Happy Real Bread Week 2016!

We’re right in the middle of ‘Real Bread Week’, the annual celebration of supporting your local, independent Real Bread Bakery – and dare I say it, having a go at making your own.

Bristol is a hive of activity at the moment, and we’re lucky to have so many independent bakeries with so much on offer. What’s equally great to see, is the support that local restaurants and individuals give to them.

Here’s a few of my favourites – which I’m hoping you’ve already tried, but if you haven’t – now’s the time;

Marks Bread Bakery

Founded by Mark and Maria Newman in November 2009

Based on North Street, Marks Bread has been at the heart of Bedminster’s regeneration since it opened in 2009. Marks Bread supply over 26 local restaurants and shops, with most of their deliveries being done by bicycle.

Marks Bread offer a speciality bread daily, with today’s being a New York Rye – and tomorrow’s being an Olive and Thyme bread. Simply delicious.

Not one to be limited to just bread, they also offer croissants and pain au chocolats, if you get there in time, they’re a wonderful start to your Saturday morning. Make sure you also try their homemade donuts – filled with a different homemade jam every week.

Marks Bread have an adjoining café which as well as being a great hub of activity daily offers events such as their pop-up pizza night (the next one being on 26th May) and Mark’s Afternoon Tea (the next one being on 5th June).

If you haven’t tried Marks Bread yet, where have you been living! But seriously, get yourself down there – you won’t regret it.

http://www.marksbread.co.uk/

East Bristol Bakery

With a slogan of ‘We Believe in Real Bread’, East Bristol Bakery certainly don’t disappoint.

Founded by Alex back in 2012. Located on the vibrant and buzzy St Marks Road, this bakery sees queues of people on a Saturday morning patiently waiting to get their morning loaf.

Much like Marks Bread, East Bristol Bakery has the much valued support of local independent restaurants that eagerly incorporate the bread into their menu.

The bakery also offers a delicious selection of cakes to tempt you further – make sure you try their chocolate rye cookies – they are d-i-vine.

http://eastbristolbakery.co.uk/

Harts Bakery

Tucked into a Victorian railway arch at Temple Meads station, this isn’t necessarily a bakery that you would stumble across by chance. But that hasn’t stopped its popularity soaring.

It took me a few years to discover this little gem, having heard murmurs and whispers from various people. When I did chose to venture over, I couldn’t stop myself from buying three slices of cake and two loaves of bread.

Opened by Laura in 2012, this bakery has gone from strength to strength, providing vast amounts of local business people with their morning coffee and croissant, as well as having a great little café where people can sit back and watch the bakers in action.

With so many cakes on offer, I couldn’t even begin to suggest which one you go for – if in doubt, get three or four – dare I say it, you won’t regret it!

My favourite to date – the chocolate honeycomb brownie.

http://www.hartsbakery.co.uk/

The Stock Exchange Bakery

One of the newest additions to Bristol, the Stock Exchange Bakery is based in Bristol’s old Stock Exchange building on St Nicholas Street.

The Stock Exchange Bakery originally started at the Whiteladies Road Farmers Market, and after two years – moved into this historic building.

The Stock Exchange Bakery offers great a fantastic selection of breakfast and lunch options, as well as smoothies and juices.

An absolute must is their rainbow bagels – a definite novelty!

http://www.thestockexchangebakery.com

Baked

I’ve heard a lot of great things about this bakery, but unfortunately I haven’t quite made it down there yet.

Based in Totterdown, this bakery is run by Ashley Symons, who has previously rustled up a storm in The Albion and The Pump House – I have no doubt that this little gem needs to be tested – and quickly!

http://www.bakedbristol.co.uk/baked/4587528695

Pullins Bakers

Having published this post yesterday, I happened to stumble across Pullins stall this morning on my way to work by St Nicks Market.

Based in Somerset, Pullins have two shops – one in Clevedon and one in Yatton. Too far to go? Panic not – they are at Corn Street Farmers Market every Wednesday – and slightly further up the road on Wine Street every Friday.

I’m tucking into one of their Olive Sticks whilst writing this – and it is beautiful! A cheesy crispy breadstick, stuffed with whole fresh olives – a great addition to the lunchtime salad!

http://www.pullinsbakers.co.uk/

Shipton Mill

Panic not – this isn’t a bakery that you’ve somehow overlooked – but seeming as it’s Real Bread Week, it definitely deserves a mention.

Shipton Mill located near Tetbury is an organic flour mill that supplies many of our much loved independent bakeries with the finest flour your good money can buy!

Believe it or not, this mill has been producing flour since the time of the Doomsday Book – and just keeps going from strength to strength.

As well as offering all of the usual types of flour you would expect, Shipton Mill also makes Rye Flour, Spelt Flour, Pastry Flour and many more.

Thankfully you don’t need to go all the way to Tetbury to pick up a bag, as many shops across Bristol stock it. However – if you do have a few hours to kill, then I would suggest going and having a look around – it’s quite remarkable!

http://www.thestockexchangebakery.com/home.html

So, there’s no excuses now – get your apron on, and get baking! X

 

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Bristol Food Connections 2016

The first few days of the Food Connections Festival certainly didn’t disappoint, regardless of the rains attempt to dampen spirits, no pun intended.

Spike Island’s Open Studios provided a fascinating insight into a building that I’ve known about for years, but never quite understood exactly what the building is used for. Members of the public were invited to look around artist’s working spaces where there were loads of beautiful pieces of art on show and also see the print screening studio and the prints that can be created. The studios are accessed via corridors that reminded me of a rabbit warren that encouraged you innocently in, but didn’t warn you that you may get so entangled that you lose track of time. Thankfully for me, Big O Donuts were on hand on the first floor to offer some very naughty treats as well as tea and coffee. As if we needed an excuse!

Our stroll into town took us next to Millenium Square where local producers had gathered offering their creations for all to try. There were some more usual characters to say hi to, including Fresh Range, Godminster Cheese and Charcuterie as well as undoubtedly the best chocolate I have ever tried from Adam’s Chocolate. Bradley & Gage’s stand offered some great gin tastings, and consequently I am now the proud owner of two large bottles of 6 O’Clock Gin.

College Green was hosting some very interesting talks as well as a street food market with appearances from Burger Theory, The little Taqueria and Tincan Coffee.

All in all, a fantastic weekend – bring on week two!

 

 

Much like the first week of the Food Connections festival, the second did not disappoint. With so many events on offer, it was hard to drag myself away and make it into the office for work!

Pata Negra hosted a hilarious game of Bingo Wings, a combination of tasty chicken wings and bristolian lingo-bingo. Phrases such as ‘Cheers Drive’ and ‘Alright me Babber’ made a regular appearance.

BEATS returned to the Tobacco Factory on the Saturday night, hosting a night of delicious street food, music, artists and performers. It took me about 20 minutes to pick which stall I would eat at, and finally settled on Gopals Curry Shack eating Samosa Chaat and vegetable masala. B-e-a-u-t-iful!

Saturday morning offered an innovative and very creative take on Breakfast in BEDminster, with Josh Eggleton of The Pony and Trap serving up a three-course breakfast to diners who were snuggled up in their pyjamas in bed, at Kustom Floors. Diners were welcomed with English sparkling wine before being treated to Scrambled Eggs with Chew Valley smoked salmon, followed by potato and onion hash with sirloin steak and then pancake with blueberry compote, honey and mascarpone.

Saturday afternoon, I went on a tour around the gems of Easton, hosted by Shonette from A Life Less Organised. More to follow on that shortly!

Bristol Food Connections

Ahhhh it’s here!!!!! Bristol Food Connections is back for a 3rd time, with events being run across the city from 29th April – 7th May.

The festival promises to deliver ‘more than just the opportunity to watch others cook and instead offers up experiences, inspiration and learning that transform the way we think about food’.

Bristol Food Connections offer a fantastic array of diverse and engaging events that will educate us about the importance of local produce and of supporting our local communities.

The festival’s programme is packed full of exciting events which are split between the following categories;

  1. City Centre – with street food markets and events being held at College Green
  2. Food Trail – highlighting the best of Bristol’s thriving independent food and drink scene
  3. Community Programme – Cook & Converse events bringing together those facing significant challenges when accessing good healthy food, as well as bringing different cultures together to share food and learn.
  4. Fringe Festival – offers diverse events across the city
  5. Markets – there are various markets
  6. Speakers – talks, demonstrations and workshops from a wealth of renowned chefs

Yesterday’s Highlights

  1. Brunch 808: Hip Hop Brunch Club
  2. Spice Yourself Slim – 3.30-4.30pm
  3. The Turbans – 6.30pm-11.00pm. The Travelling Barn, College Green

Today’s Highlights

  1. Best of Bristol Banquet

Yurt Lush are offering a 3-course culinary tour of Bristol’s food heritage, with courses from Josh Eggleton, Tom Hunt and George Livesey.

Best of Bristol Banquet

  1. It’s a Bristol Ting!

From 12.00-8.00pm, Lakota will be transformed into a Caribbean haven with a wicked sound system, rum and of course that all important juicy jerk chicken.

It’s a Bristol Ting!

  1. Spike Island Open Studios – 11.00am – 5.00 pm

Spike Island has opened up its doors this weekend, with family-friendly workshops, exhibitions and live music – as well as lovely food markets.

Spike Island Open Studios and party

  1. Home – 11.00am – 5.00pm.

At Jubilee House, Lucy Portman will be exhibiting paintings inspired by working landlord within our city, whilst hosting a BBQ for all to enjoy.

Home

  1. East Bristol Brewery Trail – 11.00am-8.00pm

Five of Bristol’s renowned breweries are offering tours of their microbreweries with a chance to meet the brewers and sample some beers!

East Bristol Brewery Trail

Enough from me – judging from the above, I’ve got a very exciting day in store!

Mayfest 2016

http://mayfestbristol.co.uk

‘Bristol’s unique annual festival of contemporary theatre, dedicated to presenting a broad range of unusual, playful and ambitious work from leading theatre makers from Bristol, the UK and beyond’

Mayfest fell slightly under my radar last year, but the reviews have been absolutely phenomenal, with The Guardian describing it as ‘A mix of work so tasty it makes you want to up sticks and move to Bristol permanently’ … as if we needed any further justification about how great Bristol is!

The programme is full of different, innovative and creative events in some of the lessor known or even thought about spaces across Bristol.

Highlights to look out for;

  1. Blind Cinema at the Watershed – a form of audio description whereby the audience sit blindfolded listening to the events unfold which are described by rows of children. http://mayfestbristol.co.uk/mayfest2016/blind-cinema/
  2. This Is Not A Magic Show at Matilda Ferry – a close-up magic show about slight-of-hand magic. Described as ‘part performance-lecture, part deconstructed showbiz and part magic tricks that leave you, like, omg’. http://mayfestbristol.co.uk/mayfest2016/this-is-not-a-magic-show-2/
  3. Of Riders And Running Horses at a secret location, to be confirmed! Following the success of May Fest 2015, this show is back by popular demand. A dance event created as a communal animation of urban spaces, apparently ‘the music is a rider and we are the running horses’. http://mayfestbristol.co.uk/mayfest2016/of-riders-and-running-horses/

Throughout the festival, Maydest Radio will be back, providing a great overview of the delights ahead, enticing you to get involved and reminding you of just why we love Bristol!