Travel tips: best cafe in Bristol, England – Cafe Amoré

Great Coffee and Quality Food

Photo of books and coffee cup - credit ~xRinei on deviantART

Photo credit ~xRinei on deviantART

Back in 1995 I discovered a cafe called Joe Cuba’s, on Nelson street just opposite the old police station there.  I loved it.  Split into two levels by an upper mezzanine that overlooked small serving and seating area below. This is where I wrote the second draft of God Seed (by hand) during 1996, and where I made friends with two staff that were to become fantastic mates (Philippe T and David) known as The Two Crazy Frenchmen.  It was owned by one man (Saj) but run by another (Gordz).

They served good coffee and good sandwiches, all hand-made on the premises fresh that morning.

When it closed I was a little gutted because it had been a cool little creative hangout for me.  But Bristol is literally littered with (independent) cafes: many of them good.

An aladdin’s cave in the heart of Bristol, impeccable service and magical atmosphere.

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But I think the crown has to go to the place that was set up and shaped by the former manager of Joe Cuba’s: Gordz.

Cafe Amoré is a treasure trove of experience and is remarkable in the variety of appeals it is able to offer. Almost directly in the centre of the city, it is also manages to feel slightly removed from the hustle and bustle; and also enjoys being on the main thoroughfare between Cabot Circus / Broadmead and the incredible Bristol harbourside.

The choice of food, and the quality is impressive. As is the impeccable service that the smiling staff offer instinctively, as if proud of the fact they’re there to serve you and make you feel welcome. It’s a rare thing to encounter, and should be noted here as something that makes Cafe Amoré leap out from the crowd.

But it’s the echo of Joe Cuba’s that I enjoy here. Purely a subjective experience but one you can probably relate to and enjoy for yourself.  The upper mezzanine level – much larger than Joe Cuba’s and much more intimate and secluded. If I go up there with a sandwich and a coffee – it’s like climbing up into a private study area where the murmur of other people doesn’t intrude on my thoughts, but rather helps focus them, like a background noise. It’s like climbing up into a womb of creativity and reflection.  I can do both there – and hours slip by as quickly as my V 5 HI-TECPOINT pen scribbles across sheets of recycled manuscript hardcopies.

Every big trip I’ve done abroad – I’ve always started my journey here, in Cafe Amoré. Only 4 minutes walk from Bristol’s central coach station, it’s the place I go to after the taxi from home drops me off in town, before I board the coach to Heathrow or the shuttle to Bristol Airport.  Cafe Amoré is like my totem to good travels. Great times often unfold from this starting point.

It’s seen early work on most of my novels, from Iron Man Project and EDGE, through to Dog Eat Dog, Living in Flames and the one I’m working on right now – The Social Club.

So whether you’re a creative or a consumer, popping in for a quick drink or a settling down for a long stay, peckish, famished, or just plain thirsty, get yourself to Cafe Amoré.

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David J Rodger – DATA

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