house culture. If you’re after more of a grab-and-go feed – or some edible souvenirs to take home, perhaps – swing by The Deli at Corsham, which is a couple of doors up, still on the High Street. It’s packed with local produce like South West beers, ice cream, honey, condiments and fudge, although it specialises in cheese, and you’ll find lots of local

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SOMERSET SPRING LAMB LOCAL FOOD WITH FLAVOUR

Raised on organic Puxton Farm pastures

Modern farms, traditional butchers A classic butchers counter, preparing the best quality meat sourced from our own as well as the surrounding Somerset farms. The butchery at Puxton sells traditionallyreared farm fresh meat, poultry and game. Our friendly, skilled butchers can offer advice and will ensure that your meat is prepared to your exact requirements.

OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK 9.00am - 5.30pm Puxton Park, Cowslip Lane, Hewish, BS24 6AH 01934 523507 www.puxton.co.uk


M A I N S

Timbrell’s Yard, The Bunch of Grapes and Woolley Grange will see to it that your Bradfordon-Avon visit is packed with great food...

varieties from Bath and Somerset. As well as generously stuffed baguettes, this place is known for its homemade quiches, sausage rolls and cakes. As villages go, Lacock sure is a looker. It’s a smidgen outside of Chippenham and still has bags of historic charm, with buildings dating back to the 13th century (its looks make it another popular filming location, and it’s provided locations for everything from Downton Abbey to Harry Potter). Sign of the Angel, originally a coaching inn, was built in the 1400s and has been brought tastefully up to date as a modern, casual dining pub, blending its rustic original features with a contemporary menu and atmosphere. Speaking of the menu, a brand new one has just launched, featuring the likes of spring lamb rump with fondant potato, charred onions and port sauce, and pork belly with crackling and honey crumb, and cider sauce. Bradford-on-Avon is another easy-on-the-eye West Wilts town. Perching on the edge of the Cotswolds, the handsome landscape features old Bath stone buildings – including historic wool mills – and is dissected by the River Avon. The Bunch of Grapes sits a minute’s walk from the river and its centuries-old bridge. Taken over last summer by locally renowned chef Tony Casey, the restaurant serves up modern British dishes in a relaxed and uber-tasteful setting – expect chalky hues, rustic wood and low-hanging lights – alongside cocktails, craft ales and wines from all over the world.  If you’re a meat-eater, go for the duck breast: it comes with a spring roll stuffed with confit leg meat as well as butternut squash and hoisin. On the other side of that bridge, still in the heart of the town, is gastropub and inn Timbrell’s Yard. The kitchen is headed up by former River Cottage chef Tom Blake, who focuses on the provenance of his ingredients and heartiness of his portions. There are sharing plates as well as traditional mains (which start from a very reasonable £14), perhaps the most popular of which being the seafood celebration of Cornish mackerel stuffed with crab, capers and lemon, with potatoes, squash, harissa and mussels. Another option if you’re looking to spend the night in this pretty town – and an especially a great one if you’ve got the kids in tow – is Woolley Grange. This may be a 400-year-old manor house but it couldn’t be less stuffy, with loads for the little ones to see and do, and dog-friendly rooms for fourlegged family members. Top-drawer, seasonal dishes are served for both residents and non-residents in the restaurant here (many of the ingredients having been grown in its Victorian walled garden), and a sitting for family dinners is followed by another for fine dining meals. People are loving the crab starter at the moment, which sees the soft, sweet meat accompanied by tomato jelly, samphire, purslane and oyster emulsion. With the food, the scenery and the power to put that city hustle far from our minds, West Wiltshire belongs right up there on to-visit lists.

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Pizza, Pie b & Pub Gru Menu

Sunday Roasts

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a B y e k s i h Gin & W

Buddha n r a B a e T

NEWLY OPENED

within The Crow

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s oucher Gift V ble! availa

Join us for Afternoon tea at the Buddha Tea Barn! BOOKINGS: 01225 872728 The Crown / Buddha Tea Barn, 500 Bath Road, Saltford, BS31 3HJ www.thecrowninsaltford.com f thecrowninsaltford

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


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bright futures batH COLLEGE shares the news of its £2 million Catering and Hospitality provision, to launch in the autumn term

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ath College is being awarded more than £2 million from the West of England Joint Committee’s Local Growth Fund to support the refurbishment of its Catering and Hospitality Education and Training Hub. This will be used to create a state-of-the-art hub with specialist training facilities to keep pace with the growing demand for hospitality and catering skills. The College held a consultation meeting with local hospitality businesses to discuss how to develop the catering and hospitality provision to further meet local demand. The consultation was attended by representatives from Chaine des Rottiseurs, Lucknam Park Hotel and Spa, Bath Pub Company, Hotel Indigo, Corkage, Babington House, Searcy’s, Edible Arts Patisserie, Koffman and Mr Whites and The Manor House.

The Ralph Allen Building currently houses the catering facilities, however this building has recently been sold, so architects are working with the College to plan how they can move it into the Roper Building. The brand new facilities will include a full commercial restaurant as well as both a skills and production kitchen, set to open in the autumn term. Students will learn kitchen expertise – including how to cook five-course menus to industry standards – and as well as front-of-house skills, fit for high-end restaurants. The kitchens will each hold space for 16 students including a disabled access station and a lecture space. Laurel Penrose, Principal and CEO of Bath College, said: “We are delighted at the allocations of the capital funds for catering and hospitality, as we know how beneficial

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it will be to the local economy. “Furthermore, it’s a real vote of confidence in Bath College’s staff and students, who will benefit greatly.” Bath College regularly works with local restaurants and hotels such as Lucknam Park, The Pig, The Bath Priory and others to give students the best possible industry experience whilst studying. With the college’s own restaurant being moved to the Roper Building, the hope is that more members of the public take advantage of the facilities, giving students the experience they require.

For more information about catering and hospitality at Bath College, visit bathcollege.ac.uk


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Call Natalie 01225 475824


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

This new Indian restaurant has bagged itself a great spot in central Bath

HIGHLIGHTS

68 BOTTLE WFEINDE-

LUNCH AT THKE FORD SOAKED BEC OP BOTTLE SH

70 UPSTAGEDTOL

RIS WE VISIT THE BBUT NOT OLD VIC – EATRICS FOR THE TH

V CURRY WITH AANTRA AT BATH'S M

L E ON DAY

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72 SPICE WORLD IEW,

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A F T E R S

S M A S H I N G S M A L L P L AT E S

BECKFORD BOTTLE SHOP PART SHOP, PART BAR, PART RESTAURANT: THIS NEW VENUE HAS GIVEN SAVILLE ROW A GREAT THREE-FOR-ONE DEAL, THINKS JESSICA CARTER

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t’s funny how the minute a new business opens, you can’t for the life of you remember what was in its place before, no matter how recently the switch. (Please don’t say that’s just me.) The space that Beckford Bottle Shop now occupies on Saville Row used to be home to an antique shop and a tearoom – both of which I’d been into on multiple occasions but still had no memory of until someone helped me out. (While my brain fails to remember any details of a street I walk down almost every day, it has, however, chosen to hang onto the lyrics of every pop song released between ’98 and ’04. Why?) This versatile bar-cum-restaurant-cum-wine-shop opened in Bath last autumn and, with the group’s pedigree (their other wine bars and pubs are already well-loved, and the founders have the likes of Soho House on their CVs), there were some seriously high expectations surrounding it.

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The facade is all hand-painted in black and gold with floor-toceiling windows, behind which hang pendant lights with old-school glass shades on the restaurant side and, on the other, you can see the 250-strong collection of wines displayed. There’s an antique feel here, with polished wooden flooring and embossed tin ceiling tiles. In the ‘tasting rooms’ you’ll find dark wood tables, gold-studded seating and leaded sash windows, and there’s a cosy lounge downstairs in the basement too, with bare stone walls, armchairs and table lamps. Any of the wines in the shop can be drunk on the premises for a corkage charge, but otherwise there are plenty – just shy of 40 – to choose from on the restaurant’s list, thoughtfully ordered from light to intense and available by the glass, carafe or bottle. An organic Italian white was recommended to begin with, and it turned out to be an ideal partner for the impending seafood. The menu is made up of small plates and, while there’s a whisper of European style about it, most of the dishes are actually boldly British –  like the wild garlic rarebit, roast new potatoes with Westcombe Cheddar, and creamed turnips (all of which made the eyes of my mildly hung-over lunch date light up in carby anticipation), as well as boards of British cheese and charcuterie. Stuff-on-toast came first. Sharp-tasting anchovies – nice and pokey but not as overwhelmingly flavoured as they often can be –  along with tiny rings of shallot were an unapologetic wake-up call for our tastebuds. The mushrooms and lardo on toast (£7) was thrown in as a last minute order by my pal, but ended up being one of the most surprising dishes of the meal, all salty and punchy and moreish. It may not be as big in size as you might expect for those seven English pounds, but it was certainly bigger than anticipated in terms of flavour. Rabbit, cider and wild garlic rarebit (£9) saw three slices of well-toasted bread (yes, more bread – there’s more to come, an’ all) draped with gooey cheese sauce containing hunks of soft, white meat. The young kitchen team (we hear the three of them are all but a sprightly 23) have sexed up some rather unloved British crops, too. Turnips, as mentioned earlier, came creamed with little cubes of smoky chorizo (£6), and marrow was chipped, coated with a light batter and deep-fried (£5), the crisp fingers served on a bed of nicely balanced, vivid-yellow aioli. If you’re going in on the fried bites as we did, the Gruner Veltliner Federspiel is a spot-on wine

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for cleansing the palate of that oiliness – props to our server who suggested it. Octopus and chickpea stew (£10) featured beautifully tender meat and flavoursome harissa-spiked chickpeas, and the cold smoked trout with yoghurt (£8) was a fresh, tangy end to the mains. For dessert, the Madeleines (£3) could have perhaps done with a touch longer in the oven – the texture was slightly doughy in the middle – but were otherwise light and delicate. The vibe here is cool and casual (the playlist of Mystery Jets and Blur had me tapping my cutlery, probably to the annoyance of my achy-headed mate), helped by the team which reps a mix of ages and backgrounds (the more seasoned servers, especially, bring great expertise). This three-in-one venue is a welcome addition to Bath and is already being well appreciated, it seems.

Beckford Bottle Shop, 5-8 Saville Row, Bath BA1 2QP; 01225 809302; beckfordbottleshop.com

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A F T E R S

COOL VENUES

1766 BAR AND KITCHEN THERE’S A NEW KID ON BRISTOL’S KING STREET, SERVING UP-TO-THE-MINUTE FARE IN A GLORIOUSLY HISTORIC SETTING, FINDS CHARLIE LYON

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e and King Street, we’ve got history. I’ve racked up decades’ worth of memories on this road (and that’s without even delving into the stories that I can’t remember): sloshing around lumpy cider while rockstepping at the Old Duke’s Jazz Festival; ’80s celeb spotting in Italian trattoria Renato’s; poltergeist hunting in the haunted King William Ale House (seriously, my elbow was nowhere near that pint). Yes, all of us Bristolians have a past with King Street, but admittedly not to the extent that the Bristol Old Vic has. The oldest continually-working theatre in the English-speaking world was built here in 1766, 80-odd years after the street was first laid. But while it’s long been famous for its theatrical activity, the food and drink offering has never before caused a stir. Well, now that it’s out the other side of its major £26 million refurbishment, things are a-changing, and the new 1766 Bar and Kitchen (see what they did there?) is gaining a real fan base. Behind the impressive full-height, glass-fronted foyer is a relaxed café-bar and raised dining area – the open-plan space all

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wood, copper and black iron. So far, so modern. But then there’s the exposed brick wall at the rear, which is actually the original facade of the Georgian theatre and a winning backdrop to the lofty space. There’s a cool, young Italian chef behind the new breakfast, lunch and dinner menus too – Coco Barone. She’s previously cooked at Bristol mainstays such as Rosemarino and Glassboat – and their loss is certainly 1766’s gain. The breakfast menu ticks all my innermillennial desires – waffles, smoked streaky bacon, kale, halloumi, dukka. And with prices under £10, it’s less spenny (sorry, pricey) than some other brunch digs in the city. Best value, though, is probably the lunch menu – £13.95 for two courses and £17.95 for three – so as the clock strikes 1.30pm on a chilly March day, I meet with JC (not that one – just the humble Crumbs ed) there. It might be a grey day, but it’s uncannily lightfilled in here (down to the enormous ceiling windows, rather than JC’s divine presence). As we take a pew at an understated wooden table, talk turns to religion (well, if our worship of the new series of Fleabag counts) and I reveal I have given up meat and fish for Lent. Sadly, abstinence skyrocketed my cravings and I confess I’ve been miserable – she forgives my order of buttermilk chicken followed by smoked haddock tagliatelle. Now, this is buttermilk chicken and then some, with the thickest, crispest of spiced jackets tightly wrapped around moist and tender thigh meat. The two pieces sit abed a devilishly spicy Sriracha mayo, lifted by spring onions and coriander and finished with fiendishly good (surely homemade) pickled chilli. My main boasts hefty flakes of flavoursome haddock, mixed into sunshine-yellow ribbons of pasta. Lashings of dill and chives pack a herby punch in the wholegrain cream sauce, and it’s only after I guzzle the whole bowl that I repent my gobbling of two such rich dishes on the bounce. Across the table, JC finds her fish starter equally satisfying – her smoked mackerel rillette is chunky in texture with a well-balanced smokiness. Noodles of pickled cucumber and carrot not only pep

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up the plate in terms of colour but do a great job of cutting right through the richness. Her chargrilled aubergine main with chickpea fritters and garlic and basil yoghurt looks quite the showstopper. The aubergine is nicely blackened, the flesh having been scored and cooked until loose and velvety, and it lies over a mound of multi-coloured quinoa along with golden chickpea fritters. The freshness and tang of the pastel-green yoghurt cools the dish’s overarching but gentle spice, and pomegranate seeds punctuate it with bursts of sweetness. Searching for the lightest thing on the menu for dessert, I spot the soya lemon posset, which sadly doesn’t come up trumps in its possetiness – or lemoniness. I feel sorry for this rubbery pud with its cheerless beige hue and lack of zing. Still, across the table, JC’s chocolate mousse is joyful – velvety and light, layered with salted caramel and vanilla cream. Despite lacking diners on a Tuesday afternoon (as word gets around this will surely change) the atmosphere is great, with freelancers and their Macs on the low tables taking advantage of the good coffee and wifi, and the box office creating hubbub. This is a great spot for a catch-up over good-value food, and the extended evening menu (£17.95 for two courses) is full of promise, too.

1766 Bar and Kitchen, Bristol Old Vic, King Street, Bristol BS1 4ED; 0117 907 2682; bristololdvic.org.uk

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A F T E R S LE O N DAY

NEW INDIANS

A NEW INDIAN RESTAURANT HAS COME TO TOWN, MAKING USE OF SOME OF THE BEST VIEWS IN THE CITY, WRITES JESSICA CARTER

L E O N DAY

MANTRA

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he site that Mantra is now housed in – 5 Bladud Buildings on Bath’s The Paragon – has had several names above the door over the last handful of years. Cowshed – which has had a restaurant in Bristol for a decade – opened here in the autumn of 2014, two years after getting the keys to the premises and bestowing some serious TLC on the place. Fast-forward two more years to the autumn of 2016 and The Clifton Sausage was moving in to give its 14-year-old Bristol location a new sibling. Then, in late 2018, a new independent curry house took up residence – named Mantra. The building itself is really quite handsome. Grade II listed, it’s Georgian with add-ons and, inside, sports plenty of bare Bath stone. There’s casual seating towards the windowed front of the restaurant, with a deep, tufted bench in one of the alcoves (which would be perfect for curling up on, post-feed, we thought) as well as tall tables with bar stools.

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Through the back is an extension to the original building, which has to be the venue’s biggest sell. The former exterior walls of the restaurant have been left natural while the far end of the room is floor-to-ceiling glass, so you can see through to the outdoor terrace that drops off to reveal an impressive display of Bath’s bordering countryside. The kind of view you really don’t see every day – especially from a city centre joint. This is where I’ve sat in all of the restaurant’s previous incarnations, and it’s where we sat when we visited Mantra for the first time. (There is more seating in the basement, including some in the form of a U-shaped chef’s table facing the kitchen pass.) Pops of colour have been injected into the otherwise neutral colour palette by way of bright cushions scattered on the banquette seating and hand-painted artwork. Watching the early evening sun turn golden as it lit up the honey-coloured houses dotted amongst that lush green backdrop, we got the drinks in – an obligatory Cobra for M, and a glass of dry white pour moi (there’s a decent wine list here that’s been curated especially to go with the food). And so to the menu. Expect Southern Indian-style dosas as well as the likes of slow-cooked spiced lamb shank and fish of the day in Hyderabadi-style salan, as well as some of the usual suspects like chicken tikka masala et al. It was the four-course set menu (£25) that we ate from. It began – of course – with poppadoms, served broken into shards in a large bowl with fresh-tasting dips. Dosas were next, the thin rice pancakes wrapped around a filling of chicken tikka and served with samba (a spiced sauce made with vegetables and lentils) and an almost fluorescentyellow coconut chutney. On the side was a really good

onion bhaji – crisp but not overdone, it was evenly cooked, golden and sat in a dollop of tangy tamarind chutney. Mains on this set menu are Hyderabadi chilli chicken and Kashmiri lamb rogan josh, which come with tadka dal, plain naan and pilau rice. The meat in both mains was great – no fatty or gristly bits to speak of and they’d been cooked to their strengths (the lamb slowly, so that the soft hunks broke into flakes, and the chicken so that it stayed juicy and tender). The Hyderabadi-style sauce was the fierier of the two, but with a dry heat that still allowed you to appreciate the blend of spices, while the dark coloured rogan josh was more mild and aromatic. We were told the way to go about eating these was with the naan – only when that’s all gone should we tuck into the rice. It makes sense, in practice –  you can grab the hunks of meat with the bread, while the rice is great for absorbing all that sauce. That said, I’m merely passing on the message – please do eat your Indian food in whichever order you see fit. Go crazy. You maverick, you. For pud, gulab jamun (a doughy ball made from milk solids and served steeped in syrup) was plated up with a scoop of silky ice cream and chunks of pistachio. Not too heavy after that feed, or overly sweet. Mantra is partly familiar and partly novel, so you can use it as your regular curry house or neighbourhood dinnertime hangout. Or both. Just keep your fingers crossed it makes it past the tricky two-year mark here.

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Mantra, 5 Bladud Buildings, Bath BA1 5LS; 01225 446332; mantraofbath.co.uk


BREAKFAST? The Bristolian. It’s beautiful in there and their breakfasts are so tasty. I always go for the veggie or vegan versions despite not being either, as I love everything they put in them. They also do the best waffles! BEST BREW? I hate tea. Always have. It’s grossed me out since I was a kid, and that’s really stuck with me. Coffee is my go-to, and Tradewind Espresso at the top of Whiteladies is my favourite coffee place in Bristol. QUICK PINT? Brewhouse and Kitchen on Cotham Hill. It’s near where I live and has a great selection of drinks, along with a good atmosphere. CHEEKY COCKTAIL? Now, this is impossible to answer – there are so many great cocktail places in Bristol! Her Majesty’s Secret Service and Flipside Cocktail Club are a couple of favourites, though. POSH NOSH? Bulrush is just gorgeous. Very fancy. There are no words, really. It’s pricey but so worth it if you’re a foody. I went there for my 24th birthday when I first moved to Bristol. L I T T L E

B L A C K

FOOD ON THE GO? Pinkmans. I used to work there and they do the best sandwiches ever, as well as lots of other little bits if you want a picnic.

B O O K

PORTIA CONN

HIDDEN GEM? Falafel King in Cotham is pretty snazzy downstairs, and I’m obsessed with its falafel and halloumi salads. A great pairing. COMFORT FOOD? The Clifton Sausage does great gravy and meat-based dishes. If you like your bangers and mash, and cheesy, carblicious sides, then this is one for you.

ONE HALF OF BRISTOLIAN INDIE POP DUO MAUWE (WHO RECENTLY RELEASED THEIR NEW SINGLE, ‘SEXY GLASS’), PORTIA SHARES ALL HER FAVOURITE FOODIE SPOTS IN THE CITY...

CHILD FRIENDLY? The Kensington Arms in Redland is great – Jay (the other half of Mauwe) and I used to work there and during the day, particularly Sundays, there would be a lot of children there loving their lives and eating tasty food. BEST CURRY? Redland Tandoori does the best curry I’ve ever tasted – and I’ve been to a lot of curry places! It also happens to be at the bottom of my road...

Quick! Now add this little lot to your contacts book...

BEST ATMOSPHERE? Casa Mexicana has a great atmosphere and it’s my favourite Mexican place in Bristol. I feel like I’m on holiday whenever I’m in there.

The Bristolian, Bristol BS6 5QA; thebristolian.co.uk Tradewind Espresso, Bristol BS8 2RP; tradewindespresso.com Brewhouse and Kitchen, Bristol BS6 6JY; brewhouseandkitchen.com Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Bristol BS8 2PH; hmssbristol.com Flipside Cocktail Club, Bristol BS8 2PB; fccbristol.com Bulrush, Bristol BS6 5TZ; bulrushrestaurant.co.uk Pinkmans, Bristol BS1 5PJ; pinkmans.co.uk Falafel King, Bristol BS6 6LF; falafelkingbristol.com The Clifton Sausage, Bristol BS8 4JA; cliftonsausage.co.uk The Kensington Arms, Bristol BS6 6NP; thekensingtonarms.co.uk Redland Tandoori, Bristol BS6 6PF; redlandtandoori.co.uk Casa Mexicana, Bristol BS6 7AH; casamexicana.co.uk Swoon, Bristol BS1 5TB; swoononaspoon.co.uk Oowee Diner, Bristol BS6 5QA; ooweediner.com Bravas, Bristol BS6 6LD; bravas.co.uk Biblos, Bristol BS1 3QU; biblos.co.uk No. 51, Bristol BS1 3QP; 51stokescroft.com

SOMETHING SWEET? Swoon. I love ice cream so, for me, there is no other contender. BELTING BURGER? Oowee Diner – the Side Chick burger is heavenly. ON THE HIT LIST? I’ve heard good things about Bravas on Cotham Hill. MOST UNDERRATED? Biblos. Its wraps are something else. I personally love the jerk-fried fish one, although Jay always finds that choice so bizarre. He just doesn’t know... POST-GIG FEED? Depends on how late it is, but the pizzas at No. 51 are pretty damn good, and I think they serve ’til a decent hour. soundcloud.com/mauwemusic

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Crumbs Bath & Bristol - Issue 88  

Crumbs Bath & Bristol - Issue 88  

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