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Bristol, Bath, and Beyond

  • Bar Chocolat's name caught my eye from across the street, and a warm dose of chocolate sounded like exactly what I needed to warm myself from an afternoon's meander through Bath's Christmas market. So close to closing time, they were only serving things to go. My chocolate shot, rich, dark, thick, underlaid with bitter complexity, warmed my hands as we made our way onward into the evening.

  • The next day, we stopped by House of Minerva, the city's chocolate store advocated by a feature in Homes and Antiques. The air was redolent with chocolate. Various people sat sipping drinks at small tables, looking out at the buzz of city center streets beyond the windows. Their chocolates are varied, competent, friendly. Flavors are confident and strong; there's no subtlety to them.

  • As dusk fell on Bristol last weekend, so too did the rain. It drizzled and chilled, and so we took shelter in Bordeaux Quay, an airy café/bar/brasserie/restaurant. The venue is invested in local ingredient sourcing and eco-friendly products. We warmed with coffees and chocolates and exotic infusion blends. Petit fours were rich: the rosemary dark chocolate truffles were flavored with a heavy hand; the fluffy, crisp meringue flecked with finely-chopped pieces of candied ginger were, however, superb.

  • On the motorway, westbound from London, a roadsign advocated that we "Exit at Junction 11 for The Oracle". Also westbound, I became gradually convinced that the M4 is where Britain stores its traffic cones. It's such a sensible solution: they're not likely to be stolen when everyone's travelling at speed. On the way back, we were promised 50 miles of deer; not one was to be seen.

  • It was wonderful to see lazyknight and stormwindz and M. again! It had been entirely too long.


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 10th, 2006 12:27 am (UTC)
I remember seeing that Oracle sign on the way _down_ to Bristol from Heathrow when I visited in 2001. It made me laugh then, as I envision a little temple with "gnothi se auton" (know thyself)inscribed over the door.
Dec. 10th, 2006 07:46 pm (UTC)
Well, there are signs where I live promising deer -- it's just that, when I see them, they're usually in roadkill state. Occasionally, although this is not part of the promise, I also get to see 'pieces of deer'. I'd rather not see them at all, if 'dead' is the default.
Dec. 10th, 2006 08:59 pm (UTC)
Earlier on this year, on my way to Cheddar Gorge, I saw a deer in a non-dead state. It went one way, then changed its mind and then changed its mind again. Had it not changed its mind the second time, or not changed its mind at all, it would have been fine. As it was, it very nearly made a fateful state transiton...
(Deleted comment)
Dec. 11th, 2006 02:13 am (UTC)
Sigh - The Starbuck's I know of didn't bring back Chantico this year, and I was very fond of the stuff.
Dec. 11th, 2006 02:26 pm (UTC)
Chantico's not bad - my memory of it is that it's a bit on the sweet side, but then it's been a while since I've had any. I like other things better, but taste buds vary.
Dec. 12th, 2006 04:42 am (UTC)
Misleading deer signs are everywhere! I never fail to be disappointed by them.

Also, one time I saw a moose in a deer sign zone. That was not the mammal they advertised.
Dec. 12th, 2006 04:42 am (UTC)

( 7 comments — Leave a comment )