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Sunday, 15 July 2007

The Cookie is Good

One advantage of being a parliamentary candidate is that you get to go to a lot of different cafes. There are nine wards in Bristol North West- and that's a lot of cup-of-tea possibilities. Since I've been selected, I've recuperated in lots of great Bristol coffee bars, greasy spoons and , yes, the odd pub here and there. I'm comforted to see that despite the flood of chains of trendy wine bars and the steady creep of Starbucks and Nero, there are still some great British cafes and pubs, which still serve proper mugs of tea, a good hearty breakfast, and in the case of the pubs, a good selection of the West-Country's finest produce.

All this sampling of coffee, mugs of hot tea and the occasional pint is far too good to keep to myself, so I thought I'd start a bit of a cafe-pub review slot. And my inspiration? 'The Cookie' cafe, Gainsborough Square, Lockleaze.

The Cookie is a little unusual. At time of writing, it has a hand written notice stuck up inside the front window, saying that there is good and bad in the world, and calling on customers to bear in mind their moral conscience. You have to live with it, the sign says. It confirms to customers that in a world of good and bad, The Cookie is good. Specialties as fagots and mash, steaming bowls of hot apple crumble with vanilla-ish smelling custard, and generous mugs of sweet tea may not be so good for the conscience of the dedicated salad-eater, but unlike fast-food burger chains, The Cookie serves nothing but good wholesome food. A lot of it involving gravy. I was on my way to meet someone for lunch, so was quite good and had just a mug of tea ( the proper size, nice clean crockery) and a slice of fruit cake. The staff were rushed off their feet, but were really friendly and efficient.

We live in a world where we are lead to believe that a proper protein-packed English breakfast of egg, bacon, toast and beans is bad, but that a croissant loaded with fat, a coffee stuffed with sugar and cream, a muffin oozing sugar and weird hydrogenated fats, or a burger boasting dubious body parts is ok. Everything in moderation, but there is nothing wrong with a proper English food. We should be proud of it. Generations before us were brought up on this fare, and it hasn't done them so badly. I'm going back for fagots and mash. And for anyone wanting the same, I can confirm, The Cookie is Good.

Do you know of a great non-chain Cafe, Greasy Spoon or Pub that I should visit? Let me know by posting a comment below, or emailing me

1 comment:

Stella said...

Recommend the Lamplighters in the old bit of Avonmouth, for the combination of decent beer/cider, food and the view, and the Inn on the Green, Horfield, for their unsurpassed range of beer and ciders (they regularly have Old Rosie & Westons clear Perry,and even once or twice Black Rat!)