Best Coffee – Bristol

After nearly 2 years here it has taken us a VERY long time to find the haunts that we like. The key things on the list are a decent cinema complex, coffee, breakfast, lunch, dinner and weekend activities. Sadly, unlike Sydney, where you could throw your shoe and easily hit a great coffee, meal, activity or view, these fairly simple items are very hard to come by.

With that in mind I thought I might try and save any other poor saps that move to Bristol from wasting good money and taste buds on such things.

Coffee: by far the best place for a coffee is the Baristas Coffee Collective, 29 Victoria Street, Bristol. Near Bristol Bridge. Professionally made, excellent consistency in quality, perfect extraction time and creamy stretched milk. I am salivating thinking about it. Yum! The price is great at only 1.60 for a regular sized latte (they call it small but it is a good “morning” cup size of coffee). The only downside is trying to get a time when they regularly open in the morning. It would seem the owner is a bit lax, but hey, I’m willing to wait, sitting outside his front door, camped out with my pennies in hand!


Last night was the first meeting I attended at a St Johns Ambulance local unit. I would like to take up some volunteer work that requires contact with interesting people, situations and environments. Having never really done much volunteer work besides Rock Solid I wasn’t sure what to expect. Lasting just over an hour we had a talk on anaphylaxis, how to identify the symptoms of anaphylactic shock and how to administer an epinephrine pen auto-injector. Really fascinating material.
I need to continue going for another 5-6 weeks to gauge if it is a unit I wish to join and then this is followed up by an interview with me, CRB (Criminal Reference Bureau) check, referrals from people who have known me and then first aid training before you are allowed anywhere near a shift. Very interesting night and I am keen to go again.

Back in England

After our whirlwind trip we can’t say we are glad to be home. There are many things that we enjoy about France but in particular it was wonderful to spend time with A.L and her mum. Thanks so much for making us feel so welcome. We hope to be able to provide you both with the same hospitality (if we ever figure out where we are will “nest”).

The flight home was delayed by about 40 minutes but once in the air it was relatively quick. I can’t believe that in 1 hour you can be in France. Doing the online check in and carry on luggage only is the best way to travel. If the flight hadn’t been delayed there was a very large queue of people at check in that would have missed the flight I imagine.

Anyway, I’ll continue the update on the trip to Provins yesterday. Located at the top of the hill is the fortified city with the remains of the city walls, a working cathedral and many lane ways of old buildings. The day was lovely and bright and we both managed to get a bit too much sun. Oh well, nearly 9 months going without any we are not too bothered.

We then walked over to an old abbey but it was closed. Then finally down into the town centre to try and locate the car as we weren’t sure where it was parked. Of course we had to stop for cakes first. Yum!

On the way home we were able to see a number of chateaus in differing states of repair. How wonderful they must have looked in their prime with magnificent gardens and the bustle of everyday life.

So over the last 4 days during our time with our friends we have walked far, talked lots, laughed greatly, eaten well, slept peacefully and enjoyed every moment.

More photos to come once downloaded.

Medieval church in Provins
Inside the church
Medieval meets the Audit R8
Walking to the abbey
Always time for cake
Found this leaning against a wall in a garden
Chateau - one of many
Flying over France

From Vincennes to Provins

Easter Monday we went on a drive around Vincennes to Provins, a medieval village located about 100km from Vincennes.

After arriving we climbed toward the medieval village on the hilltop where we stopped for a picnic. I have learnt a number of new ways of making or presenting salads which are quite useful. For example, a simple salad of mangetout, tiny frankfurter sausage pieces, tomato, little bit of garlic and a light red wine vinegar. Another is a fennel salad with grilled salmon. Chop the fennel coursely, onion, garlic, finely grated carrot. Cook the onion first until soft, remove from the pan, next cook the fennel, remove, garlic and carrot and then mix together again with a simple red wine vinegar. Delicious, light and healthy.

We are about to head out to look for some flowers and card so will continue this in the next post.

Sore feet but still walking

Had a great day yesterday just walking the streets of Paris. It was supposed to rain but I actually managed to get a bit too much sun, no rain.
As A.L said it is nice seeing her city with foreigners as you see things that seem “everyday” to you in a new light.
We enjoyed being able to share our spots with A.L and vice versa.
We hadn’t seen Paris during a public holiday period. We are thankful that we have done all the tourist sites off peak as the queues are huge.
We believe we walked about 15 kilometres yesterday. Feet are rather sore but very happy that they have spent the day wandering this wonderful city.