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If I told you that we’d discovered a new hidden gem in Bristol I imagine your reaction would go a little like this…
“Another one?!” *rolls eyes*
Whether it’s cocktail bars, restaurants, bakeries or shops, Bristol’s positively bursting at the seams with amazing independents, discreetly tucked away and then inevitably shouted about by those in the know on social media. And guess what? We’ve only gone and found another one!
Club Haus (try saying it without pronouncing ‘Haus’ like Arnie) is tucked away in Welshback Gym. Yep, the concept baffled me first too, seeing as my only experience of cafes in gyms is one where you can buy polystyrene cups of weird ‘vegetable’ soup from a vending maching after you’ve been swimming. But trust me – it works.
Occupying the majority of Welshback’s ground floor Club Haus fuses gym chic – because that is a thing – with simple, modern and slightly hipster vibes. The floor is covered in reclaimed boards from an old school gym, complete with multi coloured tape markings, there are fixies on the wall and the furniture is artfully mismatched. But far from feeling too cool for school, Club Haus makes you want to settle in for the afternoon, with a good cup of coffee and a good book.
We popped down late on a Saturday morning on a quest for brunch. I may have uttered the words, “they’d better have some bloody avocado on the menu,” when we were parking, because I am one of those people, and much to my delight they did! The menu is simple, incorporating the classic full English with some more interesting combos on sourdough, plus a bar practically groaning with cakes, salads, frittatas and wait for it…black pudding scotch eggs! I chose the bacon sandwich with avocado and fig ketchup and Cloe did the same, adding eggs to hers because she lives dangerously.
One of the things that gives Club Haus it’s hidden gem status is not necessarily the fact that it’s in a rather unlikely location – it’s the fact that this location allows them the most amazing views over the river from their very own secluded terrace! Stretching the length of the cafe the covered terrace is quite honestly the perfect spot to while away an hour or so over a lazy brunch and watch the boats go by, which is exactly what we did – so much so that I narrowly escaped getting a parking ticket as we lost track of time!
After a few weeks of seriously healthy eating, the arrival of my bacon sandwich was enough to make me cry. Toasted sourdough, veritable slabs of bacon, rocket, delicious home made fig ketchup and a drizzle of herb oil. I don’t know whether it was the treat element or not, but I can safely say it was the best bacon sandwich I’ve ever had. After chatting to owner, John, through mouthfuls of sarnie we discovered that the bacon is provided by Buxton Butchers; local lads who supply meat to some of Bristol’s best restaurants, so it’s no surprise it’s as good as it was. To balance out our bacon sarnies we both opted for a green smoothie, which according to John contained “loads of green stuff”. It certainly looked like it did and it tasted pretty great too!
Club Haus serve breakfast all day, which makes them winners in my book, but they also serve lunch to eat in and takeaway and offer dinner and drinks in the evening. I really, really hope that it’s only a matter of time before people start discovering what a cracking little spot Club Haus is, as they’re a great bunch of people who are clearly passionate about food, and there’s no question about it – it shows!