Category Archives: Food Guides

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’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

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’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

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’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

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. We now have two vegan markets (Mondays at St Nicks and House of Veg), vegan food tours, a Dal Festival and even vegan vending machines.

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!
Continue reading Vegetarian Bristol & Bath

Mulled Wine & Winter Warmers in Bristol

One of the best things about the weather getting colder is huddling in cosy corners in your thickest jumper, sipping a warm cider and snacking on festive treats.

It can sometimes be a mission to find the sort of comfort drink you’re after though, so on the suggestion of a friend I’ve put together a rudimentary list of places that will fulfill all of your winter boozing needs.

Continue reading Mulled Wine & Winter Warmers in Bristol

Where to Treat Yourself in Bristol

Interior of The Ox
The interior of The Ox, almost as tasty as its menu.

Want to celebrate a birthday, have a family meal or spoil that special someone?

As you’d expect, Bristol is brimming with excellent food options to suit every budget and taste; in fact you can eat well at many of the places below for a little over £10 – be sure to check their early bird deals or see if you can find them on the Wriggle app.

I’ve split the selections below by type, from serious sophistication down to the quirkier venues in town, so whether you’re on a date or a work do, you can work out the sort of mood & location that suits you best.

Break out your best shoes, smooth down your hair and straighten your bow tie – here are my tips for where to go when you’re in need of a serious treat in Bristol…

Continue reading Where to Treat Yourself in Bristol

Bristol’s Best Burgers

The past 12 months have seen an influx of burger joints set up shop in Bristol, to the point where it seemed like you couldn’t walk 5 paces in the centre of town without walking into an A Board shouting about the superior meat patties (Aberdeen Angus! 30 day aged! Fillet! – wait, why would you use fillet for a burger, you crazyperson?), toppings (All the cheese! Pulled Pork! 3 more burgers!  Monster Munch!) and the continuation of that ever-contentious issue: sesame vs. brioche buns.

Now that the MeatWave™ has calmed somewhat, I feel like I can round up some of the better burger offerings out there. I hasten to add that most of these places also offer some excellent veggie options, and I’ll point out the best options as I go, but do check their menus for specific vegetarian/dairy free/GF options.

Grab a pen, it’s about to get tasty…

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Get a mouthful of tastiness at Burger Theory

Continue reading Bristol’s Best Burgers

Budget Dining in Bristol

Fresh food for a great price at Sky Kong Kong Credit: Simple Lampoon
Fresh food for a great price at Sky Kong Kong
Credit: Simple Lampoon

Many of my friends wonder how I can afford to go out so much in Bristol, but I’m always quick to respond that Bristol, for a city, is not expensive to eat in, or at least has a wide variety of food options to suit any budget.

Considering my tastes lean towards craft beer, steak and tapas, all traditionally expensive choices, I have never struggled to find places in Bristol that I can afford to visit again and again.

So I thought I’d share a few with you here, because in these frugal times, as much as it’s sensible to tighten our belts, it’s also important to keep supporting local businesses, and get outside to try something new with friends too!

Continue reading Budget Dining in Bristol

Where to get your sugar fix in Bristol

 

We all love a sweet treat to perk up our day, reward ourselves or just because we can’t resist the temptation of a tasty-looking brownie on a cafe counter (I am the ultimate impulse cake purchaser – stop putting them so close to the till!)

Bristol has no shortage of places that will happily send you into a euphoric sugar daze – here are my recommendations, helpfully split out by craving type; you’re welcome.

Continue reading Where to get your sugar fix in Bristol

The 12 Best Brunches in Bristol

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Beautiful breakfasts at Spicer + Cole

Weekends are special for all sorts of reasons, and not just the fact that you’re out of the office for a blissful 48 hours.

The two greatest reasons must be the fact that you have the opportunity for a lie-in and also that you get to take as long as you want over your breakfast, without having to try and eat your toast whilst simultaneously putting on your coat and shoving your packed lunch in your bag. Here are a few of my favourite places for a leisurely brunch…

Continue reading The 12 Best Brunches in Bristol

Bristol Food & Drink: The 2017 Highlights!

The new year is nigh! We’ve been through another busy few months, where Bristol has firmly cemented itself as a food destination to rival even London.

There have been many gushing reviews from esteemed critics, awards and new places. There have also been the inevitable closures – but more on that later.

I’ve tried to round up some of the key Bristol food & drink moments of 2017, as well as asking some locals for their munching highlights of the year.  Strap in, here are the best bits of what we ate in the year 2017…

Continue reading Bristol Food & Drink: The 2017 Highlights!

6 Places to Broaden Your Eating Horizons in Bristol

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Get your Jane Austen vibe on at The Historical Dining Rooms

*Updated September 2016*

It’s easy to fall into unadventurous habits when it comes to food.

We all know what we like, and sometimes all you want at the end of a busy day is a reliably good pizza or a comforting sausage sandwich – but I’m here to tell you it’s about time you broadened your horizons and tried the full array of food experiences that Bristol has to offer!

Here are some of my top tips for where to munch something a little bit different…

Continue reading 6 Places to Broaden Your Eating Horizons in Bristol

The Quest for the Best Roast in Bristol – Part Three

The roast dinner at The Beer Emporium
The roast at The Beer Emporium

I’ve eaten a lot of good roast dinners during my year-long quest across Bristol, and as loathe as I was to make these posts into a trilogy, it now looks almost inevitable that there will be a Part 4 at some point – there are just too many places remaining that I want to try!

For now though, here are my highlights from the past few months; feel free to tell me what you thought of the places I’ve listed, or recommend new places for me to try. Also make sure you check out Part One and Part Two of my roast dinner quest! Continue reading The Quest for the Best Roast in Bristol – Part Three

Bristol’s Best Steak Deals

Steak at The Ox
Steak at The Ox – treat yourself.

*Updated June 2016*

As much as I’m far from being just a meat and potatoes sort of gal, it has to be said that one of the most luxurious ways to spend an evening is with a good steak and a large glass of red wine.

I’ve said before that my ideal steak is the thickness of my wrist and the size of my face, but I’d like to think that in recent times I’ve come to appreciate quality over quantity with my meat. Probably.

There is now an abundance of fantastic steak restaurants across Bristol, all offering high quality fare at different price points. Here is my guide to the best ones I’ve found so far, along with some of the best deals they have to offer – feel free to tell me about other great steaks you’ve had, or even your top recipes for a steak dinner at home! Continue reading Bristol’s Best Steak Deals

Where to get your Meat Fix in Bristol

My last relationship was with a vegan. Now, I’m always happy to try new things and experiment with my cooking, so for the most part it didn’t bother me that most of my recipes had to omit any meat, eggs or dairy. I quite relished the challenge, in fact.

However, once I found myself single again, I seemed to gravitate towards the meatier, greasier and downright dirtier end of every menu I perused. Luckily, there has recently been an influx of fantastic meat eateries to Bristol, so naturally I had to try them all. And this is what I thought. Continue reading Where to get your Meat Fix in Bristol