Ahead of Bristol's biennial Circus City festival, circus artist and festival producer Nicole A'Court-Stuart shares her #FoodFriday picks with us.

Nicole A'Court-Stuart

Cargo Cantina

This no reservations street-food-inspired taqueria by the harbour is tiny, busy and full of colour. Sit at the bar, drink frosty shaken margaritas and order tacos and tostadas one at a time until you can eat no more. The filling recipes are inventive and change all the time. Even if you have to wait outside, it's totally worth it.

Simply Thai  

A relaxed BYO Thai canteen on Gloucester Road. It is hands-down my favourite Thai restaurant outside of Thailand. The food is quick, fresh and fragrant and they have a small traditional menu with more unusual dishes like Larb. They also do an exhilaratingly spicy-juicy Som Tam. 

Harts Bakery

Unfortunately for my bank balance this cafe and bakery, situated in an archway under Bristol Temple Meads Station, is very conveniently three minutes on the cycle path from the Invisible Circus training space. My digestive anatomy dictates that I am meant to eat gluten free but this is quickly forgotten on many a hungry lunchtime. Despite being a meat eater, my favourite order is their Mushroom sausage roll. It has taken me a while to decipher what’s in it but I think pearl barley, shiitake mushrooms, thyme and the most golden definitely-not-vegan flakey pastry. They also have, in my experience, the best gluten-free loaf you can buy, pretty much completely comprised of seeds and oats. It's called the Good Loaf and it makes amazing nutty toast. Beware - they are not open Sunday or Monday!


Beautiful small plates and cocktails made using sustainable local ingredients. The menu is seasonal; so you never know what to expect and - although I hate M&S advert style reinvention of food - I think Poco carrots did change carrots for me. Particularly good for fancy seafood like Green Lipped mussels, Scallops and Oysters and they also do an incredible bacon and egg sandwich at lunchtime. 

The Dark Horse 

Helped by the fact that some of my favourite people live in St George, The Dark Horse is my go-to inner-city, warm country pub for a Sunday Roast and a Bloody Mary. Expect whole roast bulbs of garlic and a myriad of still-colourful vegetables served up by friendly and similarly hung over staff.

Eat your Greens 

An excellent chilled out plant-based cafe-restaurant in Totterdown that boasts a completely vegan and surprisingly gluten free menu (if you choose to swap out the sourdough). The food is comforting, nourishing and creative. All the ingredients are local and carefully chosen; the greens are grown down the road and the tofu is organic, GM-free and sustainably sourced. There is an evening menu but I can recommend going for brunch and trying the Goldie Lox - baked tofu, smoked carrot and seaweed! I’m not really into greasy breakfasts and this is perfect as it is light but still filling and really tasty.

About the author

Nicole is a circus artist and producer at Bristol’s biennial Circus Cityfestival. When she’s not touring with a production or eating pastries at her laptop, she can be found teaching and training static trapeze, making pancakes and pickles with her friends and taking her dog on long rambles in the countryside. 

Bristol's Circus City runs from 17 October - 2 November and takes place at venues across the city. Click here to check out the full programme and book tickets. 


Circus City 2019
Circus City 2019

The UK’s biggest celebration of contemporary circus – Circus City – brings an international line-up of circus acts and events to Bristol, offering choices for all ages, and interweaving circus skills with music, film, theatre, dance and more.

Cargo Cantina
Cargo Cantina bar

CARGO Cantina is inspired by the authentic Cantinas of Mexico, traditionally forbidden to women, children and men in military uniform, where hombres used to drink around the bar with snacks.