Over the years a good proportion of my time and money has been spent frequenting cafes, there is something about watching the world go by in a cafe, the un-hurried time spent. Take my laptop to the cafe and I’m more productive. I love a cafe. If there is a buzz about a cafe, I like to try it out.
Sometimes a new cafe or bar opens and by reputation or marketing it is quickly seems to be mentioned everywhere, so it is with the Mockingbird Cafe. Artfully instagramed, it’s airy interiors and basic wooden tables appear repeatedly in my feed, mentions are here and there, clearly it is the cafe to visit. Failing to successfully ride the wave of the new, several months after it opened, I take a seat in the Mockingbird Cafe.
The Mockbird cafe sits in a quiet side-street off Bristol’s busy Whiteladies road, the other side from student heavy Cotham Hill. Like a bird in a tree it that has discovered the perfect branch and can truly puff out its chest feathers and sing, the Mockingbird Cafe has a really lovely spot. The rest of Alma Vale Road is high on either side with impressive Victoria town houses, on a February lunchtime these cast the niche shops and hairdressers into shadow. The Mockingbird sits opposite the grounds of a church and is bathed in sunlight, which fills the cafe through double front windows. Before you even pick up the menu, you cannot fail to love its airy sparse interiors.
I have the Mr with me, the rest of the customers are attentive to the apple-mac laptops they have with them, he remarks “it’s like Hoxton in here”. It does have a very on-trend vibe, the staff aren’t bearded hipsters, they are friendly and the atmosphere is relaxed. The menu is Southern American, my Mr lived in the States for a few years, the menu produces chuckles of recognition and approval. The specials when we visit are Philly Steak sandwich, Dr Pepper Pulled Pork, I don’t eat meat and am slightly hesitant, but the menu has good veggie options.
Just as we order my phone inexplicably dies, any opportunity to Instagram lunch is blown. My partner has the equivalent of analogue mobile phone with no camera! Take my word for it, the food looked good and tasted good. We order homemade lemonade with basil to drink, which has none of the clawing sweetness of similar offerings experienced elsewhere, it is delicious. The man at the next table has a tea-pot full of coffee beans, it is Cascara, sun-dried and infused coffee skins, apparently it has a fruity flavour, he recommends it.
The Mr picks grilled pimento cheese, cheddar, roasted peppers and dill pickle on granary bread. I have Sweet Potato Hash, roasted sweet potato, garlic, rosemary, sweet onion, topped with an egg. The food arrives promptly on enameled plates, it is wonderful to eat different and unexpected flavours. We both really love lunch, it totals (with drinks) £15. The Mr’s opinion; very good, not entirely authentic but close. I suggest that surrounded by large Victorian Villas in the posh part of Bristol, rather than the Mississippi river and cotton mansions of the Deep South complete authenticity is probably tricky.
Tell me your favourite cafe and who fancies lunch at the Mockingbird cafe?