16 October 2013

No. 12 Easton

No. 12 Easton, Bristol
So it’s a Saturday afternoon and my partner is bizarrely craving salt beef. Now I was worried that this was far too specific a request. However it must have been written in the stars, because this Saturday also happens to be the day that we decide to head over to No. 12 Easton for the very first time. And what is their sandwich special? Oh salt beef of course.

Lots of people have been telling me to go to No.12 after it opened in spring of this year. Now after being there, I’m kicking myself for all the months I’ve wasted! Located on the corner of Easton’s High Street, No. 12 grabs your attention with a very stylish shop front. Especially as it has the word ‘provisions’ above it. That word isn’t used enough. No. 12 is a deli and café, serving homemade grub accompanied by excellent foodie products that are available to buy.

10 October 2013

Crème de la crème
Bell's Diner & Bar Rooms

Bell's Diner, Bristol
Thirteen years ago, my brother, sister and I cooked a meal for my parents’ thirtieth wedding anniversary. Looking back, there are large parts of that evening that escape my memory. I do remember a hugely disappointing main course of home-made meatballs, and I remember painstakingly crafting invitations (for a meal in their own house - genius).  However, there is one memory which has burnt brightly for all this time. And that is of the crème brûlée.

My mum is not a big pudding fan. Unlike me, she can quite happily feel that her meal is complete without a dessert (she is partial to a peanut M & M however). There are few exceptions to this rule but crème brûlée is the most notable. Now, I would forgive you for thinking that this means my mum would be likely to order a crème brûlée whenever it’s on a menu. The truth is far from that. All those years ago on her anniversary, we treated my mum to a crème brûlée made by my brother’s friend – otherwise known in my mother’s eyes, as the chef who made the perfect crème brûlée. After that, there have been years of failed attempts – those with sugar that didn’t produce a true crack, those with custard that was too thick, custard that was too thin and, the very worst offenders – those with fruit in the bottom. None have come close.