Thought July and August were the busiest time of year for festivals and food events? Think again!
I’ve long suspected that September is the month where it all really kicks off in Bristol, once we’re all back from our summer holidays, Glastonburys and have packed any kiddies off to school so we can drink gin in front of Judge Judy (can you tell that I’m not a parent?).
Have your Filofax at the ready and a cuppa to sip on – this month’s guide is a BEAST – skip to the end for a full list of dates & events if you can’t be arsed to read my waffle, and tell me what you get up to over on Twitter or Instagram!
As I mentioned, it is a BIG month for festivals, whether you’re a beer buff, gin guzzler, coffee conoisseur or general glutton (or all four – *raises hand*).
First up is the mighty Factoberfest at Tobacco Factory from 6-8th September, featuring over 70 beers from a multitude of breweries both local and international (plus a great selection of ciders), street food, live music and more. This is one of my top events of the year – don’t miss it!
Also taking place that first weekend on Sat 7th are the fantastic Whisky Bristol Underground (unmissable if you’re a whisky fan) at The Loco Klub underneath Temple Meads, and Bristol Festival of Gin at Stoke Bishop Village Hall (me neither), as well as the MetAle Festival at The Gryphon.
A last minute addition this month is the return of Bristol Beer Week from 13th-22nd, a chance to celebrate the fantastic breweries and bars of Bristol. Keep an eye to their website or social media for the latest event announcements, but so far there’s Bristol Breweries Open Doors Day and Quiz Up in a Brewery on Sat 14th, Celebrating Women in Beer at The Good Measure on Tue 17th, Sisters are Brewing it for Themselves at Lost & Grounded Brewers on Fri 20th and the launch of The Rainbow Project 2019 at Small Bar.
Speaking of beer, there are a few Oktoberfest events taking place towards the end of the month: Oktoberfest with Lost and Grounded Brewers on Sat 21st, Anspach & Hobday Oktoberfest at Small Bar on Fri 27th. And if you’re into your Belgian beer, Moor are celebrating Zwanze Day on Sat 28th.
Other festivals to make a note of this month incude the Sausage and Cider Festival at The Passenger Shed and the Grand Pier Gin Festival on Sat 14th, the South Gloucs Food & Drink Festival that same weekend, Chandos Road Festival on Sunday 22nd, Bristol Cocktail Weekend from 27-29th (not to be confused with Bristol Cocktail Week, this is a different format and organisation altogether, with some unexpected bars taking part, as well as some noteable absentees), plus Averys Wine Festival on Saturday 28th, which will give you the chance to sample 50 wines from across the world for just £15.
Also, one of the biggest food festivals in the country is from 21-22 September – it may be in Wales, but Abergavenny Food Festival has an incredible line-up of street food, producers, cracking chefs, cookery demos and expert speakers (including some familiar Bristol faces such as Elly Curshen, Fozia Ismail, Xanthe Clay, Henry Eldon from The Cauldron, Genevieve Taylor, Fiona Beckett, Freddy Bird and Josh Eggleton). I’d highly recommend it if you’re looking for a food-centric weekend away!
News & other top picks
Rugby fans! The brilliant Bank Tavern in the city centre will be open every Sat for breakfast during the Rugby World Cup serving up special breakfasts for the key fixtures, as will Bambalan, who are doing special brunch & beer packages throughout the tournament.
How does a build-it-yourself roast dinner sound? Tapas Roasts with Dinner by Ness are returning to Bristol Spirit every Sunday from 8th September, including plenty of vegan options!
Harts Bakery are hosting a special event about Hospitality and Mental Health on Thu 5th with a panel discussion and nibbles.
Want to improve your food photography? Book onto NomNom SnapSnap on Saturday 21st, a food & photography tour, including food at four top Bristol businesses, and a chance to get some top tips from your tour guide Thom.
Head to Pata Negra to celebrate their 5th birthday fiesta on Fri 27th, featuring pintxos, a welcome drink, DJs and a live mariachi band for the ticket price of £15!
Finally, if you’re a Disney fan, don’t miss the Disney Bottomless Brunch at Prince Street Social on Sat 28th, where dressing up is very much encouraged!
There are plenty of ways to spoil yourself or that special someone this month…
- Yoga Brunch with Hummusapiens at The Forge (Sun 8th, £45)
- Psychopomp & Circumstance Distillery dinner at The Pony & Trap (Thu 12th, £98 for six courses including drinks pairings)
- Beer and food tasting menu with Lost & Grounded at Box-E (Thu 12th, £55 for four courses & and five beers) Bookings on email@example.com
- Martin Miller’s Afternoon Tea at Hotel du Vin (Fri 13th, £35)
- Supper Club with Black Cow Vodka at Riverstation (Thu 19th, £40)
- Seafood Tasting Dinner at Yurt Lush (Thu 19th, £36)
- 91 Ways Malaysian Supper Club with Zaleha Olpin (Thu 26th, £45)
- 6 O’clock Gin tasting & five course dinner at The Kensington Arms, email or call to book (Thu 26th, £55)
- Bristol 25th Anniversary Wine Dinner at Hotel du Vin (Fri 27th, £25)
Get ’em before they go! Sample the Gujurati delights of Naasto Baasto at The Robin Hood on St Michael’s Hill from 3rd September, fill up on fresh pasta from Cibo Matto at Bristol Spirit throughout September, or munch on a range of tasty dishes from Mellee’s Kitchen at The Nectar House on Gloucester Road.
Casa Verde is a new vegan pop-up at No.12 Easton, headed up by former Paco Tapas chef Dave Hazell – this should be very special indeed. You’ll also find Pasta Slut back at The Love Inn on Stokes Croft once they’re back from their summer hols from 3rd October.
Classes & tastings
Learn something new to impress your buddies this month!
- A History of Gin at Milk Thistle (Thu 5th, £25)
- Circumstance Distillery: One Year On tasting (Thu 5th, £5)
- Bombay Sapphie tasting at Kinkajou (Thu 5th, £9.50)
- Arbor Ales brewery tour (Sat 7th, £15)
- Edible Universe Workshop (Sat 7th, £20)
- Modern wafer paper flowers class at ANNA Cake Couture (Tue 10th, £150)
- Cider & cheese tasting on a boat (Fri 13th, £25)
- Autumnal Infused Spirits Workshop at Bristol Spirit (Sat 14th, £40)
- Cheese & cider tasting with The Ciderologist at Two Belly (Wed 18th, £25)
- An Introduction to Chivas Whisky at The Clockwork Rose (Wed 18th, £4.95)
- Gyoza Masterclass by Eatchu (Sat 21st, £55)
- Food and wine matching at Averys Wine Cellars (Wed 25th, £35)
- Calabrian cooking class at Papadeli (Wed 25th, £95)
- Albanian cookery class at Primrose Cafe (Thu 26th, £38)
- Autumn Red Wine & Cheese tasting at The Square Club (Thu 26th, £20)
- Full day workshop at Zara’s Chocolates (Sun 29th, £130)
Get acquainted with some new places across the city…
- Counterslip Coffee – a new coffee van in Finzels Reach
- Oowee Vebab is now open on Picton St in Montpelier, and looks so good!
- Another vegan opening, you can now visit Flip cafe/deli on North St in Bedminster.
- Bodkin Bakes is a new cake shop on Old Market
- The Cloakroom Cafe has transformed an Edwardian toilets on Park Row
And coming soon: BurgerBus Bristol (from the team behind Buckland Burgers), Bokman (a new Korean restaurant on Ninetree Hill), a new Spoke & Stringer is opening where Happy Bird was on Whiteladies Road, and there will be an indoor market in the former Thali space in the Tobacco Factory. Also, Woky Ko Kauto on the Triangle is reopening on Monday 9th Sept as Woky Ko: Jing Xu, serving traditional roasted meats such as glazed duck, pork belly and Char Siu pork. The Arts House on Stokes Croft is staying under same management but reopening as Caper & Cure.
That’s it for this month, you can consult the mighty list below for an extended selection of events, and don’t forget to keep up with the latest food news by following A Life Less Organised on Facebook, or just say hi and tell me what you’re eating (or see what I am) over on Instagram or Twitter.
Other stuff you might like to read…
- The best pub gardens in Bristol
- Where to go for a curry in Bristol
- Bristol’s best harbourside food & drink spots
- Bristol’s best food & drink experiences (get some ideas for Christmas presents!)
Dates for the diary
- Thu 5th – Circumstance Distillery tasting
- Thu 5th – Hospitality and Mental Health at Harts Bakery
- Thu 5th – A History of Gin at Milk Thistle
- Thu 5th – Bombay Sapphie tasting at Kinkajou
- Thu 5th – Vegan cookery class at Square Food Foundation
- Thu 5th – Sun 8th – 18th Biannual MetAle Festival at The Gryphon
- Fri 6th – Triple Brewery Night with Bristol Hoppers
- Fri 6th – Cider & cheese tasting on a boat
- Fri 6th – Wiper & True brewery tour and beer tasting
- Fri 6th – Sun 8th – Factoberfest at Tobacco Factory
- Sat 7th – Gin masterclass at The Kensington Arms
- Sat 7th – Tour de Tap Bike Ride with Good Chemistry & Koocha
- Sat 7th – Arbor Ales brewery tour
- Sat 7th – Bristol Yoga & Vegan Festival
- Sat 7th – Whisky Bristol Underground at The Loco Klub
- Sat 7th – The Wines of Bristol: Past & Present at Bar Humbug
- Sat 7th – Edible Universe Workshop at The Royal Photographic Society
- Sat 7th – Tour and Tasting at Limeburn Hill Biodynamic Vineyard
- Sat 7th – Martin Miller’s Afternoon Tea at Hotel du Vin
- Sat 7th – Bristol Nordic Gintopia at The Nordic Cafe
- Sat 7th – Cheese and Wine Pairing at The Kensington Arms
- Sat 7th – Bristol Festival of Gin
- Sat 7th – Sun 8th – The Coffee House Project
- 7th & 8th – Tour and Tasting at Limeburn Hill Biodynamic Vineyard
- Sun 8th – Yoga Brunch with Hummusapiens at The Forge
- Sun 8th – Afternoon Tea at Brunel’s SS Great Britain
- Sun 8th – Truffles & pralines workshop at Zara’s Chocolates
- Sun 8th – Tsukemono Supper Club at Harts Bakery
- Tue 10th – Modern wafer paper flowers class at ANNA Cake Couture
- Wed 11th – Chocolate bar workshop at Zara’s Chocolates
- Wed 11th – Rum tour on a ferry boat
- Thu 12th – Beer and food tasting menu with Lost & Grounded at Box-E
- Thu 12th – Syrian Supper Club at Harts Bakery
- Thu 12th – Thai Street Food class at Little Kitchen
- Thu 12th – Explore the Wines of Bordeaux, Rhone and South of France
- Fri 13th – Martin Miller’s Afternoon Tea at Hotel du Vin
- Fri 13th – Cider & cheese tasting on a boat
- Fri 13th – Mixed Cocktail Masterclass at The Florist
- Fri 13th – Fish and Chips Trip on The Matthew
- Fri 13th – Introduction to Cider at Bristol Cider Shop
- Sat 14th – South of the River Food Tour
- Sat 14th – Kefir School
- Sat 14th – Brewing crash course at Bristol Brewery School
- Sat 14th – Autumnal Infused Spirits Workshop at Bristol Spirit
- Sat 14th – Quiz Up in a Brewery
- Sat 14th – Grand Pier Gin Festival
- Sat 14th – Bristol Breweries Open Doors Day
- Sat 14th – Sausage and Cider Festival at The Passenger Shed
- Sat 14th – Clandesdiner supper club
- Sat 14th – Local Gin Tasting at Bristol Dry Gin
- Sat 14th – Kimchi College
- Sat 14th – Sun 15th – South Gloucs Food & Drink Festival
- Sun 15th – Bottomless Burger Club at Burger Theory
- Mon 16th – The Good Measure Beer & Bristol Pub Quiz
- Mon 16th – Persian Cooking Class at Cooking It
- Tue 17th – Celebration drip cake class at ANNA Cake Couture
- Tue 17th – Celebrating Women in Beer at The Good Measure
- Wed 18th – Cheese & cider tasting with The Ciderologist
- Wed 18th – An Introduction to Chivas whisky at The Clockwork Rose
- Wed 18th – Tempering masterclass at Zara’s Chocolates
- Wed 18th – Indian Banquet Evening at The Alma Tavern
- Thu 19th – Howling Hops Meet the Brewer & Tap Takeover at The Good Measure
- Thu 19th – Bread Masterclass at Square Food Foundation
- Thu 19th – New Zealand Beer Collective tap takeover at Small Bar
- Thu 19th – Seafood Tasting Dinner at Yurt Lush
- Thu 19th – Explore the Wines of Australia and New Zealand
- Thu 19th – Supper Club with Black Cow Vodka at Riverstation
- Fri 20th – Local Gin Tasting at Bristol Dry Gin
- Fri 20th – Rainbow Project 2019 launch at Small Bar
- Fri 20th – Starting your own Microbrewery at Bristol Brewery School
- Fri 20th – Sisters are Brewing it for Themselves at Lost & Grounded Brewers
- Fri 20th – Mexican Street Food Class at Little Kitchen
- Fri 20th – Wiper & True brewery tour and beer tasting
- Sat 21st – Oktoberfest with Lost and Grounded Brewers
- Sat 21st – South of the River Food Tour
- Sat 21st – Moor Beer brewery tour
- Sat 21st – Gyoza Masterclass by Eatchu
- Sat 21st – NomNom SnapSnap food & photography tour
- Sat 21st – Bristol Craft Beer Experience
- Sat 21st – Stokes Croft Food Tour
- Sat 21st – Local Gin Tasting at Bristol Dry Gin
- Sat 21st – Wiper & True brewery tour
- Sun 22nd – Chandos Road Festival
- Sun 22nd – Decadent Desserts at Little Kitchen
- Wed 25th – Food and wine matching at Averys Wine Cellars
- Wed 25th – Calabrian Cookery Class at Papadeli
- Thu 26th – Fashion Show Charity Lunch at Bar 44
- Thu 26th – Mexican Street Food class and dinner at Square Food Foundation
- Thu 26th – Albanian cookery class at The Primrose Cafe
- Thu 26th – Autumn Red Wine & Cheese tasting at The Square
- Thu 26th – Mezze Cookery Class at Cooking It
- Thu 26th – 6 O’clock Gin dinner at The Kensington Arms
- Thu 26th – Explore the Wines of Burgundy and the Loire
- Thu 26th – 91 Ways Supper Club with Zaleha Olpin
- Fri 27th – Pata Negra’s 5th Birthday Fiesta
- Fri 27th – Introduction to Cider at Bristol Cider Shop
- Fri 27th – Scotch Egg Masterclass at Little Kitchen
- Fri 27th – Wiper & True brewery tour and beer tasting
- Fri 27th – Triple Brewery Tour with Bristol Hoppers
- Fri 27th – Fish and Chips Trip on The Matthew
- Fri 27th – Local Gin Tasting at Bristol Dry Gin
- Fri 27th – Anspach & Hobday Oktoberfest at Small Bar
- Fri 27th- Sun 29th – Bristol Cocktail Weekend
- Fri 27th – Bristol 25th Anniversary Wine Dinner at Hotel du Vin
- Sat 28th – The Clifton Food Tour
- Sat 28th – Fishponds Supper Club
- Sat 28th – Wiper & True brewery tour
- Sat 28th – Fishponds Supper Club
- Sat 28th – East to West Food Tour
- Sat 28th – Local Gin Tasting at Bristol Dry Gin
- Sat 28th – Disney Bottomless Brunch at Prince Street Social
- Sat 28th – Long Ashton Beer & Cider Festival
- Sat 28th – Averys Wine Festival
- Sat 28th – Stokes Croft Food Tour
- Sat 28th – Moor Zwanze Day
- Sat 28th – Moor Beer brewery tour
- Sun 29th – Full day workshop at Zara’s Chocolates