Paradise Gardens, East Street -Bristol

Organised by Bedminster Town Team, a huddle of street food vendors have set up on Dean Street for three nights. Congregating close to a temporary multi-media installation on East Street, which acts as a focal point, the aim is to attract more people to this part of town. Paradise Gardens by light sculptor Ulf Pedersen is inspired by the area of BS3 known locally as Little Paradise, named after an orchard that once stood on the site bound by what is now Dean Street and East Street.

So very cold and, so very wet; with the old Robinson's paper bag factory as a backdrop, light rods arced overhead, reflecting blue and green across large puddles. Tree branches (I think), of white light spread across neighbouring buildings and images on loop, were projected against a red-brick wall. Sadly, the threat of hypothermia stopped us from standing for too long or to contemplate what this all might mean.

Hungry, we turned our attention to the smells coming from various grills and wood fires. Enticed by the Viet Vite stall, I opted for the pulled pork Banh Mi. Wonderfully crusty baguette was grilled and stuffed with garlicky minced pork, salad and coriander leaves, crunchy pickled vegetables, hot and sour pulled pork and, a drizzle of chilli sauce. Generously piled in, I could just about manage a bite without deconstructing it.
M opted for a Burger Theory burger -a beef and jalapeno patty with Stilton, aoili and tomato relish. It looked rather tasty and was wolfed down double quick, so I didn't get to try a bite. M was pretty pleased to learn they also serve out of the Ship Inn on Park Row, so I suspect we may be paying a visit before too long. With hollow legs and training for a half marathon, M also ordered a Spider Monkey pizza from Pizza Monkey which we decided to take home. Cooked in a portable wood fire, the dough was light and crisp with a rich tomato sauce, smoked ham, sliced mushrooms, rocket and garlic oil drizzled over the top.

Whilst waiting for our pizza to cook, we decided that we needed to warm up. Not wanting to do things by halves, we drank hot chocolate by Vee Double Moo, topped with a shot of armaretto (me) and rum (M). Rich, dark with the extra pep and vim of liqueur and the added elation when we could feel our fingers again, it went down a treat. If only it had been warmer, I'd have definitely tried one of their ice-cream shots; a chocolate, Irish cream, vanilla shot catching my eye, as well as the vodka jelly and ice-cream.

Tonight is the last night of Paradise Gardens and if you can, pop along. With the choice of other street food vendors and a roving cocktail bar, all braving the cold, you'll get some good eating and will be supporting attempts to regenerate a local High Street.


Labels: , , ,