We Bristolians like to do things differently, and nowhere is this more evident than on the city’s vibrant food and drink circuit. Driven by a unique culture of creativity and fierce independence, and supported by a wealth of cracking local produce, Bristol has established itself as a force to be reckoned with on the national food and drink scene. And a thriving Bristol PR industry focussed on the food and drink sector has flourished as a consequence, with the newest kid on the block being leading lifestyle comms agency Wild West’s new Bristol office.

Wild West is a southwest public relations agency based in Truro, with a sister agency, Wild Card, in London. I am really excited to be heading up the new Bristol office and its opening is testament to the city’s wonderful food and drink scene.

This week the Bristol Good Food Awards has been celebrating the best of the bunch. As a food PR based in Bristol, these awards are a key event in my calendar. With nominations coming from more than 60,000 members of the public, and judged by a panel of experts, the awards showcase the restaurants and producers that have made a particular mark in 2016. 
The coveted Best Restaurant award goes to Casa Mia, capping off a storming year for the Michelin starred Peter Sanchez and his team. A move to the stunning Bristol General Hospital earlier this year was followed by the news in September that the restaurant had become one of only 13 in the UK to earn 5 AA Rosettes. Not content with this remarkable success, the team recently launched a second venue, Pi Shop, and opened the doors to another, Paco Tapas this week. 
Another top award is for Best Chef, which this year goes to George Livesey of Bulrush. Chef and owner, George, only took over the former greengrocer’s shop earlier this year, and has already been identified as a rising star for serving up an exciting menu. 
Jamie Randall of Adelina Yard was Highly Commended in the same category. With an impressive career in London under his belt, Jamie made the move to Bristol in January, and the opening of his small but perfectly formed restaurant has been one of the most talked about this year. 
Pasta Loco is another new opening to enjoy success at this year’s awards, scooping the prize for Best Italian. Having set up in Cotham just a few short months ago, owners and cousins Dom and Ben have got Bristol very excited about Italian cuisine again. 
The rest of the list of winners and finalists reads like a guide to the best of the best of what’s on offer in the city. It’s by no means exhaustive – Bristol is awash with excellence and there are some fantastic venues and producers not featured – but if you’re looking for inspiration for your next foodie experience, you won’t be disappointed.

Laura Tomlinson - Wild West Comms

Words: Laura Tomlinson

Senior Account Director at Wild West Comms