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Every good Bristolian knows that if there’s one time to avoid Clifton Village it’s probably Saturday afternoon. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good potter round all of the lovely little shops in the village as much as the next person, but Saturdays are always so busy that even the most patient of shopper’s is at risk of having a paddy on the pavement.
However, in the midst of the chaos there’s a little oasis of calm, and it’s called Cordial and Grace.
I’ve been to Cordial and Grace a couple of times now, and every time I’m surprised by how different it is to all of the other coffee shops in Clifton. Walking into Cafe Nero or Coffee 1 is like going to war with the pushchairs, but Cordial and Grace is cosy, calm and unassuming.
A lot of this is probably down to it’s size – it’s pretty dinky. But if you’re lucky enough to get a seat then make the most of it, as it’s a lovely place to while away a couple of hours, and with free refills on all teas, it’s easily done.
As well as being a tea shop, Cordial and Grace doubles up as sewing cafe, where you can pay just £5 to hire a sewing machine for an hour, which includes a hot drink. For the more inexperienced sewer there are various workshops and ‘sew along sessions’ running throughout the week, as well as additional classes teaching knitting, lampshade making and dress making.
But back to the food…
Cordial and Grace serves all sorts of quintessentially English ‘light bites’ (think crumpets, afternoon tea, cream tea) all throughout the day, but one thing not to be missed is their home made selection of cakes. Beautifully displayed on the counter, their cakes get me every time, and that’s coming from someone who definitely doesn’t have a sweet tooth!
The last time I visited I opted for the Pistachio and Cranberry Millionaire’s slice; an unusual take on the classic Millionaire’s Shortbread. Polly went for the Apple and Cinnamon cream tea, which arrived warm as it’d been freshly baked to order! We topped this off with a couple of rounds of coffee and loose leaf Earl Grey (they have a great selection of teas from the lovely guys at Lahloo Tea) and we were set for the afternoon.
Cordial and Grace is definitely one for the girls (it’ll bring out the craft nut in you!) but boys, don’t be put off. If you find yourself stuck in the chaos of Clifton Village in the pre-Christmas shopping madness then pop into Cordial and Grace for a cuppa – you’ll come out feeling human again!