The Chocolate Chiffon Cake from East Bristol Bakery (Credit: Alex Poulter, http://www.flickr.com/photos/livingfortuesday/)
The Chocolate Chiffon Cake from East Bristol Bakery (Credit: Alex Poulter)

There’s no denying it now – The Chill has arrived. But for all the mourning of picnics and barbecues, now we can look forward to stodgy dinners, Christmas markets and mulled beverages – hurrah!

I love ginger, allspice and dark spirits, so autumn and winter have always been my preference. Here are a few things for you to note down if you’re in need of some food or drink comfort in the coming days…

Did you know that this week is National Chocolate Week? Everyone seems to be mentioning it, so it seems to be more of a real thing than National Bacon Connoisseurs’ Week (18-24th March) or British Sandwich Week (12th-19th May). Of course you can pay your respects to the cocoa bean by visiting Bath and Bristol’s various fine chocolate establishments, or you could go maverick and maybe sample a chocolate pizza from The Stable? As well as its impressive Bristol harbourside venue, this cider, pizza and pie purveyor is now open on George Street in Bath, so pop along to try a chocolate hazlenut and marscapone pizza. I tried their roast lamb pizza the other week and it was one of the nicest things I’ve eaten all year, so I can’t wait to try their dessert options. Yum.

Or you could grab a bottle of Cocoa Psycho – an imperial Russian stout brewed with coffee and chocolate and available at Brewdog (they’re also selling cakes from Maud’s Treats which are made using the beer!), or the newly relaunched Copper Jack’s is also doing a couple of chocolatey cocktails and a cocoa beer for you all to sample.

Speaking of cocktails, I’m a big fan of the current sort-of-secret cocktail bars in Bristol – Milk Thistle and Hyde & Co. have provided some lovely alternative venues for late night drinks in the city, and now we also have Red Light Bar on Park Street, so I intend on visiting there as soon as possible, if only so I can wear my hair in a high ponytail and pretend that I’m in an 80’s pop video.

If you’re in Bristol on Thursday and  fancy a meal with a bit of added scenery then you should book a trip on The Matthew – you get a tour of the harbour on the historic ship along with a dinner of fish and chips. Trips continue throughout November and there’s a bar on board so you can keep yourself warm with a glug or two of navy rum. Tidy.

The weekend also has some treats in store for hungry Bathonians; that is, if you have any room left after indulging in the various Great Bath Feast events! Love Food Festival is at Green Park station on Sunday 20th October from 10:30am and will have over 50 food and drink vendors in attendance, so plenty of exciting things to try.

As well as trying to decide between which of Bristol and Bath’s newest establishments to try (my friend and I currently have a Google Drive document which has over 30 places on the list, oh dear) I will also be trying out my second ever supper club; a Moroccan themed menu from Bosh! You can check out more local supper clubs via Eat My World – some other local Bristol ones include Clandesdiner, Chez Moi and Bishopston Supper Club. I’ve found them a great way to meet new people, especially those who are really in to their food!

It’s also a week for celebrating; as well as the Bristol Pound recently celebrating it’s first birthday, the rather wonderful East Bristol Bakery is also one year old! This bakery has already won an award for its cakes and has proven to be an asset to the local community. It’s hard not to envy the people of Easton, what with them now having their own artisan bakery alongside Cafe Maitreya, Thali Cafe, Sweet Mart and No. 12 Deli.

Let me know if you’ve found any exciting events coming up this week and post them in the comments section; or I’m also always open to hearing recipe suggestions! I’m thinking of making chocolate and mole sweet enchilladas this week to commemorate National Chocolate Week, but also planning on carb and calcium loading with a cheese & wine night tomorrow. You can head over to my shared recipe site SaucyPans to see what we end up making, but in any case it’s going to have to be rich and comforting. It’s going to be a week of stodge, but then that’s what winter is all about, no?

More food and drink posts…

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