Bristol Food & Drink – July 2014

Bristol Harbour Festival Whether your favourite things are hot air balloons, live music, Thai food or American beer, Bristol is packed full of fun and affordable events throughout July to suit anyone’s tastes.

The most exciting event coming to the city this month is the Harbour Festival, from Friday 18th-Sunday 20th July. It’s one of the biggest events of its kind in the country, with live music across several venues, circus acts in Castle Park, various kids activities and plenty of maritime-themed events – plus, it’s all free! Be sure to keep an eye to the Facebook and Twitter pages, and pick up a programme for full event listings.

Festive spirit

There are plenty of other festivals and street parties this month, one of the most highly anticipated being St Pauls Carnival on Saturday 5th July, bringing the best of African and Caribbean culture to the streets. Head to Portland Square and the surrounding area for some fairground rides, the main carnival procession, live bands or just to try some punchy rum cocktails and curried goat! St Paul's Carnival Bristol The same afternoon brings The Great British Street Party to Stanley Road in Redland – the award-winning Kensingston Arms pub will be hosting a barbecue and Pimms bar, with live music and its own Crufts competition. Bring the family, and bring the dog too!

Thursday 10th July sees battle commence among the sweet-toothed of Bristol, with Tart Off taking place at the Folk House Cafe in the evening. What started as a Twitter conversation about who does the best custard tarts in Bristol has now turned into a ruthless competition – so head along to enter your own creations, or just go along to sample some of the goodies!

Later in the month sees the return of the Foodies Festival to the harbourside from 11-13th July, with various food demonstrations and workshops from famous chefs, countless food stalls, a vintage tea tent, real ales and a chilli market. Tickets are £12 per day and can be purchased from their website.

For those a little further out of town, The Swan Hotel in Almondsbury is hosting a cider festival on Saturday 12th, with over 35 ciders and perrys, a BBQ and live music all day.

The weekend of 26-27th July sees the return of the Bristol Thai Festival in the Lloyd’s ampitheatre, featuring traditional dance, music, boxing displays and plenty of tasty Thai food! Adult tickets are just £3.50, with children aged 5-10 getting in for £1.

Independents Day!

The 4th of July is cause for several celebrations – not only is it Independence Day in the States, but in the UK it’s National Independents Day! Celebrate your local businesses by going in and buying some goodies; many shops, bars and restaurants have special offers and events on the day, so be sure to pop in to some of your favourites and see what they’re doing for the occasion!

Independents Bristol

Support your local independent businesses on 4th July!

Some Independents/Independence Day highlights are:

  • A cocktail masterclass at Independent Spirit in Bath – now sold out, but keep an eye to their website for more cocktail masterclasses and tasting sessions.
  • A special Independents Day bagel from Bagel Boy for £3, plus a 10% discount at Room 212 or Moodles when you pay in Bristol Pounds.
  • American beer festivals at The Hare in Bedminster and Barley Mow near Temple Meads. The Hare will be partying USA style on Friday 4th, with various American beers, bourbons and BBQ chicken wings. The Barley Mow will be celebrating all weekend with an extensive list of beers, food specials and live music.
  • American Diner Gas &Co. on Whiteladies Rd are running  kids activities and face painting all afternoon, with children eating for free. For the grown ups, there are 2 for 1 cocktails from 4pm and live music.
  • 4th July party at speakeasy bar and kitchen The Bootlegger, with cocktails and live music.

Workshops and feasts

If you want to learn whilst you drink, there are some great classes and tastings events throughout the month too, including a champagne workshop at Bordeaux Quay on Saturday 5th and a Burgundy tasting at Weber & Tring’s on Wednesday 16th for £20.

The moody tasting room at Weber & Tring's

The moody tasting room at Weber & Tring’s

If you fancy a day out of town, why not check out the Midsummer Picnic at the Community Farm on 5th July, near Chew Magna – they are offering a minibus shuttle from Temple Meads if enough people book in advance, plus it’s a good opportunity to see the great work that the farm does, whilst meeting new people and munching in the beautiful countryside.

For something a bit different, you can pop along to Source Food Café in St Nick’s for their Offal Feast on 9th July, hosted by Sassafras Bristol, or enjoy some fining dining aboard the SS Great Britain on Friday 18th July.

The Beer Emporium are doing a cheese and beer pairing evening on Tuesday 15th – tickets are £20 and available from the bar, or you can reserve a place on their website.

Thursday 17th sees The Highbury Vaults on St Michael’s Hill doing a BBQ in their wonderful garden, or a few days later you can shimmy over to pop-up venue 40 Alfred Place for their latest event on 19th & 20th July, ‘Fruits of the Sea‘ – a 5 course fish taster menu.

There is also a new food exhibition opening at @Bristol from 23rd July if you want a bit more of an interactive experience.

And the meat goes on…

The trend for all things meaty shows no sign of abating just yet, with another wave of barbecue, burger and steak places arriving in Bristol in the coming weeks – a tsunameat, if you will.

Already open is South African barbecue restaurant Spitfire BBQ, you can find it in the harbour where Jack’s Brasserie used to be. Soon to follow is popular steakhouse chain Cau on the Triangle, followed by a new branch of burger pushers Byron around the corner. Hopefully both openings won’t draw the crowds away from fantastic local businesses The Burger Joint and The Cowshed.

Speaking of which, Bath also gets their own meat fix this summer, courtesy of The Cowshed opening their new restaurant there. In a tit-for-tat move, Bath-based Indian restaurant The Mint Room will be opening in Bristol shortly, bringing fantastic high end curry to the people of Clifton Village.

Cowshed Bath

The Cowshed brings quality and good value steak to Bath in July.

Other newcomers to Bristol include ‘dessert bar and tapas den’ No Man’s Grace on Chandos Rd, replacing Moreish, and the arrival of ‘cakery and biscuitier’ Ahh Toots in St Nick’s on 4th July. Papaji’s on Whiteladies Road has also undergone a refresh and a name changes to the Flipside Cocktail Club, still serving some lush cocktails in a glamourous setting.

Finally, there’s a new pub coming to Gloucester Road on 4th July in the form of The Grace; housed in what used to be Robin Hood’s Retreat this pub will be serving up cocktails, craft beer and an exciting food menu.

Still stuck for inspiration?

If you’re still struggling to decide what to do with your July, you can head along to the new Tourist Inspiration Station at No.1 Harbourside for some ideas on the best places to visit, eat and be merry across town.

Alternatively, if you haven’t downloaded the app already, Wriggle are busy offering some great last minute deals at various places across Bristol, from £1.50 pints at Crofters Right’s, to a steak dinner at Steak of the Art  for £12.50 – get involved!

If your cravings are more caffeine-centric, you’d do well to pick up a copy of Bristol’s new Coffee Map, available for £2 from various coffee shops in town, including Full Court Press, Playground Coffee and Small St Espresso.

Have a joyous July!

Like this? You’ll probably also enjoy…

The Best Brunch in Bristol
The Ultimate Guide to Bath
Bristol’s Top Ten Curry Restaurants
The Meat Guide to Bristol
The Tastiest Tapas in Town

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