Community Kitchen

In 2012 The Coexist Community Kitchen was a seedling of an idea, when the disused kitchen space on the 3rd floor of Hamilton House was in desperate need of a transformation. With much love, time, energy, and of course funding we managed to start moving it into a reality! We lifted the tiles, cleaned the ceilings, scrubbed the floors, painted the walls, bought pots and pans (and much, much more)… and we now have a fully equipped and accessible cookery school and hire out space in the centre of Bristol!

Our aims and objectives:

We want to provide a space to learn, create, share and enjoy food.

In order to do this we welcome anyone who would like to run events and workshops, use food enjoyably and creatively, share knowledge, and bring together communities, encouraging:

• Cooking skills – recreational and vocational
• Living skills
• Nutrition
• Politics and sustainability

A big focus is our social outreach work, and in collaboration with other Bristol organisations we run cookery courses and workshops with groups that might not otherwise have access to them. Our current projects are with The Bristol Drugs Project and City of Bristol College as well as a Get Started Programme we run yearly with The Prince’s Trust. We are open to more partnerships so please contact us for more information.

READ OUR FOOD SOURCING POLICY HERE

See our full gallery here


(above) Before and after the renovation

(above) Indian Feast: Fundraiser for Bristol Drugs Project Courses (image credit – Arthur Tixiliski)

(above) Indian Feast: Fundraiser for Bristol Drugs Project Courses (image credit – Arthur Tixiliski)

(above) Indian Feast: Fundraiser for Bristol Drugs Project Courses (image credit – Arthur Tixiliski)

(above) Indian Feast: Fundraiser for Bristol Drugs Project Courses (image credit – Arthur Tixiliski)
See full gallery


Ari Cantwell – Community Kitchen Manager

Claudia Poligioni – Community Kitchen Coordinator

Ari and her team were so helpful and accommodating in planning our French pop up cafe opening. Working with the children they showed patience, enthusiasm and a real passion for their craft. The children we given fresh ingredients to make delicious French recipes from scratch and the food they made was absolutely delicious.

Everyone was buzzing from the opening with many teachers and parents saying how it was the best thing they’d ever been involved in and I know our children will remember their French op up cafe for many years to come.

Emma from Glenfrome Primary School

Producers and Food Enterprises

Do you run your own market stall, catering company or any other type of foodie enterprise? Need to chop, bake, boil, roast, grind all those ingredients in a kitchen that isn’t also your home? Our kitchen is a fully equipped cookery school and production space with a 5 star rating. This can be hired for all of your own catering wants and desires. You can hire the space just for a few hours or have it on a more regular basis with hire space in fridge and storage. Even better - for food prep and producers, we have a reduced hire rate for the off-peak hour between 9pm – 9am. To find out more - send us an email at food@coexistuk.org

Outreach & Education

Bespoke packages & one off classes available One of our main focuses is the outreach and education work we do with a variety of groups in and around Bristol. This includes schools, charities and other social enterprises. We run collaborative partnerships with organisations such as The Bristol Drugs Project, City of Bristol College and The Prince’s Trust where we deliver bespoke packages and courses for their user groups but we also design one off classes on request. If you work for an organisation like this and might be interested in collaborating- please contact ari@coexistuk.org

Hobbies & Food Fun

If you love to cook and want to add to your repertoire... Or if you have never touched a chopping board but fancy a go... the community kitchen has a little bit of everything for anyone! We use our kitchen for all sorts of pop up restaurants and banquets that have included a Michelin Star chef creating a 4 course 70 person banquet to be served in the beautifully decorated Events Space next door to small intimate dinner parties with friends and family...

Team Building Cookery Classes

Cooking and eating is a brilliant and relaxing way to spend time together as a team and we all know that a good, hearty meal sorts most thing out.

So why go to just another restaurant when you and your team could come and have a delicious 2-3 course meal here at The Coexist Community Kitchen?

Of course, the catch is- you have to cook at least a little bit of your meal- all together!

Choose from one of two options below or speak to us directly to tailor your event to suit your team.

Lunchtime Package

-£15 per person includes 2 course meal and cookery class

Duration 2hrs

Evening Package

-£25 per person

-Includes 3 course meal and cookery class

-Duration 3-4hrs

Prices are based on a vegetarian meal.

+ Organic, free range meat £2.50pp

+ Alcohol £3 per glass, £15 bottle

+ Room hire POA

Give us a shout at ari@coexistuk.org

The Coexist Community kitchen team designed and delivered a terrific event for the senior management team here at Sustrans and I know I and all my colleagues would like to thank them for the time and effort that went into organising this for us . The team was able to let off steam after a hard day’s work and come together to create a delicious feast which was enthusiastically consumed!

A lot of thought had gone into designing the recipes and thanks to the clear direction and instruction of the team at Co-exist everyone in the group was able to get stuck in and contribute equally. We had a great evening!

– Bethan Grant ( Sustrans)

Thanks for a great session and fantastic food! It was really well organised so that we could all join in equally and it was stress free time wise so it was fun.

The workshop was really fun and rewarding. Not only did I get to spend some quality time with my work mates, but I have been reunited with the sweet potato!

Great team building exercise through cooking. Knowledgeable and friendly hosts.

– Kate (The Care Forum)


I really enjoyed the opportunity to meet new people and take the stress out of cooking. I enjoyed learning new recipes and cooking methods as am a bit of novice. I thought the the classes were excellent value for money and the environment created to learn and socialise was great.
I would love to be involved in other courses in the kitchen!

- David on 'Eli’s Spanish Cocina Class'

I run a project supporting people over 50 who are living with HIV. Last month, I planned a cookery workshop with Co-exist Community Kitchen, and it was a great success. The two facilitators were so friendly and welcoming, and really engaged with the participants. Some of the people taking part said they never cooked with vegetables so they definitely had their work cut out!
The facilitators demonstrated simple cooking skills without being overly technical, and promoted healthy eating without being preachy. It was such a friendly, relaxing and inspiring environment to learn in – and the food was delicious as well! I would really recommend it to anyone interested in providing cooking workshops for their clients.

– Caer from Terrence Higgins Trust

Ari and her team designed and delivered a terrific event for the senior management team here at Sustrans and I know I and all my colleagues would like to thank her for the time and effort that went into organising this for us . The team was able to let off steam after a hard day’s work and come together to create a delicious feast which was enthusiastically consumed!

A lot of thought had gone into designing the recipes and thanks to the clear direction and instruction of the team at Co-exist everyone in the group was able to get stuck in and contribute equally. We had a great evening!

– Bethan Grant from Sustrans

Our organisation used the community kitchen at Hamilton House to feed are 25 homeless guests. The staff were kind and supportive, and the kitchen and events space were great too. Both the room and kitchen were spacious and well-equipped, suitable for all kinds of needs. Would recommend to anybody who’s looking for a fantastic value, well-organised events space. Oh, and the opportunity to work alongside wonderful people! We really appreciate all of your help and support, Ari and the team have been so lovely.

– Abby Pickles from Operation ‘MAD’

It was a wonderful evening – the food was delicious and I loved meeting new people. Everybody got into the spirit of the evening. The film and live soundtrack was something different and interesting. A really enjoyable evening and I hope it becomes a regular event!

- Flora on 'Hot Pot Cinema'

Thanks for a great session and fantastic food! It was really well organised so that we could all join in equally and it was stress free time wise so it was fun.

The workshop was really fun and rewarding. Not only did I get to spend some quality time with my work mates, but I have been reunited with the sweet potato! Many thanks

Great team building exercise through cooking. Knowledgeable and friendly hosts.

- Kate at The Care Forum

Ari is a great teacher, changed me to do more vegetarian.”

“Great meeting people”

It was very educational – learning all the different methods, and inspirational knowing all the goodness in different foods. The people were really good and taught us all some interesting facts around nutrition.”

“It’s been really incredible, it’s amazing, it’s inspirational.”

The best bit was… “learning to cook cheap, delicious food. Incentive and direction to start cooking for myself.”

“Very impressed with set-up. People friendly and helpful. Could have been for longer than 2 sessions!”

“Looking at food in a different light.”

“Very warm and friendly support workers & people were helpful. I felt non-judged. I felt at home. I felt welcomed – it was full of really helpful ideas – Thankyou so much J”

from our 'Mood and Food' course with Places for People and Pennywise

Ari and Claudia produced a creative and bespoke menu to cater for our conference attendees. The food was fresh, delicious and beautifully presented. I heard so many positive comments from the audience and have been sharing Ari’s details with my colleagues who now all want to run an event with Coexist.

– Member of the University of Bath, for an in-house catering of their event