Beeses Tea Rooms - Traditional but with a twist
Shhhh don't tell anyone but Beeses Tea Rooms is no longer a quite, quaint tea and scone stop for the boat tour crowd.
In the 6 years since Phil and Lindy Leahy have been running it, Beeses has been transformed into the perfect place to enjoy an alfresco lunch, sample some real ale or enjoy one of their celebrated fish suppers.
Despite the changes this Bristol institution, on the banks of the River Avon in Conham, has lost none of the essence of what makes Beeses Beeses - ringing the bell to summon the tea room ferry still has it's 'Wind in the Willows' charm but Lindy tells me they've worked hard to bring the bar and it's gardens into the 21st century.
The menu is designed for outdoor eating and, when you've got a view as good as this, you'd be mad not to make the most of it.
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Lindy explains that they make all their own cakes, jam, preserves, quiches and, what they can't make, they try to buy local.
They also have a huge herb garden and forage for produce along the river itself.
With the wild garlic in full bloom, my lunch couldn't have been fresher as their chef Matt popped out to pick some leaves and flowers from the banks of the river to garnish my Bruschetta.
Three substantial chargrilled slices of bread, topped with a home-made roasted red pepper, garlic and wild garlic leaf pesto drizzled in balsamic vinegar and extra virgin oil – fantastically fresh and very reasonably priced at £3.95.
Price is something Lindy keeps a close eye one – she wants people to feel they've got value for money and recently, via their Facebook page, offered to match a supermarket meal deal with one of their own.
Even so with prices ranging from £2.75 for bread, olive oil and balsamic vinegar to the most expensive item on the menu £9.25 for the Beeser Salad, which comes with chicken breast, bacon and fresh parmesan the bar is great value for money.
A music fan herself, Lindy has established Beeses as a live music venue with bands and open mic sessions every month and no self respecting bar would be without it's quiz nights.
However the highlight of the Beeses year is the September Beer Festival where the choice of 18-20 real ales and ciders marries perfectly with the live music and hearty curries.
This year the monthly gourmet evenings (first Wednesday of the month) include a homage to American cuisine on July 4th and a 6 course French extravaganza in September.
Reservations are essential and after reading the menu which includes crab and samphire tartlet with saffron cream, roast sea bream with garlic and cherry tomato confit, broad beans and rocket pesto and lemon and mascarpone tart you can see why.
With their day-to-day menu including a baked Camembert(£5.95), the Butcombe hot-dog - two pork sausages made with Butcombe Gold ale and served with cheese and Butcombe ale-fried onions in a baguette (£6.90) and their signature Pa burger with a whole field mushroom on top (£7.75) you may be forgiven for thinking they'd forsaken tradition and abandoned the cream teas.
Fear not - they still serve between 150-200 of them every week and with scones from Herbert's bakery, home-made jam and clotted cream it's a good job it's a riverside walk back to the car.