Bristol — Big Night Out & A Saturday’s Lunch…

We decided that before our eminent departure from the UK for Spain, that we had not really tasted the culinary or cultural highlights of the Big Smoke Bristol…so we booked ourselves into the wonderful Rodney Hotel in the super-cool area of Clifton & they treated us (and Billie) quite well…

BFWHotel

After an exploratory walk around our new hood (Billie’s idea), we got scrubbed up & took a leisurely stroll to our Friday night culinary event – Birch restaurant. This was a place after my own heart & many echoes of my New Zealand establishment London Street came loudly ringing through. Birch has a simple menu following the mantra of they’d rather do a few things exceptionally well than many things mediocre.

BFWBirchFront

BFWBirchInside

BFWBirchMenu

After a quick perusal of the menu, we’d both made our choices and quickly got on to the important agenda items – beverages. Again, the wine list was small but well chosen and a decent majority of it fell in the ‘most affordable’ range. They offer some seriously good tastings by the glass at an amazingly low price – worth a try. We opted for a fat & fruity Cote du Rhone that went down with the greatest of ease.

BFWBirchWine

With the UK asparagus season just coming into full swing, a sharing plate of asparagus & fresh crab salad was brought to the table…and rapidly consumed.

BFWCrabSalad

And for mains we got boring and could not resist ordering the same bloody thing…the Middlewhite Pork Belly with the potato cake & greens…but 2 very happy customers.

BFWBirchMain

So if you are near or headed to Bristol for whatever reason and you think you deserve a treat – by all means make it a meal & drink @ Birch!

And the dawn of Saturday thankfully brought yet more unusual British summer weather as we had booked ourselves in for a departing (we needed to get back to Frome to finish our packing) lunch @ Bell’s Diner & Bar Room. We had read about Bell’s in a plethora of publications and it was all 100% awesome….

BFWBellsDiner

And they were spot on – a super day that allowed us to take the 1 outside table so Billie could be part of the experience – yay!

BFWBellsMenu

This place is way cool and would love it to be my local – but maybe a wee bit dangerous. We started with a most unusual dish that made a pass at our new destination (Spain) – Jamón Butter with Bell’s Bread. A different take on bread & butter to be sure…

BFWBellsEntreeNext in the tapas style dining excursion was the double hit of Smoked Trout & Cider Pickled Cucumber & Dill Creme Fraiche and my dish of Cornish Clams, Saffron Potatoes cooked Broth with Parsley & Garlic…finished my clams before I remembered to take a photo!

BFWBellsMussels

And I closed with the Chicken Oyster Pintxo to get me in practice for my new home -Hondarribia! Estupendo!

BFWBellsKebab

So if you live nearby or a few counties away, get yourselves to Bell’s for a serious amount of pleasure.

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