Bristol’s Best Sunday Roasts

Sunday Dinners Bristol
Sunday Dinners Bristol

Bristol Best Sunday Roast Guide

It’s hard to beat the iconic Sunday roast while away your Stag or Hen weekend. You’re feeling a little fragile after a big night on the Saturday, you want to catch up with friends or family, you need refuelling after a hearty walk in the countryside, what’s the answer? It’s always going to be a Sunday roast and Sunday roasts in Bristol are some of the best.

When you’re up against everyone’s mum’s who make the best roast ever or Auntie Mavis who’s roast tatties are legendary, it can be a hard act to follow but we think the Bristol Good Food Awards 2018 shortlist has got some great contenders. Voted for by the people of Bristol and judged by food experts, the awards ceremony is at the end of February.

Time to get sampling what the nominees have to offer so you can find your award winner too. If you’re not local to Bristol we’ve got you covered too as there’s Somerset cottage accommodation for you to make a break of it and sample Sunday roasts in Bristol.

Best Sunday Roast in Bristol

Roast Dinner Bristol

The Bank Tavern, 8 John Street, Bristol, BS1 2HR

So for the ultimate Bristol Sunday roast let’s start with the highly commended in 2015, The Bank Tavern.

An unassuming traditional pub tucked away in the city centre serving traditional and more contemporary dishes and most importantly, an amazing roast. All you need to go with it is some award winning ales and cider and yes, you’ve got it, they can provide that too.

Broken Dock, Millennium Promenade, Bristol, BS1 5SY

Broken Dock is a relative newcomer to the Bristol Sunday roast scene as they reopened in May 2017 with new everything; new name, staff and menus. If you’re going to open a restaurant, bagging a Bristol Good Food nomination within your first year is a great way to do it.

Sunday Roast Bristol

Browns, 38 Queens Road, Clifton, Bristol, BS8 1RE

Browns definitely have the first impressions covered. You can’t help but appreciate the sense of grandeur as you walk up the steps towards the building which was modelled on the Doge’s Palace in Venice.

As you might imagine, the inside of the building doesn’t disappoint wither and is a stunning location to enjoy your Bristol Sunday roast.

Roast Bristol

Cowshed, 44-46 Whiteladies Road, Clifton, Bristol, BS8 2NH

Although Cowshed is renowned for meat, their focus is fresh, locally sourced, seasonal produce. With big tables, this would be an ideal place to go with a group of friends or family for a Sunday roast in Bristol. They were highly commended for their Sunday roast in 2012

Nettle & Rye, 16 Kings Road, Bristol, BS8 4AB

If you find yourself in Clifton on a Sunday lunchtime, Nettle and Rye might be the place for you. With a sun trap outsides and a relaxed feel inside, maybe it’s time to take advice from the Bristol Good Food Award and visit this 2016 highly commended eatery.

Rose of Denmark, 6 Dowry Place, Bristol, BS8 4QL

For a traditional roast of good portions, The Rose of Denmark is a great shout. Being close to the harbourside, you’re in the right place to go for a walk after your Sunday roast. No stranger to the Bristol Good Food award best Sunday lunch, The Rose of Denmark was highly commended in 2013 and 2014.

Victoria Park, 66 Raymend Rd, Bristol BS3 4QW ·

A local gastropub which, as the name suggests, is just off of Victoria Park, won the award for the Best Sunday Roast in 2013. With great views from the garden where you can enjoy your award winning roast, bring on the spring.

Yert Lush Bristol

Yurt Lush, Clock Tower Yard, Temple Meads, BS1 6QH

I bet you’ve been thinking that the list feels incomplete, like I’ve forgotten a classic major category in the Bristol Sunday roast eateries. We’ve covered restaurants and pubs but that’s it, no mention of Mongolian yurts, well here it is.

Nestled in next to Temple Meads, Yurt Lush has the wow factor and is a great place if you are looking for something a bit different to impress people. It definitely isn’t just a place to go for the novelty factor as the fresh flavours and sustainably sourced ingredients speak for themselves, so does the Bristol Good Food Award for the best Sunday roast for 2016.

Bristol is at the forefront of exquisite cuisine and as these nominees demonstrate, there is great variety and something for everyone, everyone who appreciates amazing Sunday roasts in Bristol that is.

Whether you live in Bristol or are visiting for the weekend, these contenders for the Bristol Good Food Award for the best Sunday roast are well spread around the city so there’s no excuse to not see what they have to offer. If so much talk of Sunday roasts in Bristol has piqued your interest but you’re not lucky enough to live in the area, why not book a weekend with friends at Bristol group accommodation and get sampling.

Bristols best nightclubs & nightlife

Bristol Nightclubs Nightlife
Bristol Nightclubs Nightlife

Best Bristol nightclubs & nightlife guide

Bristol has got a strong list of nightclubs that cater for stag or hen dos, so it makes for a great location for your big send-off.  This guide covers a lot of bases with options for a wide variety of tastes, ranging from 80s classics and indie club nights to DJ dance floor fillers and themed entertainment.

You can also find out more about our Bristol stag weekend and Bristol hen weekend activities & packages to add in some fun activities to all of the excitement.

Top 10 nightclubs in Bristol:

Bristol Nightclubs Nightlife

Thekla

The Thekla has been a big part of Bristol’s busy nightlife for years and it’s well worth stopping in on, even if you’re planning on finishing up the night somewhere else.

It features a lot of live music and throws indie club nights into the mix, but it’s not everyday you get to party on a boat, so it might be one to add to the tour plan. It’s moored up on The Grove to the south of Queen Square.

Popworld

Popworld is a popular 80s themed nightclub, which has dedicated itself to creating a party atmosphere. The emphasis is on fun and the dance floor is pretty busy. You can also book a table or booth for your group, so you’ve got a base for the night. It’s located on Baldwin St to the North of Queen Square.

Lola Lo

This Polynesian-styled Bristol nightclub has got as much tongue-in-cheek as it does monkey nuts on its counter. It doesn’t take itself too seriously, but it does throw in the occasional DJ set to keep the place jumping.

It’s got a long bamboo bar, where you can top up on cocktails, lots of tables and booths and some of the most exotic drinks you’re likely to find in Bristol. It’s located on Queens Rd, just around the corner from Berkely Square.

Bristol Nightclubs Nightlife

Prysm

This huge Bristol nightclub boasts seven themed rooms, so it should have something for everyone and a whole lot to explore. There are five bars in total, so plenty of options to fill your glasses.

It’s got a wide range of drinks, including a big cocktail menu, making this a strong contender for either a stag do or hen party. It’s located in The South Buildings on Canon’s Rd.

La Rocca

La Rocca is a three-room nightclub that bills itself as a party venue. It plays classic tracks and chart tunes on its checkerboard dance floor, which gets pretty lively by the end of the night. It’s a no-nonsense nightclub with shots at the ready, and more flashing lights than Blackpool at Christmas. You’ll find it on Triangle South, around the back of Lola Lo.

Walkabout

Walkabout is always a good option for stags and hens with its relaxed Antipodean approach to nightlife. It’s got classic themed party nights with Feelgood Fridays and Walkabout Saturdays, huge bars and plenty of dancefloor space. You can find it on Corn St, north of Popworld.

Bristol Nightclubs Nightlife

Luna

Luna is a little way out of town, located in Clifton, so if you’re looking for Bristol nightclub away from the main hubbub then it could be one to put on your weekend list. It prides itself on its cocktail menu and hosts a Pop night on Saturdays.

You can find it on Richmond Terrace, off Queens Rd. Sadly, it’s scheduled to close its doors for the last time on New Year’s Eve 2017, so enjoy it while it lasts.

Kobe Karaoke

OK, so the name gives this away, but it’s hard not to include Kobe Karaoke in the list of nightclubs for a stag do or hen party in Bristol, even if its technically a karaoke bar. It’s a whole lot of fun, whether it’s for a group of big singing guys or girls that just want to have fun. It’s on Nelson St, not too far from Bierkeller if you’re looking to combine Oompah and Karaoke on the same night.

Bierkeller

Two-pint steins, Oompah Bands and a rock and roll spirit makes Bierkeller about as close as it gets to an Oktoberfest stag do in Bristol. It also has a fair few live bands and with a 750-person capacity, it’s got a lot of room to move around in.  It’s located on All Saints’ St, next to Castle Park.

Bristol Nightclubs Nightlife

Basement 45

Finally, getting into more serious waters, there’s Basement 45, which mixes a variety of music with guest and resident DJs. It’s got three dance floors and three bars, all underneath its arched basement ceiling. You can check it out on Frogmore St, next door to Soda bar.

The ultimate Best Mans Guide to organising a stag do

Best Man Guide
Best Man Guide

The Ultimate Best Man’s Guide to Organising a Stag Weekend

You knew it might be coming, you just didn’t know when.  So you your best mate has kindly asked you to be his Best Man for the wedding, and now expects you to arrange an all-guns-blazing stag do that will give him the time of his life on his last night of freedom.  No pressure then.

Fear not, our Ultimate Best Man’s Guide will help navigate your way through the mother of all to do lists and set you up for the greatest stag do known to man or beast.

Best Man Guide

1. Finding your feet

A good sit down session in the pub with the groom always makes a good start.  Try to glean as much information as possible.  What dates suit his availability and are a safe distance before the wedding (remember, eye brows need some time to grow back)? How long does he want to be away for?  What style of weekend is he expecting?  What sort of activities would he like to do?

You will also need to know who on the invite list are his best friends and must be accommodated to ensure attendance.  Therefore, it’s always best to find out two or three weekends you are both free to attend the stag.

Remember, you will always want to keep plenty up your sleeve for the weekend, so this is an information finding process only.  It’s always a lot more fun to keep the destination secret, but this may not suit him so find out his expectations during the chat.

You will also need a full invite list (with email addresses and phone numbers).

2. Who’s coming then?

It’s now time to fire off an email to find out who is available and willing to attend.  You need some firm commitment from the group to make things easier for the organisation that will come later, so you may want to consider your wording to ensure you do not receive too many “maybe” responses.  It may be worth offering two or three dates and going with the majority.

Best Man Guide

3. Time constraints, Budget & Destination

You will need to consider the group’s likely budget and time constraints.  There’s no point in organising a week-long trip to Vegas if only 4 from 20 people sign up.  So it may be worth proposing a first option and see who is keen to attend, before then re-evaluating if necessary.

But whatever you do, don’t give the group too many options or you’ll get just as many wide ranging opinions in reply.  Many people who have organised these things before will tell you: keep it simple!

When considering destination, always think of logistics for each attendee.  You won’t be a popular man if a large number of the stag’s mates cannot attend because they are too far from the proposed destination.

4. Accommodation

Once you’ve decided on your destination, it’s now time to organise some suitable accommodation.  You might want to consider hotels, cottages, glamping, camping.  Hotels are often the easiest option.

If people drop out over the coming months then it’s a lot easier to reduce the number of hotel rooms than to ask the whole group to contribute more towards a 14 bed cottage when only 10 can attend come final payment.

Best Man Guide

5. Activity

Once you’ve nailed the destination and accommodation, it now time to turn your attention to a Saturday activity.  The expectation on most stag weekends is to take part in some form of fun filled activity.

It’s important to consider an activity that is likely to appeal to most people, and to do something that people have not done before.  Paintballing is good fun, but may be a bit dull if 80% of your group have already done it on another stag do.  So be original and you’ll make it a weekend to remember.

6. Packages

To take the pressure off, you may want to organise the entire weekend as a package through another company.  West Country Weekends can help in this respect and you often get a lot more for your money than booking everything by yourself.  The benefits of booking a package are plentiful when you think of all these inclusions:

  • Allocation on hotels meaning instant confirmation upon booking
  • Individual payment system – this means that you don’t need to collect money from the group, they just pay their share directly saving you all that annoying chasing
  • VIP nightclub entry
  • Lap dance club entry
  • Additional activities – add on a second activity you may not have thought of yourself
  • Private dining
  • Restaurants suitable to groups
  • VIP Casino entry
  • Only a £50 deposit to pay initially
Best Man Guide

7. Final Thoughts

So just to recap, here is your Best Man’s Stag Weekend to do list.  Don’t be too overwhelmed by being the Best Man, after all it’s a real honour of the lasting friendship you’ve made!

To Do List

  • Speak to the Stag and find out who he wants to attend, what he expects from the stag weekend and potential dates.
  • Find out how many people will be on the stag do and their level of commitment
  • Decide on a destination based on time restraints, budget and logistics
  • Ensure everything is booked for the stag do from, accommodation to activities. Book as a package through an outside company if you’re short on time and want to take the pressure off yourself.  Try and do this as early on as possible to get the best deals and availability
  • Look after the stag over the course of the weekend – remember you’ll have the Bride to answer to if you really mess things up!
  • Enjoy your best mate’s last night of freedom!

 

The Ultimate Guide to Organising a Hen Weekend

Hen Guide
Hen Guide

The Ultimate Guide to Organising a Hen Weekend

When your best friend calls you, you already have a feeling what she’s going to tell you. After discussing details of romantic proposals, talk turns to the hen do. She doesn’t even need to ask you to be her chief bridesmaid, you’ve both always known the line-up.

Here’s the ultimate guide to making sure that you do your friend proud with an unforgettable weekend of fun and bonding.

The lady of the moment

The most important place to start is to arrange a time with the hen to go through details. Although it is great to have a surprise weekend, you want to make sure that it’s a surprise weekend that she’s going to love.

What is the most important part of the hen do for her? Is it to make sure she has as many of her family and friends there to celebrate or to go abroad for a week long holiday for some pre-wedding sunshine?

You won’t want to have an itinerary from her but you need to know the style of weekend that she will enjoy, there’s no point booking a spa and cheer leading class type weekend if she is more of an outdoor events kind of a girl. It’s also important to make sure that her friends have similar tastes to her before you book anything as it only takes a couple of unhappy people to bring down the mood of the weekend.

Getting the details of the other bridesmaids at the start gives you a good opportunity to get to know her other close friends and to pool ideas so you have the perfect weekend for your bestie.

Hen Party

Party goer list

The hen’s availability is obviously crucial but you want to have a range of dates so as many of her nearest and dearest can be there too. You’ll need to make sure that she gives you a full list of email addresses and phone numbers of the people she wants to invite.

If there are some key people it’s a good idea to contact them first to check that they will definitely be there and have a secondary list of people who are given less choice of the date as it might be difficult to find one that is perfect for everyone.

Hen Weekend

Getting in the numbers

Weddings can get expensive for everyone, not just the happy couple. As the chief organiser the responsibility of getting as many people as possible to turn up to the hen weekend lies with you, no pressure! It’s worth considering the stage of life of the hen do attendees before you start planning luxury escapes if it’s going to exclude half of the guest list. The same goes for the destination, if that’s going to be a deal breaker for people maybe a venue not too far from home would tick all the boxes.

The chances are the most important aspect for the hen will be having all of her friends together for a good ol’ knees up so the more the merrier.

If you can secure a list of definite people or who will be at each part of the weekend if dipping in and out is an option, it will make the planning far easier. Having a budget planned at the start helps keep things under control and allows people to decide their limitations before committing and they might be less likely to drop out.

If you plan activities or book accommodation for a certain number and people do drop out it might be left to the other people share out the extra cost.

Accommodation

As a base for your hen weekend this needs careful consideration, you need to think about the type of weekend that you have planned.

Are you going to book a city break or an activity packed weekend with the accommodation just being used as a place to stumble back to in the early hours and sleep off a hangover before dragging yourselves back out for more action? If this is the case, maybe a hotel would be the best option. If you are you going to be looking for a place which is a feature of the hen weekend or a pad to relax and spend time together, a big house, camping or glamping might be better suited to you.

Just keep thinking back to the hen and the other types of people who will be partying with you for the weekend. If most of party goers are going to be city birds who baulk at the idea of getting mud on their pristine white stilettos, a weekend of camping and quad biking might not be the right approach.

Hen Ideas

Activities

A good hen weekend needs a fun activity in the day time. It’s a great time for everyone to get to know each other and gives the weekend some structure. There are so many different options that its worth exploring alternative ideas before going straight for the obvious activities that everyone has done before, you don’t want 12 cocktail making experts by the end of the weekend. Likewise, horse riding across Dartmoor followed by camping might not be the right activity if Great Aunt Maud is a key player.

Try to keep within the guidelines given by the hen as it is her hen weekend and it is all about making it as fun as possible for her, not planning your own ultimate weekend. Chatting to the bridesmaids throughout is a great way to rein it in and keep on track with your best buddy in mind.

Packages

If life is busy or you just like the idea of someone sorting it all out for you, you could always look to the experts and get West Country Weekends on board. Not only do you have experienced help and keep it simple but often you end up getting more for your money than booking everything individually. Additional benefits include:

  • Allocation on hotels meaning instant confirmation upon booking
  • VIP nightclub entry
  • VIP Casino entry
  • Private dining
  • Restaurants suitable to groups
  • Local knowledge of an area you might not know
  • Additional activities – add on a second activity you may not have thought of yourself
  • Only a £50 deposit to pay initially
  • Individual payment system – this means that you don’t need to collect money from the group, they just pay their share directly saving you all that annoying chasing
Hen do

And lift off

You’ve done it, you’ve booked the ultimate hen weekend that will just serve to remind your friend of how close you are and that you possibly know her even better than she knows herself.

Sending an email to everyone before the weekend with the finer details such as timings, specific clothing for activities, fancy dress, how much cash people will need if its rural break for taxis etc will mean you have less questions to field and people will be more prepared. The hen will also need enough details to bring the right stuff and feel comfortable and you will need to bear in mind any spare clothes for her if it’s a messy activity and you don’t want to spoil the surprise.

Plan the finer details such as taxis and food arrangements so people aren’t hanging around and looking to you all weekend to make decisions, you want to be busy having fun and not having to arrange anything as you go.

Success List:

  • Always think back to the hen and other people going to the hen weekend
  • Know who are the most important people when arranging dates
  • Consider budgets and logistics when you decide on the destination
  • Get people to commit before securing bookings for accommodation and activities
  • Do as much booking as you can before the big weekend, people like to know that it’s all under control and when you’re away you’ll just have to worry about where the next tray of Jager bombs are coming from
  • Have her back – make yourself the responsible person for getting your friend home at the end of the night , put a pint of water by the bed and have hangover snacks ready for the morning after recovery.
  • Have fun

Festive Events in Bristol

Festive Events Bristol
Festive Events Bristol

Festive events in Bristol

Our guide to the best of Christmas festivities in and around Bristol

It’s December, which means it’s socially acceptable to mention the big C, and get involved in some festive events in Bristol!

Bristol has celebrated the onset of the festive event period by looking like its had an accident with an oversized snow globe.  Wherever you look there are twinkling lights and signs of merriment that could thaw out the coldest of hearts.

Whether you’re looking for shopping opportunities or activities to get you in the Christmas spirit we can point you in the right direction.

Lets start with Santa because let’s be honest, without him, Christmas just wouldn’t be Christmas.

Christmas Events Bristol

Santa

If seeing Santa at a local shopping centre isn’t floating your boat, you’re in luck. The big man seems to have upped his game and can be found in connection with every type of venue and transport you can imagine.

He’s in the usual grottos and winter wonderlands from Weston Pier to Tyntesfield as well as sharing breakfast and tea with families and hanging out with animals around the county.

Not only will he be travelling by sleigh but if boats, trains or helicopters are more your thing, he’s got you covered.

Christmas Ideas Bristol

Christmas Markets

Bristol is the perfect place to find gifts from independent sellers, festive food (and plenty of festive drinks too) and an atmosphere that makes you want to skip along the street full of goodwill to all men.

Walk away from the computer and online wishlists and you’ll find the perfect present that everyone will love but they didn’t even know they wanted.

Pick the right day and you can mooch around all of the markets just pausing for long enough to talk to the people who have made the products and refill your cup with mulled wine.

One of the best festive events in Bristol, and a firm favorite of the West Country Games team, is the Christmas market, located in the centre of Bristol from the 10th to the 24th December. With wooden chalet style stalls, homemade crafts and German foody treats, it wont take too much imagination to feel like you are miles away and surrounded by snow.

The appropriately named St Nick’s market is an amazing place to go any time of the year, again an opportunity to support independent retailers selling almost anything you could need and making sure you don’t go hungry while you’re there. Add in an extra Christmas market which is open from the 13th December until Christmas, catering for the more organised shopper to the last minute Christmas Eve crew and you’re in the right place.

If you’re putting in the hours at the weekend rather than a quick pop to the Christmas markets in your lunch break, the Harbourside Christmas Market is a great place to go. 45 stalls under the bustling Covered Walkway will be selling their wares every weekend from the 25th November up until Christmas Eve. Of course, there will be live music and once again a plethora of food and drink and Bristol festive fun.

Also keep an eye out for pop up shops and smaller markets, including those at; The Island, Colston Hall, and The Architecture Centre to name but a few.

Xmas Events Bristol

Festive Fun

You’ve finished your Christmas shopping and been to see Santa and it’s only the middle of December, let’s check out what else you can do in Bristol to keep up the Christmassy vibes going.

It’s time to make the most of the chance to ice skate in Bristol again.

In Millennium Square there’s something for all the family; a fair, the Big Wheel, ice skating and not forgetting an Apres Bar to snuggle up in afterwards. The ice rink will be there from the 18th November until the 16th January so could even be a fun activity between Christmas and New Year with visiting family and friends.

At this time of year it is also home to the Spiegeltent. As the name suggests, it’s a tent but no festival pop up job, it is a huge round tent with carved panels and stained glass windows, hosting Christmas parties, masquerade balls, baby discos and lets not forget, Santa.

If you are looking for something out of town, Santa’s Enchanted Ice Castle at the Mall might have what you’re looking for. That is if you are looking for Santa, light displays, train rides and ice skating all in a Winter Wonderland. You’ve got until Christmas Eve to see Santa and the 7th January for all of the other shenanigans.

For an escape from the city, take a trip to Westonbirt Arboretum. Wrap up warm and wander through the trees to see a magical light display along the trail. While you’re there, there’s a Christmas Village, Father and Mother Christmas and a choir.

Just thinking about all that Bristol has to offer over the festive period makes me wish that it could be Christmas every day..! Happy Christmas one and all.

Bristol’s best Pubs

bristol pubs
bristol pubs

The best pubs in Bristol

Who doesn’t like a traditional pub? They’re part of British culture – so much so, they’re now woven into the fabric of daily life (and have been for hundreds of years). In fact, it was the Roman invasion that brought the concept of the public house to our shores.

It might have taken a while (say, a few centuries) for the pub as we know it to come to fruition, but in that time, they’ve become so much more than simply a house serving ale. Throughout time, they’ve served as places of business, social reform, diversion and in the absence of the printing press, even as the local news.

Luckily for Bristolians, the city isn’t short on traditional Bristol pubs, many of which also serve delicious food and fabulous ales. Here are just a few of Bristol’s first and foremost pubs.

bristol pubs

Bristol’s oldest pubs

There’s some debate over the title for oldest pub in the city, with several contenders vying for first place.

The Hatchet Inn claims to have been established around 1606, and is named after the woodsmen of Clifton Wood. It’s stood the test of time, and now offers a range of delicious pub grub, as well as a tasty pint.

Another contender for the title is the Llandoger Trow, built in 1664. With its stunning Tudor exterior set on the sunny cobbled street in the heart of the city, it’s a great option for those warm, summer days. The Bristol pub is also steeped in history; legend has it that the Llandoger Trow was a favorite drinking spot for the infamous privateer Blackbeard, as well as the inspiration for Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island.

A third contender for the title is The Rummer, just off of St Nick’s Market. Dating back to 1241, The Rummer’s flagstone floors and huge fireplace act as visible reminders of the pub’s longstanding history. It now boasts its own micro distillery, brewing batches of aromatic gins and spiced rums that you can sample in the bar (along with a plethora of other spirits).

bristol pubs

The Steam Crane

This Bristol Pub is located south of the river in Bedminster, The Steam Crane is pretty hard to miss. Its elaborately painted exterior depicts an olden day nautical scene, while the interior décor aligns to a more traditional pub theme, with sprinkling of modernism.

Leather armchairs somehow blend seamlessly with the traditional fireplaces and wooden bar that you’d expect from a traditional British pub. There’s a wide variety of beer, ales and wine available, and the food comes highly recommended by locals and visitors alike.

It’s great for larger groups, so if you’re planning a Bristol stag weekend, then the Stream Crane is a great place to start your celebrations.

bristol pubs

The Albion, Clifton

A rather swish take on the tradition British pub, the Albion is a very popular haunt in the heart of bustling Clifton village. Dating back to the 17th Century, the building has been expertly renovated and designed with impeccable taste.

It’s a winner for all seasons; lazy summer afternoons fly by in the ample courtyard garden, while winter Sunday lunches have to be experienced by the comfort of a roaring fire and accompanied by a delicious glass of red.

Although it might not be one for the budget conscious, The Albion is certainly a must for those who want to enjoy their pint in more upmarket surroundings. The food menu is seasonal, the ingredients impeccable quality and the dishes, reassuringly traditional. There’s literally something for everyone, one of our favourite Bristol pubs.

bristol pubs

The Jersey Lily

As far as Bristol pubs go, The Jersey Lily is young, fun and full of character. Situated on lively Whiteladies Road, the pub enjoys a relaxed atmosphere, which attracts a mixed – yet equally welcome – crowd. The food is award-winning; sourced from local suppliers, you can sink your teeth into a huge variety of scrumptious snacks and dinners.

From tapas to share to Sunday Roasts, there’s literally something for everyone on their extensive menu. If you’re more interested in the drinks menu, then you won’t be disappointed.

There’s a huge selection of wines for all tastes on offer – as well as cocktails. And if live music is up your street, make sure you check out the live acoustic on Thursdays, while you and a friend sip on two delicious craft cocktails, for the price of one.

bristol pubs

Amoeba, Clifton

If you’re a cocktail connoisseur, then you’ve found mecca. Nestled on a quiet Clifton street, Amoeba’s bright red exterior and candle-lit window makes it stand out on dark, winter nights.

Once you’re inside and had a chance to peruse the extensive cocktail menu, it’ll start standing out for a host of other reasons. Perhaps it’s the exotic collection of mixes, spirits and drinks on offer, or the expertise in which the staff guide you through the menu. Or it could simply be the incredible flavours of the ingenious concoctions, or relaxed and friendly atmosphere.

The venue also offers free event hire – a great choice for Bristol hen weekends who want to be based in and around Clifton village.

Private Dining Bristol – Bristol’s best private dining restaurants

Private Dining Bristol
Private Dining Bristol

Best Bristol private dining restaurants

So, you’ve got your night out sorted and your daytime activities down to a tee but now you need think about food. There’s plenty of choices when it comes to dining out but when you’re planning a Bristol hen weekend to remember, a standard dinner reservation isn’t going to live up to the rest of your plans.   To help you find something special, we’ve rounded up some of the best private dining experiences in and around the city.

Private Dining Bristol

Racks, Clifton

The ever-popular Racks is often touted as ‘Bristol’s best party destination’ and there’s plenty of reasons why. It could be the free venue hire, the bar stacked with some of the best gins in England or the mouth-watering menus. We think that it’s a combination of all three.   Racks can cater for up to 200 people although the venue is split into a variety of spaces, each with its own character and original features. Fancy trying some of those fine gins? Make the evening extra special and take part in one of their tasting masterclasses. Gin not your tipple of choice? They offer an ale tasting session too. Either can be booked as part of a private dining package or separately.

Private Dining Bristol

No.4 Clifton Village, Clifton

No.4 is set in the heart of Clifton Village and we guarantee the bride-to-be will love this stylish dining destination. It’s the perfect venue for a sophisticated evening soiree. With two fantastic rooms available, the venue is ideal for hosting either smaller, intimate parties or larger groups and if you’re planning a summer hen weekend, their idyllic gardens are perfect for dining al fresco.   They’ll also serve you the best Pimm’s you’ve ever had (take our word for it). Their menus will leave you spoilt for choice and, with a team dedicated to helping you plan your party, what you’re going to eat is the only choice you’ll have to worry about.

Private Dining Bristol

Hotel du Vin & Bistro, City Centre

If you’re looking for nothing short of luxury when it comes to private dining then Hotel du Vin should be top of your list. With a variety of rooms available to hire, they each exude a unique sense of charm and character. This venue has an extra special treat in store for smaller parties too at the Sommelier’s table.   Start your evening with champagne and canapés upon your arrival before being treated to a sumptuous five course menu with wines matched to each. There’s even an expert to talk you through each one. It’s not just dinner, it’s a truly is a unique dining experience and an evening you’ll never forget.

Private Dining Bristol

The Albion, Clifton Village

In the heart of the village lies The Albion, a historic venue that first opened its doors in the 19th century and has become a firm favourite. It’s a perfect blend of classic and contemporary and the menu, as well as the venue itself, pays homage to its history with a nod to the new.   The private dining room on the first floor can host up to 30 people and the menu has something that everyone will love. From the freshest fish, the finest cuts of meat to desserts that are to die for, The Albion is guaranteed to provide you with good food, good wine and a good time.

Private Dining Bristol
The Jetty, Corn Street, City Centre

With architecture to leave you awestruck and a lively yet relaxed atmosphere that makes everyone feel at home, The Jetty will leave any bride-to-be feeling like a princess. The multi-award-winning restaurant boasts a Sansovino inspired banking hall for those looking to host large parties (it seats up to 300) as well as several more modestly sized dining rooms for occasions that are a little more low-key but just as special.   Before the day, the restaurant team will work with you to create a bespoke menu which will be complimented by their selection of fine wines and eclectic cocktail list. All you’ll need to do is sit back, relax and have the time of your lives.

Book ahead

We know that dinner can be a bit of an afterthought when you’ve already put together an exciting itinerary but it’s definitely something that you need to plan. Why not use it as an excuse to plan something special for the bride-to-be?   Private dining can be a formal affair or a casual gathering.   Either way, it’ll turn an unforgettable weekend into an extra special occasion. After all, you are celebrating.

Where to watch rugby in Bristol

watch rugby in bristol
watch rugby in bristol

Where to watch rugby in Bristol

It’s that time of year when we can all tuck into another fantastic feast of rugby action, with each of the home nations in action.  Welcome to our up-to-date guide on where to watch rugby in Bristol.

What better time to get out of the house and join your mates to enjoy that big match atmosphere from the comfort of the pub.

We've hand picked  the finest places where to watch rugby in Bristol, our favourite pubs that will each be showing all of the games.

8 great venues to watch rugby in Bristol

watch rugby in bristol

Racks, St Paul's Road

Ideally situated in lively North Bristol, Racks is the obvious choice for larger groups looking for some where to watch rugby in Bristol.  With 12 different screens and a range of tasty beers on tap (and served by the bottle), you’re bound to beat those winter blues as your team takes to the pitch.

And if you buy a ticket for only a tenner, they’ll guarantee a great view of the game, a steak sandwich with chips and – most essentially – a bottle of beer.  Just make sure you tip up an hour before kick off. (They also offer free venue hire, making it a must for anyone planning a Bristol stag weekend).

Alter Ego, Whiteladies Road

Cocktails and sport aren’t a combination you find in just any bar, and may not be first choice where to watch rugby in Bristol, but fear not; Alter Ego is ready and waiting to sate the tastes of any spirit-loving sport enthusiast.  Split over three levels, Alter Ego is located at the heart of the bustling, cosmopolitan area of Whiteladies Road.

The venue offers a huge selection of cocktails (and even master class lessons, for those looking to perfect their sprit mixing skills), with over 15 ultra HD screens to enjoy the match with your mates.

watch rugby in bristol

Jersey Lilly, Whiteladies Road

Known for its fantastic selection of fine ales and scrumptious ciders, The Jersey Lilly has a lovable pub atmosphere, with a modern twist.  With fresh pub grub served daily, it’s a sophisticated yet relaxed place to watch rugby in Bristol – or indeed, any day!

So named after Lily Langtry, a Victorian actress and racehorse breeder, the venue’s history is prevalent throughout the tastefully decorated interior, with black and white pictures of the lady herself.  If beer or cider isn’t your rugby-fuelled tipple, don’t worry; their ever-evolving selection of gins or indulgent cocktails will certainly wet the whistle of even the most particular drinkers.

Cider Press, Gloucester Road

Obviously named after its vast array of apple-based beverages, Cider Press will sate the appetite of any cider lover!  The drinks menu includes 32 of the finest ciders on offer, from traditional scrumpy to fruitier blends – some more lethal than others, but all devilishly delicious.

If you’re not a cider lover, don’t let the name put you off; there’s a huge choice of cocktails and gins on offer. And of course, no match day merriment is complete without a sobering snack on the side.  Their tasty selection of tapas, pizzas, burgers and quality pub classics, as well as a lively ambiance makes it a prime location to watch rugby in Bristol – on your own, or with a crowd.

watch rugby in bristol

White Lion at The Avon Gorge Hotel

Rugby with a view you say?  That and more is covered at The White Lion, the pub attached to the iconic Avon Gorge Hotel. Fully refurbished in 2017, this is a great venue to watch big screen rugby on their long tables, which are perfect for groups of all sizes.

The pub also has one of the largest outdoor terraces in the South West, with unrivalled views of the Clifton Suspension Bridge.

There is a good selection of beers and ciders on tap, as well as pizzas and “Big Plates” featuring on their bar menu.

Horts

In incredible array of award-winning ales and European largers await those who choose to here to watch rugby in Bristol,  in this friendly, contemporary pub. Horts on Broad Street is a fantastic option for larger groups, with lots of space and comfy seating.

Huge projector screens bring the game to life – even more so with the lively match day atmosphere.  And with a delicious selection of pub grub at great prices, Horts is an obvious choice for an exciting afternoon out.

watch rugby in bristol

Walkabout

This well-loved Aussie sports bar which doubles up as a nightclub is a popular choice for younger, passionate crowds.  Walkabout on Corn street is centrally located and boasts two cinema-sized screens, so you’re guaranteed to catch every pass and punch.

And once the match is over, the party continues well into the night with lively music, dancing and good-old fashioned debauchery from down under!

Clifton Wine Bar

Tucked away in the heart of Clifton village, this hidden gem is an intimate and stylish venue in which to enjoy the rugby.  With seven screens, an impressive selection of draft ales and beers, this is one for the fancier rugby fanatic.

The smaller lounging areas are adorned with comfy sofas and screens, so you can grab and corner and enjoy the game with friends and family.  Their food menu is equally as comforting, with a mouthwatering selection of pies on offer – the perfect accompaniment to a pint…or two.

Spooky Bristol, Bristol Halloween Party Guide

Bristol Halloween Party Guide
Bristol Halloween Party Guide

Bristol Halloween Party Guide

If you’re heading out in to the frightening darkness of Bristol this Weekend on a stag do, hen weekend, or just for fun, then make sure you make the most of it!  There is so much in the way of spooky shenanigans up for grabs on this Bristol Halloween, we want to let you know the good bits on offer.  Read on, if you dare!

Bristol Halloween Party Guide
Lakota’s Haunted House - Bristol Halloween Special

You can always count on Lakota to put on a great party and this Halloween in Bristol is no different!

Head down to this legendary nightclub venue in Stoke’s Croft for their biggest production to date! There will be 50 artists across six rooms pumping out every sound imaginable including some properly dirty basslines, disco and club classics, house and, of course, plenty of drum & bass!

Aside from the great line up of DJs the place will be crawling with ghostly performers to really take this party to the next level! Check out the hellish courtyard with its massive bonfire and devilish fire breathers!

Where & When : Friday 26th October 2018 – 22:00 – 6:00 – Lakota

Bristol Halloween Party Guide

Bristol Halloween Zombie Walk

Meet at Fairbarn Steam Crane, just down for Wapping Warf in your most terrifying zombie attire to take part in this epic zombie walk.

Now in its eleventh year, the organisers are ever keen to make their events bigger and better!  This year has a pirate / sailor theme on top of the zombie one so go crazy with your outfits and make up!

Drag your heels around the city centre on a carefully planned route (no steps!) and scare the crap out of the tourists!  Once they have their fill of brains, the whole pack will be heading to for a drink or several to party like only the living dead can so make sure to stay on until dawn!

Where & When : Saturday 27th October 2018 – 14:00 – Fairbarn Steam Crane

The Hatchet Bristol Halloween Party Week

If you really want to freak yourselves out, head over to the Hatchet Inn for the authentic Bristol Halloween experience. The pub dates from 1606, is reportedly haunted and it is also rumoured that underneath all the paint, the front door is made from human skin.. need we say more!?

This year The Hatchet are putting on a whole Halloween Week! Festivities kick off on Friday 26th October with an 80s Halloween Party hosted by Witch and the Wolf (think lots of synthwave), followed by their usual annual Halloween Party the on Saturday when there will be prizes for the best fancy dress and DJ Durs (Danger Zone) will be on the decks all night with bass loud enough to wake any undead in the building!

There is also a film screening of Night of the Living Dead on Hallows Eve itself and a Halloween Horror Quiz on 1st November so plenty to get stuck into!

Where & When :  Friday 26th October – Saturday 3rd November 2018 – The Hatchet Inn

Bristol Halloween Party Guide
Invisible Circus - Necropolis City of the Dead

One of the coolest venues in town, The Loco Klub is a collaboration between Artspace Lifespace and Invisible Circus who are putting on this stonking Halloween show!

Journey down to the underworld beneath the Passenger Shed, next to Bristol Temple Meads, to party amongst the railway arches in these amazing tunnels!

Sure to be a brilliant event, the Invisible Circus will be pulling out all the stops with their amazing performers, at the Halloween Ball you’re sure for a great, fully immersive experience.

There will also be a freaky photo booth, live music from Little Thief, DJs cocktails, ghostly installations. The dress code is Dead Divas and Gawdy Ghosts of the good old days!

Where & When :  Friday 26th & Saturday 27th October 2018 – 20:00 – 03:00 – The Loco Klub

Bristol Halloween Party Guide
Bristol Horror Halloween Quiz

For something a bit more intellectual.. (well about as intellectual as we get!) check out The Old Bookshop’s special Halloween Pub Quiz!

Test out your knowledge of all things spooky for the chance to win the top prize! Brush up on your scary movies, lyrics to Thriller and names of serial killers and make sure to come up with a great, Halloween themed team name too!

Just don’t forget that using a Ouija board is just as much of a cheating offence as using your smart phone!

Where & When : Monday 29th October 2018 – 19:30 – 22:30, The Old Bookshop

Horror in the Caves

Get in the mood for Halloween a week early with this hair-raising spook fest put on by Bristol Film Festival!

Head deep down underground this Bristol halloween, beneath the city to the Redcliffe Caves.  Once home to wily smugglers and dastardly pirates and later, used as shelter from the perilous bombs of the Second World War, these cave walls certainly hold a lot of mysteries!

Cult vampire film The Lost Boys kicks off the run, followed by the 2015 supernatural thriller The Witch. Watch out this one will haunt your nightmares for weeks after!

You can then choose from a wide array of macabre movies, including sci fi classic Alien and sequel Aliens… Was that noise behind you from the surround sound or from the depths of the dark tunnels…?

Where & When : Friday 26th October– Sunday 28th October 2018 – Redcliffe Caves

Haunted and Hidden Bristol Walking Tour

Ever wanted to learn more about your Bristol’s creepy past? Join this award winning 75 minute walk to discover the dark histories and grim secrets lurking around every corner!

Find out which city centre pubs are haunted, (not what you expect!), visit film and tv locations and hear spine chilling tales that will make you look at the city in a whole different way next time you’re stumbling home from the pub in the dark!

Make sure you book in advance for this spooky night time walk, after all, where else are you going to hear the story about Clifton’s ghostly Dwarf Highwayman?

Where & When : Friday 26th October 2018 – 20:00 – Bristol Cathedral, College Green

Is Bristol the best city in the UK?

bristol best uk city
bristol best uk city

Bristol : The best city in the UK: why the surprise?

In March, Bristol was awarded first place in the Sunday Times ‘Best place to live 2017’ Guide. And now the announcement is ‘old news’, I feel safe to vocalise my surprise at, well, the surprise.

Seven years ago, before I moved to the city, I may have been among those raising an eyebrow over Bristol’s new accolade. I’ve lived in several of the country’s bustling cosmopolitan hubs, as well as some of the more rural spots, and wasn’t that impressed with either end of the spectrum.

But having spent some time getting to know Bristol and all it has to offer, it’s no wonder to me that it keeps coming up trumps. And in my humble opinion, here are the reasons why.

bristol best uk city

The history of Bristol

Bristol is steeped in history, much of which is still tangible to this day. From the 12th Century Temple Church, to the SS Great Britain and even the labyrinth of caves in Redcliffe, Bristol’s past fuses seamlessly with its modern-day vibe.

The city can even boast an array of famous former occupants, such as the notorious Edward Teach (otherwise known as Blackbeard), Isambard Kingdom Brunel, and even the elusive street artist Banksy.

bristol best uk city

Bristol's food scene

From the North to the South of the river, Bristol is home to hundreds of award-winning restaurants and cafes to sate all appetites. Every meal is more-than catered for ten times over; try a healthy breakfast of smashed avocados and poached egg at Primrose Café, or a less-healthy all-you-can-drink Prosecco brunch at Brace & Browns.

If you’ve time for lunch, you could do much worse than the Burger Joint in Bedminster, before a first-rate dinner at the Pony and Trap. (It’s a few miles out of Bristol, but the food is first-rate and the scenic views of the Somerset countryside are stunning).

Even the much-loved chains you expect to encounter in a city are situated on water fronts or in beautiful period buildings. If you can handle a cocktail or two, the covert, speak-easy themed Milk Thistle has some of the best mixes in the city – a city, by the way, famed for its love of gin.

bristol best uk city

Activities available in Bristol

There are so many Bristol activities, no audience is excluded and there’s literally something for every event. Water babies can take to the river for a cruise on the Avon, or even try their hand at paddle boarding.

Young families can spend a day at @Bristol, guaranteed to educate all and keep the kids entertained for hours. Those looking for a romantic evening can wander through the quaint, picturesque streets of Clifton before an intimate meal at one of the many restaurants (or enjoy a cocktail or two by candlelight).

Large groups can make the most of Bristol’s extensive range of bars and clubs, but it doesn’t have to end there: Groups of grown-ups (stags and hens included) wanting a west-country themed day out need look no further than West Country Games. Welly throwing, Drunk Pub Skittles and Pitchfork Duels are only a few of the crazy games that are guaranteed to bring people together and create memories that’ll last a lifetime.

bristol best uk city
Location, location, location

In short, what isn’t on Bristol’s doorstep? The city is well situated to offer some of the best of Britain. Take a short (less then two hours) drive south and you’re in Devon, home to seaside towns such as Sidmouth and Lime Regis, perfect boltholes for romantic weekends away, or a wonderful family day out.

London is easy to reach by car or train – the latter only taking about an hour and a half. If you’re looking to go further afield, Bristol airport charters flights to Edinburgh, the continent and even as the USA.

There are so many reasons why Bristol is an incredible place to live. Furthermore, future plans to improve Bristol will only fuel the love for the city, which residents – and visitors alike – find hard to contend.