There’s no denying that Bristol is a vibrant and lively city, a city of culture, arts, media and also culinary delights. There’s a long history of food and drink production in and around Bristol. The world’s first chocolate bar was made here, and just on the edges of Bristol Ribena came into being to help the vitamin C deficiencies of the nation during World War II.
These days though Bristol and the local area are known across the country for having some of the finest locally produced food you’ll find. From chunky pies and spicy chutneys to fine wines and cider, Bristol can provide you with the kind of epicurean delights you’d expect to find in continental Europe. Here is a selection of Bristol’s best local sourced food producers.
From humble beginnings in a Bristol basement in 2002, Pieminister has become one of the leading pie makers in the UK. Their first shop opened in Bristol in 2003 and the company now sports outlets in London, Manchester and even Amsterdam. They source all their food responsibly, with a huge percentage of ingredients still coming from West Country farms. The ultimate local pie has to be the Big Cheese, a mouth-watering blend of West Country Cheddar, garlic cream cheese and buttered onions.
If you want a perfect condiment to go with lunch or dinner then one of In A Pickle’s chutneys or pickles is for you. This Wiltshire-based company creates their products from local, seasonal produce and can be bought in quality outlets as well as through their website. When they do use exotic ingredients they make sure to use local suppliers to keep the food miles as low as possible. They’ve won a raft of awards for their pickles and one taste will tell you why.
You know what would wash that Pieminister pie down perfectly? A locally brewed ale. Bristol Beer Factory creates incredible beers with distinctive and award-winning flavours, all on site at a location that had been used as a brewery as far back as 1820. Their Milk Stout is a flagship bottled beer, fermented in the bottle and is brewed in the city from local raw materials. A perfect Bristol beer.
Situated in the lush greenery of the Gloucestershire countryside, Strawberry Hill Vineyard has been growing grapes for wine since 1999, and has developed a reputation for producing some of the best British wine on offer. They chose to grow their grapes under glass cover, which allows them better control over climate and extends their growing season. Their Merlot is the perfect accompaniment to dinner, with its dry and fruity flavours.
If you’re a chocoholic and want an authentic chocolate experience, instead of sugar laden mass manufactured chocolate, then Wiltshire-based Elements For Life need to be at the top of your food list. Their chocolate is free from dairy, wheat and gluten, and contains no refined sugar or artificial additives. You can buy a selection of tasty raw chocolate bars from the company or even indulge in some raw chocolate making at home with one of their starter kits.