Readers who have read my blog previously will know that I didn’t hold Café Retreat on Whiteladies Road in the best regard and while it is sad when businesses close down, it’s always exciting to see what will spring up in its place especially as Bristol is making such a name for itself in the national food stakes. One only has to look at the last few weeks and the evidence speaks for itself – I’m talking of course about the Bristol Food Connections Festival, Eat Drink Fashion and the Good Food Awards.
But I digress. Café Retreat shut up shop for the last time a couple of weeks ago and this morning, after a paint job and a refurb, Brew Coffee Company threw open its doors to the public. Gone is the bright turquoise façade, replaced by a more muted, timeless taupe and the billowy sheeted ceiling sacrificed for clean lines and a large bar groaning with delicious looking eats.
Joe, my lovely server at Brew, was quick to point out that it was a soft opening and not all of the drinks were available just yet so I’ve made a note to try out the very interesting looking ‘lavender hot chocolate’ next time.
So, let’s move on to the food. How far could they come from supermarket sliced bread and what would appeared to have been sandwich filler from a carton? Polar opposite is the answer.
I chose a slice of hand made slow roasted tomato quiche with a gorgeous, crumbly crust, packed with sweet, delicious tomatoes and a potato salad dressed in a light mustard dressing with cornichons and dill – no claggy mayonnaise to be seen; and a charred cauliflower salad with toasted hazelnuts and pomegranate seeds. Other temptations on offer included an equally delicious looking salmon quiche and a range of freshly made sandwiches and bagels.
As I stood waiting to pay, slabs of rocky road piled high on a dish were brought out but I found myself drawn to a sticky, glorious looking cinnamon roll from Everything Bagels who are opening their first bakery in Bristol soon. I can confirm that not only is it a thing of architectural beauty but it tastes pretty darn good too!
Brew CC might have opted for a soft opening but judging from the diners outside they’ve burst on to the Whiteladies scene with quite a roar.