Cake 2

I don’t think I have ever lived in a place where literally every culinary need and desire is pretty much taken care of. In Bristol you can find such an array of cuisines that even the fussiest of eaters can find something really good. It almost makes me long for the days when Pizza Express was the only place in my repertoire and budget. St Nicks market in the Old Town is a lunch time delight for the hard working people of Bristol. Under the glass arcade is an abundance of stalls all serving the freshest of food from falafel, to sausages, to flatbreads and hummus.

But what about if you need something a little sweeter to get you through the afternoon back at the office? This is where Ahh Toots come in to save your sweet tooth from a miserable afternoon. They’re nestled amongst the other stalls, they have a cart full of different flavoured cake. They have some really unique creations such as Croissant cake (sign me up right here) and even an ombre cake. They cater for intolerances with a selection of gluten free choices and each is decorated so beautifully it makes you wonder how they can slice into them every day. They have a small seating area if you’ve got some time to sit and watch the hustle and bustle of St Nicks market or just take your cake to-go and watch the office jealousy unfurl.

If like me, you often spend your lunch times running around dealing with errands that you CBA with after work, and then enjoy a sorry looking sandwich back at your desk, then maybe you’ll be looking for a little summin’ summin’ at the weekend? Harbourside market takes place every Saturday and Sunday and they seem to have expanded slightly in recent weeks. Included in this mini-expansion is The Big O Donut Co. selling, you guessed it, donuts! They have a slightly different Polish dough recipe which I’m not sure how it makes them different, but the proof is literally in the pudding. The blackberry and almond was pretty damn tasty.

This post was mostly produced out sadness at the loss of the Bake Off (what am I supposed to do with my evening now!) but if there are any other places I should take my sweet tooth for a visit, just lemme know…

Donut

Cake

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For longer than I will ever admit to anyone I have spent far too much money on magazines. From my childhood pocket money, earnt by managing to keep my bedroom from looking like a Barbie massacre had occurred, to my hard earned barista wages – if I didn’t have a hardcore magazine habit I could possibly be very rich by now.

But I have no regrets, I love spending my time and money on a number of great publications and I probably always will. It’s the combination of words and design that keep me coming back on a weekly or monthly basis, ready for all the fresh new content that’s been carefully curated and beautifully put together. Of course, some were not so carefully chosen and far more to do with my need to know what’s going on in Kim K’s life (I am not ashamed). On the whole, although I’ll never say never to another celebrity mag, my tastes have improved and matured enough to move on to a totally different kettle of published fish. The independent titles.

photo

I first came across these publications by finding Cereal magazine and even then I think it was only through my publishing course and proximity to Bristol, the mags birth place, that I heard about it. This was then followed by a long Insta-stalk before finally getting my keen little hands on a copy of my own. Primarily a travel mag, it’s mostly a combination of beautiful photography and articles about places that are now secured on my ‘Must Visit’ list. They also have really fab little guides for a number of cities, with the best and most stylish places to sleep, eat, see and shop – all can be found on their equally stylish website.

So what started as a one independent magazine habit quickly turned into more when Suitcase mag came trotting happily into my life. Another Travel + Fashion themed beauty of a publication that has a style closer to your traditional fashion mags, but even more pretty and interesting to read. If you’re anything like me a quick flick through these pages will induce a wanderlust so bad that you immediately start checking flight prices and finding a fab Airbnb. Ahhh to be able to just fly away…

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The final mag from my little selection here is another new one to me. Unlike the others this is a free journal covering multiple areas across South East London. Since I hail from this particular region and having heard about its growing regeneration, this little publication is far better than any local newspaper. Not only am I excited to see something far more interesting design-wise, but all the contributors are actually from the SE neighbourhoods too and promoting any independent coffee shops or smaller fashion outlets is something I’m very keen to support. I mean, can you get much more authentic. It’s making me think I should throw my hat into the ring for the next issue.

As far as my magazine habit goes I’m also looking to get hold of Betty magazine, maybe even a copy of Frankie too just to boast my collection and give more than a little inspiration for when I’m lacking. Are there any other titles I should keep an eye out for?

Ice coffee

I distinctly remember hating coffee. I tried a sip of my mum’s latte, hated the bitterness and vowed never to try it again. At the tender age of 16 I started my first job, trained as a barista in a local coffee shop and so began my love story with flat white’s. And latte’s. And the occasional cappuccino. Having now worked in a number of coffee joints and sampled a lot of free coffees, my aversion to the beverage went out the window pretty quickly. My favourite kind of caffeinated beverage often comes from the independent places, rather than your usual high street chain numbers, and Bristol is just full of options. Here are a few of my faves:

Paper Gallery

Star Wars cups

Coffee

Co-LAB – Paper Gallery:

Co-LAB is a coffee shop with a bit of a difference. Firstly it’s a collaboration with Paper Gallery, a creative enterprise to set up to create and enhance new opportunities for creatives. They have a pretty cool set up going on, with half the shop selling pieces by local businesses and half creative space used by local artists and for workshops. Sitting pretty in the corner is a little coffee shop, ready to convert the shopping masses away from their chain coffee. Until recently Ape About Coffee has been in residence – not worry though, they may be moving on but CoLab will still be there providing for all your caffeine needs.

Crazy Fox front

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The Crazy Fox:

The Crazy Fox is another central place saving us from the evil high street giants (that’s a joke btw, I have been known to visit Costa once or twice). At the moment they’re serving Roasted Rituals coffee, a locally sourced and very popular coffee served at various spots across Bristol. Situated right in the centre of the shopping area with a nice little seating area outside, it’s the perfect spot for a well-earned retail break or a bit of people watching.

Small St

Small St Inside

Small St Coffee

Small St. Espresso:

Small St is small. It’s a genius name really. Found on Small Street in the old town, and housed in a tiny cavernous little shop, it definitely lives up to it’s name. Small St is fast becoming one of my new faves, partly due to the fab coffee and wooden interiors, but also because if you pick the right time of day you can grab a little corner seat where the bright sunlight pours through the massive windows.

Decking

Toast

Tradewind

Tradewind Espresso:

The newest recruit to the Bristol coffee scene is Tradewind, high up on Whiteladies road. They are the original inventors of Roasted Rituals coffee, and having served the coffee shops of the South West for too long, they’ve now (thankfully) decided to join in. I’ve spoken their praises before over on my Instagram @becca_cart93 but they’re worth a mention here too. They have a beautiful shop front with original stained-glass windows and a great little decking area out back. I sampled the French toast topped with peaches on my visit, whilst my boyf went for a savoury option that gave me serious ordering envy. Oh my lordy is a return visit needed.

Dino

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Playground Coffee

Playground Coffee:

Playground Coffee intrigued me for a long time before I made my first visit. The reason I held off for so long is purely because I always found myself there around lunch time when I needed something a little more than a flat white to keep me going. Once I did finally make it, it was fully worth the wait and finding myself there on a rainy Sunday afternoon meant I had full choice of which swing seat to sit it. Yes, a swing seat. The coffee was so smooth and gently rocking on an inside swing might sound a bit odd, but was actually very therapeutic and enjoyable. And it’s not just the swings that call for the name Playground coffee, but more to do with the games room found on the second level.

This is just a quick round up of the places I end up visiting most often, but I’m always on the lookout for somewhere new. Any other places I should add to my list, just lemme know!