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Tart is a little bit of Paris in Bristol, with marble tables, a salon privé and – rare for this town – street-side seating. The food, however, is classically English: brunch, light lunches and afternoon teas featuring amazing cakes such as Tunisian orange and cinnamon, which are also available by mail order. If you’re more of a full-English kind of person, try the wild boar breakfast. After dark there’s a monthly supper club and jazz evenings.
16 The Promenade, Gloucester Road, Bishopston, Bristol BS7 8AE, 0117 924 7628; lovelytart.com
James Wilkins has cooked with Michelin-starred chefs in France, Japan and Turkey but finally returned to the southwest to open a place of his own, focusing on produce of extraordinary freshness and quality. Think 5kg turbots or meaty lobsters from Brixham market. On Sunday evenings he does a vegan tasting menu, featuring ingredients from the Walled Garden in nearby Chew Magna.
1-3 Chandos Road, Bristol BS6 6PG, 0117 973 7999, wilksrestaurant.co.uk
The Kensington Arms
A relaxed neighbourhood pub where you’re as welcome for dinner as you are for a quick pint. The menu features everything from pig’s head croquettes at the bar to venison faggots and a whole suckling pig to share in the restaurant. Head chef Uriah Osborne uses the best local suppliers to create a British menu with a nod towards the French. Booking is advisable.
35-37 Stanley Road, Redland, Bristol BS6 6NP, 0117 944 6444, thekensingtonarms.co.uk
This former Victorian lido was refurbished in 2008 and a stunning restaurant was added in the old viewing gallery. Head chef Freddy Bird (ex-Moro) took the reins and now showcases his take on Moorish and Mediterranean cooking. The wood-fired oven in the kitchen plays a big part, so look out for wood-roast quail, quince alioli, Tardivo and walnut salad, or whole wood-roast shoulder of Pyrenean milk-fed lamb.
Oakfield Place, Clifton, Bristol BS8 2BJ, 0117 933 9530, lidobristol.com
The Bird in Hand
A short bike ride out of town is The Bird in Hand pub. Chef Jack Williams focuses on local produce, as well as foraging wild garlic and St George’s mushrooms. Spring sees duck liver parfait, and smoked heart and watercress on the menu, alongside onglet and braised short rib of beef, wild garlic and pearl barley. Drinks include nettle beer, or a G&T made with one of their 22 British gins.
17 Weston Road, Long Ashton, Bristol BS41 9LA, 01275 395 222, bird-in-hand.co.uk
Bristol Food Connections festival is from May 1-11
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