LET IT BEAN AS I’M SURE most of you might imagine, editing a food and drink magazine does come with its perks. (Hey, it also has its downsides – think anyone will listen to us whine after a particularly taxing day at work? No. No, they will not.) Returning to the bright side, though: this month I was summoned to help judge the South heat of a cocktail competition. It involved bartenders each dreaming up an imaginative new version of the same classic cocktail, and was a great chance to catch up with pros from a cross-section of different bars and see what they’re experimenting with right now. (Kudos to Bristol bartender Harry Cosmo Boardman from HMSS, who was crowned champ, by the way.) Although the idea of culinary-inspired cocktails isn’t a new one, it became pretty apparent on that afternoon just how heavily the kitchen is influencing the bar in 2019. Most of the competitors had used fresh, local produce and cookery techniques to make some of their ingredients, and many of the results had a notable foodie edge (with some coming served with food pairings to highlight the point). So, we decided to explore this tasty trend and see how it’s causing local cocktail lists and backbars to evolve. Along with insider knowledge, we got some tips from the pros on making your own food-led cocktail ingredients and recommendations of exciting drinks to try at local bars. They also spoke about how the West Country is a particularly exciting patch for mixology right now – lucky for us, hey?
Jessica Carter, Editor email@example.com
ISSUE 89 JUNE 2019
TABLE OF CONTENTs
JESSICA CARTER firstname.lastname@example.org DEVELOPMENT EDITOR
MATT BIELBY email@example.com
08 HERO Bean there 12 OPENINGS ETC What’s new on the local food scene?
76 Masa and Mezcal 78 7 Bone 80 Mother and Wild
DAN IZZARD firstname.lastname@example.org CONTRIBUTOR
MILLY MCDERMOTT ART DIRECTOR
TREVOR GILHAM DEPUTY ADVERTISING MANAGER
ALISTAIR TAYLOR email@example.com ADVERTISING EXECUTIVE
NATALIE BRERETON firstname.lastname@example.org PRODUCTION AND DISTRIBUTION MANAGER
SARAH KINGSTON email@example.com PRODUCTION DESIGNER
GEMMA SCRINE firstname.lastname@example.org CHIEF EXECUTIVE
JANE INGHAM email@example.com CHIEF EXECUTIVE
GREG INGHAM firstname.lastname@example.org
MediaClash, Circus Mews House, Circus Mews, Bath BA1 2PW 01225 475800 mediaclash.co.uk large version
© All rights reserved. May not be reproduced without written permission of MediaClash.
24 Chicken momos, by Sarah and Sera Gurung 27 Focaccia, by Josh Gee 28 Devil’s food cake, by Tamarind Galliford
82 LITTLE BLACK BOOK Find out Caroline Browning’s top Bath hangouts
WHAT SUP? 34 THE DRIP FEED An update from the drinks sphere 37 THE WINE GUY Andy visits a former hospital for this month’s food and wine match 40 BAR FOOD We look at the influence of the kitchen on the cocktail scene
KITCHEN ARMOURY 49 HOUSE CALL A former garage is given new life as a snazzy city apartment 56 THE WANT LIST Cool and classy monochrome
MAINS 63 KNOT SO FAST! Things to consider before you book your foodie wedding
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 got our tapas on in Seville and judged the South heat of this year’s No.3 Gin cocktail tournament at Crying Wolf
GA R E T H A L D RI D G E
Visited Bristol’s cool new cocktail hideout Crying Wolf yet?
A WOOD-FIRED BBQ EXTRAVAGANZA PRESENTED BY
southern smokers AT
13 SATURDAY JULY 2019 TH
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featuring bbq pit pro's ASADO ê SMOKE CATERING ê TASTY RAGGA ê SOSIJ ê BUN FICTION CHEF PHIL JAMES ê PEARLY KING CAKES ê EMBERS AND VINE WWW.SMOKEFEST.CO.UK | WWW.SOUTHERNSMOKERSUK.COM | INFO@SOUTHERNSMOKERSUK.COM
Flow restaurant’s Supplier Showcase is on 13 June, and includes five courses of belting veggie food! Tickets £30
START E Rs
INNOVATIONS, REVELATIONS AND TASTY AMUSE-BOUCHES
12 JUNE SPOKE AND STRINGER FOOD QUIZ
◗ Bring your appetite and your culinary knowledge to this special dinner and quiz on the harbourside, where you’ll be served small plates and snacks as you battle to come out on top. The event starts at 7pm and tickets are £25.
13 JUNE COOKING WITH YOUNG CHILDREN DEMO
◗ Cook, writer and teacher Jo Ingleby – named the BBC Food and Farming Awards’ Cook of the Year in 2015, thanks to her work at Redcliffe Children’s Centre – will show you how to get young children experimenting with new foods. It’s a 12pm start and is free, with no booking required.
15 JUNE CULTURAL HERITAGE AND IDENTITY THROUGH FOOD
BRISTOL FOOD CONNECTIONS SPECIAL!
BRISTOL FOOD CONNECTIONS IS BACK IN FULL FORCE FROM 12 TO 23 JUNE, AND ITS PROGRAMME OF EVENTS (LOTS OF WHICH ARE TOTALLY FREE!) SPANS THE ENTIRE CITY – THESE ARE JUST THE TIP OF A VERY DELICIOUS AND EDUCATIONAL ICEBERG... For the full festival programme, check out the website; bristolfoodconnections.com
◗ A panel of cooks with globally diverse backgrounds discuss how the place we come from informs our relationship with food and culture. Expect to see Zoe Adjonyoh from Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen in attendance, alongside Fozia Ismail from Arawelo Eats. This talk is at the Colston Hall at 2.30pm and tickets are £8.
20 JUNE BREADMAKING WORKSHOP
◗ Travelling Kitchen is a social enterprise that’s holding several events called ‘Cook to Connect Southmead’ over the course of the festival – this one is focused on baking bread. It’s to be held at the Greenway Centre and is free to attend, although you do need to book your place.
22 JUNE BIODYNAMIC WINE TOUR AND TASTING
◗ Go on a tour of a biodynamic vineyard at Westfield Farm in Chew Magna and learn about sustainable practices in winemaking before getting involved in a tasting of sparkling wine. Tickets are £15.
IN THE WORDS OF A CERTAIN EARLY NOUGHTIES GIRL GROUP, WE CAN’T SPEAK FRENCH, BUT WE’LL LET THEIR CRUNCHY SOFTNESS DO THE TALKING (TALKING)…
S T A R T E R S
ometimes an ingredient is good for us, sometimes it’s easy to cook, and sometimes it’s loved by everyone, from your gran to your two-year-old, from fussy top-notch chefs to unfussy scraphunting basset hounds. Rarely, however, is it two of these things, let alone all three at once. So may we introduce the green bean? Less celebrated than chilli peppers, pineapples and chocolate, perhaps, but quietly – and in its own way – one of the very best things Christopher Columbus ever brought back with him from the New World.* Green beans are native to the Americas – and particularly to the middle stretch from Mexico through to Peru, where people have cultivated them for thousands of years – but it was Chris who made them into an international must-have, shipping them home to the Mediterranean in the 1490s. Fast and incredibly easy to grow, they were soon naturalised and have been cultivated worldwide since the 17th century.
GREEN BEANS are skinny, finger-length pods that – slightly confusingly – by no means always come in green, also cropping up in more specialist yellow, red, purple or streaked varieties, worth looking out for at farmers’ markets. Varieties described as French green beans often feature a particularly long and narrow pod, while others, dubbed Italian, are usually flatter and less rounded. Even more confusingly, green beans aren’t simply one thing, but rather tend to be endless variations on the common bean, the runner bean, the yardlong bean (also called the bora, bodi and asparagus bean) and other varieties; it’s the way we breed and treat them, picking them early before the beans themselves have properly had a chance to form in their pods, that makes them ‘green’. Unlike most other beans, we eat them unripe, barely formed and complete with their protective coats – rarely are the seeds themselves visible at all, perhaps bulging outwards only slightly – much as we do sugar snap peas. Maybe this confusion over what they actually are is why green beans have developed a whole string of alternative names too: snap beans, French beans, haricots verts (if you’re actually French) or, yes, string beans. Some heirloom varieties still contain the hard, fibrous string – a strand running the length of the pod, best removed – that gave them this name, but they’ve been bred out of most modern cultivars. The first of the modern stringless beans appeared in the state of New York in 1894, and these days there are around 130 cultivars known, most bred for succulence and flavour and coming in two basic types: those grown in short, stumpy bushes found on commercial farms, and the more familiar climbing pole beans favoured by gardeners, which produce a twisting vine and need a trellis to haul themselves skywards. Whatever type you’re looking at, picking good ones in the greengrocer or supermarket is easy – you’re looking for crisp pods with a satin sheen and bright, strong colour. If they’re browning, patchy or wilting, avoid; remember, green beans are designed to be eaten young and tender – with juicy insides and a clean, clear ‘snap’ when you break one in half – so any sign of ageing is a no-no. Once bought they’ll store for three or four days in a paper bag in the fridge salad drawer, but they freeze easily too: just wash, top, tail, blanch, plunge into iced water, drain, then pack into polythene bags and stash in the freezer. Though they’re available all year round, domestic green bean season runs late May through September. (End of season beans can be a little more fibrous, so often benefit from a heavier hand when
cooking, serving sterling duty in curries and stews.) Internationally, the vast majority are grown in China – Indonesia and India have huge crops too – and, more locally, in Turkey, Italy and Spain.
ARE GREEN beans vegetables or legumes? It’s not as stupid a question as it sounds, for – much like we treat the tomato as a veggie when it’s really a fruit – the green bean is the black sheep of its own family. Sure, it’s a close relative of the chickpea, peanut and lentil, but we deal with it more like we do the cabbage, broccoli and other fresh green veggies. In fact, it’s a sort of crossover food, providing many of the benefits we associate with both. You see, green beans have far fewer carbs and calories than black beans and the like, but still give us many of their key nutritional benefits – like copper, magnesium and iron – plus such vegetable virtues as vitamins C and K. In fact, it’s worth dwelling on their nutritional qualities, for green beans are packed with protein, calcium, chlorophyll and plenty of fibre too, making them a minor health superpower. Heaving with anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatory agents, they’re said to lower the risk of chronic diseases – from high blood pressure and coronary heart disease to type 2 diabetes – and can even help with our bones. Containing plenty of silicon, they’re a worthwhile weapon against osteoporosis.
BUT FORGET all that virtuous stuff for a second. The best thing about green beans is they’re really easy – and they go with everything. Certainly, it’s hard to think of a meat or fish dish that wouldn’t benefit from a helping of green beans on the side – and cooking them takes no times at all. You can blanch them or bake them, boil them or steam them, roast them or pressure cook them, sauté them or blanch-and-chill. (To really keep the goodness intact, blanching – basically, very brief immersion in boiling water – or quick steaming are probably the best ways to go.) An easy meal like the Caribbean fry bodi – green beans, onions, garlic and tomatoes, all in a pan – takes no time, and nor does pasta bake or a Niçoise salad. And then there are all the casseroles and curries, soups and stews in which green beans find a ready home. Side dishes, meanwhile, pair them with everything from mustard to broccoli, radishes to sesame and ginger. Mushrooms and soy sauce make a good pairing with green beans too, as do shallots, garlic and toasted almonds, and it doesn’t take much to really pump up their taste, either: dill, tarragon, red pepper flakes and smoked paprika are all great allies, while cashews, pine nuts and slivered almonds give crunch. And you know how they say everything tastes better with bacon? Well, that’s never been truer than with your green bean side. These are crowd-pleasing veggies, and – unusually – children tend to be their biggest fans. (They certainly wolf them down far quicker than they might broccoli, making green beans a great entry drug to a healthy diet.) Perhaps even more surprisingly, dogs love them too, making green beans a cheap and healthy low-calorie treat for Rover. Some even claim wonders for the canine ‘green bean diet’ – steadily feeding your podgy pooch more and more green beans instead of their regular food, until they can do up their figurative jeans again. We must confess, though, veterinary advice on this seems mixed at best… *certainly better than tobacco and, we’re now told, syphilis
R E C I P E
sLOw-COOKed fReNCh BeaNs wITh TOmaTO, GaRLIC and OReGaNO FREDDY BIRD ENCOURAGES US TO ‘COOK THE SQUEAK OUT’ OF THIS MONTH’S HERO...
FRENCH BEANS ARE a staple ingredient in my fridge throughout the summer, frequently featuring in salads (and for a while as ‘green chips’, so my youngest would eat his veg!). Trimmed and split down the middle to expose the delicate beans inside, they make the simplest of salads look more appealing, but, for me, a slowcooked French bean is the best, so soft that they give way under the edge of a fork. The French bean is one of many ingredients that has fallen victim to style over substance. Undercooked, it might look more pleasing and vivid green, but the perky bean retains all its chlorophyll flavour as well. There is a place for the crisp bean, tossed in vinaigrette but, for me, an extra five minutes of cooking is always preferable! I regularly serve this recipe with whole barbecued fish – anything from mackerel or sardines to whole bass. I always cook too much, though, as it makes a great lunch for another day all on its own. You really don’t need to be accurate with quantities here, so go crazy. SERVES 6 500g cherry vine tomatoes extra virgin olive oil 1 garlic bulb (preferably new season wet garlic), finely chopped 1 tbsp dried oregano pinch dried chilli flakes (optional) 400g French beans big handful flat leaf parsley, very roughly chopped 1 Preheat the oven to 160C/310F/gas mark 2. 2 Spread the cherry vine tomatoes out on an oven tray, drizzle with a little oil and season with Maldon salt. Throw the stalks in as well (the juices will trap their smell). Cook for about 40 minutes, until they’re super soft and shrivelled. 3 When the tomatoes are cooked, heat a glug of the oil in a pan on a medium-low heat. Add the garlic and cook slowly, being careful not to burn it but letting the edges slightly brown. 4 Add the oregano and chilli flakes, if using, and then the tomatoes, sans stalks. Allow them to simmer while you steam the French beans in a steamer (alternatively, cook in boiling salted water). Depending on their size they should take around 6-7 minutes to steam (just keep checking them). 5 When soft, add them to the slow-cooked tomatoes and continue to cook for another 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, check the seasoning and allow them to cool for a few minutes before adding the parsley and serving.
Openings etc S T A R T E R S
THERE ARE CHANGES a-happening down at Chew Magna’s Michelin-starred pub, The Pony and Trap. Despite having been at the helm for well over a decade now, Josh Eggleton is still plotting away down there, with the most recent developments being to the menu. It’s farewell to the old multi-course tasting options, and hey there to the new ‘chef’s menus’; as well as being less formal and shorter than the former, they take refreshed inspiration from the pub, its suppliers and the harvests of the kitchen’s new no-dig veg patches. We especially loved the morels with brined and pickled egg yolk, the spice-rolled monkfish with beetroot yoghurt, and the buttermilk and Campari pannacotta – check out our website for the full low-down. theponyandtrap.co.uk
TOTAL BOULES UP
THIS YEAR’S FRANCE-TASTIC Bath Boules will see Queen Square closed to traffic and the roads filled with mouth-watering street food once again. Everything from Thai delicacies to gourmet cheese toasties will be on offer for hungry competitors, spectators and passers by, and the Pimm’s and Champagne bars on the green will be there as well, to hook them up with some liquid refreshments. The three-day event kicks off with Le Bunk-Off Friday on 14 June, with the first round of boules tournaments in the day and a barbecue hosted by David Flatman in the evening. What’s more, the annual tournament – put together by Crumbs’ parent company, MediaClash – is all in the name of charity, so every snack you buy and drink you order will be supporting the fund-raising efforts. bathboules.com
CARGO 2’S NEWEST resident is another West Country incarnation of the izakaya bars of Japan (its neighbour, the new Woky Ko, is also inspired by those relaxed pub-like venues, serving drinks and small plates). The 80-seater joint takes its name, Seven Lucky Gods, from Japanese mythology, and is the latest venture from the team behind Pata Negra and The Ox. The menu has been developed by Todd Francis, group executive chef, and promises Japanese-style tapas, freshly made sushi and colourful bento boxes. To drink, expect a selection of cocktails inspired by those Japanese gods of fortune, as well as Asahi beer on tap and a range of wines. If the summer shapes up this year, you can enjoy the aforementioned refreshments on the decent-sized outdoor terrace, too. facebook.com/7luckygods
new kid On the BLOCK LOOK! IT’S ADAM ARMSTRONG, HEAD CHEF AT THE OLD MARKET ASSEMBLY
PASTA LA VISTA
When did you begin cooking? When I was 17 and got an apprenticeship at the National Assembly for Wales – I couldn’t chop an onion before that!
NOTICED THE NEW pasta joint on Stokes Croft? The Spaghetti Incident was founded by Kai Underwood, who moved to the UK three years ago from Italy, where he had a pizzeria (this guy sure knows his Mediterranean carbs). The food here is centered on pasta and includes plenty of traditional Roman-style dishes, which focus on simplicity, freshness and flavour. Everything is made in house – including, of course, the pasta – and speciality ingredients are imported from Italy. Also on the menu are more playful, contemporary creations starring local ingredients, like the seafood ravioli with South West fish. Visit between 3pm and 7pm for drinks, and you’ll be given Italian snacks to enjoy alongside them. instagram.com/the__spaghetti__incident
What first inspired you to cook professionally? The industry – I like that the people were interesting and loved hard work. A bunch of misfits and nutters, which I related to. My love for food grew later. How would you describe your style of cooking? Ingredient-led and minimal. What attracted you to The Old Market Assembly? Well, I bloody love the group and the fact that it’s part of the community. It has a great ethos and the food has always been right up my boulevard. To be a part of that is really attractive. How have you approached the menu? A seasonal and sustainable approach is crucial for us. The plant-based focus and strict sourcing lends itself to my type of cooking. I’d be happy with a bowl of purple sprouting broccoli or buttered asparagus, so that’s where I start and add finesse from there.
PARTY LIKE IT’S YO’ BIRTHDAY
THE TOBACCO FACTORY on North Street in Bristol is celebrating 25 years since it evaded demolition and started its journey to becoming the multi-use community venue – compete with café, bar and market – that it is today. As is befitting for such an occasion, the team have planned a packed-out programme of events for 25 and 26 May. Expect street food out in the yard from the likes of Low ’n’ Slow, Of Mice and Men and Gopal’s Curry Shack; a Bristol Beer Factory tap takeover (where the brewery will be launching two new beers); a special producers’ market and even a street banquet, as well as theatre and music performances. tobaccofactory.com
What current dish best reps the restaurant’s ethos? Cured and torched mackerel with spring onions and chimmi churri, and purple sprouting broccoli with pickles, lemon and dukkah.
Can we expect much change now you're at the helm? The Old Market Assembly already has a great rep; I’ll be steering a natural evolution from there. Where else do you like to eat? Ramen Ya, Jamaica Street Stores, Los Hermanos (a great street food vendor), Matina, Bulrush, Squeezed, Oowee and Poco. What makes the local foodie scene so great? Having so many local suppliers and producers leads to high quality food with huge variety. Anything you want, Bristol has it. What dish most reminds you of home? My nan’s chicken stew – one of my oldest and most vivid memories is of this. It wasn’t just about that warm hearty feeling and moreish taste, but being at the dinner table with my grandparents. Foodie heroes? Anthony Bourdain, Tom Kerridge, Michael O’Hare, Christina Tosi – and all chefs grinding away. As well as my nan, of course! Current favourite flavour combination? Right now, it’s rhubarb, chocolate and vinegar. oldmarketassembly.co.uk
S T A R T E R S
In the Larder
1 2 3 4
WHEN WHIPPING UP A MEAL FROM SCRATCH JUST ISN’T GOING TO FIT IN WITH THE DAY’S MANIC TIMETABLE, FALL BACK ON THESE SPEEDY OPTIONS, WHICH SOMEONE ELSE HAS ALREADY PREPARED FOR YOU…
1 Pieminister patties, £2.50/pair These brand new palm-sized patties are great for snacking on, eating on the go or packing into lunchboxes as they can be scoffed as they come or heated up. Two of them – the spicy chickpea and spinach, and smoky bean and coriander numbers – are vegan, while the meatier pair – pulled pork and Jamaican spiced chicken – are made from high welfare meat. We’ve been enjoying these aldesko in the office and also heating them up to snack on at home, to get that saffron pastry nice and crisp and the fillings steaming hot. Find them online at Ocado. pieminister.co.uk
2 Mindful Chef frozen meals, £7/portion This recipe box outfit is known for its healthy, nutritious meal kits – so what’s it doing launching ready meals? Well, the new offerings differ less than we might think from the recipe boxes, we’re told – as they’re all prepared by hand, from scratch, in Mindful Chef kitchens with the same top-drawer ingredients (many of which hail from the West Country). We’ve tried a fresh-tasting and spicy Panang chicken curry with black rice and a grass-fed-beef and squash lasagne. Both were decently portioned, flavourful and super easy to prepare. Order online. mindfulchef.com
3 Luscious Custard, £4.99/500ml That organic ice cream producer in Wiltshire has expanded its offering to include a classic British pudding staple – fresh vanilla custard. Jersey milk and cream from Ivy House Dairy go into this light and silky custard, along with local eggs – all of which are certified organic. Real Madagascan vanilla is used, meaning the pourable sauce tastes fresh and natural, and avoids being sickly. A chocolate version will soon be added to the range, and look out for the brandy custard at Christmas. Available at Whiterow, Neston and Hartley farm shops. lusciousorganics.co.uk
4 Little Hollows Linguine, £2/100g This small Bristol producer makes really belting fresh pasta by hand – so you don’t have to. There’s a whole range, but the linguine is a staple in the cupboards of team Crumbs. It’s made simply from durum wheat semolina and water – so is totally vegan, too. Throw a nest into a pan of salted boiling water and it’s cooked in a flash – we mix it through a simple, slow-cooked beef and pancetta ragu or, for a veggie dinner, lemony pea pesto. Buy it at Hugo’s greengrocers on North Street in Bristol, or in larger packs from Two Belly and Brockley Stores. littlehollowspasta.co.uk
Sushi, Japanese and Korean fine dining restaurant Freshly prepared food using the best quality produce 2 floors of dining and takeaways available
Sushi Bentos Donburi Bao buns Katsu currys
8-9 St James's Parade, Bath
Discover one of Bath’s best kept secrets, Alfresco Afternoon Tea at the Villa … A delightfully delicious afternoon tea brimming with homemade treats. Warm scones, sandwiches made from home-baked bread and moreish indulgent cakes. Everything is made by our own fabulous baker, with a new selection of cakes every day of the week.
Cream tea £10.50 per person Full afternoon tea £25.00 per person Prosecco afternoon tea £31.00 per person Served every day from 1pm – 6pm in our sunny dining room or garden terrace. Pre-booking is required.
01225 466329 • email@example.com • www.roseatehotels.com/bath/theroseatevilla
Enjoy Modern British Cuisine in a relaxed friendly atmosphere alongside a range of craft ales, cocktails and selection of wines. Join us for lunch Tuesday to Friday 12–2.30pm and enjoy 2 courses for £19.50, 3 courses for £22.50 from our set lunch menu. Now offering our 7 course tasting menu £50.00 per person. Booking in advance only.
14 Silver Street, Bradford On Avon, BA15 1JY Telephone: 01225 938088 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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 £36
Tuesdays 6.30pm – 8.30pm
Wood Fired Pizzas
The Wheatsheaf, Combe Hay, Bath BA2 7EG 01225 833504 | email@example.com | www.wheatsheafcombehay.com
S T A R T E R S
Naomi’s parents-in-law founded the farm shop almost 40 years ago
ALLINGTON FARM SHOP
@thebristolfoodtour shows off its feeding A-game
WHAT: MEAT, VEG AND STORECUPBOARD GROCERIES WHEN: MON-SAT 9AM-6PM; SUN 9.30AM-5PM WHERE: ALLINGTON BAR FARM, WILTSHIRE SN14 6LJ
pread out over a sizable patch of Allington Bar Farm, this place is teeming with people when we swing by on a Friday lunchtime – the café is full, and shoppers jostle past each other in between the heaving shelves and displays in the store too. Originally set up in 1981, on a farm that the Reynolds family have been tenants on for three generations, the original site stood in what is now just a small corner of the 38-year-old store. It’s clearly flourishing now, then – but you don’t have to look too far back into its history to find out how close it came to being closed down for good. In 2001, the discovery of foot and mouth disease in an Essex abattoir began the devastating downward spiral of the UK’s agricultural industry. It was months before the infectious disease was under control – but by that time farms across the entire country had been affected, millions of animals had been slaughtered, £250 million worth of trade lost, and consumers’ faith in meat farming systems destroyed. Of course, this hit the Reynolds family – who farmed pigs, cattle and sheep – painfully hard. “Foot and mouth nearly killed us,” Naomi Reynolds tells us. “People just didn’t come here – they didn’t want to be anywhere near a farm.” After almost being forced to close the shop, and following some serious perseverance, a
miraculous about-turn happened – one that no one quite anticipated. In response to the crisis, customers began to take an active and fiercely thorough interest in where their meat was coming from – leading them to seek Allington out. Soon, hordes of people were shopping here for their meat. The shop became more popular, and more successful, than anyone could have imagined a few months before, and led the family to significantly expand the business in 2008. As well as home-reared meat in the butchery – which is supplemented by some from trusted neighbouring farms – Allington Farm Shop also stocks potatoes grown on site, as well as fresh vegetables from local suppliers (we spot Wye Valley asparagus and Bromham carrots). Some stock comes from a little further afield too – sweet Isle of Wight tomatoes, for instance – and drinks, storecupboard staples and homemade readyto-eat items make sure that this remains the only destination punters need to visit for their entire weekly shop. “We’ve always been part of the community – there’s no village shop in Allington, so it’s always had that feel here,” explains Naomi. “We have lots of regular local customers, and loads that come from further away too, from Bath and even Bristol.” Talk about making a comeback... allingtonfarmshop.co.uk
@luciennesimpson checks out Beckford Bottle Shop for lunch
@zaleha.olpin cooks up a dish with petai beans YOUR PIC COULD BE HERE! Just use #CrumbsSnaps on your foodie Insta posts and we might just print one of yours next issue
S T A R T E R S
BOOK OF THE MONTH
THIS MONTH’S INFLUX OF RECIPE BOOKS IS INSPIRING US TO CLEAR THE DIARY AND SPEND SOME QUALITY TIME IN THE KITCHEN, FOR THE BENEFIT OF MIND AND BODY THE JOYFUL HOME COOK
LITTLE GREEN KITCHEN
The name of the game in this new book by food writer, stylist and cook Rosie Birkett, is teasing out as much joy and satisfaction as possible from the daily task of cooking. Whether we’re dishing something up for a group of friends, a weeknight family dinner or just for ourselves, Rosie encourages us to prepare food with care and attention, to ensure we enjoy the process as well as the end result. The domestic kitchen is a space for experimentation, learning and building confidence, she says, as she looks to reignite practices that have disappeared from many homes with recipes from simple sourdough loaf (no proving basket needed) to fermented green chillies, which look right up our street, and even spirit infusions. While some techniques may sound daunting, we’re reminded they all began in home kitchens. The spring chicken and wild garlic puff pie, asparagus, pea and lovage croquettes, and elderflower fritters with lemon posset, are all on our to-cook list this season. JESSICA CARTER
Swedish-Danish couple David and Luise are vegetarian bloggers, writers and photographers bringing up three suitably blonde and healthy-looking kids on a diet of simple, family-friendly plant-based recipes. This a colourful book, full of bright red tomatoes, glowing yellow peppers and vibrant green broccoli presented in as tyke-friendly a fashion as possible: spinachand-pea patties are rebranded as ‘dino burgers’, and chard and butternut squash is disguised inside a crusty filo dough ‘snake’. With cool illustrations of fruit and shots of cheery Scandi-poppets waving earthcovered carrots, Little Green Kitchen paints an appealing picture of a too-good-to-betrue world where no-one would consider scoffing Quavers or Lion bars when there’s celery to dip in humous. Plenty of stuff is worth trying, though, from omelette rolls with broccoli pesto to frozen banana and chocolate pops, spiralized roots with baked eggs to easy and tempting all-in-one lasagne.
There is plenty about Cypriot food that appeals – its versatility, broad-ranging influences and those exotic, Mediterranean flavours that remind you of holidays and sunnier climes. In the follow up to her first book Stirring Slowly, Georgina – who lived above her grandparents’ Greek Cypriot taverna in North London as a child – explores the Cypriot traditions, events and lifestyles that put food at their heart. Having adapted recipes to make them achievable for home cooks in the UK (she notes that trying to make her grandma’s exact taramosalata would be “near impossible” here), Georgia still manages to maintain their integrity, using hacks, shopping advice and notes on storing and prepping ingredients that have been passed down to her from her family. As well as that adaptation of the “addictive” taramosalata, there is spicy sausage and pepper stew, tomato mussels with feta, and fennel-stuffed flatbreads, as well as the familiar likes of souvlakia, moussaka, stuffed vine leaves and sweet baklava. JESSICA CARTER
Rosie Birkett (Harper Non-Fiction, £20)
David Frenkiel and Luise Vindahl (Hardie Grant, £20)
Georgina Hayden (Square Peg, £25)
RESTAURANT NATHAN OUTLAW
Nathan Outlaw (Bloomsbury Absolute, £45) There’s something slightly annoying about Restaurant Nathan Outlaw (the book). Beneath the pleasantly tactile rubberised scales of its cover lurks a heap of promo material for Restaurant Nathan Outlaw (the restaurant). There are rave reviews of it from the great and the good (Jamie, Mitch, Rick, Tom), as well as profiles of suppliers (of everything from crabs to crockery). But all this can be forgiven, really, seeing as the recipes (once you get to them) are so bloody good. Inspired by Nathan’s two-Michelinstar fish restaurant – the only one in the country – the 80 seasonal dishes he presents may be ambitious and fine-dining pretty, but they’re not unachievable. Monkfish is served with ceps and oxtail sauce; smoked mackerel fritters come with gooseberry pickle; turbot is paired with Champagne and caviar; and Dover sole buddies up with clams, parsley and garlic. Fresh ingredients, of course, are emphasised here, as is their seasonality. Tips to take the mystery out of fish are welcomely abundant too – I now know that delicate lemon sole is best grilled skin-on to protect it, for instance. MATT BIELBY
THE DOCTOR’S KITCHEN: EAT TO BEAT ILLNESS
Rupy Aujla (Harper Thorsons, £16.99) This is the second book from NHS GP, lecturer and bestselling author Dr Rupy Aujla, and it’s out to champion the healthgiving power of food. This isn’t airy-fairy stuff, either – Rupy uses both medical studies and anecdotal information collected from his patients to inform his writing, meaning there’s real weight behind his principles, which involve eating mostly plants with a variety of colour and lots of fibre. Tips for eating to support different elements of health – from your immune system to skin and even mood – precede the 80 globally inspired recipes. Dishes span breakfasts, small plates, mains and puds, with some handy ‘rapid’ recipes thrown in for good measure. Expect to see lots of veg (obvs), pulses and spices here, in recipes such as Sri Lankan cashew curry, aubergine and walnut ragu, scallops with asparagus, peas and tarragon butter (an in-season winner), speedy gazpacho (which we have our eye on for summer) and glazed peaches with thyme. JESSICA CARTER
CHICKEN, CINNAMON AND SWEET TOMATO ORZO (KOTOPOULO KRITHARAKI) From Taverna by Georgina Hayden (Square Peg, £25); photos by Kristin Perers There are so many versions of kritharaki (orzo) in Greek and Cypriot cooking – it is a huge staple for us, and almost always cooked with tomato. This chicken dish is the sort of family one-pot recipe all households should have up their sleeve. I’d put a bet on it being a winner with all ages. SERVES 4-6 1ltr chicken stock 2 onions 2 garlic cloves olive oil 1 cinnamon stick 1 tbsp tomato purée 5 ripe tomatoes 400g orzo 6 chicken thighs, on the bone and skin on ½ tsp ground allspice 250g cherry tomatoes on the vine 6 sprigs fresh oregano 75g halloumi (or salted anari or ricotta) 1 Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/ gas mark 6. Heat the chicken stock. Peel and finely chop the onions and garlic. Pour 3 tbsp of
olive oil into a wide casserole pan and add the chopped veg. Place on a medium-low heat and sauté for 10 minutes, until starting to soften. Add the cinnamon stick and tomato purée to the pan and stir for a minute. Coarsely grate in the large tomatoes, give everything a stir, then stir in the orzo and hot stock. 2 Toss the chicken thighs with the allspice and a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Place the chicken on top of the orzo, skin side up, and dot around the vines of tomatoes and sprigs of oregano. Drizzle everything with olive oil and place in the oven for around 30 minutes. 3 Towards the end of this cooking time, boil a kettle. When 30 minutes is up, remove the casserole pan from the oven. Carefully pour 150ml of boiling water all around the orzo (not over the chicken skin) and return to the oven. Cook for a further 25 minutes, or until the chicken skin is crisp and golden and the meat is tender. 4 Remove from the oven, leave it to rest for 5 minutes, then serve, grating over the cheese.
Brockley Stores, Main Road, Brockley, North Somerset BS48 3AT
DIRECT WHAT TO MAKE AND HOW TO MAKERITITE –FO ODIES FROM THE KITCHENS OF OUR FAVOU
LEARN TO MAKE A NEPALESE STAPLE
27 BORN AND BREAD
A SEASONAL LOAF, MADE TO SHARE
WHO COULD DENY THIS DEVILISH CHOCOLATE CAKE?
Dark chocolate is rich in iron and magnesium, you know (just in case you needed more reason to make this month’s decadent cake recipe)
C H E F !
Sarah and Sera own and run Yak Yeti Yak in Bath. When it opened, it was the first purely Nepalese restaurant in the UK, they tell us, and it’s still one of only a handful of traditional-style outfits, where all the food is made on the premises without the use of colouring or additives. For the 15 years that the restaurant has been open, its traditional Nepalese steamed dumplings, called momos, have been the most popular dish on the menu. “Now that the secret of momos is starting to spread and they’re gaining popularity, we’ve decided to share one of our recipes,” says Sarah. “If you travel to Nepal you will find little momo shops in small doorways all over the main cities – they’re seldom without a queue.” The pair will be revealing more of the secrets behind their Nepalese food for home cooks on their new website, The Himalayan Spice Company, when it launches in June. Here you’ll be able to source all the authentic spices and blends that make Yak Yeti Yak’s food so popular, too.
STEAMED CHICKEN MOMOS MAKES 30(ISH) For the dough wrappers: 280g plain flour, plus extra for dusting 2 tbsp oil (sunflower works well) ¼ tsp salt For the dipping sauce: 4 tbsp light soy sauce 1 tbsp rice (or cider) vinegar 1 tbsp ginger, freshly grated For the filling: 400g minced chicken 1 ½ tbsp fresh ginger, finely grated 1 tbsp garlic, finely grated 2 tbsp light soy sauce 2 tbsp sunflower (or groundnut) oil 1 tbsp water 1 tsp ground coriander ½ tsp salt 5 spring onions, finely chopped small bunch coriander (about 20g), finely chopped
ReTURN Of The YaK
SARAH AND SERA GURUNG DEMYSTIFY A TRADITIONAL NEPALESE DELICACY… 1 Start with the dough wrappers. In a medium mixing bowl, mix the flour, salt and oil together. Slowly add 130ml tepid water, continuing to mix until the dough is pliable. Knead the dough (just like making bread) until it becomes soft and elastic, about 5-10 minutes. Leave the dough to rest, covered with a damp cloth or cling film for 30 minutes or up to a couple of hours. 2 For the dipping sauce, stir the ingredients together, and set aside to allow the flavours to meld. 3 Put all the filling ingredients apart from the spring onions and the fresh coriander into a food processor and grind to a paste (we prefer a slightly coarse paste, but there is nothing wrong with a smooth paste – just go with your preference). Once the filling is at the desired texture, add the spring onion and coriander to the paste and stir. (Don’t grind again, it as the bigger pieces will help to make the momos juicier.) 4 When you are ready to fill the momos, give the dough another light knead before rolling it out on a floured surface to approximately 2mm thick. Using an 8-inch pastry cutter, cut the wrappers into rounds and cover them
with a damp cloth (this is important as the dough quickly dries out). 5 To fill the wrappers, take a generous teaspoon of the filling and place it into the middle of a wrapper. There are many ways to shape a momo, but by far the easiest way is to brush the edges with a little water, bring the sides up around the filling and seal like a small Cornish pasty. As you make the momos, place them to one side, covered with a damp cloth, until you are ready to cook. 6 Bring some water to a strong rolling boil in the base section of a steamer. Meanwhile, line the base of the top section with baking parchment. Oil the parchment then place the momos on top, leaving a little breathing space between each. Once the water reaches temperature, place the top portion of the steamer onto the base and steam the momos with the lid on for around 15 minutes, or until cooked through. Serve with the dipping sauce. Yak Yeti Yak, 12 Pierrepont Street, Bath BA1 1LA; 01225 442299; yakyetiyak.co.uk
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
C H E F !
400g Isle of Wight heritage or mixed cherry tomatoes, chopped into chunks 2 medium Jersey Royals, thinly sliced 1 sprig rosemary good-quality olive oil pinch flaked sea salt (preferably Maldon)
JOSH GEE OF EAST BRISTOL BAKERY LOVES A SEASONAL LOAF, AND HAS A CORKER OF A RECIPE FOR A SPRING NUMBER...
Did you know that East Bristol Bakery has just been taken over by Rob Hagen, owner of the Crumbs Award-winning, local produce championing Brockley Stores? Josh – formerly chef de partie at No Man’s Grace – comes up with the bakery’s seasonal focaccias and expansive vegan range. Fancy making this one? The bakery is offering its own sourdough starter to anybody who’d like to try – just pop in with an empty tub to take it home in.
OVERNIGHT FOCACCIA WITH TOMATOES AND JERSEY ROYALS SERVES 6-8 sourdough starter 850g strong white bread flour 15g fresh yeast (or 7g dried) 20g fine sea salt ½ red onion, sliced into thin strips
1 First, make the leaven. Take the sourdough starter out of the fridge and add 100g of the strong bread flour and 100g water (it’s easier to measure water accurately by weight than volume). Mix thoroughly to remove all the lumps – get your hands dirty! Leave in a warm place overnight, covered with cling film or a tea towel. 2 The next day, weigh out 620g water and pour it into a large metal bowl, then add 100g of the leaven you mixed yesterday (return the rest of the culture to the fridge for future use) and the yeast. Stir with your hand, then incorporate the rest of the flour and sea salt thoroughly until any lumps of flour are gone. Leave this in the bowl for 30 minutes, then place in the fridge overnight, if you have time. 3 The next morning, line a large baking tray with parchment and coat with olive oil. Dump the dough out onto the baking tray and gently fold each side into the middle, then flip the entire dough over on itself. Leave in a warm spot, loosely covered, for 30 minutes, then do the same folds as before. Repeat every 30 minutes for about 4 hours. (After a few turns you will notice the volume increase and bubbles start to form on the surface.) 4 At the 4-hour mark it should have tripled in size and be spreading out. Now gently tease the dough out to the corners of the tray, pulling from the centre underneath the dough while also being careful not to break through it. Try to keep as much air inside as possible, as this is what will help it to rise and have a lovely open, bubbly structure. 5 Leave the focaccia for a further 30-60 minutes to prove to the height of your tray. 6 Preheat the oven to 240C/475F/gas mark 9. Liberally drizzle the top of the focaccia with good-quality olive oil, and then push your fingers down and forwards, to distribute the dough evenly and exaggerate those cavernous bubbles! Top with the onion, tomatoes, Jersey Royals, and rosemary, pushing them firmly into the dough. 7 Bake for about 25-30 minutes or until golden, then place on a cooling rack and drizzle with more olive oil and a small handful of flaked sea salt.
East Bristol Bakery, 112 St Mark’s Road, Bristol BS5 6JD; 0117 336 3164; eastbristolbakery.co.uk
C H E F !
LISTEN CAREFULLY: TAMARIND GALLIFORD IS ABOUT TO TELL YOU EXACTLY HOW TO MAKE THIS DEVILISHLY GOOD CAKE... Tam, pro baker and founder of Ahh Toots, sure knows her way around a mixing bowl and piping bag. “We use a lot of buttercream at Toots, as it gives real stability when building a layered cake,” she says. “To decorate, you can use chocolate shards, popcorn, chocolate bars, pretzels – whatever takes your fancy.” That sounds like a challenge to us.
DEVIL’S FOOD CAKE SERVES ABOUT 15 500g caster sugar 100g cocoa powder 500ml boiling water 450g plain flour 1 tsp baking powder 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda 250g butter 4 medium eggs To assemble: 525g unsalted butter 650g icing sugar 1 x 397g tin Carnation caramel 200g dark chocolate 2 tsp maple syrup assorted chocolate decorations
1 Grease and line 3 x 8-inch cake tins and preheat the oven to 170C/325F/gas mark 3. 2 Make the hot chocolate in a jug by mixing 200g of the caster sugar with the cocoa powder and boiling water. Stir until smooth. 3 Sieve the flour and raising agents into a bowl and add a good pinch of salt. 4 In a mixer, cream the butter and the remaining 300g caster sugar. Add the eggs one at a time, each with a spoonful of dry ingredients to keep the mixture from splitting. 5 Now add the remaining flour and the hot chocolate mix in three parts, making sure to scrape down the bowl and mix well in between. Once the batter is smooth, divide it evenly between the three tins. 6 Bake for 30 minutes. Check it’s cooked by inserting a knife or skewer into the centre – if it comes out clean, it’s ready. Leave to cool in the tins for a few minutes, then turn out onto a cooling rack. 7 Make the butter icing by beating 400g of the butter with the icing sugar until white and fluffy (this can take up to 20 minutes). 8 When the cakes are completely cool, place one on a cake plate and slather a thick layer of the Carnation caramel over the top, leaving an inch all around the edge so it doesn’t spill out when decorating. Top with a layer of buttercream and smooth with a palette knife before placing the next cake on top. Then
repeat, finishing with the final cake on top. 9 Now for the crumb coat – this requires patience. Using a palette knife, gently pull a thin layer of butter icing around the edges of the cake. Once happy, put it in the fridge. When it’s set, repeat to get a nice smooth edge, then return the cake to the fridge. 10 There should be a good amount of caramel left so, using the palette knife, spread a little around the outside of the set butter icing. Return to the fridge and spoon the remaining butter icing into a piping bag. 11 Now for the drip. Melt the remaining 125g butter together with the chocolate and maple syrup over a Bain Marie. Stir until smooth then remove from the heat and leave it to cool slightly. 12 Take the cake from the fridge and pour the glaze onto the centre. Leave it for a minute and then tease it out to the edges using a palette knife or the back of a spoon, until it tumbles slightly over the edges to give the desired drip effect. Leave to set. 13 Now comes the fun part! Using the remaining icing, pipe onto the set glaze in whatever design takes your fancy and add your chosen decorations. Ahh Toots, 4-8 Glass Arcade, St Nicholas Market, Bristol BS1 1LJ; 01179 559 358; ahhtoots.co.uk
A local community bakery in Warmley, also providing wholesale in the Bristol & Bath area. We sell delicious cakes, scrumptious snacks and fantastic real bread, all made in house using traditional methods. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone 0117 329 8578
Unit 1 The Midland Spinner, London Road, Warmley, Bristol, BS30 5JB The Warmley Bakehouse
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 Indiaâ€™s regional cuisines and childhood street food memories. 5, Bladud Buildings, The Paragon, Bath BA1 5LS Tel: 01225 446 332 Email: email@example.com | www.mantraofbath.co.uk
Imagined in the 19th Century, Established in the 21st
Saturday 8th June Join us to celebrate the 35th ďŹ lm anniversary 16 St. Stephens Street, Bristol BS1 1JR 01179276869 | theclockworkrose.com
S T A R T E R S
IT’S SECTION,OUDERDINECAWTE TO ALL THINGS D SUPPABLE
I DRINK, THEREFORE I AM
SeaSONs tO Be CheeRfUL
BEN PRYOR AND BARRY SYMONDS FROM SUPER-POPULAR ECORESTAURANT POCO HAVE PUT THEIR HEADS TOGETHER TO COME UP WITH A KILLER SIP INSPIRED BY THIS MONTH’S HARVEST...
THIS COCKTAIL, FROM Poco’s spring drinks list, makes the most of in-season rhubarb. “Before the outdoor rhubarb crops start coming through, there’s a crop of forced rhubarb which, alongside the early-season asparagus, has to be one of the year’s most keenly anticipated seasonal treats,” says Poco co-owner, Ben. “As well as featuring on our food and dessert menus each year, rhubarb is a mainstay of our cocktail list too. This recipe sees the natural oils and aroma of the rosemary complement the earthy florality of the rhubarb perfectly. “To make the rhubarb gin, we drop around 350g of rhubarb into 700ml gin and let it steep for a week or so in a Kilner jar. (The same technique can be used to make rhubarb whisky or bourbon, which can make for a sublime take on the Old Fashioned!)”
RHUBARB ROSEMARY GIN SOUR SERVES 1
50ml rhubarb gin (bought or homemade, as above) 25ml lemon juice small sprig rosemary, plus extra to garnish 10ml agave syrup 1 egg white ice rhubarb ribbon (fresh or dehydrated), to garnish
B EN PRYOR
1 Combine all ingredients (except the ice and garnish) in a cocktail shaker and shake for 15 seconds. Then top up the shaker with ice and shake again for another 15 seconds or so. 2 Taste the drink for the right balance of sourness to sweetness, adding more agave or lemon juice if required. 3 Fine strain through a small sieve into a chilled glass (a Champagne coupe or rocks glass would work nicely). 4 Garnish with the rhubarb and a small sprig of rosemary. pocotapasbar.com
BEER + COFFEE + WINES + SPIRITS + MORE
033 35 CRUMBSMAG.COM CRUMBSMAG.COM
W H A T
S U P ?
ThE dRIP FEEd NEWS, BREWS, BARS AND TRENDS
DE R RY N V R A NCH
ARTBAR – THE WATERING hole of the Abbey Hotel in Bath – has reopened after undergoing a total redesign. Now a brighter, more contemporary space, the old heavy drapes have been removed to let in the light – and the bar itself has virtually doubled in size. Also gone are some of the dividing walls, so the entire bar area is now much bigger – it’s colonised a good-sized chunk of the old reception area – and more welcoming. The eclectic mix of art on the walls remains, with large and surprisingly affordable pieces by local artists everywhere, from prints to sculptures and textiles. The selection will change quarterly, making the new ArtBar almost a living, breathing work of art in itself. abbeyhotelbath.co.uk
SPOTTED THE NEW Bath brew doing the rounds, inspired by the city’s famous Georgian baker? It was the creation of her Bath bun (a sweet and light brioche-like number) that originally made Sally Lunn’s name a legendary one, and it’s beer which is now bringing it back into the spotlight, centuries later. Promising a pleasant malty mouthful, it’s brewed with a selection of English hops and malted barley, and even manages to pack in fruity notes as a nod to the peels and candied fruit that would have been baked into the buns. It was devised by Independent Spirit of Bath, and you can grab yourself a bottle from there as well as Sally Lunn’s Historic Eating House. independentspiritofbath.co.uk
WHEN IT COMES TO QUENCHING HIS THIRST, FOOD WRITER, TEACHER AND CONSULTANT SAM GOLDSMITH HITS UP AN OLD FAITHFUL THAT NEVER GETS BORING My local is The Raven on Queen Street in Bath. The vibe here in three words is traditional English pub. I’m drinking Raven’s Gold or red, red wine.
BRISTOL CRAFT BEER Festival is back this June – for a bigger and better event than ever before, by the looks o’ things. The Lloyds Amphitheatre will see top brewers from all over the world (including Bristol faves, of course) assemble to pour their beers and get chatting to punters on the second weekend of June. Joining them will be a host of street food vendors including Murray May’s and Eatchu, as well as other local food businesses like burger gaff Asado and Persian vegan joint Koocha, to feed the masses. Music will come courtesy of an all-female DJ lineup, too. Tickets are £45 for a session and include a tasting glass, as well as beer for filling it with. bristolcraftbeerfestival.co.uk
And to eat is a pie. Any pie, to be honest. You’ll find me sitting just to the left of the bar. Although I’ll likely be upstairs if I’m in a larger group. The crowd is quite mixed but always friendly and warm – and sometimes excitable after the rugby! The pub’s best asset is its charm. There are also loads of events throughout the year, such as mini beer festivals, storytelling, and Boulesrelated events (it’s right near Queen Square).
Basically, you should try my local because I’ve always loved it – I love that it never changes but also manages not to feel tired. It feels like an old village pub downstairs and there’s an open, spacious and comfortable area upstairs. The service is quick, too, so I never feel bored waiting or like I’m missing out on what’s going on back in the group. It’s the place I always go with my old school friends when we reunite at Christmas, too. theravenofbath.co.uk
W H A T
S U P ?
A SwIFT CUP O’ JOE
KIT TO UP YOUR DRINKS GAME
WITH KADIE REGAN, FOUNDER OF FAR SIDE COLD BREW
Let’s kick off with the difference between cold brew and iced coffee. It’s a completely separate experience. Iced coffee is a hot espresso that is poured over ice and usually topped with cold milk. This doesn’t allow you to really taste the coffee’s full profile, which is why lots of iced coffees use flavours and syrups. Cold brew is never heated, and because the coffee is not oxidised the resulting drink is smooth, less acidic and full of the coffee’s natural flavour. And what about the caffeine levels? Cold brew is on average 30-percent more caffeinated than hot-brewed coffee, but the caffeine high is a more sustained, mellow experience than if you were to drink the same quantity of caffeine in espressos. How is cold brew made, then? Either by steeping coffee grounds in water then filtering, or by using a cold drip, where the coffee filters down through a long channel. Could you make it at home? Yes – all you need is some good coffee, filtered water, a mason jar, and material to steep the coffee grounds inside. A nut milk bag is a good option, or a filter paper tied up tightly at the top. Then it’s all about giving it time. Top tips if we want to give it a go? Try, try and try again! It’s easy to make cold brew – but it’s not easy to make good cold brew. There are so many variables that you need to work through, from the origin of the coffee to the coarseness of the grind, steeping time, filtration method… You might get it right first time and make a banging cold brew, or you may have to work at it a little, adjusting those variables as you go. Why did you start Far Side? Because I really love coffee (obviously!) and had previously lived in the States
where I always drank really good cold brew. At the time, there weren’t too many options in the UK for cold brew, and as I had a bit of a background in coffee I thought I’d give it a go. At first I was just making it in my kitchen and roping in friends and family to try my brews, but then it turned out to be pretty good and the idea grew. Tell us about the coffee do you use. It’s single-origin and directly traded from Peru and Rwanda. Something I was really passionate about from the start was that we would always use truly premium coffee. I also wanted to work with female producers as, having worked in the coffee industry already, I knew that it can be a very male-dominated space, from the farm at origin all the way to the local coffee shop. So we source our coffee from Cafe Femenino in Peru and Sake Station in Rwanda – part of the International Women's Coffee Alliance. Are there certain kinds of coffee that are particularly well-suited to cold brew, then? Some people say that particularly acidic coffees, such as Ethiopians, work well for cold brew. Personally, I think it’s worth trying any good-quality coffee as a cold brew – it might just surprise you! As well as drinking it straight up, how else can you enjoy cold brew? Poured over ice with a slice of orange or lemon, in a glass with a dash of your favourite milk, with tonic or lemonade, in an affogato and in cocktails too. Where can we buy Far Side locally? In Bath it’s in Good Day Café, Friends Are Electric and Picnic, and in Bristol you can find it at Good and Proper and Chandos Deli on Whiteladies Road. farsidecoffee.com
esky hangovers – they ruin all our fun. Some blame that hateful post-wine fuzziness at least partly on the added sulphites vino contains. These artificial preservatives are really useful for keeping the sip fresh for extended periods and protecting it from oxidisation – but serve no benefit to the quality of the wine once it’s opened (if anything, they may detriment it). Most wine has added sulphates and, headaches aside, this causes problems for those who are sensitive or allergic to them. Other drinkers don’t like the idea of unnatural additives in their glass, and many prefer the taste of natural wine, whose flavours haven’t perhaps been clouded with chemicals. That’s where this little bit of kit comes in. The purifier is loaded up with a special filter and sits in the top of a glass or carafe, so when the wine is poured through it catches some of the free sulphates. It comes with a built-in aerator too, which you can activate for reds and deactivate for whites. Nifty. Üllo Wine Purifier, £69.99; uk.ullowine.com
Give the gift of a new skill Treat someone special to the ultimate Indian experience, a chance to learn new culinary skills and have fun at the same time! INDIAN COOKING CLASSES GIFT VOUCHERS AVAILABLE Interested? Get in touch!
07968 837580 firstname.lastname@example.org www.bojanbristol.co.uk
THE WINE GUY
ANDY CLARKE’S BEEN REVISITING THE SCENE OF A TONSIL-RELATED CRIME (AND REMEMBERING SOME FOODIE CRIMES ALONG THE WAY) AS HE CATCHES UP WITH SOME OLD FRIENDS AT THIS MICHELIN-STARRED JOINT…
I N I CK HOO K
Paco Tapas is cooking up some impressive food in its Spanish-inspired digs
t’s sometime in the late noughties and I’m entering a narrow courtyard in Westbury-on-Trym. At the top of a flight of stairs is a pristine kitchen. Jonray and Peter Sanchez-Iglesias are at the hobs ready to provide an afternoon of taste exploration to boggle the mind as well as the tastebuds. This was my first taste of the iconic Casamia, only a few years before Jonray’s untimely passing. What a privilege it was to have met the man and tasted his food. I was producing Saturday Kitchen on BBC1 at the time and was so keen to get them on the show. After leaving the restaurant in a haze of contentment, I went downstairs and met the main man – the boys’ father Paco, who had even more charisma than his sons’ incredible food. So maybe it’s no surprise that with Casamia’s move to riverside development The General (formerly a hospital), along came a tapas restaurant named after this wonderful guy. But Paco is not just a figurehead – he helped develop the now-Michelin star menu along with Peter and
W H A T
S U P ?
ANdY’S uLTIMATE TORTILLA
development chef Josh Green, and his warmth and passion permeate the place – and its menu. I mean, have you tried the tortilla Española? The humble Spanish tortilla is such a simple and rustic concept but is delivered here with serious attitude. Although Peter and Josh will never give away their secrets, the key to the world’s finest tortilla, they say, is double the amount of egg yolks to whites, caramelised white onions and confit potatoes. With its loose texture, this dish oozes in your mouth. Another Paco Tapas classic has to be the quail, stuffed with sobrasada and dates. It’s so good that it’s become a signature dish, a regular favourite on the menu. There is, naturally, a great wine and sherry list at Paco Tapas, but if you want to recreate these dishes at home I’ve got a couple of Spanish beauties to wash them
Beronia Rueda Verdejo is £8.99 from Waitrose and Ocado Oloroso Aurora is £18.99 from Corks of Cotham
down with. The richness of the tortilla needs a wine with texture to stand up to those eggs, and Beronia Rueda Verdejo 2018 is an exceptional match. It’s a white wine from north west Spain with fleshy pear and tropical pineapple notes, which are fab with the caramelised onions. There’s enough weight to this wine to envelope the confit potatoes and a herbaceousness that is great for easy, sun-soaked drinking! As for that exquisite quail, it’s got to be sherry. Oloroso Aurora from Jerez in southern Spain has a deep amber colour and an immediate dry freshness that works with the meat, while the mineral and citrus lift cuts through the sticky pork in the sobrasada, and the nuttiness is ace with the paprika that’s in there too. And finally, there’s a raisiny end, made for those Medjool dates. This is a delightful drop – dry and fresh to start and sweet at the end. Paco Tapas is a Michelin-starred restaurant with a warm heart. Not a bad resident in the very building where I had my tonsils removed as a kid (and, not to mention, had a reputation for the worst food in Bristol...). Thanks, Paco and team, for bringing things up to standard here.
Andy Clarke is a freelance TV producer and writer, follow him @tvsandyclarke; pacotapas.co.uk
N IC K H O O K
Paco not only lends his name to this much-loved Spanish gaff, but also his character
A tortilla is such a great accompaniment to other tapas treats like pan-fried chorizo or garlic prawns (or even a certain sobrasadastuffed quail!), but it’s also just as great on its own. As Pete is keeping the recipe for his tortilla Española (pictured above) close to his chest – my powers of persuasion were, this time, fruitless – here’s my own, easy-to-cook version of the Spanish staple. I use shallots instead of onion for a sweeter flavour, and the trick is to not overcook it, so it’s nice and oozy inside. SERVES 4 3 tbsp olive oil 30g butter 5 banana shallots, sliced 300g Jersey Royal potatoes, peeled and cubed (other waxy potatoes will also work) 2 garlic cloves (or 5 leaves of wild garlic, thinly sliced) 4 whole eggs, beaten 4 extra egg yolks, beaten generous grating nutmeg generous pinch smoked paprika 1 Put a non-stick frying pan over a low heat. Cook the shallots slowly in the oil and butter until soft and caramelised. 2 Add the potatoes to the pan, then cover and cook for a further 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. When the spuds are soft, add a pinch of salt and white pepper. Crush the garlic cloves (or add the wild garlic) and stir into the mixture, along with the grated nutmeg. Then add the beaten eggs and egg yolks. 3 Cover with a lid (or a tin foil cartouche if, like me, you can never find the right lid!) and leave the tortilla to cook slowly. After 15 minutes, the edges and base will be golden brown, and the top will be set, but the middle still showing a wobble. To finish cooking it needs to be flipped: slide it onto a plate, put another plate on top, turn it over and slide it back into the pan to finish cooking for a further 5 minutes. 4 Once cooked, allow to cool for a couple of minutes and dust with smoked paprika. Serve in the pan and slice at the table.
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ON A QUEST TO CONTINUE PUSHING BOUNDARIES AND RAISE THE BAR (AHEM) WHEN IT COMES INTO QUALITY DRINKS, BARTENDERS ARE VENTURING TO THE KITCHEN. JESSICA CARTER FINDS OUT HOW CULINARY PRINCIPLES ARE INFLUENCING THE COCKTAIL SPHERE, AND WHERE YOU CAN HEAD TO TEST OUT THE RESULTS OF THIS MERGENCE OF COOKING AND MIXOLOGY...
When I was last working in hospitality (I can only apologise if you were one of the unfortunates to receive half your table’s drink order on your lap) the biggest crossover between the bar and kitchen was borrowing a knife from the chef to cut lime wedges. Or perhaps having someone in sauce-splattered whites emerging to pull a pint of ale for the steak pies (at least, that’s what they told us it was for). A couple of decades later, and mixology and cooking have forged quite the friendship. I’m not just talking about food and drink pairings, either (although where once cocktails were thought of as far too boozy to swig with anything other than a salty bar snack, they’re now creeping more often onto the dinner table), but also how what’s going on in the kitchen is affecting what’s happening in cocktail shakers, and the way that backbars bear more resemblance to the chef’s larder than ever. “I’ve become heavily influenced by the culinary world and have been struck repeatedly by how much we can learn as bartenders from even relatively simple gastronomic techniques,” says Will Barker, head bartender at Crying Wolf. “Learning from colleagues in the kitchen should be high on every bartender’s priority list – Crying Wolf has been built specifically with this approach in mind; the kitchen and bar have been constructed as a single interconnected entity, with each informing the other as much as possible, so that they can work in tandem.” Let’s start with a few real kitchen buzz words: ‘seasonal’, ‘local’ and ‘fresh’. Well, they’ve all become
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“With this in mind, we’re developing four seasonal menus every year, each with its own distinct range of homemade ingredients. A great example of our philosophy in practice is a drink called Pilgrim, where the acidity of the early-season rhubarb paired with the gently sweet liquorice of star anise makes for a really rounded flavour profile. It’s a drink that never would have happened, however, without the advice and support of everybody from the suppliers who advised me on rhubarb varietals, to the chef who worked out the ratios for a balanced cordial, and all the way through to the bartenders who put the whole thing together.” Speaking of techniques, there are all kinds – many of which are borrowed from the kitchen – that bar teams turn to in order to create and manipulate ingredients for their drinks, Dan Bovey from Hyde and Co says. “Although fermentation is a newly popular way to create interesting ingredients in cocktails, it has been around for hundreds of years. Whether that be fermenting beer or lacto-fermenting pickles or sauerkraut, the fermenting process is key in creating delicious new flavours. At Hyde we’ve used this process to create fruit wines (Two’s Company, on our current menu, uses pineapple wine for a light, crisp and aromatic result), and for our new menu, Dens, we are using lacto-fermentation on bananas to make the base for a spiced liqueur called falernum – the fermentation creates really rich caramel and muscovado notes. “And then there’s fat washing, which is the process of flavouring alcohol with a fat. By melting it into a spirit, the fat’s flavour is transferred across. The
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focuses for bars now too, with many coming up with seasonal cocktails using produce grown nearby. This is not only reflective of bars’ proliferating culinary approach, but it also happens to be business-savvy. “While it’s certainly true that there are many extremely experienced commercial producers of syrups, cordials and bitters, the benefits of having a well-organised homemade programme can’t be overestimated,” says Will. “Using fresh, seasonally appropriate and locally sourced ingredients is more environmentally friendly, cost-effective, and is a great tool for creating truly unique drinks. From simple sugar syrups to more complex tinctures, shrubs and sherbets, everything that we use to put our stamp on our drinks comes directly from our kitchen.” Just as you’ve heard many chefs proclaim that their lauded food all starts with the best-quality ingredients, so the same is true of drinks. What’s more, with fresh produce playing such a key role, it makes the South West – known for its rich harvests – a pretty exciting patch for drinking right now, points out Will. “No matter how brilliant an idea might seem on paper, I feel that the biggest factors in the success of a homemade ingredient are the quality of the produce going into it, and the technique used to bring them together. Techniques we can learn, but when it comes to the quality of your raw materials, we’re beholden to what is available. In that respect, we’re extremely privileged to be located where we are, as being in the West Country gives us a phenomenal range of great ingredients right on our doorstep.
Above: the teams at Crying Wolf and Hyde and Co certainly aren’t afraid of experimentation
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whole mix is then put into the freezer, and once the fat has solidified it is strained off. In this way you can create bacon-flavoured bourbon, olive oil-flavoured gin or cocoa butter rum, for instance. We’ve been busy fat washing while developing our new menu – so for a rather luxurious take on a Bijou, say, we’ll mix truffle oil-washed gin with dark chocolate, sweet vermouth and Chartreuse.” Homemade ingredients like these have plenty of benefits – not least the fact that you can manipulate the flavours to your exact requirements. Creating your own mixers, as Will pointed out earlier, also allows bars to adhere to the ethical expectations of its customers and staff. Taking the production process in-house means teams can more carefully monitor their waste,
the provenance of their ingredients and the sustainability credentials of what they serve – just as chefs aim to do. You’ll find Will Price behind the bar at Mugshot in Bristol, and he’s almost obsessive about getting the most out of each ingredient he uses. “A sermon on waste from the opulent pulpit of the cocktail bar might seem like an oxymoron, but bartenders are increasingly doing the best they can to maximise their resources and minimise their footprint on the planet,” he says. “In practice, this comes down to utilising techniques familiar to the crafty chef and turning prep byproducts into new components. At Mugshot, we’re dogmatic about hand-making our ingredients and minimising waste, therefore in most cases each fruit item will have three or four uses. On our special menu this week, for example, are three pineapple drinks that utilise syrup, fresh juice, and garnishes all whittled from the humble fruit. Lime peels make our lime cordial, and peeled oranges are juiced, with any unused juice turned into a spiced orange syrup. “The benefits are manifold. From a business perspective, your produce spend goes further, and the cachet of having fresh and varied products made by the person serving you is a great selling point. By far and away our most popular cocktail special was literally designed as a vehicle to use excess peeled oranges.” Garnishes, of course, have been the most traditional context in which we see food and cocktails hang out together – but their role is being taken even
Crying Wolf, pictured here, is Bristol’s newest speciality cocktail bar – and it’s wasted no time in creating a stir (ahem)
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more seriously of late, and their influence on the liquid explored – as founder of The Clockwork Rose, Chris Stutt, tells us. “In the social media era, a garnish can make or break a cocktail. The overall look of your creation will determine whether or not the customer wants to show off their experience, which in turn promotes the business and skills of the bartenders,” Chris notes. “However, looking good is not the only role of a garnish. In a lot of cocktails, the garnish creates a contrasting aroma that affects the overall flavour and experience of the drink. Edible garnishes, though, take this to another level entirely. With these, it is not only about the look and smell of the cocktail, but also about enhancing the flavour. For example, candy floss has been used to garnish cocktails for some time now, with plenty of experiments in colour and flavour. At The Clockwork Rose we have a cocktail called House in the Clouds, which is garnished with white candy floss which has been lightly coated in high-proof absinthe. The cocktail itself has a rich and sweet flavour that, coupled with the heady absinthe nose, creates a sense of bohemian decadence. “We have recently experimented with different salts as garnishes too, including a cacao salt and a lemon salt. Particularly when used with a Margarita, salt creates a contrast of flavour, causing an umami-like taste when it mixes with the citrus and sugar in the cocktail. Flavoured salts can direct the focus to one ingredient over another, or enhance a particular flavour; when using our cacao salt with a dark spirit like rum, for instance, it helps to bring forward the darker flavours that come from ageing, such as the vanilla, chocolate and coffee notes more common to a dark spirit. “The more daring bartender will attempt to make their garnish exist as a pairing. Rather than be there to affect any other senses, it acts as a palate awakener and makes the more subtle flavours of the drink stand out more. The most common pairings include dark chocolate and Scotch whisky – the chocolate tends to enhance richer flavours in the whisky and opens up the palate to notice subtleties in its composition. “I believe that, as the public view on drinking evolves, the trend for edible garnishes will also grow, eventually making food pairings like this more common. People are becoming more interested in the experience as well as the actual drinks – and bartenders are definitely up for the challenge!” Will Barker certainly agrees, and is excited by where the industry is looking for inspiration to push the boundaries and keep customers on their toes. “It’s my belief that in order to grow as bartenders everyone should try to draw in influences not just from the broader culinary industry, but also from suppliers and the producers of the ingredients we rely on day-to-day. It’s unrealistic to expect every bartender to understand every facet of the progression of every single ingredient from field to glass, but there’s absolutely nothing to stop us from leaning on other experts in order to help create something truly special.”
4 food-focused cocktails to try on our patch Cafe Couture at Hyde and Co is a mix of cocoa butter rum (which the team have made with a fat washing process), banana liqueur, amaro and a coffee tincture. Mia Wallace at Mugshot is a blend of Rittenhouse Rye, Doorly’s Five-Year Rum, orgeat, orange juice and Angostura bitters – it was created to use up surplus peeled oranges, but is proving to be exceptionally popular among punters. Pilgrim at Crying Wolf pairs bright Speyside Scotch with a West Country pale ale and house cordial made from Wye Valley rhubarb and star anise, creating a tropical experience from distinctly British ingredients.
Above: Hyde and Co sure knocks out some handsome-looking cocktails, right?
The Captain’s Table at The Clockwork Rose is a tasting menu made up of three cocktails and food pairings to be shared by two people: a Cognacbased cocktail with homemade chocolatecovered orange peel, a vodka and Champagne number paired with pink grapefruit pearls, and an absinthe-based sip paired with absinthe and blackberry truffles.
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A very warm welcome to Clifton Wine School! We are a local wine school hosting events in Bristol and Bath. Choose from our Cheese and Wine Matching night, a Fine Wine tasting, Wines of the World evening courses, Gin tasting, and so much more. We also do unforgettable hen parties and corporate events. We donâ€™t sell wine, we sell confidence in wine knowledge from a DipWSET qualified teacher.
You can purchase any course or tasting as a Wine School Gift Voucher starting from ÂŁ25 the perfect present for any wine lovers!
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CHOOSE YOUR WEAPONS
s sNacKING KING uP THIS ROYAL THRONE OF KINGS, THIS SCEPTRED ISLE, THIS EARTH OF MAJESTY, THIS SEAT OF MARS BARS, MILKY WAYS AND SNICKERS (ALL FUN SIZE). OR, SAYS MATT BIELBY, OF CRISPS AND TWIGLETS, IF YOU PREFER
You’re not going to mention the B-word, are you? The one that means a lady dog? No, the other B-word! Ah, the one that questions an individual’s parentage? No no, the really bad one. The one everybody’s sick of, the one that – all too often – makes family mealtimes a minefield. Oh, that one. Goodness me, no. Absolutely not. Well, that’s alright then. What I’m going to do instead, though, is look at all the things that unite us, not divide us. The belief in queuing. The cups of tea. And eating out of a big dish shaped like mainland Britain – skinny at the top and fat at the bottom, just like many mainland Britons themselves.
Speak for yourself. (I was.) There’s one thing the B-word is good for, of course. Oh, I know: economic uncertainty. Which might be why Formahouse’s oven-safe and dishwasher proof Brit Bowl by Sagaform has just had £5.50 knocked off the price, taking it down to a belt-tightening £22. (It’s also gained a new nickname, one we’re not going to mention here.) Not bad for a dinnerparty ready 36cm x 26cm stoneware serving bowl, guaranteed to get the conversation flowing.
And hackles rising, and voices raising, and fists swinging, no doubt. Dear me, I hope not. So what would you serve in it? Local produce: so put a Cornish pastie down in the toe, and haggis up at the top. And I know what I’d drink with it too. What’s that? British bitter! Sagaform’s Brit Bowl is now £22 from Formahouse; formahouse.co.uk
THIS MONTH BRIT KIT + PARKING BAES + SHADES OF GREY
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. 19th May – Beginners Cookery 15th June – Smoking and Curing Masterclass 14th July – BBQ and Outdoor Eating
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NEW CLIFTON SEAFOOD SHOP We are delighted to announce that our Bristol shop is now open at Cargo 2, Wapping Wharf. We have daily deliveries from the South Coast and beyond. We sell Oysters, Mussels, Squid, Sashimi, Tuna, Salmon, Mackerel, Sea Bass, Scallops, Lemon Sole, Monkfish and lots more! Come along and visit us at, you can also pre-order and pick up your order from the shop. Cargo 2, Museum Street, Wapping Wharf, Bristol, BS1 6WE Rozzy: +44 (0) 7399 549295 Sam: +44 (0) 7815 919832 www.cliftonseafoodcompany.com
GARAGE ROCK THIS SPACE HAS COME A LONG WAY FROM ITS FORMER SELF, BUT THEREâ€™S STILL PLENTY OF EVIDENCE POINTING TO ITS INTRIGUING HISTORY...
WORDS BY JESSICA CARTER PHOTOS BY PAOLO FERLA
hen marketing pro Philippa May locked eyes on this derelict Bath garage she was immediately interested in it – but not for living in. She was actually on the hunt for studio space; it was her partner, Guy Mercer (yes, as in former Bath Rugby captain Guy Mercer), who threw in the idea of turning it into a city apartment for them to live in. As the former commercial building was a ’70s in-fill, the pair weren’t expecting it to have any real historic character, but as they began the redesign they unearthed several original features that hinted at the space’s past. First, there were the old cobbles found underneath the cement floor, then the 18th-century walls that had been hiding behind a layer of breezeblocks and wood panelling. Turns out, this area was actually an old brewery quarter, Philippa tells us, and the spot that the bedroom sits on now was once occupied by a pub called The Bunch of Grapes. The crumbling walls and odd shape of the space – which is far more sprawling than you’d think from looking at the outside – didn’t put the pair off, and they started work on turning this old, dank, disused garage into their new home.
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Now, the walls are white and the ceilings dotted with skylights to make a light and airy open-plan space, and the kitchen flows into the dining area, which in turn fades into a highceilinged living room. It’s hard to believe that the very spot we’re currently stood on in the kitchen, cupping a hot coffee and admiring the herringbone-tiled splashback, was used as a parking space not that long ago. It’s a really handsome kitchen, this. Although Philippa knew exactly the kind of feel she was after, it was more of a challenge than she expected to find designers who were able to realise it. In the end, she stumbled upon South West cabinet maker Atelier – which is run by a young couple in Dorset – on Instagram, and they immediately understood what it was she envisioned. “I’d looked at so many kitchens and fitters, but couldn’t find anything I wanted that looked like what I had in my head,” she says. “This was too much of a city apartment for a Shaker, country-style kitchen – but sleek, handleless cabinets felt too contemporary. I wanted a kind of handmade feel – seeing as this place had been a garage, that’s what felt right. “The guys at Atelier were great. I told them the kind of thing I wanted, and the budget we had left and they said yes – they really got it.” The cabinets are made from reclaimed boards and hardware is kept to a minimum, with copper-lined finger-pulls in the cupboard doors instead of handles. The large, natural-edged dining table, meanwhile, was a housewarming present from a (rather generous) mate, who made the wooden top and fixed it to a metal base crafted by a local welder. While the table is Philippa’s favourite feature, she’s not precious about keeping it pristine, and instead loves the distressed, lived-in character that the marks and stains of everyday use impart. Sorry, coasters – there’s no use for you here.
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KITCHEN CONFIDENTIAL Name: Philippa May. Hometown: Bath. Occupations: Head of marketing at Abbott Lyon. Must-have kitchen item: Food processor. Most prized item: A wooden board with copper inset handle, made for us by our cabinetmakers. Favourite kitchen hack: Whizzing up quick homemade pastes in my mini processor and heaping into old jars for later. Secret kitchen skill: Getting out of doing the washing up... Coffee or tea? Coffee. Beer or cider? Beer. Go-to recipe: Homemade lemongrass paste smeared on a side of salmon with a pad Thai-style crunchy ’slaw. Guilty pleasure: Banana on toast with butter and salt. A food you couldn’t live without: Sushi. Favourite condiment: Truffle honey. The style of your kitchen in three words: Modern, rustic charm. Your kitchen is awesome because... it’s completely unique; no-one else has the same cabinets, and I love that! If you could change one thing about it, it would be... a larger, more sociable island and a hidden fridge, for sure. You love the taste of... Simple Bertinet sourdough toast with salt flaked butter. This weekend you’re going to cook... Asian pork lettuce cups. Unexpected item in your kitchen cupboard: Sunglasses – I’m forever losing them, so there’s a special pot next to the plates! One thing your kitchen is used for that doesn’t involve cooking or eating: I love sitting up at the island flicking through magazines, my favourite spot under the bright rooflight.
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INSPIRED BY PHILIPPA MAY’S DIGS, WE’VE BEEN ON THE HUNT FOR MODERN MONOCHROME PIECES THIS MONTH… 1 Ronaldo Side Plates (set of four), £58 Their unique design and texture make these plates a talking point. Find them online at Anthropologie; anthropologie.com 2 Bloomingville Cake Stand, £65 With its black and marble detail, this stand is a stylish way to show off your top bakes. From Fig 1 in Bristol; fig1.co.uk 3 Ferm Living Ripple Carafe, £29 We heart the smoky grey effect of this cool carafe. Find it at Resident Store in Frome; residentstore.co.uk 4 Striped Basket Planter, from £7 As this little basket is lined, it makes a great decorative pot for those indoor herbs. Find it in Bristol’s Mon Pote; monpote.co.uk 5 Skagrtak Norr Carrier, £75.60 This minimalist condiment carrier would look the part in any monochrome kitchen. From Salcombe Trading in Bath; salcombetrading.co.uk
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Bespoke cheese wedding towers for your big day (or any celebration!) Tues - Sat 11 - 6 Sunday 11 - 4 Unit 8 CARGO 2, Museum Street www.bristol-cheese.co.uk
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Weddings at the Centurion Hotel At the Centurion Hotel we can tailor a bespoke package to suit your needs. Our dedicated and professional team will be able to help you every step of the way, whether it is a small intimate gathering or a large celebration.
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For more information about our packages, please contact us to request our Wedding brochure, or download it straight from our website.
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a potted history… ABEL and Cole tells us what makes its boxes different and why it’s bonkers about brilliant food
t was 30 years ago (ah, the ’80s, a time of electro pop, big hair and shoulder pads), that Keith Abel ditched the bar (erm, that’s law, not a public house) for vegetables – and he’s never looked back. He started with a bag of spuds and a smile, selling door to door in South London with his mum. Before long, a chap called Bernard Gauvier – who we still work with today – offered him some organic potatoes. Organic spuds became
spuds and eggs, and then spuds, eggs and vegetables, and so the organic veg box was born. We’ve always believed in doing things a bit differently. We knew there was a better and greener way of getting groceries into kitchens – that’s why we deliver to each street just once a week, allowing us to plan the most logical routes possible and keep as few vans on the roads as we can. Sure, our drivers might listen to less
Spandau Ballet these days, but being green never goes out of style. We wouldn’t be where we are without the help of some truly terrific growers, makers and bakers, some of which have been with us since the very first veg box. We source as close to home as we can and never air freight when we go a little further afield. Our buying boffins unearth (and taste – don’t get us started on the tastings) the best organic food around, visiting producers across the country to experience it all being made, first hand. From hand-harvesting farmers like Philip le Maistre in Jersey to pioneering growers like James Foskett in Suffolk and traditional cheesemakers like Hugh Padfield in Bath, we take our hats off to them all. Speaking of cheese, meet the family behind the award-winning Bath Soft cheese in next month’s issue, and why not whet your appetite with our recipe for Carrot, Chilli and Bath Cheese Pancakes at www.abelandcole.co.uk/recipes
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Sweets for your sweet (and all your W-guests), courtesy of The Sweet Tricycle
INSIDER s , O P S N I Y R CULINA ND FOOD PIONEER A KNOWLEDGE
63 EAT, DRINK AND BE MARRIED! ALL THE INSPIRATION FOR YOUR FOODIE WEDDING
TOP CATERERS TO FEED YOU RIGHT ON YOUR BIG DAY
WANT TO MAKE SURE THE BIG DAY HAS SOME SERIOUS FOODIE A-GAME? HERE ARE SOME TIPS AND IDEAS TO INSPIRE YOU TO PUT ON THE BEST DINNER PARTY (WAIT, WEDDING) YOUR GUESTS HAVE EVER HAD THE FORTUNE TO EAT AT (WE MEAN, SHARE WITH THEIR SPECIAL FRIENDS)…
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The A-Zof ACING your FOODIE WEDDING
A is for Alternative
Weddings are more imaginative than ever these days – and this extends to the food offering. When it comes to the cake, ditching sponge for cheese is a common decision for less sweet-toothed couples, says Rosie Morgan of The Bristol Cheesemonger. “Cheese cakes are increasingly popular – they can be cut at the wedding breakfast and used as part of the evening offering, or perhaps as a wedding breakfast cheese board. Couples can sample cheese to design a tower that’s specific to their taste and requirements, too.”
B is for Black book
Venues’ wedding organisers are a connected bunch – they’ve got the numbers of tried and tested suppliers. Make the most of their little black books, Simone Parkinson, wedding coordinator at Berwick Lodge advises. “Yes, you can look online, but when it comes to making decisions about your wedding, a recommendation wins every time,” she says. “Your venue will only recommend great people who they know are reliable and a good match for the venue. We couldn’t be without our little black book – it’s bursting with cake designers, photographers, florists, musicians and stylists, to name just a few.”
C is for Cake
Greg Byczko is the baker behind the fun Sticky Fingers Bakehaus in Hanham, and his creative wedding cakes go down a storm. So when it comes to those flavours, what’s hot right now? “Making each cake tier a different flavour is a trend that’s really popular. One of my bestselling flavours at the moment is Prosecco and raspberry – the Prosecco adds an interesting twist to an ordinary vanilla cake while the raspberry filling (used instead of jam) complements it with a sharp, tart bite.
Lemon has also become a big request – it’s been a classic choice for years, but I think the fact Meghan and Harry had it in their cake has brought it back into the spotlight. I get a lot of request for limoncello with lemon curd filling, and lavender with lemon, too.”
D is for Double up
Make your wedding favours work hard – as well as thank you tokens for your guests they can act as table decorations, snacks to munch on between speeches (best men usually have rather a lot of material to rattle through) and even photo props, says Zara Narracott of indie Bristol chocolatier and shop, Zara’s Chocolates. “Our most popular options are the chocolate moustaches and mouths; they’re great sweet treats, but also make for fun photos on the day.”
E is for Ethics
There’s no reason why your usually fierce culinary principles have to be put to one side for your wedding. There are plenty of local caterers who have just the same values as you – like Bowl of Plenty. “As an independent trader, we are committed to being ethical in our sourcing and make our wedding feasts using organic and local produce – it’s a no brainer in this day and age,” says Liz Haughton. “We are totally committed to our food ethos and focused on where our food is from, how it is produced, how we cook it and who eats it.”
F is for Free-from
It’s likely that your guests won’t all be able to eat the same food on W-Day – but there’s no reason to panic, says Kate Ploughman of Kate’s Kitchen. This catering biz is seasonally focused and produce-led but also has some real game when it comes to cooking inclusively. “Allergies and dietaries are becoming increasingly more common and are a daily consideration in the
catering world. We have designed a great sharing feast wedding menu, which is all gluten-free and mostly dairy free and vegan.”
G is for Grazing tables
Grazing tables are a fun and interactive alternative to canapés, allowing guests to help themselves to snacks. They also make an impressive focal point, points out Robyn Hatley from Bath-based Goodness Grazers, who sets up the displays at each venue. “Our grazing platters are made up of speciality cheeses, cured meats, antipasti, dips, artisan breads, crackers, chutneys and relishes, nuts, sweet treats, honeycomb, fresh fruit, crunchy veg crudités, pickles and olives. We source loads of produce from local, quality suppliers and use our food artistry skills to create a masterpiece onsite.”
H is for Hen and stag dos There’s no reason to save all the great food and drink just for the big day – why not incorporate it into the hen and stag parties, too? “The most popular hen event I host is in
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significance of the Bristol Old Vic,” says Tom Green of Fosters – the theatre’s catering partner. He says that as well as the venue, couples want the food to be hyperlocal, too. “We work extensively with local food and drink suppliers and are lucky to be in a region where so many products, which are genuinely the best of the best, are on our doorstep. We even include a regional map in the couple’s menu pack to show where our produce is from.”
M is for Menu
the style of a quiz,” says Ruth Wiles of Clifton Wine School. “We call it ‘Whose Wine is it Anyway?’ – I teach the group how to taste like a professional and then, in teams, they guess which wine is which based on the descriptions, and I explain key wine tasting concepts as we go. I’ve used this format with great success – and there is a prize for the winning team...”
I is for Icing
“Icing is the equivalent of the wedding dress to a cake: it shows off your personality,” says David Walderen of The Cake Architect. “You can dress your cake with buttercream, sugar paste, ruffles, beads, lace, flowers, marble and metallics to catch every eye in the room. This year we’re seeing a trend for glitzing up cake with 24karat gold leaf or metallic airbrushing and marble-effect icing. Colours are to be played with and an ombre effect or handpainted cake can create an extra pop that’s both pretty and delicious.”
There’s way more to your menu than simply ‘meat, fish or veggie’. Jo Cranston of Queen and Whippet is well-practised in creating culinary lineups that are super personalised. “We often help the bride and groom By use their menu to tell the story – smowohich we me at a wthies havean booze: of their life together so far,” she says. “Couples edding no plac can look to their backgrounds as a starting past 11 e a The bar is where a lot of your guests will spend m point, or there can be a nod to favourite cuisine from shared travels in their canapés, say. A a lot of the night – but how will it run? If you’re growing trend is to express their ethical values, hiring a bar you can have it ‘dry’, meaning you such as animal welfare, through food – in fact, supply the drinks (perhaps a good option if we’ve catered several vegan weddings.” you’re shouting them all), or ‘cash’, if you want the company to supply them. If you want to pay for some libations but can’t cover them all, then consider a token system. And remember to give everyone a heads up if it’s going to be Not only do you want to enjoy some really decent cash only, ’kay? plonk on your big day, but the discerning guests need to be kept happy, too. More couples are opting for natural vino, Richard is for Kids Hamblin of ethical supplier More Wine tells us. (And it’s perhaps not just because of the We’re talking little ones and big ones, here taste.) “Natural wines taste more ‘real’, with – there are lots of ways to inject a bit of fun greater variety, expression, subtlety and depth into your day for them all. Helen than more conventionally made examples. It’s Sworder started The Sweet Tricycle also thought that the lower use of additives – after her own wedding, wanting to in particular, added sulphites – help ward off create something unique for events hangovers.” More Wine offers natural wines in that would be loved by both adults bag-in-box and pouch format, which isn’t only and children. Her gorgeous vintagemore sustainable but also gets you more style trike acts as a portable and stylish pick ’n’ mix station. “I have a wide range of sweets and always love seeing the choices couples make,” says Helen. “Haribo Heart Throbs are extremely popular, as are Jazzies and, my personal favourite, chocolate honeycomb bites.”
J is for Juice
N is for Natural wine
L is for Local
Choosing to get to be married in the city that you call home? Why not go one further and have a wedding that really reflects its character? “As Bristol institutions go there aren’t many that compete with the history and cultural S UZ Y S I E ME N
Bespoke Cakes that look naturally beautiful and taste even better! 55 West St, Bristol BS2 0BZ www.weststreetkitchen.co.uk
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M A I N S
S is for Style
Whether you’re a bit uninspired by the classic crockery that your venue uses or you need to source your own plates to put all that delicious food on, hiring cool vintage crockery could be the way forward. It’s a great way to personalise and style your wedding, and it has sustainability credentials to boot. “Vintage items will make your wedding stand out and display a sense of quirkiness and fun,” says Zoe Fletcher from Bristol Vintage. “We offer a huge range of vintage crockery, from beautiful tea sets to dinner services. The crockery looks gorgeous in photos and is often a real talking point.”
liquid bang for your buck, as it eliminates all that single-use glass packaging. Thought that’d get your attention.
O is for Organisation
“No matter how organised you are with your wedding, organising your guests is another story – and getting food choices is often one of the most stressful parts,” says Meg Pope of wedding planner biz, Duchess Weddings. “Confirm your caterer as soon as you can so that you can send food options out and, if possible, create a way for guests to give you their choices online (you know that RSVP is going to sit in the bottom of someone’s handbag for weeks!). We’ve used free survey tools such as Typeform before – you simply send a link out via email and people can complete it there and then. It’ll even put it straight into a spreadsheet for you.”
P is for Platters
“Platters, sharing plates, family style – whichever way you put it, a dish that is on the table to share is going to bring people together,” says Stephanie Boote of local catering business, Pasetti and Boote. These guys often cater for feasts to be shared among guests and can see the specific benefit at
T is for Toast
weddings, noting that it makes for an excellent ice breaker and is a more fun, informal way to eat, compared to traditional plated meals. “There is also something special about being presented with a whole grilled turbot with buttered spinach, or a whole roasted chicken with herby potatoes and a crunchy little gem salad.” Indeed!
There are toasts a-plenty at every wedding (the best man alone seems to make about 12, right?), so it’s worth giving extra consideration to what is inside those charged glasses. Local vineyard Aldwick has two spot-on fizzes which should get those celebrations underway nicely. “Some favour our Jubilate Blanc de Noirs, made from 100 percent Pinot Noir grapes, with longer lees ageing and more autolytic, yeasty flavours,” says Kylie Winter. “Others, though, prefer the lighter, more fruit-driven Jubilate Quintessentially English.” Obviously, these traditionally made sparklers, made using grapes from hand-tended vines, may not be the cheapest option out there, but they’re some of the best quality.
Q is for Quote
When the conversation with caterers turns to cash, it’s important to establish exactly what’s included in their quote, notes Simon McDonnell of Papadeli. “Ask about all the nonfood stuff,” he says. “Will you need crockery, glasses? If you’re hiring a marquee, you might need furniture. Consider staff, generators, corkage charges. As a rule of thumb, the more you take on yourself, the less the cost, but it can be stressful when you have lots of other things to think about.”
R is for Roaming food
We have a wealth of street food vendors on this patch, and many of them don’t just pop up at markets, but weddings too. Smoke Catering is a popular option for W-days, with the huge portable smoker making a great attraction. “Food traders allow you to choose your own style of food and often supply some culinary theatrics, too!” says co-founder Claire Dacey. “We specialise in Texas barbecue and, while we have our street food set up which works for casual service styles, most of our catering is for the main wedding breakfast.” These guys’ most popular dish is probably the brisket, while the hot smoked salmon makes an ace starter and the candied pork belly bites are killer canapés.
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M A I N S
U is for Understated
If you’re going for a pared-back affair then you’re going to need a cake to match – and Millie Driessen (who runs West Street Kitchen as well as making wedding cakes) is all about that gorgeous understated elegance. She takes inspiration from Konditorei – German cakes and confectionery. “They’re typically less sweet and have a beautiful complexity in their balance of different components – compotes, fresh cream, toasted nuts... I like to use fresh fruit, flowers, edible leaves and natural colours for decoration,” she tells us.
For guests who are plants-only when it comes to food, it’s not just the meal options you may want to consider, but the cake, too. Ella Cooper, founder of The Cakery in Bath, has lots of tricks to make her vegan bakes as delicious as regular dairy-filled ones. “We replace dairy and eggs with things like banana, peanut butter and plant-based milk. A lot of our non-vegan customers love our vegan cakes – we think most people really don’t notice the difference!”
W is for Weekender
Everyone will tell you that the big day will whizz by in a blur – so why not make a whole weekend of it at a venue that can put you and some of your guests up and feed you right for the duration? We love the oh-so-stylish and uber-characterful Roth Bar and Grill – it serves banging sharing feasts on long tables for the
wedding breakfast (and knocks up great wild cocktails); has a killer restaurant with a fieldto-fork ethos; and is near to The Bull Inn (its sister site), At The Chapel and Matt’s Kitchen for more top-notch eats. Then there’s its gorgeous Grade II listed Durslade Farmhouse, which sleeps 12. Sorted.
Y is for Yurt
If you’re looking for a venue that’s a little bit different and blends the outdoors with the in, how about a Mongolian yurt? Luckily, there just so happens to be some pre-erected examples in Bristol, made from an ornate k, ea br Oh, give us a be the wooden structure and with a really cosy feel, to this has r, right? in the form of Yurt Lush. And it comes with a hardest lette mean kitchen team, who can tailor the food to your style. They knock out top canapés, buffets The ss Great Britain has to be one of the most and sit down meals for up to 90 guests and, as unique W-venues on our patch, right? Designed it’s part of Eat Drink Bristol Fashion, you know by Isambard Kingdom Brunel and completed the food is going to be great. in 1843, the ship was much-lauded and called “the greatest experiment since the creation” (although cold brew probably hadn’t been tried out at that point). Of course, what we’re most “A record amount of people are abstaining concerned with here is from alcohol and wedding guests are no the culinary scenario (one exception,” says co-founder of Bristol Syrup track mind, much?). Well, Company and creator of Jinzu gin, Dee Davies. onboard this historic liner, “It’s important to have tasty zero-booze guests will sit down to the options available for your tee-total guests – all-important wedding why should the drinkers have all the fun? With breakfast in the First all the amazing products out there aimed at Class Dining Saloon, a a fast-growing booze free market, it’s getting charmingly vintage setting, easier to make interesting, tasty mocktails. where freshly prepared Just like the one I like to call the Mr and Mrs, food, made onboard, is which you can make with 20ml Fruit Cup served to passengers (in syrup, 40ml white rum, 5ml citric acid solution this case, wedding guests), and a dash of tonic. Just build it in a wine glass just as it would have been of ice and garnish with seasonal berries and a more than 170 years ago. paper straw.”
X is for X-Factor
Venues: berwicklodge.co.uk bristololdvic.org.uk eatdrinkbristolfashion. co.uk/yurtlush rothbarandgrill.co.uk ssgreatbritain.org
Z is for Zero booze
Catering: bowlofplenty.co.uk kateskitchenbristol.co.uk fostersevents.co.uk papadeli.co.uk pasettiandboote.com queenandwhippet.com smokecatering.com
Drinks: aldwickcourtfarm.co.uk bristolsyrupcompany.com morewine.eu
Miscellaneous: bristolvintage.co.uk cliftonwineschool.com duchessweddings.com goodnessgrazers.co.uk thesweettricycle.co.uk zaraschocolates.com
Cake: bristol-cheese.co.uk stickyfingersbakehaus.com thecakearchitect.co.uk thecakerybath.co.uk weststreekitchen.co.uk
DE A R E ST LOV E
V is for Vegan
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GETTING THE BEST FROM THOSE APPLES
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t was the start of something special when many years ago, Jason Mitchell, Ashridge cider maker, met an old Devonian cider maker called Cyril. “He taught me all about cider,” says Jason. “Cyril was an engineer, and understood how the process worked and what was needed, so he built his own press. We have his press at Ashridge now. “It’s all about the pressing and how to treat the juice,” he continues. “Importantly, we use all types of cider apples from old traditional orchards, which makes the cider more complex. Dabinetts, Browns Apple, Ellis Bitter, Tremlett’s Bitter, Slack-ma-Girdle and many more. The apples are washed and pressed and the juice collected in tanks. “It’s quite complex because certain apple yeasts will start off the fermentation, and as it goes on, others take over. It’s important to have a long, slow and cool fermentation. Some ciders only ferment for 5-7 days, but we allow ours to take six months at least. “Cyril certainly knew how to get the best from his apples,” adds Jason, “and we hope he’d approve of what we do today.” Try NEW Devon Gold – a lighter summer cider, lower alcohol and easy to drink. 4.5% abv.
ashridgecider.co.uk; @AshridgeCider; 01364 654749
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Have you paid a visit to this new Mexican joint on Stokes Croft yet? (We’ve been twice already)
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A U T H E N T I C E AT S
MASA AND MEZCAL BIG FLAVOURS SATISFY THE SOUL AS WELL AS THE APPETITE AT THIS NEW STOKES CROFT CANTINA, FINDS CHARLIE LYON
egronis, move over. There’s a new drink in town, and it’s hit Bristol hard. I’m talking about the mezcal Margarita, attracting a cool new fan base with its rustic, fiery charm. Its hero ingredient comes from the industrious, fervent south of Mexico, made from roasted agave hearts for a deep and earthy flavour. Now it’s packing a punch in new cantina, Masa and Mezcal. The Margarita here – my first order on a warm Wednesday evening – is a glass of sour, herby, smoky citrus refreshment with big, rough-cut chunks of ice and a chilli-salt rim. Made with mezcal instead of tequila, it takes the classic cocktail to a new level. Tequila-naysayers, don’t switch off. Sometimes all you need is one stonkingly good experience to make an about-turn on a drink you spent your young-adult life falling out with. I had to travel quite far for mine – to a San Diego rooftop bar (ah, them were the days) but now you need not look much further than Stokes Croft for yours. Even if mezcal will never be your thing, there are plenty of cool beers and lively wines on the menu at this new Mexican joint – plus, there’s the food. (Speaking of which, the other focus here is the ‘masa’, which is the dough – made from maize or corn – that is used to make some of the most important staples of Mexican cuisine.)
A F T E R S
The menu here is exciting – as it would be coming from the team behind Bravas, Gambas and Bakers and Co – and lists botanas (appetisers), masa (tostadas and tacos), crudo (raw dishes), asado (from the barbecue) and sides. There are oodles of vegan offerings and the whole menu is gluten-free too, thanks to that heirloom corn dough. Ordering done (with much help from our superknowledgeable server), we kick back with icy drinks and enjoy the procession of dishes, which arrive as and when in a riot of colour and flavour. Homemade tortilla chips (£2.50) are up first, served up with a fresh and tangy tomato salsa, cool salsa verde and hot, hot, hot habanero sauce. Keep them on your table to eat with other plates. Standout tonight (it’s only 6.30pm but already the place is starting to throng) is the sea bass ceviche (£6.50), clean and fresh with zingy flavours of lime, red onion, tomato and coriander, and delicate chunks of our good friend, avocado. It’s excellent value. On the other end of the taste spectrum, and equally fine, is the grilled lamb leg (£14): a heap of succulent slices of lamb, delicately flavoured and perfectly moist with just a hint of fat and a deliciously salty, charcoaled crust. There’s just enough pasilla sauce – pasillas being a rich-flavoured variety of chilli, dried and traditionally used in soups and stews to thicken them – to add extra umami deliciousness to the lamb without overwhelming it. Tortillas, rice and salsas join the plate of meat. The fish taco (£4.20) – a lightly crumbed cuboid of firm and flavoursome white fish – is good, but, to me, a little small, although I’m sure the quality of the ingredients justify the price. As a tonic to that, the shredded red cabbage crudo (£5) is a huge pile
of crunchy raw veg, soupedup with sweet and rich fresh orange. Sunflower seeds add bite, and there’s a hint of habanero heat lurking underneath. Fried hibiscus gives a floral finish and chewy texture – I’ll definitely be attempting to recreate it at summer barbecues. Puds haven’t been overlooked, and a Carlota (£6.50) – a slice of frozen lemon creaminess topped with zesty lime and toasted hazelnuts – rounds off an excellent feed. The rustic feel of the food is continued in the interior of rough textures, natural wood and terracotta finishes. It’s a big space, but most of the tables are snapped up by 7pm, with in-the-know Bristolians arriving in their droves. If you want a date to go with a bang, come here. If you want a catch up with your best pal, bring them here. Want a good time with a group? Definitely book here. Oh, and if you don’t like tequila, yep, you still know where you should head...
Masa and Mezcal, 77 Stokes Croft, Bristol BS1 3RD; 0117 944 6477; masaandmezcal.co.uk
O U T- O F - T O W N E AT E R I E S
WE ALL KNOW WESTON DOES A MEAN FISH AND CHIPS – BUT HOW IS ITS BURGER GAME FARING, JESSICA CARTER WONDERS?
o, I’m not necessarily saying that everyone from Weston-super-Mare is witty and intelligent with a stand-up personality, but Bob Hope, John Cleese, Isambard Kingdom Brunel and yours truly do all have roots there. Other topics closely associated with the Victorian seaside resort, in case you’re intrigued, are donkeys (they’ve been ridden by bemused children since the 1800s on these sands), mud (Weston has the second largest tidal range in the world, leaving up to a mile of mud on the beach when it’s out) and fish and chips. Indeed, fish and chips were probably the Carter family’s most-eaten meal out, back in the day. That’s if you can call scoffing a bag of chips on the seafront while pretending it wasn’t drizzling and keeping a nervous eye on those ballsy seagulls ‘a meal out’. But thanks to the regeneration the town has seen and the development that stands on the site of Dolphin Square and its former indoor market (gone but not forgotten – ditto the Tropicana and Sands nightclub), space has been made for some alternative culinary options. Burger joint 7 Bone is one of them. Created by Matt Mollicone and Rich Zammit in 2013, the first site opened in Southampton and starred in BBC2’s The Restaurant Man with Russell Norman. There are now nine restaurants across the south, with Weston’s having opened just over a year ago.
A F T E R S
Inside, it’s all edgy bare brick, steel and neon lights. L and I slide into one of the booths (all of which are handily free – it is 6pm on a Wednesday, after all), and I order some lubrication in the form of a Lervig House Party – a light and fruity IPA – along with snacks of chicken nuggets (£3.95) and tater tots (£3.50). The former have surprisingly tender, juicy meat hiding beneath the dark golden crust. There are about 15 burgers (including chicken and veggie versions – hot dogs are additional), ranging from the Donnie J Trump (a cheese-stuffed patty topped with Wotsits), to the One Big Chicken, with buttermilkfried meat, hash browns and chipotle ketchup. You can swap the standard chunky beef patty for two thin ‘smashed’ ones or a veggie number. And, of course, you can add extra ones too. (Good luck with that.) Sides are separate, but coupled up with the mains they form ‘red basket deals’, for either £10.95 or £12.45, depending on what you choose. I go all predictable with the W-s-M special burger (£9.25) and get that patty smashed. The meat is lean and flavoursome with a bit of a crust, and comes sandwiched in a light and fluffy bun along with ketchup, mustard, minced onion and a Cheddar cheese skirt (a large disc of crispy melted cheese, whose frilly edges poke out all around the bun). I do find myself adding more ketchup and mustard as I can’t taste them quite enough, but it’s otherwise a good burger with a decent while not excessive amount of filling – it’s easily handled and stays together well. On the side? Truffled mac and cheese (£4.95). Everything about that rich and carby dish makes it a terrible accompaniment to an already sortof-intimidating burger – but I have no regrets. The pasta is in a loose and super-cheesy sauce, spiked with just the right amount of truffle. It’s been grilled to give a nice crisp topping too, over which oil pools – giving away its unashamed decadence before I’ve even dug out the first forkful. Across the table was another special – this one a limited edition. The PB BJ (£9.95) involved a juicy
6oz burger with miso peanut butter, chilli jam, bacon and crispy onion, the sweetness of the jam working nicely with the savoury peanut butter and salty bacon. Sharing a basket with it is chilli cheese fries (£5.25): this saw straw-thin chips topped with hunks of meat, cheese and jalapeños. There are no desserts as such, but the shakes fill in rather well – coming super thick with ice cream. We go at a malty Maltoreo (£4.50), first with straws and then spoons. This is my second visit, and the food’s been decent on both. While the team are nice enough, though, the service can be a tad wanting. Bottom line? This is a burger restaurant that’s got a bit of character, doesn’t take itself too seriously and offers good-value meal deals. One for the to-eat list when you’re down on the coast this summer.
7 Bone, Dolphin Square, Weston-super-Mare BS23 1TF; 01934 644488; 7bone.co.uk
P H OTO S B Y O L I V E R S T I L L
MOTHER AND WILD
THIS CORSHAM HANGOUT REFUSES TO CONFORM TO ANY SET OF RESTAURANT NORMS – AND ITS DEFIANCE IS PRETTY BECOMING, WRITES JESSICA CARTER
other and Wild is the kind of place that just won’t fit neatly into any one pigeonhole – it’s a crossbreed of a venue. Set in the pretty town of Corsham, among the small shops and cafés of the paved High Street, it’s got some pub, a bit of caff, a suggestion of bar and a definite whiff of restaurant about it. The building was a butchers until the Still family took it over four years ago (at the time they also had The Methuen Arms, literally around the corner, and they’re now responsible for Bath’s cool Walcot House, too), and evidence of its history has been maintained to add to the site’s already rather layered character. The bare stone facade has no signage above the door (leading me to walk past it at first somehow, despite the A-board outside that gestures to the doorway) and in the leaded bay windows sit collections of old stoneware flagons and bottles. The ambiguity from out here is intriguing – and not too many more clues are given immediately away once you’re inside, either.
A F T E R S
What you can ascertain, though, is a well-judged sense of style. Bare stone and vintage tin signs border the cosy, low-ceilinged space (it feels almost like an old pub in that way), while naked bulbs hang from above and a Mother and Wild sign – perhaps the kind you would expect above the door outside – has been handpainted onto a section of the wall that’s been carved out flat. Further in, at the back, the walls are weathered red brick and the ceiling is wood-panelled – some of it still coated thickly in white gloss that’s turned a vintage hue of cream over the years. This area – where the counter is – was the meat hanging room, which was knocked through to open it out into the dining space. Again, the evidence of this has been left to add another level of interest – that glossy paint finishing in a neat line where a wall once was. I immediately warm to the place. Outside, the daylight is dulled by dark, earnest clouds and puddles are forming quickly in the rain, but inside here, once you’re tucked away in a corner with a glass of well-chilled white Rioja and your hound at your feet, you’re detached from it, the dimness creating a comforting atmosphere and the weather barely visible (unless you’re sat at the very front or very back of the dining room, where the only windows are). The menu starts with small plates and bread-based dishes (think things on toast, stuffed sourdough pitta and chicken burger), some of which come in small and large sizes. Then there are salads – again with different size options – and woodfired pizzas, on top of which goat’s cheese buddies up with shallot, broccoli and pesto, for instance. (In the evenings, the menu changes slightly, with more emphasis on the small plates and hearty mains.) Wild mushroom arancini (£6) arrives with a pesto mayonnaise dip. The risotto inside the crisp, golden
coated spheres is oozy and moist (too often stodgy and dry) and packed with earthy flavours. The pastel-green mayo is silky, light and nicely fresh-tasting – all the better for dunking those carb balls into. Pan-fried prawns (£8), cooked with chilli, garlic and parsley, are curled up on toasted bread – slightly charred, in fact, for crunch and smokiness – and the cooking juices seep into the doughy mattress nicely. Ribbons of courgette are muddled with hunks of avocado and peppered with mixed seeds, crumbs of feta and fresh mint – the whole lot slicked with a delicate and slightly tangy ewe’s curd dressing (£6.50). The pork and fennel ragu pizza (£12) comes with a white base as opposed to tomato. The tender meat is joined by dark, crisp kale, splotches of ’nduja and a scattering of chilli breadcrumbs. Its sourdough base – the dough for which is proved for 36 hours – is full of flavour and nicely charred and bubbly at the crust with a decent chew. Nicely done. Desserts are tiramisu and bread and butter pudding (both £6), the latter complemented with a slightly tart blueberry compote and both coming in portions that your nan would dish out for you while mumbling something about bones and skin. This is a great neighbourhood hangout – unfussy but thoughtful, cool but not try-hard – with a menu of food that you actually really fancy.
Mother and Wild, 8 High Street, Corsham SN13 0HB; 01249 716777; motherandwild.com
QUICK PINT? After a long day in the office, there is nothing better than a pint of Krusovice in an ice-cold beer mug at Framptons, a great bar overlooking the weir and away from the madding city crowd. CHEEKY COCKTAIL? An exciting addition to Bath has to be The Botanist, a great list of unusual cocktails enjoyed with live music, available in a stunning building. BEST BREW? Café Lucca – another hidden gem of Bath, situated near the top of Bartlett Street. It’s a relaxed contemporary café within a stylish shop that offers a great cuppa and the most delicious cakes. POSH NOSH? It has to be Olive Tree at The Queensberry Hotel – I wasn’t surprised when Chris Cleghorn was awarded a Michelin star last year. COMFORT FOOD? Fish and chips at The Scallop Shell. It’s no wonder this restaurant holds so many accolades. FOOD ON THE GO? Chaiwalla. It has a great reputation in Bath and is the place for you if you are looking for a tasty dish to enjoy on the run. Their samosas are just the best! ALFRESCO FEASTING? Hare and Hounds – it has views that take your breath away. On a warm summer’s day, I challenge anyone to find a more stunning spot for lunch or early supper.
L I T T L E
B L A C K
HIDDEN GEM? Beckford Bottle Shop. From the front, you would be forgiven for thinking this is just a beautifully laid out wine shop, but step inside and you’ll meet the kindest, most knowledgeable team and enjoy fabulous small plates and excellent cheese and charcuterie together with a fantastic selection of wines.
B O O K
WITH FRIENDS? La Perla. Superb-quality tapas served in a great ambience – one of my favourite dishes is the slow-cooked garlic chicken with wild mushroom purée. We are always warmly welcomed and cared for here.
FROM BATH’S ROSEATE VILLA, CAROLINE KNOWS HER WAY AROUND THE BATH FOOD SCENE...
WITH THE FAMILY? Joya. It consistently offers some of the very best Italian food (my favourite dish is the rack of lamb with Mediterranean vegetables). The team are very efficient and customer focused. It’s a great experience. SUNDAY LUNCH? The Marlborough Tavern is always a great option when looking for a tasty Sunday lunch, their roast sirloin being my favourite!
Quick! Now add this little lot to your contacts book...
BREAKFAST? The Villa! Okay, some might say I am biased, but I really cannot think of anywhere better in Bath for breakfast, with freshly baked breads and muffins made by our in-house bakers.
Framptons, Bath BA2 4DF; framptonsbar.co.uk The Botanist, Bath BA1 1BZ; thebotanist.uk.com Café Lucca, Bath BA1 2QZ; cafelucca.co.uk Olive Tree, Bath BA1 2QF; olivetreebath.co.uk The Scallop Shell, Bath BA1 2AY; thescallopshell.co.uk Chaiwalla, Bath BA1 1EN; facebook.com/chaiwallabath Hare and Hounds, Bath BA1 5TJ; hareandhoundsbath.com Beckford Bottle Shop, Bath BA1 2QP; beckfordbottleshop.com La Perla, Bath BA2 4AL; la-perla.co.uk Joya, Bath BA2 4AN; joyarestaurant.co.uk The Marlborough Tavern, Bath BA1 2LY; marlborough-tavern.com The Roseate Villa, Bath BA2 6LX; roseatehotels.com Mint Room, Bath BA2 3EB; mintroombath.co.uk Martini, Bath BA1 2EH; martinirestaurant.co.uk Caribbean Croft, Bristol BS1 3QD; caribbeancroft.co.uk
BEST CURRY? Mint Room. It’s slightly off the beaten track, out on the Lower Bristol Road, but worth the walk. It promises a wonderful gastronomic journey through India. BEST ATMOSPHERE? Martini. With the very warmest of welcomes from Nunzio, Franco and the team, it’s like visiting great friends (which they have become over the years!). There is always an exciting, busy atmosphere. MOST UNDERRATED? Caribbean Croft on Stokes Croft in Bristol is just a delight. It doesn’t look too much from the outside, but step inside and it has the best vibe and the food is amazing!