|Urban Spaceman by SPQR, Stokes Croft, Bristol|
(photo reproduced with the permission of bluetrainatlondon)
Given that most of my readers are smart and savvy foodies, you'll have no doubt come across their pies before. And if you haven't, you can find them at Waitrose, or if you live in London, at Borough Market.
Bristol is the birthplace of pieminister, and we visited their shop on Stokes Croft. Seating around twenty, it offers a wide selection of pies, many with pun-tastic names such as chicken of aragon, heidi pie and mr. porky pie. I went for the latter with its sumptuous filling of pork, apple and sage amongst other goodies.
The pie was topped with minted mushy peas atop mash in a sea of gravy, and it really hit the spot providing sustenance before we checked out Bristol's finest art galleries and museums (Dark Side – do you think you anyone will take that last sentence seriously?).
Pieminister, 24 Stokes Croft, Bristol, BS1 3PR, (Tel 0117-942-9372)
On the previous evening, we kicked off the stag-do with a tour of Bristol's historic harbourside. After a quiet pint or two, we decided to play restaurant roulette using Dark Side's smartphone, and it chose Wong's, a Chinese restaurant.
Truth be told, my first impressions from the gaudy exterior was that the phone had picked out a bog-standard high street Chinese. How wrong I was. The menu is full of Cantonese classics, and highlights included an enormous steamed sea bass, perfectly al dente choi sum with oyster sauce, and a fragrant anise-scented soya chicken. Service was first class too, with the amiable owner offering advice on what dishes would suit our diverse party. Not every dish worked but more did than didn't.
Without wishing to sound like a patronising git, I was surprised at the quality of this restaurant, as unlike cities such as London or Manchester, Bristol doesn't have a Chinatown and isn't that renowned for Chinese food. So it was a shame how quiet Wong's was on a Friday night. People of Bristol, do yourself a favour, and visit this gem.
Wong's, 12 Denmark Street, Bristol, BS1 5DQ, (Tel 0117-925-8883)
Bristol is a great city for a weekend away, and it was good to get the old crew together, as Mr Fussy, Italian Shetland Pony, and Mr Pak Choi amongst others were all in attendance. For a hotel option, the Future Inn Cabot Circus is both affordable and central. There is also loads of nightlife, especially around the harbourside.
Postscript: As you can tell from the photo of the street art at the top of this post, Dark Side is a keen photographer. You can check out more of his work on his flickr stream, and if you like the look of his photos, they are available to purchase.