All posts by Shonette

Bristol-based Shonette Laffy is a regular blogger on lifestyle and the food scene in the region

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.

Handy websites

Here are a few great places to start if you’re looking for local food and drink to enjoy at home:

  • Bristol Food Union – a brilliant initiative to support the city’s food producers, restaurant, retailers, distributors and more. You can shop for supplies and meals from Bristol independents, buy a meal for frontline workers or donate to the Bristol Food Fund. I’d recommend following them on one of their social media channels to see the good work they’re doing across the city, from providing meals for vulnerable communities to delivering wine to NHS workers!
  • Best of Bristol – search for takeaways, produce, booze and more from their extensive list. They also have a bunch of lovely city guides and online event listings.
  • Indie Kitty from Wriggle – buy gift vouchers for meals and drinks to redeem once businesses reopen, helping with their cash flow until then.
  • Good Sixty – a bunch of Bristol indies are on this site, including Papadeli, East Bristol Bakery, Reg the Veg, Source, Bristol Cheesemonger and lots more, so you can shop for them all in one handy place.
  • How to support Bristol business safely during COVID-19 – a blog from Natalie Brereton listing which restaurants, bars, cafes and shops are open for collection or delivery.
  • Bristol Alcohol Delivery Services – a handy list of boozy options from Kaya at Love for Bristol.
Credit: Bristol Food Union

Events

Some online dates for your diary, whether you want to laugh at some comedy, drink wine or learn something new!

Belly Laughs ( Sun 10th May) – an evening of comedy to raise money for local charities, featuring Mark Olver, Russell Howard, Jon Richardson, Alex Lovell, Jayde Adams, John Robins and Joe Wilkinson.

A range of Bristol food & drink businesses are offering special packages for the night, including a special cocktail kit from Espensen Spirit and a 12 pack beer box from Lost & Grounded.

Hart’s Bakery are also making curries for the night for £14 per meal. You’ll get a choice of butter chicken or red lentil & coconut dal with roasted cauliflower, with a selection of sides and dessert. Collection on Sunday 10th May between 2pm & 4pm.

This bank holiday should see the first East Bristol Brewery Trail of 2020, and with Good Chemistry now offering 5L Bag In Box of their cask beers, alongside the existing draught, bottles and cans on sale from Arbor, Dawkins, LHG and Moor, you can put together your own virtual tour of your favourite local breweries!

Some of my top places to buy these local beers:

Tag your pictures #EBBTathome, and they’ll be reposted on the EastBrisBrewTrail Twitter account, so lets get together as best we can at the moment and celebrate Bristol’s biggest beer event – cheers!

Other regular online events include:

Recipes & video guides

A bunch of Bristol greats have created videos and recipes for their most popular dishes and cocktails for you to recreate at home. Here are a few of my favourites:

  • Bar 44 – video guides on how to make a range of Spanish tapas dishes including croquetas, patatas bravas, pork belly and more.
  • Oowee Diner – recipes & video walkthroughs for some favourites including The Big Cheese and Marmite Fries.
  • Nutmeg – some great videos on how to cook dishes such as chana masala.
  • Psychopomp – head to their Isolation Cocktail Club on Facebook or Instagram for tips on how to make classic cocktails using basic home ingredients.
  • Avery’s Wine Merchants – wine tips and trivia, including info on wine matching and varieties.
  • Mevalco – Spanish cooking recipes and ideas.
  • Milk Thistle – follow their social media for weekly cocktail tips and recipes, with more from their sibling Hyde & Co.

Home deliveries

My usual list of restaurants and bars to visit has instead switched over to a list of places to order home delivery from, whether it’s a tasty feast or a pre-mixed cocktail.

As I mentioned, you can find a good list of local places delivering food to your door on Bristol Food Union and Best of Bristol.

I’m trying to limit myself to one food delivery and one booze delivery per week, which is so hard when my list keeps growing all the time!

Here are the deliveries I’ve had since lockdown started…

  • Bokman – tasty Korean dishes, available Thu-Sat, postcodes BS1, BS2, BS3, BS4, BS5 and BS6.
  • For Mice and Men – indulgent cheese toasties, delivered Wed-Fri across Bristol.
  • Kask – a range of wines available, plus matched cheese & charcuterie. Free delivery to BS3, contact for delivery costs to other parts of Bristol.
  • Brewers Droop – a range of beers, ciders and home brewing kit, delivered across Bristol.
  • Chomp – seriously good burgers, delivered Wed-Sun across Bristol.
  • Niang’s Thai – really good Thai food, delivered across Bristol and Cheltenham.
  • Psychopomp – local gin distillery, doing a range of great gins, grain spirits and their very own Negroni.
  • Wiper & True – brilliant Bristol brewery offering free delivery across the city.
  • Tsukemono – Japanese dishes including katsu curry and their own kimchi fried rice scotch egg. Deliveries throughout the week across Bristol.
  • Hyde at Home – choose from a wide selection of pre-mixed classic cocktails, beers, wines and more from some of the city’s best bars.
  • The Orchard Inn – flagons of cider and pub snacks delivered to your door, perfect for the weekend!

Still on my hit list are meals from Bakers & Co, Otira, Urban Tandoor, Taste of Napoli, Asado and The Ox, plus boozy deliveries from Avery’s, Beer Necessities, Grape & Grind and 6 O’clock Gin. Oh, and the pizza making kits from Pizzarova!

Tell me what you’ve been ordering, cooking or taking part in recently, I’d love to get some new ideas!

You can chat to me on Twitter, see what else I’m eating/drinking on Instagram, or see more food updates by following A Life Less Organised on Facebook.

Here are a few favourites already sent in to me by some Bristol legends:

Bristol food & drink: March

As we get closer to spring, the amount of festivals and big events is picking up – before you know it we’ll be sat outside Arnolfini in the sunshine with a cider in hand!

Scroll on to see the tasty events going on this month…

Continue reading Bristol food & drink: March

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.

Continue reading A short break in: Malaga

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 for on the way back to break up the journey which took about 2.5hrs. We also thought about stopping into Salcombe Distillery or Exeter if we’d had time, but there are plenty of options if you’re coming from further afield.

Continue reading A short break in: Fowey, Cornwall

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…

Continue reading Bristol’s Best Food & Drink Experiences

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!

Continue reading Bristol Food & Drink: The 2019 Highlights

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…

Continue reading Bristol Food & Drink: November

The Bristol Foodie Christmas Gift List

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…

Continue reading The Bristol Foodie Christmas Gift List

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.

Continue reading Bristol’s Best Harbourside Restaurants

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 nine (bloody hell) years ago.

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

Continue reading Oldies but goodies: Bristol institutions

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!

Continue reading Bristol’s Best Date Locations

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 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…

Continue reading Bristol Food and Drink: October

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…

Continue reading Bristol’s Classiest Cocktail Bars

Pub Crawl Bristol #2: St Michael’s Hill

bristol_from_st_michaels_hill

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

Bristol Food & Drink: September

Thought July and August were the busiest time of year for festivals and food events? Think again!

I’ve long suspected that September is the month where it all really kicks off in Bristol, once we’re all back from our summer holidays, Glastonburys and have packed any kiddies off to school so we can drink gin in front of Judge Judy (can you tell that I’m not a parent?).

Have your Filofax at the ready and a cuppa to sip on – this month’s guide is a BEAST – skip to the end for a full list of dates & events if you can’t be arsed to read my waffle, and tell me what you get up to over on Twitter or Instagram!

Continue reading Bristol Food & Drink: September

Bristol Food & Drink: July

Summer! Sunshine! Beer Gardens! Festivals! Harbourside drinks! It’s all going on and more this month, so hopefully the good weather will stick around to make this month even more fun.

Let me know what you get along to this month on Twitter or Instagram, I love hearing when you’ve used the guides!

You can also follow A Life Less Organised on Facebook if you want to get other food updates throughout the month (plus the odd photos of my eating adventures). On to this month’s highlights!

Continue reading Bristol Food & Drink: July

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….

Continue reading Bristol’s Best Pizza Joints

Bristol Food & Drink: May

Whether you’re in the mood for a bank holiday brewery crawl or want to learn the finer details about Australian wines, there’s a bit of something for everyone in this month’s guide.

Can’t be bothered to read it all? Check the Event Calendar and bookmark it for later. You’re welcome.

Continue reading Bristol Food & Drink: May