Tag Archives: papadeli

Papadeli, Delicious and Magical

I’ve written before about how much I like Papadeli and I have previously visited to shop around, browse and read a paper while drinking coffee. That all happened downstairs, however, and this time I ventured upstairs to the magical little restaurant above the shop. Some joyful staff members informed me that I could order upstairs and that sitting there to have just tea was not a problem.

As I stepped into the cozy area upstairs the waiter greeted me and I told him that I would like some tea. ‘Tea?’ he asked. ‘Tea’ I replied and he went off to fulfil my order. I hadn’t meant proper tea of course being on a decaf diet due to my pregnancy, however, I was feeling adventurous and didn’t call him back.

I seated myself at a table near the stairs and asked for a menu when he brought me my Lahloo Breakfast Tea (£1.50) in the by now familiar solid white, individual tea pots. My friend Mark, who also had never been upstairs, arrived and ordered a Green Mulberry Lahloo tea and an apple and cinnamon tart (£3.95) from the dessert menu.

My tea was fragrant and delicious, accompanied by milk and made from loose leaves, although I chose to leave out the milk. Mark’s tea was brought in a similar Lahloo pot and his dessert was served with a dollop of fresh cream and fresh, large cherries. The tart was delicious as were the cherries, what a great touch to a lovely dessert.

We managed to stay for a couple of hours and even when the restaurant emptied we weren’t given any funny looks about clearing out near closing time. There was a specials board of food dishes and of cakes for the day which included brownies and other chocolate based sweets.

We went downstairs to pay and had a browse around the shop while comparing the merits of Arch House Deli and Papadeli. Mark had managed to buy some of the risotto of which I’d been so envious a couple of weeks back but I couldn’t feel too jealous as he treated me to some amazing looking Italian capers and of course to the tea. We oohed and aahed over the salads and delicious cakes, on display and freshly made, in the kitchen behind the counter.

I lingered at the cheese counter and vowed to come back when I could have some blue and unpasteurized cheese again. I’m looking forward to a main meal there one day which would also be a treat.

Papadeli, 84 Alma Road, Clifton, Bristol, Avon BS8 2DJ, 0117 973 6569


Capers and city living

There are many advantages to living in central Bristol, the proximity to the harbourside and Park St, easy access to lovely locations such as Brandon Hill, and food establishments such as Flinty Red and Papadeli. One huge disadvantage, however, is the price of capers. There are eight Tesco supermarkets in Bristol and the biggest one in the city centre is at the Galleries off Union St and really it’s not big enough to push a trolley around. Over the last few years their prices on capers have varied to a ridiculous extent from 99p to the extortionate £3.12 last week.

Waitrose is currently selling them £1.46. The Waitrose branded capers are being sold part of Heston Blumenthal’s recipe of the week, Lamb with tapenade with runner bean and radish salad. A delicious five starred dish, apparently, as 39 voters, unthwarted by its 43.9g of fat per serving, have scored it (a result that can’t actually be used to infer anything statistically significant in real terms yet).

The Sainsburys on Queens Rd has capers at 99p and while all three shops sell different brands of the delicious berry, the Tesco one is not better than Waitrose. My suggestion is to avoid any capers that cost more than £2 for a small sized jar.

A detour and a cup of coffee

I set out from the city centre this morning in an attempt to find a coffee and somewhere suitable to read a newspaper. From Colston St, I ventured to the Galleries where I bought the FT Weekend. I thought I’d try the Bordeaux Quay and strolled across St. Nicholas Market where most of the stalls were closed over the holiday period (the Cheese stall doesn’t reopen until the 8th of January).

Down Corn St and past Start the Bus, I passed the fountains and became reluctant to do something familiar so I turned off towards Park St instead. The Folk House looked closed and Boston Tea Party looked busy. Through the Clifton Triangle I barely gave Costa Coffee a second glance and decided on the Clifton Lido. The atmosphere was so nice when I last ventured down there but when I got closer I couldn’t make myself go in.  The little area was all in shadow and so quiet. I circled down Oakfield Rd and then walked up Whiteladies Rd with some faith that I would stumble upon something nice. I was even willing to cross over on to Gloucester Rd if there was nothing immediately obvious.

Luckily I didn’t have to. I hadn’t visited Papadeli for a while and I had never had a coffee there before.

The downstairs space is a delicatessen where every nook and cranny is full of food ranging from dried pasta imported from Italy, to Greek Eleon olive oil, coffee beans (organic and not), Lahloo tea, chocolates, biscuits, olives, capers, artichokes and various other antipasti. There are many varieties and I won’t attempt to describe even half of them so I would recommend visiting for a browse if nothing else.

There is a cafe upstairs which I didn’t visit, there are three tables (wooden, sturdy, medium-sized that seat three people perhaps) downstairs and two (metallic) tables with chairs, outside on the narrow pavement.

I ordered a black americano coffee but the menu offered a whole range of options – soup (de jour);  sandwiches made on ciabatta (£5.95); salads from the counter (all made on the premises) £8.95; nibbles – including bread with olive oil for dipping (under £3.50); and a whole host of sweets including chocolate brownies (huge), cakes, warm croissants with jams and various other bits and edible pieces.

Two thirds of the way through Dan Washburn’s Planet Golf: Letter from Hainan I realised that my mellow, but aromatic and slightly bitter, coffee had long gone cold but I was happy to let it finish rather than refresh.

I went up to the counter to pay for my americano (£1.60) and couldn’t resist some of the food on offer. I ended up buying a selection which included marinated artichokes, red peppers stuffed with goats cheese and some olives with peppers. It all looked amazing.

I said no to the offer of another coffee and reminded myself to investigate the word ‘telegenic’ which I hadn’t come across before and whose origins I couldn’t quite fathom.  Washburn writes in the FT Weekend that ‘[i]t is all remarkably telegenic, and by design’ when referring to the Mission Hills Hainan in China, the multi-billion dollar construction project of what will be one of the largest collection of golf courses in the world.

The deli around me makes quite a contrast to any large scale development. The space is small and is more functional than aesthetically pleasing. The large collection of freshly-made, colourful and occasionally imported food items is pleasing and cosy and cluttered. All very tempting and while not necessarily designed to look good on television it was just right for reading a paper and drinking a coffee.