The graceful Georgian mansions of Clifton sit high above the city. They flank the deep slash of the Avon Gorge, spanned by the arc of the world's oldest suspension bridge. Fanning out beneath the conspicuous wealth of these mansions built on the proceeds of the transatlantic slave-trade is a vibrant waterfront city. Its skin is tattooed with monumental street art and its post-industrial buildings are inhabited by artists and makers from all over Europe. Once England's second city after London, the star of commerce has long since faded. Bristol occupies itself instead with the serious business of creativity.
- United Kingdom
CLIFTON SUSPENSION BRIDGEArchitectural sight
The Clifton Suspension Bridge bisects the Avon Gorge, which snakes through a limestone ridge west of Bristol’s centre. Opened in 1864, after a 36 year building period dogged by financial difficulties, riots, and the death of its architect Isambard Kingdom Brunel, this structure has become a symbol of the city. An early morning walk through the pastel hued terraces of Clifton village will take you to the edge of the gorge, where the bridge can be viewed against the dark grandeur of Leigh Woods.
- Address: Bridgemaster's Office, Bridge Rd, Bristol, BS8 3PA, UK
- Phone: 0117 974 4664
- Website: http://cliftonbridge.org.uk
With a view out onto the sprawling greenery of Clifton Downs, this small boutique hotel offers the pleasing feel of a country retreat while only being a short journey to the centre of the city. Previously a Georgian merchant’s house, Number 38 only offers ten rooms to customers, rendering it a distinctly tranquil weekend getaway.
- Address: 38 Upper Belgrave Rd, Bristol BS8 2XN, UK
- Phone: 0117 946 6905
- Website: http://www.number38clifton.com
Situated at the heart of Bristol’s harbourside, the Arnolfini, named after Jan van Eyck’s 15th century portrait, is a leading centre of contemporary arts in the United Kingdom. Dubbed a ‘Space for Ideas’, the gallery was first located in Clifton in 1961, but 15 years later found its permanent home in Bush House on the waterfront. Its stripped back, open exhibition halls present a varied range of visual arts including performance, dance, and film, accompanied by a packed programme of educational seminars, lectures, and classes.
- Address: 16 Narrow Qy, Bristol, BS1 4QA, UK
- Phone: 0117 917 2300
- Website: http://arnolfini.org.uk
BAKERS & CO.Cafe
A bright yellow awning and crates abundant with oranges, avocados and other fresh produce bring something of the San Francisco sunshine, which inspired this cafe’s conception, to even the gloomiest UK weekend. Serving single origin coffee, alongside cakes and sourdough made in-house, in bustling, colourful Stokes Croft, Bakers and Co. is always in high demand. Substantial breakfasts, brunches, lunches (and suppers on selected evenings) form a nutritious menu with a generous nod to indulgence, which makes a table well worth waiting for if necessary.
- Address: 193 Gloucester Rd, Bristol, BS7 8BG, UK
- Website: http://bakersbristol.co.uk
FULL COURT PRESSCoffee Shop
The no frills cool of this small speciality coffee shop is underpinned by owner Matt North’s rigorous dedication to sourcing and brewing coffee of the highest standard. Well-trodden grey floorboards, worn to the wood at the counter, testify to the popularity garnered by FCP’s informative and laid-back service since it opened in 2013. A concise but frequently renewed seasonal menu comprises two filter, two espresso, and a cold brew; sit at street level to absorb the plentiful daylight, or retreat to the quiet space downstairs.
- Address: 59 Broad St, Bristol, BS1 2EJ, UK
- Phone: 07794 808552
- Website: http://www.fcpcoffee.com
Brimming with infectious enthusiasm for great food and drink, Bell’s Diner is found set back from Bristol’s main thoroughfares in the shabbily genteel, pastel-coloured streets of Montpelier. While the wood-lined interior blends traditional French bistro with cosy English pub, the culinary influences are more likely to be Mediterranean or North African, with a philosophy embracing relaxed dining, sharing, and curiosity. Be sure to delve into the inspirational list of knowledgeably sourced aperitifs, wines, and gin-heavy cocktails, which is a pleasure to read for its sense of humour alone.
- Address: 1 - 3 York Rd, Bristol, BS6 5QB, UK
- Phone: 0117 924 0357
- Website: http://www.bellsdiner.com
Set in the bucolic Mendip Hills behind the redbrick walls of an exquisite Victorian garden, The Ethicurean is a hidden treasure of the Bristolian countryside. Focused on ethical sourcing of ingredients and protecting the local environment, this seasonal restaurant serves up a foray of mouthwatering dishes, from beetroot carpaccio with honeyed walnuts to breadcrumb rolled confit rabbit. After an afternoon of enjoying these culinary delights, take a stroll around The Ethicurean’s beautiful grounds.
- Address: Barley Wood Walled Garden, Long Ln, Wrington, Bristol, BS40 5SA, UK
- Phone: 01934 863713
- Website: http://theethicurean.com
Rosemarino serves up a simple, authentic Italian cooking. With an especially sumptuous brunch menu, piled with buttery ciabatta and fresh local eggs, this Clifton-based eatery is a great venue to enjoy a lazy Sunday morning.
- Address: 1 York Pl, Bristol, BS8 1AH, UK
- Phone: 0117 973 6677
- Website: http://rosemarino.co.uk
Before the beginning of the 1600s, the land on which Queen Square is built was a boggy marsh, used by the local population as a rubbish dump. Today, the square is one of Bristol’s most picturesque landmarks. Named in honour of Queen Anne, its buildings and statues are a visual reminder of the city’s rich cultural history. The square is filled with a thick foliage of plane trees and its bench lined promenades provide a peaceful afternoon’s refuge.
- Address: Bristol, BS1 4QS, UK
- Website: http://bristol.gov.uk/page/leisure-and-culture/queen-square
THE MILK THISTLEBar
Set against a faultless backdrop of 1920s prohibition décor, The Milk Thistle, with its dark, moody interiors spread over four floors in a historic building, is our pick of a number of speakeasy style bars that are spread across the city. Like its sister bar Hyde & Co., The Milk Thistle offers a wide range of delicious cocktails, including mint, blueberry juleps served over crushed ice.
- Address: Quay Head House, Colston Ave, Bristol, BS1 1EB, UK
- Phone: 0117 929 4429
- Website: http://milkthistlebristol.com
Clifton is typically known for its beautiful Georgian architecture, quiet woodland parks, and cosy pubs, but now it’s also associated with premium men’s fashion. This is thanks to Hoko, a small, independent boutique located in the heart of the village. Stocking the likes of Sunspel, MHL, Acne, and Our Legacy in a clean, brightly lit interior, this space feels as much like a minimalist art gallery as it does a clothes store.
- Address: 24 The Mall, Bristol, BS8 4DS, UK
- Phone: 0117 973 2888
- Website: http://hokoshop.co
PAPERSMITHSPaper Goods & Lifestyle Shop
Papersmiths in Clifton Village takes a discerning, craft-focussed approach to stationery, stocking a myriad of immaculately presented products, including cards, beautiful wrapping papers, and luxurious blankets, with two walls devoted entirely to books and independent magazines. There’s a great mix of international brands on offer here, such as Classiky, HAY, Nomess, Appointed, and Esme Winter. Ever-evolving displays are composed with attention to tactility, simplicity, texture and order, warranting endless browsing.
- Address: 6A Boyce's Ave, Bristol, BS8 4AA, UK
- Phone: 0117 329 6347
- Website: http://papersmiths.co.uk
ORANGE AND BROWNInteriors shop
A proclivity for Dutch design and a penchant for rosewood characterise many of this shop’s stunning mid century pieces, sourced and restored with expertise. Open by appointment only, the Bristol showroom presents a small sample of the array of furniture, lighting, art, objects, and homewares available through the online store, featuring designers such as J Svenstrup, Poul M Volther, Arne Vodder, and Edmund Jørgensen.
- Address: 121 St Georges Rd, Bristol, BS1 5UW, UK
- Phone: 0117 914 7973
- Website: http://www.orangeandbrown.co.uk
DIG HAUSHIZZLEInteriors shop
Dig Haushizzle was initially conceived when Cassandra Linton and Edward Nicholas’s burgeoning collection of unique furniture could no longer be stored in their flat. Having engaged in a number of pop-up furniture stores in collaboration with Antlers Gallery, the pair opened their first shop on Colston Street. Home to antique letterpress sets and Victorian ebonised cabinets, this is the place find niche ‘shizzle’ for your new home.
- Address: 51 Colston St, Bristol, BS1 5AX, UK
- Phone: 07789 145175
- Website: http://dig-haushizzle.co.uk