BEST DRINKS IN BRISTOL, proclaims the Mr Lahey’s website. Tucked away on Picton Street, this organic and 100% vegan juice bar is a calm and peaceful haven just a stone’s throw from the hustle and bustle of Stokes Croft, and is the polar opposite in its offering of Oowee Diner, which sits just across the road.
Having opened in mid-2018, Mr Lahey’s serves all manner of hot and cold vegan drinks, with most of their ingredients coming from Radford Mill Farm Shop, which is just next door. Even better, the group of friends behind Mr Lahey’s even give all of the pulp from their freshly squeezed juices back to Radford Mill, so it can be composted and used to grow more organic fruit and veg…how’s that for local and sustainable?
It’s by no means a large place, but it has an immediately calming effect once you walk through the door: the peace of the interior is a far cry from the hot pink of the juice bar’s façade. Just a scattering of tables and chairs sit nestled between the wood-clad walls which are festooned with plants, including some – like cherry tomatoes – which you can buy to take home and nurture yourself.
Despite its name, the menu isn’t all juices, either. The juices you will find, though, are all cold-pressed – which retains more of the good stuff – and there’s plenty of variety, too. From the simple OJL (oranges and lemon) for £3.25 to their signature Mr Lahey’s Kleanze (kale, pineapple, celery, cucumber, parsley, mint, lemon, apple and apple cider vinegar) for £4.50, they’re all very reasonably priced, too.
Juice shots and smoothies (including some blended with Booja–Booja vegan ice cream) make up more of the menu, along with a variety of hot drinks, from traditional flat whites and lattes (with a choice of oat or almond milk) to a superfood hot chocolate made with cacao, turmeric, maca root, coconut oil, cacao butter and maple syrup. The most you’ll pay is £6 (for a large ice cream-based smoothie), making Mr Lahey’s far more competitive than many of the city’s juice bars. And if the standard menu isn’t enough, you can add CBD (there’s various literature heralding its benefits on the counter) to any order for an extra £1.50.
Having ordered and paid we were told our drinks would be brought over…and we headed out the back to the suntrap of a garden that’s hiding behind the juice bar. Despite it being a warm and sunny day, it was totally empty when we arrived…but, unsurprisingly, soon filled up.
An oasis of calm with plenty of potted plants and wind chimes to take the cares away (or, in our case, to keep the small person entertained), it was a lovely place to sit and soak up some sunshine. And the arrival of our drinks made it all the better.
Chris surprised me and ordered his first ever turmeric latte (£3.50) made with almond milk, the warming golden spice having been given extra punch and pizazz with further spices, a syrupy sweetness and what tasted like a touch of coconut oil for added exoticism and creaminess.
For me, a matcha latte (£3.75), which I have to say was the best I’ve had in Bristol. I also chose mine with almond milk, and with the decadence of the added cacao butter and the sweetness of the maple syrup countering the potential bitterness of the green tea, there was plenty of matcha flavour without it being over-potent.
Plus, look how pretty and Instagrammable their drinks are…
It’s not often I comment on a place’s toilets, but this time I’m going to, purely because Mr Lahey’s single bathroom (which is in a little shed-style place in the garden) is pretty well equipped. The room might need a little TLC, but with a decent-sized baby changing table – complete with padded mat and baby wipes – and free organic non-plastic tampons for ladies who may be in need, it’s little touches like this that really stand out.
Best matcha and turmeric lattes in Bristol that I’ve tried so far, that’s for sure. Would anyone care to disagree…?