There’s some pretty essential things we all like to know about our new neighbourhoods when we move in. Where do you get a loaf and a pint of milk? Where’s open late that sells wine and/or Calpol? What’s the best pizza place that delivers, and where can I get good coffee?
Bristol Bites kept popping up on my web searches every time I Googled anything I needed to know about the Bristol food scene. Not only does it have a crew of reviewers giving you some excellent truths about places to eat and drink here, it also has listings for food related jobs, a calendar of what’s on food-wise, and recipes for if you’d rather stay in.
I decided to get in touch with its founder, blogger Emily Knight, to find out more about it. It’s one of Bristol’s most successful blogs, and Emily knows a LOT about the food and drink scene here, so basically I just wanted to get my tips straight from the horse’s mouth. I had a few questions for Emily to help me plan my next few nights out.
So, how long have you lived in Bristol and why have you decided to make your home here?
I moved to Bristol in August 2010 from London – essentially, I was sick of the big smoke and wanted to make a go of life somewhere else! I applied to similar roles to what I was doing all over the country, and the perfect position came up in Bristol.
How did your passion for good food and drink spring up?
I’ve always been interested in food and drink – I think it probably started with family holidays to the South of France when I was a kid! I remember my dad buying all sorts of “smelly cheeses”, which I loved, and my parents would always cook us proper, home-cooked meals to be eaten at the table together at the weekends.
How did Bristol Bites come about?
When I moved to Bristol, I didn’t know anything at all about the city – I’d hardly spent any time here, and didn’t know a single person here! I’ve always been interested in food and drink and hadn’t realised just how “foodie” a city Bristol is – and even more so now! I started the blog to chronicle the places and events I found…and it’s just grown from there!
What would a week in the life of Bristol Bites be like?
Very varied! I’m a freelance copywriter and marketer, so no two weeks are the same. I could be writing about anything from locker room furniture to lighting for my day job – it’s great having that variation in my day to day work, it keeps me sane!
From a Bristol Bites point of view – again, it varies. Sometimes I’ll be heading out for lunch or dinner for a review meal, sometimes I’ll be focusing more on posting about new venues that are opening, exciting Bristol-based food and drink news or events that are set to take place over the coming months. No two days are the same!
Parents are always looking for places to take children to eat which won’t break the bank – do you have any suggestions for places to try?
I’m not a parent myself, but I’ve heard amazing things about The Hungry Caterpillar Play Café in Bedminster. They have plenty of entertainment for the kids, and great local food for parents too. Later this summer, they’ll also be running pop up restaurant nights for £15 for two courses – kids get to eat first, and there’s entertainment for them afterwards so their parents can enjoy an evening out without needing to worry about babysitters.
Quick fire round, where in Bristol would you:
Get your ‘last meal’ from? Grillstock on the Triangle – I’d try their food challenge!
Grab stuff for a picnic from? Arch House Deli in Clifton – amazing range and service.
Pay that extra little bit for an awesome meal? Meluha. Chef Stephen Gomes’ food is mindblowing.
Go back to over and over again? Edna’s Kitchen for lunch. It’s just off Castle Park, and definitely makes the best falafel in Bristol!
Get slowly drunk on great booze? That’s a tricky one! Probably The Orchard on Hanover Place, just off Cumberland Road. I’m a cider fan, and their selection is fantastic.
Get chips on the way home? Fishers in Clifton Village – proper chip shop chips!
Go for coffee? Small Street Espresso. I only drink decaf and it’s sometimes hard to find a decent one – theirs is amazing.
Take your parents? Probably The Stable for a relaxed pizza and cider, or somewhere like Rosemarino for something more formal.
Do you think there’s a difference between North and South of the river when it comes to food?
I think there was a difference, but that difference is starting to shrink. Previously, most of the “good” places to eat were on the North side, but North Street alone is changing so much with the likes of The Burger Joint, The Thali Café, Zazu’s Kitchen and Corks of Cotham all seeing potential there. North Street also has the Tobacco Factory Market, which I love, and a great deli in the form of Southville Deli.
What’s missing in Bristol, food and drink wise?
A strong street food scene. At the moment, there aren’t many street food traders that have a permanent presence in the city – I’d like to see that happening, as it does in London.
What’s next for Bristol Bites?
Just to keep doing what I’m doing, really! The aim of the site is to let readers know about just how amazing the city’s food and drink scene is – I just wish I had more time, as there’s too much going on to be able to cover it all!
Thanks to Emily for putting up with my questions. I love the fact she’s taken something she’s had a passion for since she was a child, and made such a Bristol media institution out of it.
I am proud to say that I ate a large bowl of Special K whilst uploading this post. I need all the foodie help I can get.