For this week's #FoodFriday, SUP Bristol paddleboarding instructor Nick Seary shares his favourite places to eat and drink around the Floating Harbour... a wonderfully vibrant and cosmopolitan area of the city.

Image – Nick on his paddleboard at Baltic Wharf

Where to start! There's so many places to go and so much variety... 

The area around the Floating Harbour is a foodies paradise with a wonderfully eclectic range of independently run restaurants, cafes and bars all with their own unique views of the water. And there’s always something to see on the water from The Matthew serenely gliding along to a group of paddleboarders enjoying exploring Bristol in a very different way. My ideal day would start with an early morning paddle sharing the sunrise with the occasional rower as I’m paddling past Brunel's ss Great Britain and on to Bathurst Basin. Great exercise to start the day.

8.30am Breakfast at Spoke & Stringer, Gasworks Lane

Sat looking at the boats in the Harbour Inlet opposite Brunel's ss Great Britain watching the cross harbour ferry chugging back and forth enjoying poached eggs & smashed avocado on toasted sourdough with charred tomatoes and harissa or shakshuka which is eggs cooked in a sweet and spicy tomato sauce with roasted pepper, feta and sourdough – fantastic. With Spoke & Stringer's minimalist interior, quirky artwork and great music Kristian has created a popular venue where you can also enjoy some of Bristol’s best tapas - oh, and buy a bicycle, surfboard or cool t-shirt in his adjoining shop! 

I’d then stroll on round the Floating Harbour passing the mighty Grain Barge, which serves a great range of Bristol Beer Factory beers, and then stop at Underfall Yard.

11.00am Mid Morning Coffee at Pickle, Underfall Yard, Cumberland Road

This recently opened café in the new Underfall Yard visitor centre is a little gem. James serves great coffee, supplied by Bristol’s Wogan Coffee, with an amazing view down the Floating Harbour with the colourful houses of Cliftonwood in the background. Pickle’s famous sarnies are also a real treat if you’re still feeling peckish.

Next, where to go for lunch? A good walk to Bathurst Basin provides the answer.

1.00pm Lunch at Pi Shop, The General, Lower Guinea Street

It’s a pizzeria but not as you know it. Created by the brilliantly innovative Sanchez Brothers next to their stunning and recently relocated Casamia, a Michelin-starred restaurant, the Pi Shop does sourdough pizza and soft ice cream like no other. The Meat Feast pizza with its selection of artisan cured meats or The “JR” pizza with black olives, anchovies and basil are particular favourites. £1 from the sale of every "JR" pizza is fittingly donated to SKCIN in memory of Jonray Sanchez-Iglesias. They have to be followed by soft serve strawberry and tarragon ice cream all washed down with a bottle of Malvasia and shared with the lovely Julie. Overlooking the water at Bathurst Basin what a great place for a lazy lunch. 

My next stop is a short walk away past the iconic cranes  outside M Shed and on to Wapping Wharf passing the yellow Bristol Ferry Boats, imaginatively decorated Number Seven ferry boats and Bristol Packet's harbour tours ploughing up and down the water.

4.00pm Afternoon Tea at Mokoko, Gaol Ferry Steps, Wapping Wharf

With its open plan artisan bakery and fine selection of specialist teas and coffees Bath based Mokoko produces a wonderful selection of bread and cakes. The delicious vegan banana and chocolate cake or the Hummingbird cake, which is like an exotic carrot cake with bananas and coconut, are simply too good to resist. Both are great with a cup of green sencha or ginger and lemon tea. As a refreshing alternative try their Home Made Chai over ice – great on a sunny day.

Friday wouldn’t be Friday without meeting up with friends for a bite to eat and a good old chat. Luckily Number Seven's cross harbour ferry is nearby for the short trip back across the harbour.

8.00pm Dinner at The Brigstow Bar & Kitchen, Millennium Promenade

Conveniently located next to the ferry stop and overlooking Brunel's ss Great Britain at the Harbour Inlet, Natasha and her team at The Brigstow are creating some of the most innovative dishes in Bristol. Whilst open all day, and a great place for a drink like their Brooklyn Summer Ale or a glass of white zinfandel rose, dinner here is a real treat. Gin & Tonic Meringue, Burnt Seaweed Lobster, Chicken Skin with Curry, Confit Duck Leg Boudin and Treacle Malt & Rye  Bread with Herb, Smoked and Truffle Butter are just some of the treats produced in their kitchen. Mains such as vegetarian Fittchett Pie with silverskins, tarragon and pickled shallot and Devon Trout Fillet cooked in citrus, mustard and sea lettuce are simply delicious. When it comes to desert the Wood Sorrel Custard with milk crumble and toffee is so jaw droppingly good with its amazing textures and flavours that any conversation stops.

So at the end of a long day there’s only one thing left to do. Have an after dinner drink at one of Bristol’s best kept secrets...

11.00pm Late Night Cocktails at The Wine Bar, Bordeaux Quay, V Shed, Canons Way

One of Bristol’s best known restaurants, Bordeaux Quay is also an oasis of calm on a Friday and Saturday night. Susie will lead you upstairs to its Wine Bar, which overlooks the Arnolfini and late night revellers. Who knew that champagne, balsamic vinegar and strawberry puree could taste as good as it does in their Strawberries on Acid cocktail. Or that a Rhubarb & Ginger Daiquiri could be the perfect end to the day?

After all that sleep and repeat... I wish!

About the author: Nick Seary lives and teaches Stand Up Paddleboarding on Bristol’s historic Floating Harbour.

Find out more about Stand Up Paddleboarding in Bristol at supbristol.com.

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