I love revisiting Bristol – my favourite UK city where I spent my college years!
Usually I’ll end up revisiting once a year, to meet up with friends, go to festivals/gigs or just to get out of Cornwall and visit some shops and restaurants that we don’t get down here.
With Christmas coming up, I love the festive feeling of Bristol so I thought it would be nice to go up for a couple of days to see the sights and markets. We were only there for 48 hours (the perfect amount of time in my opinion!) and it got me thinking about the ideal way I’d spend those hours in this city…
Day 1 – PM:
HIGH STREET SHOPPING IN THE CENTER
After dropping our bags at the hotel (we stayed at the Mercure Grand, which excellently located in the center but was somewhat disappointing so I wouldn’t necessarily recommend – but there are loads of central hotels to choose from!) and making sure we were wrapped up warm, we headed out to the main ‘high streets’ of Bristol to get some Christmas shopping done and drink mulled wine whilst wandering through the market stalls.
DINNER AT URBAN TANDOOR
Because we failed to book, sadly we didn’t manage to get a table at Urban Tandoor – Bristol’s top-rated Indian restaurant. Instead we went to Raj, another highly rated Indian restaurant based in a quirky vault near the centre. The service was excellent, but the food wasn’t as good as we’ve had elsewhere, and I had really wanted to try Urban Tandoor, so maybe next time!
BRUNCH AT THE IRONWORKS
After a lazy start, we fancied a good old brunch to get us through what we planned to be a day of walking. There are way too few places in Cornwall that do a good brunch/breakfast, so when I visit Bristol it’s so exciting to have so many options to choose from!
Conveniently located right next to our hotel, we popped into The Ironworks (famous for their pancakes and breakfasts) and sure enough, ordered some pancakes and a large breakfast. There were loads of delicious brunch options on their menu that it took me an age to decide what to have, but chocolate and strawberry pancakes had to happen for me, along with a couple of milkshakes too.
WATERFRONT & PARK STREET
We spent the early afternoon wandering around the Waterfront, watching the boats go past and walking around the fountains and planetarium, before visiting College Green (my old stomping ground in Summer!) and hiking up Park Street, popping into shops as we went.
COFFEE & VIEWS FROM CLIFTON
Headed in the direction of Clifton anyway, it would be silly not to add this to the visit as you walk up Park Street and Whiteladies Road! Famous for being the posh/more affluent area of Bristol, it’s always fun to wander around the little boutique shops and pop into one of the many independent coffee houses for a cuppa and a slice of cake if you get tired.
If it’s a nice day (and not starting to rain like it did for us!), walking up to the Clifton Suspension bridge at sunset is something you shouldn’t miss. With stunning views across the city and Clifton gorge, it’s a great spot for photos too.
DINNER AT BENTO BOSS ON WHITELADIES ROAD
If you love sushi as much as we do, you have to book a table at Bento Boss on Whiteladies Road. It’s fantastic value and absolutely delicious… I can’t actually believe quite how much we ate in the end but it was worth rolling ourselves into a taxi back to the hotel because it was so good.
Day 3 – AM:
STOKES CROFT & GLOUCESTER ROAD
We actually opted for a morning trip to Ikea instead of doing this (it’s a bit of a novelty when you’re from the depths of Cornwall!), but if you’re not fussed about furniture shopping, I’d definitely recommend taking a wander into Stokes Croft and Gloucester Road. It’s full of some of Bristol’s most famous street art, and is known for being a haven for independent/hipster shops and cafes.