The Workhouse

Bristol | | 27/10/2016

A simple and laid back café, at the base of St Michael’s Hill in Bristol, with a small, ever-changing organic menu that never fails to excite.

A simple and laid back café, at the base of St Michael’s Hill in Bristol, with a small, ever-changing organic menu that never fails to excite.

A mere 10 minute walk away from the Bristol University campus, it’s a wonder that this trendy little café isn’t constantly brimming with students. The infamous gradient of St Michael’s Hill is my only possible explanation.

The Workhouse‘s sparse decor makes for an incredibly calming atmosphere. The various long and small tables and the stool-studded bar are merely adorned with some cool cabbage plants wrapped in brown paper. All focus, therefore, can be on the bar hosting the homemade produce of the day – plus the two huge windows making up the café’s front. These allow the sort of people-watching opportunities usually reserved for alfresco dining, a relatively uncommon phenomenon in rainy Bristol.

I’ve mentioned the bar, but I must divulge more. It is home to the homemade goodies, which, last time I visited, included a potato, kale, leek and mozzarella frittata and sausage rolls. These could be enjoyed alone or accompanying a selection of the day’s salads (£3.50/£7.00 with/without salads). If those fail to excite you, lunch at The Workhouse could instead be a steaming bowl of the soup of the day or a sandwich (£5.00). The interesting filling combinations (the puy lentil, aubergine, tahini, babaganoush with sweet potato and onion bhaji combination really caught my eye) are nestled between two huge doorstops of fresh bread.

The breakfast menu, served from 8am-12pm, encompasses all the classics yet they all contain a little twist. Here, a simple avocado on toast is in fact avocado with lemon and coconut oil on a generous chunk of sourdough bread with rocket pistou (similar to pesto), toasted sesame corn and puy dukkah (£6). This is truly delicious, as are their homemade, coffee-spiked baked beans.

Of course no café would be complete without a healthy tea and cake selection and The Workhouse does not fail to impress with their huge variety of organic, loose-leaf teas plus an inviting array of homemade cakes. Their delicious coffees are made with seasonal beans and you can even upgrade to Devon hemp milk if you so desire! If you’re not after a hot drink there’s also an interesting smoothie menu. How is anyone meant to resist a kiwi, honeydew, spinach, agave, lemon and mint smoothie!?

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