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Deliciously Different Cafe At The New Room Review 11th June 2017

 Deliciously Different Cafe At The New Room Review 11th June 2017
The New Room Café really is something different, an oasis of calm tucked away in the heart of the bustling Horsefair. As all Bristolians who listened in local history lessons will know, the New Room is the oldest Methodist Chapel in the world, built by John Wesley and used for preaching and the education of the poor of the community by both him and his brother Charles. The imposing and newly renovated bronze statue of Charles Wesley dominates the entrance with a kindly benevolence, and the café itself is a mastery of light and air thanks to the large glazed roof space where you can watch the clouds go scudding by and think yourself to be outside whilst inside if that’s possible.

The café is run by Ewa Kozdeba, a force of nature if ever there was one and formerly of @Bristol where she won the coveted Soil Association Gold Award. Her obvious delight and enthusiasm for this new project is infectious and we were charmed with the neat tables and chairs decorated with growing herb pots – basil for us – the mismatched Alice in Wonderland crockery and the counter groaning with beautiful cakes and pastries, all made on the premises. They do a cream tea with scones and jam which looked lovely but having promised my husband a light lunch as a reward for not sighing and moaning in any of the shops we visited in Broadmead beforehand, lunch it had to be.

We chose slow-cooked pork shoulder (slow meaning some nine hours or more!) served with spicy street slaw, and cheddar and onion loaf (£6.95) for me and cheese on toast rarebit style served on focaccia (£3.20) for him. To try the café’s brand of Fairtrade Coffee, which goes rather amusingly by the name of Grumpy Mule we ordered a cappuccino with a double shot, and a vanilla chai from Eros organic teas. Both dishes were beautifully presented accompanied by a perky green leaf salad with an excellent honey and mustard dressing, and we enjoyed them tremendously. The pork was meltingly tender and nicely spicy, and the street slaw lived up to its name by being piquant and sharp, complementing the pork well. The portions were very generous too, so terrific value for money.

Cafes are ten a penny in Broadmead but this one is such a refreshing change from the run of the mill chains both in its concept and in the food and drink they serve. With a daily ‘specials’ menu, homemade soup and baguettes (and those lovely cakes that caught my eye to start with) either to visit the museum and chapel, or to make a break in your shopping trip, the New Room Café is a go-to destination.

Jacquie Vowles
New Room Cafe 

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