St George’s promises music lovers taste of excellence as it opens new café bar

January 11, 2019

Music venue St George’s Bristol will officially launch its daytime café bar menu next Wednesday as it continues to develop its offering following the opening of its showpiece £6.3m extension last year.

The café bar, on the ground floor of the extension, gives visitors the chance to view the installation of ‘Apollo’ – the glass sculpture designed by Bristol artist Luke Jerram – as well as the venue’s garden. 

The unique 3m-high work is based a sound file of music by world-leading contemporary composer Philip Glass – who has performed at St George’s – and consists of 100 glass roundels, each sponsored by a donor to the appeal that part-funded the extension.

The menu has been created by St George’s chef Oakan Brousse, who has worked in restaurants, private clubs and for event planners in Bristol, Norfolk, London and France.

Visitors to the all-day venue can start with breakfast from 10am, tuck into lunch between noon and 3pm and enjoy sourdough sandwiches to 5pm. Homemade cakes, biscuits and sweet treats are available throughout the day. Tapas-style pre-concert food from 6pm is planned for later in the new concert season as St George’s looks to widen its catering offering further.

Arts and cultural venues such as St George’s and Bristol Old Vic, which last year opened its own all-day café bar as part of its extensive refurbishment, are increasingly reliant on income from areas such as catering and venue hire to make up for shortfalls in traditional funding.

All spaces in St George’s pavilion-style extension, which includes two multipurpose spaces on its upper floor for music and spoken word performances and education workshops. are available for corporate and private venue hire, as well as its historic main hall. 

St George’s also has a new heritage exhibition space ‘Our Story’, which is free to visitors.

To celebrate the launch there will be discounts off food and drink orders with the promotion code of ‘new menu’ throughout January.

French-born Oakan trained as a pastry chef and further honed his skills at the acclaimed Berwick Lodge – holder of the 2AA Rosette Award. His previous jobs have included The Lamb Inn in Burford, Oxfordshire (3AA Rosette Award), The Swan in Norfolk (2AA Rosette Award), The In & Out Naval and Military Club in Soho, and leading luxury event caterers Urban Caprice in London.

Oakan said: “At a very young age I developed a passion for food and the creativity surrounding each and every dish.

“Growing up in France, I had an amazing variety of beautiful and fresh ingredients at my fingertips. I fell in love with food. I have spent the last eight years developing my skills, working with some of the best restaurants, hotels and event planners. It is wonderful to be in charge of my own kitchen.”

Café bar manager Gui Petrini added: “We are delighted Oakan, a highly experienced and accomplished chef, has joined the café bar team at St George’s Bristol. Oakan is passionate about food, and seeks out fresh ingredients to create exciting dishes, packed with flavour.

“The Café Bar is a light contemporary space, with Luke Jerram’s exquisite glass sculpture and with views over the garden.

“And as we are a charity, café bar visitors are not only able to savour beautiful food, they are also supporting St George’s work bringing world-class musicians to Bristol and delivering our learning and participation programme.”

St George’s Bristol, off Park Street, is supported by Arts Council England, Heritage Lottery Fund and Bristol City Council as well as charitable trusts, corporate and individual donors and its members.

The new lunchtime menu includes:

  • Cauliflower and cheese: roasted cauliflower, three-cheese sauce, almond gremolata, cauliflower pickles, sorrel, Parmesan crisp
  • Pork and potato: cured pork belly, potato puree, smoked pancetta crumb, roasted tomato, garlic kale, chicken and cider reduction
  • Celeriac and walnut: charred celeriac, roasted celeriac puree, shallot confit and walnut bonbon, pickled walnuts, spinach, fresh herb salsa (VG)
  • Soup of the Day with sourdough bread and butter



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