A chat with Alice and Jo from the Bristol Food Tour…

Best friends Alice and Jo are getting to be familiar faces to many of Bristol’s best independents. Since launching their walking tours of Bristol, they’ve grown in popularity and these days you need to book well ahead if you want to explore the city under their guidance. I recently caught up with them to ask a few questions.

How did you come up with the idea for the Bristol Food Tour?
Both of us have done food tours in other countries: Alice in New York and Jo in Madurai, India. We both reckon that sampling the best of what somewhere has to offer and being shown insights into a city’s food culture is a brilliant way to get a flavour for a place. Bristol is such a buzzing foodie city and we wondered why it didn’t have a food tour that appeals to tourists and locals and showcases the best independent food venues. So we decided to create one! We knew we wanted to do Bristol proud and make it something really great that would get people talking, so we started working together to plan where we would love to take people to try some of our favourite foods. And we quickly realised that two heads are definitely better than one!

What are the biggest challenges about running a business with your best friend?
Honestly, we don’t have any. It’s super easy because we’re both really passionate about what we’ve created together. We’re proud of Bristol’s independent food scene, and we just love the city itself, and enjoy showing it off on our tours. And it honestly doesn’t feel like work! We have a blast meeting new people every week, building relationships with business owners, planning new routes, and of course getting to eat loads of delicious food!

Who does what within the business?
We both run the social media side of things and do the tours together as often as we can. The only thing Alice does solo is Excel spreadsheets… I have no hope of understanding that stuff!

What’s the funniest thing that has ever happened on a tour?
Someone tried to get involved on a tour while we were trying some food in one of our favourite stop-offs. Pretty awkward but the owner of the venue politely informed them it was a private tour!

I’m obsessing over brunch at the moment. Do you have an absolute favourite place in the city for breakfast, brunch or lunch?
Without a doubt, Ceres in Stokes Croft is our favourite place for brunch. The chef and owner Dan Ingram is the nicest guy and super talented and passionate about what he does. His place is the dream location for us to stop at on the tours because he’s got such a great story behind Ceres and the dishes he creates. And everything he makes is delectable.

If you could each only eat one type of food for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?
(Jo) Indian food because I find it to be the ultimate comfort food. It can surprise you with its complexity of flavours or wow you in its relative simplicity. The best Indian food is homemade family dishes!
(Alice) I think Italian food, I’m still yet to visit but I’m a sucker for pizza, pasta and gelato!

Sum up Bristol’s foodie scene in three words…
Diverse, buzzing, delicious.

Alex Ryder
The author:

Alex is a Midlands girl who now lives in Bristol. She writes food blog Gingey Bites and loves nothing more than eating out and experimenting in the kitchen. When she's not doing that, she works as a freelance marketeer and can often be found up on the Downs walking off the pot belly!