If you’re one of the lucky commuters who gets to walk from south of the Avon into town and back each day, chances are you already know about Cargo — the development of cafes and restaurants that landed on the harbourside in summer. For the uninitiated, what we’re talking about here is a foodie’s haven, where everything from fresh pork platters to steaming coffees and hoppy beers are served in style.
Cargo opened its doors to a group of local food bloggers restaurant critics last weekend, to share their wares with the wider world. With your taste buds tingling, read on for a little insight into what’s on offer there…
Wild Beer at Wapping Wharf
This sleek, contemporary bar and restaurant serves up delicious fish dishes alongside a stellar selection of craft beers from their adventurous brewery down in Somerset. The food is excellent, but for my money it’s the beers that stand out here. Expect everything from heavily hopped pale ales, fruity brews and bitter beers that push the palate to pastures new, and deliciously malted stouts with the heady aroma of caramel, dark chocolate and coffee.
Pigsty is the brainchild of Bristol-based Jolly Hog — a team of dedicated pork-eaters experimenting to find fresh ways of enjoying their favourite meat. The results are truly delicious. During my visit we tucked into a generous platter of sausages, brisket and pork patties with fries and a side of fresh slaw, which really hit the spot. Pigsty delivers healthy servings over breakfast, lunch and dinner, with a focus on tasty local produce.
Bristol Cider Shop
The Cider Shop is Bristol’s own award-winning, er, cider shop — moved from Christmas Steps to Wapping Wharf. Visitors are met with a wall full of ‘proper’ ciders and perries, all selected from traditional breweries within a 50-mile radius. 50 miles gets you a lot of cider here in the West Country, but the knowledgeable staff are on hand to help you fine-tune your taste buds among the 100+ brews on offer. They also run regular tasting sessions showcasing a broad range of the region’s finest ciders and perries. For more details on this goldmine of fruity goodness, check out the blog I wrote following the shop’s move to Cargo.
This friendly corner café is your go-to spot for a caffeine hit. Sister-venue of the Small Street Espresso in the Old City, Little Victories is named after those well-deserved wins we get every day. (Ok, most days.) The owners travelled the world in search of the freshest coffee flavours and brought their findings right here to the harbourside. Customers enjoy a huge range of fresh coffees alongside tasty sandwiches and cakes. A café by day, Little Victories transforms into an intimate cocktail bar on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights.
Finishing on a high here… Chicken Shed takes pride of place on the top floor of Cargo1, and bills itself as “a finger-lickin’ dirty chicken joint with heart and soul”. If you’re thinking this is KFC for hipsters, you’ve got the wrong idea (though that would make a good tagline…) The Chicken Shed knocks together beautifully cooked chicken dishes, with meat sourced from happy birds raised to the highest possible welfare standards. Fine harbour views and menus prepared by Mr. Josh Eggleton of Pony & Trap fame complete the picture.
For more details on the diverse restaurants, shops and cafes on Wapping Wharf’s Cargo installation, check out the Wapping Wharf website.
There’s A Website Reviewing Bristol’s Pub Toilets
It’s the website Bristol didn’t know it needed
A small group has started a Bristol website called ‘Review My Loo’ with the idea that the group go around and review Bristol bars and restaurant toilets hoping to improve the Bristol toilet experience.
Rated out of cleanliness, size, comfort and decoration with a blurb at the end about the overall toilet experience.
The best in Bristol is currently Hi Brazil at 4/5:
“A diamond amongst the rough. Located out of the way up the stairs. Pristinely kept with good quality basins and loos. They are of a good size, so there is no issue of crumbling under several eyes looking at your piece. They are comfortable toilets. Due to size you can do your business in peace , and it is beautifully decorated with a modern art deco feel.”
Whilst The Canteen stands bottom at 1.5/5:
“These toilets aren’t the best. The graffiti on the wall makes you almost intimidated to have a wee. They are very small and prone to queues, with the likelihood you will be standing shoulder to shoulder with someone when having doing your business. The toilets looks like they have been vandalised by a youth gang. Overall bad experience.”
If you’ve got a Bristol toilet experience you’d like to share you can send your reviews into email@example.com to be featured.
Review My Loo: https://reviewmyloo.com/
HMSS Bar Launches New ‘Guide To The British Isles’ Cocktail Menu
I’ve been known to enjoy a cocktail or few. What sane 26 year old doesn’t? I’d take a cold, champagne pink cosmo over a glass of white wine any day. There’s something so indulgent about going out for a round manhattans or margaritas, whether it’s with friends or family – it puts a spring in your step. Well, spring is an understatement, especially if you have five espresso martinis in a row. They’re mostly coffee anyway right…? As I found out the other night at BeAtOne, probably not. But they are o so good.
I went to check out the new cocktail menu at Her Majesty’s Secret Service (HMSS) on Whiteladies Road on Monday night. Despite it being the start of the week, I never turn down a chance to don the lippie, get dressed up and sip on peculiar potions.
HMSS can be found on the doorstep of Clifton Down station. Established two years ago, the 80-capacity bar’s interior is classy, quirky, romantic and rebellious. If you’re up for more than just drinking, there are games of jenga and a great selection of music to lose yourself in; from old school hip hop, through 70’s & 80’s funk to the occasional piece of classic cheese.
At the start of the month, the bar launched the first in a brand new series of British-inspired cocktail menus. This one comes in the form of Winston the bulldog’s Guide To The British Isles – a light hearted illustrated drinking journey through the UK’s favourite attractions. Drinkers are taken from the White Cliffs of Dover to Loch Ness and every great landmark in between. If you’re one for out-of-the-box or unusual ingredients, you’ll be a happy customer. Acorn vermouth, laughing gas and even a chip of prehistoric stone feature in the ingredients lists.
Founder of the Clifton-based bar, Ben Alcock, said: “The menu has been created to start conversations, be a visual aid, an icebreaker and a souvenir that embodies the bar and the inspirations of HMSS.
“Whether its tourists discovering the wonders of the country or simply reminding Brits of the delights we hold, the new series of menus will embody the best of Britain.”
The menu itself is presented in the style of a vintage pocket edition travel guide, which now looks very pretty on my wooden coffee table. Inside you’ll find an assortment of highly interactive, humorous, playful and impeccably presented drinks that are a far cry from the standard cocktail offerings.
Here are a few of my personal favourites:
- Green Manalishi (£8.50)
Barcardi Carta Blanca, Hemp Orgeat, Lime, Aloe Vera Oil, 1 Chip of Prehistoric Stone
- Loch Ness Mobster (£8.50)
Patron Silver Tequila, Peach Wine, Lemon Juice, Absinthe, Laughing Gas
- Twister (£8.50)
Grey Goose LaPoire, Mozart Strawberry, Kiwi Sherbet, Milk, Whole Egg White
- Greenhouse Project (£9.00)
Sugar Snap Hendricks, Dry White Wine, Spear Asparagus, Celery Bitters
Her Majesty’s Secret Service address: Whiteladies Gate, Whiteladies Road, Bristol, BS8 2PH
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