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Sweet, sweet Bristol: A sugary tour of my favorite city

Call me biased (since it’s my home town) but I’d say Bristol boasts some of the finest eating establishments in the southwest of England. Thanks to its urban setting and close proximity to the rolling English countryside, it’s able to offer city treats made out of the freshest of fresh farm ingredients. From local ice cream to chocolate by the bucketload, handfuls of sweets (the British way of saying “candy”) and perfectly-crafted pastries, Bristol’s a haven for those with a sweet tooth. Don’t believe me? Here’s my list of places to eat when you’re in need of something sweet. As we say in England: “the proof is in the pudding”…

East Bristol Bakery

Check out this award-winning bakehouse in the up-and-coming Easton neighborhood. Packed with trendy treats and friendly bohemian staff, East Bristol Bakery offers some of the finest sweet creations in the area – pick up a slice of Elderflower and Gooseberry Cake or their prize-winning Cherry and Marzipan loaf.

Bristanbul

Brilliant name, brilliant food! Bristol’s premier Turkish delicatessen is your one-stop shop for a sweet flavor of Istanbul. Highlights include syrupy baklava, chocolate eclairs topped with crushed pistachios and authentic kurabiye (Turkish cookies).

Treasure Island Sweets

If you’re in need of a serious sugar hit then set sail for Treasure Island Sweets in St. Nicholas Market, close to the river and atmospheric Welsh Back quarter. Stock up on sacks of classic British sweets like Sherbert Fountains, Drumsticks, Parma Violets and Rainbow Drops.

Absolutely Cakes

These guys are so exclusive it’s hard to find them! They don’t have a permanent shop but you can catch them every Sunday at the Tobacco Factory Market on the south bank of the river. Pick up some of their signature flavors like ‘Mint Innit!’, ‘Ginger Nice’ and ‘Lemon Lusciousness’ – if you can choose between them, of course.

Mathilda’s Chilli Bar

Copoazu Adventurous Ices are another company that don’t have a fixed address – but luckily they supply all their delicious ice cream to Mathilda’s Chilli Bar in Bristol’s super-trendy Bearpit area. This hip hangout is known for it’s American diner-style menu; but if you head straight for the dessert and choose a waffle or ice cream dish, you’ll be tucking in to Copoazu’s glorious creamy delights in no time.

So there it is – my who’s-who of sweet treat suppliers in Bristol. Give them a go and see how long it takes before you get the sugar sweats – but in the interests of good health, maybe just make it a once-a-year sort of event.

Happy eating!

Image by Wicked Sushi, Flickr / Creative Commons

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