Whether she’s in a bar, restaurant or cafe, Olivia from Golden Pulse loves a good chat with the staff. That’s why, every month, we set her loose on the streets of Bristol to hunt down the friendliest of the bunch. This month she told us about her experience at an incredible little gem and why they deserve to be dubbed January’s Friendliest Business.
January’s finally over. We’ve managed to finally shift the Christmas tree and the seasonal affective disorder-induced cloud over our heads has nearly disappeared, meanwhile February is grey and dark – but mostly dark. Little comforts are well and truly needed, and can be found in small places. This is how I discovered this month’s winner for Bristol’s Friendliest Business: Papadeli.
In the full throes of illness, I stepped out like a timid old lady to re-stock my depleted collection of supermarket painkillers. En route, I convinced myself that a coffee would also be a huge benefit so I was side-tracked by the loving embrace of Papadeli (Perhaps the word Papa created an association with a good old Dad hug?). Stepping into Papadeli feels warm and cosy; the deli/café is a haven of food lovingly selected and cooked. Some interesting food related stats for you…
“Papadeli stocks 60 types of chocolate, 23 different types of cheese, 22 types of crackers, 39 different variations of chutneys and pickle, not to mention 46 types of biscuit.”
Papadeli isn’t stopping there! Pete (Papadeli’s manager) confirmed reassuringly that the chocolate section is set to expand in the near future – just in case 60 variations aren’t enough for you all sweet toothed readers!
At Papadeli you live to eat rather than eat to live and the team are the first to pioneer this notion. Customers aren’t rushed to pick from one of many fresh salads and choosing a cheese from their vast variety is guided by a member of staff, each of whom have their favourite and are certainly eager for you to try.
I was delighted to see my latte appear with a small piece of cake placed on top of the lid – a hug in a mug and a cake with a smile – my day was complete. The girls who served me were jokingly singing along to Without You and it’s this relaxed atmosphere which encourages people to keep coming back; old ladies meet for brunch and argue about who’s paying, grown up families meet over breakfast to talk about a daughter’s career choice – people love this café (and I love the caramel shortbread.)
Papadeli was setup by Simon Macdougall around 18 years ago – since then Papa and his hard working team have spent time perfecting the deli and cookery school. Much love and attention has been spent on the recipes of the food served in the deli, getting the right hamper combo, picking the best manufacturers to stock in store and of course to establish the Papadeli cooking school. I picked out June 18th 2015 as my favourite menu on the cookery school, making ‘Piquillo peppers stuffed with goat’s cheese and pine nuts, asparagus and green herb tart with pomegranate dressing, spatchcocked poussin with tarragon, caponata, peach and amoretti tart’ – I think I just died and went to food heaven. At £85 per class the variety of foods you come away with is pretty varied and vast. For a smaller financial commitment you can alternatively spend time browsing the shop – my highlights include The Chocolate Society milk chocolate with pecan nuts, pork rilette with sloe gin and blackcurrant blighty jam.
If you need a little pick me up this month, I encourage you to step into Papa’s warm and welcoming embrace…did I mention the cake?
Congratulations guys on winning the January Friendly Business Wriggle Award!
Watch this space to find out who the February #WriggleAwards goes to!
Olivia is a Bristol blogger and all round chatterbox, working full time in a busy digital agency and has an appreciation for technology. In her spare time, Olivia manages her website Golden Pulse which focuses on her love of art, music, running and food.