February 2017 marks the sixth anniversary of my eating adventures and, as ever, I'm excited about what the coming months will bring for us foodies! In case this is your first visit (if not, welcome back), I'm a 30-something female with a very healthy appetite!...I promise to share with you my experience of each restaurant, café or bar in which I set foot...so, let's go out!

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Bristol Zoo Gardens' Wow! Gorillas...Nearby Foodie Favourites

Friendly gorilla faces and nearby foodie places!

As soon as the sixty-strong suite of colourful primates took hold of Bristol’s City Centre (and surrounding areas), marking 175 years of Bristol Zoo Gardens, The Boy and I excitedly took up our maps and got to hunting! In a similar fashion to trailing King Bladud’s Pigs in 2008 as well as the Lions of Bath in 2010, we set off regressing to childhood whereby we eagerly collected pogs ‘n Pokémon determined to ‘catch ‘em all’! Fuelled by many a tasty pit stop and even the odd cheeky tipple or two, I became inspired to round up a selection of the best eateries and watering holes existing in close proximity to each gorilla...I’m not suggesting that you stop at them all (we certainly didn’t, hence why I enlisted the help of some knowledgeable foodie friends) but perhaps it may encourage you to try somewhere new even after the gorillas have moved on. Furthermore, there had to be something to show for the fact that The Boy and I actually found, and photographed all sixty, (yes, we even went to Birmingham!)

Date and Time: 6th July – 7th September 2011
Name of Event: Wow! Gorillas courtesy of 175 years of Bristol Zoo Gardens
Location: Bristol and…erm, Birmingham!
Reason for Participation: A pair of ‘collectomaniacs’ on a mission!

1. ‘The S Express’ at Narrow Quay
Recommendation: The Arnolfini Café/Bar is an obvious choice and a great starting point given that they open daily at 10:00am and serve a decent cup of coffee alongside the daily papers and free Wi-Fi. The weekend brunch menu is not to be missed and, inspired by rustic Italian food, their main menu is packed full of mouth watering options – all of which can be enjoyed alfresco within their cobbled riverside space. 
2. ‘Priscilla’ at M Shed 
Recommendation: For beautiful Mediterranean cuisine and an atmosphere to match, try The Olive Shed restaurant which, located on the harbourside, is just fairy-steps away from this gorilla! 
3. ‘Sabyinyo’ at Millennium Square 
Recommendation: The Living Room is worth a visit for their chocolate salted caramel tart alone; I love my puddings and this one was particularly memorable (for all the right reasons!) The extensive cocktail menu is also not to be missed - the Earl Grey Fizz, in particular, is divine!
4. ‘My Type of Bristol’ at Millennium Square fountain 
Recommendation: You might like to try Tikka Flame for some tasty Indian cuisine. Meg of ‘Bristol Foodie’ comments that in ‘doing absolutely everything right’ this venue ‘proved [her] inner curry snob well and truly wrong’! 
5. ‘Sky Gorilla’ at Anchor Square
Recommendation: Turn right from Anchor Square to find Bordeaux Quay – an emporium of all things foodie, this venue constitutes a restaurant, brasserie, wine bar, deli, bakery and cookery school. My experience has not yet extended beyond brunch but this alone was enough to leave me wanting more… 
6. ‘Blue’ at Crest Marketing Suite, Harbourside 
Recommendation: Travel alongside the river to The Pump House; a venue with ticks all the boxes for me...I especially love that even considering their gourmet approach to cuisine, the kitchen will whip up a round of tea and toast for an afternoon pit-stop. With such friendly service, not to mention a fabulous location, it's well worth the walk and besides...I wasn't going to suggest Hooters now, was I?!
7. ‘Seeing You, Seeing Me’ at One College Square 
Recommendation: Work colleague, ‘T’, suggests the Hope and Anchor at the bottom of Jacobs Wells Road for its unpretentious ambiance and generously portioned pub grub –apparently, their Sunday Roasts prove very popular and they serve up a ‘darn good pie’! 
8. ‘Grievesy’ at College Green 
Recommendation: Cross the green to candy-coloured Swinky Sweets where you'll find the ultimate in cupcake heaven.
9. ‘Willard’ at Marriott Hotels (6 July–7August Marriott Royal Hotel, 8 August–9 September Marriott Hotel City Centre) 
Recommendation: I thought it only fair to reference a venue in the middle of these two hotels, yet when The Boy and I visited ‘Willard’ he was in the foyer of the Marriot Royal Hotel and we did as recommended in no. 8! Anyway, my mid-point recommendation is The Rummer which, tucked away in all Saints Lane, is perfect for an expertly-made (and rather potent) cocktail from their imaginative line-up or for fine-dining spread across seasonally inspired (brunch and dining) menus. 
10. ‘Distinctly Different’ at Cascade Steps, Centre 
Recommendation: No. 1 Harbourside is the place to be after visiting this gorilla! With an eclectic vibe and locally sourced food at amazing prices, you really can’t go wrong!
11.‘Bradisson’ at Radisson BLU Hotel 
Recommendation: My Burrito for the tastiest (and probably the most nutritious) fast food on the centre. 
12. ‘Apple of my Eye’ at Centre Promenade 
Recommendation: Cross the road to 4500 Miles from Delhi, a relatively new face on the Bristol foodie scene and with a lunchtime buffet deal at £7.95 (all-you-can-eat), it’s definitely worth a try.
13. ‘Splodge’ at Colston Hall 
Recommendation: Traipse up the hill to The Urban Wood on Colston Street which Emily of ‘Bristol Bites’ describes as a ‘cosy-yet-sophisticated venue’. The food is apparently of a good standard and the drinks (including a range of traditional cocktails) are reasonably priced – can’t ask for more than that really…! 
14. ‘Cheeky Check-Up’ at Thunderbolt Square 
Recommendation: I have it on good authority that Cathay Rendezvous provides a first-rate Chinese banquet fit for even the celebrities that grace the 'hall of fame' that leads through to the main restaurant – The Beatles' George Harrison and Paul Daniels no less! *Thanks to my mum for this one!*
15. ‘Going Gone Gorilla’ at Queen Square 
Recommendation: New cocktail bar ‘Tahiki’, which is just off the square on the corner of Queen Charlotte Street, is described as ‘stylish’ and ‘exotic’ on their website (which certainly looks the part). I can’t wait to try out this bar and in particular, the ‘Coola Culla Ben’ which combines brown-butter infused rum, honey, Xanath vanilla liquor, allspice liquor, fresh lime and cinnamon syrup - wow! 
16. ‘Fade to Black’ at The Grove 
Recommendation: The upstairs restaurant at Riverstation is seriously good and offers some great early evening deals so that you can make the most of this top-end fare at a price which won’t break the bank.
17. ‘Blackbeardorilla’ on King Street 
Recommendation: Embrace the height of Summer at The Spyglass Restaurant and Grill which, seasonally a barbecue on a boat, is the Mediterranean hub of alfresco dining. 
18. ‘Crystal Eyes’ at Stanfords, Corn Street 
Recommendation: Start the Bus offers satisfying home-cooked comfort food alongside some seriously funky beats that makes it worth largin' it with the student population for! 
19. ‘Super G – Downhill Racer’ at St Nicholas Market 
Recommendation: St. Nicholas Market is home to many a foodie gem - check out the daily specials menu at Source Food Hall and Café for something special or indulge in a ‘gorill-ed’ cheese sandwich from the lovely guys at Trethowan’s Dairy.
20. ‘Aja’ at The Grand by Thistle 
Recommendation: One of The Boy's favourites is 'Big Chill Bar' which, channelling that festival vibe wows the Bristol scene with its impressive musical line-up. It also boasts a well-stocked bar with Bath Ale's Gem on tap and bottled Scottish Innis & Gunn proving particularly popular with The Boy. 
21. ‘The Forest Within’ at Castle Park (Herb Garden) 
Recommendation: Castle Park is such a lovely place for a picnic, perhaps visit this gorilla on a Wednesday so that you can gather some tasty local produce from St. Nicholas' weekly Farmer's Market; Castellano’s Deli, Elm Tree Foods and Pullins Bakers Ltd. are a few of my favourites.
22. ‘WOW! Bristol’ at Podium, Broadmead 
Recommendation: You’re around the corner from award-winning Chandos Deli which, tucked away in nearby Quakers Friars, is a brilliant choice for lunch. Fresh baguettes packed with mouth-watering ingredients – Parma ham, rocket, parmesan...need I say more?! 
23. ‘24 Carat Camo’ at The Galleries, Broadmead 
Recommendation: Head out of The Galleries to nearby Nelson Street where the lovely folk at Café Amoré serve an ample range of lunchtime grub – not to mention a superior cup of coffee, in my opinion!
24. ‘Gert Collaberilla’ at Horsefair, Broadmead  
Recommendation: Head up nearby Bridewell Street (past the Old Fire Station) to find The Lanes, a retro-style bowling alley which, a firm favourite with The Boy, serves up tasty 18-inch pizzas and a global selection of draft and bottled beers and ciders (including locally brewed varieties from Bristol Beer Factory and Boxsteam Brewery). Not to mention the private karaoke room, upstairs cinema and popular old-school Pac-Man machine, this place really has it all! 
25. ‘Elvis’ at Bristol Bus Station 
Recommendation: The Full Moon Hostel and adjacent Attic Bar offer a laid-back and friendly vibe as well as an organic/locally-sourced focused menu. Prices are more than reasonable and yet, you're piled with hearty nosh of a good standard...though personally, I've never make it past the 'chaviar' (chips smothered with cheese) – it's the best I've ever tasted and satisfyingly naughty!
26. ‘Hubert’ at Holiday Inn City Centre 
Recommendation: Around the corner is the eclectic Stokes Croft and off it Upper York Street whereby exists the Pear Café – this is quite a favourite with the Bristol 'foodie' network and worth a visit for its 'legendary' butterscotch and plain chocolate brownies alone! 
27. ‘Zoo Keeper’ at Quakers Friars 
Recommendation: Harvey Nichols’ Second Floor Restaurant - treat yourself, immerse yourself in gold…you certainly won’t be disappointed!
28. ‘Gorilla Skelana’ at Cabot Circus 
Recommendation: Go and see the ever-friendly ‘Giraffe’ crew. Situated on the top floor of Cabot Circus, this venue is a great choice for getting into the gorilla hunting spirit with their amazingly tasty global cuisine. There are also numerous money-saving deals to take advantage of so you won’t be hit too hard in the pocket either! 
29. ‘Ape Scape’ at Bristol Airport 
Recommendation: You could do far worse than take a little detour to nearby Congresbury for the culinary expertise on offer at Cadbury House – here, fine dining in all its glory is coupled with a picturesque setting...a treat, but after all that gorilla hunting, you’ll feel like you’ve earned it!
30. ‘Mondo’ at the Evening Post Building 
Recommendation: Why not trek into nearby Easton and discover the vegetarian delights of Café Maitreya which the Best Foodie Friend (BFF) describes as 'incredible' with the dishes on offer as 'easily the equal of any meat-based meal I've ever had'. Maybe this will prove the venue for our next meet-up... 
31. ‘Tensor’ at Temple Church Garden 
Recommendation: Head to Café Retreat on nearby Victoria Street for a cracking cup of coffee and a piece of their larger-than-life home-made flapjack. In fact, perhaps have your order made 'to go' as Temple Church Garden is really rather lovely!
32. ‘Jama’ at Temple Square 
Recommendation: Head to The Knights Templar, the smartest of Bristol’s JD Wetherspoon pubs. Make mine a Hendricks G&T - a bargain at only £2.70, with the option of a double for £1 extra, don’t mind if I do! 
33. ‘Goram’ at Temple Meads Station 
Recommendation: Opposite the station is Don Giovanni’s which, according to The Boss, is both friendly and homely with a great selection of top-notch Italian food. He continued that this venue has a tendency to be overlooked due to its location…a shame; I certainly intend to check it out!
34. ‘Little Fluffy Clouds’ at St Mary Redcliffe 
Recommendation: Cross the road to Byzantium which should be visited for their ‘pudding lantern’ alone! 
35. ‘Gorilla Shape, Bristol Fashion’ at Grain Barge, Hotwells Road 
Recommendation: Check out the Grain Barge itself, especially if you’re a fan of real ale. Their selection, courtesy of The Bristol Beer Factory, is brewed in one of the remaining buildings of the old Ashton Gate brewery in South Bristol using locally grown malt and hops – my dad, the real ale snob, certainly approves!
36. ‘Blackbeard Silverback’ at Arnos Vale Cemetery 
Recommendation: There is a volunteer-run café at this45 acre haven of peace and quiet’ so why not stay a while and learn more of the heritage, wildlife and remembrance that this site pays homage to? 
37. ‘Suebo’ at North Street Green 
Recommendation: The BFF suggests the Hen and Chicken which she loves for its quirky décor and the amazing pizzas (which she's never been able to finish!)
38. ‘Spider Monkey’ on North Street 
Recommendation: Café Sazz for top notch Turkish grub as well as a fun atmosphere! 
39. ‘Alfred’ at Ashton Gate Stadium 
Recommendation: OK, I'm sure that when City are playing you can get obtain something pie 'n pint related from one of the nearby vendors. But, for something a little less 'dirty', visit Mark's Bread, Bristol's smallest independent bakery. Buy baguettes, sourdough and focaccia straight from the oven and make some mean sandwiches to take with you instead.
40. ‘Winston’ at Avon Gorge Hotel 
Recommendation: Avon Gorge Hotel itself with its sunshiney outdoor terrace which overlooks Bristol’s famous bridge as well as an offer whereby two courses are just £9.95 until 7:00pm from Monday to Saturday. 
41. ‘Kingdom’ at Clifton Mall Gardens 
Recommendation: MeMe Chocolate Café/Bar is perfect for something sweet and indulgent!
42. ‘Lipstick on the Gorilla’ at The Promenade, Clifton 
Recommendation: Trek into Clifton Village to the Arch House Deli (the South West’s Deli of the Year 2011 don’t you know!) which offers an array of tasty foodstuffs including over sixty artisan cheeses, cured meats, fresh bread (courtesy of Hobbs House Bakery) and home-made cake. I wouldn’t blame you for opting to stay in their homely café but if the sun is shining, why not ask the friendly staff to make you up a (biodegradable) picnic hamper to take back to the promenade - choose from one of their set menus or create your own selection – how cool is that?! 
43. ‘Gorisambard’ at the Clifton Suspension Bridge 
Recommendation: The Avon Gorge Hotel (as per no. 40) is the best eatery for views of this iconic Bristol landmark. Yet, a short walk into the village surely warrants a visit to Rosemarino where, says Laura of ‘What’s Hot in Bristol’, ‘the quality and the taste of the food [is] faultless’ – high praise indeed.
44. ‘Noah’ at Bristol Zoo Gardens 
Recommendation: OK, I know it’s a dubious link but with a similar name to this gorilla, try Noa Japanese Restaurant located on Clifton’s Waterloo Street – with the smiliest staff around, it’s the best of its kind. 
45. ‘Percival’ at Clifton College 
Recommendation: Almost on top of the Downs is ‘Rajpoot’ offering sophisticated Indian cuisine and concealing one of Bristol’s secret bars beneath it. Hausbar combines novel exclusivity with a great range of tipples, most notably a vast line-up of cocktails …but shh don't tell anyone I told you!
46. ‘Midnight Shok’ at Clifton Down Shopping Centre 
Recommendation: Pop into Whitelock and Grace (at the top of the steps to Clifton Down train station) for a decadent cocktail created by one of the resident mixologists. 
47. ‘Custard’ outside of BBC Bristol 
Recommendation: Check out nearby Brace and Browns Bar and Kitchen where you will find a great selection of rather original tapas or, save this gorilla until Sunday, when you could sample one of their sought-after roast dinners.
48. ‘Banana Shirt’ at the Victoria Rooms 
Recommendation: Mosey along to The Brass Pig on the Clifton Triangle for some posh pub grub. 
49. ‘Pattern Gorilla’ at the City Museum and Art Gallery 
Recommendation: This gorilla is merely a stones-throw away from the peak of Park Street and to begin your descent will lead you to the ever-classy Goldbrick House. The café and restaurant offer a high-quality dining experience and it would be criminal to miss out a tipple from the swanky cocktail menu or something bubbly from the soon-to-be re-launched champagne lounge.
50. ‘Reaching Out’ at Waitrose Westbury Park 
Recommendation: Pop into Waitrose for one of Bristol’s finest creations…Pieminister’s Heidi Pie – ‘goats cheese, sweet potato, spinach, red onion and roasted garlic in lovely pastry’, need I say more?! 
51. ‘Irene’ on Gloucester Road 
Recommendation: The chic appeal of Tart Café and Foodstore makes this venue my favourite Gloucester Road hangout but in keeping with the theme, try Zulu, where you can adventurously sample a baguette or bap made with your choice of their range of exotic meats – crocodile, ostrich, kangaroo but definitely not gorilla!
52. ‘Telula’ at The Mall at Cribbs Causeway 
Recommendation: You can’t go far wrong with Carluccio’s for authentic Italian cuisine – The Mall is home to a number of chain restaurants but this, in my opinion outshines the rest, (perhaps due to the lovely range of goodies; oils, Antipasti and breads which you can buy to take away). 
53. ‘Sunny’ at Currys Superstore, Cribbs Causeway 
Recommendation: Pop back into the mall via John Lewis and head down to the espresso bar in their basement. Slightly more sophisticated than the upstairs cafeteria and serving rich-roasted coffee as well as a lovely range of artisan scones; savoury Stilton and Walnut and sweet Apricot and Ginger are two of the best.
54. ‘Old Man of the Forest’ at Costco Avonmouth  
Recommendation: I turned to my Shirehampton-based pal for this one who suggested Valentino's in nearby Westbury On Trym – she commends the 'hospitable ambiance and passion for authentic Italian cuisine which is evident here'. The website tells of Chef Antonio, who, originating from the Puglia region of Italy, has 'more than forty years experience in producing mouth watering Italian dishes' – sounds good to me! 
55. ‘Severn Bore’ at the Watchhouse, Pill 
Recommendation: The Boy and I spotted many a traditional pub in Pill; The Duke of Cornwall, The King’s Arms and Star Inn…just to name a few! But if old-school watering holes are not your thing, detour to neighbouring Portishead for a visit to Chocolate One, an artisan chocolate shop which sells hand-made (and often intricately detailed) chocolaty creations…trust me, the chocolate flower pots are almost too beautiful to devour!
56. ‘Still Life: Alfred’ at Britannia Lanes of Bristol, Brislington  
Recommendation: Neighbouring Keynsham (which, incidentally, is on route to no. 57!) is both charismatic and full of great places to eat and drink. Try The Wine Bar on the High Street where 'the catch of the day' features in a fresh and seasonally-driven menu. Or, for something a little lighter, perhaps Café Crème or Pomegranate for the best in home-made fare. 
57. ‘Endangered PJs’ at Bitton Railway Station
Recommendation: Find The Chief Trading Post in close-by Oldland Common, an intriguingly quirky garden centre with an on-site café. Gorge on what can only be described as slabs of lovely cake within tranquil yet stimulating surroundings – bliss!
58. ‘Funky Gibbon’ at the Baptist Church, Chipping Sodbury 
Recommendation: Swing by Poppy's Tea Rooms and sip tea from vintage-style cups and saucers and perhaps indulge in a piece of home-made coffee and walnut cake - yum!
59. ‘I Spy Gorilla’ at Slimbridge Wetland Centre 
Recommendation: Located to the right of the Patch Bridge over the Gloucester/Sharpness canal is the Slimbridge Boat Station, aka The Black Shed which serves up freshly-cooked hot food as well as a stunning piece of home-made cake. There is a real home-from-home vibe here and visiting the ‘I Spy Gorilla’ constituted discovering another foodie favourite that The Boy and I probably wouldn’t have otherwise stumbled upon.
60. ‘Guerilla Tourist’ at Birmingham Coach Station  
Recommendation: Unfortunately, our stop-off in Birmingham was somewhat short-lived due to the precautions taken in light of the recent riots. Yet, The Boy and I stood with eyes like saucers at the forefront of (The Bullring's) Selfridges' shiny food hall which, from sushi to sweeties, truly has it all! Regardless of their (ample) price tags, goods are so tantalisingly displayed that the experience alone certainly warrants a visit. 
61. 'Doris' the bonus 61st gorilla at the bow of The Matthew
Recommendation: The crew aboard The Matthew informed The Boy and I that they run fish 'n chip cruises and hire out the boat for private events. There is also a bar which stocks Bath Ales and Bristol Beer Factory beverages – see Bristol from a historic viewpoint and sample its wares - I can't think of a better way to celebrate our beautiful city!

And now for the photographic evidence…

7. Hope and Anchor - 38 Jacobs Wells Road, Bristol, Avon BS8 1DR Tel. 0117 929 2987
23. Café Amore - 14 Nelson Street, Bristol BS1 2LE
56. http://the-winebar-keynsham.co.uk/ Café Crème – 17 High Street, Keynsham. Tel. 0845 6860450 Pomegranate – 19 Temple Street, Keynsham. Tel. 0117 9864888
58. Poppy's Tea Rooms - 58 Broad Street, Chipping Sodbury BS37 6AS. Tel: 01454 313328
59. The Black Shed - Patch Bridge, Shepherds Patch, Slimbridge, Gloucester GL2 7BP

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for such as great post!

    Do enter your pictures into our photo competition here > https://www.facebook.com/WowGorillas?sk=app_100142423390621