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.
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 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. 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!
I 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.