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Prunes in Cherry Vodka & Dark Chocolate Ganache

Direcly from Pionka’s Chocolate Polish Chocolatier Mariusz Pionka started his career in Bristol when he decided he wanted to make chocolate from scratch.  The very first chocolates didn’t work out, but he didn’t let that stop him!  That’s when he fell in love with chocolate. He started researching and realised he needed to find work experience that would train him and show him the magic ways of Chocolate.  He found a job in a small chocolate factory in Spain.  After 2 years he came back to Bristol and started trading his own chocolates in and around Bristol Markets. Mariusz opened … Read more   

2018 Irena Sendler talk by Anthony Lishak

Some serious questions: What does the human race learn from the terrible wartime inhumanity inflicted by one group upon another? From the continuation of warmongering around the world, it would seem as a species – if those in power can be said to represent the human species- nothing has been learnt as people continue to be tortured and killed, frequently in the name of group or national good.  So how can something positive come out of ‘man’s inhumanity to man’?  And, importantly, how can future generations learn to contribute to a better, kinder, more truly democratic world? The dynamic and … Read more   

2018 Visit to the University of Bristol Botanic Garden

What a delightful jewel of a place this Botanic Garden is! And what a fascinating tour our group was taken on by our hugely informative guide, Charmaine Hawkins, who ignited our interest and imaginations as we walked around this amazing collection of plants and flowers from many of the world’s habitats. She added a fascinating depth of detail which enriched our visit on this dazzlingly sunny day and helped to make it an unforgettable experience. Amongst the many groupings of plants from different areas and eras of plant evolution, – the Botanic Garden cultivates around 4,500 different plants from around … Read more   

2017 Our President’s Address to The Anglo Polish Society

My Polish adventure started in the late 1950s when I moved with my family to Warsaw. I was very young and it was only in later years that I began to appreciate the richness of the experience and to come to understand that Poland is an exceptional and truly exemplary nation. When I moved to Warsaw the city was still recovering from the trauma of the Second World War during which 90 per cent of the city had been destroyed or very seriously damaged, with around 200,000 Poles killed by the Nazis during the 64 days of the Uprising that … Read more   

2016 Visit to Knowle Townswomen’s Guild

In 1928 the Equal Franchise Act was passed and, for the first time, all women (and men) over the age of 21 were eligible to vote. One year later the Townswomen’s Guild was formed with the aim of educating women about good citizenship – and to have fun! Last year Knowle Guild celebrated its 80th birthday and we are still being educated and informed – and still having fun! When planning our monthly meetings we look for speakers who will help us to fulfil these objectives. The Polish population in Knowle has increased significantly in recent years. Some of our … Read more   


This company came to our attention via a member seeking translation of an early Polish marriage certificate. PolishOrigins specializes in Genealogy and Tours. The company was established in 2004, and has since helped hundreds of people with their research and when visiting Poland to see where their ancestors lived. We understand they speak a wide range of Eastern European languages and can help with many issues.  They have a wide-ranging database covering Polish history, places and origins of surnames as well as an on-line forum, however we have no direct experience of using the Company ourselves. https://polishorigins.comPolishOriginsKrolewska 65A/130-081 Krakow, Poland … Read more   

Petra’s Special Christmas Mincemeat

Christmas is coming and it’s time to get the mincemeat ready.  This is one of my favourite recipes.  It makes over 5 x 1-lb jars of mincemeat and will keep for a long time.  I make this every year and it sells well at Christmas Fayres.  Enjoy! Ingredients: 1 lb of currants 1 lb of raisins 1 lb of sultanas 1 lb of suet or vegetable suet 1 lb of apples, peeled, cored & finely chopped or grated 1 lb of caster sugar 4 oz of candied peel 1 lemon Teaspoon of salt Cinnamon and nutmeg 150 mls of brandy, … Read more   

Gołąbki (Stuffed Cabbage Rolls)

Gołąbki means “little pigeons” and as with many Polish recipes, there are as many variations to the ingredients and cooking methods as there are Polish families! The filling is usually made with meat and rice, but you could replace the rice with buckwheat; or for a vegetarian version use mushrooms and onions instead of meat. Cooking methods can also vary.  They could be cooked in the oven, in a saucepan on the hob or, alternatively fried.  They are often eaten with a sauce, usually tomato or mushroom. Gołąbki are excellent from frozen, either raw or cooked. This recipe details gołąbki … Read more   

Mo’s Beef Casserole

Being a butcher’s daughter, it has been difficult to choose my favourite main course meal.  I suppose it could be sirloin steak, however, I am going for something with a lot of flavour, relatively economic in terms of ingredients, easy to prepare and pop into the oven whilst getting on with other jobs.  Have you guessed?  It’s casserole with braising steak and vegetables. Here’s my recipe, and there is no set quantity of any ingredient so you can choose what amount you prefer according to taste. Braising steak (or stewing steak)CarrotsOnionsSwedeMushroomsGravy or sauce Directions:      Chop vegetables as required, cut beef … Read more   

Polish Pickled Cucumber Soup (Zupa Ogórkowa)

Zupa Ogòrkowa is a traditional Polish soup made from “ogòrki kiszone” or cucumbers in brine. You can buy these from Polish shops or delis. If you can’t find ogòrki kiszone, the more readily available pickled cucumbers or gherkins will do just as well. This soup is easy to make and delicious. To make it even better you can make your own stock but this is not necessary if you don’t have the time or inclination.  All Polish cooks have their own version; this is a very easy one based on what I remember of my mother’s recipe. Ingredients: Serves 4 … Read more   

Pear and Ginger Chutney

When I was little, we moved into a house in Wembley, London. From the neighbour’s garden, lush pears fell into ours. The lovely neighbours have encouraged my mother’s use of the pears and also enjoyed the chutney as much as we all have over nearly sixty years. My mother is still making it – wonderful. Ingredients                                          25g / 1oz Root ginger, roughly chopped1x5ml spoon / 1 teaspoon Cloves2.75kg / 6lb Pears, peeled, cored and chopped500g / 1lb Onions, peeled and chopped100g / 4oz Stem ginger, finely choppedGrated rind and juice of three oranges750g / 1.5lb Granulated sugar900ml / 1.5 pints … Read more   

Slow Cooker Bread and Butter Pudding

When we bought a slow cooker I never thought of using it for puddings; however it makes excellent bread and butter pudding every time! Use the recipe as a guide; don’t follow it slavishly.  Any dried fruit will do, and obviously the amounts you use will depend on how big a pudding you want.  It is almost impossible to make this wrong – it will either be really good or excellent! You can also vary the flavour by adding lemon or orange zest and other interesting flavours. I’ve used all types of bread, but found it worked best for us … Read more   

Stefan’s Compote

One of the Polish Christmas Eve traditions is Compote – as the Polish climate is extreme, fresh fruits would not traditionally have been available in midwinter.  In fact, various different compotes made from fresh or preserved fruits are consumed all the year round. This one, using prunes and figs, goes back to the middle ages and echoes the cuisine of the Holy Land and is a Christmas favourite.  It is simplicity itself to make. Ingredients: 10 ounces of stoned prunes (My personal favourites are those lovely prunes d’Agen from the South of France) 10 oz dried figs One cinnamon stick … Read more   

Tea Brack

Tea Brack is a sort of cross between cake and bread. The word Brack comes from an old Irish word, ‘breac‘, meaning speckled, which I imagine, refers to the fruit. The Irish are great tea drinkers so there would always be tea left in the pot at the end of the day to soak the fruit. The night before…375g/12oz mixed Raisins/Sultanas300ml/ ½pint Cold Milk-less Tea Place fruit and tea in a bowl and leave to soak overnight The next day…. Preheat oven, 170C/325F/Gas3. Grease and base line a 900g/2lb loaf tin, or a 20cm/8” round cake tin. To the bowl … Read more   

Zosia Ciesielska’s Tort Galaretkowy

This recipe for a Strawberry Jelly Cake is from my father’s cousin, Zosia Ciesielska, in Krakow. She was a founder member and chair of the Sybir Association there, and how I found her is another story! Cake base Determine the size of your cake.  The proportions below are given per 1 egg. The standard round cake tin has an 9 in (approx. 23 cm) diameter – 4 or 5 eggs are recommended.  Six to seven eggs would be required for baking in a 10-inch tin. Ingredients per 1 egg: 40 g granulated sugar 30 g plain flour A few drops … Read more   

Bożena’s Babka

A Babka is often a sweet, rich yeast dough often baked with additional dried fruit, in a fluted baking tin which gives it the name “Babka”, or little grandmother.  The fluted shape resembling a grandmother’s skirt pleats In this example it is a two- flavoured/coloured version baked without the use of yeast. As specified in the recipe, Poles tend to measure ingredients using a glass.  When you bake this cake, simply measure all the ingredients using the same glass, or cup, then you can’t go wrong with this easy, delicious cake. Ingredients                                          5 egg 11/2 glasses sugar 21/2 glasses plain … Read more   

Dining with Copernicus Speech by Dr. Roberto Trotta

There is a force in the universe that never dies out; a force that reaches the furthest corners of the infinite cosmos; it’s a force that, once it has captured you, can crush you into annihilation; or it can project you to the most ethereal places.   It’s an inescapable force that has sway on everything you do, anywhere you are. This force is love.  The same kind of love that unites our two beautiful Bride- and Groom-to-be tonight. There is a similarly all-pervasive force that explains the motions of the heavenly bodies: that force is gravity.  Isaac Newton was the … Read more   

Poland Through the Ages

This video, History of Europe’s Borders – Time Lapse (Extended), presents 1,000 years of European border history, starting in 1000AD. The film lasts 11 minutes, allowing you to take in the large dimension of change during this time.  The advancing years can be seen in the top-left corner so you can keep track of when the border changes occurred. The fascinating history is presented with a peaceful soundtrack. Fullscreen viewing is recommended.

Irena Kossakowski discusses “A Homeland Denied” – Wednesday 22nd February 2017

Irena Kossakowski will be coming up from Devon to talk to us about her new book.  “A Homeland Denied” tells how 19-year-old Waclaw Kossakowski was torn out of his comfortable life as a maths student at the University of Warsaw, Poland, to be plunged into the darkest theatres of war.  Kossakowski experienced life, first as a prisoner at the notorious Kozielsk prison, then at a forced labour camp in the Siberian Arctic Circle. He later served as a soldier on the battlefield of Monte Cassino, Italy, until finding sanctuary in Britain at the end of the war. Polish Ambassador Rzegocki … Read more   

Katy Carr and the Aviators play at Poles Aloud in Bristol

For those of you who were unable to get out to Poles Aloud, here is a brief sample of Katy Carr’s lovely performance.

2014 Launching Our Book

Our book launch started when Co-Chairman, Chris Ottewell welcomed our guest of honour, The Lord Mayor of Bristol, Councillor Faruk Choudhury. We were also delighted that Mary Prior, HM Lord Lieutenant of Bristol, and her husband were also able to attend along with Councillor Ian Boulton the Chairman of South Gloucestershire Council and Fr.Stefan Wylężek, Rector of the Polish Catholic Mission of England and Wales. Most importantly a large number of contributors, members and guests were able to participate. Chris introduced the guests and said a few words about the origins of the APS and the very long links between … Read more   

2012 Stanislav Antonévich Recital

“Better than Nigel Kennedy”; “I wouldn’t have missed it for the world”; “Brilliant”; these were just three of the things members of the select audience at Siston Court said to me after Stanislav finished his recital on Sunday evening. Given that our members know a thing or two about music I need say no more about the quality of playing. The program was perfectly selected to match the audience as well, with a mixture of classical and jazz works to suit all tastes. All too soon it was over. However, a rousing ovation persuaded Stanislav to return and play a … Read more   

The Scout who escaped from Auschwitz

Kazimierz Piechowski was 21 when in 1940 he was imprisoned in Auschwitz, the notorious Nazi death camp. He was 23 when he carried out its most famous escape. Against extraordinary odds, he and three others broke into the SS uniform store. They dressed up as SS officers, stole the camp commander’s car, and drove away. All the guards let them through. They were never recaptured. Over a million people were murdered by gassing in Auschwitz. Thousands more were killed by starvation, torture, shooting, hanging, beating, disease and brutality. No-one was meant to survive longer than three months. Kazik managed two … Read more   

2012 Katy Carr’s Anglo Polish Society Concert

Czuwaj! I was pleased to attend the recent concert by Katy Carr and the Aviators, and the short film “Kazik and the Kommander’s Car” held at the Polish Ex-Combatants Association Club, on behalf of the County Commissioner for Avon Scouts, Mr. Dan Wood. Although prior to the event I had taken the opportunity to watch some of the documentary, I was still unprepared for the raft of emotions during the evening. As Katy interviewed Kazik, he took us all on a journey – from happier times as a young man, through to the invasion of Poland by the Germans until … Read more   

2010 Commemoration for the Polish Airmen at Long Ashton, Bristol

In 1944, a plane from the Polish Air force was returning from a mission and developed engine problems. Instead of bailing out of the plane, the airmen flew on to avoid the populated area of South Bristol and crashed in a field next to Long Ashton Church. These brave men sacrificed their lives to save others and this is commemorated every 5 years when the date falls on a Sunday. The Aircrew Remembrance Society Long Ashton Parish Council

APS Newsletter Autumn 2008

The Anglo Polish Newsletter from Autumn 2008 can be viewed in PDF format by clicking on this link.

The Warsaw Uprising

When the war broke out in 1939 my dad was only 16.  In 1944 when the Warsaw uprising began he was barely 20. My Mum was born in 1927.  At the outbreak of war she was 12 and when the Warsaw uprising began she was not quite 17. My Dad had been a member of the Polish underground army from the start of the war, my mother, as soon as she was able, also signed up.  My Dad held no rank but was an ordinary fighting lad and my Mum worked as a nurse. .Before the uprising she had attended … Read more   

2008 Delegation from Lublin visits Bristol

A delegation from the Polish city of Lublin has recently visited Bristol – part of the European Union’s “Intercultural Cities Initiative”  The aim is to develop a project called Living Together in Europe Tour, with the objective of exchanging experiences and practical visits.  At present there are 23 participating cities.  Lublin chose to come to Bristol. The Vice President of Lublin, Włodzimierz Wysocki, who is responsible for culture, sport and education, led the party in Early August.  He was accompanied by Mariusz Banach, Michał Karapuda and Rafal Sadownik,all linked to the city’s cultural department. Asif Khan, the Community Engagement Manager … Read more   

2007 Visit of the Polish Ambassador to Bristol

It was a great privilege to welcome Her Excellency Barbara Tuge-Erecińska, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Poland, to Bristol. You will have seen from her programme that many people had the opportunity to meet and talk to her.  She arrived at Clifton Cathedral with a police escort and was met by Monsignor Canon Robert Corrigan, the Dean of the Cathedral.  Father Frączek led the prayers and singing, and H.E. laid a wreath at the Katyń Memorial. Members of the Veterans’ Association made a special effort to attend, as well as those of the Anglo-Polish Society and members … Read more