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 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 Ephemeral Images 2010

‘I wish I had my camera with me’ has become my mantra over the last year. Wherever I walk I see images that are only there for a few seconds and then they’re gone. Sometimes it’s luck and other times it’s hours of waiting. The top five Ephemeral images of 2010 existed only for that period of time between the shutter opening and closing.

5. A hurried sunset

I was walking back from the Tobacco Factory with a friend who was very impatient. My photo-taking had to be quick and I mostly just pointed the camera and pressed the button without really investigating what I captured. I only saw the photos when I made it back home. I took four or five of the setting sun as I was walking over Vauxhall Bridge.

4. Brief moments past St Stephen’s church on Corn St

I tend to follow the sun when it comes to finding something to capture and in this particular instance it was settling on St Stephen’s church. The shadows were light and the sky was a darker blue than usual. I hadn’t noticed the seagull pausing among the turrets.

3. A very slow picture

This photo was taken in my bedroom on Colston St. The shutter speed was low, the flash was off and the exposure took a few seconds each time. The moon trekked its way all across the window by the time I was done and only one or two images managed to avoid being fuzzy. I had no tripod so I placed the camera on my chair and tried to be very still.

2. Sun rise from Bristol Bridge

I set off earlier than usual for my commute to Cheltenham in order to capture the sunset I saw most mornings. The camera was balanced on the edge of the railing that faced Castle Park. The light was still low enough for the exposure to take longer than usual and this was one of many that I took. I couldn’t have walked by and just captured a second of the world with this moment, it took a little more effort and it remains one of my favourite images.

1. Red sky at morning

This was taken on a weekend morning after a night out. I was still slightly dizzy when I briefly opened my eyes to see the red sky, and it was all red. I rushed out of bed and snapped a few pictures but the window pane was getting in the way. I then stood on the chair to take some photos only from the top part of the glass. I must have taken about 20 but this was the only one that worked out. It remains untouched, unfiltered, uncropped and looks pretty unhurried. I went back to bed and only saw it later in the day.