Lunchtime in Corn Street. Unusual sight. It was Wednesday, Bristol’s farmers’ market day and – was I dreaming? – the street was empty. Where were my familiar local real food stalls?
Turned out a gale threatened and officials had sent the street traders to shelter in Saint Nicholas’ market. I found spelt loaves in its medieval stone portico, wet fish under its Victorian glass roof.
Time for lunch at the (covered) Rolls Royce cafe, smack-bang in the middle of Saint Nick’s daily bustle.
So I ordered smooth parsnip and beetroot soup, inventively seasoned with horseradish and ginger and respectably seasonal. It was so good I thought it was home-made (now that’s an accolade). The soup in fact hails from the Yorkshire Provender (soon to offer organic ones).
The Rolls Royce café is so community-minded, it lets you eat food you have bought elsewhere in this food kaleidoscope of a market.
I never eat pork, right, for atavistic reasons. But for some unaccountable reason, I let myself be persuaded by “Try the maple and pork, you won’t regret it,” from the man who left his office job to set up on his own selling organic, local and incredibly tasty sausages.
Did I regret eating the pork? No. Its sweet taste and yielding softness left little room for guilt, and combined with the seasonal soup, seemed delectable.
However, I confess: I didn’t want to tell you.