CafeI:MMontpelier, £

I:M@Monty's Cafe

CafeI:MMontpelier, £
I:M@Monty's Cafe

Food 8.5  Drink: 7  Atmosphere: 9  Overall: 8

Monty’s Café is a stone’s throw from the booming Oowee Diner and a street away from Cheltenham Road, however it remains one of Bristol’s best-kept brunch secrets. A hidden gem in plain sight, this isn’t your typical café - the menu is meat-free, but if crispy hot waffles, crêpes, milkshakes and creamy gelato meet your need, I can promise that won’t go hungry here.

 
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Walking into Monty's Café feels like stepping into an artist’s cosy front room: overflowing flowers and plants dangle from the ceiling, a friendly cactus sits in the corner, and dainty illustrations of woodland animals line the walls. Next to the floor-to-ceiling window, a handful of quirky industrial lamps are available for customers to purchase. The atmosphere is incredibly inviting - the sort of place that makes you wish you had hours to while away, buried in a book or a board game. Manager May says the aims are simple: good food made with the best ingredients, in a café that is built for the community. They use as many local suppliers as possible, make nearly all of their own food, and stand in resolute defiance against the soulless café chains that flank every other cities' centres. In the current climate of contactless cards and self-checkouts, service with a smile makes all the difference. Montpelier has a huge mix of people, and Monty’s is proud to welcome them all in for a cuppa.

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Monty's menu is in-keeping with its aims of catering for the many and not the few, with stacks of waffles and savoury crepes, creamy pies and monstrous veggie breakfasts on offer. However, the avocado-munching hipsters among us (myself included) need not fear, for these guys also provide your daily dose of smashed avocado, greens, and oh-so-fresh juices. Breakfast covers everything from classic veggie and vegan fry-up, to eggs Benedict and fresh fruit salads, whilst lunch is comfort-food at its best: roasted veg and halloumi crepes, homemade pies, and the daily-changing specials.

Monty’s is all ears when it comes to the increasing trend in meat-free diets. There are plenty of places you can get a traditional full English close by, but they just do it there own way here. This self-confident but understated independence of so many eateries in this area of Bristol is what makes Montepelier so charismatic. After a full inspection of the menu, I greedily requested ‘The Full Monty’ (£8.95): two poached eggs on sourdough, roasted vine tomatoes, homemade beans, veggie sausages, grilled halloumi, chestnuts mushrooms *pause for breath* potato rosti, sautéed spinach and, 'cause I'm healthy, kale. After spending the morning slumped in the library, staring at a screen, this mean veggie feast really hit the spot. It would be rude not to give a special mention to the creamily soft mushrooms and crispy halloumi on this plate, as well as the perfectly poached eggs... oh all right and the rosti.

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Though our jeans felt sufficiently tighter at the end of this brekkie banquet, we shamelessly jumped at the mention of dessert - after all, it was shared between two of us... and who could resist a gloriously large banoffee waffle drizzled with toffee sauce and topped with white chocolate flakes, sliced banana, and a dollop of whipped cream... This waffle already claims the award for my guilty pleasure of 2018. Monty's Café have pricing down too, charging only £3.95 for poached eggs on toast with sautéed spinach and kale, £5 for their creamy leek pie with steamed veg, and £3.99 for their seriously indulgent waffles (and with a generous dollop of whipped cream, it’s a pretty sweet deal). The only setback we found was the scale of the lunch menu, with limited choices especially for vegans.

Matching homemade charm with great-tasting grub, a visit to Monty’s is that eatable hug you’ve been looking for. You can also find Monty’s on CityMunch, a free food app which offers 30% discount off food from many restaurants in Bristol during the week.

 

62 Bath Buildings, Bristol BS6 5PU

 

 

Helen Salter