Colston Street is a creative quarter with wonderful independent stores with beautiful colourful frontages.
Blaze is my go-to for gifts and treating myself to new artwork. It is an independent shop selling an array of prints, ceramics, crafts, and also offers a studio and gallery space. It has a real mix of artwork, from my beloved Studio Ghibli to botanical artwork, animals, Frida Kahlo and various other subjects.
My particular favourite artist whose work is sold in Blaze is Tejetramas, making amazing puppets of all shapes and sizes. My other half had a puppet version of me made, hugging a Harry Potter book, and wearing my favourite pinafore! I have since had one each made for my parents, my Dad wearing his Pink Floyd Tee clutching a book on walking, whilst my Mum in a favourite dress with Tea and Cake. They are such a wonderful unique present for a loved one, and so expertly made. I am desperate for the Geisha that I spotted in Blaze recently (pictured).
Another talented artist to look out for in Blaze is Eska Wonders, a ceramic artist creating beautiful figures from coils of clay.
Around the corner from Blaze is The Forge. I am yet to attend a workshop here, but it is on my list of things to do when next in Bristol. Offering an array of classes and workshops and in an absolutely beautiful building with exposed brick and sash windows.
I think by now you know I am a sucker for anywhere that sells leafy greens, and so I introduce you to Les Fleurs, which sell some beautiful plants as well as lots of beautiful flowers.
There are lots of lovely independent shops along this road, including a second hand book shop, Bloom and Curll (which has a free reading bench outside which is such a fabulous idea) and Pirrip Press, an illustration design and print studio.
Walking down the hill you will come to Christmas Steps, a historic street with more lovely businesses under the festoon lights which will lead you towards the city centre.
We are heading upwards though and towards Park Street. Before ascending the hill, take a peek in the Central Library with its marble entrance way, I was blown away with how beautiful the buildings are around this area.
Park Street is a steep hill leading towards Queens Road, and something of a shopping haven. There is a mix of cafes, restaurants and independent shops and I love discovering which new places have popped up every time I return to this area.
I can never seem to pass by Sobeys without having a little look around their rails of vintage clothing, I have a ridiculous number of Sobey’s shirts and pinafores from my time living in Bristol! I am also in love with their House of Hackney wallpaper!
Looking out for the sign for The Folk House, follow the passageway off Park street and you will come to a cute courtyard leading to an education centre offering classes and workshops at all times of the day. We did a pottery workshop a couple of years ago and it cemented our love for ceramics. It’s a great way to meet new people or just learn a few more skills! It also houses a wonderful sustainable and ethical café.
The Florist is the perfect lunch or dinner spot and especially for those with a love for floristry! With its floral mural walls, greenery dripping from the windows, old frames adorned with flowers and botanical prints on the white washed walls, it’s a lovely place to settle down from a day’s shopping. Don’t miss the amazing street art by artist Jody on the side of the building too!
Another leafy favourite, is Pinkmans. Find a seat underneath the wonderful copper piping lights and try their salad plates and wood-fired pizzas, delicious!
Heading onto Queens Road, you will find Bristol Museum and Art Gallery that has constant exhibitions on and is set within a spectacular building.
Coming towards the end of the strip of shops, there is Vinegar Hill, packed full of home and lifestyle products – it’s a particular favourite of mine at Christmas! There is also a Forbidden Planet across the road with an amazing selection of anime and Studio Ghibli films which I am always collecting!
In the next post I am heading to Clifton, the Suspension Bridge and the Botanical Gardens (of course!).