Category Archives: Bristol

The Gloucester Road, Bristol

The Gloucester Road with its impressive array of independent shops
The Gloucester Road with its impressive array of independent shops

‘Dear Izzy,

I went food shopping on The Gloucester Road yesterday, looking for food inspiration for our Supper group tomorrow. And I found it.  At ‘The Olive Shed’.  I just couldn’t refuse his olives!


Shopping local – The Gloucester Road, Bristol

It’s good to shop local, we know. But for many, that’s a distant memory or an unattainable luxury; with local shopping centres now a sad, ghostly shadow of their former selves, you can rarely buy all you need without getting in the car.

We are among the lucky ones : there was a time when the estate agents and charity shops looked like they would take over our local shopping street, but now  the tide has turned. The start of a bigger change I hope, and we try to support them.

Not always easy. The convenient big supermarket is always a draw, but easier when the sun shines and  today it was sunny and I needed
something quick and easy to take to my supper group. It was my turn
for a starter  and I was looking round for inspiration.

Where to start? Well, there’s ‘The Olive Shed Shop’.

oliveunnamedThis is the Gloucester Road shop, not to be confused with the quayside restaurant of the same name (although they are linked), and I often go in: it sells olives (of course) and also my favourite chewy, crusty French Campagne loaf. I was lucky – one loaf left.

bread of heaven
bread of heaven- with a suspiciously French-sounding name

The people who work there are always friendly and enthusiastic about the produce they sell. And never more so than yesterday, when the man behind the counter offered me a taste of his olives (men sometimes do that don’t they?). He had some new recipes which he was clearly excited about and was keen to share with his customers: giant green olives marinated in orange and harissa – I didn’t think that would work, but it really did.

olivesIMG_20150318_160928 (2)Once tasted there was no stopping me with the olives. I was really munching away. I absolutely loved the olives marinated in fennel. Don’t like the taste of aniseed? Well go and try them anyway because they’re a bit different with a toasty, nutty flavour – so very good!
And so here was the basis of a simple starter – I just need to add a pot of hummus and some marinated peppers or artichokes and I’m sorted.
Shopping local was easier than I thought.

Guess what I’m bringing to the Friends’ Supper Club this week?

Summer in the City

As the temperature cranked up to ‘scorchio‘ last week I realised that I needed another dress for the summer as it was clearly going to last for more than three days at the start of July. So I abandoned my auntie-Mabel dress and rushed out to Fabricland for  blue polka dots (about £3.50 a metre – total price for dress £10).
Less Cox and Baloney. More Mud Dock Café.
So that’s where we went to cool off when the thermometer hit 32 degrees, sitting on the balcony overlooking the water after my (un)trusty machine  had done its best and knocked together a frock for Friday. Again. Against all odds. That machine shouldn’t really be here at all. It’s a functioning miracle, still working away when it should be sitting with its metaphorical machine legs up watching ‘Cash in the Attic’, enjoying a nice up of tea and a digestive biscuit. Oh, and what a surprise, it’s churned out another V8555. Like all old machines it’s not good with change…

no jacket required (isn’t that an album by Phil Collins?!)


I hate to say it but say it I will – ‘ship shape and Bristol fashion’. There. I’ve said it and I promise I’ll never say it again…


Move over Mr Darcy the Mud Dock cappuccino is here…