Bristol – where you go when you leave London but you’re not edgy enough to move to Birmingham. Not my words, the words of Russell Howard*. *Russell Howard did not say this.
Recently I had a free weekend, and whereas normally I’d spend this sat on my arse, watching football and ordering at least two meals to be delivered directly to my face, I decided to leave the house. Fancy.
Where to go? What to do? I looked at various places I could get to easily from Birmingham then did some quite complicated mathematics.
Cost of train + abundance of places to eat =
With the numbers crunched, and never having been to Bristol before, I consulted the good people of Twitter.com about where to eat. I was told my best bet would be Wilson’s. And, would you believe it, the people of Twitter.com were right for the first time ever.
I arrived in Bristol and immediately hopped on another train to Redlands. A brief walk which involved more than a couple of thoughts of ‘oooh, it’s quite nice here,’ I arrived at the door of Wilson’s where a chap in chef’s whites was chatting to some locals.
“Good day, I’ve been sent from Birmingham to try your wares.” I announced, pushing the Bristolians away. Jan the owner in the chef’s whites led me inside.
With a negroni in hand a selection of snacks came out. Malted sourdough with a pigeon liver parfait was excellent, it turns out pigeons have livers?! Who knew.
My favourite snack was the buttermilk fried rabbit with tarragon emulsion. A crispy, salty, delicious nugget of rabbit. If my investors ever get back to me you can expect a KFR in every town across the UK very soon.
My favourite courses from the tasting menu were:
Mackerel, lovage, kohlrabi and oyster poached in mackerel bones.
Quail, sweet corn purée summer truffle.
Guinea fowl, girolles, guinea fowl leg with cauliflower moose and old sourdough.
The guinea fowl in particular made me feel very pleased with my decision to leave the house.
Then, dearest reader, a Gooseberry soufflé arrived. Now, I don’t normally order soufflés as once I had one in France (YEAH, FRANCE) that was so shit I vowed to never waste my dessert again.
This successfully erased that memory, my god it was amazing. Delicate, light but packed full of flavour. Turns out Jan knows Rob Weston the head chef of La Trompette the only other place I order soufflés. After wanking on to Jan about how much I wanted to sit there and eat soufflé all day, I left, full, a bit pissed and quite content.
I marched towards some massive, fuck off bridge, stared at it for a bit and then went for a pint. Then I got up and walked some more. Interesting this bit, isn’t it? ‘I wonder where he walks to next?’ you’re thinking, well, hang on a minute and I’ll tell you.
Ready for another pint, I spotted a pub in the distance. There was a cat in the window which immediately aroused my suspicion. Don’t worry, ‘suspicion’ is not what I call my penis. Bag of Nails is the name of the pub, I strongly recommend reading the Google reviews as there are some crackers.
“When my friend asked for a Strongbow dark fruits she replied “well I’ll have to see your ID if your asking for a drink like that”, which was extremely patronizing and made us feel very unwelcome.”
Pints polished off and a few cats stroked (yes, I could have put some rude P based alliteration here, but frankly you should all grow up) I headed off in the direction of dinner.
Paco tapas is situated by the water of the River Avon, very nice.
Croquettes were great. I mean croquettes are always nice, but these were really nice.
The Presa Iberica (poorly pictured in the background) was cooked to perfection over the hot coals – I think I’ll write melt in the mouth. Pathetic bit of prose, but I nearly need to get off the bus.
The only thing I didn’t enjoy was a charred leek with romesco sauce, not because it didn’t taste nice, as it did taste nice, but the knife I had wasn’t sharp enough to cut through the leek, so it just ended up being a straggly mess, a bit like your mum.
I asked for a sharper knife and was told they didn’t have one, but I suspect it’s because they knew I’m from Birmingham.
Concluding notes: Bristol is nice, I would return. Many thanks.