Tag Archives: Ahh Toots

Alfresco Lunch In My City

Water's Edge, Rocking Dog

Water’s Edge

I met with a friend for an alfresco lunch in my city yesterday. Bristol was bathed in the most beautiful sunshine and the city looked glorious.

We passed through Corn Street and enjoyed looking at some of the amazing buildings in the vicinity. Corn Street is famous for its Nails. These four bronze “tables” are sited outside the Corn Exchange and were used by merchants to close a sale. Money placed on the surface of the Nail signified that a deal had been struck. This is where the saying “Paying on the Nail” comes from. The Nails are from different dates, the earliest being Elizabethan.

We decided to head to St Nicholas Market to see what took our fancy. “Ahh Toots” had its usual array of wonderful cakes dressed with gold dusted fruits, rose petals and pretzels. We managed to resist the temptation and bought a falafel and salad box at “Eat a Pitta”. Freshly cooked falafels were accompanied by a variety of salads, hummus, pickles and choice of dressing all for £5.50. Bargainous! We marvelled at the wondrous blue sky through the glass ceiling as we walked through to some green space.

Our alfresco lunch was eaten picnic style in dappled shade in Queen Square. The Square is used for many public events, but yesterday it had a sprinkling of lunchers, sunbathers and readers. The history of the square dates from 1699 when it was planned, and 1727 when it was completed. It was named after Queen Anne and was an incredibly fashionable place to live. In 1831 much of it was destroyed during the Bristol Riots. It was rebuilt, and now the majority of the buildings are offices.

We left Queen Square for a coffee at the Riverstation. We enjoyed gorgeous waterside views- such a perfect summers day. On our way out we loved Edward Allen’s stonking enamelled tin basin full of succulents and slender twigs. Yummy!

Our final port of call was a photo call at the ruined church of St Peter’s in Castle Park. The area was heavily bombed during the Bristol Blitz 24th-25th November 1940. The church has been preserved as a memorial to the civilian war dead of Bristol. During the Blitz 200 Bristolians’ lost their lives whist another 689 were injured. A beautiful sensory herb garden has been planted on one side of the ruin. Five silver birches meanwhile grow to represent the beaches of the D Day Landings.

In conclusion, a lovely sun blessed afternoon with yummy food and lots of chat!

Feeding Time, Rocking Dog

Feeding Time

Delicious Dogs Dinner!, Rocking Dog

Delicious Dogs Dinner!

Ahh Toots, Rocking Dog

Ahh Toots

The Glass Ceiling, Rocking Dog

The Glass Ceiling

Corn St. Nail

Corn St. Nail

Stone Angel, Rocking Dog

Stone Angel

Carved Beauty, Rocking Dog

Carved Beauty

River View, Rocking Dog

River View

Casualty Of The Blitz, Rocking Dog

Casualty Of The Blitz

Ed's Succulents, Rocking Dog

Ed’s Succulents

Sky & Spire, Rocking Dog

Sky & Spire

Plaid Bundles, Rocking Dog

Plaid Bundles

My Bristol..Honest It’s A Great City

Worth Coming To Bristol For...Ahh Toots, Rocking Dog

Worth Coming To Bristol For…Ahh Toots

I know i’m slightly biased but Bristol IS a great city. Yes, in parts it’s very rough around the edges, and like many cities bares witness to shocking examples of post war architecture. But ….Bristol has a vibrant beating heart, and if you know where to look, some gorgeous watering holes, architectural gems, together with green and watery landscapes.

I ventured into the hub of Bristol for sewing supplies on Friday, heading to St Nicholas’s covered market. Haberdashery carefully selected and paid for, I journey’d through the historical Glass Arcade. It was thronging with hungry workers and shoppers, debating whether to eat Caribbean, Moroccan, Mediterranean, Lebanese, Bristolian pies (Pieminister)….. or cake! Wow! “Ahh Toot’s” truly amazingly styled cake stall truly stopped me in my tracks, Sooooooooo beautiful. Their neighbour “Eat a Pitta” does the most amazing portable falafel pitta pockets, I can truly vouch for their yumminess! In short St Nicholas Market is a mere few minutes walk from Broadmead and Cabot Circus Shopping centres with their quota of bland generic eating places. It really is worth the walk to sample the proudly independent St Nick’s culinary global feast! Incidentally, on Wednesday Corn Street (one of the roads that leads into St Nick’s) hosts the weekly Farmer’s Market.

Walking across the centre (You’ll see the Bristol Hippodrome), Cenotaph and some rather non-descript modern fountains (known to some as the pissing men’s fountains!). Somewhat bizarrely I signed on for a career in the army in one of these central Bristol buildings.. but that’s a story for another day! Taking yourself up the historic “Christmas Steps” is very atmospheric and somehow quite Dickensian. The city stages open air film nights on these steps occasionally. Catching your breath at the top there are some lovely independent craft shops Makers and Blaze, a dress agency (Rag Trade) and a TRULY wonderful second hand bookshop, Bloom and Curll. My real favourite is Dig Haushizzle with its mouthwatering range of industrial come gothic come eccentric home loveliness. Thankfully it was closed when I took my photo’s… so my bank balance breathed a sigh of relief! If you want an unusual present the shop offers taxidermy courses, you can go home with a stuffed canary! The wonderful pinnacled John Foster Almshouses are reflected in the window.

Obviously this is a very small and blinkered snapshot of an hour spent in Bristol. The real crowd pleasers are of course The SS Great Britain, Clifton Suspension Bridge, Bristol Zoo, The Avon Gorge and Downs etc…etc…

Sunday we were down on the Harbourside at the Riverstation – lovely views, yummy food, calm friendly environment and artistic coffee!

If anyone ever wants a little custom made tour, i’d be happy to show you around My Bristol, especially if it involves foodie or vintage trails!

Naughty Ahh Toots!, Rocking Dog

Naughty Ahh Toots!

More Ahh Toots Style, Rocking Dog

More Ahh Toots Style

Glass Roof, St Nick's, Rocking Dog

Glass Roof, St Nick’s

A Favourite Haunt!, Rocking Dog

A Favourite Haunt!

Reflection, Rocking Dog

Reflection

Coffee Artistry!, Rocking Dog

Coffee Artistry!