When he’s not behind the mic at Sam FM or Ashton Gate, Ian Reed-Downs (AKA Downsy) loves to dine out in Bristol. Here are five of his favourite places to eat for #FoodFriday.

Ian Reed-Downs Sam FM presenter

Image credit: Ian Reed-Downs

Ashton Gate Coffee Shop

I couldn't write a piece on food and drink in Bristol without mentioning the guys that keep me fuelled with caffeine and cake in most of my jobs! Whether I’m nipping down for a coffee from the Sam FM studios in the week or on a match day ahead of a City or Bears game, all their stuff is awesome.

A bacon sandwich on Mark's Bread from Bedminster with locally roasted coffee is the perfect start to any of my work days. I’m a brown bread and brown sauce man – controversial I know. There's also a great selection of pizza bread sandwiches cooked in the real Italian-style pizza oven on site. The players and staff are always buzzing in and out too, so it's a great place to hang out for the odd selfie.

Greenshank Cafe Bar

With unreliable sea legs I'm not normally a fan of boats, but there are many reasons I like this traditional narrowboat turned café owned by Bristol Packet Boat Trips. Spectacular Harbourside views, warm homemade scones with locally sourced ingredients and an outdoor sundeck all keep me returning. My inner history geek also loves that it was built by Harland and Wolff, the same people who owned the shipyard where Titanic was built!

If you're having a wander around the beautiful Bristol harbour (how lucky are we they didn't fill it in to extend the M32 in the 60s?) then step aboard Greenshank for decent coffee and lovely lunches with that personal touch.

Mugshot

One of our new favourite places to eat on the circuit. There's a lot to be said for cooking your own steak at the table. Yes, there's a modicum of novelty and yes, the volcanic rock heated to over 300 degrees can accidentally brand you like Texan cattle if you get too close, but it all adds to the fun and the quirky prohibition-style atmosphere.

Choose your own cut and butters to cook in, sauces to dip in and add triple cooked chips for maximum effect. Caution: it gets hot and smokey in there, which again is no bad thing, as it smells divine.

El Puerto

If you want to feel like you're on holiday without having to catch a flight, then book a table at El Puerto. From the whitewashed walls and the Spanish music pouring out of the speakers to the enormous jugs of sangria and endless dishes of tapas, El Puerto is proper authentic.

It's my favourite way to eat too – being a foodie I never want the feasting to end. So many dishes to try, so many flavours, and did I mention the sangria? The atmosphere there never fails to lift my mood and the food transports you straight to the streets of Barcelona or Madrid. The meatballs here are a must. 

The George Inn

Nestled on the brow of a hill on your way out of Bristol heading towards Portishead (where I live) is The George. It has everything you'd expect from a pub in 2019 – wholesome pub grub at reasonable prices, a garden that's straight out of Dr Who (it's bigger on the inside than it is on the outside) and decent free WiFi so you can sit with a coffee and pretend you're at work.

They also have regular events raising money for Children's Hospice South West, a charity I'm a proud ambassador for, even some of the menu options include a donation. It's a proper lovely pub with lovely people.

About the author

Downsy has been on the radio in Bristol since 2004 and currently hosts Sam FM Drive. He's also the matchday presenter at Ashton Gate for Bristol City and Bristol Bears. Away from work Ian (real name) is also a huge local history enthusiast and volunteers at The Clifton Suspension Bridge. He’s also a proud patron for local testicular cancer charity "It's In The Bag" and an ambassador for Children's Hospice South West.

Downsy lives in Portishead with his husband Ethan and their 1 year old Collie Cross ‘Brooke’. Hear him on weekday afternoons from 3pm on Sam FM (106.5FM/DAB/Mobile) or follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

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