New restaurants are bursting onto the Bristol food scene like 4th July fireworks and trying to keep up is like trying to jump onto a very delicious bus primarily made of artisan burgers (Asado and Burger Theory – looking at you here). There’s no cuisine craving that cannot be catered for – burgers, sushi, steaks, bao, noodles, fish, street food, curry, modern British, fine dining, cheap eats, vegetarian, vegan – you name it and I guarantee you there is somewhere is Bristol that excels itself at that very speciality. Yes ‘new’ in Bristol is the Big Thing.
So, on a beautiful sunny Friday, when your Dad offers to take you out to lunch anywhere you fancy, and in a city of infinite new choice, where do you choose? That’s right, somewhere old.
Cafe Revival located next to St Nicks market on Corn street is Bristol’s oldest coffee shop, it’s been serving up cappuccinos (or Ye Olde Cappuccino as they would have been… probably, I dunno) to Bristolians for over 200 years. Set across 3 floors there’s an array of nooks and crannies to explore; though my favourite place to sit is one of the corner tables on the second floor by a window. The ground floor cafe is great to grab a quick bite and the 3rd floor ‘Snug’ is perfect if you need somewhere quieter; but for me the second floor has the right amount of bustle and on a warm day when the windows are open you can hear the buskers outside. I’m aware that sounds potentially terrible but luckily in Bristol we’re not just a culinary blessed city, we’re pretty musically blessed too (mainly – no Wurzels tweets please).
The Fathership landed into the city centre bang on time (he is ROCKING that bus pass, city driving and nightmare parking is for LOSERS ) and arm in arm we stroll over to Cafe Revival. With only minimal elbow shoving from me, we manage to bag my favourite table and settle ourselves in to look at the menu. As usual I offer to pay and as usual we laugh and laugh at what a hilarious idea that is. Sometimes, if I’m feeling extra hilarious, I might even hold my purse for a while and wave it around a little – a jolly charade that elicits even more mirth! Ho ho ho, daughters eh?
We peruse the menu with lunch options ranging from sandwiches, soups of the day, hearty salads, hot wraps stuffed with delicious combinations, jacket potatoes heaving with fillings and toasted paninis. None of it is groundbreaking, it’s not ‘fusion’ or concept dining – it’s just really solid tasty lunch. We both plump for a classic BLT sandwich and coffee, the Fathership dutifully disappears off to the bar to place our order. And pay. Obvs.
After a short wait creamy coffees are cheerfully delivered followed by the main event, the BLT. Is there anything better than a really good BLT I ask you? It’s comfort food for the soul, one of life’s simple pleasures (especially when your Dad is paying). The sandwich is delivered hot, the thick cut bacon fresh from a sizzling pan. The lettuce is crisp and the tomato ripe the bread soft and thickly buttered. It is a classic BLT, only let down by the side salad that has been drenched in dressing most of which I leave. But overall it’s a winner, how can it not be with bacon that good? And for under a fiver it’s a bargain too, that’s a lot of lunch for your buck!
We munch contentedly as we put the world to rights and all too soon it’s time to go back to the office. As I wander back I think about what Ye Olde TGE would have been like 200 years ago, how would she be spending a sunny Friday lunchtime?
Probably happily munching on a BLT at Cafe Revival while her exasperated Ye Olde Dad picked up the bill. Again.