by Tara King, The Hanwell Nest
If you were to judge a café by the quality of their flapjacks the M-Shed cafe would score full marks. These are flapjacks to be proud of. Not weedy Lego Duplo-sized snacks, but chunky, oaty, crumbly flapjacks that are neither too sweet or buttery. I shouldn’t skip straight to the treats though as the main courses are healthy, wholesome and delicious too. A generous plate of mixed salads including lentils and sundried tomatoes, couscous and fresh herbs, costs just £4.50. Also on the menu are homemade quiches with salad for £6.95 or a choice of hot paninis and sandwiches. My boys wolfed down a bowl of homemade tomato and basil pasta and a kids’ explorer box which contains a sandwich, fruit, crisps and drink, is great value at £3.90. The homemade salmon goujons for kids look great too.
Café décor is warm and contemporary with wooden floors, benches and chairs in a large airy space, floor-to-ceiling windows overlook the docks. After the mains, as the boys happily watched all the action out on the docks, we sipped steamy strong lattes served in large mugs and stashed flapjacks for later. I haven’t had a flapjack as good since and it’s given me just one extra reason to pop back to M Shed next time I’m in Bristol.
Like Bristol, the M Shed is an unpretentious, creative and eclectic place. Set on the dockside, this one year old museum tells the story of the history of the city. It’s an engaging and fun place to visit, packed with memorabilia, artefacts and oddities from the city. With 3,000 exhibits, wandering around M-Shed is a sensory journey where you stumble upon intriguing nuggets on the way.
Some exhibits evoke strong memories, others trigger a new interest or a reminder of a moment in history. The slavery exhibition was a moving introduction to Bristol’s role in the slave trade. My six year old loved the skateboard, my four year old the bright models of hot air balloons hanging high up in the sky of the gallery.
M Shed, Prince’s Wharf, Bristol. Admission free.