Despite having lived in the West Country for ten years, I never made it down the M5 to Cornwall, how ridiculous is that? So finally last summer I rectified that and booked a long weekend in the gorgeous Fowey (pronounced ‘Foy’).
Fowey is a small fishing town just a short drive from the Cornish towns of Lostwithiel and Looe. The nearest mainline train stations are Par and St Austell, both of which have links down to Penzance and up to Bristol and London Paddington.
We decided on Fowey after asking for recommendations for beautiful places to stay on the coast in Cornwall (the end nearer to Bristol ideally) with lots of things to do and good places to eat nearby or in town – we didn’t want to spend the whole trip driving!
We drove down from Bristol and stopped into Plymouth on the way back to break up the journey which took about 2.5hrs. We also thought about stopping into Salcombe Gin Distillery, Shaprham Wine or Exeter if we’d had time, but there are plenty of options if you’re coming from further afield – Dart’s Farm was a great stop off on the way back!
Well 2019. It’s been a mixed bag on all fronts, hasn’t it? Some amazing new food & drink places arrived in the city, the city & its restaurants won even more accolades, we welcomed another new eating district to the city (hi, Finzel’s Reach!), but we also had to bid farewell to some really great businesses.
Alongside the celebration of all the brilliant businesses & events below, it’s a good time to remember that things have never been tougher for independents, so make sure you shop, dine & drink local as much as you can in the new year – we really are spoilt for choice in Bristol, let’s keep it that way!
Finally plucked up the courage to ask the object of your affection out for a drink? Or want to spoil your significant other?
Here are a few suggestions for your next date night, whether it’s a casual coffee, a slap-up dinner or a relaxed bite to eat – all a bit special, not too noisy and with a nice atmosphere to allow you to have the perfect time with your beau. Happy smooching!
The upside to the end of summer fun times is that now we get into the season of fireplaces, thick socks and darker beers – plus tenuous excuses to eat German food and listen to oompah music – what’s not to love?
Have your calendar at the ready, here’s what you can look forward to in October…
We all have times when we’re in need of a night out to make us feel a bit special, or wanting to find a place that feels a bit more quiet and hidden away.
Bristol has become famous for its variety of speakeasies and secret bars, all of which offer something a bit different, without being pretentious or too exclusive. With that in mind, here are some places where you can imbibe the finest cocktail concoctions in Bristol…
I realise that what started as a genuine intention to get people to enjoy the sights and spectacles of Bristol has instead turned in to a series of rather irresponsible pub crawl posts. Oh well, if Bristol does one thing better than most places in the UK it’s provide an amazing variety of drinking establishments, whether your tipple of choice be a fine craft beer, a rich Bordeaux or a cloudy pint of scrumpy.
St Michael’s Hill in the centre is probably the highest concentration of great pubs in this fine town of ours, and therefore perfect for a pubcrawl. I’d advise starting from the top, mind. It’s a wee bit steep, so not the most appealing route if you’ve imbibed a few strong ales. Continue reading Pub Crawl Bristol #2: St Michael’s Hill→
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!
Bristol is a great city for so many reasons, but one of the big ones for me is that it’s such a lovely place to go for a scenic amble of a weekend afternoon. There are lots of routes I like to take through the city, but my favourite by far is around the harbour.
The richest part of Bristol’s history starts here – some of the oldest and most beautiful buildings in the city can be found by the water and there is always something exciting going on no matter what the hour or time of year. So the next time you’re stuck for something to do of a weekend, I suggest you gather some friends and go on a cider or ale quest around the water’s edge. I’ve even put together a suggested route, because I’m nice like that.
What’s that I hear you say – nothing happens in January? Well it turns out there’s plenty to tempt you out of the house this month, whether it’s mega discounts, new places or exciting dinner events. Put it this way, I’ve already reneged on my booze-free plans for the month.
You can see a quick guide to the month’s events in the Events Calendar, and I also recommend having a read of my 2018 Highlights post at some point, mainly because it took bloody ages. Ta!
It’s time for my annual digest of the foodie comings and goings in Bristol, peppered with some favourites from a few fine folk (tell me yours over on Twitter and I’ll share them at the bottom of the post).
One of the best things about the weather getting colder is huddling in cosy corners in your thickest jumper, sipping a warm cider and snacking on festive treats.
It can sometimes be a mission to find the sort of comfort drink you’re after though, so on the suggestion of a friend I’ve put together a rudimentary list of places that will fulfill all of your winter boozing needs.
Want to celebrate a birthday, have a family meal or spoil that special someone?
As you’d expect, Bristol is brimming with excellent food options to suit every budget and taste; in fact you can eat well at many of the places below for a little over £10 – be sure to check their early bird deals or see if you can find them on the Wriggle app.
I’ve split the selections below by type, from serious sophistication down to the quirkier venues in town, so whether you’re on a date or a work do, you can work out the sort of mood & location that suits you best.
Break out your best shoes, smooth down your hair and straighten your bow tie – here are my tips for where to go when you’re in need of a serious treat in Bristol…
I’m in full festive cheer mode now – I’ve had my first mince pie and mulled beverage of the year, bedecked my halls with holly and ironed my sequinned reindeer jumper (only joking, I don’t even own an iron, grown up that I am).
Before you hibernate for Christmas week and drink your body weight in port, here are a few events which might tempt you out from your cosy nests. They’re proper good, I promise.
The past 12 months have seen an influx of burger joints set up shop in Bristol, to the point where it seemed like you couldn’t walk 5 paces in the centre of town without walking into an A Board shouting about the superior meat patties (Aberdeen Angus! 30 day aged! Fillet! – wait, why would you use fillet for a burger, you crazyperson?), toppings (All the cheese! Pulled Pork! 3 more burgers! Monster Munch!) and the continuation of that ever-contentious issue: sesame vs. brioche buns.
Now that the MeatWave™ has calmed somewhat, I feel like I can round up some of the better burger offerings out there. I hasten to add that most of these places also offer some excellent veggie options, and I’ll point out the best options as I go, but do check their menus for specific vegetarian/dairy free/GF options.