After writing a book about Cornwall the South West feels like my second home. Bristol is a handy stop halfway between London and the Cornish county, and has plenty to entertained for a weekend away.
Hotel du Vin Bristol – The Bristol branch of this hotel chain is housed in the historic, and wonderfully restored Sugar House, a Grade II listed building. Conveniently located in the centre of town with spacious bedrooms and efficient service, the Hotel du Vin is the ideal place to stay whilst visiting Bristol for a few days.
Casamia – This beautifully minimalist Michelin star restaurant serves an immaculate tasting menu inspired by the seasons. Casamia was once an Italian trattoria before being taken over by the owners sons who transformed the eatery into Bristol’s most refined restaurant. Chef Peter Sanchez-Iglesias has received many accolades for his evocative and delicious cooking.
Root – Cargo in Wapping Wharf, is a trendy new area of cafes, shops and restaurants, all housed in converted shipping containers. Root is a vegetable focussed restaurant with a short but creative menu, with chef Rob Howell at the helm. Everything is delicious.
Bar Buvette – This stylish French bistro and bar champions organic wines and comforting French cuisine. The quirky decor is very instagrammable and the communal dining ensures the atmosphere is always jolly. I can’t think of a more lovely place to spend a Friday evening, feasting on roast rabbit and sipping a unique glass of red.
Small Street Espresso – Appropriately named considered its address on Small Street, this independent espresso bar offers perfectly brewed coffee and a cosy place to enjoy it. The design is lovely too… expect to find exposed brickwork, original floorboards. Pick up a homemade cake and ask the barista about the weekly guest roasts.
Full Court Press – This popular speciality coffee shop was opened in 2012 by caffeine connoisseur Mat North. The cafe is decorated with attractive mid-century decor and has a regularly changing selection of beans, masterfully poured.
Hyde & Co – One of Bristol’s finest cocktail bars, this little speakeasy hang-out serves up classic concoctions, inspired by the prohibition era. Mixology fans should also visit the sister bar, Milk Thistle.
Papersmiths – This colourful stationery emporium is a must for all pen and paper addicts. The shop stocks international magazines and paper related products alongside systematically organised stationery, carefully chosen from designers around the world.
Dig Haushizzle – At the top of the Christmas Steps you will find this antique furniture and vintage design store created by Cassandra Linton and Edward Nicholas. Crammed with eclectic and interesting items you’ll want to find a home for in your home.
Hoko Menswear – One of the many premium fashion shops in the upmarket area of Clifton. Hoko stocks desirable designers such as Margaret Howell, Aesop, Acne and Sunspel, to name a few.
Arnolfini Gallery – A cool, contemporary gallery on the waterfront. Arnolfini is free to visit, and also hosts poetry and book readings and artist performances.
Banksy Street Art – Banksy was born in Bristol in 1974 and many of his most famous street art is found in the city. Look up a route online and take a self-guided tour around the city centre to see some of the most prominent and shocking pieces.
Clifton Suspension Bridge – This iconic bridge stands tall over the Avon Gorge, a beautiful structure by architect Isambard Kingdom Brunel which has become a symbol of the city.
The Ethicurean – This idyllic restaurant set amongst the lovely Mendip Hills countryside is the perfect day trip from Bristol. Walk around the lush gardens before settling for lunch in the pretty greenhouse dining room. I adored every plate of food from the starter of Tandoori cauliflower with smoked almonds, roasted brassica tops, apricot labneh & cashew pesto to the simple but divine dessert, Sticky toffee apple cake with clotted cream ice cream & honeycomb.