Tag Archives: coffee

Pumpkin spice latte season

As pumpkin spice latte season approaches and I continue to avoid Starbucks I thought it was time to get on with making my own coffee.

I followed the following recipe from foodnetwork.com but it basically comes down to the following:

1 or 2 tablespoons of pumpkin puree (can from Waitrose)
1 or 2 tablespoons of sugar
1 cups soy milk
1/2 tea spoon vanilla extract

mix them all up and heat them by either steaming with a frother or in the microwave.

Add a shot or two of espresso.

Voila!

Homemade pumpkin spice latte. It only takes two tablespoons of pumpkins so freezing the rest. #coffee

A photo posted by Joanna Booth (@stillawake17) on

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Top five personal favourite places in Bristol

I posted on my top five favourite places in Bristol over on Bristol Culture and it crossed my mind that there are lovely memories for me within other stretches and corners of Bristol that wouldn’t make sense to other people. I thought I would post these second set of favourites which are slightly more personal.

6. The street with the trees opposite the BRI

Urban, gritty Lewins Mead Upper Maudlin Street is my ultimate autumn street. I first moved to Bristol to start a PhD and I would walk along from Colston Street to the Galleries in order to buy a coffee and start my day. Grey and cinnamon and windy and rainy. This part of Bristol makes me happy.

leaves autumn

7. Starbucks in Borders on Queen Street (gone)

During a truly miserable time as a PhD student I would find the only reprieve at Starbucks in Borders where I would browse some books on Zen and then sit with a vanilla latte and write in my diary. Comfy and tasty and available late at night. Perfect for solitary nightbirds.

8. Christmas steps
I have slid down them in the snow and soared over them like starlings along with Elbow and tried to capture them in photographs without getting the light poles in the way and sat down on them and mostly climbed them. My memories of the Christmas Steps are nearly always of dark mornings heading for the train station.

9. St Michael’s Hill

The first hill that my then boyfriend and I climbed in Bristol and the one I used to climb during all stages of pregnancy to get to my midwives including an emergency rush to the hospital at 29 weeks and on the night I went into labour I walked down it while having contractions but wasn’t dilated enough to be kept there.

10. The Croft, Stokes Croft

Listening to the Random Family and the Miserable Rich in a beer-soaked room with punters who found it more fun to come in and out of the room rather than stay and listen to the music. The night was full of distractions and the people were consistently talking and one guy with long white hair reminded me of the guy from Dinosaur Jr. I walked home in the rain.

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.

Favourite photos from last week

On Wednesday, last week, we went to visit Mersina’s childminder in Clifton. We then went by Papadeli where I enjoyed a delicious coffee and and a chocolate croissant while Mersina ate some of her plain croissant. It was lovely.

Roasting Coffee

A video showing Matt Gibson’s coffee roasting. Enjoy.

Programmer, journalist, photographer, artist, jogger, all-round creative geek. Occasional web developer for @getrunningapp.
http://www.gothick.org.uk/

Boston Tea Party, Cheltenham Road

The Boston Tea Party chain of cafés have Stokes Croft as their newest location in the West Country. They pride themselves on serving outstanding coffee, tea and creating delicious, original affordable meals. That’s what they say and I tend to agree.

My daughter and I visited Cheltenham Road for their newest addition with a dash of trepidation. My daughter Mersina was in her pram and cafes around that area are independent and arty and usually quite small or feature various sets of steps or tables on pavements.

In contrast, the new cafe is spacious with plenty of room between tables that are placed inside and outside in the courtyard. I had a 12oz soya, decaf latte with chai flavouring and the barrista barely blinked at the order, which was encouraging.

I also tried one of the pastel de nata little tarts which are lovely. My coffee was curdled unfortunately but that has to be a one off as Boston Tea Party is one of the places that usually know how to treat soy milk.

The best thing about the new cafe is that it also sells pancakes among its delicious sounding menu items. The Boston Tea Party on Park Road did not do so the last time I was there. I look forward to going back and trying some of the food.

The Lounge, North St: Unimpressed

I walk into the Tobacco Factory and my companion reminds me why I prefer to go for coffee alone. Are you sure you want to go here, he asks. Well obviously I’m sure otherwise I wouldn’t have come in, but my grass-is-greener friend sounds doubtful and out we go again. This time we head to the Lounge, part of the Lounges chains round Bristol.

My friend spots an old colleague by the door so we spend some time chatting before we head to the bar to order. I order a second shot with my decaf, soy latte and there’s no green tea so my friend orders a redbush or rooibos tea. The difference in the names is attributed to your accent according to the woman serving us. Not quite a believable statement. She is also apparently the sole one in charge of coffees because when I asked whether they did decaf she replied ‘I do’ so let’s hope she doesn’t drop dead.

We hadn’t found a table yet so I went to get one and tell her the number. By the time I got back she’d moved out to collect glasses so I stood around waiting and then half told someone else but by then she was back and with an oh yeah helped out.

The coffee and tea were brought out to us quite quickly. All three rooms of the lounge were quite busy and full of young professionals brunching which probably explains why the place smelled of eggs. There was constant movement and talking which social people probably find quite friendly. There were newspapers available although only the sports and travel sections were left or there were the news of the world or the Mirror.

The well worn but polished floor boards lent a warmth to the room which suited the autumnal russet colours of the walls. Sturdy wooden tables were well placed with the comfortable armchairs, most fitted with leather cushions.

All should have made for a lovely break but somehow it didn’t quite work. The constant smell of everyone’s breakfast pointed to the fact that there too many tables all together. The coffee was bland and even with the additional shot was way too milky. The rooibos tea was the finest a tea bag could provide and didn’t quite live up to the standards of the freshly made Lahloo tea we’d encountered around the city centre and Clifton. Most of the service wasn’t great and I was glad to leave most of my beverage to go elsewhere.

I can imagine that it would be a great place to run into friends or acquaintances if you lived in the area. There’s a communal feel to it and greeting friends with quick chats seemed normal but I’d rather go somewhere where I know no one rather than suffer through bad coffee

227 North St, Bedminster, Bristol, Avon BS3 1JJ, 0117 963 7340
thelounges.co.uk‎