There aren’t many delis with such a range of incredible cake. Our baker/patissier comes up with some superbly imaginative, stunning looking creations that disappear very quickly indeed! Cakes are available to eat in our cafe, for takeaway from the deli, or you can order cakes and puddings for your event or party.
Her sweet canapes are to die for – from mini lemon tarts, brownies, meringues, chocolate stuffed canoli, baklava, nougat – the list goes on and on in the most delightful way.
You can order whole cakes for celebrations, a wedding cake or pudding for your event or party. Click on the event catering menus above to choices, or if you can’t see what you’re looking for, get in touch.
Our food to go service is perfect for so many events:
work celebration – you want something informal & cost effective
party at home – don’t want waiters and formalities
wedding – day after party – you still want to see all your guests and feed them but don’t want the hassle of doing it yourself or expense of bringing in a caterer
birthday party – you’ve wanted to do it for ages but the sheer effort involved in cooking, preparing puts you off
We only make food that we’d be proud to serve at our own party – and we have high expectations!
Our talented chefs love food and create some superbly imaginative, delicious dishes for you to take away (or we can deliver) and lay out or re-heat. It’s so easy. And it actually doesn’t cost a lot more than if you went and bought all the ingredients yourself (and factored in all the time and hassle involved in a few days’ preparation!!).
To give you an idea of what we do….
Venison stew for 140 with salads and sides for a customer wanting to thank their staff and best clients on a Wintery night.
Delicious salads for 80 with charcuterie and cheeses for a newly married couple inviting guests back the next day to picnic in their field.
Aubergine parmigiana for 35 with roast, spiced vegetables and salads for a local art group celebrating their 10th anniversary
Salmon en croute for 50 with potato dauphinoise and greens for a letting agent wanting to thank some of their clients.
A big birthday for 100 guests starting with canapés and special gin and tonics, a sit down sharing feast followed by cheese and pudding boards of churros, meringues, fruit pastilles and chocolate truffles.
Simon and I set up the deli 15 years ago. We wanted to create somewhere that provided delicious, simple food, made from scratch for customers to eat on site and take away for dinner parties or a healthy lunch. Simon made incredible salads with pulses, vibrantly coloured vegetables, nuts, cheeses – all absolutely delicious and wonderfully nutritious (this was in the days before the British fell in love with Ottolenghi). We also wanted to showcase fine foods, made by small artisan producers from across Europe and locally, from cheese to chocolate. We go excited about new suppliers and produce and enthused about them to customers. I worked in the deli, with Mark, a fellow foodie, whilst Simon cooked in the small kitchen at the back, making food for the takeaway counter. Customers started asking if we could provide food for parties and events, and the catering side started to grow. Above the deli, we had an empty storeroom and soon we realised that this space could be better used as a cafe. Papa continued cooking in the tiny kitchen downstairs and we ran the food through the deli upstairs to customers. We soon had queues for tables as there were few places offering simple, nutritious food with big flavours.
Washing everything up by hand and the tiny kitchen became slightly ridiculous so we decided to invest in an upstairs kitchen and a dishwasher. What a difference this made! We opened monthly for supper evenings (something initiated by our chef Ben who has since set up the brilliant and super popular Pasta Loco). There was soon a waiting list for these sociable little supper pop ups.
They came to film Mistresses….
We were very excited when the BBC approached us to use the deli as a venue for Mistresses . All filmed in Bristol, it became a huge hit and people still ask us about the handsome deli owner and the steamy love scene in the upstairs kitchen all these years later. They kept the name Papadeli and featured our logo on aprons and tshirts, which was such a stroke of luck for us. There were Mistresses tours of Bristol and we were often asked where the deli owner was…..
Primary school visits
Some of the high points for me were our annual visit from St John’s primary school’s reception classes. They would make their way down, hand in hand, sit in the cafe and sample salami and cheeses, visit the deli to explore the colours and shapes before leaving, all with little Papadeli goodie bags. Tomos and Sam, our two boys came as tiny four year olds and I always felt immensely proud to see them leaving with their friends, clutching their little Papadeli bags.
Since then, we have opened a cafe at the stunning Royal West of England Academy, spent five years there feeding some lovely people, before closing it a year ago when we won a large catering contract which meant we had to decide between catering and cafes. We realise that there are now so many great cafes around the area, that we are perhaps better focusing on feeding wedding guests, local businesses and guests at some of the cities wonderful venues (Colston Hall, St George’s, Circomedia, RWA).
We built a catering kitchen and cookery school
With our catering orders increasing, we invested further and built a second storey, creating a dedicated catering kitchen. Our brilliant chefs produce stunning food that always takes my breath away, even after all these years of good food! In the evenings, twice a month, we hold cookery classes – small (a maximum of 10 people) and very hands on, these have become very popular with classes selling out. I recently met someone who’d been to a class and she said she loved it for the superb quality ingredients, wonderful atmosphere and friendly feel. Everyone works around a large slate table before sitting down at the end to enjoy their creations. With a few glasses of wine and the excitement of working together to create beautiful dishes (along with a brilliantly skilful teacher, Alexis), everyone learns plenty and enjoys getting to know others during the evening.
Still loving good food
That has more or less brought us up to present day. We still stock some of our original favourites, including Dorset’s Chococo, Prestat, Rococo, which couldn’t previously be found in Bristol, along with lots of new artisan produce including superb British cheeses, chocolates made in Bristol, local gin and we’re constantly on the look out for original, delicious and hard to find delicacies. Christmas is still a magical time in the deli with handmade panettone arriving by the truckload and Papadeli mince pies flying off the counter.
I get out and about a lot and pretty much everyone I speak to has good things to say about Papadeli – if they haven’t sampled our food at an event, been to the deli or a cookery class, then they have heard good things said about us. This really makes me feel proud and I absolutely know that it’s all down to the talented, enthusiastic, dedicated people who work and who have worked at Papadeli (and our loyal, food loving customers).
I no longer work in the deli as our staff know far more about food and running a deli than I do. I focus on marketing and bits and pieces behind the scenes and works with our brilliant team of chefs and catering experts on site.
A bit about Papa, Simon MacDonnell
Simon MacDonnell had a dream of being a chef when I met him in Barcelona some twenty years ago now. He was teaching English to Spanish students and was very excited about Spanish produce & ingredients. He told me he’d like to open a restaurant one day as he loved food so much it would be his dream come true to work with food as a job.
He was my flatmate then and whilst we (the lazy layabout flatmates) were getting by on eating out quite a lot of the time, he was creating imaginative, beautiful dishes using some pretty daring (for us!) ingredients from the local markets. His passion for food was undeniable.
London & Leith’s, gastro pubs & chefs
Fast forward just over 10 years and he left his teaching job in London and risked it all to train at Leith’s School of Food and Wine. He was lucky enough to experience the kitchens of many wonderful restaurants during that time including Harvey Nichols’ famous fifth floor, Rick Stein’s in Padstow, Alastair Little’s, The Sugar Club before accepting a job at the then cutting edge Engineer gastro pub in Primrose Hill. It was a great time for gastro pubs and clientele included Kate Winslet, Oasis, Raymond Blanc, Harold Pinter. Menus were exciting and new – it was such a step away from the traditional pub fayre. Here Simon met chefs from all over the world – Patcheree, a brilliant Thai chef who still comes down to Papadeli to run Thai cookery classes and others from Brazil, Sierra Leone, France and Italy.
Five years in London found us eating in so many restaurants – from The River Cafe to Pane e Vino on Kentish Town Road, which served Sardinian food that couldn’t be beaten. We spent most of our earnings on food – enjoying the Camden Square local bistro, Lord Stanley pub not to mention the host of newbies on Upper Street in Islington and other gastro pubs like the Eagle and the Anglesea Arms.
Itching to open our own place, we decided to move back to where Simon grew up – Bristol and see where it would take us.
Simon persuaded Barney Haughton chef-owner of the unforgettable Rocinantes and later Quartier Vert to give him a job. Here he met some of Bristol’s best chefs and learned an incredible amount from Barney about the importance of being authentic with food. Rocinantes and Quartier Vert really shaped and influenced the Bristol food scene, and it could be said that the richness of choice and type of restaurants around now wouldn’t be here without that great establishment.
Papa & our deli
Tomos, our first son was born in 2001 and our dreams of owning a restaurant shifted a little. We both wanted to spend time with Tom and realised the hours of a restaurant would not work for us. There were few delis in Bristol then and when we saw a property vacant on Alma Road, we jumped on it and hoped it could work as a local deli. Simon wanted to continue cooking, and so set up a takeaway food counter, which enabled him to work sensible (ish!) hours and still make good food. He was known as Papa at Quartier Vert, having just become one, and when discussing our deli plans, his mate Mark who became Papadeli’s first manager, said “why not call it Papadeli!”
Cafe & another baby
Our dreams of having a restaurant came true in the form of an upstairs cafe (still only open during the day as it opened in 2003 when our second son, Sam was born). No dishwasher and no upstairs kitchen meant dishes were all made in the back of the deli and run upstairs by the wonderful Kelly. People loved it and we were happy.
As his wife, I can say he still gets excited about food – he still cooks at home and spends hours planning dinner parties. We still adore eating out and marvel at how the foodie landscape has changed in Bristol. It’s such a vibrant, entrepreneurial city and food is very much at its heart.
Simon maintains a low profile – he keeps his head down, doing his best to make sure Papadeli is remains a great local food business. We are lucky to have wonderful staff who feel the same as we do about food and because (I think) he’s a lovely boss, they tend to stay. We are so lucky to be surrounded by superb food, lovely people, living in our favourite city surrounded by family and friends.
It will be interesting to see how the city changes and where we next take Papadeli.
Recipes from Papa – Click on the picture or link. Enjoy!
Papadeli chefs create delicious meals for takeaway in the deli, in the cafe and at catering events and we often get asked how they’re made. We will be posting recipes on the website as often as possible. For more information about our foodie events, cookery classes and recipes, please subscribe (box on the right) so that we can put you on our mailing list. We don’t send mailings out very often and never share your details with third parties.
Our recipes will be for tapas, canapes ideas, main courses (stews, casseroles, fish cakes etc), our deliciously original salads and cakes that are served at parties and are available also at the deli counter in Alma Road.
Our cakes are also available at our other cafe at the Royal Academy of the arts, Queen’s Road, Clifton. Also know as the RWA.
Please contact us if you’d like to know more about our catering or cookery classes on 0117 973 6569 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We have lots of wedding catering experience and have a reputation for imaginative, delicious and nutritious food. Our staff are polite, discrete & brilliantly organised, so you know you can sit back and enjoy your big day.
Email us with your catering ideas and questions: email@example.com
A big thank from us both for your contribution to our amazing wedding day. We received lots of complimentary messages about the wonderful food. Lots of people wanted to know who had provided the catering and we made sure you were prominently credited on the menu!” Liz
As a reputable Bristol caterer, we specialise in sharing feasts for weddings – plentiful boards and bowls of delicious and nutritious foods on each table for guests to get stuck into together – it’s a great way to get them all chatting to each other and raving about the food! Many happy couples feed their guests Papadeli canapés to start and like to finish off with stunning artisan cheeses.
Choose from tangines, curries, casseroles, salmon en croute, made with free range meat or delicious pulses for a vegetarian option.
If you don’t want something hot, we can cover the tables with the most delicious artisan charcuterie and meats, artisan cheeses, a host of imaginative pickles and chutneys, the vegetables/salads, beautiful breads – stunning to look at and simply delicious to taste.
And then it’s time for puddings!
Some original ideas for wedding food
picnic boxes full of treats for guests to share in a sunny field
big rustic boards of our gorgeous salads, charcuterie, artisan cheeses, pickles, Ploughman’s for the table to get tuck into together – a great way for guests to get talking!
delicious lasagne followed by a 3 tiered cheese tower, for a bride who wasn’t keen on sweet things!
tasty curries followed by fruit platters then cheesecake.
From the traditional to the contemporary and original, let us feed you on your wedding day. For large or intimate weddings, we will provide beautiful, tasty food made with local, seasonal ingredients.
Give us a ring to chat through your wedding food requirements.
Order a beautiful tower of cheese wheels from us. Our trained cheesemonger, Jo can advise on cheese. They make a beautiful alternative to wedding cake!
Some comments from happy customers…
“We had so many positive comments about the food – it was absolutely perfect! I really don’t know how you could make it so delicious, with no kitchen for 80 people. That really requires great talent and experience” Chrystal
“Thank you so much for all your help with wonderful food for our wedding. We are so pleased you were able to cater for us and for us to enjoy the delicious food and show off Bristol!” Georgina
I just wanted to send a thank you on behalf of St George’s for your help with last night’s event. It was wonderful – thanks in great part to the delicious food which went down a treat. I’m also immensely grateful for the warmth, speed and professionalism of the Papadeli team.
We make beautiful, creative, delicious food for all types of events and occasions.
I just wanted to thank you and your team for the brilliant job that you all did on Thursday evening, the canapés were delicious and looked fab and there was a constant flow being passed around. The evening went seamlessly… We will definitely use your services again and would be extremely happy to recommend you to family, friends and other business colleagues.
It was an absolute pleasure working with you and your team. I look forward to collaborating with you and your colleagues in the future as we plan to hold a cookery workshop as discussed during our tour of your lovely premises and will also order a picnic from you for our visit to the kite festival in August.
Natalie Collare, Director, Studio Hive, Clifton, Bristol.
Whether it’s a buffet for 200, a canapé party for 50 or a working lunch, we provide creative, delicious and nutritious food for your event. Depending on your event, we can deliver, provide waiting staff or arrange for you to pick up your order and save on cost. Get in touch to discuss your needs.
We have put on some NEW classes for Autumn / Winter, so if you have already been, and want to come back, there will be lots of new classes to choose from with new dishes and recipes. Many are vegetarian or pescatarian and we offer a vegan class, too.
Our Bristol cookery school has a great reputation for fun, informative classes, taught by professional chefs (see timetable below). They sell out quickly, so please book soon!
We will add new classes to the current list, so do keep an eye out or sign up to our mailing list.
Corporate and bespoke cookery classes – read more here.
Hands on, informative, informal.
A number of starters, mains and puddings are created using the finest ingredients. Once demonstrated, you get to put your learning to use and recreate what you’ve learnt. Then you get to eat it! There is usually a Papadeli goody bag of what you’ve made to take home too.
Our cookery school is on Alma Road, Clifton, in a sunny and light top floor kitchen. Use all those wonderful deli ingredients to produces flavoursome, imaginative dishes.
Evening classes run 6-9pm
What to bring: Just yourself – we supply everything.
All classes are £95 including all tuition and ingredients and wine/soft drink.
A wonderful selection of classes to bring you some classics as well as new dishes using the finest ingredients. Taught by highly accomplished chef (she is one of the best in Bristol), Alexis John, who teaches with humour and warmth. She makes everyone feel comfortable, no matter what their level. Classes are fun and informative. Don’t hang about, book now!
Rgaïf- Msemen (Moroccan Flat Bread)
Spiced chicken filo cigars
Chicken, preserved lemon & olive tagine
Green herb & Pistachio couscous
M’hanncha- filo pastry filled with almond paste, pistachio & cinnamon
and scented with orange blossom water
Pickled cherry peppers stuffed with tuna, capers, and anchovy
Polpette di melanzane – aubergine fritters
Ravioli alla Calabrese – Calabrian ravioli filled with provola, soppressata and pecorino
Som Tam Thai – Papaya Salad
Plaa Phao Kleua w/ Naam Jim Seafood – Salt crusted fish with spicy, tart dipping sauce
Phat Khanaeng – Stir fried brussel sprouts
Muu – Sateh – Pork Satay
Phat Thai – Prawn & tofu pad thai
Crispy Duck chinese pancakes
Butternut squash, ricotta & spinach empanadillas
Gremolata prawn & chorizo skewer
Scallops in pancetta with rosemary
Babaganoush, pomegranate in red chicory
Leek and parmesan filo tartlets