Flour & Ash was the first place I ate when I moved to Bristol, and because memories are more vivid when there's food involved, I like to think this was one of the more poignant moments in my life. But even if you aren't sharing a pizza and a bottle of wine with your mum, crying at the prospect of leaving home (for the second time) to live in a city not even an hour away from home, I promise you're going to love Flour & Ash.
It's simple – in the kitchen is a massive wood-fired oven in which hand-stretched sourdough pizzas are cooked to charred, chewy, crispy perfection. Paired with the most incredible toppings and unusual combinations are pizzas unlike anything else you'll taste in the UK. I'm not exaggerating. Pizza is Flour & Ash's thing, and ice cream is the only dessert on the menu – but we'll get to that later.
On this particular evening I was out with my mum and dad (no tears this time). My dad ordered the prawns and my mum and I the polenta chips to start. The polenta chips – with truffle & parmesan – were crisp on the outside, fluffy on the inside, light and rich all at the same time and put Jamie's Italian offering to shame. I could eat a whole plate of these for dinner and die happy. But we ordered pizza, of course.
What's great about Flour & Ash is that they have vegan and tomato-free options, and Mum's leek & pancetta pizza was a creamy bechamel number which was just out-of-this-world delicious. These are a lot richer than the tomato sauce pizzas, bu irresistable in their indulgence. I picked the spicy chorizo pizza which had this fresh, creamy cheese on top – not unlike buffalo mozzarella – and it was one of my favourites to date. It was very spicy so I had to save some and take it home with me, but it tasted even better cold the next day.
Sourdough is the kind of bread that I could just eat and eat and eat. It's deliciously moreish and paired with the toppings make the best pizza I've ever had outside of Italy. Their ice cream – at £3 a flavour – is also fantastic, with quirky flavours such as cardamom, basil, bayleaf, and blackcurrant sorbet, to name a few. What's more – they do a £9 deal before 6.30pm every day, including lunchtimes. Flour & Ash has got the art of authentic Italian food spot on, and along with the fantastic service and warm atmosphere, it's got to be one of the best. I've yet to find a better offering, anyway.