Walking across the bridge from Southville, you’re greeted with the newly renovated area of Whapping Wharf situated next to the Harbourside.
You first come to Gaol Ferry Steps, which has an array of restaurants, cafes and shops and leads into the heart of Whapping Wharf. I can never pass by without visiting the Mighty Quinns Flower Emporium, a fabulous little flower and plant shop, and Fig1, a homeware store with so many beautiful items!
Among the plethora of cafes and restaurants is Little Victories, a coffee shop by day, and casual bar by night, be sure to look up and admire their floating clouds!
Whapping Wharf has so many great restaurants and shops located within converted shipping containers (Cargo). It is a brilliant concept, and one container even houses a yoga studio which I am yet to try.
One of my favourites is Sholay Indian Kitchen, I recommend the Kathi rolls and Masala chips.
One of my favourite things to do when I lived in Bristol was to run or walk the length of the Harbourside. There are much quieter parts further away from the centre towards the Hotwells side or just past the SS. Great Britain, where I would find a ledge next to the water, dangle my feet over the edge and read my book. Also be sure to check out the numerous boats that are moored up, in particular, one with Rosie and Jim hanging out in it!
There are a couple of my favourite restaurants also situated along the Harbourside. The first being The Olive Shed. With a panoramic view of the harbour and a delicious array of tapas on offer, its great to grab some lunch and sit outside watching the world go by.
Another great place to eat is the Grain Barge. Based towards the Hotwells side of the harbour, climb aboard the converted barge and tuck into a hearty pie and enjoy the great views of the colourful houses and the sailing boats. If you are visiting Bristol before mid-November, my friend PencilPusher has her work currently exhibiting here so be sure to check that out!
The next restuarant is a paticular favourite of mine, Spoke and Stringer. Located at the Boathouse across the harbour from the SS. Great Britain, it serves tapas with a twist. With some of the most delicious food I have tasted, my mum once describing it as a gastronomic delight, Spoke and Stringer serve a selection of Pintxos alongside scrumptious cocktails within an incredibly stylish industrial style interior, its somewhere I go time and time again. It is also a great place to settle down in the sun with a coffee and a cake in the day and in the summer to sit out by the water with a glass of wine.
Further along the harbourside towards the centre is the Mud Dock. With delicious food, a great atmosphere, an amazing terrace overlooking the water and an extremely cool interior situated above a bike shop, it’s another favourite and if you like bikes you’ll love it.
If you’re looking for a bit of history, you can visit Brunel’s SS. Great Britain, launched in 1843, it is one of the most important historic ships in the world. Tickets cost around £16.00 and are valid for 12 months so you can return time and time again.
Another place to definitely check out is the Arnolfini which is a short walk from the newly developed Whapping Wharf, at the heart of the Harbourside. It’s a great arts centre with free entry, the exhibitions are well worth a look. I would advise checking their website to see whats on. I was lucky enough to catch the Grayson Perry exhibit when I last visited. The Arnolfini also houses a brilliant bookshop, and I always come out with a book wish list. There is a café too which is beautiful and surrounded with lots of greenery.
Every weekend lots of independent sellers set up stalls around this area for the Harbourside Market, where you can support lots of creatives. My friend Lucy of Lost in France Studio is regularly here and sells the most beautiful eco-resin jewellery so be sure to look out for her here!
Generally the Harbourside is just a wonderful area to walk around, at any time of the year and really takes you out of the city without ever really leaving! In the summer the bars and restaurants set up tables and chairs by the water and people roam with their families and friends to enjoy the fresh air.
Next in the Bristol Series we will be walking towards the centre and exploring St Nicholas Market.