The Financial Times Weekend Magazine has devoted a full page to Bristol, praising “the city with arguably the best food scene in the UK at the moment”.
Food writer Tim Hayward, who used to live here, visited in order to explore some of Bristol’s newest openings and one longtime favourite watering hole.
“It’s hard to pin down exactly why Bristol is punching well above its weight in terms of food at the moment,” Hayward writes, “but the fact that you can cheerfully spend a damp midweek evening drifting from one excellent place to another, enjoying a warm welcome and never less than extraordinarily good cooking, bodes well for the city’s future.”
His first stop was Bellita on Cotham Hill:
“A ferocious little marmalade Negroni seemed vital as a preliminary attitude adjuster for the evening”
Then it was on to Wapping Wharf and Cargo, with mentions for Bristol “stalwarts” Bertha’s Pizza and Wild Beer.
Hayward praises the “real innovation… in the tiny scale of most of the businesses” in Cargo, in particular Woky Ko and Box E:
“Woky Ko, from MasterChef finalist Larkin Cen, offers updated Asian dishes”
“Even more bijou is Box E, with 14 seats and already attracting attention for its seasonal British menu”
The General next for Pi Shop and Paco Tapas:
“Paco’s is worth a detour for a plate of jamon and a couple of excellent sherries”
Up the hill to Clifton Village for dinner proper in Shop 3 Bistro, with service that Hayward called “some of the most charming, unaffected and professional I’ve experienced in too long a time”:
“It would have been hard to fault any element individually but there was a feeling that things will get better here when they have the confidence to choose from seven flavours rather than laying them all on”
And finally, a nightcap or two in Hausbar at the top of Blackboy Hill:
“The bar lights your face like Jack Nicholson’s in The Shining, and staggeringly talented barmen mix cocktails that will alter your perspective on life for ever”
Main photo of Cargo by Jon Craig
Read more: Five Bristol restaurants among Sunday Times top-100