Buskers’ Banquet, Kitchen by KASK

Buskers’ Banquet, Kitchen by KASK

They wouldn’t know it was a Wednesday night. Kitchen by Kask on North Street is filled with chatter, wine glasses and foot stomping. Bristol24/7 have been invited to the first event of the Buskers’ Banquet winter festival, which brought a crowd together to enjoy Bristol’s hospitality and music, creating a stark contrast to the inclement February weather outside.

Seats are taken, wine is poured. Brown bags, reminiscent of packed lunches of the past, announce the arrival of the appetizer. Sourdough, still warm, and a creamy, nutty, whipped butter.

A simple but strong start to the evening

The semi-readable handwritten menu had us anticipating the main course. Who is Rachel and what has she reserved?

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It turns out Rachel had reserved a cheese — a salty, tangy creation smothered delicately over crunchy, truffle-infused potatoes.

Boiled and then fried potatoes cracked under the fork to reveal a soft interior

Unknown thigh sausage is a herbaceous, coarse, delicious delicacy. Whose thigh it is has made a worthy sacrifice. The creamy celery puree steals the show and is accompanied by murmurs of approval from around the room.

art and art

The number of tables for two people and the tables leaning against each other in a whisper make Valentine’s Day come into its own.

Envious eyes peer in from the street. The gaze of a woman being dragged along by an eager child lingers longingly. A bearded man, apparently standing by the pub, poses briefly outside, holding fresh cans of Avon Food and Wine.

The dessert of rhubarb, crème pat and a meringue even has the self-confessed non-dessert type at the table commenting on how tasty it is. Chef Jason Seddon, previously at Pony Bistro, has delivered a meal to remember.

Fresh honeycomb completed this pile of joy

The difficult task of moving from the food to the music segment has been assigned to Lebo, a charming 24-year-old who swings his Nord Grand with the same ease as I put on the kettle.

Lebo’s melancholic melodies captivated the audience

Lebo’s love of music and shyness towards the audience make for an entertaining performance, with softly spun piano love songs layered beneath his hoarse voice reminiscent of Dan Smith from Bastille.

Heartfelt and poetic lyrics keep the captivated audience in suspense, even when someone sneezes and Lebo manages to politely bless them without missing a beat.

The second act featured Shannon Flynn, an emotional singer-songwriter whose weapon of choice was the guitar, with her boyfriend as a backup.

Shannon Flynn is a Buskers’ Banquets veteran

Between the powerful love ballads, Shannon attempted a moment of audience participation, harmonizing a repetitive chorus and encouraging guests to join in. Whether it was nerves or the Pavlova still calming down, there were a few scattered buzzes from onlookers, but for the most part it looked a bit like a football team pretending to sing the national anthem

A powerful and sad interpretation of Earth Wind & Fires “September‘ enchants the room, but it’s the fitting closing song,’Just five minutes‘, which closes the evening and leaves the audience bereft after the last round of applause. It was indeed a memorable evening.

All photos: Meg Houghton-Gilmour

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