This is a guest review written by Chris Henley – follow him on Twitter at @GastroHenley.
Street food is big business in Bristol and I love it. Interesting “fast food” brought to you by people who have passion for what they are doing, and quite frequently in a vehicle that’s pretty special. I can only see street food growing in popularity and that, in my eyes, is a very good thing.
At the beginning of this month I had the pleasure of buying my lunch from Ward & Williams who are situated along Narrow Quay, near the Bristol Hotel. Sarah and Tina – the lovely owners of this sandwich, snack and coffee van – had been trading for 4 weeks at the time of writing. Their van is a beautiful Citroen H van called Claude: a vintage looking French vehicle. They both fell in love with it the minute they saw it and it’s easy to see why.
Sarah and Tina had been working together for a number of years at a research company in Bristol, and had for some time thought about opening a cafe in the city. This nearly happened, but with the high cost of renting premises they decided to go down the street food route instead. The Harbour office had put concessions around the harbourside up for tender, which was a long process but the hard work has paid off and they are both now really pleased to have their spot on the busy Narrow Quay.
They catered for the backstage crew at the recent Paolo Nutini and Pogues concerts in the Amphitheatre a month or two ago, and now have the pleasure of getting to know their regulars.
On the day of my visit, they had a selection of lovely sounding sandwiches all well-priced and all ready to go. I opted for the goat’s cheese and beetroot sandwich with a caramelised onion chutney (£3.50), and a latte (£2).
The coffee was hot, strong and with a silky consistency from the milk. So many lattes I have nowadays do not keep their heat, so I was pleased that this one did. The coffee at Ward & Williams is triple certified (organic, Fair trade & Rainforest Alliance), and supplied by Bristol Twenty. Bristol Twenty is the baby of Roy Ireland Espresso Services, based in Portishead. I will certainly be getting my coffee from here again on my way to work.
The sandwich was delicious as well with good quality bread from Herbert’s and a lovely smooth and creamy goat’s cheese. The caramelised onion chutney was also perfect with the goat’s cheese, and added a nice sweet hit to the sandwich. The whole thing was very fresh and wrapped nicely with their distinctive brand logo.
If you’re wondering where to go for lunch in the city centre, then it’s certainly worthwhile giving Ward & Williams a try. If you’re not a coffee fan then they have a range of teas from Drury, and their fruit and veg is from Gaines Greengrocers along the Wells Road. All of their milk and yoghurt is organic, they use local suppliers and their packaging (from BioPac and VegWare) is compostable. They also bake all of their own cakes – I’ll definitely give one a try next time! They also lovingly make their own coleslaw and hummus.
Ward & Williams trade from 7:30am to 3pm Monday to Friday, but are looking into opening on a Saturday too when the weather is good. They offer a loyalty scheme as well, and their offering is already proving very popular. I’m certainly going to be a regular.