The Epiphany

Opened in August 2017 by Alex Zeal – a finalist in the Bristol heats of the UK Barista Championships – and Bethen Reid – Bristol’s talented baker, creating for the likes of Boston Tea Party –, The Epiphany dedicates itself to world-class coffee and a laid back but innovative café menu.

The café occupies only a small footprint on the ground floor of the gallery, but high ceilings, whitewashed walls and vast windows create a bright, airy space. The bar seating against the windows and the tumbling indoor plants create a casual atmosphere, maximising the natural light, while not overcrowding the space with a jungle of greenery. All is executed with perfect balance.

At lunch you can indulge guiltlessly in a green machine sourdough toastie on Hobbs House bread, stuffed full of pesto, courgette ribbons, spinach, smashed avocado and lime. Or opt for the heartier Goat’s cheese tricolore, packed with roasted red peppers, rocket, and a coriander and lime garlic mayo.

On the sweeter side, a delightfully dense apricot, almond, rose and cardamom cake (gf) caught our eye atop the clean-lined counter, only just tipping temptation away from a blackcurrant and almond friand or a rhubarb chocolate orange cake. Bethen’s creativity ensures that the counter selection changes regularly, often featuring a star ingredient from one of the many local initiatives and suppliers supported by the café.

A well-picked selection of Canton teas supplements the accomplished coffee offerings, while locally-brewed artisan beers and a choice selection of wines round off the menu, upholding the dedication to quality and provenance throughout.


https://www.rwa.org.uk/about-us/your-visit/eating-and-drinking
Queen’s Road
Clifton, Bristol
BS8 1PX
0117 317 9816


Photos by Pippa Cole


Meet Joh from That Thing

Joh Rindom is the one-man-band behind Stokes Croft’s intrepid fashion hub, That Thing. From a stall in St Nicolas market, to today’s bright and airy premises in Bristol’s cultural hub, the journey hasn’t always been easy. We caught up with Joh to find out how she’s built the brand we see today, overcoming a testing law suit to develop a retail space for her own line of That Thing luxury streetwear, while also providing a platform for up to 65 designers.

So how did it all begin?

I came from Denmark to study fine arts at UWE in 1999, but I always had a vague idea of wanting to move into fashion. I went to a school where we didn’t have to wear uniform, so it was a great opportunity to make my own clothes. I started doing commissions for friends when I was about 14 and continued to do so throughout university, all just through word of mouth. I formed my original brand name after my two family cats Butchi and Gosmos and met my co-founder Louisa Jones through mutual friends. She had a small stall at St Nick’s market and I started selling my wares in there and gradually jumped on board. We put our heads together and realised we could do something much bigger and better together. That became Shop Dutty, our first store in Stokes Croft which opened in 2008.

How did it work in the early days?

We initially started out selling our own brands and a handful of others, as well as selected pieces of vintage clothing and jewellery. That eventually grew into what we wanted it to be, a platform for up and coming designers.

Have you seen a lot of coming and going around you?

Some things have come and gone, some are staying, but in any economic climate it’s a challenge; you have to lay your foundations really tight, have a watertight business plan, be prepared for changes like increases in rent. We’ve grown with Stokes Croft, everything we do in-store, but also the fact that we’ve been able to move to bigger brighter premises. We’ve only moved down the road, we used to be where Emmeline’s is now – they have the best grilled cheese sandwiches, proper doorstop sourdough bread.

Was it a tricky move?

It was, but it was a lifestyle choice. If you thrive and are looking after your own happiness you have more to give, it was important for us to have that. Before, we had an office in the basement, and now we have a bright upstairs office space. I basically run every aspect of the shop from here: design, PR, social media, HR, accounting. A few things I’ve learnt on the job, like accounting, but I’ve learnt that the skills I had at the start were enough and I’ve just built on those.

So what about the name change from Shop Dutty to That Thing?

During the shop move we were in the midst of a two-year law case, with claims to do with copyright and use of name. We had no choice but to take the case, otherwise we would have lost immediate use of name and we may as well have declared ourselves bankrupt. It was like living in a limbo land. Two months after moving into the new shop we lost the case and were given three months to change name. Yes, we could have thought up a new name during those two years, but we didn’t for one second think we were going to lose it, and we didn’t want to think about admitting defeat. It was tough, three months to change everything, branding, bank account name, insurance documents, on top of paying all our own legal fees. That Thing was a lightbulb moment. It felt like it was staring us in the face, fresh, upbeat, doesn’t take itself too seriously, a bit cheeky, has longevity and not ‘genderfied’. Louisa left the company shortly after the rebranding, that’s when ‘one-man-band’ sprung into action, and I’ve managed the business since.

How do you go about creating a collection?

To start with I get my brushes out and start drawing, I think about logos, what I want to reuse, if I need to pull anything new out. It’s not all about splashing logos, it’s about creating a solid collection. I want people to be able to dress top to toe without looking silly, without every piece looking like a statement piece. I’d say they’re luxury streetwear, wardrobe staples.

Who makes the clothes?

Sometimes I use a seamstress, a lot of the prototypes I make myself. Some things like t-shirts and hoodies are blanks, I find high quality ones that I like and want them to be part of the collection. I’m very lucky to have a brother who has a screen-printing company. He helps me no end to create a bespoke collection and have a bit of fun with logo placements and stuff like that.

How do you choose designers?

Since opening the shop back in 2008 we’ve always had an influx of people coming to us, in-store, out and about, even on a night out. We always get people who literally barge into the shop with a bag of stuff to show us. I do have certain things that I like to see from a person before taking their brand, the aesthetic for example. How well it’s made is the other top priority. You can have brilliant ideas, great textures and colours, but if it’s not high quality I can’t take it. What I can do is have a conversation with that person, look at how I can help them with ways to improve, and then they can come back and see me in six months. I’ll also ask them about the realities of being a designer, we are looking to nurture talent, I don’t mind being that link. I’m quite happy to tell people how they can improve, then they often come back. I often advise people to try and make it on an online selling platform first, to test the market.

You talk about being fashion conscious, something many businesses struggle with even when equipped with significant funds. How do you manage it? And what does it mean to you?

It’s open to interpretation to a certain extent, it’s thinking about where your clothes come from, and who you support. The business is very much curated by myself, and I am very conscious of who I pick as designers. I’m not for fast fashion. I want to nurture the creativity in Bristol and give back opportunities within the business to the community, offering work experience to local school kids and teaching what I know. We support up to 65 independent designers in Bristol, and we don’t sell fur, but we are not perfect. I am very open to conversations with people in the shop about aspects we still do want to improve on when we are more financially stable and can make more choices. Plastic carrier bags are next!

Stokes croft now has a hub of independent retailers, who supports this? Is being here a good place for an independent retailer because of the community around you, or is it thanks to action from the council?

In very few other big cities across the UK do you have such a vibrant but also struggling community right on the doorstep of the city centre. There is big scope for creativity here, but more could be done by the council and politicians to help what’s going on here. Sometimes I feel like Stokes Croft is a little fort. We protect ourselves, but it’s the vulnerable people here that the government need to help. We have organisations like the PRSC (Peoples Republic of Stokes Croft) and Chris Chalkley there does so much to clean up the area and revamp the artwork; keeping things fresh and keeping people thinking about politics and the social layers we’re surrounded by every day. I think there should be more funding and support for people who want to make Stokes Croft better. I’m not for gentrification, I don’t think the people who’ve built Stokes Croft up to what it is now should be pushed out by rent, but at the same time I am 100% for change. I think as a society we move quite slowly because it takes people a long time to adapt. Change is good if it’s positive and supportive.

So what’s next?

ASOS, we’re set to have our vintage section on their marketplace within the next six months.


thatthing.co
45-47 Stokes Croft
Bristol
BS1 3QP
0177 924 9990


Photos by Pippa Cole


Tradewind Espresso

Whitewashed walls, hotchpotch furnishings and a counter teaming with dainty almond friands and hefty carrot cakes, Tradewind Espresso is an instagrammer’s dream. Occupying just a small footprint at the upper end of Whiteladies Road, with a little nifty design, owners Patrick and Tahi host seating for around 20 sippers and slurpers inside and another dozen or so in their wood-clad hidden garden.

Set up in September 2015 and business relation to Roasted Rituals, the Hengrove-based roastery, coffee is at the centre of this independent venture. With V60 filter methods and no paper French Press, you would be forgiven for feeling this is all a little too ‘on-trend’. Fear not, high chairs and local businessmen sit alongside the monochrome ‘straight out of Shoreditch’. Both beautiful and welcoming, this is style with substance.

Behind the perfectly scattered cushions and chunky wooden tables lies an unadulterated dedication to quality, the perfectly balanced coffee clearly benefits from their direct connection to source. Custom blends and single origin roasts vary on rotation, but you can be sure to rely on Highground, the house espresso blend offered year-round for its weight and complexity, versatile enough be supped alone or as part of a milkier creation.

Though their caffeinated offerings sit centre stage, the imaginative all-day brunch menu (available until 3pm) threatens to steal the show. Almost compulsory in Bristol these days, produce is sourced with attention to locality and seasonality, and everything that can be is made in house – nut milks, chutneys and cakes included. Sweet caramelised onions sit atop a pillowy soft rosemary focaccia, generously dolloped with peppery rocket pesto, spicy chorizo and oozy poached eggs (£9); an accomplished French toast (using house made brioche) provides the perfect sticky vehicle for cinnamon roast pears, a not overly sweet blackberry compote, creamy mascarpone and crunchy toasted buckwheat (£8); meanwhile the traditional Full English is lifted with smoky baked beans, wilted spring greens and slow roasted tomato.

With a well-priced menu of this calibre, Tradewind Espresso has firmly asserted its place on the teeming Bristol café scene.


www.tradewindespresso.com
118 Whiteladies Road
Bristol
BS8 2RP
0117 974 3477


Photos by Tradewind Espresso


Shotgun Barbers

Does anyone resent how it’s seen as normal to pay upwards of fifty quid for a women’s cut and blow dry? These prices have driven me in the last few years have my hair cut by my mother, with varying degrees of success. I can safely say that Shotgun provided me with the best haircut I have had in recent years, and at only £19 it was a pretty slammin’ bargain.

Students get an additional 25% off the already highly reasonable prices before 5pm. And not only are they affordable, this salon in also undeniably cool. The string lights, graphic prints and LP sleeves lining the walls combined with an excellently curated vinyl playlists coming from a decks in the corner of the room means it is highly an enjoyable place to sit while you wait for someone to do your hair. Seeing as the salon provides haircuts on a drop-in basis only, you might be waiting a while if you come at a busy time. But it is worth the wait.

The hairdressers themselves are suitably trendy to match the décor, but also extremely friendly. While I was having my hair cut we talked about Berlin Techno (our mutual dislike of it, might I add) and how much we loved our matching Van trainers. A bit of a cliché, I know… But altogether an experience which I am already looking forward to repeating.


Shotgun Barbers

1a Pitville Place, Cotham Hill
Clifton, Bristol, BS6 6JY

0117 973 1130


Tiffins

This understated yet exceptional Indian takeaway takes pride of place at the top of St. Michael’s Hill in Bristol. Since opening in 2003, husband and wife Nick and Jay have been providing the locals with a tantalising taste of Gujarati cuisine.

Serving food described simply by chef Jay as “authentically Indian”, the award-winning Tiffins prides itself on the use of nutritional and health-promoting spices, as well as on the shunning of artificial flavourings and colourings. All dishes are cooked in pure sunflower oil only and are therefore light enough to be enjoyed on a warm summer’s evening, as well as on a cold December night when all you’re looking for is cockle-warming comfort food.

All dishes at Tiffins are cooked fresh daily by Jay, and the choice of curries changes regularly. On any given day there are between five and seven vegetable dishes to choose from, including such delights as Potatoes with Peanut and Coconut, Chickpeas in Tamarind and Saag Paneer (this one comes on special recommendation by the chef!) A £6 small portion, which is easily enough for one person (take it from a certified greedy guts!), can consist of one dish only or of a combination of different dishes.

As a meat-eater, I can confirm that both the chicken and Kheema (minced lamb) curries are equally delicious as the vegetable curries, and a small portion of either of these comes in at £6.50.

The food at Tiffins is fit for a king and comes in second only to the service you’ll receive. Every time I have been to Tiffins I have been greeted with Jay’s huge, welcoming smile and we chat just like old friends. Jay told me that her favourite thing about St Michael’s Hill is the people. My favourite thing about St Michael’s Hill is Tiffins!


www.tiffins-bristol.com

151 St Michael’s Hill
Bristol
BS2 8DB
+44 117 9734834

 


Fishers

Stepping into this little seafood restaurant in Clifton, you are greeted by a nautical themed interior and friendly, attentive waiting staff. Warm, cosy and full of charm, Fishers offers the kind of intimacy you only expect at a local neighbourhood eatery. However, here, the food does all the talking.

For a business that prides itself on using seasonal fish, the variety is incredible. Just one look at the menu takes you to a world of fishy goodness. From whole baked seabass with chilli, coriander and lime dressing to haddock fish and chips in beer batter with mushy peas and tartare sauce, the current menu at Fishers is studded with exotic jewels alongside good old Blighty classics. It is a menu that has obviously been designed with a “something-for-everyone” ideology.

But the variety does not stop here. Owing to a sustainable ethos, all the seafood at Fishers (yes, all of it), is sourced locally. At Fishers, this is not seen as a nuisance, but as an opportunity; each seasonal menu showcasing the best the South Coast has to offer at that time of the year. The fish is all exceedingly fresh and you can really taste it.

My last visit was a New Year’s Eve treat and the 2016-17 winter menu featured baked skate wing (a personal favourite) with a Mediterranean style salsa. The tangy saltiness of the capers complimented the perfectly cooked fish beautifully. At Fishers, they seriously know what they’re doing!

A main will set you back in the region of £15, but you do get what you are paying for. If you are looking for somewhere in Bristol to celebrate a special occasion or fancy treating yourself, Fishers is perfect. Also, for any culinary whizzes looking to cook with local, quality seafood, the Fishers online shop should certainly not be missed.


www.fishers-restaurant.com

35 Princess Victoria St
Clifton
Bristol
BS8 4BX
+44 117 974 7044


Photos by Hester Underhill


Papersmiths

Papersmiths is a design lover’s dream. Tucked away in the heart of Clifton village, the store sells an array of beautifully designed stationary, coffee table books, city guides, colourful handmade prints and practically every independent publication imaginable. If Papersmiths doesn’t have it, do you really need it?

Shoppers lured in by their enticing window displays are met with shelves laden with printed cards and magazines and tables filled with all kinds of design delights. All wares are laid out in such an orderly manner as to satisfy any neat-freak’s cravings. The store is bright and inviting and the staff are unfailingly helpful and friendly design-buffs.

After meeting in 2011 and starting their own design studio, founders Sidonie Warren and Kyle Clarke opened Papersmiths in 2014 to sell works from their favourite designers and makers from all around the world. Their design studio, Studio B, continues operations in offices above the shop and has, among other projects, recently designed the interior of the Bristol Student’s Union Balloon Bar.


6A Boyces Avenue
Clifton Village
Bristol
BS8 4AA

+44117 329 6347


Photos by Hester Underhill


Pasta Loco

After my housemate visited this cute little restaurant just around the corner from our house, she came back raving about the delicious pasta that had reminded her of her time spent in Italy on her year abroad. I too, like most final year language students, was feeling nostalgic of my time in Bologna, so I quickly went to book a table. Not surprisingly for the restaurant awarded Best Italian in the 2016 Bristol Good Food Awards, the earliest slot was in three weeks time!

When the day arrived, Pasta Loco was everything, if not more than I had anticipated. Founded by cousins Ben and Dominic, this intimate locale is the perfect setting for dishes of quality produce with a personal touch, complete with pictures of the owners hanging on the walls to create a friendly atmosphere. In the tastefully decorated interior, with low-key lighting and a bench with cushions for a seat, I immediately felt comfortable and in good hands.

The limited seating and seasonal menu allow for excellent service and our food arrived within minutes. The dishes are satisfying if what you need is a comforting plate of pasta, and will pleasantly surprise with original combinations of flavours. For example, the linguini sausage carbonara with pork belly, pancetta and poached egg, was a delicious explosion of gustos. Not to mention, the pasta is all made in-house and the dessert…well, I’ll let you see for yourself.

One of my best experiences in Bristol!


www.pastaloco.co.uk

37A Cotham Hill
Bristol
BS6 6JY
+44 117 973 3000


Bakesmiths

Opened a year ago this month, Bakesmiths has to be one of the most exciting ventures to have graced Whiteladies Road in recent years. The brainchild of Tom Batlle and Mike Thorne, two of the team behind the successful St Philips baking company Cakesmiths, Bakesmiths offers all your favourite brunch classics, each with an interesting twist.

If it’s breakfast or brunch you’re looking for I would recommend going for one of the ‘Topped Toasts’ options. Here, the team takes the traditional combination of toast and topping and moves it to the next level, piling artisan bread high with delicious (and predominantly locally-sourced) ingredients. A particular recommendation would be the Chorizo & Eggs, which combines spiced Lliada chorizo, homemade pesto, giant garlic ciabatta croutons, vine-ripened tomatoes, rocket and two-poached eggs, all for the tidy sum of £8.50.

Although perhaps slightly on the pricey side, the other food options (including hot pressed sandwiches at £5.25), appear just as promising. If the price is putting you off, head down before 10am Monday-Friday to enjoy any of the ‘Benedicts’ (Bakesmiths’ cover term for Eggs Royale/ Benedict/ Florentine /Catalan) for just £5.

If it’s a sweet treat you’re looking for, you will have a hard choice to make from the tempting array. On my first visit, I was lucky enough to bag a Caramel Slice for just £1, and the level of deliciousness was enough to draw me back for the two days following. If taking afternoon coffee and cake, it is primarily for the cake that you will go to Bakesmiths; the coffee, at £2.55 for a slightly disappointing Americano, is perhaps the café’s weakest point.

The spacious layout and creative atmosphere makes the café the ideal workspot. With gorgeous high ceilings and huge windows, the place is always light, even it is a typically grey British day outside. With ample room, the café creates the sense of a studio space that fosters a creative vibe. It’s perfect for any student wishing to find an alternative to the cramped environment of university workspaces.

There is also a large and airy room upstairs that can be rented to groups of up to 24 people for any purpose, for £40 for a half-day. It seems ideal for meetings, cooking demonstrations (it has its own kitchen), networking events, photo-shoots or product launches.


www.bakesmiths.co.uk

65 Whiteladies Road
Bristol
BS8 2LY
+44 7535 607 061


Photos by Hester Underhill


Rosemarino

The Bristol Good Food ‘Best Breakfast’ and ‘Best Italian’ awards seem to be an un-droppable baton, to be passed back and forth year after year between the two Rosemarino restaurants (one situated on the outskirts of Clifton Village, the other found at the bottom of St Michael’s Hill). It goes without saying that these prizes are very well deserved.

The breakfast and brunch menu, which is served until 3pm, boasts all the expected and much-loved breakfast classics, as well as lighter options and their aptly named ‘breakfast legends’. This means that every breakfast desire is truly catered for.

The generously sized ‘veggie breakfast’ is comprised of many of the usual components plus a ricotta soufflé, polenta cubettis, vegetable croquettes and two huge wedges of focaccia slathered in butter (don’t ask me what a cubetti is; all I know is that is they’re cube-shaped, made of polenta and utterly delicious). All of this comes in at a modest £8.

The lunch and dinner menus at Rosemarino are made up of luxurious Italian dishes such as ‘Lasagna al nero con salmone’ (squid ink lasagne with hot smoked salmon and pickled fennel) and ‘Risotto coda brasata’ (oxtail and saffron risotto with juniper syrup). Despite the fancy Italian names, all the two restaurants’ offerings come with fairly moderate price tags, but the £10 lunch and early dinner menus make this kind of decadence especially affordable.

Décor wise, both Rosemarino restaurants share the same understated duck egg blue colour. This brings a sense of calm to the restaurant’s ambience and allows the focus of the room to be the stunning art work on display. The pieces on the walls – all by local artists – are selected by the Rosemarino team with pride, and it’s all for sale.

The Clifton restaurant fits in nicely with the general theme of the town: chic and trendy. It spills out onto the paved streets offering brunchers and lunchers the opportunity to admire the beautiful stone architecture in the sun, and obviously to indulge in some important people watching. The menu and décor might seem a bit on the classy side, yet the price tag and the staff of these two great restaurants are simply friendly and inviting.


1 York Place, Clifton, Bristol, BS8 1AH
+44 1179 736 677

90 Colston Street, Bristol, BS1 5BB
+44 117 9253 524


Saffron

Lined up against the beasts and beauties of Bristol’s brunch scene, Saffron takes the prize for an appealingly equitable money:food ratio.

Taking a step up the ladder from the ‘greasy-spoon’ type of establishment, Saffron offers mass-munching for limited coin-crunching. You can pick up a sizeable full-English for about £6. When you’re sitting in Bristol’s Chelsea equivalent, that’s not bad (p.s. … it also does gluten-free 🙂

Despite its Indian suggestive name, Saffron is not a curry house, a spice parlour or even a flower shop. It prides itself on its Mediterranean-themed kitchen and its classic British breakfasts. If you happen to be on the hunt for both a Spanish tortilla and a Cumberland sausage… this is the place to be. You’ll find a slightly more mature menu for evening service and suitable space outside when the sun decides to shine on the south-west.

Aside from its name, it’s a kind of what-you-see-on-the-tin kind of place. It’s student-friendly, warming food and adequate, but could do with hiring an extra person at busy times. Try to avoid these periods. Enjoy!


4a Boyce’s Avenue,
Clifton Village,
Bristol BS8 4AA


Papadeli

Lying in that grey area, where student stomping ground meets the frenzy of full-time functioning families, Alma Road is home to Papadeli – an establishment for artisanal foods, baked goods and great coffee.

Started fourteen years ago by one man and his dream to run a ‘great local food business’, Papadeli also offers catering services, cookery classes for all levels, and operates a well-oiled and welcoming deli-cafe.

The limited number of tables in the Alma Road epicerie-come-restaurant is accounted for by their additional residence in the Royal West Academy of Arts, just down the road. The whole business idea is one of originality, locality and general love of good food. The staff are friendly and happily to recommend their favourite dishes or bites up for the munching.

While you’re waiting for your food to arrive, you can spend those moments glancing/drooling over their stocked shelves of daring delicacies and easy gift offerings.

If you really want to step away from the tiresome draw of high-street coffee chains, universal cup branding and transported Panini packaging, move yourself to papa-deli.. It’s only 160m further to walk down Whiteladies Road.


www.papadeli.co.uk/

84 Alma Road, Bristol BS8 2DJ
+44 117 973 6569
info@papdeli.co.uk