Top chefs swap their restaurants for tipi village in Queen Square
THIS spring some of Bristol's top restaurants will be relocating to an unusual venue – a giant "tented village" in Queen Square.
From April 25 to May 7, the city centre square will be taken over by a custom-built structure which will host guest appearances from the chefs at Michelin-starred restaurants The Pony and Trap and Casamia, as well as some of Bristol's other most popular eateries.
The event – which is being called Eat Drink Bristol Fashion – is a collaboration between the man behind the Chew Magna gastro pub Pony and Trap, Josh Eggleton, and Luke Hasell, who is the director of local company Tipi Events, which provides tipis for festivals, parties and weddings.
The pair approached the city council with their idea six months ago and have been working alongside the authority's place-making director, Mike Bennett, to turn it into reality.
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The tipi village includes a dining area which will seat 100 people, a champagne bar, and an area with a series of art installations provided by Arcadia Festival Sculpture and Performance.
Visitors can go into the bar for free and enjoy local bands and DJs, while a team from the Pony and Trap serve their take on British tapas throughout the day.
During the day the bar will become the Wogan Coffee House, serving coffee, sandwiches and cakes.
Then in the evenings, each night there will be a different resident restaurant with a new menu.
The restaurants showcasing their talents are the Pony and Trap; Totterdown's Star and Dove; city centre Chinese restaurant Dynasty; Westbury-on-Trym's Casamia; Hotwells pub The Pumphouse; Montpelier's Bell's Diner; Thornbury and Clifton restaurant Ronnie's; and Welsh Back Indian Namaskar Lounge.
There will also be lunch events and two "Bristol Banquets" – corporate evenings for Bristol businesses.
Mr Eggleton said: "We've set up Eat Drink Bristol Fashion to celebrate Bristol's thriving food scene. Many local suppliers, chefs and restaurants are doing great work and in the process making Bristol one of the most exciting culinary cities in the country.
"It's a simple but creative concept. By bringing restaurants from across the city to the centre we'll give Bristolians the chance to experience great food of places they may have never ventured to before."
His co-director Luke Hasell said: "We hope Eat Drink Bristol Fashion will further cement Bristol's position on the UK's cultural map. Not only will the food be fantastic, but the entertainment including visual art, bands and DJs will make our unique tipi venue an attraction in itself.
"We hope that Bristolians will turn out in force to support the project and make Eat Drink Bristol Fashion an event to remember."
Council leader Barbara Janke said: "This is a fantastic place-making project for Bristol. It will showcase the breadth of world class talent and skills we have in the food and restaurant sector, both in Bristol and across the wider region.
"It's very exciting that some of Bristol's finest restaurants are coming together to collaborate in what's all set to be a totally unique dining experience."
Businesses interested in the banquet nights can email email@example.com for more information. For tickets and more information, visit www.eatdrinkbristolfashion.co.uk.