Thursday, 21 May 2015

Ship shape and Bristol fashion!

I've been set a task. To write just 500 words under the title of '24 hours best spent in my favourite city'. Of course I've chosen here goes!

Having lived in Bristol for eight years, I’m at risk of sounding a little biased but I truly believe it to be one of Britain's best cities, if not the best. Famous for its balloons, bridges, boats and Banksy, it's also the size and vibe that make Bristol such a fantastic city to visit. It never fails to amaze me how such a diverse culture manages to fit into a relatively small space allowing you to walk, or cycle across the city soaking in its thriving street art and cultural scene with ease. The city is hugely unpretentious and boasts fantastic food, music, nightlight, views and great architecture.

For me, 24 hours in Bristol would have to begin with a hearty breakfast at SouKitchen in Southville. Here you can expect to enjoy a deliciously unusual fusion of Moroccan inspired recipes made using the finest local ingredients. Located slap bang in the centre of North Street - home to Upfest, an annual graffiti and street art festival that sees the city brought to life by local and international artists – you couldn’t want for a better breakfast. 

With bellies full, a short walk down the river will lead you to Hotwells with it’s pastel houses and unspoilt views of the Clifton Suspension Bridge. Next head for Clifton Village which boasts boutique shops, Georgian town houses, a Victorian shopping arcade, hidden gardens and a delightful city zoo with manicured gardens.

For lunch, stroll down Park Street to Saint Nicholas market. Make sure to stop at Cabot tower to soak in the city views, and don’t miss Banksy’s handiwork along the way. At Saint Nicks, among other things, you’ll find Pieminister, Bristol's best pie eatery. The pies are to die for but if pies aren’t your cup of tea, try the Italian stand or The Pear café, both are delicious and close by. 

No trip to Bristol is complete without a visit to Stokes Croft and of course, a pint of cider. Like Southville, Stokes Crofts walls are littered with positive messages and colourful street art. You’ll also find a French patisserie here selling vibrant and tasty macarons, along with a selection of delicious entremets. Walking through Stokes Croft will leave you feeling positive, uplifted and ready for a cool, crisp beverage.

Cider can be found on tap at every pub in the city but if its real cider you’re after, it’s got to be the Coronation Tap. Before you go, however, it would be wise to grab dinner at the Clifton Sausage to ensure your stomach is well lined. The cider served at the ‘Cori Tap’, particularly its famous ‘Exhibition Cider’ isn’t for the faint hearted. Only served in half measures, upon first sip you’ll see why. 

When the sun goes down, take a walk into the city centre to the intimate Mr Wolfs where you’ll be treated to live music and DJ sets, alternately if its more cider you’re after, make a bee line for The Apple, Bristol’s cherished cider boat to dance the night away!

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