Features / Bristol

Foundations – cafe review

By helen salter, Wednesday Sep 13, 2017

‘Eat, learn, live’ is the philosophy behind Foundations Café, a new health hub located on Baldwin Street. Though it may be a new arrival, health nerds and foodies have cause to celebrate here.

Stepping inside, white balloons and congratulation cards marks the opening of the doors. Glancing behind the counter, a handpicked range of organic products are shelved behind the till, featuring gluten-free oats and protein blends.

Servings of health are echoed in earthy furnishings, with floor-to-ceiling windows and ample pots of greenery. Rustic wooden planks rise onto the feature wall at the far end, with an exposed ceiling of metal struts and low shades providing ambient lighting.

A variety of seating fills the space wisely with contemporary metal chairs, high grey stools and two luxurious leather sofas. The lulling acoustics of Ben Howard set a relaxed atmosphere, proving difficult for suited diners to return to the hustle and bustle outside.

It was excitement all round for the team as the cafe opened

Café manager and qualified nutritionist Jenna Freeman welcomes every customer with a smile, keen to offer her advice on all things health.

“Everything has been good so far, and hopefully the word is spreading about us,” she said with a beaming smile. It certainly seemed so on their first morning open, with most of the seating occupied by happy customers chatting eagerly with one another.

Hot, freshly cooked breakfasts range from oats (£3.50), a bacon & avocado bap (£3.50), fancy topped toast (from £4.50) and protein waffles (£4.95).

A delicious range of guilt-free treats

For coffee connoisseurs, a selection of drinks are supplied by Clifton Coffee, covering all the classics with an espresso costing £2).

Given the prime location for lunching office workers around Baldwin Street, lunch options are primarily takeaway. In true clean eating style, a pristine display of granola pots, sandwiches and meal boxes occupied the takeout fridge. Whilst the options covered meat, vegetarian and vegan, the range was somewhat sparse – perhaps as a means to tackle food waste issues.

Meal boxes included Moroccan chicken, falafel mezze, chicken & avocado, smoked salmon and vegetarian Mexican burrito. All meal boxes were made fresh, beautifully presented and priced at £4.95. Alternatively, a similar version in a wholemeal pitta could be enjoyed for £3.95.

There was also the option to build your own box, with your choice of one protein, one carb, and three salads, with prices starting from £5.25.

Pre-made meal boxes and sandwiches

Though the food is strictly ‘health’, you’re encouraged to spoil yourself in their guilt-free treats. Dark chocolate protein shakes, vegan-friendly chocolate slices and raw carrot cake are just some of the sweet treats on display.

After opting for their falafel and hummus on wholemeal pitta (£3.95), and learning that the falafels were supplied by Bristol royalty Falafel King, expectations were raised two-fold.

All the flavours were there, with an added spicy seasoning elevating the falafels and balancing the rich, creamy hummus. it proved rather difficult to pick up and eat without a knife and fork, which took a bit of fun out of the experience of a real Falafel King or Eat a Pitta from their street food stalls.

Nevertheless, it was an enjoyable lunch, and filling too, especially when paired with a thick ‘Peanut Nutter Deluxe’ shake (£3.95), made with a Madagascan vanilla protein blend, peanut butter and almond milk.

Falafel and hummus pita in wholemeal bread

It’s not just about food at this café. The team also offer nutrition and training advice, investing time into making bespoke plans for their customers. Seminars and events will run throughout the year, covering topics including fitness and nutrition.

Foundations marks an exciting addition to Bristol’s health scene. Though a limited selection, the food is top-quality and healthy in equal measure, proving its potential and a hunger for positive change.

Foundations Cafe, 27-29 Newminster House,, Baldwin Street, Bristol, BS1 1LT



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