The Florist, Bristol

It seems that the restaurant scene in Bristol is evolving faster than anywhere else in Britain. This week, The Florist opened on Park Street and is a pretty place to enjoy expertly mixed floral cocktails and delicious, comforting food.

The Florist

I visited the Florist last weekend for the opening party events. The restaurant is modest from the street, aside from a stunning floral mural painted on the exterior brick wall. Inside an abundance of whimsical flowers decorate every corner and artwork by local Bristolians Gemma Compton and Jodie Thomas hang on the walls. On the first floor one area is completely taken over by climbing ivy… sure to be a hit with the instagramming community.

The FloristThe Florist

We were greeted by smiling staff, who seemed as excited as the guests to be involved in Bristol’s hottest new restaurant opening. Beautiful Bloody Mary’s were being made, adorned with Tabasco, celery sticks, sprigs of rosemary and wedges of lemon. Before long I had also tried other drinks from the floristry-inspired menu… the aromatic ‘Oak Moss Gin Old Fashioned’ and the ‘Violet Daisy’ (a subtle and fragrant concoction) – both drinks were as tasty as they looked.

The Florist

It took a while to explore all the different rooms at The Florist… I’m sure locals will delight in finding their own favourite space, whether it’s for a quiet business meeting, evening cocktails or a fun weekend brunch. I particularly loved the top floor dining room, with its glass roof and amazing views over the city.

The Florist

After a quick cinemagraph masterclass in the bar we headed up for lunch. The menu at The Florist features Deli boards and nibbles for sharing along with more substantial main courses and hot pots that showcase seasonal produce. On Sundays they offer a hearty roast… which I was lucky enough to sample when I visited. The irresistible scent from the kitchen made me even hungrier and I watched enviously as other diners received their plates of happiness. Soon it was our turn… generous dishes of roast beef and pork belly arrived steaming hot and glistening with gravy. The meats were delicious, organic, high quality and cooked to perfection. Accompanying the meat were fluffy light Yorkshire puddings, sweet glazed carrots, crispy roast potatoes and colourful broccoli and red cabbage. Along with the main courses we tried a few of the sides which included wonderfully garlicky spinach and indulgent cauliflower cheese. I’m usually not much of a fan of roasts outside my family home, but have to admit that The Florist ticked every box with their decadent Sunday offering.

The Florist

Before heading home to London there was just enough time to taste the desserts… vegan-suitable Elderflower meringue and caramelised peaches was a light and summery choice, while the Baked white chocolate cheesecake with ginger biscuit was a more greedy option.

The Florist

As Spring approaches and the daffodils arrive it seems fitting that Bristol welcomes The Florist to its restaurant scene. I was impressed with this creative space… with thoughtful details throughout. And after trying the food and drinks can assure you that this is one eatery that is definitely not style over substance.

More information and book a table here:

Address: 69 Park St, Bristol BS1 5PB. Follow The Florist on Instagram here.

This is a sponsored post in collaboration with The Florist.

A Day Trip to Soho Farmhouse

I seem to know a lot of people who are a member of Soho House… which means I hear a lot about Soho Farmhouse, the group’s countryside retreat in Oxfordshire. Last week, finally, I had the opportunity to visit this much-loved property for a day exploring the facilities.

Soho Farmhouse

Driving in through the grand entrance gates I was struck by the sheer size of the estate. 40 cabins, a four-bedroom cottage and a seven-bedroom farm house are set amongst 100 acres of lovely English countryside. Once inside the Soho Farmhouse gates, the most difficult decision you’ll make is where to enjoy your morning cappuccino.

The spa is particularly spectacular, with an indoor pool and heated outdoor pool, steam room and sauna, high-tech gym and a wide range of Cowshed spa treatments.

Soho FarmhouseSoho Farmhouse

There are numerous spaces for relaxing and working, and I can only imagine how the outdoor areas come to life in the summer. We sat for a while in the main barn, where the sofas are topped with plumb velvet pillows, there are cosy log fires offering warmth and staff are on hand to bring you whatever beverage or snack you desire. I also loved the Farmshop & Deli, a perfectly quaint space with tiled floors, delicious delicacies and wholesome lunch options.

Soho FarmhouseSoho Farmhouse

I spent a while wandering outside too… as guests rode by on their branded bicycles I went to say “hello” to the horses at the stables and visited the greenhouse and gardens. Kids can roam free in the Soho Farmhouse grounds, and with so many different activities there is always something to entertain them.

Soho Farmhouse

Hungry from the intake of fresh country air, we headed back to the Main Barn for lunch, though I was tempted by the Japanese cuisine at Pen Yen. The food is simple, wholesome and comforting, whether you want something indulgent like the house cheeseburger, or prefer to choose from the healthy salads and soups. We nearly opted for the Spit roast Springfield Farm chicken for two with pork stuffing and potato & onion bake (which felt fitting in these surroundings) but decided to choose an assortment of dishes from the main a la carte menu… wood oven margarita pizza, wonderfully creamy burrata and delicious charred roasted cauliflower with onion.

Sadly, after lunch it was time to return to reality and drive back to London, but not before a quick pitstop at Bicester Village… just 15 minutes drive from Soho Farmhouse. It is yet another reason to stay at this British countryside sanctuary.

More information and book a stay at Soho Farmhouse here.

Artist Residence, Oxfordshire

Oxfordshire was seriously lacking in lovely boutique accommodation… until Artist Residence opened a branch of their cosy characterful hotels in the small village of South Leigh.

Artist Residence Oxford

This hotel is the newest in the Artist Residence family, with other branches in London, Brighton and Cornwall. Much like the other properties, the venue captures the essence of the surrounding area while also injecting the recognisable Artist Residence fun and quirky style into the rooms and common spaces.

Thanks to the building’s heritage as a traditional pub, the hotel still operates as a pub / dining room on the ground floor, and the food here is worth visiting for alone. Head Chef Leon Smith has worked in some top UK kitchens and his experience of flavour shines through on the dishes. Hearty plates of food showcase the finest British ingredients, whether its foraged herbs and wild mushrooms or dairy from the local producers.

Artist Residence OxfordArtist Residence Oxford

I was lucky to be one of the first to experience the brand new Barn. This grand suite is a recent addition to the hotel, housed within one of the outbuildings with a private terrace and in-room log burner. The spacious suite has a high ceiling and original wooden floorboards. Colourful details, such as Morris & Co fabrics and vibrant artwork, add flair and personality. One night was not enough to get to know every quirk in this spectacular bedroom.

The en-suite dark green tiled bathroom featured a big free-standing bathtub and rainfall shower, and a generous supply of Bramley organic toiletries was provided.

Artist Residence Oxford

And though the Barn is indulgently wonderful, you don’t need to stay in the biggest room to have an indulgent night here. Even the smallest ‘Rabbit Hole’ bedroom is comfortable and beautiful, decorated and designed in a chic farmhouse style.

I would recommend this charming hotel to anyone in need of a minibreak from London. Artist Residence Oxfordshire is affordable, eclectic and special… it is the perfect getaway.

More information and book a room at Artist Residence Oxfordshire here.