Dal Festival coming to Bristol next year
The curtain is closing on an amazing year for Bristol’s culinary scene, with successful café and restaurant launches, exciting food festivals, bustling markets and more. Looking ahead to 2018 there’s already plenty to shout about, and the British Dal Festival will be landing in Bristol this March.
The festival will highlight the diversity and simplicity of this popular staple, with bean, lentil and pea dishes from all four corners of the world. It’s set to take place in Bristol from 19th to 25th March, 2018.
Dal may be most readily linked to countries like India and Nepal, but this basic bean dish is enjoyed across Asia, South America and beyond. As people turn their backs on meat-based diets for reasons of taste or sustainability, dishes like dal are being pushed more and more into the spotlight. The inaugural British Dal Festival is testament to that.
“The British Dal Festival is a chance to share and
celebrate recipes from all our communities, spreading the
love for an affordable, healthy, sustainable and, above all, delicious dish.”
Jenny Chandler, United Nations European Pulse Ambassador 2016
With backing from the British Edible Pulses Association, the British Dal Festival is a free event due to take place in locations across Bristol. Hungry festival-goers will be following a route to many of the city’s welcoming cafes and restaurants, with delicious dal dishes to enjoy on route.
Aside from the food, the Dal Festival will shine a light on the many Bristol communities who have a fond attachment to this simple but delicious dish. 91 Ways — a local organisation bringing Bristol’s 91 language communities together — are also playing a large part in the cultural side of the festival.
Elsewhere at the festival, IncredibleEdible Bristol will be planting in the Bearpit, and Bristol Farmers’ Market will have local chefs in to dish up a range of dal specialities. Sunday March 25th, the final day of the festival, will see street food stands, market stalls, live demonstrations and music over at Paintworks on the Bath Road — before the festival closes for the year.
To find out more about the festival and its locations, you can find the organisers on social media here:
Pata Negra Revamp Kitchen And Menu
Pata Negra Steps It Up for the Autumn Season
Bristol’s proud independent streak is well-documented, and we’re lucky to have so many vibrant and exciting bars, restaurants and cafes to choose from in this city.
If you enjoy visiting and supporting Bristol’s varied independent venues, it’s likely you’ll have a list of places old and new that you’re just waiting for the right time to tick off.
The Ox on Corn Street had been sitting on my must-visit list for months when I went last month, and I was very, very impressed.
But from the style-savvy team behind The Milk Thistle and Hyde & Co, what else could I have expected?
Also on Corn Street, and also run by the same talented team, Pata Negra is another venue I’d been curious about for a while — but on those occasions when I’d peered in past the door, I’d never felt encouraged in. Despite the great location and classical décor, it somehow just didn’t feel tempting.
Fresh changes at Pata Negra
That’s all changed now. In the latest round of developments at Pata Negra, the kitchen has been brought up from the basement to take pride of place at the forefront of the room — and the difference is striking.
You step through the doorway to skilled chefs preparing delicious dishes in their new open-plan setting, with a fine haunch of cured Ibérico ham hanging from the wall.
Further towards the back of the room, welcoming window seats and banks of plush red-leather benches offer the perfect settings for intimate gatherings of friends.
A menu re-vamp for the autumn season
The engine-room of the restaurant is now fully on show, and a menu re-vamp has changed things up for autumn. Diners can expect seasonal twists on authentic Spanish classics alongside new dishes created to bring the best out of the kitchen’s open grills.
Meanwhile, the wine and sherry list showcases the best of the Iberian Peninsula — the perfect accompaniment to the delicious tapas dishes, fresh seafood and decadent desserts on offer.
For full details on Pata Negra’s refreshed autumn menu, head over to the website here.
Sampling The Lesser Known Ciders From Thatchers
Despite the recent rain, bbq season is upon us, and no camping trip or garden gathering is complete without a few ciders to sweeten the deal.
With honey notes and a golden colour, the medium-dry Thatchers Gold is the flagship cider from one of Somerset’s oldest cider makers – and it’s a great go-to cider on any occasion – but Thatchers Cider have been producing and pressing apples in the Somerset village of Sandford since 1905, and their selection these days is broad.
An introduction to Thatchers Cider and Pasture
To showcase the full range of their cider offerings, the Thatchers Cider team descended on Pasture – the stylish new bar and restaurant near St Mary Redcliffe – last week.
With butcher Sam’s enthusiasm for local produce and Thatchers’ chief cider-maker Richard Johnson on hand, it was the perfect pairing.
Richard introduced us to the Thatchers Cider story – starting over 100 years ago with farmer William Thatcher making cider to help pay his workers, and ending with William’s great grandson Martin (the current managing director) overseeing Thatchers Cider distribution throughout the UK. In between tastings, Pasture’s Sam talked us through the menu selections he’d made to bring out the best in the ciders chosen.
Food and cider pairings
The Thatchers team opened with Katy, a light and softly sparkling cider made from Katy apples, and with it came Pasture’s scallop ceviche with pickled gooseberry and lime – the delicate seafood working beautifully with the light, bubbly cider. There followed five further mini-courses, each paired with a different Thatchers’ cider.
The meaty steak tartare with oyster mayonnaise met its match in Thatchers’ Old Rascal – a peppery 4.5% cider made with Tremlette and Somerset Redstreak apples for a bittersweet flavour. And Pasture’s short rib croquettes with delicate gochujang aioli balanced nicely with the bold and beautiful Thatchers’ Vintage – an oak-matured 7.4% cider with fruity aroma and crisp flavour.
It was a great chance to try lesser-known Thatchers ciders you don’t regularly see in the big supermarkets, and clear to see the thought Sam had put into the food pairings he chose.
If you’d like to give a few of Thatchers’ lesser-known ciders a try, take a look at the full range and buy online here. And for more details on the flame-grilled offerings over at Pasture, check out their website here.
An Amazing Bristol Brewery Is Set To Open In Finzel’s Reach
Left Handed Giant reaches closing stages of £1 million crowd funding campaign
Bristol-based Left Handed Giant, one of the UK’s most highly rated breweries and the team behind Small Bar, are crowd funding in order to open the first brewery in central Bristol for decades. This is great news for Bristol. Really, great news.
They’re currently in the closing stages of an ambitious crowdfunding campaign to raise £1m to fund a development in Finzel’s Reach that has me salivating, quite frankly. For the first time since the 90s, a brewery will be returning to Finzel’s Reach, complete with a taproom and a restaurant looking across the floating harbour to Castle Park.
Before 1999 when Courage Brewery closed its Bristol brewing facility, Finzel’s Reach had been home to breweries for over two hundred years. For some people that nostalgia is enough to get excited, or “Anemoia” (a made-up word from The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows, meaning a nostalgia for something you’ve never known. You’re welcome.)
As well as a romantic reunion with Bristol’s brewing history, this is also a taproom that will have a restaurant partnership with none other than the Michelin starred chef behind Bristol’s renowed Casamia, Peter Sanchez-Iglesias.
I know, right?
Having smashed their original £400,000 target within 24 hours to open this “Brewpub”, the project is now looking to raise £1 million and has nearly reached £800,000.
Bruce Gray, managing Director at Left Handed Giant, said:
“The aim of this Brewpub project is to create a world-class facility where communities of friends and investors can have a real input into the day-to-day of the business, as well as having the opportunity to drink locally brewed fresh beer.”
The funds raised will be spread across different projects with the majority being put towards to development of the “Brewpub” at Finzel’s Reach. Peter Sanchez-Iglesias adds:
“Forming this partnership with such a well-respected force as Left Handed Giant and creating food to go with their beer is an awesome project to be involved with. The development kitchen will evolve and enhance everything we do at Casamia, with our hyper-seasonal dishes on an ever-changing menu, using the best ingredients, cooking it to perfection and then finding out what it needs to make it better.”
If you’d like to invest, you can do so before the campaign closes on March 30th.
Pledges start from £10 which will see your name adorn a wall dedicated to everyone who supported this mouth-watering project.
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