Bristol-based food and wine writer Fiona Beckett is a columnist for The Guardian and author of more than 20 books on food, wine and beer. On her website, Matching Food and Wine, she provides a comprehensive food and drink pairing resource, with thousands of ideas, tips and techniques.
On Friday, November 23, Fiona will be hosting an evening of cheese and wine tasting at The Devilled Egg Kitchen Academy in Clifton.
Here are Fiona’s top-five Bristol favourites:
Bristol Temple Meads
I go up to London at least once a week but always heave a sigh of relief when I get back to Temple Meads. It’s one of those grand railway stations that tantalises you with journeys you wish you had time for. I love the way you can set off for Edinburgh or Penzance and don’t even have to change.
Clifton Down (the road, not the station)
My favourite walk, especially in autumn when you amble down the row of golden trees towards the Downs. This year the colours have been simply incredible. I posted a couple of pictures on Instagram and people said they looked just like New England.
Not the most glamorous pub in Bristol, maybe, but one of the most atmospheric. I love the fact that it looks like a 1950s living room. They used to have a dog – now sadly moved on to the great Pub in the Sky – which sat on the bar and rang the bell at closing time. Proper well-kept beer too.
Source Food Hall and Café
I had to pick somewhere in St Nick’s, which is tricky as I love so much of the food scene there. I’m going for the incredible Source which manages to operate not only a terrific all-day restaurant but a top notch food hall as well (especially the butcher’s counter which is surprisingly good value). Their evening meals which make use of produce from the shop are great too. They really can cook.
The fried panisse at Flinty Red
Look, I love Flinty Red (below) for all sorts of reasons, not least their wine list (from sister company Corks of Cotham), their dinners (I went to a brilliant Sichuan one a few months ago) and their inventive Mediterranean-inspired menu. But the dish I always have is the spicy chickpea fritters called panisse. I’ve never come across better ones, even in Provence.