I have missed at least one cafe – they sprout like fungi don’t they – and a restaurant, the Shiraz, which I have yet to patronise, so not quite all on Harbourside. The Gallery, a cafe at 133 Hotwell Road is a little gem which seems to open according to some occult rule I cannot quite interpret. Lovely. Perfect coffee.
After which the casual stroller must face a long and uncertain hike, hounded and harassed by the aforementioned joggers and cyclists until the next oasis shimmers into sight. The Bag O’ Nails which lurks at the base of Jacob Wells Road like a portal into another cosmos, one in which the feline animal is dominant. Since my last visit they seem to have put up a sign which may say (I could only glimpse it from the doorway) , ‘No Pub Crawl Idiots’, why this may be I cannot imagine. Pork pies are available, a local delicacy, evidently, accompanied by mustard in pots. Described by tourists and other riff-raff as, ‘a proper boozer’.
A very short amble eastwards brings one to The Myrtle Tree, a favoured haunt of extra-terrestrials such as the famous Yoda and although food as we know it is rarely available the quality of the company more than compensates. Baguettes may be offered. Check your health insurance before imbibing.
There a couple of chirpy but forgettable coffee houses closer to the water amongst the astronomically priced shoe-box apartments but why venture there unless awaiting the ferry? Or some other encounter. And the Spin Bar, formerly the Salt, which has music sometimes.
So onward and very slightly upwards to the Three Tuns, a haunt of the lunchtime scholar and a good place to find music now and then, for no charge whatsoever. Burgers and similar stuff are produced to a quality unknown in the western hemisphere, with chips. So I am told. Food is unavailable in the evenings I believe, although my information may have dated as there are new proprietors.
Any further jaunting along Deanery Road will inevitably lead the weary and barely refreshed traveller into the fleshpots of the Bristol metropolis, with all the inevitable disappointment that would entail. So, dear reader, we will turn to the right and venture southwards through the new-built desert of Cannons Marsh. Oh, but that it might have retained it’s former dilapidated, but honest glory, a urine soaked scrubland of abandoned warehouses; that was not to be and so one may enjoy the delights of a Marks and Spenser food outlet, nestled nearby a casino, which, with other similar excrescences serve to rook the foolish adventurer of their abundant surplus cash.
The eateries pile against each other, overwhelmed by the flood of 30-somethings desperate to part with their hard-earned in return for some unleavened bread and a spread of tomato paste garnished by unspeakable factory-farmed and factory-made salami stuff, or similar. And some over-priced fizzy alcohol to wash down and sit on the concoction to hold it in place.