A slightly leftfield but still on topic choice would be any of Bristol’s lush Thali Cafes. The British Raj style-decor conjures up nostalgia for the last days of British Empire with a menu to match. Do check out the website to get some kind of flavour. Tea wise, one would only go there to drink Masala Chai – a drink owing its existence purely to the British East India Company – which is essentially cooked spiced tea. There is a host of savoury snacks and a limited selection of desserts to choose from, the best being Kulfi ice cream.
From 6pm the ambience changes and it takes on its award-winning restaurant persona.
I discovered Lahloo tea a few years ago at a small food festival and have been hooked since. When I heard that they had opened a specialist tea shop in Bristol, I was eager to visit!
Lahloo pantry is an independent modern tea room serving the most delicious home baked teas, cakes, tarts and savory dishes.
I was delighted by the passion and enthusiasm behind the shop and the place has a lovely, warm, relaxing atmosphere. We had the afternoon tea for £13.50 per person, it was fun, beautifully executed and a real special treat. I'll be back on a weekly basis for their macaroons!
It's a little gem in the heart of Clifton village.
This place cooks the best English breakfast as well as a vegetarian option in Bristol. There are two - one in Cotham Hill and one in Clifton Village.
If you fancy a real breakfast you should try this place.
Independent deli that has won lots of awards for it's cheese and range of products. They run lots of free tastings and also have a great cafe. You just have to try their New Yorker sandwich, it's huge.
This place covers a range of organic, veggie and vegan foods; with many of the courses being experimental and *always* worth it. You can pick something random and it will amaze you. Excellent friendly service, this place is always busy and once you've been there you'll understand.
St Marks Rd, Easton, Bristol
Once a trucker's stop-off under the Cumberland Basin flyover. After a makeover it's become somewhere to have a coffee by the water's edge with a panoramic view of the Suspension Bridge and the ostentatious Clifton terraces. For engineering fans it's possible to walk to Brunel's original 19th century lock which made the floating harbour possible. It now sits unused beneath the flyover.
Brunel Lock Road, Cumberland Basin BS1 6XL;
tel: 0117 925 5800;
A giant redbrick warehouse sitting between the River Avon and the entrance to the floating harbour in the Cumberland Basin. It's home to environmental think-tanks and the City Council's sustainable development unit. It has a gallery and cafe open to the public. The best part of the centre is the attached Ecohome which anyone is welcome to nose around.
Smeaton Road, BS1 6XN;
tel: 0117 925 0505;
Another reason to visit Stokes Croft. As you come in through the door there's a lounge bar area with a good selection of Spanish & Portuguese beers. Towards the back is the restaurant area. Their tapas is imaginative and well prepared.
130 Cheltenham Road, BS6 5RW;
tel: 0117 944 2442;
Bristol has greedily twinned herself with a host of cities, Oporto, Hannover, Tbilisi in Georgia, Beira in Mozambique, Guangzhou in China and Puerto Morazan in Nicaragua. Acknowledging the French connection is this ambitious venture which sets out to change attitudes towards food. Within the large dockside premises is a restaurant, deli, cafe, bakery and a cookery school. The food is conscientiously sourced mostly from within a 50 mile radius and is magnificent. Foodie paradise.
Canons Road, BS1 5UH;
enquiries: 0117 906 5550;
reservations: 0117 943 1200;
An acronym for All The Tea In China. This is a cafe inspired by visits to San Francisco and by a desire to 'make tea sexy.' They have an array of fresh teas that aren't straight out of a Twining's box bought at the supermarket. All the teas are for sale from the shop to take home. They also cater for coffee lovers.
115 Coldharbour Road, Redland BS6 7SD; tel: (0117) 909 0357;
This building had previously been Bedminster library, donated to the city in 1914 by George Wills off the back of profits made by his tobacco company. The books have moved next door and in their place is a spacious gallery with a cafe.
Number One St Peter's Court, Bedminster Parade, BS3 4AQ;
tel: 0117 963 7673;
Deli cousin of across town Brasilian restaurant Bocanova. Good fresh coffee in the day, then during the evenings it sells extremely good pizzas with names like Zico, Bahia Picante and Carioca. Beleza.
184c Wells Road, Lower Knowle BS4 2AL;
tel: 0117 971 3377;
Juice bar that seems to be predominantly staffed by the oh so chirpy members of local ska band Babyhead. Açai smoothies as well as black bean & cheese burritos are the order of the day.
39 Cotham Hill, BS6 6JY;
tel: 0117 973 4800
Commendable co-op that does good coffee as well as vegetarian and vegan food. All ingredients are organic or sourced locally making this an ethical, guilt-free place to eat. Sadly, there's not a single 'Now' compilation in their jukebox.
3 Ninetree Hill, BS1 3SB (just off Stokes Croft);
tel: 0117 924 9200;
A trio of brightly coloured rooftop cubes make it easy to find. The rejuvenation of this formerly dilapidated Victorian paint and varnish factory is a fine example of urban renewal. It's now an ever evolving hub of studios with an art gallery on-site. There's also the Brasilian Bocabar providing good food and drink to reward you for a trip off the beaten track.
Bath Road, Arnos Vale, BS4 3EH;
tel: 0117 972 8838;
Take bus numbers 1, X39, 178 & 349 from the city centre or from Bristol Temple Meads train station;
Run by a Chilean family, this is a deli with an emphasis on Fairtrade and organic produce. Upstairs there's a small cafe where on Monday nights you can go to practice your Spanish with latinos living in the area.
89 Gloucester Road, Bishopston, BS7 8AS; tel: 0117 944 6810
Inside it looks as though the proprietors paid a visit to the Lord Chancellor's residence and liked the wallpaper. Decor aside, Goldbrick House has had a great deal of time, effort and thought put into it and is a nice place to eat and drink. Noteworthy is the balcony on the top floor looking out onto leafy Brandon Hill to one side and down into the city on the other.
69 Park Street, BS1 5PB;
tel: (0117) 945 1950;
Surely one for our American friends? Relaxed cafe appropriately housed in a Georgian terrace on trendy Park Street. There's a tiered garden out the back and sofas upstairs. Regional cooking done on site and the coffee ain't bad neither.
75 Park Street, BS1 5PF;
tel: 0117 929 8601
Cinema housed in former industrial premises with 3 screens showing the best in independent and foreign film. The programme is persistently strong and it plays host to a number of film festivals throughout the year, including the widely praised Brief Encounters short film festival. If film isn't your thing then the Watershed has a superb Cafe/Bar and free wireless connection for laptop boffins.
Right in the heart of the city St Werburghs is a unique neighbourhood which down the years has attracted hippies, travellers and artists to live there. Entry to the farm is free. There is a range of livestock, a community garden, an adventure playground, a farm shop and a cafe which Gaudi appears to have been let loose on. Adjacent to the cafe is The Farm pub where on Sunday nights Dj Derek plays from his consummate reggae selection and chats away to the crowd in his Jamaican patois.
St Werburghs BS2 9JY
0117 942 8241
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