Curtis & Bell, North Street: Review

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Curtis & Bell Exterior

 

There’s no denying that North Street’s Curtis & Bell is hard to miss, with its bright orange exterior and decent-sized front decked area. The premises at 232 North Street that was formerly home to Cafe Sazz was transformed into this French-style patisserie in the second half of 2014: a bright and airy venue that serves some of the best pastries and cakes that Bristol has to offer.

It’s not all about cake, though: the drinks menu includes a reasonably priced selection of teas and coffees (my decaf latte was very well made indeed), along with juices, wines and beers.

 

Curtis & Bell Menu 1

 

If you’re after something to eat, you’ll find a variety of breakfast options, sandwiches, parfaits, ice creams and patisserie options – again, all at fairly standard Bristol prices.

 

Curtis & Bell Menu 2

 

Walk into Curtis & Bell and you’ll be faced with a long counter that runs almost the entire length of one side of the venue: the white, black and orange theme continuing and meshing well with the exposed brickwork behind.

 

Curtis & Bell Counter 1

 

What’s sure to catch your eye, though, is the range of madeleines, croissants and other ambient pastries on the counter (under glass domes rather than in the open air, I was pleased to see), as well as the chiller that features a wide range of different patisserie options – all made freshly each day and using fresh and locally sourced ingredients.

 

Curtis & Bell Counter 2

 

While the lemon tart was tempting and the almond cake almost made it onto my plate, I couldn’t help but be swayed by the Nutella cheesecake with a crème brûlée topping (£3.85): a generous slice with a perfectly crumbly base, a rich and smooth filling and a creamy topping flecked with fresh cream, chocolate and a shard of nut brittle. Rob Curtis – previously the pastry man at Byzantium – clearly knows his stuff.

 

Curtis & Bell Cheesecake

 

Curtis & Bell is open from 8am to 5pm Monday to Wednesday, 8am till late on Thursday through Saturday and from 11am to 3pm on Sundays. Take a look at their Instagram feed for plenty of cake porn – if you’re looking for authentic, French-style patisserie from a local independent, the south of the river is the place to be.

 

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