In Bristol, we are #blessed all year round, thanks to the plethora of wonderful independent eateries and drinkeries (yep, coining that) that grace our city. Whether you've got a passion for pizza, a soft spot for sorbet, a craving for curry, or go bonkers for burgers, Bristol's thriving food scene has got you covered in each and every season. At Christmas time, however, eating in Bristol becomes an even bigger delight than usual, when culinary creators from across the city get to work like little elves, busying themselves making fabulously festive foodie treats for your delectation and delight. By God, do we love them for it, but how on earth does one keep track of them all?! Well, that's where Wriggle, your fairy gobmothers come in. Because we know you are all Very Busy™ with important Christmassy tasks, such as desperately figuring out what to buy your work's Secret Santa, whilst drinking copious amounts of mulled wine, yule be pleased to read that we've put in the hard work for you. Here's our round-up of the greatest Christmas specials out there this festive season - now go get scoffing!
Brussel Sprout Pakoras @ Gopal's Curry Shack
Although in their natural state, these green little balls can have a more divisive affect than Marmite, we have a sneaky feeling that you'll all be united in mutual appreciation for Gopal's Curry Shack's epic Christmas special - the Brussel sprout pakora. Crispy, golden and salty, these little treats are absolutely divine. Better still, they mean that when it comes to Christmas dinner on the big day itself, you can tell your Mum with a clear conscience that you've already eaten your annual dose of sprouts.
Christmas Burgers & Confit Roasties @ Asado
Asado already occupies a very special place in our hearts for their incredibly excellent burger offerings. Anybody who's dined at this purveyor of paradise will know just how flippin' good these guys can make a dish that, in its most basic form, is simply a meaty patty sandwiched between a bread bun. Things have got even better for the burger lovers among us this winter, with the launch of two very exciting Christmas burgers: 'Christmas at Asado' and the 'Cheesy Christmas'. Meat-eaters, 'Christmas at Asado is sure to light your festive fires; think buttermilk-brined, deep-fried turkey thigh with a sausage and chestnut stuffing patty, smokey bacon and cranberry sauce, and confit garlic mayo. Veggies, you might wanna ditch the nut roast this year, and get yourself a 'Cheesy Christmas' instead; it's an oozy, melty deep-fried, breadcrumbed camembert wheel, served with confit garlic mayo. Asado are also paying homage to that most delectable Christmas dinner component - the roast potato, with two insane options: confit roasties with crispy turkey skin, bacon salt, and Christmas dinner mayo, or veggie rosemary salted roasties with garlic mayo. Heaven.
Seriously - how good does that look?! Click here to try it for yourself, with a cheeky Wriggle discount to boot! Merry Christmas from us to you.
Christmas Eve Brunchmas at The Cauldron
The Cauldron in St Werbs is practically made for the winter months. Inside it's cosy and warm, and almost everything on the menu is cooked over an open fire, adding a gorgeously smoky, seasonal taste to the proceedings. This particular choice is less of an individual 'Christmas Special', and more of a 'heads up, you're gonna need to clear your social calendar on Christmas Eve so that you can sample as many of these beautiful-sounding dishes as is physically possible'. On the 24th, the team at The Cauldron are laying on a very special festive brunch menu, featuring treats such as soft-boiled duck egg with katsu pork belly soldiers, and proper, enormous, full English breakfasts (meaty, veggie and vegan options are all available). As if all that wasn't enough, the kind souls at The Cauldron are also offering 50% off all their prosecco! Ho ho ho indeed...
Home-cured pancetta with fennel and caraway seeds, served up with sprouts at The Cauldron.
Christmas Pizza @ The Pi Shop
Christmas pizza. Christmas. Bloody. Pizza. Hark, the herald angels sing, glory to this incredible thing. The lovely fellows over at The Pi Shop have bestowed a heavenly festive treat on us all this Christmas, with their frankly wonderful Christmas pizza. It's a snowy white base with not a hint of tomato in sight (seasonal, eh?), topped with a homemade stuffing crafted from Tuscan fennel sausage, garlic, sage, bay leaves, thyme, sage, sprout tops, home-made cranberry sauce, and parmesan. Oh, and there's a little golden egg yolk nestling in there too!
Christmas Pies @ Lovett Pies
Everybody's favourite pie dons, Lovett Pies are bringing their A-game this festive season. As well as their lusciously seasonal venison pie offering, this year they are also offering a designated Christmas Dinner inspired pie, packed to its pastry brim with all the key elements of a Christmas feast! If turkey, smoked bacon, chestnut stuffing and cranberry floats your boat (if it doesn't - what is wrong with you?), then be sure to grab one of these little guys quickly before they're gone! Pies on earth and goodwill to all men.
Chriiiiiistmas pie, mistletoe and wine...
Mulled Wine Sorbet @ Swoon
They say that to get warm in cold weather, the best trick is to eat something cold, as your body will work hard to raise your overall temperature in order to counterbalance the cold substance you've ingested. Whilst we're no scientists, this does seem like an excellent excuse to sample the brand new mulled wine sorbet, available from Swoon Gelato. It's pink, it sounds lush, and it looks adorable - we'll have three scoops, please. If you prefer your mulled wine in a glass rather than an ice cream cone - fret not, for Swoon have plenty of other festive sweet treats at the ready. Indulge in a scoop of mince pie gelato, or for the more adventurous of you, there's a pumpkin and amaretto flavour option, too.
Mulled wine sorbet deliciousness @ Swoon
Burger Joint's Christmas Burger
Well, well, well. What have we here? Another delicious Christmas special from one of our favourite purveyors of burgers, Burger Joint? Don't mind if we do... Tuck into a sumptuously filled bun (Wriggle tend to go for brioche, but - as always - it's your call at Burger Joint), bursting with tenderly grilled turkey breast, a heroically lip-smacking patty made from pork, bacon bits and sage stuffing, a vibrant salad, a wadge of melted brie, a dash of mayo and - finally - a cracker of a cranberry sauce. Good grief, it almost sounds better than lunch on the big day itself. Almost.
So there we have it: Wriggle's round-up of our favourite festive indie specials this season. Have we missed any out? Send us your hot tips to firstname.lastname@example.org, or let us know in the comments!