Tag Archives: Park St

La Riva, review

La Riva means the shore, in Italian, and I guess it’s a sign of its move from the east coast’s Weston Super Mare, Clacton. I’ve been trying to think of something interesting to go along with that fact, something about the non-shore like location of Park St, being opposite Jamie’s Italian perhaps, replacing Beijing Bistro – a tasteless but cheap oriental restaurant – but I can’t.

It’s a nice restaurant. The staff are friendly. The midday meals are great value at £5.95. The space is open and cheerful and the food is pretty good.

It’s not amazing. It’s better than Vincenzo’s across the road and it’s not as good as Jamie’s. It’s also not as good as Mamma Mia’s on Park Row which has character and a lovely family friendly atmosphere and setting. A great place for a first date and somewhere where you could make a nice tradition of visiting for intimate occasions.

La Riva feels a little more functional. I had the quattro stagioni pizza and it was nice. Martin, my dining companion had the risotto alla pollo but was so busy playing with our daughter that I’ve no idea if he liked it or not. Let’s assume he did and let’s go on assuming that he liked his white wine as well. My sparkling water was delicious, by the way.

I don’t have much more to say about La Riva. It’s a nice enough Italian restaurant on Park St. I would be very unhappy if I received a marriage proposal there but it would be one of my first choices for a quick and tasty meal at lunchtime.

Nando’s, Not Bad

A sudden downpour, a feeling of exhaustion walking up Park St and a grumpy housemate who couldn’t decide on what to eat are the factors that led to a visit to Nando’s on Saturday. The last unsuccessful attempt was five years previously when we first moved to Bristol. Unlike our local Nando’s the Park St branch had been quite grubby with dirty cutlery and unpleasant chicken. There wasn’t much to recommend it back then but maybe it was time to try again.

The service was prompt, polite and informative. Our menus were handed over with some key points to remember about choosing the food then selecting a flavour / heat of sauce. There is mango and lime or lemon and herb, then the spice increases to medium, hot and extremely hot. There are many dishes which include chicken, a few sides as accompaniments and some vegetarian dishes.

I chose the 1/4 chicken with two sides of peri peri chips and coleslaw. My friend Graeme for some reason chose a haloumi and portobello mushroom burger and a side of garlic bread. The food was brought out in under 10 minutes (it is fast food after all) and wasn’t too bad. The chips were great and so was the coleslaw. The chicken was nice and tasted chargrilled although it wasn’t hugely substantial.

It would have been a fine meal if Graeme’s dish wasn’t so tiny that he insisted on sharing his garlic bread in exchange for half my chips, a bargain I regretted very quickly. The food was relatively cheap with my meal at £6.45 and Graeme’s at £6.25. His beer at £3.15 was a little dear for a small bottle but not unexpectedly so.

I enjoyed the little Saturday diversion, the building is nice and the cutlery was clean. The food was brought out quickly and all tasted pretty good with the peri peri chips being particularly good. We didn’t try any of the ice cream or the mixed olives which have previously been lovely.

The website also offers further information the available dishes so my 1/4 chicken provided 317 calories and 15g of fat, my chips were 340 calories with 14g of fat (well, half of that) and the coleslaw was 304 calories with 28g of fat. I’m not so sure I wanted to know.

Update: After asking about the taste of the burger I was told that apparently the mushroom was slippery and the haloumi was thinner than expected but it was very tasty.

Nando’s Restaurant, Park St, Bristol

The Park St Coat Of Arms

The Park St Coat Of Arms, originally uploaded by still awake.

The Coat of Arms on Park St is the creation of Bristol Fine Art customer Nick Walker.

If you are inspired to create something as distinctive as has Mr Walker you will find everything you need at Bristol Fine Art at 72-74 Park Row, Bristol. Everything except a wall perhaps.

Boston Tea Party, time to linger

Two poached eggs on a buttered white bagel. Saturday morning. The coffee is a large sized vanilla soy latte. Not the Boston blend, I find it too mellow, but rather the normal dark blend.

On my own this would be my favourite way to start the day. Ideally it would follow a run but that doesn’t always happen. I would have picked up a newspaper from somewhere close by and dedicated the next hour to getting through some part of it. With company I would have to negotiate the time spent reading and talking until my company either got bored or fed up.

Recently the poached eggs have been on brown toast. I’ve had a waffle when craving something sweet. At the cafe on Whiteladies Rd they don’t serve the large size coffee, or poached eggs, so it’s the scrambled choice or a sizeable portion of porridge with soy milk and jam.

That’s breakfast. Slow mornings and time to linger.

Midday and afternoon allow for an additional menu of proper meals. There is the vegetarian burger which is soft and tasty, coloured slightly red from the beetroot, and not dry at all. Served with potato wedges the dish is substantial. There are salads and wraps, other burgers, falafels etc.

In true South West spirit, the Boston Tea Party sells Weston’s organic cider and Bath Ales. Fresh juice and summery iced teas are located next to the cake display at the Park St cafe. The shelves are stacked with home made cakes such as lemon drizzle and coffee and walnut. There are decadent and deliciously extravagant iced cup cakes which are dense, sweet and amazing.

I left the sandwiches until last because, while they generally have a great selection of flavours, they are made with such thick bread that I’m usually a little put off by them. Nevertheless the food is not just any ordinary food, it is ethically sourced, local and organic where possible. See the website for more details.

The Boston Tea Party is a small chain of seven family run cafés based in the West Country which pride themselves on serving outstanding coffee tea and creating delicious, original affordable meals. That’s what they say and I tend to agree.

My favourite cafe is in Bristol on Park Street. The other six can be found at Barnstaple, Bath, Bristol – Clifton, Bristol – Whiteladies, Exeter, Honiton and Worcester.


Park St, somewhere down the bottom