In many ways, the Boston Tea Party on Bristol’s Park Street, where the Boston Tea Party chain began, is also where the Coffee Spot started, albeit a good few years later. It’s the first place that I wrote about, the first Coffee Spot being published three years and two days ago on 28th September 2012. As the Coffee Spot heads into its fourth year, it seems only fitting that I should revisit where it all began.
So, what’s changed in that time? Well, quite a bit, actually. The coffee is still the same, the Tea Party favouring a bespoke Extract Coffee Roasters’ seasonal espresso blend, and while the food menu has gone through some iterations, it’s still the same core of excellent cakes and all-day breakfasts.
No, what’s actually changed is the place itself. Well, not so much changed, just expanded. Since I was last there three years ago, the seating has pretty much doubled, with the Tea Party adding a second garden and a second upstairs room.
You can see what I found after the gallery.
From the street, the Boston Tea Party looks pretty much the same, occupying the ground and first floors of a tall, thin building near the top of Park Street. However, look a little closer and you’ll see people sitting in windows in the building to the left, above a bookmakers. That’s the first clue that something is up.
Downstairs however, nothing much has changed. You still queue up to order, just as you did, and still wait at the counter’s end for your coffee and cake. If you’re having food, you need to find a table first, then tell the staff your number when you order. Personally I preferred it when they gave you stick with a number on it, but I can see the advantage of this system (mostly it stops the staff having to walk around multiple spaces looking for “Number 5” when you’ve accidentally hidden it behind the ketchup…).
Heading upstairs, you see the first major change. At first the famous upstairs coffee lounge, which stretches out in front of you, doesn’t seem that different, although the furniture has moved around a bit since I was last here. However, turn to your right and, in the smaller back room, which overlooks the garden, you realise that the wall on the right-hand side isn’t there any more…
Stepping through, you find that the Tea Party has taken over the entire first floor above the bookmakers below. Since this is the end of the terrace, there are a lot more windows up here, all along the right-hand wall in fact, plus those at front and back. What’s more, unlike the original lounge, this space isn’t divided into front and back rooms, resulting in a single, bright, airy space, with three rows of tables, one along each wall and one up the centre.
The other surprise awaits when you go out into the garden. At first glance, this is the same, multi-terraced affair. However, to the right, a short flight of steps leads up to the space behind the building on the right (whereas the additional upstairs space is above the building on the left). Here you’ll find another multi-terraced garden, much like the first, but, just as with the upstairs, feeling slightly more open and less cluttered.
So, there you have it. The same old Boston Tea Party, only twice as big and, in my opinion, just as good.
Don’t forget the original Boston Tea Party Coffee Spot, which includes the complete write-up and an updated gallery. The Boston Tea Party was also a runner-up for the Coffee Spot Award for Best Outdoor Seating in 2015.
|75 PARK STREET • BRISTOL • BS1 5PF|
|www.bostonteaparty.co.uk||+44 (0)117 929 8601|
|Monday||07:00 – 20:00||Roaster||Extract (espresso + filter)|
|Tuesday||07:00 – 20:00||Seating||Tables, Comfy Chairs, Sofas, Bar, Outside|
|Wednesday||07:00 – 20:00||Food||Cakes, Breakfast, Lunch|
|Thursday||07:00 – 20:00||Service||Counter (Order at Counter for food)|
|Friday||07:00 – 20:00||Cards||Mastercard, Visa|
|Saturday||07:00 – 20:00||Wifi||Free|
|Sunday||08:00 – 19:00||Power||A few|
|Chain||Regional||Visits||Original: 7th September 2012|
|Update: 20th September 2015|
Liked this? Then don’t forget to check out the Coffee Spot Guide to Bristol for more great Coffee Spots.
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