Life Travel

3 Locally Recommended Places to Eat, Bristol…

November 12, 2018

Bristol.  One of the most creative spaces I have visited in Britain, is full of university students, artists and Londoners escaping the city.  An hour and a half out of London, over the past few years it has become the place for creatives migrating from pricey London.  Interestingly, my friends who live in Bristol have told me that rents are going up that many are now moving to Bath!  The spa town that was considered posh and out of reach.  But I digress!

This year I have visited two friends a couple of times and roamed Bristol.  The first visit had us staying in the heart of the city which is like any typical high street.  This area comes to life on the weekend with lots of pop up stalls selling handmade soaps, cakes and puppets!  Stokes Croft is the artier end of town with graffiti walls by prominent artists, independent craft stores and plenty of vintage.  Clifton, the posh area, has a steep main street peppered with university lecture halls and high end retail.  I stayed in Clifton with a friend the second trip and would thoroughly recommend basing yourself here.  Whilst being central the first trip was nice and gave us a lay of the land, however Clifton is a magical English village with magnificent sandstone houses, tree lined streets and wood fires burning.  It reminded me of my childhood and how I kicked the leaves in the little village on my walks to school.

Bristol Lido

The Lido Bristol

Bristol Lido

It pays to know a local and ask for recommendations. The Bristol Lido opened in the 1850’s falling into disrepair closing in the 1990’s.  Restored by a local restaurant group The Lido is now a secret local destination.  We had our brunch inside the glass house that runs the length of the heated Lido.  At times we admitted it felt like we were spying on the swimmers!  I had delicious Turkish eggs, in a spicy tomato sauce with yogurt and added bacon.  I highly recommend that you book as we only just got a table Saturday morning and there was a line of people waiting for lunch.  The lovely staff told us that leading up to Christmas they hang fairy lights and when the sun goes down it looks like a dream land.  Due to high membership numbers The Lido is restricted to being opened to the public during the week, but you can get around this by booking a Spa Package with massage!

Soukitchen Bristol

SouKitchen is a Mediterranean, tapas style restaurant with two locations in Bristol.  We visited the Clifton kitchen tucked off the main street.  First up the entrance is a glass conservatory which makes a perfect place for summer lunches and great to keep out the cold for winter dinners.  We stuck with the sharing plates and got five between two which was plenty.  They have a fantastic cocktail selection and I recommend the Bloody Mary.  The spice and thickness of the drink made it feel like I was drinking my dinner.  It was delicious!

The Florist Bristol  The Florist Bristol

The Florist BristolThe Florist.  Recommended by many an Instagram follower and when we arrived for Sunday brunch we could see why.  Like a Tardis, this restaurant has lots of different rooms, all with bars, and filled to the brim with flower walls.  We were told Saturday is the busiest and Sunday was just us for the first hour.  I had the Nutella and Biscoff pancakes that had a caramelised banana, snapping perfectly when eating!  To drink I had the Juniper Garden, a mocktail with my favourite elderflower syrup and it is the best drink I have had this year.  My friend had granola with peaches and yoghurt which came to the table deconstructed.  Fun!  Her drink was the Rhubarb and Custard which had a real version of the sweet hanging off the side!

Bristol Pinkmans

Bristol Good Egg

Bristol Harts BakeryI visited Pinkmans as I had heard about their donuts and The Crafty Egg for a hearty second breakfast on Sunday.  Both did not disappoint!  Also go early to Harts Bakery under the railway arches of Temple Mead for delicious savoury pastries and a tasty rhubarb and sour cream crumble slices.

Do you have any food recommendations for Bristol?  I have now fallen in love with this city so will be going back in 2019 for sure.  Happy eating.  PF xo.

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Travel

Good Grief, Charlie Brown! Exhibition at Somerset House…

October 31, 2018

The Good Grief, Charlie Brown! Celebrating Snoopy and the enduring Power of Peanuts exhibition, at Somerset House, is awesome! I booked a ticket last minute, to break my cabin fever, and it is hands down the best exhibition I have been to.  Honouring Charles M. Schulz’s creation of the Peanut comic strip, the display includes a selection of work from the 50’s until his last piece in 2000.  Schulz started drawing from a young age when he realised he could draw better then others.  Inspired by American cartoonists, Milton Caniff and Bill Mauldin, Schulz’s drawings portray the ups and downs of everyday life impacted by politics, racism, sexism, war and faith.  Often miserable, Charlie Brown is joined by his dog Snoopy and a host of characters including Lucy, Peppermint Patty and Linus who form his gang.  Woodstock, the bird and my favourite character, came later as one of the migratory birds that made a permanent residence of Snoopy’s home.

There is a particular poignant part of the exhibition I urge you to look for and spend time at. On the second floor, in a glass case, are letters to Schulz from the Black American community urging him to add a representative character, after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.  What stood out to me were the requests of ‘representation’ and ‘racial diversity’, terms that we use now, that were already being use and often dismissed then.  Schulz was honest in his reply, with concerns portraying a community he had no associations with, but after time, with guidance,  he developed Franklin.  Despite strong objections from publishers, and readers, Schulz refused to stop including Franklin ensuring he had a voice and key role in the gang’s activities.  The typed letters between Schulz and key supporters on display will make you stop and think about the current racial climate.

I spent over three hours in the exhibition reading comic strips and understanding their place in history and the everyday influence of the time. There is a table full of comic books where you can sit and read as many of the stories as you want!  Upstairs, a room full of bean bags invites you to lounge, whilst the TV cartoon plays across a massive screen. They even have a physiatrist booth set up with a qualified physiatrist attending twice a week!  Real advice, not the empty thoughts Lucy used to provide!  The fun bit, where you will have to stand your ground, are the lightboxes that are covered in Charlie Brown characters.  Plenty of paper is provided with felt tip pens to make you own cartoon by redrawing your favourite characters and Peanuts scenery.

The exhibition has just opened and finishes 3rd March 2019. Tickets range from £11 to £14 and under 12’s go free.

Are you going to go? What is the best exhibition you have been to this year?  PF xo

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Charlie Brown Pinterest

Books

The Accidental Further Adventures of The Hundred Year Old Man by Jonas Jonasson Book Review…

October 29, 2018

Reducing my screen time has opened up a window before bed to read and now that I am in the routine my bank account can’t keep up!  I devour books and often got in trouble when I was younger for eating them.  Did you have a book club at school?  In Australia we had one where you got a brochure and could pick which books you wanted to buy.  I remember pouring over this for hours selecting and reselecting the books I wanted.  Then asking my mum what the budget was and refining further!  At one stage I know I had hundreds of books and later in high school when we were taught to speed read it shocked everyone that I could read 998 words per minute with a 98% accuracy.  To try and plug the gap and keep the momentum I joined my local library and borrowed The Accidental Further Adventures of The Hundred Year Old Man by Jonas Jonasson*.

When did you last visit a library?  I hadn’t been to one for over seven years.  It was only because I walked a different way to the station that I spotted my local.  A search on the internet and I had printed the application alongside my proof of my address.  It only took a few minutes on a Saturday to have my membership stamped.  Whilst I waited I perused the new books section and found The Accidental Adventures of The Hundred Year Old Man.  Excited I grabbed it immediately should someone else see it too!  I have read all of Jonasson’s previous works including my favourite, the first of this series, The Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out of The Window and Disappeared.

Continuing on from this previous book, The Accidental Adventures starts off reintroducing us to the two main characters, Allan, aged over 100 and Julias, aged younger then Allan!  Having survived their previous adventures with a briefcase full of cash, the duo have settled in Bali for the endless sunshine.  After a year though, they both have itchy feet.  Allan craves another adventure and Julias, a serial criminal, wants to scheme and steal again!  A hiccup with a hot air balloon sees them sailing across the sea with three bottles of champagne to be rescued by a North Korean ship.  With the ship secretly carrying a cargo of uranium Allan and Julias have no choice but to travel to the communist country.  Jonasson add current affairs into his stories and has Allan enrage Trump, resulting in a twitter tirade and Julias mixing up a coffin delivery that upsets the local German Nazis.

If you love a book with twists and turns, that cleverly makes you relook at current world events, this is for you. Let me know if you read it and what your thoughts are.

Happy Reading.  PF xo

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Accidental Adventures