Bristol has a very special place in my heart and feels like a second home to me. I moved there to be with Dave and we rented our first home together, a beautiful apartment within The Robinson Building in Bedminster. I had never lived away from home, and it was quite a scary but liberating time. I fell head over heels for Bristol and all of its creativity and quirks. Though we moved back to the Midlands, I visit Bristol often to see friends and just say hello to one of my favourite cities. There always seems to be new cafes and shops and places to visit popping up but I thought I would do a round-up of my favourites areas and places within them. Get yourself some comfy shoes, we have some walking to do!!
In the first instalment of my Bristol series, we begin in Bedminster and Southville, south of the River Avon, two neighbouring vibrant areas that as a new visitor to Bristol you may not typically venture to, but they’re absolutely not to be missed.
Home to the Upfest Festival (one of Europe’s largest urban art festivals) that takes place every year, there is always new pieces of street art to discover around this area. I’ll add some images of my favourite pieces, past and present.
North Street is at the centre of this area and there are more and more cafes, shops and bars opening up all the time making it a very sought after place to live.
Places to eat / drink:
Tobacco Factory – This venue is a café, bar, theatre and market all rolled into one. There is a real community feel about this place and it is great to have a relaxed coffee in the day and grab some food with friends or a drink at night. I particularly love visiting on a Sunday which is when the Tobacco Factory Market takes place. With over 40 stalls with an array of traders and food stalls I highly recommend checking it out, a perfect way to spend your Sunday morning.
Thali – Thali is a beautiful quirky Indian restaurant with a twist. There are various Thali restaurants around the Bristol area (my personal favourite being in Clifton), which serve traditional Indian food served on one stainless steel plate (or you can order a takeaway in an eco-friendly tiffin). The interiors are just fabulous and have a real ‘Bristol’ vibe about them.
Souk Kitchen – Across the road from Thali, you will find the Souk Kitchen. Another beautiful restaurant, but my goodness the food! It is really quite something, serving an array of vibrant Middle Eastern mezze to be enjoyed as a sharing plate or larger dishes to enjoy to yourself.
The Old Bookshop – a quirky pub, serving delicious hearty food and a great place to have a drink at night. With an eclectic array of vintage décor, from a light fitting of musical instruments, to disconcerting taxidermy and a piano at the bar – it’s a feast for the eyes and an incredibly friendly place to visit.
Albatross café – I adore this café, it is me all over and its somewhere I want to visit every time I go to Bristol. An absolute ‘instagrammable’ dream of a café, adorned in plants, wicker and food and drink served in absolutely beautiful wheel-thrown ceramics (which are made by the talented Jericho Studio Pottery and available to purchase in the café). Every time I have visited the sun seems to beam against the scandi white walls making it such a calming environment. I recomend the crumpets for brunch, who knew a crumpet could be so pretty?!
They also open late on a Friday and Saturday where you can have a cocktail or two amongst the greenery.
North Street Standard – A great place to grab food and a drink, with its industrial warehouse feel and outdoor seating, its somewhere we always seem to meet as a group with friends and can always find a spot for a casual drink or delicious mac ‘n’ cheese.
Zara’s Chocolates is a lovely chocolatier which recently moved from sharing space within a florist shop, to their own store on North Street complete with a Hot Chocolate Bar. I know where I will be warming up over the winter months when visiting Bristol! A beautiful calming space within the heart of Southville.
Mon Pote – An incredible lifestyle store, with such a homey feel you will want to come out with everything! Offering a treasure trove of homeware items, from plants to planters, kitchenware to prints, stationary, jewellery and the most beautiful childrens books and traditional wooden toys, it’s a beautifully curated store.
Rhubarb Jumble – for those vintage lovers, this is a great place for you. An amazing selection of vintage clothing, my particular favourite is their selection of vintage homewares. I actually saw a fabulous wicker chair on their Instagram page and asked one of my best friends, Natalie, to bagsy it for me (It now sits proudly in my kitchen).
Zero Green– This is an amazing waste-free shop born from the frustration at all the unecessary packaging and plastic used in supermarkets currently, encouraging customers to lead a more eco-friendly lifestyle. The customer can bring their own packaging to fill up with food, but there are also various empty pots and jars if you haven’t got your own with you. Selling everything from food products, to bamboo straws, ethical cleaning products and soaps, I hope more shops like Zero Green pop up in other cities as it is a great and necessary concept.
Bristol Reclamation Yard – so many amazing upcycled treasures here, including antiques and furniture. We got various pieces here when we first moved into our apartment and it is a great place to start your sustainable journey.
Trika Yoga – An independent yoga studio located on North street. My friend works at Trika (say hello to Natalie if you pop in and be sure to check out her beautiful artwork displayed on the studio walls), and knows how much of a yoga bunny I have become this year so on my last visit she introduced me to Trika Yoga. We booked a Hatha Yoga class, taught by the amazing Natasha, and I absolutely loved the hour spent there. Set in a beautiful white studio with beams of sunlight coming through, Trika supply all the equipment so there is no need to pack your own. There is a wide range of classes for all levels, so even if you’re a yoga novice it’s a great place to begin your Yoga journey. When visiting different places, as well as sight seeing, eating, shopping, it has become important to me to also take that relaxing time – especially if it’s a holiday or mini-break away. I felt so refreshed after the class, and its something a little different to do and experience.
I hope you enjoyed this first Bristol-bound post exploring the wonderful area of Southville and Bedminster!