Tag Archives: breakfast

Breakfast at Wallfish Bistro in Clifton

Untitled

Two days ago, I had some black-looking thick and ugly mushrooms on toast at River Cottage Cafe. They were most unpleasant to look at with the grimy streaks they left on my place and weren’t exactly exploding with flavour. A week before that I had been served the most beautiful looking girolles on toast served with herby butter and arranged like little flowers around and top of a slice of sourdough.

The Wallfish in Clifton may only have started serving brunch for the first time last weekend but they were certainly miles ahead of the River Cottage on service and flavour. They were perhaps a little overenthusiastic with the drinks menu which I was handed as I walked in and all the cocktails listed on the breakfast menu are a bit daunting for 10am but nevertheless, I have become a big fan of their breakfasts.

Their baked beans are home-made and taste authentically country-farm (probably). They were lovely and smokey and have bits of bacon. I ordered them for my daughter but she was not impressed as they tasted nothing like Heinz.

I did wonder about the freshness of our bread as the delivery came in from Jo’s Bakery on Gloucester Road after we had been served but it was toasted and sourdough so I wasn’t surprised at needing a knife to cut it, it tasted ok. The water jug looked like a fish and glugged when you poured in a most pleasing way. I liked it. I’ll be back.

Untitled

Top five places for breakfast in Bristol, 2013

With great sadness, we say goodbye to Lahloo Pantry which has closed down. It takes with it some of our loveliest memories.

Since my last post on breakfasts, a year ago this time, there have been some changes and updates in the breakfast situation. 40 Alfred Place is now mainly used for pop-ups and the fabulous Hart’s Bakery has found a new house at Bristol Temple Meads. So let’s recap:

1. Hart’s Bakery at Bristol Temple Meads: excellent pastries, cakes, buns, toasties, lunch yummies (like pasties, tarts and soup) and most importantly and palatable all day – Laura Hart’s famous Custard Tarts. Possibly the best tarts in the world and I’m willing to do a global taste tour to find out.

2. Papadeli: their soy lattes aren’t that great but their food is delicious. They are at the RWA and in Clifton.

3. Source Food Cafe: just overall excellent quality food, own-made black pudding, croissants, a good selection including pancakes with bacon, porridge with Drambuie, hard-boiled eggs with soldiers and a full English breakfast. Also, their French toast with fruit selection is lovely. Good coffee too!

4. Bordeaux Quay: this restaurant is no longer on my bad books after my daughter and I visited two months ago and we discovered that they have a whole collection of books and toys for children at the back of the restaurant. There is a box near the back wall before you get to the toilets. Their scrambled eggs and soy latte were excellent.

5. Full Court Press: the new cafe which serves exceptional coffee (and BonSoy soy milk) now also serve Hart’s Bakery custard tarts and other sweet and savoury treats by Bosh. Coffee and cake counts as breakfast, right? A delightful little cafe with friendly and helpful Matt and Dave behind the counter. Update: Hart’s bakery custard tarts are available on Thursdays only and cinnamon buns are available the rest of the weekdays.

Full court press 1 Full Court Press inside Full Court Press 2

Bonus breakfast tips

Grillstock: from 8 to 10am, Grillstock serve breakfast rolls of pulled pork and egg. They come highly recommended.

Tart on Gloucester Road: I haven’t eaten here but have only heard good things from friends.

Watershed: excellent scrambled eggs. So-so tea from tea bags (as far as I know) and coffee is ok.

Boston Tea Party: Pre-baby, I used to be a regular at BTP and loved their soy lattes and poached eggs. However their stairs and distance have put an end to that for now. They also do great porridge.

Flinty Red at the Bristol Old Vic: This Michelin recommended restaurant makes excellent breakfast items but they stay out of the top five until I can visit and they have both coffee and soy milk available at the same time. Black filter coffee is nice but not good enough. Their granola is a true delicacy with hazelnuts and lovely crispy muesli.

Lahloo Pantry: – currently closed temporarily so not in the top five but — fresh cakes, a myriad selection of exotic and sturdy every day tea, locally sourced ingredients such as bacon from Ruby & White butchers on Whiteladies Road and excellent scrambled eggs served with sourdough toast. We celebrated my daughter’s second birthday there and if there is any matcha cake when you visit then it comes highly recommended by a two-year-old.

Flinty Red at the Bristol Old Vic for breakfast Breakfast at Flinty Red Flinty Red at the Old Vic

Top five places for breakfast in Bristol

Update: this list has been updated at this link

Breakfast suggestions were flying around Twitter this morning so I thought I would put together a top five for this weekend.

1. 40 Alfred Place is hosting a French pastry morning this Saturday with delicious taste sensations baked by Laura from Harts Bakery. From 8am till noon, they shall be providing a deliciously continental petit déjeuner avec croissants, pains au raisins, croissants aux amandes, pains au chocolat, baguettes, croque-monsieur et bien plus encore.

2. Lahloo Pantry in Clifton Village is probably the most wonderful place for cakes and tea plus one type of coffee. In addition they serve unlimited toast, boiled eggs and soldiers and French toast among other breakfast items.

3. Source food do the best pancakes with maple syrup and bacon. The pancakes are a bit teeny, however, which is strange as they are probably the cheapest part of the dish. I have also had some lovely French toast and boiled eggs and soldiers there. Most importantly the coffee is good – Extract Coffee as also served at 40 Alfred Place.

4. Primrose Cafe at Clifton Village is quite nice if the weather is lovely and pleasant and you can get a table outside. They have fresh orange juice and very tasty cooked breakfasts and pastries. When I have to sit inside and it’s a little busy, my claustrophobia kicks in and the fact that they have the radio on is doubly annoying.

5. The Watershed on the Harbourside. My daughter loves their scrambled eggs so much that last time we were there she grabbed my fork and nearly ate all of mine.

Bonus. Arch House Deli – Their food is amazing and they serve coffee and pastries. Not really dedicated to breakfast but still a very pleasant place.

Update:
Brunel’s Buttery on the Harbourside – SS Great Britain and M Shed side – is also notable for its crowd-drawing abilities. I have yet to go but many Bristolian’s swear by its tastiness and hangover-curability.

Mersina at 40 Alfred Place

Places that are in my bad books at the moment:

1. Rosemarino in Clifton: We visited on the Diamon Jubilee bank holiday Monday and I wasn’t that impressed. Their scrambled eggs were dry and their toast was drier. The other breakfasts looked very nice but their coffee was served in minuscule portions and their orange juice was served from individual bottles.

Saying that, the restaurant itself was lovely and the music was pleasant. It may have been an off morning. Their pastries, made in-house, were excellent.

2. Bordeaux Quay on the Harbourside: The last time we visited they were so busy that the service was barely polite. The full English breakfast may have been local and ethically sourced but the homemade beans were bland and the sausage was tasteless.

I actually still hold a grudge from the time I visited about a year ago and instead of serving me a stack of pancakes, the chef just made one big pancake which was entirely unpleasant as a visual experience.

Folk House Cafe, Bristol

In the last few years, my experience of visiting the Folk House has been one of walking through the alleyway off Park St, walking into the little concrete garden, noting that there was no one about and then walking swiftly out again. I must have done it three or four times so this time I became determined I would stay and eat something.

The cafe reminds me of some type of school / Uni / community centre dining room where it all feels casual and affordable. The best dressed person in there is a teenager who is in his school uniform still wearing his blazer.

There is a coffee and muffin deal for £2.70 and the choice is either apple and almond or raspberry and banana. I opt for the first and note that the cakes are more of the cup size than muffins and have no icing.
The tables are covered in easy to clean vinyl tablecloths. There is a little ant on mine who keeps trying to find something exciting but to no avail. It walks up to my mug of black coffee and back towards the edge of the table again.

The ‘muffins’ are quite airy and more sugary than fluffy but that’s probably the almond part. I have two poached eggs on toast (buttered) (£3.50) and they are quite nice but there is no visible salt and I don’t ask for any. They already have a little bit of pepper added.

The breakfast was lovely enough and the environment pleasant with the uni students next to me reading the Guardian. I didn’t mind it but nothing particularly stood out although it does seem to offer a lot more than just food and beverages. There is a board by the door outside the cafe where a whole host of activities are listed for all hours of the days of the week. Dancing, writing, cooking, poetry, singing and lots more. The community feel to the cafe may be better explained as a consequence of all the other activities going on. At least I managed to visit this time and stay for a while. Next time I’ll have to take part as well.

40a Park Street, Bristol BS1 5JG, 0117 926 2987 http://www.bristolfolkhouse.co.uk/

Breakfast thoughts

Before a long run, my usual breakfast is porridge boiled up with water and augmented with yoghurt (either vanilla or Greek style/honey) and bananas. Within two hours of eating I am ready to go out and I am happy for this to be my breakfast on the day of the run. However, how do I boil up porridge in a hotel in a strange city? Do I take the box with me and ask the kitchen to help out? I’m not so sure. Just in case I need an alternative plan, I am giving Weetabix a go this week. Same concept but I only need to add boiled water to soften them up before the addition of yoghurt / honey, fruit and nuts and the banana.

The advice I’ve read, and heard, suggests that you add nothing new to your routine on the day. Everything should have been practised and tried and tested before. I did get some further advice however from Justin Miles who is doing the Last Great Challenge which is an expedition to and from Antarctica with Antarctic Logistics & Expeditions, via their camp at Patriot Hills near the Antarctic coast.

He prefers a choice of either cold pasta or a special home made muesli mix made up as follows:

Good quality muesli, mixed the night before with natural yoghurt, a little milk if it gets too thick, grate in a little apple and pear, add some sugar, and a pinch of cinnamon. This mixture made up the night before will see you through the day well enough.

Also consume a little protein, eggs are great (boiled eggs travel well), and don’t forget your High Five 4:1 (energy mix).

For the pasta, use as you like. Maybe pasta with a little tuna for the protein content, some oil, and a little pepper (no salt).

Justin is currently taking part in the Marathon des Sables which is a 6 day / 151 mile (243km) endurance race across the Sahara Desert in Morocco. I trust that he knows what he is talking about and as always, advice is appreciated.

With 16 days left until the London Marathon there may not be much space for advice any more and while I understand this I am still enjoying reading it all. I have been following Steve Halsall’s posts on the Mirror.co.uk blog and have found it very helpful.

Not long to go now and I will have my breakfast plans finalised this Sunday. Lots of luck to anyone else doing the same.

Starting my day at La Bocqueria (July 2009)



Starting my day at La Bocqueria, originally uploaded by still awake.