Tag Archives: tapas

Tobacco Factory: Tapas and Coffee

The Tobacco Factory for lunch on a Sunday did not offer a roast. Instead, there were some warm brasserie style lunches, baguettes, English muffins and a selection of tapas dishes.

Luckily they also had decaf coffee so along with the bread and humous (£3.20), olives and humous (£3.20) and patatas bravas (£3.80), I was able to enjoy a vanilla soy latte (£2.10 + 0.20p) and my friend had a green tea.

The bread was lovely, from Mark’s Bread across the road, and was firm of texture with a harder crust but not too tough. The selection was made up of white and brown bread drizzled with olive oil and supplemented with two triangles of butter. The first basket had five mediocre sized pieces while the second had a better amount.

The patatas bravas were roasted new potatoes, seasoned with salt and pepper and parsley. I say seasoned but most were barely flavoured while the rest were nice but the pepper was not entirely appropriate. The tomato sauce / salsa accompaniment had no seasoning at all and I didn’t bother with it after a couple of tastes. The humous was chunky but not too rough although again there was no seasoning apart from parsley and cumin. Salt was not a big factor in the meal at all (the butter was unsalted as well). The best dish was made up of the green and brown olives which were nice and the portion was a good size.

The vanilla soy latte was pleasant and tasty and the green tea was pretty standard and drinkable, apparently.

The meal was nice although it wasn’t meant to be more than a snack. It wasn’t amazing and could have done with more seasoning but it was worth the money. The environment was the most enjoyable aspect to the midday break. The room was large and most of the tables were full, families with little children, men on their own with newspapers and books, gatherings of young women and random urban professionals passing by. The space was large enough to make the conversations a slight noise in the background which allowed for comfortable talk and some semblance of privacy.

I suspect I’ll try a different dish next time and English muffins sounded very good. £5 for one of four selections including mushroom and cheese and smoked salmon with cream cheese. For an additional 50p each you can add a poached egg as well. Sounds ideal for brunch.

The Tobacco Factory, Raleigh Rd, Bristol, Avon BS31TF, 0117 902 0060


The Lido, Bristol

My first visit to the Lido was for a black coffee in the middle of winter. The winding route to the quiet and shadowy Oakfield Place was confusing enough to make me late when I tried to follow it for my second visit last Autumn. The first visit was beautiful but quiet, cold and moody and didn’t inspire much in the way of a friendly return. The second was a birthday treat of a massage and spa treatment last November and the sunny atmosphere could not have been more welcoming. The third was this past weekend and an unplanned lunchtime coffee meet up turned into a sunny Mediterranean style tapas lunch outside by the pool.

The plan was a to meet up for coffee with Nigel and the housemate but the setting and prices were too perfect to ignore. I was also very hungry after having been to the gym that morning so there wasn’t really much choice. The blackboard outside highlighted a list of dishes for either £3 each or four for £9.50. Our choices were humous, babaganoush, pickled white anchovies, olives, manchego cheese with quince jelly, tortilla a plate of charcuterie, and bread with oil.

The pool had about 10 people in it, swimming their gentle laps in the 1.2m deep water. The restaurant was busy upstairs and downstairs and while the service was pleasant and friendly it was also slightly forgetful. The first order of drinks arrived with Nigel’s house red wine, not offensive but nothing special, housemate’s pint of No 7 beer (not bad) and my glass of ice with lemon. They had forgotten my sparkling water. They then forgot our olives and the oil never arrived with the bread, even after we asked for it again.

Ah well, it wasn’t the kind of day where much mattered so we let it all go. The humous was flavoursome and creamy, the babaganoush was tasty and soft although it leaned towards tasteless rather than fresh. The tortilla was very well cooked although the eggs were still slightly liquidy and sweet from the mix with the onions. The air dried meats with the added cornichons were very tasty, as were the white anchovies with their slightly sour vinaigrette. All the dishes were accompanied by the rustic and, slightly floured chunky bread although perhaps there could have been a little more. I’m surprised the bread had to be ordered separately however because how would we have eaten the dips without it? We also didn’t have plates and had to use our napkins. Still, it worked well enough and the price was £23 for everything.

The trip to the Lido became a lovely little outing by the water. The food was tasty and it all felt perfectly seasonal. So far I’ve visited in autumn, winter and spring and am not sure what’s in store for summer but it may include a dip in the pool.

The Lido, www.lidobristol.com, Oakfield Place, Clifton, Bristol BS8 2BJ
0117 933 9530