Three key ingredients for a feel-good breakfast at Beets n Roots, Bristol

What is a Beets n Roots breakfast?

I was really excited to be invited for breakfast at Beets n Roots with the Bristol Bloggers and Influencers group. I’m a great fan of eating chemical-free food, so a visit to a café that’s organic for one of my favourite meals of the day promised to be a real treat.

All Mighty breakfast
All Mighty Breakfast

After a bit of research I discovered that Beets n Roots is a vegetarian and vegan café. I wasn’t really sure what to expect for breakfast as my experience, up until now, of vegetarian breakfast is a pale-looking frozen veggie sausage. Fortunately, this image was about to change.

 3 key ingredients for me

  1. Beetroot

    I suppose I should have guessed from the name of the café that beetroot would be on the menu. And, lo and behold, waiting for us on a tray was a selection of freshly made juices, including a bright red beetroot juice.

    Fruit jucies
    Red, Green and Orange fruit juices

    While I love homemade beetroot, I was a little wary about drinking a glass full of it. However, the colour certainly attracted me and I was impressed at the balance of flavour of beetroot, apples and lemon. Beets are good for us for a whole load of nutritional reasons, including vitamins A, B, C and minerals such as iron, magnesium and copper, all of which we need to function well and give us energy. So, as you can imagine, this is a great start to the day. Once I’d started with a red juice, I felt it was only fair to try the orange and the green one too. Being used to freshly squeezed juice in Spain, which only contains oranges, I have to admit that I really took to the perfectly balanced combination of orange, carrot, turmeric and ginger in the orange juice. The green one was yummy too and a great way to eat your greens in disguise.

  2. Kale

    Ever since I discovered a recipe for kale crisps (kale baked in the oven with olive oil and paprika), I’ve been a fan of this ‘superpower’ veg, getting my organic supply from Ros at the Tetbury Goods Shed or the Fishponds Food Assembly. However, I had never had it for breakfast until my experience at Beets n Roots. While kale on your breakfast plate may seem a bit strange, it was my favourite bit of the All Mighty Breakfast; ginger and garlic sautéed kale. Just thinking about it makes my mouth water.  The All Mighty as you may guess from the name, is a powerful combination of feel-good foods. A baked mushroom on sourdough toast sprinkled with china rose sprouts, avocado, scrambled eggs (tofu is also available), organic baked beans, kale, garlic roasted tomatoes and fresh leaves.

    Feel-good breakfast
    Feel-good breakfast

    Breakfast has never felt so good. While a traditional English breakfast can sometimes leave me feeling tired and sluggish, what I hadn’t anticipated was how much energy I was going to have after a breakfast full of fresh, organic vegetable and fruit based ingredients.

  3. Sunshine

    I love to eat outdoors. One of my fondest memories of travelling in Norway is of buying a freshly cooked hot omelette at 6.30am on a sunny morning and then popping off down the road to eat it next to a waterfall. These days that might be referred to as a Mindfulness breakfast.

    Comfy and cosy
    Comfy and cosy

    While the waterfall element may not be possible in Bristol, Beets n Roots have a lovely terrace that captures the morning sun. If it’s a little chilly, there are blankets available to cover yourself over. The terrace is set back from the road and the wooden tables with potted herbs and cushions give a  ‘chill-out’ feel. It’s divided into different levels creating a comfortable space.  But don’t worry, there’s also a cosy indoor seating area for when it’s raining.

What else is there?

Beets n Roots also prepare brunch and lunch. There’s an organic salad bar, food is cooked on the premises and local ingredients are sourced where possible.

Organic salad bar
Organic salad bar

During my second visit here for brunch, I was going to try something different, but the All Mighty Breakfast won me over again. However, the bean chilli that was simmering away ready for lunch smelt so wonderful, that my next visit may well be a lunch time one. There are also plenty of take away choices, making this a perfect work-time lunch spot.

Tapas for breakfast or brunch

I love the idea of sharing breakfast tapas-style. It is a novel and attractive way to try more than one thing on the menu. And perfect when you can’t decide what to choose. This brilliant idea means you get three different flavours, textures and sensations. So, if you fancy both sweet and savoury for brunch, you can order buckwheat pancakes served with chocolate and maple syrup as well as scrambled egg with spinach, basil and garlic roasted tomatoes and you still have a third choice.

Scrambled egg tapa
Scrambled egg tapa

What a great way to share breakfast with a friend or loved one. Or if you don’t want to share, you can eat a delicious combination all by yourself.

Apart from the juices and smoothies, a range of teas and coffees are available along with bliss balls (energy balls made of cacao) that have a delicious orange twist and other tempting cakes with gluten free options. And, I am pleased to say, that my herbal tea was served in a pot. Those little touches are so important.

Overall opinion

I’d a like to say a massive thank you to all the staff at Beets n Roots who were friendly and helpful. I really enjoyed my experience here and especially, the feeling of energy that I was left with afterwards. The food I chose was light but filling and very tasty. A great choice for vegans and those of us on the lookout for healthy options.

Where to find Beets n Roots

You can find Beets n Roots in the vibrant Clifton area of Bristol at 39 Cotham Hill, BS6 6JY Bristol, United Kingdom.  Or follow them on Facebook.

Prices start from around £4.95 for a tapa size breakfast and at the time of writing this, the All Mighty Breakfast was £9.95. Bearing in mind that after brunch I didn’t need to eat again until early evening, I thought this was great value.

Herbal tea
Herbal tea

 

 

 

Fresh veggies
Fresh veggies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Disclaimer: While I was generously invited to brunch at Beets n Roots, all opinions are my own.

Mantis prawns, tapas and more sea food – preparing for New Year’s Eve in Spain

As the family get ready for the New Year’s Eve celebration –  the second main celebration of three over the festive season in Spain –  Benjamin and I take a trip to the jetty where the fishing boats come in with their daily catch.

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Galeras

Benjamin’s mother has already been here earlier this morning to buy the seafood for the family evening meal on December 31st. There are twenty-two family members coming for dinner and Carmen (Benjamin’s mother) insisted on going to the muelle (port) to buy the galeras (mantis prawns) straight from her cousin’s fishing boat. She knows they will still be alive and even fresher than in the market place.

As we roll up at the wharf, there’s a buzz of activity. A man walks out with three large nets of mussels and my taste buds start to kick into action. We walk in and inspect the fish. It’s all in boxes on the floor. The floor is wet and people have their wellies on.

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At the fishing port in Chipiona

The fish is laid out in polystyrene boxes. It’s been weighed and each box has its label telling us the weight of the fish or seafood in the box, it’s origin and the name of the person who caught it.

We walk around examining the boxes. The fish has just come in off the boats and is so fresh it’s still alive. We find the galeras. They are wriggling around in the box.

Mantis prawns
Mantis prawns on sale

Little black eyes like peppercorns on their transparent coating. People come in and marvel at the lubina (sea bass). It’s a good size and would easily feed a family of four on New Year’s Eve.

We wander out on to the harbour. A fishing boat is on its way out. They wave out to me as they see me taking a photo. They have a fantastic day for fishing. The sky is a beautiful blue, the sea is calm and there’s little wind. Another group of fishermen are unpacking their catch, they wash off the fish on board and throw it into a large plastic bucket ready to hand over to be sold.

Fishermen unloading their catch in Chipiona
Fishermen unloading their catch in Chipiona

Benjamin and I wander out of the building and over to the fisherman’s bar La Cantina Marinera. The sun is warm despite the temperature of 13 degrees and the terrace is busy. We walk through the terrace and make our way to the bar. At first, I think I am the only female in this busy bar. Something that years ago would have made me feel shy. On closer inspection, I notice there are more women and one of them I recognise from earlier when I saw her organising fishing nets.

I order some tapas and a couple of beers.

Tapas at the bar
Tapas at the bar

Everything on display is fish or seafood. The colours are amazing. Three generous tapas and two beers come to nine Euros. We sit at a table in the sunshine. The tapas are fresh and mouth-wateringly good. The bar starts to fill up with people coming for lunch.  We sit back, soak up the atmosphere and enjoy the tapas.

Tapas
Tapas

Amazing places to eat tapas in Andalusia: Bar El Cura, Trebujena

Tapas in Trebujena    Follow my blog with Bloglovin

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Delicious tapas in Andalusia at Bar El Cura, Trebujena

The white village of Trebujena is perched on the top of a hill overlooking the estuary and surrounded by marshes. It’s not generally on the tourist path, but if, like me, you enjoy excellent tapas, then I recommend adding Trebujena to your go-to-list when eating out in the province of Cadiz.

About 30 minutes from Jerez de la Frontera and 20 minutes’ drive from Sanlucar de Barrameda, Trebujena is a quiet, unassuming and friendly village. If you are in the area in the summer, it’s best to go in the evening as it can get incredibly hot here during the day.

So, where should you go when you get there?

One of the great things about Trebujena is that each bar has its own range of tapas and by that, I mean you won’t find the same standard menu in each one. They all have their own charm and delicious tapas. Whether you choose Bar El Litri, La Escalerita de Ana or Bar El Cura, you won’t be disappointed. While I  recommend all three for their excellent tapas and service, in this post I’m going to tell you about my latest experience in Bar El Cura, which you’ll find in the plaza Antonio Cañada.

What we chose

We came here on the Sunday evening of a busy weekend during the Trebufest; Trebujena’s annual music festival. Knowing how busy they had been all weekend, I was half expecting the kitchen to be closed and the tapas to be of a lower standard than normal. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

gmabas
Seafood salad

The selection of tapas in Bar El Cura is varied and elegant. Whilst most bars in and around Cadiz serve the traditional pescaito frito, (fried fish) El Cura has a menu of original tapas at very reasonable prices. We started the evening with a cold tapa of ‘salpicon’ a seafood salad with tomatoes, pepper, onion and a dressing. Salpicon varies from place to place and the amount of seafood you get can sometimes be outweighed by the salad, but fortunately, El Cura is generous with the seafood.

taleguitas de alcauciles y pata negra
Artichoke parcels with cured ham

Next came the exquisite Taleguitas de alcauciles y patanegra; beautifully wrapped parcels with artichokes and cured ham wrapped in filo pastry and deep fried. Artichokes are commonly known as ‘alcafchofas’ in most parts of Spain, but here in Cadiz they are known by their other name ‘alcauciles’. A deliciously warm mixture of textures and flavours, this tapa won my vote immediately.

We followed this with a dish that still makes my mouth water every time I see the photo. Milhojas de mango, queso de cabra y jamon from the specials board was a tapa I had never tried before. Filo pastry topped with a layer of mango and goats cheese, a slice of cured ham and a tiny drizzle of olive oil on the top. Biting into this was like disappearing into food paradise.

mango, goat's cheese and serrano ham
mango, goat’s cheese and serrano ham

Next came the other half’s choice which, of course, being the more carnivore of the two had to include meat. He ordered magret de pato sobre timbal de patata – duck on a bed of potato. The duck was moist, and the potato melted in my mouth bringing out the wonderful flavour of the duck.

We finished the savoury dishes with another one from the specials board ‘pulpo al horno’ – oven baked octopus. I am not exaggerating when I say that every mouthful of this dish was accompanied by an ‘ooh’ or an ‘mmm’. The dish was served hot and with papas panaderas (potatoes fried and then baked in the oven)and roast peppers.

El Cura also has a great selection of wines and local sherries to choose from. It was impossible to leave without a homemade chocolate dessert, a café bombon (coffee with condensed milk) and a peppermint tea.

Two of us ate and drank for around 22 Euros. This bar gets a sobresaliente (ten out of ten) from me for its original selection of tapas, taste and excellent value for money. The service is great and the professional dedication from the owner is amazing. As a family run business Bar El Cura closes on a Tuesday, so remember to choose another day if you want to go here.

Top tip  A tapa will give you a saucer size dish while a racion will give you a larger portion. Tapas vary in size from restaurant to restaurant. If you have never been to a particular restaurant before and you aren’t sure whether to order a tapa or a racion, start with a tapa to judge the size of their portions. Some tapas are extremely generous and are great for sharing, whilst in other places you will need to order a racion (a large portion roughly about a plateful) or media racion (half a portion ) for sharing. As tapas and raciones can be ordered as you go and don’t need to be ordered all at once, you can judge the size on your first order and take it from there.  Buen provecho – enjoy your meal!

* I have been to this restaurant more than once and I love it.  Every time both the food and service has been excellent. Bar El Cura had no idea that I am reviewing them and all opinions are my own (and of those who shared the meal with me!).