As you walk towards the busy Bristol Waterfront, opposite the fountains and the Bristol Hippodrome you will find Aluna. A Bar and Restaurant priding themselves on providing a truly unique experience. We headed to the Bar Entrance and were met with a thriving yet relaxed atmosphere. It seemed the perfect place to let off steam from a manic week.

We were shown through to our cosy table, tucked away in the corner of the restaurant. I honestly couldn’t get over the gorgeous, unusual design of Aluna. I was definitely taking tips for my own interiors. The velvet seats were so comfortable and the lighting was perfect, giving it that much needed relaxed atmosphere. The walls are filled with copper/golden mirrors and old-fashioned prints. It’s like nothing I’ve ever seen before so it’s hard to describe. You’ll just have to go and see for yourself.

Aluna Bristol Review

Aluna Bristol Review

Aluna Bristol Review

After reading through the extensive menu we settled on our first drinks. Sam had the Lava Lamp, an orange based cocktail and I went for the Raspberry Sling from the Mocktail menu. The mixologists really live up to their name of ‘Social Scientists’. Sam’s Lava Lamp cocktail arrived bubbling away, like its name would suggest, and stayed that way for a good 15 minutes. Absolutely fascinating to someone like me that doesn’t have a clue how these things work. My Raspberry Sling was divine, it was a sweet, but mildly bitter homemade lemonade.

Whilst we were enjoying our cocktails, we browsed the menu and decided on our food. There was a vast menu, with things from pasta dishes, to burgers, to Thai curry and Lobster to choose from. There was plenty of choice on the Asian and European inspired menu. Even for a fussy vegetarian like myself. I chose the Bruschetta Pomadoro to start and Sam had Nachos topped with chicken. Although I was tempted to ask for a vegetarian version of the Nachos which I’m sure they would have done but I always get Nachos so I thought I’d try something different. I was pleased I did, the Bruschetta was lovely, a perfect combination of flavours with the tomatoes, rocket and olive oil. But I must say the couple of Nachos I stole from Sam’s plate were pretty good too.

Aluna Bristol Review

Aluna Bristol Review

For our mains, I had a tough choice between the Thai Vegetable Curry and the Jerk Vegetable Wrap. I chose the latter but swapped my chips for sweet potato fries [of course]. Sam had the Aluna Burger but was tempted by the Lobster. My wrap was thoroughly enjoyable considering some of the fillings were those that I wouldn’t usually go for, such as courgettes and olives. The only thing I would say is that it wasn’t very spicy, which is ideal if you’re not too keen on spicy foods. But I would have liked a bit more of a kick to mine. The sweet potato fries were divine, they made the meal for me.

Aluna Bristol Review

Aluna Bristol Review

We were both absolutely stuffed, but in true us style, we couldn’t resist dessert. Especially where chocolate brownies and cheesecake are concerned. Sam and I are almost identical with our dessert choices which is strange considering we’re polar opposites when it comes to most other foods. Both cheesecake and chocolate brownie are our favourites so we just had to order both and go halves on each. And oh my they were gorgeous.  My mouth is watering thinking of that chocolate brownie, absolutely delicious, melt in the mouth, rich chocolate. But if I thought that was dreamy, the cheesecake was even better. A perfect creamy cheesecake, with the perfect crunchy base and a bittersweet mango topping.

It was time for one last cocktail before heading home. Sam wanted to try the Aluna Secret Concoction as he was told this one was set on fire. I had the Mixed Berry Mojito, again from the Mocktails menu. Honestly who needs alcohol when the mocktails taste this divine? The Aluna Secret Concoction lived up to expectations and filled the restaurant with fire as it was bought over to our table. I tried to get a photo but it all happened so quickly. This one smelt of roasted marshmallows and tasted like strawberry milkshake apparently. Different to any cocktail Sam had ever had before, he was really fond of this one.

One of the main things worth noting about Aluna is the price. Aluna has the looks and feels of quite a luxury restaurant. The atmosphere is wonderful – despite it being Saturday night, their busiest time of the week, we were really able to sit back and relax. And the staff were second to none. All of this considered, I was more than impressed with the prices at Aluna. My wrap was only £9.95 and Sam’s burger was £11.95. Desserts started from £4.95 and starters the same. They even have a 2-course lunch menu for just £9.95 so I’ll definitely be going back to try some of the other things on the menu.

Have you eaten at Aluna before? Would you pick any of the foods/drinks we tried?

Until next time,

Ami Rose Blog Bristol Blogger Signature

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Collaborative post. As always, opinions are 100% my own. Please see my disclaimer for more information.

I’ve been visiting Redwood Farm, Cribbs Causeway for a while now. I’m always sharing photos of the food I have on my various social medias but realised I’m yet to do an in-depth review on here. Redwood Farm is part of Farmhouse Inns, a sister company of Greene King. They currently have two pubs/restaurants local to Bristol, Redwood Farm and Winter Stream Farm, but have others all over the country. You can find your ‘local pub’ here. Redwood Farm is only 15 minutes from my work so we tend to go here on a Saturday, we’re always starving and know we’re going to be well fed. The portions are huge!

Redwood Farm is traditionally a carvery. They have many different meats to choose from, usually including Chicken, Beef and Pork and sometimes Turkey, Gammon and other meats. They also do a Vegetarian option of Chestnut, Brie and Mushroom Pie and often Cauliflower Cheese Tart too – this is always the option I’ve been offered anyway. There’s always plenty of vegetables to choose from too.

redwood-farm-cribbs-causeway-bristol-smoky-bean-chilli-vegetarian

redwood-farm-cribbs-causeway-bristol-sloppy-mac-and-cheese-dog

Sam and I don’t often go for a carvery, instead we choose from their vast selection of dishes on the menu. We’ve tried quite a few between us now. Sam is a burger man, he’d have a burger for breakfast, lunch and dinner if he could so he’s working his way through the burgers on the Redwood Farm menu. These include the Cheese and Jalapeno Melt Burger, the Tex Mex Chicken Burger and his favourite, the Giant Mixed Grill Burger. Of course there’s also the Spicy Veg Burger. But alongside burgers, there’s also a couple of Hot Dogs, the Farmhouse Dog and the Sloppy Mac and Cheese Dog (pictured above).

My favourite meal on the menu is the Smoky Bean Chilli – they also do Smoky Bean Nachos as a starter (divine). I’ve had this chilli around 4 times now and it never disappoints. I’ve got to the point of ordering it every time I visit as I’m worried that nothing else will compare. I’m dying to try the Cheese, Onion and Potato Pie and the Luxury Homemade Macaroni Cheese though.

redwood-farm-cribbs-causeway-bristol-desserts-ice-cream

redwood-farm-cribbs-causeway-bristol-desserts-cake-toffee-waffle-cheesecake

redwood-farm-cribbs-causeway-bristol-desserts-cakes-chocolate-crunch-pink-custard

It’s their desserts that they’re famous for. I always take friends/family to Redwood Farm and show them the desserts before we order. Just so they know how much room they have to save. Sam and I are making our way through the selection of desserts, we’ll be able to recommend them all soon – oops. They have Classics, School Day Favourites and Sundaes. They are ginormous! I’m sure there must have been about 600g of soft cheese in one slice of the Toffee Waffle Cheesecake. It tasted lovely though! The Chocolate Crunch and Pink Custard also took me back to my primary school years. I’m definitely going to try one of the sundaes next, the Crunchie Munchie one sounds amazing.

As far as price is concerned, each and every meal/dessert is excellent value for money. My Smoky Bean Chilli was just £7.25 and the desserts start at £4.15.  The only thing I’d say lets this pub down is the service. We’ve always had lovely food but always left feeling unsatisfied with the service. You need to go to the bar to order your food, sometimes wait 10 minutes in a queue to order. A pub this good, with food as nice as it is should definitely have waitress service. But the food most definitely makes up for the service. And I look forward to visiting each and every time.

Have you visited Redwood Farm or another of the Farmhouse Inns? What did you order?

Until next time,

Ami Rose Blog Bristol Blogger Signature

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PegasusLife have challenged me to write about my Top Places in Bristol. And this has got to be one of my favourite posts that I’ve been asked to write in the 9 years I’ve been blogging. I’m currently at Butlins, with my Mother, Grandma, Fiancé and Brother and we spent yesterday evening reminiscing about our childhood, over a game (or ten) of cards until 1am and have decided upon these 8 Places in Bristol. I wasn’t sure whether to stick with childhood favourites or current favourites so I’ve mixed them up a little.

Favourite Places In Bristol

A walk around Vassels

Favourite Places In Bristol

In Bath after cycling along the Avon and Somerset Railway

Favourite Places In Bristol

Searching for Gromits

Firstly Cabot Circus, if I go to Bristol now it’s almost always to visit Cabot Circus whether it’s shopping, a meal with friends or a blog event. It’s one of the main ‘attractions’ in Bristol. You wouldn’t think it seeing as it’s one of the newest but 9 out of 10 times, I’ve come to Bristol for Cabot, or solely Primark.

Clifton Suspension Bridge and Downs, this is a childhood and current favourite. I spent many weekends having picnics and collecting conkers on the downs, I even went to many ‘picnic in the park’ themed Birthday parties when I was younger. That’s what us country children do, picnics for Birthdays, I think we were all 8 going on 80. But aside from the childhood memories, this is somewhere Sam and I like to visit when we have a little time off. Which is rare these days. We just like to have a wander around, the views are beautiful, and it’s perfect on a summer day.

Vassels is another for the walks, views and scenery but another for the children too. No exaggeration, every time we visited my Grandma and the weather was nice, we ended up here. The play area is something from a child’s dreams and it’s only got better over the years. I try to forget that it was about 15 years ago I used to ‘play’ there. Where does to time go? Sam and I visited with Milo recently, it’s a nice place for a walk if you’re local.

Avon and Somerset Railway, I spend a lot of time on the Avon and Somerset Railway Path, probably the same now as I did when I was a child. This is a 20 mile (I think) cycle path running from Bristol to Bath. We often park at my Grandma’s or the Avon Valley Railway and cycle right into Bath. Then spend the day there and cycle all the way back. It’s a fantastic route as it’s so flat, off the road and enjoyable with trails, footpaths, activities and other things to see and do along the way.

I couldn’t write a Bristol Favourites without including Bristol Zoo, I visited so much as a child. Although when I go back now I always wonder how my parents afforded it, the price seems to keep going up. It’s a great zoo though and a lovely day out. I’m going to a wedding fair there in a few months time, how amazing would it be to get married in a zoo.

@Bristol is somewhere I visited a lot when I was younger. My Dad used to take us there and I also went for Birthday parties and school/Brownie trips. It’s an interactive science centre which is fun for all ages. I still thoroughly enjoy going now. I went to a blog event in one of the upstairs conference rooms last year and had a wonder around the science centre on my own afterwards, I couldn’t resist.

The Bristol Waterfront, mainly Zaza Bazaar is another place we travel to Bristol for. We have cravings to stuff our faces every month or so and Zaza Bazaar is THE place to do that. It’s an ‘all you can eat’ buffet but the biggest all you can eat buffet you’ll probably ever see in your life. The food is lovely too and it’s all cooked right in front of you. The Waterfront has many other gorgeous places to eat. And many cocktail bars. All with gorgeous views of the Bristol Waterfront.

Last but not least, Cribbs Causeway, I couldn’t not include this one, although I often forget it’s Bristol as it’s the other direction from the main area. This is where Sam and I go to shop, buy work supplies, food shop, eat, drink everything. It’s our closest town other than Yate and we visit here a couple of times a week.

Thank you PegasusLife for giving me this challenge and giving me a chance to reminisce on my childhood years.

Do you live in Bristol? Do you have any favourite places that I haven’t mentioned here?

Until next time,

Ami Rose Blog Bristol Blogger Signature

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Collaborative post. As always, opinions are 100% my own. Please see my disclaimer for more information.

I loved last year’s Bristol Foodies Festival so I was pleased to get the opportunity to attend this year’s. Foodie Festivals are carried out throughout the year (mainly in the summer months) at various locations around the UK. The next one is at Cannon Hill Park, Birmingham on 3rd-5th June and then Blackheath Common, London 8th-10th July. You can buy tickets in advance here. I’ve got a post all about the Foodie Festivals here if you’d like to find out more information.

Sam and I attended on the Sunday this year and the weather was lovely. We got stuck into the samples right away. Healthy eating is completely forgotten about on days like these, I want to try absolutely everything. We had a quick wonder around but we arrived at lunchtime so wanted to have something substantial before filling up on samples. You can tell how hungry we were as I didn’t get a chance to photograph any of our food. Sam had a chicken wrap and I had a vegetarian chilli quesadilla, they were both around £6.5o.

Once we’d had our lunch it was sample trying time, you always end up eating foods in such a strange order at shows like these. It’ll be crisps, then a little fudge, then cheese then maybe some jerk chicken and a dessert of chorizo.

Bristol Foodies Festival

Bristol Foodies Festival

Bristol Foodies Festival

We started off with chilli, yep straight into the hot stuff, I loved the Chilli Alchemist stand. I’m one of these people that think they can handle anything so I went straight for the hottest one and my mouth was on fire, oops. We then went and tried some cheese from one of many cheese stands, Great British Cheese, which we’d tried at previous shows. They had some lovely cheese on offer, even chocolate orange and sticky toffee pudding which were strangely nice. We bought 3 cheeses for £10, Piri Piri, The Drunken Monk and Mature Cheddar with Smokey Peppadew Peppers and Garlic. Sam really enjoyed the crisps at the Taste Of Game stand.

Bristol Foodies Festival

Bristol Foodies Festival

It was then onto the sweet stuff, I mentioned in last week’s post that I’m so fussy with chocolate. I’m always amazed when I find something I like and I never expect to love it as much as I loved the Brocs Chocs Chocolate. The Chilli, Strawberry and Honey flavours were my favourites. The fudge was just as lovely, we ended up buying Country Classic, Baileys, Salted Caramel, Caramel and Orange Chocolate from the Black Cat Fudge Stand, it wasn’t all for us, promise.

Bristol Foodies Festival

Bristol Foodies Festival

Bristol Foodies Festival

Bristol Foodies Festival

There was so much to choose from in terms of more substantial food at the Foodies Festival. I took these photos of my favourites. How fantastic is this ‘Pizza Bike’, I’m sad I didn’t spot this before I had my quesadilla as I would have loved to try one of these. I also loved the Mini Bean Coffee mini. All of the stands had tried so hard to be different and quirky which made them really stand out.

Bristol Foodies Festival

Bristol Foodies Festival

The last stand we visited was Seeds Of Change, selling a range of organic goods from cooking sauces to rice products. They had a spinach pasta in a tomato sauce with basil for us to try, it was gorgeous. They were also handing out vegetable and herb seeds so I’m going to plant those when I get a chance.

Thank you Foodies Festival for the tickets, we had a lovely day, as always. We’re already looking forward to the next one.

Have you been to a Foodies Festival this year or do you plan to?

Ami xxxxx

After spending a while walking around Cabot Circus, Bristol aimlessly trying to decide on what to fill our bellies with for my birthday dinner we ended up in Frankie and Bennys. Frankie and Bennys has always been one of my favourite places to eat out. I’m sure it was the first place I ate out without my parents too. Oh gone are the days where you actually felt grown up paying for your own food. I used to go just for their Cajun Chicken Pasta Bake (amazing) and almost ordered it this time too until Sam spotted the Frankie and Bennys Family Feast and his decision was made.

Frankie and Bennys Family Feast

The Frankie and Bennys Family Feast consisted of a 15 inch pizza with a choice of 4 toppings (or a bit of all of them), a sharing pasta platter from a choice of 3 dishes and either unlimited chips or a side salad. This is meant to serve 3-4 people but who doesn’t like a challenge? Especially where food is involved.

The toppings you could choose from for the pizza were Margherita, BBQ Chicken, American Hot and Hawaiian. We wanted to try a bit of each but weren’t too fussed about the Margherita so went for half BBQ Chicken (Sam’s favourite) then a quarter American Hot and a quarter Hawaiian. The pastas to chose from were Frankie and Bennys Meatballs, Chicken Penne Romana and Spaghetti Pomodoro. We went for the Chicken Penne Romana along with a side of unlimited chips, I mean honestly, who would choose a side salad?

 Frankie and Bennys Family Feast

Frankie and Bennys Family Feast

Frankie and Bennys Family Feast

The Frankie and Bennys Family Feast (everything that you see in this photo) cost just £24.95. Such a good price for so much food. They actually had to move us to a four person table because they couldn’t fit everything on ours. Just look at all that food, we were certain we were going to be eating it for breakfast and lunch for the next week. My favourite pizza was the American Hot, I love hot, spicy foods and this didn’t disappoint. Sam loved the BBQ Chicken and polished off each and every slice of this one. I’d been craving Hawaiian pizza for a while but it always seems to plain to order out so it was nice that we could have a slice each of this one. Anyway, before we knew it, this pizza had disappeared.
The pasta was lovely, the only thing I could say contrary to that was that it wasn’t very hot, warm hot not spicy hot but the flavour was gorgeous and the chicken was cooked to perfection. The photo below speaks for itself – this was polished off too. We even had two bowls of chips between us. I feel so naughty writing this now but if you can’t go crazy on your birthday, when can you?

The Louisiana Hot Sauce made this meal for me. I asked our waiter Jamie if he had any spicy sauces to go with my chips and he brought out this one. I mean, I would probably go back for just a portion of chips and this dip. This is the sauce that’s in their Louisiana Hot Wrap. Another favourite of mine that I would usually have if I go to Frankie and Bennys for lunch.

 Frankie and Bennys Family Feast

So all in all, two hungry (or maybe greedy, oops) people could easily defeat but it’s also perfect for a Family Feast. It would be a perfect treat for two adults and two children and wouldn’t break the bank either. I’m sure my parents would have loved something like this when I was younger. I was always begging to go to Frankie and Bennys.

Also I have to emphasise this, Frankie and Bennys now do unlimited chips, unlimited! Finish all your chips but still hungry, ask for some more and you’ll get them free of charge. And even more if you’re still hungry. And more after that…

Have you tried the Frankie and Bennys Family Feast yet? I’d love to know what you think.

Until next time,

Ami Rose Blog Bristol Blogger Signature

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