Monday, 30 March 2015

All Hail Beyond The Kale

It's tricky to write about this place without doing my classic over excited, tripping over my words, clapping like a seal (just ask Erica, it is a wonder to behold) because I'm so excited to talk about this little gem of a place tucked away in Bath's Green Park Station.  If I ever get into conversations on healthy eating, green juices, nut butters or coconut oil which I often do as it seems to be all the rage these days. Beyond the Kale is my number one recommendation in Bath! 

Beyond The Kale in Green Park Station

Now to some I know the health thing can be a bit daunting. It is always daunting to me on a Monday morning when I am trying to undo my mistakes of the weekend.  This is usually where my love for Beyond the Kale begins.  Monday, after the chaos of the school run, usually slightly blurry eyed from 'Sunday worship'.  (Sunday worship entails drinking far to much gin in my local village pub-there is nothing healthy about this I know) 

I'll head straight to Beyond the Kale for a mammoth dose of green goodness in the form of one of their glorious Blends.  It tastes amazing! A mixture that uses the whole fruits and vegetables so you get all the nutritional benefits. Ridiculously Tasty!

So it seems we're all putting beetroot in brownies, nuts and seed snacks in our bags and watching you tube videos of how to make your own almond milk (I have done all of these with varying success)
As time consuming as all this healthy food preparation is, It's clear that we are all striving for the same thing.  We want look and feel good and ultimately be healthier people.   Beyond the Kale is the foodie place that helps me on my mission to be healthy.  I love that I can pick up a 'Blend' in the morning, a super food salad or butternut squash curry for lunch and If I need something sweet, which I seem to be justifying most days at the moment, I can grab a deliciously healthy treat. Seriously if you are a cake lover like me you have got to try one of 'Kale's' Raw cakes, they are literally 'The Bomb!'(Really there is one called The Bomb made with dates, coconut, almond and peanut butter) Clever huh!

The Bomb!!! 

Beyond the Kale is a combination of cafe, takeaway and grocer.  It has the feel of a lovely old fashioned green grocer.  It's relaxing in here. In the busyness of the Saturday Farmers Market, I'll pop in for some time out, grab a juice and get some groceries. It's the polar opposite to shopping in a chaotic supermarket. It's just how shopping should be. 

Blends, Juices and Boosters. 

If you are a lover of healthy whole food and haven't found this place must go. You will fall in love. If you're not a lover of health food and find it all a bit overwhelming you should simply go and sample something utterly delicious that will make you feel great.  

ALL HAIL BEYOND THE KALE! Thank you for being there in my Monday morning time of need (really I do need you!) and supporting my mission to eat healthy.

Independent Bath Salutes you xxx

Saturday, 28 March 2015

Bath Farmers Market

You may buy now have noticed that Sarah and I have a slight food and coffee obsession! Don't panic, we'll be covering all independent businesses in time but for now let me tell you about one of Bath's greatest foodie success stories.

Bath farmers market, held in Green Park Station every Saturday is one of the best success stories Bath has to offer. It was the very first farmers market in the UK, set up in the mid 90s, and is today stronger than ever.

It's the diversity of the traders here that always surprises me. From the butchers and bakers you would expect to see, via the also to be expected cheese makers and green grocers to Jeffery serving wine and oysters at his pop-up oyster bar and Zoe the herbalist who brings years of nursing experience to her herbal medicine practice, there is something for everyone and still enough choice to properly whet your appetite.

The really great thing about this market is that it highlights, in one setting, the fact that having a great product, and being passionate about it really is the key. It was heartening to see such a thriving, vibrant market with traders really selling their products to loyal and new customers alike. Eddie at Round Hill Roastery was doing a roaring trade and still found time to give me flavour notes on all the blends they were selling. The Thoughtful Bread guys accommodated my dithering and helped me towards a delicious onion sourdough whilst serving known regulars, and my pastry love-in with Lovett Pies was delightful (as too was the pie by the way: sweet potato, squash & spinach with goats cheese and plum chutney if you were wondering).

As Sarah and I go through the process of  organising the first Independent Bath Awards we talk a lot about the criteria and how we want the judges to approach their task. One thing is becoming very clear to me: over and above the creative techniques all of Bath's independents need to employ in the dirty business of marketing (I can say that, I am a marketing manager), it is the simple strategy of loving your product and knowing and caring about your customers that sets independent businesses apart, a million miles apart in fact, from the high street. And I hope this is the essence that comes across in this blog - that Sarah and I are simply in awe of you all for creating businesses around your passions. 

As we work on the finer details of the awards we would love to hear from you if you think we have missed anything (or anyone!)or if you have any ideas. In the immortal words of my guilty pleasure McFly "it's all about you".
Eddie from Round Hill Roastery grinding my coffee
Green Park Station
Lovely Lovett Pies

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

A bugle call for The Foodie Bugle

Born out of The Foodie Bugle Journal this shop is a fascinating mix of grocer, cafe, kitchen & home wares shop and deli. 

The Foodie Bugle is crammed with things you want to eat, drink and buy (including all their furniture from Owl in the Ivy). This shop is the latest in a long line of great independent shops on Margaret's Buildings (more on these soon!). It is a bit off the beaten shopping track but only a stone's throw from The Royal Crescent and Circus, and even in Bath, off the beaten track is never more than a mini detour.

Silvana and her husband have created a cafe and shop that is just the right mix of things that work together perfectly - if you felt inclined you could fully stock your larder as well as your kitchen, garden shed and desk drawers. I simply couldn't resist a lovely crocheted blanket for my little one and keep meaning to go back to buy a big ball of brown string.

The cafe serves great soups, quiches, sandwiches and more. The Foodie Bugle is definitely worth a visit but leave yourself plenty of time to look around ...we left post lunch with veggie treats for supper and a strong desire to return for a longer second visit. 

I heartily recommend you follow them on Instagram too...not only will your feed fill up with sumptuous looking photographs of fresh fruit and vegetables along with the teams favourite ways to cook them, Silvana often also posts nutritional tips and information on the particular benefits of eating certain foods. Take this as our little bugle call to you all to check out this lovely store.

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Busy busy busy

It's all systems go here at IB HQ! We have now taken the plunge to bring you Bath's most exciting new awards...have a look around the blog and let us know what you think!

A love letter to Colonna & Hunter

Here at Indie HQ we spend the majority of our mornings discussing where to have lunch. It usually starts whilst we are eating breakfast...After a two hour debate and coinciding with my need for more coffee we hot footed it up to Colonna and Hunter. Now E has raved about this place for a while and my goodness my girls not wrong. Tucked up in Milsom Place is a little sanctuary. I love it's simplicity. Simple done well is a winning formula in my eyes. They sell craft beers and coffee and have a 'small' lunch menu. By small I mean one choice. Today was beans on toast. I did say simple! It was so good! We spent our time tasting the amazing craft beers-a girls gotta drink you know! E went for a zesty brew and of course I had my much needed coffee!!! The coffee here is immense.

Beans on Toast, coffee and Beer. Perfection on a wet March afternoon...

Things we love: 
It's space. A great place for a lunch meeting with big tables to accommodate.
It's design. I love the bottle green tiles, brick salt and pepper pots and the glass tapped water barrels. 
The simple food menu (I did notice a Crack Pie on the menu for desert- I'll be going back for this!)
The beers & the coffee.
Super lovely staff too xxx

Win! I think we'll be having more meetings here e!!!! Xxx

My love affair with Society Cafe

I think it is fair to say that both Sarah and I love Society Cafe on Kingsmead Square. That is a complete understatement. We are super fans! Every work day starts and ends with Society coffee and much of our time is taken up by discussing how much we love it. Since Adrian and Jane open their doors I dread to think how many Almond milk lattes I've drunk but I can safely say that I have enjoyed every single one. 

In their own words "Society Cafe is designed with all of us in mind" but it's hard to say exactly what makes Society such a great cafe. It obviously looks great and serves delicious, locally roasted Round Hill Roastery coffee, but it's a lot more than that. I often spend whole days studying at Society. There are days when I come into town with my son just to sit in there for a while drinking their delicious coffee and watching the world go by. We have meetings there. And this is perhaps the crux of what makes it such a great cafe: whether You're grabbing a quick takeaway or spending the majority of the day their Adrian and his staff could not make you feel more welcome. 

From week one they learnt my name and that personal touch, honed through years in the hotel trade, is certainly not missed on the huge number of regulars who I see there everyday.

There's a particular quality to all the staff to. Whether it's because they're all creative (most of them are also practising photographers) or whether it's just a love of awesome coffee that brings them all together, they are great to be around, interesting to talk to and have absolutely brilliant customer service. The first year I hosted Thanksgiving for example Ash gave me loads of advice on the dishes I absolutely could not miss out for an authentic American Thanksgiving meal…I mean THAT is a real service!

Adrian and Alistair
Having opened a second cafe in The Corridor last year, 2015 will see Society Cafe expand to other UK cities and I for one can't wait to see them all. 

If you've not sampled these little coffee gems yet then what are you waiting for! Get in there for a flat white or sample their ever changing guest blend. Take a look at the rolling exhibition of artwork (currently photographs taken by the team) or simply grab a magazine and sit back with a pot of tea as Bath flits about its business. But whatever you do "keep it sassy".

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Watch this space

We are busy collating ideas, collecting out thoughts and planning how best to deliver this celebration of independent businesses. Watch this space for the latest developments. S & E x