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!