Thali Cafe opens on North Street

28 03 2013

The fifth Thali Cafe in Bristol is now open on North Street, in part of the building that makes up the Tobacco Factory. Formally Teoh’s restaurant, the Thali has indelibly stamped its own identity on the place, with the bar area – featuring old electrical instruments – looking particularly impressive.

Thali Cafe North Street bar

The food selection is different to Bristol’s other Thalis, with the aim to roll the new menu options out to Easton, Montpelier, Totterdown and Clifton in good time. This newest Thali opens for breakfast from 9am every day.

Thali Cafe North Street inside

To mark their new BS3 territory, above the front door are oversized versions of the tiffins the Thalis are well-known for.

Thali Cafe North Street front door

Thali Cafe, 278 North Street, Southville, Bristol, BS3 1TF

www.thethalicafe.co.uk





Paradise Gardens comes to East Street

21 03 2013

The latest initiative from the Bedminster Town Team and their pot of money from Mary Portas comes to East Street tonight for three days of multimedia and food fun. Paradise Gardens will see a new installation from light artist Ulf Pedersen and an evening street food market.

Pedersen’s work – designed to take inspiration from a historic part of Bedminster called Little Paradise – will be the centrepiece of the event. Architectural lighting will shine on certain buildings, while soundscapes aim to draw visitors to explore more streets.

Dean Street will be the setting for the street food market, with vendors including Vee Double Moo, usually to be found serving churros from a VW camper van on Brandon Hill and soon to be found in miniature form on College Green.

There will also be homemade burgers from Burger Theory alongside Indian and Thai cuisine, while the area’s bars and restaurants will be creating al fresco drinking areas.

Paradise Gardens





This week in Bristol, March 18-24

18 03 2013

Monday-Friday: Come Dine With Cabot
“Foodies dining in style” and Frankie & Benny’s don’t usually appear in the same sentence, but all Cabot Circus restaurants have special offers this week.
www.cabotcircus.com/news-events/come-dine-cabot

Tuesday-Saturday: Fuelfest, Bristol Old Vic
The day’s newspapers will be read together, the clay streets of Nigeria recreated, a Victorian will appear in a wall, and installations will be found front of house.
www.bristololdvic.org.uk/fuelfest.html

Wednesday: Steve Knightley, QEH Theatre
The lead singer of folk favourites Show of Hands will be playing solo to help raise money for the charity Fight for Sight, funding pioneering research to prevent sight loss.
www.qehbristol.co.uk/news-story-684.html

Thursday-Saturday: Paradise Gardens, East Street
A multimedia light installation by Ulf Pedersen on East Street and an evening streetfood market on Dean Street make up this latest initiative by the Bedminster Town Team.
www.facebook.com/events/215023395306310

Friday: Boomtown Equinox Party, Motion
Reggae, dub, ska and jungle courtesy of Gentlemans Dub Club, The Skints, and more, with live performances from Congo Natty, Zion Train and Freefall Collective.
www.motionbristol.com

Friday: Tron + Man vs Machine after-party, Watershed
An evening programmed by the BFI Film Academy at Watershed, featuring a screening of the 1982 cult classic film followed by DJ sets, retro games and other surprises.
www.watershed.co.uk/whatson/4106/tron-man-vs-machine-after-party-with-bronnt/

Friday: What The Frock, Square Club
Bristol’s all-woman comedy night returns for its monthly outing, featuring Sam Von Rombeg, Laura Lexx, Becky Walsh, and compere Jayde Adams.
www.whatthefrockcomedy.co.uk

Saturday: Bristol Mini Maker Faire, M Shed
Arts and crafts, science and engineering, food and music all come together for Bristol’s first Mini Maker Faire: “a show-and-tell format for people of all ages”.
www.makerfairebristol.com

Saturday & Sunday: Love Food Spring Festival, Brunel’s Old Station
Among other treats this year will be River Cottage HQ head chef Tim Maddams, Emma Grazette of Channel 4’s Spice Trip and Bristol’s very own Master of Wine Ben Austin.
www.lovefoodfestival.com/spring.html

Sunday: Reel Iraq, Cube
A celebration of Iraqi film, music and literature, welcoming artists who have travelled from Iraq as well as Iraqi and Kurdish creatives  based in Bristol and the South West.
www.reelfestivals.org/schedules/reel-iraq-bristol/

Reel Iraq





Bug-spotting in Bedminster

17 03 2013

The Beautiful Bugs of Bedminster have arrived, with many intrepid Bristol bug spotters spending this weekend searching out the bugs even without the help of a map, which is being released tomorrow. Here are 67 bugs (out of 82 on the trail) that our intrepid photographer spotted along North Street, East Street and West Street, with a crooked neck to show for his troubles.

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Bugs of Bedminster arrive on East Street

14 03 2013

The Beautiful Bugs of Bedminster slither into East Street today from 5.30pm for a launch party ahead of their release into the wild this weekend. Before they disperse, the 82 hand-painted bugs by artists and local schools will be on display outside Ciao Italia, where there will also be circus performers and food stalls.

From Saturday, visitors to Bedminster will be able to spot a giant butterfly attached to a building, oversized stag beetles in the streets, and an army of caterpillars crawling over shops and road signs.

Bugs of Bedminster - photo by Paul Box

www.bedminster.org.uk





New Andy Council Bristol horse appears on West Street in Bedminster

16 02 2013

A new Bristol horse by graffiti artist and illustrator Andy Council has appeared on the side of a building on West Street in Bedminster. The animal, whose head features Concorde and whose body is partly made up of the Clifton Suspension Bridge, was being finished yesterday by Council on the wall of the Malago B&B, just up from the Argus fish and chip shop:

Andy Council Bristol horse on West Street in Bedminster

www.andycouncil.co.uk





Mary Portas watches theatre wearing a fur coat in a Bedminster fruit and veg shop

10 02 2013

Mary Portas visited Bedminster on Friday to see how one of her 12 Portas Pilot Towns projects, designed to help regenerate the local high street, is progressing. The unique aspect of the Bedminster project is that it uses the arts as a key part of the regeneration process, and Portas stopped off to watch a Trading Local performance from Show of Strength in Ashton Fruit Shop on North Street:

Mary Portas in Bedminster





Beautiful Bugs of Bedminster: coming soon

8 01 2013

The first of the Beautiful Bugs of Bedminster has been unveiled. From the middle of March, there will be 82 of the creatures painted by local and international artists and schools which will be positioned across Bedminster in an art trail organised by the Upfest gallery on North Street.

The bugs will be found on buildings, in shops and throughout Bedminster’s streets in the latest evidence of money from the Mary Portas Pilot to reinvigorate shopping in the area.

Bugs on the trail will include caterpillars, ladybirds, butterflies, bed bugs, earwigs and a stag beetle. Smaller bugs will be painted by schools, while there will also be eight giant bugs.

Upfest gallery owner Steve Hayles said: “We have enlisted the help of Bristol’s finest urban artists to paint the bugs, which each has its own style and personality. There will be some recognisable pieces, some beautiful surprises and some hidden gems on the trail, which are in production as we speak ready for them to descend on Bristol.”

Beautiful Bugs of Bedminster

 

www.upfest.co.uk





Trading Local for Bedminster Town Team

25 11 2012

There was nothing different about East Street in Bedminster yesterday. Shoppers were going about their business as usual, wrapped up against the wind and the rain and greeting old friends huddled under umbrellas. Look through a few of the shop windows, however, and you would see that this wasn’t exactly a typical Saturday morning.

There was a woman wearing just a towel in Salon ID, a man barking like a dog in Wilkinson’s and a shop worker in Baguette Express spending rather more time talking to a gaggle of customers than making sandwiches.

The return of the Show of Strength Theatre Company’s Trading Local to the boulevards of Bedminster has been made possible thanks to the area winning money from the Mary Portas pilot scheme, with the aim to “exploit and eventually explode the gap between art, advertising and entertainment, high street retailing and real estate development”.

Six new Trading Local shows were performed yesterday in East Street in the morning and North Street in the afternoon at half-hourly intervals. There will be more shop shows on December 8 and 15, and the last Saturdays of January, February and March.

Love in a Mirror by Annie Warburton took place in hairdressers Salon ID. In the performance I saw, a little old lady was having her hair cut, looking blissfully ignorant of what was happening around her. A woman (Kim Hicks), dressed in just a towel, talks about her and her husband, how she plays second fiddle to the Six Nations rugby and how her husband is still bitter after Italy were allowed to join (“It ruined his millennium”). But their passion is reignited thanks to three words written on a bathroom mirror.

Lurking by the toiletries in Wilkinsons, I was wondering where in the large shop Shaggy Dog Story by Brendagh O’Sullivan was going to be performed, before an announcement over the tannoy pointed us in the direction of the steps in the home living section. Here, a smartly dressed man was sat down, recounting a tale of a friend who had left him. This was an engaging performance by Oliver Millingham as his human nature became mixed up with more feline feelings.

At the allotted hour in Baguette Express, what looked like just a member of staff took us all by surprise when she launched into Sandwich Filling, a story about her daughter and some troubles at school, while also evangelising about her work in the one performance of the morning which I saw that was firmly rooted in its location. “I play that coffee machine like a Hammond organ”, said the fabulous Angie Belcher with a glint in her eye. This felt like being told a brilliant story by a friend, or a chatty member of staff in your regular cafe that knows your order off by heart. Writer Tony Rowland’s ear for language and dialogue was a joy.

Three more plays are also being performed in this latest iteration of Trading Local: Rose’s Last Laugh by Tom Phillips in St Catherine’s Place and AV Bristol, Ad Busted by Laura Dixon in Smiley’s Plaice and Compuwave, and Bernard the Table by Matthew Ovens in Ciao Italia and the Hen & Chicken.

For more information about future performances, visit www.showofstrength.org.uk.





Pub of the week: The London Inn

14 11 2012

The last time that I visited the London Inn was at the beginning of this year when I started an aborted attempt to document Bristol’s worst pubs. Soon after the visit, the pub closed and I decided that recounting my tales of sticky lino floors, surly landladies and surlier customers would not be continued. To use another analogy, one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter.

One thing that I remember about that only previous visit was an old man talking loudly to himself on a stool at the corner of the bar.

Since then, this Bedminster pub has had a lick of paint and is under new ownership, but when I visited on Monday evening, it was like the man talking to himself had never left.

There he was, sat on the same stool, loudly offering mumbled opinions to anybody who tried not to listen and singing along to a few of the songs that appeared on the jukebox.

So what else has changed? Not much, apart from that lick of paint. Natch is still on tap, and the two real ale pumps are both unused.

The pool table looks like it has got a new baize and the stools have all been upholstered in the same shade of grey as the walls have been painted.

With only cosmetic improvements though, this is still the same pub that I visited at the beginning of this year.

The London Inn, 1 Cannon Street, Bedminster, Bristol, BS3 1BH