Bristol Food & Drink: December 2019

Top of the December morning to you! You may be relieved to hear that this is a slightly trimmer guide than usual, as the events unsurprisingly thin out towards mid December.

If you haven’t already, I’d suggest giving my Bristol Christmas Gift Guide a read once you’re done with this. Cheers!


Not quite December news, but very exciting and coming soon – it’s Belly Laughs! Bristol’s annual series of comedy gigs in weird and wonderful food locations returns in January, with tickets including a night of comedy and food all to raise money for The Julian Trust, but they’re selling fast so nab your tickets soon! The full list of gigs is here, or here are a few picks:

Belly Laughs 2020

If you’re still looking for a gift for someone interested in local food, The Bath and Bristol Cook Book has just been released and features recipes and profiles of some of the region’s best restaurants, bakeries and delis. You can buy the book from Waterstones, many of the businesses who feature in the book, and from the Bristol Food Tour website.

If you’re partial to a G&t, get yourself obver to Clifton Village this month, because 6 O’clock Gin have opened a pop-up shop just in time for Christmas! The shop will stock their full range as well as including limited edition products. They will also be running a Make Your Own Sloe Gin masterclass, tickets cost £25.

6 o'clock Gin pop up shop in Clifton

Caring in Bristol have teamed up with Josh Eggleton of The Pony and Trap, FareShare South West and The Community Farm to provide a full 7 day menu of three hot restaurant quality meals a day for those facing homelessness and hardship this Christmas. Meals will be cooked by teams from Pasta Loco, BOX-E, Somer Dining, The Pony & Trap, Bravas, Masa + Mezcal, Poco Tapas, Tare and more. This project is reliant on donations from the the public. People can support the project easily via the Caring in Bristol website.

I’d also strongly advice you to to use the Tap for Bristol contactless donation points around the city, whether it be to help support Caring in Bristol over the festive period and coldest months of the year, or as your monthly/weekly good deed on your way to buy lunch!

Tap for Bristol Bambalan
Tap for Bristol at Bambalan

Main events

St Nick’s Night Market returns on Friday 6th December for a festive celebration, featuring food stalls, mulled beverages, live music and carol singing.

The following day brings Viva Vegan Festival to the Bristol SU building in Clifton, featuring cookery demos, talks, workshops and more.

Salt & Malt at Chew Valley Lake is celebrating the festive season with a number of other local businesses from around the Chew Valley by holding a Christmas Food Festival on Saturday 7th December, from 4pm until late in the evening. Expect Christmas lights and trees, local musicians and an Après Ski Bar serving mulled wine, mulled cider, and hot toddies.

Harts Bakery are hosting their annual Christmas Market on Saturday 14th from 8am to 2pm. This year the market will focus on products that are handcrafted or made sustainably using repurposed or recycled materials. Head along to pick up plants, wine, coffee, handmade goods & lots more!


End the year with some new knowledge!



You’ll find Tsukemono at The Volunteer Tavern until 21st Dec, who have also developed their own brew – Tanaka – in collaboration with Wiper & True. A pale ale made from rice and wheat, the beer has been specially created to pair with Tsukemono’s Japenese soul food classics and will be available at the pub during the takeover.

The Bristol & Bath Rum Distillery are doing a rotation of pop-ups throughout December, including The Latin American Food Co on Tuesdays, High Steaks on Thursdays, Bombay Brrrrunch on Sat 7th & 14th and Taco Station on other selected dates.

Tsukemono Bristol

Christmas and New Year’s Eve

If you’re not up for cooking on Christmas Day, The Ox are opening for Christmas lunch for the first time, with a four course decadent feast and fizz. See the full menu here.

Or the night before you can head to the Christmas Eve Tasting Dinner at The Kensington Arms, which is £45 for a five-course menu of winter delights. They’re also hosting a NYE Dinner Party on 31st December, featuring six course dinner (all £55) served with an optional wine pairing. Email or phone 01179446444 to book.

Bar 44 in Clifton are also serving dinner right up until midnight on New Year’s Eve, with a five course meal plus fizz (£55) and a house DJ at midnight. Read more here.

Check our more Christmas Events and New Year’s Eve events.

The Ox Bristol

New openings

Coming soon across the city – cake maestros Ahh Toots are opening a shop at the bottom of Christmas Steps in what was the fish and chip shop, Squeezed will be moving their award-winning burgers into the soon-to-be-vacated Bristol Cider Shop unit in Wapping Wharf in January, and snazzy cocktail bar The Alchemist is rumoured to be opening on Corn Street in the new year.

Ahh Toots on Christmas Steps

That’s it for this month, keep an eye out for my end of the year highlights in the next couple of weeks (take a look at the 2018, 2017 and beyond versions if you find that sort of nostalgic thing interesting)

Other good local stuff to read (not just mine)

Dates for the diary


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