As if it wasn’t one of the UK’s best epicurean destinations already, Bristol comes alive with food, fun, and festivities over the next few months. Here are five reasons why you should pay a visit this summer.
In September, some of Bristol’s best restaurants – complete with their chefs, sommelier, waiting staff, and 22 guests – will be winched 100 feet into the air to enjoy a meal with a serious view. This year sees the likes of Romy’s Kitchen, Henry’s and Rosemarino take to the wild blue yonder. Better still, demand has encouraged organisers to roll out the event to a 5-day extravaganza. Lovett Pies – and their two days of the fantastically named ‘Pie in the Sky’ – will take care of the extended programme.
Summer is prime time for food festivals around the West Country. And Bristol in many ways has the pick of the bunch. To name a few, there’s Grillstock, which is back this year for another weekend of meat and music; the Bath & Bristol Food Festival (about 20 minutes away from the centre of Bristol); and Bristol Craft Beer Festival, headlined by local heroes Moor Beer and Wiper and True as well as world-famous brewers like Denmark’s Mikkeller and Belgium’s Brasserie de la Senne.
Even with all that’s going on over the summer, make sure you put aside time to visit one or two of the restaurants which make Bristol’s food scene what it is. The modern British fare found at Bulrush has won the restaurant many fans (including none other than Guardian critic Marina O’Loughlin). The Cauldron’s older-than-time but remarkable concept of cooking with cast iron cauldrons and wood fires is a delight. Tapas joint and Coltham newcomer Muiño lends good value for money dishes to the scene. And New Moon Café provides the sort of thing vegetarians and vegans are looking for – patatas bravas, grilled aubergine rolls, truffle-baked camembert, and all.
Cargo 2 follows on from Wapping Wharf’s instant hit that is – yep, you guessed it – Cargo 1. Opened in May this year, the new development is still fresh off the line, with all the excitement to match. Things to seek out include Spuntino’s New York-inspired truffled egg toast, Cargo Cantina (from the team behind Bravas) and their authentic Mexican tacos, and The Pickled Brisket’s Reuben with blow-torched Swiss cheese.
Being the eclectic, creative city it is, Bristol is always going to have a vibrant market culture. And St. Nick’s is right in the middle of that scene – expect street food for the soul; summertime produce like gooseberries, rhubarb, and beetroot; and Bristol-made beer and Somerset cider. Oh, and the odd raspberry ripple cake for those sweet-of-tooth.
Did we miss any good things happening in Bristol this summer? Tell us in the comments below and visit OpenTable to discover more great restaurants in Bristol.
This is a guest post from freelance food journalist Hugh Thomas. He’s contributed to Foodism, Time Out, Great British Chefs, and is part of British Street Food’s small team of vigilant writers. Find him on twitter @hughwrites.