CRUMBS BATH + BRISTOL NO.91 AUGUST 2019
slice of foodie
NO.91 AUGUST 2019
TOTAL OVERKRILL! MEET ALL THE FISH
TO MY EX WE BIG UP
OUR WEST COUNTRY NEIGHBOUR
GET STUCK I 7 SUN!
PER S RECIPLEICS K FROM
SNOUT OF YOUR BUSINESS
TOP LOCA COOK L S
E H S LL
, E S N I T S U O WITH LANG
ER S T B O L S ’ AN THE POOR M A NEW EARNING
You may know ’em as scampi!
GA A HIDD T E RESTAURANNT IN BATH .COM MAG MBS CRU
THIS SCAMPI HAPPENING
A ! H YE
What’s the cheapest place to buy langoustines? A prawn shop!
KOFFMAN AND MR WHITE 'S THE COCONUT TREE LORDS OF THE MANOR
Tel: 01225 585 100
15a George Street, Bath BA1 2EN
E N J OY A L F R E S C O D I N I N G
2 courses £20 | 3 courses £25
Mon to Thu: 1200-1430 & 1800-2130
Monday – Saturday from 12pm.
Sat: 1200-1500 & 1730-2200
Main menus and more can be found on our website.
Sun: 1200-1500 & 1800-2100
Fri: 1200-1430 & 1800-2200
WE ShELL OVERCOME PERHAPS IT’S THOSE Mediterranean holidays, or maybe it’s because we gravitate to coastlines in the warmer seasons – either way, fresh seafood gives off some real sunny feels. It does us good in more ways than one, though; seafood is packed with nutrients that benefit our brains and our bodies; it’s a great protein source (which is good to remember at a time when we’re being encouraged to slash our red meat consumption); and it’s in plentiful supply in the UK (remember to check it’s responsibly caught to ensure it’s properly sustainable). Official guidelines encourage us to eat at least two portions a week, which is double what we’re currently getting onboard in the UK, on average. In fact, we underuse seafood so much that we export loads of our fishy bounty to other countries. Our Hero Ingredient this month – the handsome, plump langoustine – is helping us to shout about seafood’s virtues and dish out some inspiration for how to get a bit more into our diets. This time of year is also a happy one for a very different reason, namely the beginning of the Crumbs Awards. Having announced the deadline for entries as 11 July, we’ve also unveiled our judges. Among the panel of independent pros – which changes each year – are chef and educator Adrian Kirikmaa, food writer and author Mary Cadogan, Harvey Nichols head chef Lousie McCrimmon, Great British Bake Off’s Briony May, and co-owner of Bar 44 and sherry guru, Owen Morgan. We can’t wait to find out their winners at the ceremony in October. (Did I mention tickets are on sale as we speak?)
Jessica Carter, Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
TABLE OF CONTENTs ISSUE 91 AUGUST 2019 EDITOR
JESSICA CARTER email@example.com DEVELOPMENT EDITOR
08 HERO Oh, shell! 12 OPENINGS ETC Hot gossip on the local food scene
31 THE DRIP FEED The latest from the drinks world 32 THE WINE GUY A food and wine match inspired by the seaside 35 CIRCO SIPS We visit one of Bath’s longeststanding cocktail bars
MATT BIELBY firstname.lastname@example.org
23 Summer veg udon noodles, by Elly Curshen 25 Bocadilla, by Thomas Maynard 26 Gluten-free lemon drizzle cake, by Greg Byczko
DAN IZZARD email@example.com ART DIRECTOR
TREVOR GILHAM ADVERTISING MANAGER
JON HORWOOD firstname.lastname@example.org
10 Langoustine bisque, by Freddy Bird 19 Lemon curd, by Pam Corbin 44 Ham hock and pea arancini, by Marcus Bradley
NATALIE BRERETON email@example.com PRODUCTION AND DISTRIBUTION MANAGER
SARAH KINGSTON firstname.lastname@example.org PRODUCTION DESIGNER
GEMMA SCRINE email@example.com CHIEF EXECUTIVE
MAINS 51 EX IN THE BOX Why Exeter’s food scene is worth a trip down the M5
60 The Coconut Tree 62 Koffmann and Mr White’s 64 Lords of the Manor
CHIEF EXECUTIVE large version
39 THE SUPPER CLUB Feasting in one of the most uniquely designed settings in Bath 46 THE WANT LIST Conversation-starting tableware
JANE INGHAM firstname.lastname@example.org GREG INGHAM email@example.com
MediaClash, Circus Mews House, Circus Mews, Bath BA1 2PW 01225 475800 mediaclash.co.uk
66 LITTLE BLACK BOOK Bath Ale’s head brewer shares her favourite haunts
© All rights reserved. May not be reproduced without written permission of MediaClash. MediaClash reserves the right to reject any material and to edit such prior to publication. Opinions are those of individual authors. Printed on paper from a wellmanaged source; printer is certified to ISO 14001 environmental management. This month we scoffed smoked hog tacos from the Hand and Flowers at Bath’s Pub in the Park, ate nose-to-tail rabbit at Poco’s Future Food Banquet at the Colston Hall, and saw our Andy Clarke in action at The Old Market Assembly’s wine dinner
Open every day 10:00-23:00 | 16 Argyle St, Bath BA2 4BQ 01225 807770 | firstname.lastname@example.org
START E Rs
INNOVATIONS, REVELATIONS AND TASTY AMUSE-BOUCHES 14 JULY ALMA VALE STREET FAYRE l The Alma Tavern’s annual street party is back this month. The pub and theatre on Alma Vale Road in Clifton is putting on a family-friendly summer celebration with an outdoor bar (expect beers from local brewery Arbor), barbecue, market stalls, activities and live music. This year the event is raising funds for Art Refuge UK, a charity that supports refugees through art therapy. almatavernandtheatre.co.uk
20 AND 21 JULY BRISTOL HARBOUR FESTIVAL
l As part of this annual festival, a Continental Market will be popping up in Queen Square, with stalls peddling all kinds of European produce – olives, bread and cheese, for instance – as well as street food such as tartiflette, paella and crêpes. Meanwhile, the Tea Tent, to be found between Hannover Quay and the Amphitheatre, will be serving homemade cake and hot bevs. bristolharbourfestival.co.uk
2-4 AUGUST VALLEY FEST
l The first weekend of August will see hungry festival-goers descend on Chew Magna for Luke Hasell’s ever-growing food, farming and music festival, set on the land of The Community Farm overlooking Chew Lake. Expect feasts, street food, cookery demos, talks and an artisan market, as well as kids’ workshops and music from the likes of Tom Odell. Adult weekend tickets start at £135. valleyfest.co.uk
3 AUGUST FORAGING MASTERCLASS
l Josh Eggleton’s Redland pub The Kensington Arms is hosting a special event with Martin Bailey of Go Foraging. After a morning coffee, guests will be taken to a secret location near the Downs for a foraging walk before returning to the Kenny for a cocktail and two-course lunch made with some of those wild ingredients. Tickets are £55 per person – see the website for more. thekensingtonarms.co.uk
OUTSIde ChaNCe GET THYSELF OUTDOORS THIS MONTH – WHILE THE WEATHER GODS ARE LOOKING KINDLY ON US – AND FILL UP ON TOP-NOTCH FOOD AND DRINK WHILE YOU’RE AT IT
LOUI S S MI T H
WHAT’S THE MOST IMPORTANT COMMERCIAL CRUSTACEAN IN EUROPE? NO, NOT THE EDIBLE CRAB OR COMMON LOBSTER, THE CRAYFISH OR VELVET SWIMMING CRAB, BUT THAT SKINNY MINILOB WE CALL THE LANGOUSTINE…
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lso known as Norway lobsters, Dublin Bay prawns, scampi or simply ‘poor man’s lobsters’, orange-pink langoustines crop up all along the European Atlantic coast, Scotland especially, and in parts of the Mediterranean – chiefly the Adriatic – too. Yet they’re one of those seafoods we undervalue in this country – certainly, the Spanish, French and Italians are traditionally much keener on them than we are – despite hauling oodles of them out of the sea. Indeed, of the 60,000 tonnes caught annually worldwide, about half (mostly the males, who swim about more) come from British waters, and most of those from Scotland. The biggest and best of these are caught using creels – basically, baited traps or lobster pots – from much smaller boats on Hebridean lochs or around the West Coast islands. Naturally, this does much less damage to the ocean bed, and gives us all a more delicious langoustine. Growing up to eight – occasionally even ten – inches long, these plump, pink crustaceans are real homebodies, burrowing into mud flats from five to 500 metres underwater, and rarely travelling more than a few hundred metres their entire lives, which can stretch up to 25 years. New crustaceans hatch in April and May, and langoustines tend to be at their peak in the colder months, but fishing season lasts all year – bar a short break in spring for breeding – as beasties in different areas grow at different rates, and mature at different sizes (the softness of the local mud being but one factor in this).
All the various sizes have engaging nicknames – from chunky ‘clonkers’ to weeny ‘beetles’ – and there are certainly enough of them around at this time of year to make them a proper summertime barbecue staple. Cut in half lengthwise, then placed cut-side up and cooked to a slightly smoky finish in a couple of minutes, they’re simple, but simply amazing. BECAUSE THEY’RE SMALLER than a lobster but bigger than a prawn, it’s sometimes hard to know what to do with a langoustine. Often we’ll serve them with chips as scampi – a pub grub staple, and not a bad one, but hardly the peak of haut cuisine. Scampi is generally the frozen tails of smaller langoustines, the cheapest of them usually just a composite of minced tail meat hidden by breadcrumbs, rather than a solid lump of flesh. These have their place (probably in the aisles of Iceland), but have done serious appreciation of the langoustine few favours. Yet the langoustine’s succulent white flesh, in its freshest, unadulterated form, is actually quite something: sweet and sophisticated, meaty and delicate, subtle and intense. That we ship so many aboard when we could be enjoying them ourselves is a minor scandal. The best way to buy langoustines is live and packed onto ice – the flesh can deteriorate rapidly once dead – which are quick and easy to cook; just boil for three minutes in well-salted water. You can tell they’re done when the undertail meat – visible through the thin membrane that covers it – has turned from translucent pink to a solid white. Properly fresh langoustines
should be lively (careful they don’t give you a nip!) and completely intact – all their little legs and antennae present and correct – with deep, bright, jet-black eyes. (This is not always the case with trawler-caught examples, which can turn mushy and tasteless in their days at sea before the trawler docks and unloads.) Kept in the fridge under a damp cloth, they can live for a couple of days after you’ve bought them – but remember to freeze them for 20 minutes, to send them to sleep, before killing them. Naturally, they’re lovely dished up supersimply, with just a dollop of mayonnaise or garlic butter and a squeeze of lemon or dash of Tabasco. Plus, of course, a ton of patience: even with all the proper lobster tools, working your way through one can be an arduous process, though a satisfying one. The head meat might be an acquired taste – you don’t have to suck on the head, but you can – but the tail is an easy win, as are, with the bigger ones, the claws. Poached and peeled they make an amazing scampi Provencal too, or you could deep-fry them in batter; roast or grill them (a bit of caramelisation really enhancing the sweetness); add them cold to a salad with a vinegar dressing; or even serve them barely cooked (30 seconds, say) and thinly sliced, sashimi-style. This is all a bit intimidating, though, and goes a fair way towards explaining why so many of us are a tiny bit scared of whole langoustines, and tend to prefer buying them frozen with their shells already removed. These can be easily pan-fried in butter or poached in a sauce, soup or stock; if you’re feeling a little more ambitious, serve them as part of a pasta dish or fish pie, curry or paella. LIKE LOBSTER, LANGOUSTINES work best with other clean, simple flavours that allow the sweet flesh to speak for itself, so perhaps consider them as the ‘surf’ part in a surf ’n’ turf dish – pairings with pork or ham work particularly well, but even rabbit has been tried with success – and consider looking to the Med, home of the most dedicated, longterm langoustine fans, for recipes. The Italians pair them with peas, with citrus fruit, with sea bream and aubergine, squid and anchovy, or let them star in great Tuscan seafood stews, while the French serve them with asparagus and Dover sole, poussin and potato cakes. All extremely tempting then, and that’s before we even start looking at the Asianflavoured possibilities – like, say, steamed langoustines with lemongrass, ginger and garlic, or a langoustine stir-fry with shallots, samphire and oyster sauce. With everyone looking to eat locally, healthily, and make the most of underappreciated seafood, the langoustine revival – well underway in many restaurants, and more sluggish but slowly gathering pace in domestic kitchens – can’t come too soon. Happily, there’s little we pull out of the sea that’s more messily rewarding.
R E C I P E
ONCE YOU’VE ENJOYED THE MEAT FROM THIS MONTH’S HERO, DON’T EVEN THINK ABOUT THROWING THOSE SHELLS AWAY, SAYS FREDDY BIRD, AS THE BEST IS, ARGUABLY, YET TO COME...
LANGOUSTINE BISQUE SERVES 4 20-25 langoustine heads and shells (and any meat that’s not been eaten) good-sized knob butter 3 garlic cloves, sliced 3 banana shallots, sliced 1 sprig thyme ½ tsp fennel seeds 2-3 bay leaves 4-5 sprigs tarragon ½ tsp black pepper pinch dried chilli or cayenne splash brandy splash dry white vermouth 2 tbsp tomato purée 1¼ ltrs fish stock (preferably homemade with flatfish bones) 150ml double cream 1 lemon, juice only, to taste 1 Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/gas mark 6. 2 Very lightly roast the langoustine shells in the oven for 5-10 minutes – you just want the shells to start to become fragrant and get a very light golden hue. 3 Meanwhile, put a large pot over a medium heat and add the butter. When warm, add the garlic, shallots, herbs and spices and sweat until the shallot is soft. 4 Add the lightly roasted shells to the pan and crush with the back of a wooden spoon to extract as much flavour as possible. 5 Add the vermouth and brandy to deglaze the pan. Turn up the heat and reduce by ½. 6 Stir in the tomato purée. Then add the stock and simmer for about an hour. (You want to be left with just under 1ltr of stock.) 7 When it’s done, strain the liquid – I use a mouli grater and crush the shells as I pass it, but you can also pass the mix through a colander, using a rolling pin to smash all the juice and other tasty morsels through the holes. After that, pass through a chinois or fine sieve. 8 Return the liquid to the heat in a small pan and add the cream. Bring up to a gentle simmer. Check the seasoning and add a squeeze of lemon, if you like. 9 Pour into bowls and serve immediately.
BISQUE WAS THE first dish I made my dad one weekend, shortly after starting my first chef job. He won’t remember it, though. See, instead of straining it into a bowl I accidentally poured the lot straight down the sink. I’d spent a small fortune on lobster and brandy and had nothing to show for it – I was mortified. Luckily there was plenty of brandy left, though, so we still had a good evening! Bisque is incredibly simple to make and a great way to get a bit more from your langoustines after enjoying the delicious (but rather expensive) tails. I eat the tails and suck the heads of every last bit of flavour, but so many people don’t. Therefore I reserve the heads and shells from the body at home to make this bisque, which is almost better than the langoustine itself, if you ask me.
Freddy has opened a new restaurant!
Little French is a chilled neighbourhood gaff in Westbury Park, serving some top French-inspired food and stellar wines. Find out more next issue or, better still, go and check it out for yourself!
Little French, 2b North View, Bristol BS6 7QB; 01179 706 276; littlefrench.co.uk
Openings etc S T A R T E R S
BIRD’S THE WORD THE CONE RANGER
One-time TV producer Gavin Henderson has, with his wife Sarah, opened a cool new gelato and sorbetto shop, Dr Gelato, on Orange Grove in Bath. Though they’ve both studied gelatomaking in Italy, they’ve actually got Roman gelato chef Irene Pezone on board to create their “seriously chilled” artisan flavours, a half-dozen of which are vegan and which range from such expected treats as pistachio, chocolate and French vanilla to the likes of chocolate brownie and rhubarb and custard. Ingredients are top-notch, and everything tastes exactly of the fresh fruit and other ingredients – sourced from Bristol Fruit Market, Extract Coffee and other local suppliers – they contain. drgelato.co.uk
The Bird hotel in Bath has unveiled its alfresco pop-up venue for this summer. The Nook Garden is a prime ray-catching spot – we can personally attest to this, after enjoying a glass of something cold and bubbly in the south-facing suntrap recently. Colourful, tasselled parasols and sculptures bring plenty of intrigue while, after sundown, lanterns glow and candles flicker out here. It’s a relaxed spot, with a mix of wicker furniture and bright beanbags, all good for lounging on while enjoying a crisp rosé, ice-cold local beer or cocktail, perhaps. Food (think summer salads and sourdough pizzas, as well as small snacks) is served on Friday evenings and throughout Saturdays. thebirdbath.co.uk
THE SPICE IS RIGHT 012
Born in Bristol but having focused on London of late, caterer Coconut Chilli (founded by local Navina Bartlett) has returned to its roots to host a pop-up restaurant in the former Rosa Tapas. Executive chef KK Anand (of Cinnamon Club fame) is in the kitchen, cooking up an ever-changing menu of South Indian-inspired small plates and hearty curry bowls. The fresh-flavoured, colourful dishes – unlike what you'd find at a local curry house – include plenty of veggie and vegan options, such as boldly spiced veg pakoras, along with meatier plates like lush spicy lamb meatballs. coconutchilli.com
aSK YOUR waitress
YOU’LL FIND MATHILDA MOCHNACZ ZIPPING BETWEEN TABLES AT THE DUCK AND WILLOW So, Mathilda, how long have you worked here? It’s been about a year and a half now.
The team behind Pasta Loco have opened a brand new aperitivo bar and delicatessen. La Sorella is a couple of doors down from sister site Pasta Ripiena (on St Stephen’s Street in Bristol city centre) and serves up food to eat on the go (think focaccia sarnies, salads et al) as well as produce to take home and cook (yes, including that handmade pasta for which the restaurants are so well known). Locally roasted coffee, a great selection of wine (to drink in or take away) and an aperitivo menu are also on offer – we’re especially excited about the latter, given the great Negroni game that Loco has. Work is underway on a fourth site too, in the former Bell’s Diner. Excited, much? lasorella.co.uk
And where were you before that? The Gloucester Road Ale House and Kitchen. Have you been in hospitality long, then? For 10 years, all in all. And what was your first job involving food? Working for my dad in a catering kitchen for weddings and festivals. What do you like most about working in the industry? Learning about different food and drink – I didn’t know very much about wine until I started working at The Duck and Willow, for instance.
OH, POD IT! Crumbs has launched a podcast, and we think you’re gonna love it. With so much happening on the local food scene, there’s far more to talk about (and we really can talk) than will fit onto the mag’s pages each month, so what better way to cover the topics that really matter than by hashing them out in person, inside your ears? Expect the goss on new openings and what we’ve been eating; the down-low on important projects and up-to-theminute food and drink trends; and interviews with fascinating industry pros. All presented with the same fun, down-to-earth attitude that Crumbs is known for. Search ‘Crumbs magazine’ on Spotify, and get in touch with the topics you want us to cover next. crumbsmag.com
What other skills have you learnt since coming here? How to make an amazing Bloody Mary. Tell us the best thing about your current job. The locals and the staff members – we’re all part of the pub’s family. And the most challenging part? Sometimes a Sunday shift – we’re always rammed! What sort of customers do you get? Definitely a mixture, from students to big families.
What are the bestselling dishes at the moment? The pork – it’s such a nice dish, and is really popular in the evenings. What makes the restaurant a special place to visit? The food – it’s always top notch – and, of course, the best service in Downend! If you were a customer today, what would you order to eat? The Scotch egg, then it has to be the sticky toffee pudding for dessert. What do you think makes great customer service? Adding the personal touch, like remembering what a customer had on their previous visit. That would impress me. Where have you visited locally where the customer service was excellent? The Greenbank in Easton is always great. theduckandwillowbristol.co.uk
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In the Larder 1
tReat CRed WHETHER IT’S CULINARY NOSTALGIA, CELEBRATORY VIBES OR JUST A SPECIAL DINNER YOU’VE GOT IN MIND, THERE’S SOMETHING IN THIS MONTH’S STORE-CUPBOARD TO HIT THE SPOT... 1 Fudge Kitchen Tuck Shop Sharer, £15/330g Was there any excitement like heading to the corner shop with a pocket full of coppers to exchange for penny sweets as a kid? Fudge Kitchen has captured all those classic flavours – think rhubarb and custard, lemon sherbert and pear drops – in soft fudge form and packaged them into a presentation box. Find it in Bath’s Fudge Kitchen. fudgekitchen.co.uk 2 Luscombe Wild Elderflower Bubbly, £1.80/27cl Billed as a great alternative to Champers, this non-alcoholic drink is made with spring water, organic raw cane sugar and Sicilian lemon juice, as well as the all-important blooms. Slightly effervescent and with a delicate floral character, it’s surely coming to its very best
right now. Find it at Newton Farm Shop and St James Café. luscombe.co.uk 3 Chapel Down Sparkling Bacchus, £17.99/75cl England’s largest winemaker recently launched this sparkling Bacchus – its seventh style made from this grape, which is often spoken about as this country’s version of Sauvignon Blanc. It’s an easy-drinking wine that shuns snobbery and stays proudly accessible, with fruity and floral notes. Buy it from Waitrose in Bath and Bristol. chapeldown.com 4 Nutcessity Banoffee Hemp Spread, £4.99/175g Organic and vegan, this new nut butter has the thick texture and rich flavour that makes
it feel like a proper treat. There’s sweetness here too, thanks to the coconut, banana and berries. We’ve mixed it into pancake batter as well as slathered it onto thick slices of toasted sourdough. Find it at Wild Oats, Zero Green and other local independents. nutcessity.co.uk 5 Ruby and White Truffle Mustard, £4.95/200g This condiment is super popular amongst the customers of butchery and farm shop Ruby and White, we’re told. And we totally get it – the heat of the mustard and gentle hint of truffle are well balanced and round each other off rather nicely. A great shout with a steak or in a burger – one for your next barbecue, then. Find it at Ruby and White on Whiteladies Road. rubyandwhite.com
NEW CLIFTON SEAFOOD SHOP AT CARGO 2, WAPPING WHARF, BRISTOL 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) 7794 480833 cliftonseafoodcompany.com
FARM SHOP & BUTCHERS OPEN DAILY • FRESH FRUIT AND VEG AWARD-WINNING BUTCHERS • LOCALLY SOURCED MEATS Cowslip Lane, Hewish, N.Somerset BS24 6AH • www.puxton.co.uk
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Rozzy Turner has fresh seafood a-plenty down at Bristol’s Wapping Wharf
@newbslovesfoods pops into @pigstyuk on Gloucester Road
CLIFTON SEAFOOD WHAT: SEAFOOD (DUH) WHERE: MUSEUM STREET, WAPPING WHARF, BRISTOL BS1 6WE WHEN: TUES-FRI 10.30AM-6.30PM; SAT 9.30AM-5PM
w @bethfrombristol picks up some turnips grown at Tyntesfield estate
@kkiliszek snaps an artful plate of vibrant food SEND US YOUR INSTA SNAPS! Just use #CrumbsSnaps on your foodie Insta posts and we might just print one of yours next issue
here are all the fishmongers? They seem to have diminished in number, just like neighbourhood butchers and bakeries, during the last couple of decades – an era ruled by the supermarket. Lately, stocks of the other two have been replenishing on this patch, while fishmongers – on our turf, at least – have been a bit slower to make a comeback. But making a comeback they are, and Clifton Seafood is a great example of a modern incarnation of this traditional shop. The small business began as a purely wholesale outfit, supplying restaurants across Bristol and Somerset, and was founded by Jonny Glanvill (a long-time industry pro with 20 years experience, whose previous business gave birth to this one) and Rozzy Turner, who you’ll find running the new retail arm down near the harbourside at Wapping Wharf. This shipping container shop opened in December last year, positioned next to Pizzarova at the end of Cargo2. Here, you’ll always find plenty of white fish as well as the likes of mussels, scallops, line-caught tuna and salmon (cold- and hot-smoked, as well as fresh) in the heaving iced display cabinet. (If there’s anything you want that you can’t see, just ask the team, who can likely order it in for you). This summer, you’ll also be able to pick up ready-prepped oysters, cockles, prawns,
whelks and seafood skewers – exciting news for impending barbecues. Want some guidance on what to buy and how to cook it? These guys are equipped with cooking tips, recommendations and advice – just like this nugget from Sam Yelland, who mans the shop with Rozzy. “For me, the most under-loved fish would have to be line-caught Cornish mackerel right now. It’s really cheap and versatile and is so plentiful in July. It’s delicious just simply grilled or pan-fried with lemon and butter, and is also really nice raw, marinated in lime and coriander. Other fish in bountiful supply at the moment are bream, brill, turbot, gurnard, hake, place, and lovely big crabs. “If you’re worried about cooking seafood, you shouldn’t be – it’s so easy. Start with a fillet of cod or salmon, maybe. Brush it with a little oil and butter, season and whack it into a preheated oven at 220C for 10 minutes for lovely juicy fish.” Rozzy is similarly enthusiastic about getting people experimenting with seafood at home, noting that much of our shore’s produce is often overlooked. “There are so many different species of fish in the UK, and we eat such a tiny percentage of what’s available,” she says. Can’t swing by during opening hours? No bother – you can order from these guys online through Good Sixty and get your loot delivered to your door. cliftonseafoodcompany.com
BOOK OF THE MONTH
NEW SKILLS, NEW IDEAS AND NEW FACES IN THE PUBLISHING GAME ARE TO BE FOUND AMONG THESE NEW RECIPE BOOKS...
RACHEL AMA’S VEGAN EATS
Rachel Ama (Ebury Press, £20) To secure a book deal these days, a few thousand online followers sure doesn’t go amiss – and Rachel Ama has those in buckets. Since launching her vegan cookery YouTube channel in 2017, 170,000 people have subscribed, and more than 52,000 follow her on Insta, too. This cook clearly resonates with contemporary and younger audiences – precisely who this book is aimed at. It’s non-intimidating in tone and technique; there’s no assumption that you’re already vegan or have lots of cookery experience; and the recipes are clear and often speedy, while also striking and imaginative. ‘Chuna’ is a chickpea alternative to tuna mayo – great in jacket potatoes and toasties, we hear – while crispy jerk barbecue tacos star plantain, avo and homemade sauce. Expect influences from her Caribbean background, like in the jackfruit fritters, inspired by her Saint Lucian grandma. There are breakfasts, lunches, dinners, puds and drinks, as well as everyday plant-based staples like nut
butters and milk alternatives. This book serves to remind us all that vegan food can be low-maintenance and high-flavour. JESSICA CARTER
KOREAN BBQ & JAPANESE GRILLS
Jonas Cramby (Pavilion, £16.99) Swede Jonas Cramby is nuts about barbecue. Here, he dives head first into Japanese yakitori, yakiniku and izakaya, respectively skewered chicken, grilled over glowing embers; grilled meat, mostly beef and with a strong Korean influence in the technique; and bar snacks, like grilled oyster or octopus. These he contrasts with the Korean barbecue tradition, which is “cruder, simpler, fiercer” and, Jonas says, incredibly easy. The Japanese take simple cooking and obsess over it, refining the details and turning it into something spiritual; the Koreans are more authentic and just get stuck in. Jonas is an engaging guide and everything’s presented beautifully: lush food photography, gritty Japanese street shots and handy step-by-step diagrams. The food? Be it an oyakodon ‘parent and child’ bowl
(containing both chicken and egg), ginger pork, or buckwheat noodles in an iced broth, it looks just as intriguing, delicious and easy as Jonas says is. MATT BIELBY
THE BOOK OF PRESERVES Pam Corbin (Bloomsbury, £20)
I’m all for making the most of a glut of fruit or veg, so this book dropped in my lap in good time as the first of the summer crop of tomatoes and strawberries arrive in the garden. Pam Corbin, affectionately known as ‘Pam the Jam’, is an expert in preserves. She sold her first business, Thursday Cottage, to renowned jam makers Wilkin and Sons, before going on to teach and write handbooks for River Cottage. This is her first standalone book and it’s a really useful guide on the basics of preserve making. As well as talking you through the fundamentals like equipment, jar sterilising and finding the right preserve setting point, it’s also crammed full of recipes. As you’d expect, there are classics like jams, marmalades and chutneys, but my interest was piqued by the more unusual, such as pumpkin achar, and banana chutney. If
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you’re interested in preserving, this is a handy compendium that’s sure to have plenty of sticky pages thanks to regular use. MELISSA STEWART
HUNTER GATHER COOK Nick Weston (GMC Publications, £25)
This is no regular cookbook, rather a tool kit for some post-apocalyptic future where we’re all living in the greenwood, foraging. There’s loads on how to skin and butcher a deer (with step-by-step photos), ditto on rabbit and game birds, and page after page of forage-worthy hedgerow plants and mushrooms, explaining how dandelions can be treated as free chicory and why the stew-worthy velvet shank should never be confused with the similar looking and ominous sounding funeral bell. Weston is a freelance chef who jacked London in during the 2008 recession and returned to rural Sussex to live, semi-feral, in a treehouse, not seeing a soul for weeks at a time. Later he’d start Hunter Gather Cook, a cookery school showing soft town-dwellers how to turn a roadkill badger into burgers. Though there’s as much on living off the land as actual recipes here, there are plenty of those too, from rabbit carpaccio to bunny burgers, ‘dirty doe’ tacos to stinging nettle pesto cakes. Fine fare for any modern Maid Marion or Little John. MATT BIELBY
Ben Lebus (Pavilion, £14.99) If you’re on Instagram and are into your grub, chances are you’ve already hit follow on Mob Kitchen. Ben Lebus is the guy behind it, having become famous for his simple 60-second cooking videos on social media. Following on from the success of his initial bestseller, this second book is entirely vegetarian, offering fresh and delicious recipes, designed to feed up to four people for under a tenner. Divided into six chapters, it has plenty for those needing something simple and easy – veggie satay noodles, say – or, if you’re entertaining and want more of a challenge, the likes of squash, spinach and red pepper pie might be more up your street. The ‘fakeaway’ section is all about recreating your favourite fast food (albeit as a healthier incarnation) and there are plenty of recipes for weekend brunches, too. Whether you are a knowledgeable or novice chef, the easy-to-follow methods and accessible ingredients mean everyone can explore vegetarian cooking. There is even a Spotify song recommendation to bop along to in the kitchen for every dish. NATALIE BRERETON
From The Book of Preserves by Pam Corbin (Bloomsbury, £20); photography by Mark Diacono
LEMON AND HONEY CURD WITH ITS PERFECT balance of acidity and mellow sweetness, lemon is always the most popular of the curds. As well as spreading it on toast and other things, I like to swirl a couple of tablespoons through the uncooked batter of a lemon cake, to create the ultimate fullness of flavour and crumb. MAKES 4 x 200ML JARS 2 unwaxed lemons, zested 250ml lemon juice (5-7 lemons) 125g unsalted butter, cut into small pieces 200g granulated sugar 100g honey 4 large eggs, well beaten 1 Sterilise your jars and twiston lids. Have ready a pan of simmering water that your heatproof bowl will fit snugly over without touching the water. 2 Put the lemon zest, juice, butter, sugar and honey into the bowl and
place over the pan of simmering water. Lightly stir the mixture from time to time until the butter has barely melted – the temperature on a cooking thermometer should be about 50C. 3 Carefully pour the eggs into the lemon-butter mixture and whisk briskly with a balloon whisk for a minute or so until well combined. Continue to cook the mixture for 9-10 minutes, scraping down the sides every so often with a spatula and giving the mixture a quick whisk every minute or so until it is thick, the surface is glass-like and the temperature has reached 78C. Remove from the heat. 4 Tip the curd into a wide-necked jug with a good pouring lip, making sure you scrape around the sides of the bowl, then fill the warm jars to the brim; seal at once. 5 Store in a cool place for up to 4 weeks. Once opened keep in the fridge and eat within 3-4 weeks.
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: email@example.com
Brockley Stores, Main Road, Brockley, North Somerset BS48 3AT
WHAT TO MAKE AND HOOWM TO MAKE IT – DIRECT FR THE KITCHENS OF OUR FAVOURITE FOODIES
23 USE YOUR NOODLE
A SUMMER STIR-FRY WITH PLENTY OF COLOURFUL VEG
25 TIP-TOP TAPAS
LEARN HOW TO KNOCK H UP A TRADITIONAL SPANIS SNACK AT HOME
26 CAKE UP!
LEMON DRIZZLE GOES GLUTEN-FREE
Lemons have lots of uses in the kitchen, in both sweet and savoury dishes – this month we’ve one of the former for you
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Recipe taken from Green by Elly Curshen (Ebury Press, £22); photography by Martin Poole
SUMMER VEGETABLE UDON NOODLES SERVES 2 vegetable oil (or olive oil), for stir-frying 1 courgette, halved and sliced ½ small onion, cut into fine wedges 3 spring onions, white and green parts divided and sliced ½ red pepper, sliced 1 handful red cabbage, finely sliced 1 x 200g tin sweetcorn 1 large handful baby leaf spinach 1 garlic clove, peeled and thinly sliced 2cm-piece ginger, peeled and grated 400g pre-cooked udon noodles 2 tbsp dark soy sauce ½ tsp cornflour, mixed with 50ml boiling water until smooth 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar 2 tsp sriracha hot sauce
SPEEDY, FRESH AND DELICIOUS WEEKNIGHT UDON NOODLES COMING UP, STRAIGHT FROM ELLY CURSHEN’S NEW BOOK In Bristol, my favourite place to order a food delivery from is China Capital near Ashton Gate Stadium, writes Elly. Their udon noodles are the inspiration for this recipe. Fat, chewy noodles, loads of crunchy veg and a delicious saucy glaze – it’s the sort of dish I should’ve been making as a student, if I hadn’t been so busy living off hummous and toasted pitta bread.
1 Put a wok over a medium heat and add 1 tbsp of oil. 2 When the oil is hot, add the courgette slices and onion and cook for 3 minutes. Next, add the white parts of the spring onions and the red pepper and cook for a further 2 minutes. Add the red cabbage and cook for another 2 minutes or until slightly wilted. Stir in the sweetcorn and spinach then push everything to the edges of the wok. 3 Add the garlic and ginger to the middle of the pan. Drizzle over a tsp of oil and cook for a further 1 minute, stirring continually. 4 Meanwhile, boil the kettle. Place the noodles in a colander and pour over boiling water to separate them. 5 Add the soy sauce, cornflour mixture, rice wine vinegar and sriracha to the pan. Toss everything together and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Add the noodles and stir to combine. Serve topped with the green parts of the spring onions.
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THIS CLASSIC SPANISH SNACK IS GIVEN A LOCAL EDGE BY THOMAS MAYNARD Having been with the Bar 44 group for some years now, Thomas was chosen to head up the Bristol tapas restaurant when it opened last year. This is one of his most popular dishes at the Clifton site. “It’s a take on a classic Spanish bocadillo sandwich,” he explains. “We’ve given it a twist to combine beautiful Spanish produce with the best of the West Country, as a lot of our dishes do.” Thomas serves these in tapas form – think slider size – but you could absolutely make them larger if you wanted. “We make a challah bun for this recipe, but for home cooking or entertaining, pick up small savoury or brioche rolls rather than making your own.”
LAMB SHOULDER, SHERRY AND MINT BOCADILLO MAKES 12 (ISH) olive oil 1 lamb shoulder on the bone (approx. 2kg) 3 carrots, roughly chopped 1 large white onion, roughly chopped 4 celery sticks, roughly chopped 1 large leek, washed and roughly chopped 1 garlic bulb, cut in half horizontally 10 black peppercorns 3 bay leaves 375ml oloroso sherry 375ml red wine 1-2ltrs good quality chicken stock morcilla de burgos (Spanish black pudding) 12 small bread rolls For the mint aioli: 1 garlic clove handful mint leaves 10ml sherry vinegar 2 free range egg yolks 150ml light olive oil 150ml fruity extra virgin olive oil
1 Put a heavy-based casserole pot over a high heat and pour in a glug of olive oil. Season the lamb well with salt and pepper, then sear in the pot. Make sure you get a great caramelised colour all over the shoulder. Take time over this part. 2 Remove the lamb, turn the heat down and add the vegetables and aromatics to sweat with another slug of olive oil. Once the veg is softened and slightly browned, add the oloroso sherry, stirring and scraping up the flavour left on the bottom of the pan. Reduce the liquid by half, then add the red wine and reduce by half again. 3 Preheat the oven to 120C/248F/gas mark ½. 4 Add enough chicken stock to completely cover the lamb (top up with water if needed). Cut a piece of baking parchment to fit the pot, and place snugly on top of the ingredients, then cover with the lid. 5 Cook for 4 hours and 30 minutes (or, if your oven allows, cook at 95C overnight for 13 hours). When the time is up, the lamb should be meltingly tender. 6 Let the lamb cool completely in the liquor before removing. Then shred the meat coarsely with a fork, discarding the bones. 7 Strain the liquor then place in a pot over a high heat and reduce by ⅔ to get a tasty concentrated sauce, thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. 8 Add the reduced cooking liquor to the shredded lamb, mix thoroughly and season. 9 In a sheet of cling film, roll up the meat into sausages, roughly the same diameter as the bread rolls. Leave them to chill in the fridge. 10 For the aioli, finely chop the garlic, then crush with some salt flakes to create a paste. 11 In a blender, purée the mint and sherry vinegar until ultra fine. Add the garlic and the egg yolks and blitz to emulsify for a least 1 minute. Start adding the oil, a drop at a time to begin with until it is fully emulsified and you are sure it will not split. Increase to a slow drizzle and then to a steady flow. Carry on until you have a mayonnaise consistency. Taste for seasoning and adjust accordingly. 12 To assemble the bocadillo, slice the lamb sausage into discs, removing the cling film. Heat a glug of oil in a frying pan and sear the discs of lamb and black pudding until caramelised on both sides. 13 Toast the buns, then layer the lamb and black pudding inside, with the aioli.
Bar 44, 18-20 Regent Street, Bristol BS8 4HG; 0333 344 4049; bar44.co.uk
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ZeST BeT GREGORY BYCZKO HAS UPDATED HIS FAMILY RECIPE FOR A CLASSIC TEATIME FAVOURITE
Greg is the guy behind Bristol’s Sticky Fingers Bakehaus. Originally from Texas, he’s self-taught and brings a novel edge to his creations, which come in all kinds of shapes and sizes. “I got this recipe from my mother – who’s always been a fan of anything with lemon in – and played around with it to make it gluten free,” he tells us. “I think it works really well. “I bought a few different store-own brands of gluten-free flour for a few tests and was pleasantly surprised; Sainsburys’ was my favourite – the texture was pretty good. Normally, though, I use my own in-house blend of three different types of flour. You can also substitute an alternative spread for the butter to make it dairy free.”
LEMON AND POPPY SEED DRIZZLE LOAF (GLUTEN FREE) SERVES 6-8 170g unsalted butter, at room temperature 170g caster sugar 2 large eggs 170g gluten-free flour 2 lemons, zested 1-2 tbsp poppy seeds For the syrup: 100g caster sugar 3 lemons, juice only For the icing: 225g icing sugar 1 lemon, zest and juice 1 Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/350F/ gas mark 4 and line an 18cm loaf tin with baking paper. 2 With an electric mixer, beat the butter and caster sugar until light and fluffy (5-7 minutes). Beat in the eggs, one at a time, adding 1 tbsp
of flour with each. Once combined, fold in the remaining flour along with the zest of 2 lemons and juice of ½. Finally, fold in the poppy seeds. 3 Pour the batter into the lined tin. Place on the centre rack of the oven and bake for 35-45 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the centre of the sponge comes out clean. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool for about 5 minutes. 4 Combine the caster sugar and lemon juice to make the syrup. Poke holes through the loaf with a skewer, and brush the lemon syrup over the top (I like to do this twice to add more zing). Then set the cake aside to continue cooling. 5 Once the cake has completely cooled, tip it out of the tin. Mix the icing sugar with the lemon juice and zest until you have a creamy mixture with no lumps, and pour the glaze over the cake and leave to set.
Sticky Fingers Bakehaus, 61a High Street, Bristol BS15 3DG; stickyfingersbakehaus.com
## LOVE2SHARE Welcome to Koocha, a friendly, cosy escape that brings a taste of Persia to Bristol. Experience plant powered food as you never have before. Vegan or not, youâ€™ll love our fresh, colourful and creative dishes. Step inside for a taste of mouth-watering Persian mezze and a signature gin cocktail. Serving lunch and dinner and everything in between, come visit us for good times and great food!
Walk ins are always welcome, but we recommend booking a table for groups of 6 or more.
10 Zetland Road, Redland, Bristol BS6 7AD koochamezzebar.com | 0117 9241301
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IT’S SECTION,ODUERDNICEAWTE TO ALL THINGS D SUPPABLE
I DRINK, THEREFORE I AM
MIx uP, LOOK ShaRP
BE N PRYOR
AS THE HOT-RIGHT-NOW NEGRONI CELEBRATES A SIGNIFICANT BIRTHDAY, WE FIND OUT WHERE ITS BEST INCARNATIONS ARE BEING MIXED ON OUR LOCAL PATCH…
THE NEGRONI TURNS 100 years old in 2019, don’t you know? The guys at Campari – a liqueur which makes up a third of the drink, along with gin and vermouth – have been spreading the word and sharing some lesser known info on the popular aperitif. The most common story of its conception is based around Count Camillo Negroni, a fan of the Americano cocktail made with Campari, sweet vermouth and soda water. In a watering hole in Florence one day, he asked the bartender to swap out the soda in his usual sip for gin, having come across the spirit on his travels to Britain. The concoction soon took off, with others, they say, soon ordering the Americano the ‘Negroni way.’ Traditionally, the drink is served equal parts of all three ingredients and garnished with a twist or slice of orange. London Dry is the usual choice of gin, along with a sweet (red) vermouth like Cinzano Rosso. Of course, Campari leaves less room for interpretation – it’s the only drink of its kind and is made to a top secret recipe, with only three people being privy to it. (The original document is stored in a vault in Milan. For real.) This is a cocktail to stir, not shake, and most bartenders will build it in the glass over large chunks of ice. There are, naturally, infinite variations. Ratios can be played with and ingredients swapped out (gin for Prosecco is one example) and added. Little Victories at Wapping Wharf in Bristol knocks together a fine cold brew Negroni with a caffeinated kick, for instance. We’ve, of course, conducted some thorough firsthand research on where to get a cracking Negroni in Bath and Bristol (the things we do for you) but also asked you guys, our readers, for your favourite serves. Psychopomp, Pasta Loco, Amoeba, Berthas and Playground Coffee in Bristol and Canary, Circo and Dark Horse in Bath were popular choices. Now, go forth to said establishments and celebrate this fine aperitif’s centenary.
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Summer days This Summer, come and enjoy our newly developed gardens featuring Childrens’ Play areas throughout OHH.
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Family or friends staying? Why not make the visit extra special and stay over at an OHH Pub. Save £10 when you book direct. Just visit www.ohhpubs.co.uk and at the point of reservation use this Promo Code: SAVE10
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The Crown / Buddha Tea Barn, 500 Bath Road, Saltford, BS31 3HJ www.thecrowninsaltford.com f thecrowninsaltford
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ThE dRIP RIP FEEd NEWS, BREWS, BARS AND TRENDS
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RUM’S THE WORD
What do Bath and the Bahamas have in common? Aluna Coconut rum, the makers of which are based in this fine Spa city. We’re banking this recipe to whip out when the sun puts his hat on... ALUNA GINGER COLADA ice cubes 50ml Aluna Coconut 100ml pineapple juice 25ml coconut water ginger ale fresh ginger, sliced, to garnish chillies, sliced, to garnish
There’s a new gin on the block – and if you want a bottle you’d better move fast. Thornbury’s Bramly and Gage have released a new incarnation of their 6 O’clock Gin with the help of Jekka McVicar, founder of Jekka’s herb farm – the biggest collection of herbs in the country. French tarragon, Middle Eastern oregano, thyme and bay were plucked from the site to be used as botanicals in the new Bouquet Garni gin, to make for a smooth, aromatic London Dry that’s got something of summertime in the garden about it. Find it at Corks of Cotham, Averys and others for £38. 6oclockgin.com
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Fill a glass with ice. Shake together the Aluna Coconut, pineapple juice and coconut water and pour over. Top with ginger ale and garnish with the ginger and chilli slices. alunacoconut.com
Bristol brewery Left Handed Giant has opened an impressive new brewpub at Finzels Reach (housed, incidentally, in a disused brewery). The restored building is all bare, weathered stone and full-height ceilings, and there’s a huge opening to the front that looks across the river to Castle Park as well as a mezzanine level upstairs. It’s on the ground floor, though, where you’ll find the most buzz – not to mention the bar, where a great range of beers and cocktails are on the go. Taking care of culinary proceedings is Mission Pizza, working with a wood-fired Napoli pizza oven in the purpose-built kitchen. lefthandedgiant.com
WHERE – OH WHERE – DOES RUGBY PLAYER-TURNEDCOMMENTATOR DAVID FLATMAN QUENCH HIS THIRST, WE WONDER? My local is The Hare and Hounds in Bath. The vibe here in three words is easy, super easy. I’m drinking a Diet Coke with ice, actually!
And to nibble on I’ll have the lovely scrambled eggs and smoked salmon for brekkie, thank you. You’ll find me sitting out on the terrace – probably in a jacket for warmth – loving the breeze and the view. It’s not all about the food and drink, though; this place also has loads of rampaging space for kids (including an adventure playground) and the best Friday evening deals and views in Bath.
My best celebrity spot here is former rugby pro Matt Powell – who looks like Willem Dafoe [no, you don’t get double points for that – ed]. If I was to steal something from the pub I’d take one of Joanne Cope’s cows (as in, paintings of!). Basically, you should try my local because it does the same job as most others, only with a far better lookout and much more space. hareandhoundsbath.com
THE WINE GUY
LONG TIME NO SEA OUR DRINKS COLUMNIST ANDY CLARKE TAKES A TRIP TO THE SEASIDE TO GATHER INSPIRATION FOR THIS MONTH’S FOOD AND WINE MATCH
t Nick Fenlon, Andy Clarke and Dom Lamy, hanging out at the Clevedon restaurant
he sun is high in the sky, the heat is delightfully strong and my cider-flavoured ice lolly is melting at a rate of knots. The Clevedon waterfront is bustling with people and I’m rolling my shorts up to maximise the rays on my skin. No, I’m not talking about this summer, but going back to the mid-1980s when I was a kid on a family day trip to this fab seaside town. Over the last few years, Cleveden has gone through a renaissance. The pier has been tastefully restored, Marine Lake has been rejuvenated and the town boasts parades of independent businesses, one such being Hill Road, a great stretch of shops, bars and places to eat. Nestling on one corner is Puro, a modern British restaurant founded by Dom and Alex Lamy. The couple, who have over 25 years experience in hospitality, decided that Clevedon needed an upmarket but unpretentious restaurant and so this place was born in June 2017.
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Dom met Puro’s head chef Nick Fenlon when they both worked at Bristol’s waterside institution, The Pump House. Nick was born and raised in the Chew Valley, like so many of the West’s finest chefs, and eventually followed Dom to Puro. Nick’s a keen forager with a love of shellfish and game, which comes through in Puro’s varied menu (the wild rocket on their tomato salad is picked by Nick on his way to work, even). In fact, Nick’s menu has to be one of the best examples of relaxed, fine-dining in the region. The pan-fried fillet of hake with hake croquette, mussels, cannellini beans and sea herbs is sublime. But one dish that stands out for me is the hand-picked Dorset crab with cucumber crème fraîche, rice cracker, apple and parsley oil. Pure shellfish pleasure. The way the crab is complemented by its plate mates is magical. Luckily, this beauty is on both the tasting menu and a la carte, but if you fancy giving it a try it at home, I have some West Country sips to serve alongside it. The delicate nature of the crab, along with the streak of green apple, desires a local wine like Smith and Evans Naturally Fermented White 2018 from the heart of Somerset. It has an onion skin hue when you look at it and a gently floral nose – not elderflower, more summer meadow – which comes into its own alongside the mixture of meat, crème fraîche, mayo and lemon juice. The wine has a gentle spritz and delicate minerality, a bit like a good Grüner Veltliner, that teases the cracker and the crisp apple. There’s also subdued stone fruit on the palate, with white pepper warmth on the finish that mingles delicately with the parsley oil. If a fuller, more robust wine is what you desire, Three Choirs Bacchus 2017 from the wilds of Gloucestershire is what you need. It has a bold and rich nose, like baked apple in the setting of summer farmland, thanks to the gentle oak Smith and Evans (it’s aged for six months Naturally Fermented in one-year-old French White 2018, £13 from oak barrels). The flavour smithandevans.com of lemon zest-flecked Three Choirs Bacchus gooseberries is incredible 2017, £14.95 from with the Granny Smith three-choirsand gives enough vineyards.co.uk weight to stand up to the delicately flavoured yet rich crab mixture. But this wine has a Vinho Verde fun-like quality to it which is fantastic with all the green elements here. Definitely a food wine, its long finish does the whole shellfish masterpiece justice. As tempting as it is to leave a coastal visit until the temperatures are up and the sun is shining, there’s really no need to wait until you fancy an ice cream or a flutter on the slot machines to visit Clevedon, as long as food like this is being served there.
Andy is a freelance food TV producer and writer; follow him on Twitter @TvsAndyClarke
HAND-PICKED DORSET CRAB, CUCUMBER CRÈME FRAÎCHE, RICE CRACKER, APPLE AND PARSLEY OIL SERVES 6 For the rice crackers: 150g rice vegetable oil, for deep frying For the crab: 1 whole crab (approx. 1.3kg), or 500g pre-picked white and brown meat 1 tbsp crème fraîche 1 tbsp fresh mayonnaise 1 lemon, juice only For the cucumber crème fraîche: 2 cucumbers 1 yellow pepper 3 tbsp crème fraîche For the parsley oil: 50g parsley leaves 25g spinach 250g good-quality rapeseed oil For the apple: 4 large Bramley apples 200ml white wine vinegar 120g caster sugar, plus 100g for the pickling liquid 2 lemons, juice only 4 star anise 2 Granny Smith apples 1 Put the rice in a pan (do not rinse it), cover well with water and bring to the boil. Cook until it’s very overdone (about 40 minutes), adding more water as necessary. Drain and allow the rice to steam in the pan until as much water as possible has evaporated. 2 Transfer the rice to a blender and blend on high speed for 6 minutes. Line a baking sheet with baking paper and spread the rice evenly over it to a thickness of 1cm, then leave it to dry completely (you can put it in the oven at the lowest temperature to help it). 3 When dry, heat a couple of centimetres of oil in a heavy-based, high sided pan to 150C for deep frying. Break the dried rice into pieces about 10cm big and deep fry in batches until golden brown (around 1 minute), removing from the oil with a slotted spoon and draining on a plate lined with kitchen paper. 4 If using a whole live crab, put it into the freezer for 10 minutes to put it to sleep. When ready, pull open the tail plate of the crab then insert a skewer
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into the body to kill it instantly. Bring a pot of very salty water to a rolling boil and simmer the crab for 12 minutes per kg. Remove and set aside to cool. 5 Pick the meat from the legs, body and head, being careful to remove the dead man’s fingers, then pick through to remove any shell. (Alternatively, you can pick up good quality hand-picked brown and white crab meat from a reputable fish mongers.) 6 Put the crab meat (about 12 tbsp) into a bowl with the crème fraîche and fresh mayo. Add the lemon juice and some sea salt to taste. 7 For the cucumber créme fraîche, de-seed the cucumbers and pepper and blend the flesh in a food processor, then pass through a fine sieve. Add the crème fraîche to the purée and whisk. Season again with salt and lemon juice. 8 For the parsley oil, bring a large pan of water to a rolling boil and prepare a bowl of ice water. Put the parsley leaves and spinach into the boiling water and blanch for 10 seconds then refresh in the ice water. When cool, wrap the leaves in a tea towel and squeeze until completely dry. And to a blender and blend with the rapeseed oil until smooth. 9 For the apple purée, peel, core and chop the Bramley apples into small chunks, then place in a pan with 120g caster sugar and the juice of the lemons. Cook for 12-15 minutes until the apple becomes translucent and cooked down. Blend until smooth and leave to cool. 10 For the pickled apple, make a pickling liquor with the white wine vinegar, sugar, 100ml water and the star anise. Bring to boil then remove from the heat and cool. 11 Peel the Granny Smith apples and cut across the midsection for 3cm-thick slices. Take out the middle with an apple corer and place into the pickling liquor. 12 Pile 3 tbsp of the crab meat onto each plate, then place a rice cracker on top. Put the pickled apple slice on top. Mix the parsley oil with the cucumber crème fraîche slightly to split it, and pour around the crab meat. Squeeze small droplets of apple sauce over. 13 We like to garnish with wild borage flowers, mallow flowers, sweet cicely, apple dice and nasturtium leaves, or whatever is available at the time. purorestaurant.co.uk
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: firstname.lastname@example.org | www.mantraofbath.co.uk
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L AT E N I G H T R E T R E AT S
STILL THE GODFATHER OF BATH’S LATE NIGHT COCKTAIL SCENE, CIRCO’S CURRENT INCARNATION IS LUSHER, DARKER AND WITH MORE HIDDEN CORNERS THAN EVER, SAYS MATT BIELBY
ack in the day – we’re talking when Bath still had a police station, virtually next door – Circo was at the bottom of town, in a corner basement of the ongoing building site that will one day be the new Halcyon Hotel; it took its name from the semi-circular bar that dominated the space. In more recent years, however, it’s relocated to George Street up the hill, a keystone of the strip of cool wine bars and cocktail lounges there, sprawling through numerous under-pavement rooms and buildings that have previously seen service as everything from The Porter’s basement bar to Bath’s first incarnation of pizza-andcider gaff The Stable. This has long been an intriguing space, with a handful of main bar areas and numerous smaller rooms and corners for small groups or privacy-seeking couples, but these days the slightly safe, hotel bar decor has been replaced by something altogether darker, lusher and more mysterious. Expect bare walls, dark paint, chandeliers, gold and copper accents, quirky lighting and
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velvet galore. There are three bars, which each impart a slightly different character to the areas around: the main central bar, with friendly, efficient table service and a kick-ass cocktail repertoire; a dedicated rum bar; and a longer, more nightclubby bar in a room sometimes set aside for dancing, or for events like the regular Wednesday cinema nights – here the offerings are simpler and quicker to serve. Happily ensconced at the big U-shaped sofa opposite the main bar, and near the fireplace where acoustic acts sometimes play, we made an enthusiastic but perhaps foolhardy request to be hit up with the cocktails the bar staff are drinking right now: for me, this turned out to be the supremely potent Pillar of the Community (£10.50), which stirred together Campari, Four Pillars gin, Antica Formula and Wild Turkey 101 – all booze, no mixer – to sophisticated but undeniably hardcore effect. Along the sofa, my drinking buddy for the evening had an innocentlooking Bouquet (£9), its delicate, flowery pale pink colour and lavender twig garnish disguising what was actually a pretty pokey Martini built of gin, elderflower liqueur, and flowery Noilly Prat vermouth. Later on we’d try the likes of a Beachcomber (£11) and a Cool ’n’ Sexy (£10.50) – both longer, rum-based drinks with a cool serve, one in a tiki mug like an angry Polynesian deity and the other in an oversized enamel camping cup with a burning pineapple slice on top. All fun, all different, and just the tip of a vast range that covers off the staples (Negronis and Mai Tais, Mojitos and Daiquiris) while also being too cool to offer visiting hen parties the standard Pornstar Martini and deft enough to serve up its own crowd-pleasing twist on it instead, the Mexican Star. Manager Julia Maltby has done wonders here of late, keeping it open ’til 3am most nights for those looking to cap their evening off with a civilised drink, while coming up with a consistently inventive range of regular and one-off theme nights and events. A great place to stop off for one, or to make a whole night of it. Your choice. Circo, 15-18 George Street, Bath BA1 2EN; 01225 585100; circobar.com
CHOOSE YYOUR WEAPONS
SLICED THIN ENOUGH, BORING OLD VEGGIES TAKE ON A NEW AND INTRIGUING GLAMOUR. ISN’T IT TIME YOU INVESTED IN A JULIENNE SLICER, ASKS MATT BIELBY? What are your knife skills like? Pretty good. I can throw them at my assistant spinning on a wheel, so they thunk happily into the wood between her arms and legs – and all while wearing a blindfold, too. (That said, I am currently looking for a new assistant, if you know anyone?) I meant in the kitchen, stupid. I was just messing. I know what magazine we’re in, and which page we’re on. Well, mine are pretty good, as it goes. I like to think I can chop, and chop well. What I’m not so good at is chopping things really thin, or – at least – not as consistently as I’d like to. Then what you want is a julienne slicer. Few things save on cooking time like these little beauties, which can revolutionise your veggie prep, and especially help you slice both hard root veg (like potatoes and carrots) and softer, squishier ones (like courgettes and cucumber) super-thin. It’s made me fall in love with salad again.
I’ve got a full-sized mandolin. And do you use it? Rarely. Okay, never. That’s because they’re a little trickier to use, right, and tend to be large and bulky. (A bit scary too, as I’m rather attached to my fingers – and would like to remain that way.) But something like this sleeker, safer Microplane Gourmet Julienne Slicer is just the ticket, shaped like a paddle and with a row of durable, super-sharp teeth that work like miniature knives to cut ingredients into long, thin, uniform slices. Now you mention it, I do like a bit of homemade coleslaw. Me too, and this works brilliantly with cabbage and anything else you want to chuck in there (apple, say, or onion). And though this is much less intimidating than a mandolin, if you’re still worried about your fingers while doing all those end bits, they’ll even sell you a plastic hand guard to keep your pinkies pink (and not gushing red) too. How does that sound?
The Microplane Gourmet Julienne Slicer costs £24.95 and the hand guard £4.95, available from Lakeland in Bath and Bristol; microplane-brandshop.com
THIS MONTH THINK SLICE + CURIOSITY SHOP + KIT STOP
The Supper Club
WHEN CRUMBS GOT WIND OF A NOSE-TO-TAIL FEAST GOING ON IN A CURIOUS BELOW-GROUND RESTAURANT, WE JUST HAD TO STICK OUR SNOUT IN AND SEE WHAT WAS GOING ONâ€¦ WO RDS BY JE SSICA CARTE R PHOTO S BY AL ICE WHITBY
ountless apothecary bottles are lined up on the shelves and in the covered glass displays of antique chemists cabinets. Organised by colour, these vessels come in all shapes and sizes, some still carrying old, worn labels. A Victorian stove is tucked inside the large former fireplace, a cauldron sitting on its top. Above hang copper pots and pans and polished silver cloches, and the adjacent wall displays a collection of vintage whisks. Floors are stone and, above head, tentacle-like lights shimmer in different colours. This is The Dispensary, the restaurant at boutique Bath hotel No 15 Great Pulteney, which is housed in two adjoining Georgian townhouses. This impressive building has character by the bucketload â€“ think chandeliers made from â€˜lostâ€™ earrings, estranged from their partners, murals on the walls, glass tables filled with vintage jewellery, a fish-scale bar and exposed centuries-old wallpaper and plasterwork. Of course, these themes continue down in the main dining room where, on this particular night, a group of people sit at a long table chatting excitedly. No 15 Great Pulteney has launched monthly supper clubs down in The Dispensary, each with a different theme and all conceived by head chef Marcus Bradley. This was his first, and he had chosen a nose-to-tail focus, working with cuts of pork taken from all over the animal. Champagne and pork rind puffs (long, twisted straws of bubbly, crisp crackling served in copper pots) welcome the guests with a real start-as-we-mean-to-go-
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on attitude, and quickly give rise to a chorus of crunching. Around the communal table is managing director Jonathan Walker and his wife Hazel, as well as the hotel’s Charlotte Doherty and Kate Authers. A group of four food and adventure-hunting friends sit to my right, while a couple of hotel residents, on a weekend trip to the Spa city, chat to my left. After a welcome from Jonathan, Marcus explains the concept of the evening and teases his crowd with descriptions of the dishes he has on the go in the kitchen. Just like the hotel itself, this menu is a blend of history and modernity, the traditional and the imaginative. Think faggots – those retro meatballs made from offal and off-cuts – baked and resting on a bed of crushed peas, with crescents of pink pickled onion offering delicately tangy relief from the rich meaty stars. Ham hock comes too, disguised inside golden breadcrumbed balls of arancini with a swipe of pastel-green watercress mayo. Wine glasses are filled up generously – first with a crisp, floral and citrusy Italian white, Ancilla Lugana, then with a gorgeously rich and bold South African Cabernet Sauvignon, all dark fruit and smokiness.
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HAM HOCK ARANCINI
The procession of dishes – there are seven courses, in all – continues. A meltingly tender slab of pork belly, meat layered with soft, lardy fat and a crisp top layer of crackling, arrives with root ginger matchsticks, sweet potato and tangy hoisin sauce, while saltimbocca is doused in burnt lemon butter, and soft hunks of ciderbraised pork shoulder sit in their cooking liquor with black pudding scones. We’re pretty full by this point, and make the most of the pre-dessert break in proceedings to share local recommendations and stories of Bath to the out-of-towners. Before long, though, dessert arrives – and yes, it does contain pig. Lardy treacle sponge is topped with a sphere of maple ice cream, coated in crumbs of sweetcured bacon. Despite the first mouthful giving me a stark glimpse over the edge of which I was about to be tipped, I carried on piling the sweet-savoury mouthfuls in (ever the professional, me) until I was tumbling. And tumble then I did, out to the car, after a fitting celebration of the intelligent and versatile truffle-hunting beasts that it can be all to easy to take for granted.
MAKES 18 1 tbsp olive oil 1 small onion, finely chopped 1 garlic clove, crushed 225g Arborio rice 125ml dry white wine 600ml chicken stock, hot 75g frozen peas, blanched and lightly crushed 120g cooked ham hock, shredded 40g Parmesan, finely grated 2 eggs 1 tbsp milk 60g plain flour 110g Panko breadcrumbs 115g smoked applewood cheese, cut into 2cm cubes 250ml vegetable oil, for deep frying
1 Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring until the onion is soft but not browned. Pour in the rice and cook, stirring for 2 minutes. Then stir in the wine and continue cooking and stirring until the liquid has evaporated. 2 Add the hot chicken stock to the rice, 75ml at a time, stirring and cooking until the liquid has evaporated before adding more. 3 When the stock has all been added and the liquid has evaporated, stir in the peas and ham. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat and stir in the Parmesan. 4 Transfer to a bowl and allow to cool slightly before beating one of the eggs and stirring it in. 5 In a small bowl, whisk the remaining egg together with the milk, and add the flour and breadcrumbs to their own 2 bowls. 6 Take 2 tbsp of the risotto and use your hands to roll it into a ball. Press a piece of the applewood cheese into the centre and roll to enclose. Coat the ball lightly with flour, dip into the egg, then roll in breadcrumbs, ensuring it is evenly coated. Repeat until all of the mixture is used up. 7 In a deep fat fryer or large, deep saucepan, heat the vegetable oil to 170C. Fry the balls in small batches until evenly golden (about 3-4 minutes). When each is cooked, remove with a slotted spoon and leave to drain on a plate lined with kitchen paper. 8 Serve warm, with a sauce for dipping, if you like.
FANCY TRYING OUT ONE OF THESE SUPPER CLUBS FOR YOURSELF? Move quick and grab your tickets for the steak dinner, starring an impressive Tomahawk, on 16 September, or the game night on 21 October (we’re talking hay-baked partridge and venison here, as opposed to charades)
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The Want List INSPIRED BY OUR SUPPER CLUB IN THE DISPENSARY, WE’VE BEEN ON THE LOOKOUT FOR KITCHEN CURIOSITIES...
Brass Ice Bucket, £60 By Danish designer House Doctor, this cool (ahem) bucket is ideal for storing ice or chilling wine. Get yours from Fromebased e-tailer, Cox and Cox. coxandcox.co.uk
Belmont Glass Jar (medium), £39 A beautiful storage jar, this number wouldn’t look out of place in a sweet shop of yore. Find it in Neptune in Bath and Bristol. neptune.com
Eteri Claret Jug, £58 This glass jug is as ideal for pouring wine as it is for starting conversations. Find it in Oka in Bath. oka.com
Abeeko Wine Glass, £9 These unique etched glasses from ethical trader Nkuku will certainly bring character to the dinner table. Find them at Fig 1 in Bristol. fig1.co.uk Blushing Birds Plate, £32 We love the colourful, old-school design of this porcelain plate. From Vinegar Hill in Bath and Bristol. vinegarhill.co.uk
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MA INs EATING-OUT INSPO, INSIDER KNOWLEDGE AND FOOD PIONEERs
There's been a real influx of cool new indie eateries in Exeter, like the stylish Sacred Grounds
51 TASTES LIKE DEVON
WE VENTURE TO WEST COUNTRY NEIGHBOUR EXETER, TO FIND OUT WHAT 'S COOKING DOWN THERE
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PLACES TO EAT AND DRINK BY THE EXE
( advertising feature )
The Salutation Inn is a historical delight, having stood in Topsham for over 300 years
xpect the dignity and confidence of a proud institution with an injection of Topsham’s fiercely independent spirit at The Salutation Inn, a luxurious foodie escape with homely charm. Tom and Amelia Williams-Hawkes have manned the helm for the past six years. Tom is the chef-director, having worked alongside Michael Caines, Gordon Ramsay and Marcus Wareing. Amelia runs a slick front of house team, with each member extending the Williams-Hawkes family’s warm welcome and professional service. While the world bustles down Topsham’s cobbled shopping streets, guests are invited to slow down and relax in this sanctuary. Past the vast wooden door, you’ll find cosy lounges with crackling log fires and magazines ready to be browsed. Awash with light, the GlassHouse is available by day. With green leafy plants and colonial-style sofas, this relaxed dining room offers leisurely light lunches while the bar pours out single-origin coffees, wine and cocktails. The Salutation is renowned for its evening fine-dining menus. Trust in Tom’s team to deliver impressive dishes with every scrap on the menu prepared in-house. Local fish is brought in daily, but there are delicious options for meat lovers – such as the Greendale Farm beef fillet, baby carrot, confit onion and Madeira sauce. Vegetarian stand-out dishes include wild mushroom tortellini, hen of the woods and mushroom consommé. Bedrooms are elegant and uncomplicated. Inspired by the Exe estuary lapping at its welcome mat, the interiors echo nautical feels that combine traditional with the more contemporary. With day-trippers and guests returning for special occasions and a taste of true Devon hospitality, The Salutation is a retreat that will undoubtedly continue to serve for 300 years more.
The Salutation Inn, 68 Fore Street, Topsham, Exeter, Devon EX3 0HL; 01392 873060; salutationtopsham.co.uk; email@example.com f salutationtopsham a Salutation1 x salutationinn
PLANET FRIENDLY INDULGENCE DONE SIMPLY The Flat, 142 Fore Street, Exeter EX4 3AN f theﬂatexeter
WE’VE BEEN SPEAKING TO THE PEOPLE BEHIND THE GROWING INDIE FOOD CULTURE OF EXETER, TO FIND OUT WHAT’S GOING ON DOWN THEIR END OF THE M5, AND WHY THE CITY IS A GREAT DESTINATION FOR HUNGRY DAY-TRIPPERS...
opulated as our patch is these days by nationally celebrated restaurants, top-pedigree chefs, a throng of menus that span all tastes and occasions and an engaged audience who pounce on all of the above as soon as mealtime rolls around, it can be difficult to remember that the South West food and drink scene doesn’t actually revolve around Bath and Bristol. Sorry to break it to you. There are towns and cities with whom we share the foot of this isle where the food scene is really hotting up, but many of us are too distracted – discussing where serves the ultimate burger while chewing on a mouthful of artisan sourdough pizza and thinking about which new tap room to visit later – to realise. There are worse places, for instance, to find yourself stranded with a rumble than Cheltenham, and Cornwall is littered with Michelin-starred chefs and first-rate seafood. Exeter, too, has been quietly gaining real momentum when it comes to its restaurant offering – and it’s unsurprising, with the great-quality produce that’s knocked out in Devon. This city might be petite but it’s got character – think a cathedral with a 900year history and a famous Premiership rugby team – and during the last few years its eating-out scene has been growing too, with clusters of restaurants scattered about the city.
Buzzing Queen Street is home to some familiar faces of the high street restaurant scene like Pho, Comptoir Libanais and Absurd Bird, and is framed by the restored neo-classical market façade – all Bath stone and Greek pillars – which Charles Fowler, also responsible for Covent Garden’s architecture, worked on. While you’ll see some more wellknown brands elsewhere in the city, there is an increasing number of intriguing independents and kooky one-offs to stumble upon, too, in other pockets of foodie activity. The Quay is home to The Waterfront, The Prospect, Rockfish and Dr Ink’s Curiosities (more on there later); Cathedral Corner has South Street Standard, Al Farid and The Beer Cellar; and the West Quarter boasts The Flat, Angela’s and Sacred Grounds. Sacred Grounds is one of the newest kids on the Exeter block, having opened last October. This cool, modern café has a calming aesthetic, helped along by the full-
length windows through which the daylight streams, vintage furniture and abundant foliage, while the red brick, steel pillars and low-hanging bulbs add an industrial edge (the stylish space was created by the couple behind lifestyle shop, No Guts, No Glory). Everything on the innovative, experimental menu is 100 per cent plant-based – an ethos that is becoming more widespread in Devon’s capital, as we’ll see later – and the offering changes regularly. (Try the buckwheat waffles or traditional Danish sourdough smørrebrød.) This caff was born from the rise of the local food scene and galvanised by the success of its fellow indies, co-owner Hayley Maker tells us. “Places like The Flat, the Exploding Bakery and No. 1 Polsloe (which have been firm favourites of ours for the past few years) really inspired us to create Sacred Grounds,” she says. “We have lots of plantbased indie bakers and food producers that are making waves and can be seen at
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Exeter’s popular vegan market – where they always sell out of food. I have a feeling that we’re just at the beginning of a developing scene here in Exeter.” Red Panda was another newcomer to the city last year – also super vegan-friendly – and serves a small menu of South East Asian street food to take away, made using authentic Asian recipes. Its owner, James McCarthy, agrees that there’s a real whiff of confidence and creativity in the Exeter food scene right now. “The underlying spending power of the student population makes the city economy very strong, which in turn feeds the confidence to start indie businesses,” he says. “There is also a good sense of community within the independents, and an understanding that no-one is going to only want to eat one type of food, so we can all coexist and work with each other.” (If you fancy checking this place out, we hear the baos and Asian salads are big hits. Just saying.)
Continuing backwards in time to May 2017, The Flat launched on Fore Street with a menu of North Italian-style pizzas, made using the best, most ethical (often organic) ingredients the team can find. The offering here leans, again, to sustainable vegetarian and vegan lifestyles, with popular offerings being the Smoked, featuring smoked cheese, red onion chutney and mushrooms, and the new Sfilatino, a folded pizza containing creamy cheese, walnuts and thyme. “The vegan landscape is really blossoming, in Exeter,” says Chloe Whipple, who co-owns the restaurant with Pietro Chiereghin. “Two new fully vegan cafés have opened in the area this year, all of our favourite places to eat offer beautiful veggie and vegan options, and there is a monthly vegan market. “It is really exciting that for a small city there is so much we can offer those who previously would have been banished to the chips and salad option when eating out.” Also celebrating its second birthday this year is urban-style burger gaff Meat 59. This is, of course, a departure from the vegan concept, but the focus on best-quality ingredients is still very much apparent. “We pride ourselves on burgers made in-house using West Country meat,” says co-founder Jenna Heasman. “Sourcing locally is really important to us. We feel that meat should be looked on as a treat, and therefore it’s about quality. “Our two most recent specials, Fish Out of Water using Brixham white fish, and our Lamb Bamba using Dartmoor lamb, have been really popular. Customers look for more than your average burger these days, and we are always experimenting and aim to bring something different.” As well as with food, new indies have been upping the bar when it comes to
drinks on this turf, too. There are some top wines, plenty of craft beers and imaginative cocktails made with homemade ingredients to be supped in stylish and unique bars. Dr Ink’s Curiosities was opened in 2016 by bar pro Patrick Fogarty and hospitality consultant Tom Cullen, and is really experience-driven – both in terms of concept and service. The bar is inspired by the cocktails of the Victorian era, and the team spend a year researching and developing each new menu, looking to history books, vintage recipes and popular events and ingredients of the time. There is also a real seasonality in the offering, explains Patrick. “There is lots of elderflower, dog rose, honeysuckle, and rhubarb at the moment, so those flavours dominate,” he tells us. “A popular drink right now is our Tyger
Tyger, inspired by Blake’s poem, which contains tropical Indian flavours with Tanqueray Rangpur gin. “Exeter has seen a plethora of casual dining groups come in the last four years, but it seems that people are looking for something beyond that now, and the indie scene is championing it.” Kate Wilkinson of the cool Circa 1924 – a bar-restaurant with cocktails of homeinfused spirits mixed downstairs, and elegant dishes featuring great local produce in the first floor dining room – agrees. “We have seen a real change in the way consumers in Exeter are choosing to eat, and have noticed a genuine uptake in support of independent restaurants across the city over the last few years,” she says. If you visit, try the new house sharing menu – a selection of 10 plates like pappardelle with broad beans, peas, courgette and goat’s curd, and Exmoor venison Carpaccio with anchovy mayo, Cornish gouda and crispy capers. Oliver Coysh, co-founder of the wellloved Exploding Bakery, also notes that there’s a question of quantity versus quality when looking at the development of Exeter’s food scene. “I feel it’s split in two directions,” he says. “One features great people creating great places, like Exe Coffee Roasters, The Flat and Sacred Grounds. The other direction is more chains. These venture capitalistbacked businesses can be pretty damaging to the local economy; however, they do serve a purpose, creating a stepping stone for introducing exotic flavours.”
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Exploding Bakery is a popular, contemporary café that’s all about goodquality lunches and great cakes at affordable prices – think soups or salad bowls for £3.50 to take away, or sourdough toasties for a four quid, eat-in. They’ve also recently introduced new evening services, where a handful of small plates sit alongside natural wines on the menu – a concept that differs from the café offering, but that holds true to the team’s focus on well-thought-out food and drink that comes from local producers. The Oddfellows is another longestablished culinary hangout in Exeter. Gastropub in concept, it makes the most of what is in season and plentiful in Devon. Dishes include wild rabbit terrine with smoked bacon jam, thyme crackers and cornichons, and herb gnocchi with pea, mint, pine nuts and whipped feta. Brunches have arrived here now too, so you needn’t wait for lunchtime in order to tuck in. Co-founder Faye Williams thinks this is a city really worth exploring – just make sure you stroll off the beaten path. “So many new places have opened up in the high street area in the last five years,” she says. “Some have lasted, some haven’t. I’m not against chain casual dining, and some are pretty good, but if you take the time, there are some fantastic, slightly hidden independent eateries that are doing some truly great food with great fresh ingredients.” Lauren Filtcroft of the long-established Harry’s restaurant agrees with Faye, and has noticed the way that this influx of eateries has begin to shape how people use their local restaurants. “We have had many casual dining eateries open in Exeter, and this has had an impact on the way people eat out. We have noticed a rise in casual dining, but also in celebratory meals here at Harry’s, for birthdays and anniversaries. We love being
able to make those events extra special for our guests.” Indeed, there are some touches you’ll get from those smaller indies that larger restaurants just can’t offer, and Harry’s has certainly been getting them right, weathering the unpredictable restaurant market for 26 years. Now run by a second generation of the Pounds family, it’s a great example of an independent joint with staying power – one that puts quality ingredients (in everything from seasonal mains to sharing steaks and Mexican dishes) and top-notch hospitality first. Exeter, then, has got it going on – a city that’s beginning to really come into its own. Deborah Clarke (who co-founded Southernhay House, a hotel of laid-back luxury with its own restaurant), says that Exeter is having to up its game for evermore discerning diners, and that there’s certainly potential for it to be a real culinary destination, what with a host of great independents and the growing accessibility of the region’s fantastic produce (which she credits, in part, to the likes of Darts Farm and Greendale). For this hospitality pro, though, there is yet more opportunity to really maximize on the amazing supply, and still plenty more ground to be made up. So, keep your eye on this budding city – as good as it is right now, we have a suspicion it’s only going to get better...
Travelling by train? Get to Exeter St David’s from Bristol Temple Meads in just under an hour, or from Bath Spa in about an hour and a half
Opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday: 09:00 - 15:00, 18:00 - 22:00 | Sunday to Monday: 09:00 - 15:00
NEW RESTAURANTS DEVOURED, NEW CAFÃ‰S FREQUENTED, NEW BARS CRAWLED, AND WHAT WE THOUGHT OF THEM
60 TREE'SDA CROW
Cocktails in ceramic elephants are but one notable characteristic of this local Sri Lankan joint
RS EXOTIC FLAVONU KA FROM SRI LA E IN HAVE A HOM KS TO BRISTOL THANT TREE THE COCONU
62 ALL WHITE ? N DOES KOFFMAN AND MR WHITE'S LIVE UP TO ITS NAMESAKES?
64 MIND YROS UR M A NO D T O
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OF M I N U TE S T O DRIVING A REACH LDS O C TSWO RETREAT
S SRI LANKAN STREET FOOD
THE COCONUT TREE CHARLIE LYON FINDS SUNSHINE ON A RAINY DAY AT THIS SRI LANKAN RESTAURANT SERVING UP COLOURFUL SMALL PLATES TO SHARE
torm Miguel: Spanish by name, fiery by nature, but nothing of the ’del Sol about it. That was the storm that lashed our country mid-June, taking us from sun to glum in a matter of hours. Most of us rode out our evenings indoors, heating on, while those looking for warmth of a different kind headed towards Stokes Croft, where there’s now a plethora of eateries offering a guaranteed sunny experience, whatever the weather. There’s a Mexican fiesta to be had at Masa and Mezcal, and lots of fresh Asian tastes a stone’s throw further up at Suncraft. And, since last October, The Coconut Tree has been offering its own far-flung flavours nearby on Cheltenham Road, too. This restaurant is one of a pair in Bristol (the other nestled on the Triangle) serving up Sri Lankan-style street food and cocktails. With the original restaurantbar now an established and popular hangout in Cheltenham, and another set to open soon in Cardiff, it seems the concept is properly taking off. The branding is strong – you won’t miss the darkteal paint and bold white typeface on the facade as you stroll just north of the arches. “But it looked a bit, er, unfinished inside,” said my colleague, “so I didn’t go in.” True, it’s pared back to the point of sparse – planed wooden tables and benches without even a potted succulent for decor. There’s exposed brick, cutlery comes in a tin can, and there’s kitchen roll to wipe your mitts on. Still, since when did street food call for a fancy backdrop? The menu’s understated too – a printed sheet of A4 – but full of intrigue. The five Sri Lankan founders are bringing us food we’ve not been very privy to in Bristol before now. I’m keen for an egg hopper (£3.50) to start – apparently a must-have for first-timers. The light and fluffy coconut-milk rice-flour pancake is a beauteous pale shade with toasted hues, like a perfectly fired marshmallow. It’s named after the rounded hopper pan it’s cooked in, which forces the pancake into a bowl shape. In the centre sits a perfectly cooked egg, the yolk still runny, ready to be smashed and mixed in with the chutneys – grated coconut with lime and onion, caramelised onion with a hint of cinnamon and
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a special Sri Lankan salsa. The dish is fun, light, spicy. Shame the place doesn’t open until lunchtime, really, as I reckon one of these would go down rather nicely for breakfast. Also coming highly recommended is the battered cuttlefish (£7). It’s a ’grammable dish – a pile of intriguingly shaped strands of mollusc, battered and glistening in a sweet and sticky sauce with a vivid red hue. There’s spice here, but the chilli sauce is sweet and moreish, too. With a bigger crunch from the batter, this would have been a standout dish. At the other end of the flavour spectrum is the Jaffna goat curry (£7.50) – a dark and rich coconut sauce harbouring tender, flavoursome chunks of goat. Hunks of potato round off the earthy dish, whose flavours of cinnamon and clove can’t linger long enough. Team this with a bowl of red rice (£2.50) and a side and you’ve got a good meal in itself, right there. The pumpkin curry (£4) is a lighter version of what’s gone before, similarly thick and creamy with aromatic undertones of turmeric. As with all the vegetarian and vegan dishes on the menu, it’s great value. No doubt the students and the just-grads will be popping in regularly for the kotthu (£5 for the veg option) – essentially a big stir fry made up of crunchy veg that’s fried with egg and finely chopped rotti (a traditional flatbread). It’s given a huge flavour boost by lashings of garlic, ginger and chilli.
The menu clearly states, “Don’t expect a massive food bill… but do expect to spoil yourself with drinks,” and it must indeed be in the cocktails that the profit margins are to be found. They are novel for the city, showcasing traditional arrack – a Sri Lankan spirit distilled from coconut flower sap – and serving them up in the likes of ceramic elephants and fresh pineapples, making this a place to head to for a rollicking party, not an intimate digestif. Bring your festive humour and leave your brolly at the door.
237-239 Cheltenham Road, Bristol BS6 5QP; 0117 924 0284; thecoconut-tree.com
KOFFMANN AND MR WHITE’S THE MENU HERE NAME-DROPS TWO OF THE COUNTRY’S MOST FAMOUS CHEFS OF ALL TIME, BUT DOES IT LIVE UP TO THEIR REPUTATION, ASKS SAMUEL GOLDSMITH?
n area of Bath already well known for its local treasures – Sally Lunn, The Huntsman and Independent Spirit, to name a few – Bog Island welcomed two legends of the culinary world last year. The once three-Michelin-starred chef and French gastronome Pierre Koffmann, and Marco Pierre White – author of White Heat, previous star of ITV’s Hell’s Kitchen and also a recipient of that coveted triple-star accolade – joined forces to open Koffmann and Mr White’s, situated in The Abbey Hotel. Even before being handed the menu, you can see evidence of great attention to detail in the restaurant. The interior is like the lovechild of a Parisian Haussmann creation and a classic Bath Georgian townhouse. Well designed and put together, there’s something antique-like and almost otherworldly about the setting, with its olive green walls covered in framed art, dark wood floorboards, tufted banquettes, bistro chairs and marble-topped tables. Whilst the a la carte menu doesn’t carry what you might consider ‘everyday’ price tags, the prix fixe offering is well-priced and available every weekday, from noon until 7pm, promising two courses for £14.50 and three for £17.50. The two menus are slightly different, but both appeal to fans of French and British cuisine equally. We started, as felt fitting, with an aperitif. Two Negronis were served in satisfyingly heavy, cut-glass tumblers that had all the style that the drink deserves. To eat, there’s a strong selection of dishes for each course, with both chefs having put their stamp on the
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generously sized menu. It was a toss-up between a few choices to start, so we put our faith in the waitress’ recommendations. The gazpacho (£6.50), one of Pierre’s creations, came in a deceptively deep bowl, with cubes of cucumber and red onion scattered on top to add texture to the otherwise smooth, puréestyle soup. Cool – but, thankfully, not fridge cold – it had fresh flavours and garlicky depth. The classic 1970s prawn cocktail (£9.50) was served retro-style (Simon Hopkinson and Lindsey Bareham would be proud) with a finely chopped boiled egg base, iceberg lettuce middle and a topping of peeled prawns in a silky Marie Rose sauce, finished with a dusting of paprika. All just as expected. For mains, the braised ox cheek (£17.50) came with pomme purée and was a great comforter on this cold, wet afternoon. The meat had been very slowly cooked in red wine for fall-apart texture and super rich flavour. The nicely formed crust was almost black (as was the deeply flavoured jus that pooled around it) while the inside of the meat was a promising claret colour and fell away in flakes. Tiny carrots and onions bought some sweetness and were aided by a side of petit pois (£3.95), which arrived in a tiny cast iron lidded pot. A
straight-up traditional dish done right. No frills, no surprises. The poussin grillé (£15.95) was also enjoyable. The meat needed very little encouragement to fall away from the bone and was succulent and flavourful with – importantly – well-seasoned, crisp skin. The aioli dip was put to good use by a side of beef fat chips (£3.95). To drink alongside were tumblers of rich red Tempranillo, another recommendation – and a good one. Pudding. Arguably the most important course (I’m surely not on my own, there?) was oeufs à la neige (£6.96) and tarte au citron (£5.95). The former saw a lovely light and thin vanillary custard support a floating island of fluffy whisked egg white. Its brittle caramel topping gave a satisfying crack under the spoon, but the island itself tasted (and smelt) a touch too eggy. The latter, an iconic French dessert, did its home country proud, full-flavoured and perfectly cooked. No soggy bottoms here. The sorbet on the side, while nice enough, served merely as a distraction from the god of all puddings. Marco and Pierre go way back, of course. Marco began work as Pierre’s apprentice at La Tante Clare in 1984 and has famously admired Koffmann ever since, so asked him to get involved when he was approached to take over this hotel restaurant. Their French and British backgrounds make for a classicalfeeling but well-ranged menu, although, of course, neither of them actually cook here (and to expect the standard of food that made them famous is going to end in disappointment). That doesn’t detract, however, from the fact that this is a solid addition to the city’s ever-growing restaurant scene.
Koffmann and Mr Whites, Abbey Hotel, North Parade, Bath BA1 1LF; 01225 461603; mpwrestaurants.co.uk
LORDS OF THE MANOR
JESSICA CARTER RETREATS TO THE COTSWOLDS FOR AMBITIOUS FOOD, QUAINT SCENERY AND FREESTANDING BATHTUBS
can’t help internally wincing when it transpires a successful professional (who I assume has a least a couple of years on me) reveals they’re my junior. It’s just pent up regret, really, for reaching 31 without having won that BAFTA, published (or written, or conceived) that first novel, become a yoga master or made it to the end of Ulysses. Charles Smith, head chef at Lords of the Manor, has a CV populated with the likes of the celebrated Kitchen Table and former ‘Best Restaurant in New York’ Per Se (there are five Michelin stars between those two alone), and is but 29. The luxury 17th-century manor is built from honeycoloured stone and set in a beautiful little Cotswoldian village where time has, aesthetically at least, stayed very still for the last couple of hundred years. As you might imagine, it’s a pretty fancy place; the kind where antiques populate every room, plush chairs are too many to count, and table lamps are the size of schoolchildren. Dinner begins in the bar-cum-lounge with an aperitif – flanked by two of the aforementioned lamps – while sporting a rather red face. See, we’d arrived a little later than planned (what surprises!) but, still, I had to squeeze in a soak in the freestanding tub in a bathroom that’s about the same size as my flat – and, in my rush, jumped in while the water was still hotter than the sun. I’d exacerbated the situation by blow-drying my hair and so could almost feel my eyes slipping down the side of my melting face as I ordered my pre-dinner drink. Luckily, this was
nothing that the icy gin and tonic and my new subdued, relaxed surroundings couldn’t rectify. There are now two restaurants at the hotel – the flagship 14-cover Atrium and the slightly more informal but still high-end Dining Room. We’re shown through to the former – with its velvet-upholstered chairs, tables cloaked in thick, soft linen and views out onto the preened gardens – for the eight-course tasting menu (£95, or £182.50 with the wine flight). A scallop shell arrives nestled in crushed ice holding tiny cubes of raw, marinated Orkney scallop (coupled with Champagne, it makes for the ultimate fish and fizz pairing), followed by almost translucently thin, meltingly soft discs of Carpaccio-style rose veal, arranged around a centre of light and silky crème fraîche encased in an airy potato-crisp ring (and partnered up with a fresh and clean Riesling, delicate and cleansing). Onwards, and a pheasant egg, coddled in brown butter, hides umami-laced shiitake-oil-soaked croutons beneath; Cornish red mullet sits in a pool of bouillabaisse sauce with tiny dots of rich liver tapenade; and lamb is served with confit Jersey
Travel: About an hour and a half from Bath or Bristol by car Stay: Rooms start at £180 for bed and breakfast, based on two adults sharing Great for: Chill time among pretty villages and landscaped grounds, and refined, skilled food without the stuffiness
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Royals, cubes of soft belly and tiny spheres of ewe’s curd rolled in mint. Cheese comes paired with a honey-coloured wine that proves effortlessly cleansing of the soft Bosworth Ash, itself served with oozing honeycomb, with that natural, floral sweetsavoury taste that bees have spent millennia nailing. The evening sun has been streaming in through the central glass skylight in the round room, but now, as we get going on the last course – a refined take on an Eaton Mess, served with a gently sparkling red wine – the daylight has almost completely died out, and I’m beginning to stretch my limbs and think of the multiple pillows in my room upstairs. The food here is ambitious for sure, and shows plenty of skill. It feels special while avoiding pretention (thanks in part to the amiable staff who serve it), and is a departure from the stuffy atmosphere and old-school French-style cookery that for so long dominated venues like this. Lords of the Manor previously held a Michelin star (and did so for eight years), and while getting it back is very much on the agenda of Preston-born Smith, the efforts of this down-to-earth twentysomething seem, first and foremost, to be spent simply making his punters happy with good food.
Taking that all into account, you may be in the market for some appetite-awakening walks while here. Stroll between the villages of Upper Slaughter and Lower Slaughter, or venture to Bourton-on-the-Water or Stow-on-the-Wold – all beautiful villages of ancient stone cottages, lush greenery and pheasants pootling in and out of hedgerows. The National Trust’s Hidcote Manor Gardens are nearby too, but if you’d rather save the drive and stay within the vicinity of food, the hotel has its own eight acres of landscaped English country gardens that are well worth checking out. Although this ’woldian hotel might seem rather formal or traditional at first glance, the professional and experienced staff are friendly and chatty, and the whole experience much more down to earth than you might expect.
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B L A C K
B O O K
GEORGINA YOUNG WHERE DOES BATH ALES’ HEAD BREWER DRINK (AND EAT, AND SHOP, FOR THAT MATTER)? WE’RE ABOUT TO FIND OUT...
QUICK PINT? The Salamander, just off Queen Square in Bath. It’s a real hidden gem with a great range of local brews. BEST BOTTLE SHOP? Beer Craft on Pulteney Bridge. Wow – what an amazing selection of beers. I’ve just moved back to the area and can see myself spending a lot of time in here. COSY PUB? The Griffin. It’s a 300-year-old inn in the centre of Bath which has a relaxed, friendly atmosphere, delicious freshly prepared food and a variety of quality cask ales. CHEEKY COCKTAIL? The Dark Horse in Bath. It’s got an amazing seasonal drinks menu compiled of locally made liqueurs and spirits. The team behind it recently opened their first cocktail bar in Bristol too – Crying Wolf on Cotham Hill. SUNDAY LUNCH? The Wellington – or ‘The Welly’, as it’s more widely known – on Gloucester Road. Its roasts are legendary! CRACKING CURRY? I recently discovered Mint Room, just off the beaten track in Bath’s city centre. The head chef turns local ingredients into modern Indian classics and the menu is exploding with flavour. ALFRESCO FEASTING? Graze, next to Bath train station. It has a balcony overlooking the city, which is a lovely place to sit and enjoy a pint of Gem with friends – particularly when the sun is shining. HIDDEN GEM? The Crystal Palace near the Roman Baths. It first opened as a lodging house in the early 1850s and has some great beers on draught. ONE TO WATCH? Bar 44 in Bristol. Amazing tapas dishes and sherry flights. WITH FRIENDS? The Bath Brew House has great beer, hearty food and a fantastic atmosphere. It has its own microbrewery on site and a range of regularly changing home-brewed beers on tap. WITH THE FAMILY? Velo Lounge in Oldfield Park is the perfect neighbourhood café-bar for a weekend lunch date with family. POSH NOSH? Box-E has fabulous food. It’s a shippingcontainer restaurant at Wapping Wharf. If you’re looking for a Michelin star with your dinner, Casamia is very special too. SOMETHING SWEET? Swoon has gorgeous gelato bars in Bath and Bristol. Each month they introduce new limitededition flavours – without a doubt the finest gelato outside of Italy! PET FRIENDLY? Dogs are made very welcome in The Albion – one of the best haunts in Clifton Village. BELTING BREW? If you’re a lover of speciality coffee, Picnic Coffee is well worth a visit. They also have some delicious light bites and loose-leaf teas.
Quick! Now add this little lot to your contacts book... The Salamander, Bath BA1 2LJ; bathales.com Beer Craft, Bath BA2 4BA; beercraftbath.com The Griffin, Bath BA1 2AP; thegriffinbath.co.uk The Dark Horse, Bath BA1 2AB; darkhorsebar.co.uk The Wellington, Bristol BS7 8UR; bathales.com Mint Room, Bath BA2 3EB; mintroom.co.uk Graze, Bath BA1 1SX; bathales.com The Crystal Palace, Bath BA1 1NW; crystalpalacepub.co.uk Bar 44, Bristol BS8 4HG; bar44.co.uk The Bath Brew House, Bath BA1 2BX; thebathbrewhouse.com Velo Lounge, Bath BA2 3PW; thelounges.co.uk Box-E, Bristol BS1 6WP; boxebristol.com Casamia, Bristol BS1 6FU; casamiarestaurant.co.uk Swoon, Bath and Bristol; swoononaspoon.co.uk The Albion, Bristol BS8 4AA; thealbionclifton.co.uk Picnic Coffee, Bath BA1 5BR; picniccoffee.co.uk