This is just to make you drool, really, because the cakes at the Papadeli Cafe, conveniently housed in the brilliant newly revamped Royal Academy (RWA) in Bristol are so mindblowingly good, you’ll need more than one. Or to go back again very soon.
How to choose when faced with an artistic explosion of meringue, a glistening chocolate gateau, lavender cupcakes or cranberry studded brownies? I think acceptance is the answer and then a major blow out.
Simon and Catrin MacDonnell, the couple behind the Papadeli brand, are serious foodies who import the best Mediterranean ingredients for their delicatessan.
Simon began life as a teacher but, when his passion for good food took over, he retrained as a chef at Leith’s Cookery School. It’s good news for us that he did.
The Papadeli kingdom has grown organically over nine years, starting with a high-end deli which quickly became a Clifton instituion, then opening a cafe and a cookery school before finally branching out with a second cafe in the new look RWA.
If you were lucky enough to live in Clifton, I guess Papadeli could actually become a way of life. Take away a ‘ready meal’ (the exact opposite of what that description implies) of salmon en croute, beef casserole or perhaps a few mixed salads – moroccan spiced chickpeas, garlic roasted mushrooms and almonds, new potato, mackerel and mushroom creme fraiche. Scarily tempting if you were in the neighbourhood.
But back to the cafe. You can come here for a long, lingering fairtrade cappuccino with a full complement of the morning papers, for a girlfriends’ lunch, a school holiday treat with the kids or perhaps for a cup of tea and those mega cakes after a couple of hours’ browsing in the Royal Academy. The current show - Unnatural Natural History – examines the concept of ‘natural’ and has been a huge success.
High art followed by an intense sugar rush. Doesn’t get much better, does it?