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bristol

Travel

The Bristol Hotel Review…

April 10, 2019
Disclosure.  My stay at The Bristol Hotel was complimentary, but all opnions are my own and under no obligation.
Picture of the outside of hte hotel and the brutalist architecture.
Picture of the main lobby with a huge bouquet of flowers and red berry drink bowl with glasses for guest to try.

I love to travel and visit new places, I mean who doesn’t?!  Typically, when it comes to accommodation, I research Airbnb’s for their affordability and knowledge of the local area.  Whilst hosts can be a wealth of information my recent experience at The Bristol Hotel, with Supal, opened my eyes to impeccable, family run, boutique accommodations.  The Bristol Hotel is located a short 10-minute walk from Temple Meads station and is a fine example of Brutalist architecture.  The easy stroll takes you through Queen Square, a beautiful example of a Georgian park, with cobbled streets and magnificent town houses.

Picture of the room with a beautiful bed, matching red coverlet and bedside lamps.
Picture of Bristol magazine and hotel hotepad and pencil.
Picture of room and bed from a different angle.

Arriving and check in was incredibly quick and whilst Supal dealt with the paperwork I sampled the flavoured water!  This was changed regularly throughout our weekend stay with my favourite being the redberry.  Hearing we were there to explore Bristol we had a fantastic conversation with Jane about the history of Bristol, current attractions and restaurant tips.  Bristol is a destination for business during the week, supporting the banking and defence industry, and corporate workers seeking a quick city weekend break like Supal and I. 

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Once we had checked into our room we headed outside to walk around the immediate area.  The Bristol Hotel’s location is central and on the harbour. It is easy to access the Clifton and Stokes Croft areas as well as the old town area.  Upon our return we had dinner in The River Grille and I haven’t enjoyed a meal like that for a long time!  Wanting to taste more than one dish we choose differently for each course.  Spiced pumpkin soup and seared scallops were delicious for our starters.  It had been a bit chilly as we walked and the soup warmed me up perfectly! 

Picture of the The River Grille showing off the large glass windows looking out to the harbour.

Another picture of The River Grille showing the tables decked out ready for dinner.
PIcture of starters and drinks.

For mains there was duck leg confit, and spinach and ricotta gnocchi.  Both divine and we added some green beans and roasted cauliflower for added vegie sides.  Feeling extremely full we chose to share a chocolate fondant that we couldn’t finish!  I would have loved to also try the oreo cheesecake. But it would have been wasteful and allows me to go again!  Unlike other hotel restaurants I have patroned, The River Grille’s clientele was mainly locals. Everyone was enjoying the fine dining experience with views of the harbour.  I was secretly hoping to witness a proposal but no such luck!

Pictures of mains and sides.
Picture of dessert.

Our room had fantastic views of canal boats dotted along the harbour leading across Bristol to the distant green hills of the Ashton Court Estate.  The room had ameneties from Temple Spa and a desk area for corporate travellers.  Falling into the plush red arm chair was delightful. Perfect to plan our venture outside from. 

Picture of view of harbour from room.

In the morning we had breakfast in bed.  My preferred option as I truly dislike getting ready, going downstairs and then returning to the room again.  I would rather lounge in the towelling robe as I eat from my preferred food selection!

Picture of me on the bed with my breakfast on a large tray!
Picture of close up of breakfast with all the trimmings.

Bristol is such a fantastic west country city that I have returned three times in six months. I have a Bristol locals food guide here and a 48 hours in Clifton guide here.  Let me know if you go and stay at The Bristol Hotel.  I’d love to hear about your trip!  PF xo

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Travel

Things To Do In Clifton, Bristol – An Itinerary…

March 27, 2019
Picture of tower in clifton, bristol.  48 hours in clifton itinerary.

Bristol is fast becoming one of my favourite destinations in the UK. I have been there three times in the past six months, and each time I discover something else to do. If you are looking to spend some time there, I recommend basing yourself in Clifton. Full of Georgian houses from the 18th century, Clifton was and remains a well to do area. This is also evident by the wider streets, myriad of trees and how often there is only one door bell on the home. Very few are carved into flats! You can easily spend a relaxing 48 hours in Clifton, whether it be for a family weekend away, girls catch up or a more romantic itinerary. There are plenty of things to do in Clifton that I hope you enjoy!

Picture of me in front of colourful houses of clifton, bristol.  48 hours in clifton itinerary.
PIcture of hot air balloon tiles in clifton.  48 hours in clifton itinerary.
Picture of colourful house street in clifton.  48 hours in clifton itinerary.

Getting To Clifton.

Bristol is on one of the most expensive train lines in the UK so heads up, book your ticket as early as possible. Waiting until the last minute can see the fare become £80+ return with Great Western Rail! I have found booking my fares separately and not as a return ticket helps to reduce the price. The quickest train journey is an hour and thirty-five minutes from London.

An easy city to navigate with a car there are residents parking restrictions to navigate. The bus system is simple to use and the schedule is reflected accurately on google maps. Locals use an app to pay but you can also use apple pay and your bank card with the tap function. From the main station, Temple Meads, it’s just thirty minutes by bus.

Picture of house in clifton.  48 hours in clifton itinerary.

Staying In Clifton.

With plenty of large, Georgian houses there are many Airbnbs available for your stay. I have found Bristol to be quite popular and would encourage you to book early. Once or twice a month there are festivals and conferences filling up the accommodation options. Looking to splurge and make it a luxury 48 hours? Stay in The Berkeley Square Hotel or upgrade to their self-contained suites. Technically just out of Clifton it is only a few minutes extra walk.

Shopping In Clifton.

Clifton Village is the main shopping area filled with independent traders of flowers, art and homewares. Start in Clifton Arcade where a mix on antique stores, homewares and jewellery can be browsed and purchased. Within the same block on the adjoining corner is Papersmiths. The well-known, Bristol stationary supplier selects their products based on their design led appeal. Annie’s is a popular cake shop rounding out the stores of interest in this street.

Picture of stationary in pinkmans.  They set everthing out so it is laying on a wooden table and very design like.  For example three pens the same together and then 3 erasers together.

Cross the road to Princess Victoria Street and head to Waterloo Street. Here you can purchase flowers at Lisa Elliot Floral Design or a punnet of daffodils. Peruse art and books at Sky, where everything that is colourful resides. If you are looking for a birthday or special occasion card this is the place! Round the block to The Mall where all the high end stores are. Handbags, clothing and bespoke jewellery can be found here.

Picture of Sky shop in Clifton Village.  48 hours in clifton itinerary.
Closer image of sky shop in clifton village.  48 hours in clifton itinerary.
PIcture of flower shop in clifton village.  48 hours in clifton itinerary.
Picture of closer shot of flowers in store.  48 hours in clifton itinerary.
Picture of reg the veg shop in clifton village.  48 hours in clifton itinerary.
closer picture of vegetables and apples and pears.  48 hours in clifton itinerary.
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Things To Do In Clifton.

The Clifton Lido was restored in 2008 having originally been built in the 1840’s. A secret place of sanctuary for locals the heated pool and hot tubs are in frequent use. Weekends are restricted to members however you can jump the queue with a food package or massage bookings. A lovely way to spend half a day unwinding and stretching out your muscles. The food is absolutely delicious!

Picture of outside of Lido in Clifton.  48 hours in clifton itinerary.
Picture of renovation pictures of clifton lido.  It was in a very sorry state!  48 hours in clifton itinerary.
Picture of the changing rooms at the clifton lido.  48 hours in clifton itinerary.
Picture of the restaturant at the lido clifton.  48 hours in clifton itinerary.

The Grade 1 listed, Clifton Suspension Bridge spans the Avon Gorge and is a masterpiece of British engineering. Take a walk and visit the lookout points at Observatory Hill, or join locals for a tour of the bridge every weekend. Excitedly in the past couple of years vaults were found underneath the bridge and tours now operate to explore this space. Venture across the bridge is you dare! Suspension bridges are made to move and this one is known to swing in the winds!

Picture of the suspension bridge clifton.  48 hours in clifton itinerary.

Venturing Outside The Clifton Bubble.

Looking to do a little more in your 48 hours? Head north to the University of Bristol Botanic Gardens where there is a magnificent Arts and Crafts style house called ‘The Holmes’. Open all year round the glass houses are large and the tropical plants helped warm our bones.

Picture of The Holmes House.  48 hours in clifton itinerary.
Picture of me in the greenhouse.  48 hours in clifton itinerary.
Picture of the catus in the greenhouse.  48 hours in clifton itinerary.

Picture of the ferns in the greenhouse.  48 hours in clifton itinerary.
PIcture of me in the greenhoues holding my camera and smiling at hte camera.

Go south of Clifton to Pinkmans for delicious donuts and sourdough pizzas! On the same road are many high street stores for you to browse in. Stokes Croft is a bus ride away and has plenty of graffiti artworks, vintage stores and artist cafes. If you really want to stretch the legs get a train to Bath and add another location to your itinerary.

Picture of the Pinkmans sign.  48 hours in clifton itinerary.

Picture of inside Pinkmans bakery.  48 hours in clifton itinerary.
Picture of a pinkmans donut against a grafitti wall.  48 hours in clifton itinerary.

I’d love to head about your trip to Clifton. Let me know about it in the comments. PF xo

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