It was a perfect coincidence when we – Alice and Jo – decided to start walking food tours in Bristol. Both Alice and I have been on food tours in other countries and feel passionately that it’s the best introduction to a city’s culture – you get a real flavour for the place.
Exploring the city through food
Visiting and indeed living in Bristol from a foodie perspective can be overwhelming. It seems that new places pop up all the time, and old favourites continue to grow and develop. We wondered why such a foodie haven doesn’t have walking food tours, so we decided to create one!
Our tours are well suited to visitors and Bristolians alike, with many coming away saying how they’d been taken to places they would’ve never thought about going to before, and how they were blown away by the food on offer at hidden gems and hotspots alike.
Bristol’s food scene is so diverse and fervently independent, with a focus on locally, seasonally and ethically sourced ingredients. We at the Bristol Food Tour share this passion, and want to show tour-goers how great this city’s cuisine is, leaving them inspired and full of delicious food and drink.
Bristol’s buzzing food scene is definitely drawing people in, but with so many amazing places on offer it’s hard to choose, which is where our tours come in handy! We take people to at least ten different venues on a two-mile wander over roughly three hours. We like to keep our stop-offs a secret as we reckon it’s more fun that way, but tour-goers can currently be guaranteed delicious sourdough pizza from Flour and Ash, baked eggs and the fluffiest pancakes at The Crafty Egg, and of course a pie (or three!) from the guys at Pieminister on Stokes Croft.
We’ve built up a relationship with all of the places we visit on the tour, and with this we’ve learned a lot about how the businesses have grown. Along the tour we chat with tour-goers about the history of the local area, and share insider knowledge about the places we visit, as everyone tucks into each place’s good eats. Coming on a tour, people can learn so much from two real foodies who have an honest affection for their city and its food culture: we can’t help but talk about places we’ve visited and loved, even if we’re not able to include them on that tour!
Since launching our business we’ve unintentionally become fonts of food knowledge, with people messaging us asking where they should go when they’re visiting Bristol (it’s hard not to reply ‘just come along on one of our tours!’) Some of our favourite places in Bristol are dotted about the city, and as our fledgling business grows, we’re keen to take people on tours in different parts of Bristol.
We love Spanish tapas joint Bravas in Clifton, and Chai Shai on Jacob Well’s Road in Hotwells produces excellent Indian food – the closest I’ve come to finding the real deal after my travels in India left me desperately missing the fresh curries of Kerala! The knowledgeable and affable folk at Small Street Espresso are a joy to visit with tours, and their espresso for me is some of the best in the city. And just try to keep us away from the fantastic sourdough pizzas at Flour and Ash (and their weird and wonderfully refreshing ice cream flavours)!
New-ish kid on the block Emmeline of Stokes Croft (run by Shona Graham) is a perfect example of the kind of place we admire – a business that’s keen to celebrate the best of Bristol. Making food herself with locally sourced ingredients such as meat from long-established Clifton butchers Ruby and White, fresh produce from Severn Project and flavoursome breads from Old Market Assembly Bakery, and selling heavenly pastries from Bradley Tapp at Farro and brewing native Brian Wogan coffee – to name just a few. We also love the history of our current tour location of Gloucester/Cheltenham Road/Stokes Croft. It’s an artistic and culturally rich area that provides us with a lot to talk about as we go from food stop to food stop.
We’re so excited about what the future holds for The Bristol Food Tour, and we just hope we can spread our appetite for and insights about Bristol’s food culture with others.