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!

Thursday, 3 May 2012

AngelBerry - Broad Quay, Bristol

Let me be the first to tell you that frozen yoghurt is going to be huge this summer be it as versatile as ice cream and yet without the fat and thus, the guilt! In fact, it was fairly coincidental that just as Bristol's rather out-spoken Twitter presence identified the distinct lack of this gastronomical genius within our City's snack-food spectrum, that AngelBerry claimed the premises formally occupied by Coffee Beach to house its second frozen yoghurt 'factory'. Now, never one to let an opportunity to explore the onset of a foodie fad pass me by, I felt somewhat compelled to visit and consequently, here reads my scoop on the venue with the potential to be the coolest in town...!

Date and Time: Tuesday 1st May 2012, 19.45
Name of Establishment: AngelBerry
Location: Broad Quay, Bristol
Reason for Visit: Curiosity-driven post-gym pit stop!

Founded in September 2011 by Ryan Pasco and James Taylor, who initiated their fro-yo franchise within Hartcliffe's Imperial Park after spotting a significant gap in the market, AngelBerry has recently doubled its numbers with the launch of its brand-new Broad Quay branch. Although it opened its doors within the midst of the wettest April since records began (yes, really), it didn't seem to dampen the spirits of those at the helm of this venture; the staff at the 'front-of-house' outwardly all smiles and happy-to-help; bestowing bemused passers-by with free samples and relaying the instructions for building one's confection within earshot of each and every AngelBerry virgin! In fact, I would suggest that their charismatic energy fits rather well within this candy-coloured space; whereby hot pink feature walls alongside an upbeat soundtrack of infectious pop music, (Bieber-fever anyone?!) promotes the fun-factor and yet, offset with magnolia hues and minimalistic décor, tastefully encompasses a fresh, modern disposition. Furthermore, a sense of spaciousness remains intact, though the table to chair ratio seems sparsely distributed which suggests that this is perhaps an experience intended fundamentally as a takeaway affair; a notion heightened by the absence of customer toilets which would presumably have to be present if this was not the case!
There are ten in-house varieties of frozen yoghurt to choose from; all of which are naturally flavoured, probiotic and gluten-free which, in addition to the aforementioned fat-free advantage makes it difficult to believe that something as saintly can be quite so delicious! Plus, as a self-service establishment whereby, with a rumble of machinery, you lever your chosen flavour(s) into one of the three available cup sizes (oo er), it encapsulates the novelty of putting the customer in control, (perfect for kids or the big kid within!) And, for the indecisive amongst us, staff operate a ‘try-before-you-buy’ approach whereby mini tasters can be requested so that one can make an informed decision before committing to a particular flavour. This also allows for sampling the limited edition/seasonal flavours which, on this occasion included ‘Jaffa Cake’ – an acquired taste with undoubtable appeal but, in my view, possibly a little too sickly for portioning in a larger quantity. Instead, I opted to combine three flavours which I hoped would complement each other; Banana, Chocolate Mousse and Natural Greek Yoghurt; the latter balancing the others with its characteristically bitter-sweet twang. In fact, all three ate very well, proving evenly textured, flavoursome and...erm...cold! When it came to picking toppings, I was literally like a child in a sweet shop as there were no less than thirty-five to choose from; ranging from the likes of mini Oreo cookies, crushed Kit Kat, M&Ms, nuts and gummy bears! This was in addition to the healthier toppings whereby fresh fruit is ever so slightly overshadowed by the invention of ‘pobbles’ which are essentially tiny, aesthetically-pleasing bubbles of fruit juice that burst upon the palate – amazing! However, I finally settled upon waffle cone pieces, as it would have been difficult to balance the more sizeable toppings on the mountain of yoghurt I had dedicated myself to! In light of this and based on the significant margin for spillage, I would perhaps recommend either facilitating a larger tub than originally required or, adopting a layering technique as, quite frankly, piling white chocolate minstrels (I kid you not) upon tall peaks of yoghurt inevitably equals a land slide of epic proportions! At the end of the building process, the finished article is taken to the counter in order to pay-by-weight which at £1.50 per 100g is rather a respectable fee and yet, one so easily doubled...tripled even and then some! That said, there is a loyalty-card scheme which entitles its holder to a free 200g portion of frozen yoghurt after collecting eight stamps and, very soon, the option to fill a larger tub to enjoy from the comfort of your own home will become a reality – exciting stuff and incentive to keep that Frozen Yoghurt addition alive!
For the record, a portion this size will set you back £4.20 - well worth it though I reckon!
With the focus firmly on creating a masterpiece in the art of fro-yo construction, drinks to accompany one’s concoction seem to take a back seat. Nevertheless, there is a 'coffee station' offering all the usual suspects (which, given that AngelBerry draw upon the expertise of Clifton Coffee Company, bodes rather well in terms of ensuring a quality cuppa') as well as bespoke smoothies and shakes which, for £3.00 each, are made-to-order using the yoghurt(s) of your choice as the base ingredient.

In conclusion, it's all very Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory – those behind this venture knowingly running with a rather original concept which has clearly not yet been fully tapped into as part of Bristol’s fast-food focal- point. For that reason, there is certainly no where else like it - I mean, where else can you chill (quite literally) on the centre with a foodstuff other than a kebab at Midnight on a Saturday night? Incidentally, AngelBerry is also open until 11:00pm from Monday to Friday and until 8:00pm on a Sunday; making it a great venue for those who want to rendezvous without having to frequent a bar or pub. For this and, in fact, so many reasons, AngelBerry is set to be a huge success – I certainly hope so as I'm pretty sure that, just as it sweeps the nation (...seriously, you'll see), frozen yoghurt is going to become part of my staple diet...and with two visits under my belt in the first week of its opening, I’m well on my way to being part of the ‘berry’ bright furniture!

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