Beets n Roots Cafe, Cotham Hill

Beets n Roots Cafe

There's nothing like a bit of sunshine to check your comfort food intake, so this week was a perfect time for Beets n Roots, self-confessed vitality cafe, to launch their new summer menu. Located on Cotham Hill, I have always associated this spot with delicious, nutritious food as when I first moved to Bristol it was Blue Juice cafe and was a regular stop off!

Today, with the beautiful sunken deck perfect for people watching and soulful tunes, Beets n Roots couldn't feel any more like a cool holiday hangout if it tried! The food is totally en pointe, as these days more and more people are conscious of eating more plant-based foods, and nutritionist Rosie Letts, has been brought in to help design and balance this new menu.

If you are a meat eater with vegan or vegetarian friends, this is the perfect place to go as you will not even question the lack of meat on your plate! If you are feeling the need to be energised after a heavy weekend or working flat out, Beets n Roots is your place. Whether you want to stop in and grab a smoothie bowl with luscious toppings or revitalise with a freshly pressed raw juice, like my beetroot juice, you will feel it doing you the world of good!

If you have a bit more time on your hands the brunch dishes like the 'All Mighty Breakfast' which includes flat mushroom, avocado on toast, organic baked beans, scrambled egg or tofu, roasted tomatoes and sauteed kale will certainly keep you going. If you fancy something a little more indulgent (and healthy too!) the buckwheat pancakes with banana, chocolate and maple syrup topped with coconut shavings and pumpkin seeds are definitely worth trying.... A-Ma-Zing! 

I'm heading back next week to try out the lunch menu, so I will add my findings here! I love the look of the loaded Miso soup, burrito bowl and the Beets burger bowl. But if you just fancied a wrap or buddha bowl they look pretty good too.

If you fancy trying out the menu for yourself, I'm offering you a chance to win a voucher which allows 2 people free brunch at Beets n Roots before the end of April, so enter here and the winner will be announced and notified on Monday! a Rafflecopter giveaway  




Buttermilk and Maple

Buttermilk and Maple

I was invited last week as a guest to the opening of newly launched Buttermilk & Maple which is located on Welshback in the Mercure Brigstow Hotel. Showcasing their brunch menu, I was welcomed warmly by the front of house and seated in the stylish yet relaxed restaurant. The idea is mixing a vibe of Melbourne cafe culture with NYC nightlife which to me looked great for daytime and evening eating and drinking!

Brunch is available until 4pm, and has something for everyone... from English breakfasts to chia fruit bowls. With many egg-based dishes, there are some great vegetarian options, and my favourite being an opulent poached truffle eggs dish served in a skillet; A fondue of Gruyere cheese, truffle cream and sauteed mushrooms with giant toasted sourdough soldiers... it did not disappoint! It was definitely my dish of the day!

There was a great choice of benedicts with kale, spicy pastrami or lobster, my favourite being the pastrami, helped by the 'oh so light' homemade buttermilk biscuits (savoury scones). If you wanted to keep it more simple there is avocado, dukka and poached eggs on sourdough toast, classic maple bacon sandwich, french toast, granola or pancakes. Although they do not have a children's menu, a half-sized portion can be requested or just some eggs on toast.

Dessert ranged from seasonal crumbles, sundaes, doughnuts and carrot cake....of which I tried the latter. Made onsite it was deliciously light and a great balance of cake vs frosting and spices vs sweetness.

The main courses are available from midday until 10 pm which looks fabulous too, not to mention the selection of in-house baked bread, salads and snacks. These will go alongside the extensive drinks menu of craft and draught beer and cider, gins, cocktails beautifully..... and the fiery bloody Mary could serve as an awesome hair of the dog!!

Thank you to all the staff at Buttermilk & Maple for hosting me last week, I think you have crafted a beautiful menu to cater for all tastes in a relaxed and stylish environment and wish you well .....I look forward to trying out the dinner menu very soon!

Which dish would you try? Remember to let us know if you've been or want to go!! Lisa

Pinkmans Bakery

Pinkmans Bakery

I recently found myself a baguette short of a picnic as I walked towards our destination it wasn't looking good. As I passed Pinkmans Bakery I looked thru the window and hadn't realised that they sold sourdoughs and baguettes. Score! As I went inside it was like being in a French bakery...with beautiful patisseries and delicious sandwiches, as well as other delights to sit in and eat. I'd heard a lot of buzz about Pinkmans and now I see why! I will definitely be engineering another trip towards Park Street....possibly without the kids too  
Like or love Pinkmans? Let me know if you've been and what you would recommend! Lisa x


Wapping Wharf: The place to BS1

Looking for somewhere new to go with friends or family with a foodie vibe that champions Bristols independents in BS1? Nestled amongst Bristols finest, Wapping Wharf is a new, exciting development by the water, next to the M Shed, the Matthew and the SS Great Britain. Welcome Bristols first retail yard made of shipping containers, offering something for everyone, day and night!

Keeping in line with Bristols vibrant and growing food scene, the Wild Beer Company, Pigsty, the Cider Shop, Little Victories and the Chicken Shed are leading the way: Located along the Gaol Ferry Steps, the new pedestrianised area links South Bristol to the city, via Gaol Ferry Bridge.

You want more great news? Phase 2, will see two more storeys of shipping containers behind the M Shed open by the Summer. They will host even more independent food outlets and retailers!

So, on a wet Sunday at the end of January, I was more than happy to be invited to join a small group of Bristol Bloggers to attend a food showcase with the aforementioned retailers; Putting a spotlight on what they can offer you, the good folk of Bristol.

Starting out, we met at The Wild Beer Company; A Somerset based brewery challenging people to drink beer differently! With a choice of around 22 draft beers (also bottles and cans) they are certainly doing that. But don't worry, with the help of an extremely knowledgeable team, they are happy to guide you if your are not sure what to drink.

I sampled a variety of what was on offer, and even on a wet Winters day, I thoroughly enjoyed supping a refreshing pale ale with a tropical flavours called POGO. I can totally see myself drinking this harbourside in the Summer months, along with SLEEPING LEMONS which has a zingy, but warming taste.

If you fancy trying a stout masquerading as a pudding you must try MILLIONAIRE! Using cocoa nibs for the chocolate and caramel flavours and Cornish Sea Salt for the salted element, this was delicious! I would definitely like to come back for a food and beer tasting to get truly acquainted with more beers (£15), which they run fortnightly!

Food at Wild Beer also really hit the spot. Collaborating with Hook restaurants, specialising in a 'new-school' take on fish and chips. We sampled a beautiful fish sharing board of smoked salmon, fresh crab, haddock in panko crumbs, sea bream in lemon and basil tempura, truffle mayo, pickled seaweed and samphire....DELICIOUS! As well as offering fish in panko crumbs and chips, sides and child sized portions too!

A dash across the road from Wild Beer Co, is Pigsty who offer an amazing range of piggy treats to eat in or take out. Pigsty is part of the Bristol family business The Jolly Hog, who have years of experience with hog roasts and sausage making. In house head chef, Nick Bowden, is doing an awesome job and clearly passionate about Pigsty!

Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, you can find Clifton Coffee, bespoke bread from the Proper Bread Company. They have a great selection of drinks too including, Hunts Cider, Wiper and True beers and independently imported wine: My Wiper and True IPA was a perfect match for the food Nick prepared for us.

Not to be missed when you stop in, is the brilliantly named Pig Mac....which is a perfectly seasoned pork patty, slow roast BBQ pulled pork, cheese, baconaise (a mayo made from rendered bacon!) with house coleslaw. WOW!

More piggy delights can be found on the PIG BOARD, which has a plethora of treats! The Whole Hog, (slow roasted pork belly with crackling), apple sauce and slaw, scotch egg, hoguettes (pork belly croquettes), black pudding and apple sausages, pig mac patty, BBQ pulled pork and chimichuro dressing. If that's not enough, feel free to add skin on or sweet potato fries, and an avocado and lettuce salad. Phew. Walk along the harbour anyone?!

Now what goes best with pork? Apples! A quick skip in the rain 2 doors up and we are at....the Bristol Cider Shop greeted by Davinia; The aroma of mulled cider and a wall of over 100 different ciders, perry and brandy was a beautiful thing!

Formerly at the Christmas steps, the Cider shop are enjoying their new location. With more space brings opportunities to host Cider tasting events, including Welsh ciders, cheese and cider tastings, using the Bristol Cheesemonger cheeses. The latter I definitely want to try!

Whilst warming up and drinking mulled cider we learnt how all of the producers are from within a 50 mile radius of Bristol, using 100% fruit; Which certainly shows through in the clean, apple profile of the ones we tried.

The Cider Shop are definitely catering for a wide market, being a vegan and gluten free product, offering cider with fruit and herbal blends and 20 litre cider boxes for party sized catering!!

Next stop up on the corner was Little Victories, which is the sister venue of Small St. Expresso. Meeting John, the co-owner of Little Vics, he expressed his passion and the importance of being in an independent focused location and using Bristols best independent suppliers. This gives a really great vibe and atmosphere to Little Vics.

A friendly, relaxed and welcoming place, Little Vics serves amazing house and guest coffees, from Clifton Coffee, tea, cakes and wonderful sourdough sandwiches with bread supplied by Harts Bakery.

From Wednesday through Saturday, they stay open late and the skills turn to cocktail making! I can truly confirm that they are out of this world and my cocktail drinking days are long gone! Expresso martinis, cold brew negronis and Bristol distilled psychopomp G&Ts: The two former we sampled and were a delight with giant Gordal olives and deep fried almonds.

Our final pit stop, up above Pigsty, was the Chicken Shed, where you will eat the cleanest dirty fried chicken you can find!!

With proper beak to feet eating, the main staples are the Southern fried chicken pieces, chicken in a bun and house chicken Kiev: But if you are up for some more challenging eating, you can certainly try something new. I can thoroughly recommend the devilled chicken livers, hearts and mushrooms on toast and the special when we were there, chicken hearts with tzatziki and chermoula sauce: Shockingly good!

Obligatory sides, which have a place (least not in your 5 a day!!!) slaw, salad, chicken crackling, fries and an awesome selection of Upton Cheyney Chilli sauces. Drinks certainly did not disappoint either, a must try is the fieriest of Bloody Marys using horseradish vodka.... a winner to drink at either end of the day!

I'm not sure on leaving Wapping Wharf whether my full feeling was from the massive amounts of beautiful food and drink we had sampled (probably); Or whether it was from the brimming pride at what our wonderful city is achieving in the food stakes at the moment (definitely).

Wapping Wharf is going to add another dimension to the quality of life of Bristolians who thrive on these kinds of independent lead areas: For me, I can see Wapping Wharf being a place I will go with the girls, my husband or out as a family. That's no mean feet to cater so well for all....and in my opinion everyone so far is getting it spot on.  Love you WW!

For more blogs, recipes and recommendations, follow my fuss free foodie life in pictures on Instagram, or Twitter or join the Fuss Free Foodie Facebook group. Lisax

PS. If you want to see what we got up to in a 49 second video click below! Thanks to fellow blogger Jenni Sheldon at Travel to recovery.

Breakfast of champions: Pancakes

Breakfast of Champions: Pancakes

We all express our love in different ways, and it will be no surprise the way I do it is through food! Getting no mother of the year awards during the week (getting 2 boys ready for school each day) I often feel in the quiet backwaters of the weekend, Sunday morning is a great time to express my love in a relaxed, non-shouty, hanging out in our dressing gowns type of way!

This Hugh F-W pancake recipe is my go-to recipe. I have tried others but always come back to this one as its reliable, tastes good and definitely fuss-free as it's prepped in 5 mins. It uses wholemeal self-raising flour, so they feel almost healthy (!), so pop to your local health food shop (I get my flour in Bristol from Wild Oats or The Better Food Company) or to keep it fuss-free and use normal self-raising flour. I serve these pancakes with thick Greek yoghurt and any fruit I have, blueberries, raspberries or chopped apple...whatever I have and the kids fancy.

Pancakes with cream cheese and blueberries

Last weekend, I wanted to use up a pot of cream cheese in the fridge, so I popped the 250g of cream cheese in a bowl, added 4 tablespoons of maple syrup and mixed until light and smooth. This made a mellow but slightly sweet topping for the pancakes was a nice change to yoghurt and was pleasantly surprised as both boys enjoyed it, even though they wouldn't normally eat cream cheese. Equally, if you wanted to serve the pancakes with some bacon, I can confirm this works too!

So, on these wet and wild days, why not haul up and give it a try....get the ingredients in and have a go! It will make a wonderful breakfast on the weekend!

Let me know how you get on at The Fuss Free Foodie FB group. Lisa x

Wholemeal drop scones
Makes 20-30

250g self-raising wholemeal flour (available at Health Food shops or use normal self-raising flour)
Pinch of baking powder
Pinch of sea salt
25g caster sugar
2 medium eggs
275ml milk
50g butter, melted

  1. Place all the dry ingredients in a large bowl and make a well in the middle.
  2. Add all the wet ingredients into the well, retaining 10-15mls of milk as you aim to get a slightly thicker than double cream consistency.
  3. Mix by hand with a whisk, and if too thick add the milk bit by bit until desired consistency.
  4. On a medium heat in a frying pan, drop a teaspoon of oil, and then remove it by rubbing the bottom of the pan with kitchen roll (use this oily kitchen roll each time you cook a batch). I use 2 frying pans at once to keep up with demand!
  5. Spoon a tablespoon of mixture into the pan (about digestive biscuit sized) and wait for bubbles to show on the top of the pancake and flip over and cook for another minute on the other side.
  6. The first batch can stick, so stay with it, re-oil the pan and keep going! Adjust the heat if browning too quickly.
  7. Place on a warm plate, covered with a tea towel, or hand them straight to the hungry hoards!

Smooth Operator….


Mo in Nov, Stop in Oct, Dry in Jan.....I am all for reducing things we are doing too much of, but what if, you feel there wasn't too much Xmas excess? For me, rather than give up something...I am going to add something to my daily life that will benefit me and those around me.

This time last year I began something that I still do every morning and is definitely a part of my daily routine now, still, a year on. My breakfast smoothie!

What I love about a smoothie breakfast is its fuss-free to make, as you chuck it all in your blender, ninja or bullet (!) and whiz. Secondly, it's portable. Quite easily taken for your walk to school, car journey or train to work. Easy. Finally, you can get some greens in before 9 am, and if you add a high-quality protein powder, will keep you going until lunch. SO many fuss free benefits, and I love the taste of mine too!

Whilst I figure out what I will do this year, and with the kids back to school tomorrow, Lord knows I'm looking forward to being able to think again and work this out! In the meantime, I thought I would share with you my two favourite winter smoothies.

The first, was a revelation in Autumn for me, as not only did I have a load of squashes on my allotment that needed using, but with the spices, it warms me from the inside out when the mornings are getting fresh!

I roast a butternut squash when I have the oven on for something else (150 degrees for me so it doesn't burn!), skin on if not too blemished, cut in half long ways, seeds scooped out and cut to 1-inch slices. No oil or anything needed. I then store it in the fridge or keep it in the freezer and take out as and when.

My spinach is actually bought fresh and then put in the freezer as it stays fresh and you pull it out a handful at a time. Similarly, with my bananas, when they are on the turn I peel and chop them into 1 1/2 inch pieces and freeze them too. All ready to go go go! I personally do find that I can only stand my spinach and 1 other frozen thing, otherwise it's like ice cream!! Brrrr! So if I freeze my squash, I may use some unfrozen banana to balance it out.

....Let me know what your favourites are at The Fuss Free Foodie FB group and how you get along! Take a look at behind the scenes action and food reviews on the Fuss Free Foodie page, see my fuss-free life in pictures on Instagram or what I'm tweeting on Twitter. Don't forget to keep seeing FFF in your feed, keep giving a little like, comment or share! Lisa x Happy New Year!!

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie
Serves 1

400ml Almond milk
2 scoops whey protein (I use USANA MySMART protein to shop)
3 pieces of butternut squash
1 1/2 inch of frozen banana
1 handful of frozen spinach leaves (or green of choice)
1/2 - 1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 - 1 tsp ground ginger
20 rasps of fresh nutmeg

Blitz until smooth and enjoy!

Choco Cherry Smoothie

Serves 1

400ml Almond milk
2 scoops whey protein (I use USANA MySMART protein to shop)
1 handful of frozen cherries
1 handful of frozen spinach leaves (or green of choice)
1 heaped tbsp of CACAO powder (not cocoa!)

Blitz until smooth and enjoy!

PB&J Smoothie
Serves 1

400ml almond milk
1 handful of frozen blackberries (I use Aldis)
1 large tbsp almond butter (or peanut...I prefer almond for health)
1 handful of frozen spinach leaves
1/2 small ripe avocado
2-3 stoned Medjool dates (Or a squidge of date syrup)
Optional add protein powder

Whizz in a blender.......and enjoy!

Forget the Fuss
I get my cherries, blueberries and blackberries frozen from Aldi, they are great value, and today I bought their Cacoa was great!