Bristol’s Food & drink lockdown essentials

Phew, what a few weeks ey? It’s been a tumultuous time to say the least, but it’s been amazing to watch how many of Bristol’s food & drink businesses have risen to the challenge with their own delivery services, meal packs, online events and gift vouchers systems.

Here are some of my picks for how you can still enjoy the best of the city’s food scene while staying safe – let me know if you have any others you think I should I add in.

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Bristol Food & Drink: November

*Please note that this guide was amended on 2nd November to reflect the changes for the November 2020 lockdown in England*

We’re into winter and I think we all need a few things to look forward to, so let me oblige! From new foodie apps to online events, there’s more than enough to keep you occupied in November even while we’re staying home.

But before I start – following on from all the talk in the news about school meals and food banks, FareShare South West has announced FoodStock 2020: a plan to stockpile emergency food with the infrastructure to deliver it to critical organisations through a difficult winter. Find out how you can help. Other orgs helping in this area include Feeding Bristol, National Food Service and many more listed in this post.

If you’d like some Christmas ideas for gifts from local businesses, check out my Bristol Foodie Gift Guide – it has gift sets, booze, hampers, vouchers, experiences and more. I’ve also updated my Bristol Lockdown Essentials guide to keep you entertained.

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Bristol Food & Drink: October

Autumn is here, some of you are excited about pumpkin spice, or pumpkin beer, or wooly jumpers, or heavy stouts making a reappearance (for me, three out of four – I don’t get the pumpkin spice thing at all).

October looks set to be a bumper month for new openings and some interesting events both online and in bars & restaurants, so support where you can!

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The Bristol Foodie Gift guide

We all love novelty socks and comedy DVDs, but surely the best present of all to receive is the gift of food (or money, money is also very good).

I usually try to top up the stockings of my nearest and dearest with a few local Bristol treats (inevitably a few find their way into my cupboard, but I see it as commission for my thoughtfulness), so should you be wondering what food & drink gifts to get for friends and family, allow me to show you some of your options…

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Bristol’s Best Curry Restaurants

My favourite types of food are those where you can order plenty of dishes and share – tapas, mezze, tagine, and of course curry.

I love all curries the same, whether they’re traditional dals or English-born Baltis, Keralan or Bangladeshi, spicy or creamy.

Speaking of which – some of the places below are region-specific, some are more ‘traditional’ English curry house, one place is even Punjabi, which straddles both India and Pakistan – in any case, I’m trying to cover the general curry vibe in Bristol, and I like a rogan josh as much as the next guy, but I am enjoying learning more about the different regions of Bristol and what their different cuisines entail.

Here is a list of some of the finer curry establishments I can recommend in Bristol – feel free to add your thoughts or own recommendations in the comments below! Continue reading Bristol’s Best Curry Restaurants

Bristol Food & Drink: September

Have you been making the most of the reopened bars and restaurants over the past month?

Whether you decided to Eat Out to Help Out or order a feast to munch at home, I hope you got to enjoy some old favourites and perhaps discover a few new places too.

As the evenings get crisper, there’s still plenty to keep you well fed and boozed this autumn…

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Bristol’s Best Harbourside Restaurants

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Credit: Spoke & Stringer

Summer in Bristol means eating and drinking by the Harbourside, right?

Personally, my ultimate sign that the sunshine has arrived is when I see legs dangling over the quayside outside Arnolfini, or people jostling for space along the jetties nearby.

This guide is mainly focused on nabbing some a bite to eat in the harbour – if you’re more focused on waterfront boozing, take a look at my Harbourside Pub Crawl guide.

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Bristol Food & Drink: August

Welcome back gang! I’ve missed updating you all on the tasty goings-on around town, and even more than that I’ve missed cold pints on the Harbourside, hearing chatter in pubs and over-ordering at restaurants.

It’s been a difficult few months for us all, but now more than ever we need to support our local businesses, whether it’s ordering online, grabbing a takeaway, drinking in a beer garden or dining in a social-distanced restaurant. Bristol’s businesses are working harder than ever to keep us safe and well-fed/watered, and you’ve definitely earned a treat or two, so let’s get to it!

Without further ado, here’s what you should be munching and supping this month…

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Oldies but goodies: Bristol institutions

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Empty plates at Poco (Credit: Alex Poulter, http://www.instagram.com/aa.poulter)

It’s easy to get caught up with the latest openings and new exciting places (and there is plenty to be excited about at the moment), but I thought it was time to give some appreciation to the places that have kept me fed and watered with consistently brilliant fare since I moved to Bristol twelve (bloody hell) years ago.

Let me know your favourite places on Twitter or Facebook, and I’ll add them in later!

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Bristol’s Best Pizza Joints

Food doesn’t come much simpler and comforting than a pizza, and yet some places have managed to take the basics of dough, tomato sauce and cheese and make something quite spectacular.

Whether you like your pizza straight from a wood-fired oven, made from sourdough, served alongside a flight of cider or made with vegan cheese, Bristol has something for every preference and persuasion.

So without further ado, here are Bristol’s most perfect purveyors of all thing pizza….

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Vegetarian Bristol & Bath

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Bristol now has more than its fair share of vegan and veggie places to eat, earning it a place as the most popular vegan city in the world.

I’m always happy to go to vegetarian restaurants, and tend to eat out a lot at Japanese, Korean and Indian restaurants, which by their nature offer extensive vegetarian choices (check out Tuk Tuck, Bento Boss and Nutmeg for particularly good examples of this), but even so it seems only fair to have a fully fledged vegetarian give their thoughts about the best of what’s on offer.

Read on to see what other plant-based treats you can get your hands on across the city!
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A short break in: Malaga

Spain is my favourite country to visit, and I’ve seen a few different parts of it now, from the green mountains of Galicia and dramatic coastline of the Basque Country to the heat of Madrid and beautiful beaches of the Balearics. However this was my first trip to Andalucia, and it certainly won’t be my last.

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A short break in: Fowey, Cornwall

Despite having lived in the West Country for ten years, I never made it down the M5 to Cornwall, how ridiculous is that? So finally last summer I rectified that and booked a long weekend in the gorgeous Fowey (pronounced ‘Foy’).

Fowey is a small fishing town just a short drive from the Cornish towns of Lostwithiel and Looe. The nearest mainline train stations are Par and St Austell, both of which have links down to Penzance and up to Bristol and London Paddington.

We decided on Fowey after asking for recommendations for beautiful places to stay on the coast in Cornwall (the end nearer to Bristol ideally) with lots of things to do and good places to eat nearby or in town – we didn’t want to spend the whole trip driving!

We drove down from Bristol and stopped into Plymouth on the way back to break up the journey which took about 2.5hrs. We also thought about stopping into Salcombe Gin Distillery, Shaprham Wine or Exeter if we’d had time, but there are plenty of options if you’re coming from further afield – Dart’s Farm was a great stop off on the way back!

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Bristol’s Best Food & Drink Experiences

Not only is Bristol packed to the gills with amazing restaurants, bars and cafes, but there are also plenty of opportunities to learn from the experts or have a go at making something yourself!

Whether you want to learn how to make sushi or tell a Merlot from a Malbec, here are plenty of tasty experiences across the city…

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Bristol Food & Drink: The 2019 Highlights

Well 2019. It’s been a mixed bag on all fronts, hasn’t it? Some amazing new food & drink places arrived in the city, the city & its restaurants won even more accolades, we welcomed another new eating district to the city (hi, Finzel’s Reach!), but we also had to bid farewell to some really great businesses.

Alongside the celebration of all the brilliant businesses & events below, it’s a good time to remember that things have never been tougher for independents, so make sure you shop, dine & drink local as much as you can in the new year – we really are spoilt for choice in Bristol, let’s keep it that way!

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Bristol Food & Drink: November

Winter is most definitely here, and in the run up to Christmas there is a shed ton of food & drink events to get into the festive spirit.

Get a cuppa on the go and have your calendar at the ready, here are all the tasty things you could do in November…

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Bristol’s Best Date Locations

Finally plucked up the courage to ask the object of your affection out for a drink? Or want to spoil your significant other?

Here are a few suggestions for your next date night, whether it’s a casual coffee, a slap-up dinner or a relaxed bite to eat – all a bit special, not too noisy and with a nice atmosphere to allow you to have the perfect time with your beau. Happy smooching!

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Bristol Food and Drink: October

The upside to the end of summer fun times is that now we get into the season of fireplaces, thick socks and darker beers – plus tenuous excuses to eat German food and listen to oompah music – what’s not to love?

Have your calendar at the ready, here’s what you can look forward to in October…

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Bristol’s Classiest Cocktail Bars

Picture of Whiskey Sour

Credit: Alex Poulter (http://www.flickr.com/photos/livingfortuesday/)

We all have times when we’re in need of a night out to make us feel a bit special, or wanting to find a place that feels a bit more quiet and hidden away.

Bristol has become famous for its variety of speakeasies and secret bars, all of which offer something a bit different, without being pretentious or too exclusive. With that in mind, here are some places where you can imbibe the finest cocktail concoctions in Bristol…

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Pub Crawl Bristol #2: St Michael’s Hill

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I realise that what started as a genuine intention to get people to enjoy the sights and spectacles of Bristol has instead turned in to a series of rather irresponsible pub crawl posts. Oh well, if Bristol does one thing better than most places in the UK it’s provide an amazing variety of drinking establishments, whether your tipple of choice be a fine craft beer, a rich Bordeaux or a cloudy pint of scrumpy.

St Michael’s Hill in the centre is probably the highest concentration of great pubs in this fine town of ours, and therefore perfect for a pubcrawl. I’d advise starting from the top, mind. It’s a wee bit steep, so not the most appealing route if you’ve imbibed a few strong ales. Continue reading Pub Crawl Bristol #2: St Michael’s Hill

Bristol’s Best Pub Gardens

The incredible beer garden at The Spotted Cow
The incredible beer garden at The Spotted Cow

We all know that any meal or drinks can be enhanced by a fantastic view. Luckily, with most of Bristol resting on a ridiculous gradient, impressive views over the city and beyond are not hard to come by. Sometimes though, it’s just nice to sit in a good pub garden and take in your surroundings, whether it be on a river bank, on a busy high street or up a behemoth hill. Continue reading Bristol’s Best Pub Gardens

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