We had many great breakfasts in 2015 and one of the very best was at Soulshine in Bridport. So, today, we are returning for a second helping and meeting my brother Neko at the same time.
Both Rock and I decide to have the full English. This consists of sourdough toast, a beautifully poached egg, local bacon and sausage, freshly cooked mushrooms, baked beans and tomato. Neko has the veggie breakfast – the sausage and bacon replaced by a butternut squash farl and an extra poached egg. And, of course, we all have coffee.
It is a bit quirky in here. Sometimes the service can be a little too relaxed. But…the food and the coffee are always fabulous.
Over the past year we have visited almost 200 places looking for the very best eating experiences. The WadeandRockandFoodAwards (part I) were made to our top three pubs and (part II) to our top three restaurants. Our third set of awards go to four small independent outlets that gave us something special during 2015.
Soulshine, Bridport – best breakfast. A cool and funky cafe with great coffee, fabulous bread and perfect poached eggs. They can delight veggies and carnivores with equal skill. Soul Review
Eat Wild, Cirencester – best burger & beer. Their Clown Killer burger is extraordinary and they serve Deya Brewery’s Steady Rolling Man which is a perfect match in quality. Wild Review1 Wild Review2
Soulshine’s Farl, poached eggs & bacon
Eat Wild’s Clown Killer
Grumpy Badger’s raspberry, blueberry & lime cake
Leverton & Halls’ Kashmiri Lamb Curry
The Grumpy Badger, Bradford-on-Avon – best coffee & cake. Moist, freshly baked cakes with great inventive flavours – so good we were forced to blog about it! Badger Review
Leverton & Halls, Bournville – best local & organic. Bustling cafe & deli that serves both traditional and more exotic dishes using fresh beautiful produce. L&H Review
During 2016 we aim to return to some of the small independents we have loved and to visit numerous other places looking for fabulous food.
We need to celebrate. Edda, my niece, has just shown us a copy of Bedboat – a new creative lifestyle magazine. Not only is she modelling in one of its photoshoots and talking about the city of Bristol – she is on the front cover! What we need now is a celebratory brunch.
We head to Soulshine in Bridport with Edda, Neko and Ziggy. Soulshine is a cool, funky cafe that has a great reputation for breakfast and brunch. As we enter I notice a rack of independent magazines – this looks like a perfect spot to pose some copies of Bedboat. We can also see a chef dividing up a huge spread of ciabatta dough. It is buzzing inside the cafe and we are just in time to take the last available table. Phew!
Rock and I both decide to sample the farl with poached eggs and bacon. This farl isn’t a type of Irish flatbread but a sweet potato cake and it works beautifully as a backdrop for the bacon and eggs. As a group we order a portfolio of coffees including Americano, latte, cappucino and flat white. The coffee is fresh and really good quality.
Edda, Neko and Ziggy all choose the full vegetarian breakfast. This is a storyboard of poached eggs, tomato, mushrooms, farls, beans and toast. The chef clearly knows how to poach an egg perfectly. We are having a great time and in the mood to order more coffee, freshly squeezed orange juice, toast and jam. They will hardly need to wash up our plates – as we only just stop short of licking them clean. It is proof that Soulshine has been a fitting place for this celebration.
If Bedboat need someone to review and photoshoot restaurants in Bristol or any other location – we will make ourselves available!
We are in Dorset for the first time in a while and we are having dinner with Neko and Ziggy at The Riverside. It is a restaurant in West Bay that specialises in fresh fish.
As we trawl through the menu….we are all confused. There may be many fish in the sea but most of them appear to be on this menu. We order, change our minds, change our order, change our minds again and change our order again. The process only takes about 5 minutes and the staff are patient and understanding throughout but, we are nevertheless, feeling slightly embarrassed.
Both Neko and I, still caught by this confusion, decide to wade into the daily selection of fish. The selection is a shoal of five different fresh fish, plus a scallop and a gamba all served in a bourride sauce. I’m not sure we could name all the fish but they are beautifully fresh and beautifully cooked.
A bottle of Les Perriers Sancerre arrives with a gentle elderflower and gooseberry nose and a finish of decent length. It works really well with the fish.
Rock reels in the grilled Lemon Sole fillets and Ziggy lands the grilled Dover Sole fillets in a Lobster bisque served with cumin fried parsnip crisps and shiitake mushrooms. Rock and Ziggy seem strangely quiet for a while but I soon realise that they have just been busy clearing all signs of food from their plates.
We cast an eye over the dessert menu. After having an assiette of fish, I share the assiette of desserts with Rock. Ziggy and Neko decide to net the coffee crème brulee with Breton biscuit and caramelised fig. Nearby diners soon catch sight of another set of clean plates.
There remain many restaurants who really don’t do fish well, but The Riverside know how to cook fish – hook, line and sinker!