Our home in Bristol sits to the North of this lovely city, four minutes from a large shopping mall and a stones throw from country fields. Bristol is a place I love and will rave about to anyone, it is where I was born, went to school and did all my growing up in and whilst I’ve spent time living in other cities I returned back to ‘Brissle’. Being a Bristolian I think nothing of referring to daps, amuse my husband when I tell him how I ‘waved out’ to someone and I’m afraid, ‘Where’s it to?’ is a phrase that does slip off the tongue!…..
I wanted to share some of the reasons I love my home city with you, to let you know about a few of my favourite spots both in Central Bristol and a little further afield. That way, when you are wondering where to go for a weekend break you can stop by and visit Bristol. With cute coloured houses, Banksy’s and street art, many independent restaurants and shops, Bristol has a really cool and unpretentious feel.
The Harbourside, a fantastic area to walk around, stop for a coffee and enjoy the gorgeous sites. You can walk a loop around the harbour, or take one of the yellow & blue ferry boats that act as little water taxis, with various drop off points around the harbour. The iconic SS Great Britain is next door to one of Bristol’s best kept secrets, Brunel Buttery. This is a great pit stop for old fashioned butties, you’ll find it on Whapping Wharf, inbetween the SS Great Britain and the M-Shed. You can also catch a ferry boat from outside the SS Great Britain which will allow you to hop on and off at various stops around the harbour. Do pop in for coffee and enjoy the art at the Arnolfini, enjoy the panoramic harbour view from the top of the M-Shed (one of Bristol’s museums) and visit Millennium Square and We the Curious (where over 300 hands-on exhibits await young and old alike).
Clifton Village is Bristol’s pretty and rather trendy (but expensive) area. Lots of independent shops and nice cafes, plus it’s located next to the Clifton Suspension Bridge. One spot you must visit, if you can handle heights then do walk across and enjoy the views of the Avon Gorge. Admire Brunel’s Suspension Bridge and then head back for lunch at the Primrose Café, located on Boyce’s Avenue. Also on Boyce’s Avenue is the very special cafe and cake shop, Anna’s Cake Couture. Anna also runs workshops (want to make macaroons per chance?) and makes amazing wedding cakes. Also here you’ll find the Clifton Arcade, this arcade is full of boutique shops selling art, home wares and antique jewellery.
If you love street art then do visit Bedminster and Southville at the end of July for the hugely popular Upfest. You’ll have just missed it for 2018, so stick a note in your diary to make sure you have time to catch it in 2019.
If your visit happens to be in early August then you’ll have hit the jackpot – the International Balloon Fiesta sees over 140 balloons taking to the sky from the 9th to the 12th August. Whether you fancy watching the night glow, being up early to watch balloons ascend or enjoying the fairground rides and entertainment then head towards Ashton (South Bristol) and join the hordes of people who descend on this event each year.
Yume Kitchen (BS8) for tasty Japanese food, in the same neck of the woods is Pasta Loco, an Italian restaurant. Down on Wapping Wharf you can get sourdough pizza (and gelato) at Bertha’s, also somewhere you must try for pizza is Flour & Ash – they have a great wine list too! Located on Gloucester Road, Flour & Ash has a great atmosphere and their pizza’s are delicious. Opened in the past year is Pinxto on Whiteladies Road, a tapas and sherry bar – my favourites are their king prawns cooked in chilli, garlic and white wine,
Great punchbowl cocktails await you at Her Majesty’s Secret Service , with a wartime espionage feel and menu’s in the shape of passports, its definitely a place to stop for a few drinks. Alternatively, if you can find the Red Light bar on Unity Street (which is hidden behind a secret door) in the basement of a worn down building, this is the place to visit. If you’re in Clifton then try the Albion or the Corrie Tap, a proper ciderhouse. My favourite however, is the Florist on Park Street. Located on the site of what was Goldbrick House, this place has the decor, vibe (nightly DJs) and drinks to appeal to everyone – food is fantastic too. Its really popular so definitely book.
Newly opened at the top of the famous Corn Street is the Bristol Harbour hotel, formerly the home to a well known bank, its been totally transformed – complete with spa and beautifully decorated restaurant. For location and views you must visit the Avon Gorge Hotel, drinks on the terrace and you’ll have the best view of the Clifton Suspension Bridge and Avon gorge. Bristol also has a great selection of Air B & B accommodation making a visit to Bristol really affordable.
Finally, if you want to know where to find the pretty coloured houses – they’re in Cliftonwood. But do have respect for the resident as whilst this street is very instagram worthy, these are people’s homes so do respect their privacy! If you do make it down to Bristol do let me know, I’d love to hear where you went and what you enjoyed about my lovely home city. Enjoy!