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North Street – a treat at each end

North Street in Bedminster (and/or Southville, but who’s quibbling) is more than up and coming. It’s pretty much up. The Southville end, where the Tobacco Factory stands, was up first, and now the fresh licks of paint and new places to go are filling up empty and old units right up to the East Street end. Gloucester Rd should watch its back – North Street’s right up there with you, and, it’s already got a Wetherspoons and we don’t care (check the link if you haven’t heard the news).

Despite the title of this blog, I am sometimes not thinking about everything like a parent, and, from the distant memories of being kid-free, I always look fondly at places where children aren’t abundant, as well as where they are. There are not that many places which aren’t peppered with children on North Street. I’m not talking about places where they are not welcomed, or not allowed, just places where, if I wanted a coffee or a pint without the company of my own or other people’s kids on a Saturday afternoon, I could go.

I’m probably living in utter dreamland here, but I do think it should be ok to not automatically welcome children at all times, just because you are a local business in an area where there are a lot of families. Moreover, I think that it must be a very hard business decision to make when you’re planning a new cafe or restaurant. More space for buggies and highchairs, after all, means less space for tables. I don’t think you can have it all, but in Bedminster and indeed Bristol in general, there’s a lot, and that’s awesome!

Anyway, related to that, here’s two places that are just getting on with it and welcoming everyone, and doing it very well with great atmospheres. If you’re looking for coffee, brunch, lunch, wine, tea or cake on North Street, these might help. If you play your cards right and the kids behave, you could even do both with playtime in between.

Zazu’s Kitchen – 220 North Street

Buzzy, very cool staff who actually just make you want to talk to them rather than hunch over your coffee and curse. A menu that I personally couldn’t find fault with, or choose from, the breakfast options were so good. Not a single eyebrow raised when I threw a full orange juice on the floor with the skill of a toddler. And the best looking babyccino I have ever seen. So good, I am even happy to write that word twice. Babyccino. Even though it makes me cringe with smuggery. High chairs, bit of space for you non buggy folders. Looks like it would be smashing for an evening meal, too. North Bristol readers will also be loving the one on Gloucester Rd too. Zazu’s has it sewn up after just one year of trading on North Street.

Margot May – 36 North Street

Subtle, feminine but very stylish decor. Intimate tables just right for a right old chinwag, or, as we did, coffee and a lot of cake with two babies. A huge, almost wantonly displayed selection of cake and tea, the latter of which you can pick up and sniff before you buy. The very lovely team of owners and co-workers were attentive and very helpful to a tea novice. Try the Eton Mess Victoria Sponge. I was back there within three days for more. Everything is made on premise by the staff. Couple of high chairs, very little space for unfolded buggies to stay with you, but they can be stored at the back. A brilliant addition for the other end of North Street, as fun for a tea-sharing moment with your baby as it would be for a coffee with your Nan.

Watch this space for a few words on one of Gloucester Road’s newest pubs, The Grace, in a few days time. God, I love pubs. And nights in them!

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  1. Rachel Rachel

    We had a fantastic Sunday brunch at Zazus Kitchen recently and an equally delightful evening anniversary meal with parents. The service was excellent too. And I’m off to Margot May’s again soon too! We are definitely living in the right part of Bristol Eleanor!

  2. I never really venture south of the river much, but we have friends who live in Bedminster and I’m always pleasantly surprised by how lovely it is! We always say we should check it out more, and this has reminded me that we’re due another visit! These places sounds great.

  3. From reading quite a few Bristol-based blogs I’m always struck by how cool and varied all the indie cafes are – I’m jealous! How cute are those little milk bottles!? Next time we get down to Bristol I will try to hunt these down, thanks!

  4. Lovely pics. Once again you’ve reviewed places I’ve not been to before and I now have to add them to the list. And I agree, that is the best looking babyccino (how do these words end up legitimately part of our vocabulary?!) I’ve seen.

    • They so are Jess – come down, let’s go get some!

  5. Oooh that looks like some seriously good cake and how cute is that milk bottle. I have to say I do love Gloucester Rd so to hear there maybe something to rival it is very interesting. I have not spent that much time in Bedminster but I am intrigued for sure

    Laura x

  6. HJ HJ

    I’ve had a steak at Zazu’s and it was lovely. Gonna get down there soon for one of the babyccino’s though, the piglet will love it! And must check out Margot May too, thanks for the recommendation.

  7. I love this end of town and i am down there quite a bit. We love heading down to Zazus for their Merguez sausages yum! I haven’t been out down Southville without F for a while so maybe it’s time I booked in a night out! x

  8. ooh I didn’t know Zazu’s had set up in North Street now too! They took over The Greenbank in Easton recently and it’s lovely. I really don’t go south of the river hardly ever so I love this post! I need some new cafe’s to check out! x

  9. I’m totally about both those cafe, I would say ZaZu’s is my fave.

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