Founded by Josh Eggleton, Michelin Star Chef, and Local Farmer Luke Hasell, in 2012, Eat Drink Bristol Fashion will be held at Castle Park on the 2nd and 3rd of May 2020, presenting Root, Yurt Lush and Eat Drink Bristol Fashion. This event will be even bigger and better than ever before, with the celebrations lasting for 2 whole days!
Eat Drink Bristol Fashion started off as a one-off secret Sunday lunch event by Pony & Trap, Tipi Events, and the Community Farm. Considering its humble beginnings, it’s amazing to see what it’s become – Bristol’s Placemaking Initiative adopted Eat Drink Bristol Fashion and made its first appearance as a pop-up festival in Bristol’s Queen Square, showing off the Best of Bristol’s restaurant scene and attracting over 10,000 visitors. The festival has grown in popularity year on year.
Even though it was originally Josh Eggleton’s and Luke Hansell’s brilliant idea to showcase the flavours of Bristol, this year’s event pairs up with Team Love, the organisers of two of the City’s most popular festivals Love Saves The Day and The Downs Festival. This iconic teaming will result in 48 hours of fun, with non-stop feasting and food alongside music and live acts as well as DJs – the complete fun package.
Eat Drink Bristol Fashion celebrates the very best of the Bristol food scene, not just the excess of great restaurants and chefs in Bristol, but also the affluence of the regional manufacturers and contributors. The flagship festival increased business with an intense ‘field to fork’ spirit. Festival organizers worked closely with the suppliers and manufacturers in Bristol and Somerset.
Along with the support they provided to the community food systems, Eat Drink Bristol Fashion also use other ways to make their venues as sustainable as possible. Visitors can have a great time enjoying the tastes of Bristol without any feelings of guilt. They are always working to improve their sustainability.
Their venues, Yurt Lush and Root, help out as well. Yurt Lush is pleased to sport the three-star Sustainable Restaurant Association rating and Root has SRA’s backing. SRA is an organization that supports over 6000 food-service sites to help them achieve substantial and appreciable change. At Yurt Lush, they aim to promote sustainability in the food industry to make everyone else aware of its importance and having achieved SRA’s 3 stars has put them in the top 81% of restaurants with sustainability in the South West.
The festival will have a proud and enchanting display of Bristol’s culinary skills, ranging from its Restaurants to communities, talks open to all, encouraging conversations about food in the City, Street food, Bars with local drinks, Kids workshops, School of Food classes, and a banqueting tent with some extra special surprises, music from Bristol’s own Doreen Doreen, Laid Black, Steve Rice, The 45’s, Queen Bee, Red Ray & the Reprobates and more. Everything a festival should be. See the 2020 Programme for more details. Tickets available now.
There is no dedicated car park for Castle Park. You can park in the multi-story carpark “The Galleries” opposite the park.
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We are blessed with many lovely parks and open spaces in Bristol. If you are looking for free things to do with the kids, visiting a park would be top of the list. So, here’s a selection of great Parks with great play equipment and areas for families with children of all ages.
Hengrove park welcomes visitors with a lot of greenery and open spaces that are as refreshing as they are full of activities to enjoy. The park provides everything from sandpits and climbing frames for children from different age groups. It also has a café, cinema, bingo hall, and free Wi-Fi for you to avail and enjoy as your children burn off some energy.
Not only that, but some of the most talked-about attractions of the park include a “wheel park” for skateboards, rollerblades, and BMX riders and a part that allows visitors to fly small model aircrafts and drones. Or you can relax in the wildlife area at the west end, with plenty of grassy areas to have a picnic and watch the world go by. In short, Hengrove has something for everyone. It doesn’t have a dedicated carpark, but there is plenty of parking in the surrounding areas.
Hengrove Park, Hengrove Way, Hengrove, Bristol BS14 0HR. Visit the Website for more information.
St. George’s Park
Where Hengrove focuses on modern facilities and greenery, St. George’s Park is a very old and historic place that still boasts some of its Victorian architecture at its main entrance. One of the most loved parks by visitors, it is comprised of acres of lush green grass with a beautiful lake in the middle where different kinds of birds have nested. It offers spaces that are natural, pet-friendly, and safe for children to play in.
Other attractions include a wheel park for skateboards, scooters, and BMX, tennis and golf courts, and a café kiosk with an outdoor seating area. The park also includes a dog-free playground. There is a massive lake with resident fish and birds, but it does not allow fishing. The Park doesn’t have a dedicated car park, but there is plenty of nearby parking.
St George’s Park, Church Rd, Whitehall, Bristol BS5 7AA. Visit the Website for more information.
Oldbury Court Estate (Vassell’s Park)
One of the most attractive and appealing aspects of the Oldbury Court Estate is that it has multiple enchanting panoramas to offer and is an ideal site for natural photography – such is its beauty and greenery. It includes a highly aesthetic woodland and riverside paths combined with a modern and attractive picnic area and play area. The park offers different activities for children of all ages including a water and sand play with a pirate play ship, swings, a roundabout, seesaw, spinner and slide, nest swing, slide, rock feature with a rope bridge, slingshot, dish spinner, zip wire, and much more. The play area is fenced to make it dog-free.
The park also has a lovely café kiosk, a terrace next to the play park, a tea hut, two football pitches, a cricket pitch, a protected area for wildlife, and also some fishing spots in River Frome. This very popular park has it has it’s own very large car park. Visit the Website for more information. Oldbury Court Estate, Oldbury Court Road, Fishponds, Bristol, BS16 2JH
This very popular park has it has it’s own very large car park.
Blaise Castle Estate
Blaise Castle is another great tourist attraction with a very interesting history. The place showed signs of occupation in the Neolithic era, and the castle was built out of ashlar stone with limestone dressings back in the 18th century. The land has been one of the most popular and famous tourist attractions of Bristol ever since – mentioned in several literary works by famous writers and also praised by many other notable personalities.
The parkland around the castle includes a museum, plant nursery, café, play area, multiple walking courses, cricket pitch, picnic spots with benches, grassed spaces for sports, and also a lily pond. You could easily spend the whole day there exploring. This is such a large park there are two free car parks, one off of Kings Weston Road at BS10 7QS the other smaller car park is of The Dingle at BS9 2PA. Visit the Website for more information.
Greville Smyth Park
The Greville Smyth park is another prominent place to go and relax while allowing your children to indulge in different healthy games and activities. It includes a dog-free play area for children under 12 years of age as well as one for teenagers, three football pitches, a ping-pong table, tennis courts, outdoor exercise stations with great equipment for adults, and also a bowling green.
The park boasts a very generous amount of open space and is the perfect place to chill out, relax with friends and family for picnic snacks and a game of frisbee. Greville Smyth Park, Ashton Road, Ashton, Bristol BS3 2EA.
Another one of Bristol’s great attractions, the Begbrook Green Park includes a very engaging play area for children of all ages that is fenced to keep it dog free. The toddler play area is separate with a climbing frame, cargo net, slide, swings, and nest swing. For older children, the park provides a rock-climbing wall with a cargo net. Adults can also indulge in different activities at any of the four outdoor exercise stations and enjoy the equipment provided by the park. There are football pitches, a bowling green, all-weather pitches, and also some changing rooms for the sports pitches included.
Begbrook Green Park, Frenchay Park Road, Bristol, BS16 1JG. Visit the Website for more information.
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Bristol International Jazz and Blues Festival- an unforgettable journey of culture, fun & entertainment.
Jazz is upon us, Bristol is going to be rocked again by top-notch jazz maestros from 26th March to 29th March. The awe-inspiring event is going to be organised for the eighth time assembled with spectacular gigs at St George’s, Bristol Folk House, Fiddlers, O2 Academy, Bambalan.
There will also be a fantastic number of workshops held at Bristol Folk House, free stages at Bambalan and Colston Hall and films at the Watershed. The finest performers from all over Europe, the USA and the UK will be there to celebrate music. Below are some of the highlights of this spectacular.
Saxophone Legend Pee-wee Elis show
Saxophonist Pee Wee Ellis was the engineer of James Brown’s time characterising soul works of art of the late ’60s, presenting the dynamic game plans and rebuffing rhythms that would characterise the developing language of funk. This great musician will rock the stage in Bristol by playing the Blues. This event will also promote his own selection of archetypal compositions along with a group of performers.
Concert Info: Date and Time: 27th March, 9.30 pm – Venue: St Georges – Tickets: £26, £22, £18 + bf – Genres: Blues
Ronnie Scott’s All-Stars plus UWE Big Band
Real dashing duos are on their way to Bristol for blowing your mind with mesmerisation. Both Ronnie Scott’s All-Stars and Bristol’s very own UWE (University of West England) Big Band are all set to make this festival a memorable one with their charming performances. Both the bands will jointly present some of the best Jazz tracks you have ever heard or seen. Don’t sit idle, get your tickets now!
Concert Info: Date and Time: 26th March, 8 pm – Venue: 1532 Theatre – Tickets: £20, £15, £10 + bf – Genres: Big Band
Paul Jones Big Band Blues Bash
Set yourself up for the splendid show of legendary singer, actor, television presenter Paul Jones. He will be performing for The Blues Band once again backed by the powerhouse stage artists of his own selection. Being a doctor of music (University of Portsmouth), his songs have been recorded by a varied bunch, including early Steppenwolf and Helen Shapiro.
Concert Info: Date and Time: 26th March, 8 pm – Venue: St Georges – Tickets £26, £22, £18 + bf – Genres: Blues, Big Band
The James Bond Concert
Get yourself ready for the jaw-dropping performance of renowned international conductor and music revolutionary Charles Hazlewood at O2 Academy. He will be batoning guest vocalists along with a group of 30 handpicked all-star orchestra. From “Dr. No”(1962) from “Spectre”(2015), all the emblematic tracks of James Bond will be performed to bethink your favourite era of Bond!
Concert Info: Date & Time: 27th March, 8pm – Venue: O2 Academy – Tickets: £25.50, £28.75 – Genres: Big Band, Pop, Special Events
A Bristol Sound
The magnificent WDC (Worm Disco Club) is extremely glad to share what’s potentially the best news yet! ‘Worm Disks’ will be propelled in 2020 with the mission of giving new, contemporary acts from around the UK. They are glad to declare that at the Bristol Jazz and Blues Festival 2020, WDC is tossing a ‘Worm Disks’ mark LAUNCH PARTY including three preferred Bristol-based acts:-
Waldo’s gift – developed as another power in the UK jazz scene. Conceived out of their improvisatory residency at Bristol’s The Gallimaufry, the band immediately picked up a reputation in their old neighbourhood before accomplishing more extensive national consideration.
Snazzback – an 8 piece band, who have been working intimately with vocalist China Bowls for their most recent performances. They pool their diverse tastes and investigate music from around the globe through acts of spontaneity and joint effort. Snazzback’s most recent synthesis consolidates the weight of present-day bass music with dynamic artistic game plans, skirting on punk and free jazz now and again as much as hip-jump and soul.
Run Logan Run – Utilizing roundabout breathing and FX, Run Logan Run makes music that is both ruthless and lovely, without the utilisation of circle pedals or sponsorship tracks. These extraordinary features make them stand out from other bands.
Concert Info: Date & Time: 27th March, 8 pm-2 am – Venue: Fiddlers – Tickets: £10, £12.50 + bf – Genres: Contemporary, Jazz, Special Events, Modern Jazz
Jump Blues with Chris Corcoran-Workshop
Nominated by UK Blues Federation, for Blues Instrumentalist of the year, Chris Corcoran has been titled as “Guitarist of the guitarists”. This man has been performing consistently for more than 20 years across the UK and Europe. His workshop will give you in-depth knowledge about improving your playing style as well as the techniques of driving the audience. Buy your tickets now and grab the opportunity to learn.
Concert Info: Date & Time: 28th March, 12pm-2pm – Venue: The Folk House – Tickets: £20 + bf – Genres: Blues
The Heartthrob Duos Performance: Kairos 4TET + Emilia Martensson
Being the perfect blender of classic and contemporary, Kairos 4TET are quickly turning into a foundation of the British jazz scene. They are unique – overcoming any issues among classic and contemporary; the jazz colloquialism and the genealogy of tune; fierce furrows, consuming spontaneous creations and songs that wait long after the music stops. They will be performing cooperatively with Swedish vocalist Emilia Martensson, who has been associating both as a singer and composer for a long time. Prepare yourself for this greatest Jazz show on earth at St Georges.
Concert Info: Date and Time: 28th March, 2 pm – Venue: St Georges – Tickets: £15 + bf – Genres: Contemporary Jazz, Traditional Jazz
Andy Hague Featuring “The Blues and The Abstract Truth”
Andy Hague is a cult figure renowned for being a Bristol-based trumpeter and drummer. He has also been a performer and an organizer for the past 25 years which makes him an ultimate artist. Along with his fellow musicians Freddie Hubbard, Eric Dolphy, Bill Evans, Paul Chambers and Roy Haynes, he is going to be the spellbinder crackerjack of the day. Try not to be late for purchasing tickets for this choice occasion and appreciate the show with families and companions.
Concert Info: Date and Time: 29th March, 2 pm – Venue: St Georges – Tickets: £15 + bf – Genres: Blues
The Ultimate Jazz Dames Presentation
The theme of Jazz will be redefined by the top class troupe of singers and instrumentalists like Rebecca Nash, Sara Colman, Ruth Hammond, Katya Gorrie as they are back by public demand. Extraordinary voices with, out-of-the world instrumental skills are going to make your evening the best of the bests. Get buckled up and run for tickets so that you can enjoy the exciting event with your family and friends.
Concert Info: Date and Time: 27th March, 7 pm – Venue: St Georges – Tickets: £22, £17, £12 + bf – Genres: Traditional Jazz
Tricia Boutte Cookery Workshop
Rooted in New Orleans, Tricia Boutte aka “Sista Teedy” is one of a kind super talented performer. She is the niece of international Jazz vocalist Lillian Boutte. Teedy has just appreciated a rich vocal vocation acting in an assortment of melodic settings. Her collection covers jazz, principles, R&B, pop, soul, gospel and Caribbean music. That being said, this extremely skilful lady is also a renowned chef. Bring a pen and paper with you because, in this event, you will get to learn the exquisite recipe of Southern State cuisine.
Concert Info: Date & Time: 29th March 10 am- Venue: The Folk House – Tickets: £5 + bf – Genres: Special Events, Workshop
Colston Hall Free Stage Show
The Colston Hall stage is all set to exhibit the brilliant performances of the school and university bands. You will be surely amazed by the superior and engaging acts discharged by these young talents. Get ready and enjoy the bewildering event lined up from 11 am to 4.45 pm.
Concert Info: Date and Time: 29th March, 11 am – Venue: Colston Hall – Genres: Swing, Big Band, Contemporary Jazz, Traditional Jazz, Modern Jazz
To wrap it up, Bristol city is going to have a series of astounding events from 26th March to 29th March. Entertain yourself and your dear ones with the ecstatic joyride. There are so many great things to do in Bristol and this is one of them! The great Bristol International Jazz & Blues Festival awaits you!
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Do you like TV documentaries? Do you listen to Radio 4? Do you read non-fiction? Do you enjoy being told a story? Then I’m confident an informative walking tour would enhance your Bristol City stay.
A web search is your starting point for any number of walking tours, including “Bristol Highlights” (which is the one we took) and others focusing on “Bristol Merchants and The Slave Trade”, or visiting the sites of local-lad Banksy’s murals. (You’d heard rumours Banksy was a girl? Well…on our tour the Guide pointed out his alma mater and assured us many could attest to his identity.)
The cost varies, but, for example, the 2 hour “Bristol Highlights” tour is conducted by a qualified Blue Badge Guide and costs just £6 per person. Unfortunately, the morning start wasn’t suitable for our group of seven and so I started to explore the possibility of a private, exclusive, tour. I found a number of commercial tour operators but – frankly – the costs were prohibitive, e.g. £29 per person. However, I’m glad I persevered because it seems the Blue Badge Guides are self-employed and can be contracted for private tours. I came to an arrangement with the Blue Badge Guide who had conducted the same “Bristol Highlights” tour that morning for 27(!) “walk-ins” to the Tourist Information Office, to repeat the tour exclusively for us that afternoon at a cost of just £80.
Our Guide – it goes without saying – had the gift of storytelling along with an encyclopaedic knowledge of all the significant dates in Bristol’s history. (He couldn’t fail to impress someone who submitted an entire History examination paper without once referencing a specific date – or indeed the reigning monarch!) He touched on ancient history; the growth of the Bristol docks and trading; Bristol’s role in the Slave Trade (no more, and no less, than a number of other cities heavily involved in overseas trading; both here and in Europe); Bristol Cream Sherry; and good ol’ Isambard Brunel and the railways.
An enthusiastic, knowledgeable and local Guide will not only introduce you to the ‘major’ sites such as Bristol Cathedral – which arguably you might have tripped over unaided – although apparently a lot of people do mistake St Mary Redcliffe Church for Bristol’s cathedral – but point out the less-obvious such as how the whole consists of parts dating back to the 12th century but then the twin towers were completed comparatively recently in 1888 (you can hardly see the joins).
We learned there are underground caverns (inaccessible now) where the warehouses once stood and these proved invaluable in protecting the expensive (and highly flammable) goods destined for import/export and provided a USP (unique selling point) for Bristol Docks. We heard that Cary Grant used to come back to Bristol regularly to visit his Mum.
Whilst I’m sure every Guide has a tried and trusted “script”, a knowledgeable Guide will be quite prepared to answer queries or spend more time on a topic in which people show a particular interest and they are always pleased to receive snippets of knowledge from their visitors which, I’m sure, they add to their own collection. For example our Guide pointed out the Wills Building donated to the University by the tobacco family which employed thousands in the area and I was able to tell him there was also a factory in Swindon where my mother worked in the early ’50s.
If you like a story…if you like learning new facts…consider arranging your own exclusive walking tour whilst you are in Bristol, I’m sure you’ll enjoy it.
A special thanks to Anne Brown-Robins, who wrote this post following a recent stay with us at Bury Hill Farm Bristol.
If you are staying in Bristol for a Hen Party or Girls weekend away, here is the best guide with 40+ ideas of what to do and where to go in Bristol. From nightclubs, where to eat, afternoon tea, exciting activities and more. It also includes lots of great mobile “in house” activities you can book at your Hen Party Accommodation. Things like customising your shoes, caterers, cocktail classes, life drawing, candle making and so much more.
Bristol has so much to offer. There’s never a dull moment, it’s buzzing all day and night. There is so much to enjoy, the Vibrant Harbourside, massive shopping centre, restaurants, the nightlife is fantastic. Everything in this guide will be suitable for groups of 10 or more.
Best Nightclubs for a Hen Party in Bristol
Pryzm the biggest Nightclub in Bristol
PRYZM is a modern, state of the art, stylish night club, close to the harbourside. A modern-day coliseum consisting of 3 club arenas, luxurious VIP suites and the ultimate chic and sexy bar experience, containing bespoke designer furnishings with a modern twist. With all the biggest brand premium spirits, champagne and prosecco available plus plenty of tasty cocktails and shots to choose from along with some of the best DJs and PAs around, there’s simply no better venue to spend you the evening with friends. PRYZM offers an amazing combination of excitement, atmosphere, elegance and opulence alongside world-class entertainment and service standards. Book your hen party and enjoy the VIP treatment you ladies deserve plus the ultimate clubbing experience you want, all rolled into one for a truly amazing night out.
Dance until the early hours in this popular thriving nightclub in the heart of the City Centre. They play the best and biggest songs from the 80’s, 90’s and upwards. This colourful venue has bookable booths for your VIP experience, with table service throughout the evening. So, whether you are planning a night out with the girls, birthday party or hen party this will be a great place to celebrate. Get the party started with Popworld sharer Cocktails from £9.95, or 4 for £8 on shots or something else from the array of drinks available. Check out the Website for more information.
Lola Lo Nightclub
Another one of Bristol’s popular nightclubs is this intimate Tiki-themed nightclub, spend the evening in this colourful nightclub giving you the feeling of being on holiday with their feature bamboo styled bar, impressive lamplit interior, colourful neon lights and decor and superb cocktails. Get into the spirit and take some selfies at the dressing up box. Playing a mix of music including cheesy and eclectic pool party-worthy dance tunes, this is a great place to party. Book a Tiki Style Cocktail making Masterclass, learn how to create a selection of bespoke cocktails with the added Lola Lo twist. Classes last for 2 hours and prices start from £28.95 per person. Or just book aVIP booth and get your name on the guest list.
Opa – Restaurant and Club
A fabulous Greek Restaurant servicing delicious fresh food but turns into a night club after 10 pm with great music and Weekly Themed Nights. It has an amazing sophisticated, luxurious interior and is set over two floors. Downstairs is where you will find the Bar and dance floor area with bookable VIP booths. They often have guest DJs and sometimes have ticketed nights. They host special packages for Hen Parties, with additional options for food. You can also book a Cocktail Masterclass. Upstairs is where you eat. There are plenty of options to choose from, depending on the size of your group. You could spend the whole evening there as it is open until 3 am. If you are just visiting for the nightclub, you will need your passport for ID as this is a venue for 23 + of age and proof will be required. Get yourself on their Guestlist.
The Old Market Assembly
A great place to spend the evening, with live music every weekend. Its aim is to create an environment where culture, food, drink and music and events connect people from all walks of life. You can book a table for food and then dance the night away from 10.30 pm into the early hours. Enjoy the wide variety of live music usually on Fridays, from local and up and coming bands. Saturdays are a mixture of anything from cabaret, drag queen acts, to club music, with the occasional live band.
Thekla – Harbourside
Thekla is a massive boat. It was originally a floating art gallery and theatre brought to the Mud Dock area back in 1982. In the early 90’s it was transformed into a nightclub, providing performance for Bands such as Massive Attack and Bristol’s Drum and Bass scene. It regularly has live gigs and is a firm favourite for dancing. This is a club that may not appeal to everyone, we would suggest checking what’s on before you go. Find out More.
Cocktails, Gin Tasting and Bottomless Brunch
Bottomless Brunch with Cocktails?
Brunch is very popular in Bristol. Many places are providing great Brunch experiences. How about Brunch with an endless supply of your favour Cocktails at Aluna – 2-hour eating and drinking experience. Choose your Cocktail, and delicious food from the Brunch Menu, one main and one dessert. Dishes range from a traditional breakfast to pancakes or even cheesecake. served every Saturday and Sunday between 11 am and 4 pm. See their full menu and book HERE Aluna is a great place even if you don’t fancy a Bottomless Brunch. They are also very popular for their food and unique amazing cocktails. It’s the perfect place for people looking for something a little bit different in the bustling Broad Quay of Bristol. Why not book a Masterclass? – Cocktail Masterclasses will be a personal guided session with your own bartender, who will show you the basic Aluna techniques to making show-stopping cocktails. Packages start from £22.95 per head up to £39.95 per head, although groups must be a minimum of 4 people and a maximum of 12. Any groups larger than this must be completed in two sessions to ensure the guests receive the best experience with each session lasting roughly 1-3 hours depending on package and group size. Booking in advance is essential due to demand.
Enjoy a masterclass at the Florist, hosted by a Gin expert, for a fun event full of sipping the classy spirt. Learn how to pick out the many flavours of distilled gin, from citrus to fruity and which tonics and garnishes complement them the most. A great way to kick start your weekend. The Florist provides Gin tasting experiences which last for 90 minutes and accommodates up to 12 people. The Florist is a beautifully decorated very popular restaurant in Bristol, so if you are feeling peckish after you can also enjoy a lovely meal. Visit their WEBSITE for dining options or book you Gin Tasting Masterclass.
Revolucion de Cuba
A Fabulous Bar and Restaurant right on the harbourside, with an electric atmosphere, tasteful funky Cuban inspired decor and live music during the weekends. This is one of the biggest bars in Bristol and is spread over two floors. Book your Classic Cocktail making Masterclasses, or you can combine the Cocktail Classes with food, such as tapas or deliciously indulgent 2-course meals. There are a few different options. How fab is that, a great Hen Party Weekend starter. Book a Cocktail Masterclass
Set in a historic building, an old tram shed, right in the heart of the great city you will find this stunning restored Building. It has three spacious outdoor terraces to make the most of the summer sunshine and relaxed atmospheric interior. This much loved, marvellous microbrewery, brews its own beer and services deliciously tasty locally sourced food and fabulous cocktails. Zerodegrees serves quality tasty food and has an extensive range of all of your favourite Cocktails, at very reasonable prices. A great place to start your evening out. Find out more on the Website.
A grand venue in the centre of Bristol. Cosy Club is a really stylish bar with a restaurant at the back. It was formerly a bank and has retained all of its character features, with its very elegant and grand high ceilings with an awe-inspiring domed roof and marble flooring. This smart and sophisticated bar makes for a super start to any evening. Serving Brunch, Lunch and Tasty Tapas and Dinner. They have a massive range of Cocktails. Check out there Menus.
Best places to Eat for a Hen Party in Bristol
Italian Restaurant – La Grotta
Being on Union Street right in the Centre of Bristol La Grotta is perfectly situated for either lunchtime visits whilst shopping, early dinner after wandering Broadmead & Cabot Circus, Dinner before venturing out to one of a host of Bristol’s many nightspots, pubs, clubs & Theatres etc or for a Special night out meal. They have a very extensive menu, including the obvious Pasta & Pizzas but also a good range of Fish, Chicken, Meats & Steaks and Daily Specials with an array of homemade desserts to finish your meal. They proudly boast that all meals are prepared with the freshest locally sourced ingredients and all meals are prepared & cooked freshly to order. La Grotta is able to cater for larger groups, Hen Parties, Birthday Parties or Family Gatherings, as well as couples. Highly recommended. Tel – 0117 9290466
A bar with its own Magic Theatre featuring Close up Magic, Live Music, Stand Up Comedy, Burlesque, Comedy and Magic Shows with inhouse Magicians. Expect to be entertained in the cosy bar with close-up magic from the minute you enter the door. The show starts at 8 pm, you will be welcomed into the theatre to enjoy 2 hours of hilarious comedy and magician acts. Your face will ache from all the laughing during the very entertaining show. After the show, you can relax and enjoy live music in the cosy bar which services a wide variety of drinks and serves pizzas and other delicious bar snacks. Smoke and Mirrors also run Cocktail and Magic Masterclasses. You can learn how to make up to 3 classic cocktails. Classes are run every Saturday from 3 pm to 5 pm and you can not only learn how to make your favourite cocktails, they also teach you some magic tricks so that you can talk away feeling accomplished from your new skills. Booking well in advance is essential. Something quite unique and different for you to enjoy on your girls night out.
Za Za Bazaar – multi-cuisine buffet restaurant
Located right on the Harbourside this restaurant is a world banquet and bar. An “all you can eat” restaurant where you can feast on food for all around the world. Once inside this enormous venue, you feel like you’ve been transported into another world, with big neon lights and a theatrical feeling. This is a self-service venue and has specialist chiefs for each type of cuisine, you can watch the food being created right in front while you wait to load your plate. Each cooking station is run as an individual restaurant and all the food is freshly prepared on-site. A great opportunity to try something you may not normally order in a restaurant. The food choice is huge, food from – Far East, China, Italy, India, Thailand, Mexico and Great Britain Classics. This amazing venue also has a downstairs bar, with plenty of seating and Live Bands on Fridays and Saturdays making it for a great place to get you warmed up before going to a nightclub.
Best Places to go for Afternoon Tea for a Hen Party in Bristol
How about a really special Cream Tea aboard The Matthew
Take in the atmosphere and indulge in a traditional cream tea aboard the magnificent Matthew ship. This reconstruction of the original has been modernised to comply with safety regulations and is a sight to behold. Enjoy scones, beautifully homemade cakes, jam and clotted cream with tea or coffee, while cruising for 1 ½ hours aboard this incredible ship, sedately travelling along the harbour, passing the SS Great Britain along the way.
Vintage Birdcage Cakeryis a really beautifully decorated café and is very popular for Afternoon Tea. Afternoon Tea consists of a variety of freshly made sandwiches, wraps and mini quiches, coleslaw and crisps together with a selection of homemade cakes, mini scones, clotted cream and jam. Prices start from £14.00 per person.
This very popular café is a little gem with a unique personality. They pay great attention to detail the staff are really friendly and everybody talks about their amazing food which caters for all dietary needs. Take a look at their Menu.
They also serve breakfasts, lunch – loaded jacket potatoes, salads, sandwiches, paninis, toasties, baguettes, bespoke homemade cakes, cream tea, milkshakes etc including a children’s menu, the list goes on and caters for everyone. Open every day until 4.30 pm apart from Sunday when it closes at 3 pm. This is situated right next to the lovely Kingsgate Park, if you fancy having a stroll and burning off some calories afterwards.
Old Down Country Estate
Old Down Country Park is set within 66 acres of breath-taking countryside, with beautiful views and gardens. Offering lots of outdoor space to relax in and also their very popular, generously sized afternoon teas.
Afternoon tea is served in the beautifully restored cosy barn café, with a selection of savoury sandwiches, homemade pork pies, scotch eggs, scones with cream & jam, homemade cakes, chocolate covered strawberries, crisps and pots of tea. Prices start from £14.50 per person. Visit the Website to make a booking.
The Bristol – River Grille
With beautiful views of the harbourside, this is a fabulous place for Afternoon tea. Set in a lofty conservatory-style space River Grille has an elegant light and airy, spacious dining room with a relaxed and informal ambience. Afternoon tea consists of freshly made finger sandwiches, homemade cakes, pastries and a selection of fine teas. They also have a full menu and boast about their spectacular steaks and perfectly cooked fish from their award-winning chef.
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Activity ideas for your Hen Party in Bristol
Pole Dancing – 360 Pole Dancing
Have a bit of sassy fun with a 2-hour pole dancing class at 360 Pole Dancing Bristol. Classes are held at a glamorous dedicated, mirrored dance studio in Bedminster Bristol. Learn some of the sexiest moves and poses including “The Wrap Around”, “The Fireman”, “The Back Slide” and “Body Wave”. Learn how to make a big entrance. Don’t worry if you don’t have any experience everyone will be able to learn something. Feather Boas props are available to use on the day. Make sure you take your camera and high heels for those sexy photo opportunities. Enjoy a bottle of pink bubbly, a special gift for the bride and sweeties to keep your energy up. Hen Parties on Saturday’s start from 11 am, 1.30 pm or 4 pm. Visit the Website for more information.
Chocolate Making Workshop – The Chocolate Tart
With an “eat as much as you like” policy, this has to be the most heavenly Hen Party activity you can imagine. The ChocolateTart offers a wide variety of workshops to cater for everyone. Classes last from 1 – 3 hours depending on your choice. You can learn how to make a chocolate box and fill it with truffles that you’ve made. Or you can work with a mould to make a coloured hollow figure, such as a Chicken or Dog and then stuff your mould with delicious chocolates and package to take away. Or enjoy a 3-hour workshop learning the art of hand-rolled fresh cream truffles, moulding your own homemade flavoured cream fondant, inside the chocolate shells you’ve made. Work with transfer sheets which embellish edible coloured patterns onto the bottom of your chocolate floretines to give your chocolates the professional look before packaging your chocolates into boxes, ballotins and sachets and decorating with stickers and ribbons. Class prices start from £35 per person. Bespoke packages are available. Visit the Website for more information.
Wine Tasting Experience
Discover how wine is made at Wine Unearthed, how it affects what you see, smell and taste in your glass. Understand the differences in how white wine, red wine and rose are made. Taste and compare wines side by side to really see the differences in styles. Compare oaked and unoaked white wines – How are ‘unoaked’ wines made and what does ‘oaked’ really mean? Learn how Sparkling wine is made – what gives the wine it’s fizz and why does Champagne differ from Prosecco, Cava etc.
A full Wine-Tasting Experience day, lasting for 5 hours – tasting, learning and talking about wine including a delicious 3 course wine matching lunch. Everything is included and you’ll leave with a ‘World of Wine’ or ‘Vine to Wine’ course book, your wine-tasting notebook, and most importantly increased confidence and a smile on your face! Visit the Website for more information.
Something you probably haven’t thought of– Inland Surfing
Why not try the newest attraction in Bristol? Opening in November 2019, inland surfing at The Wave. Enjoy a 2 hour session with a lesson at the amazing 180 metres long surfing lake. Everything needed will be provided, including wetsuits, boots and board. The venue will be at a beautiful site in Easter Compton and will not only have a wave pool, but it will also have a natural swimming lake, barefoot trails, a rope and tunnels course, foraging areas and gardens of various types, a clubhouse serving delicious food and surf shop. If not all of the group fancies surfing, spectators are welcome for a small fee, to just sit relax and watch all the action. This is sure to be a very popular venue, booking well in advance will be essential. Visit the Website for more information. Open every day of the year, except Christmas day.
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How about a booze cruise with Bristol Ferry Boats?
Bristol Ferry boats offer a variety of options to see the City from a different viewpoint. Take a trip around the harbour on one of their, fully licensed, iconic Blue and Yellow Ferry Boats. Packages include – trips along the dockside pubs and bars – where you have the opportunity to hop on and off of the boat or you can organise Vintage Tea Parties, Bubbly Breakfast or you can create your own bespoke party with them. Daily Cruises are also on offer and can be booked in advance, trips last from 2 to 3 ½ hours. Trips range from Sundown Sailing, Brunel’s Tour, Avon Gorge Trip, Friday trips with to venue with live music and Sunday Riverside Roast trips.
Bristol is very popular for Dance classes for Hen Parties. The Cheerleading Company offer over 30 different dance lessons for hen parties that are held centrally within walking distance of Bristols best attractions for hen dos including Park Street, Whiteladies Rd, and the Waterfront. Just choose which dance class the bride to be would love! Check availability HERE. There are so many Hen Party classes to choose from, here are just a few to give you an idea – Salsa & Latin – Line Dancing – Girl Band – Spice Girls Hen – 50’s Swing Dance – Cheerleading – Single Ladies – Dirty Dancing – 80’s Hen – Charleston – Grease – Bollywood Hen – Burlesque If you prefer, they can provide lessons at your Hen Party Accommodation, so you can have a laugh and a few drinks without having to travel.
Clay Shooting / Archery / Rifle Shooting
Be adventurous and book a session with Bristol Clay Shooting. Where events are tailored to your requirements. They have plenty of options from all day, half-day or even just a few hours of shooting and they supply everything needed.
Your day will start with a safety talk and briefing from their professional CPSA qualified coach. You will learn how to safely handle a shotgun and everything you need to know about cartridges, shooting and target types. Then you will split into smaller groups, each with your own instructor who will show you how to shoot the clays. Bristol Clay Shooting also provides Archery and Air rifles to make your day even more interesting. Prices start from £35 per person, contact them via their Website for a tailor-made package.
Locked in a Room
A live escape room experience. Participants are locked in a room with a series of tests, puzzles and clues that combined, allow the unlocking of the room’s mystery and hopefully a successful escape, challenging you every step of the way. Once the door slams, you’ll need to quickly figure out what lies ahead of you and ensure you have the best-laid plans in order. You’ll need to collect clues, solve riddles and think outside the box in order to escape in time. Teamwork is key!
The games are designed for 3 players or more. You will find yourself submerged into a new world in the heavily themed rooms, there are three to choose from! And be taken on a journey through the world of science and time travel. Faced with non-physical, yet exhilarating, challenges, cryptic clues, tests and puzzles which are aimed at stretching the usual thought processes. Locked in a Room Bristol is the only escape venue in Europe that can enable a large group up to 52 players (up to 72 coming soon!) to race against each other simultaneously. This considerably adds to the pressure, excitement and adrenaline rush, as if it wasn’t tense enough already! Booked your great escape Now!
Fancy an afternoon of fun games in the countryside
West Country Games have it all. Voted Bristol’s no 1 Activity by Tripadvisor. Embrace what the countryside has to offer and take part in 9 totally unique “West Country” themed games. You don’t need to worry about the weather either as you can have use of their indoor activity centre between November and February. Here are just some of the activities. Cider Run – Get your cheeky pint and leg it as far as you can before getting twanged by the bungee. West country skittles with a twist. Bar Skittles with humans on cider kegs, daft and fun, be prepared. Welly Wanging – lobbing your welly boots at a series of fun targets. Pitchfork Duel – Inflatables of course. Vicky Pollard Handbags – Batter the life out of each other in Pollard inflatable suits. West Country Wipeout – Keep jumping and try not to get wiped out by the sweeper arm. This is a great ice breaker if not everyone knows each other that well at your Hen Party a fun experience from start to finish. Your faces will be hurting by the end where you have laughed so much and you will all know each other that little bit more. Check out the WEBSITE for more details.
How about something different? – Quad Biking, Hovercrafts
Based in Bristol near the Massive shopping centre at Cribbs Causeway Max Events has a purpose-built outdoor activity centre providing professional experiences for an actioned pack day. On offer is the widest range of sporting activities found at any venue. You can choose from 1 – 6 activities depending on your budget – Rage Buggies, Quad Biking, Hovercraft, Paint Ball, Zombie Apocalypse – this list goes on and on. They’ve been hosting hen parties in Bristol for over 14 years.
Pottery Class – 3 hour session
Pottery Shed Studio, allows you to make your own pottery in a relaxed atmosphere with professional help and guidance. Using a unique building method you can make your own hand built salad bowl. All oven, microwave and dishwasher safe. The only thing that will limit you will be your imagination. Enjoy a 3 hour taster session full of fun and laughter as you create your own special creation. Contact Brenda to discuss your ideas and requirements.
Not going out? Bring the entertainment to your Hen Party Accommodation
Looking for Hen Party Accommodation at affordable prices, Check availability HERE
Mobile Massage/Beauty Therapist
Pamper Party Angels are a team of highly-skilled, fully insured and qualified, Mobile Massage and Beauty Therapists. Specialising in providing pamper parties in the comfort of your Hen Party Accommodation. They are able to provide all your guests with 30-minute Massage or Beauty treatments including Facials, Pedicures, Manicures and Back, Neck and Shoulder Massages. See their list of treatments HERE
Bling up your shoes
Arriving with plan shoes and taking home a crystal pair, which you’ve designed yourself is a unique hen party activity idea from Rock My Shoes. Taught by an experienced shoe designer, spend 2.5 hours customising your shoes for the big day. Learn how to design with unlimited amounts of crystals and pearls. Add to any style of shoes, flats, high heels or trainers. If you’re not a shoe person, that’s not a problem you can still add some sparkle to your bag or a purse.
This is the perfect opportunity to bling up your favourite comfy shoes for the big day, its free for the bride to be and she will also receive a surprise crystal gift. Check out the Website for more information.
Buff Bubbly Butlers
A great way to get your party started! Your buff butler has all the skills to make your party feel relaxed whilst giving you a night to remember.
These buff and bubbly butlers are as you would expect, charming, gorgeous and guaranteed to entertain everyone, at your hen party accommodation.
Buff butler prices start from £150 for 2 hour to £180 for 3 hours of fun. You can also choose from, cocktail classes from £25pp, life drawing including all materials from £20pp (based on 10 people) What are you waiting for, book your buff bubbly butler today via email or visit their WEBSITE for more information
Delightful Buffet delivered to your door
Vanilla Blue Catering offers superb buffets delivered to your accommodation. Put together with Love and attention on every plate. Sit back, relax and enjoy this very delicious tasty food with the best service from a local provider. On offer is a range of options from sandwich platters, canapes, sharing platters, finger buffets, fork buffets and more as well as some delicious desserts. Finger buffet prices range from £6.25 to £10.75 per person. For more information visit the Website
Candle Making Workshops
Enjoy a fun and relaxing 3-hour candle making workshop in the comfort of your Hen Party Accommodation with Mount Cottage Crafts. Learn all the basic skills of Soy Wax candle making, the difference fragrance options, wick types, how to measure wax and put fragrance and dye into candles and the best combination for the perfect creation.
Takeaway your candles for your special day or give as a perfect gift. You can choose from making one large candle with one fragrance or 3 medium candles with 2 fragrance. All tools and equipment are provided. Prices start from £29 per person. Booking well in advance is essential. Visit the Website for more information.
Drag and Disorderly
If you fancy a sassy performer, bringing plenty of blue humour, dancing, singing and lots of fun and frolics. Why not book yourself a Drag Queen. The larger-than-life Felicity Suxwell is hilariously funny, entertaining and is sure to get your party started with a bang.
Bringing her own DJ, the music is sorted for those classic party sing-a-long songs. This very interactive show will have everyone laughing from start to finish. Check out her WEBSITE for more information.
Mobile Cocktail Workshop
The Bartender Hire Company provides premium cocktails for premium hen parties and can offer the very best tailor-made drinks packages, in the comfort of your Hen Party Accommodation. There are a number of options for these afternoon activities. Cocktail Clinic is a fun training session where you learn all about cocktails and how to make them, this is the original and best cocktail workshop. All-inclusive packages – a hassle-free option where your cocktail bartender provides and serves you with a choice of four superb cocktails from their menu. You can also upgrade to butlers in the buff or a flair bartender. Gin and Teatime – learn the intricacies of gin and taste some great gin cocktails all served by your bartender. If you like gin this is the best way to get ready for your evening out. Everything is provided, glasses, drinks all the ingredients including ice, just choose the best package for you. Prices range between £25 & £30 per person and last for between 2 and 2 ½ hours depending on the package. Choose your package.
Cake Decorating Party
Have a fun, unique afternoon cake decorating with Custom Cake Classes in the comfort of your Hen Party accommodation. All the ingredients together with 6 freshly baked vanilla cupcakes per person and equipment, including tablecloths, aprons and cake cutters are provided. No experience is needed as you will be guided throughout the class and learn how to make pretty decorations, including making handmade roses, learn how to colour sugar paste and how to pipe soft butter cream swirls.
Classes last for approximately 2 hours and you will be given a pretty presentation box to put your decorated cupcakes in. To discuss your requirements and find out more visit the Website.
The Crafty Hen
Have some fun with a Hen Party Workshop in the comfort of your Hen Party Accommodation. The Crafty Hen is a Bristol based company with plenty of packages to choose from. Parties for creative Brides and friends working together to create bespoke wedding day keepsakes for the big day or for a unique hen party experience, they have it all. Choose from the many workshop options available or contact them with your own ideas. Tried and tested workshops include – Flower Crown making, Ceramic Painting, Patchwork Party, Jewellery making, Fascinator making and Nipple Tassels, Bunting making, Knicker Customisation, Garter making, and many more. These are super workshops, lasting for up to 3 hours, crack open the bubbly, be inspired and get ready for lots of laughs along the way. Check out the Website for more information.
Enjoy a bit a Cheeky Fun with a Nude Life Drawing class at your accommodation with Hen Party Life Drawing.
A fun and tasteful form of entertainment that’s classier than a stripper. Your professional model, will make you feel at ease, give you instructions and guidance throughout and all the supplies needed for you to create your masterpiece. Classic Cheeky Packages last for approx. 60 minutes and includes all art supplies, full guided instructions, group photo with the model and a keepsake branded folder to keep all of those cheeky drawings in. Or there’s an Ultimate Cheeky Package for 90 a minute session, which includes all of the above plus extra party games and bride and with model poses for sketches. Giggles are guaranteed at these sessions prices start from £20 per person. See the Website for more information.
Tailored made therapies from a Holistic Therapist
Treat yourself to relaxing spa treatments in the comfort of your accommodation, with Royall Holistics. Nicky specialises in Reflexology, Reiki, Swedish, Hot Stone and Deep Tissue Massage. Enjoy an afternoon of treatments and relax and unwind before hitting the town for the evening.
Nicky is a very experienced and professional therapist who will tailor treatments to your needs. She comes highly recommended and has Hen Party packages, prices range from £17 – £25 per person. Visit the Website for more information. Or call Nicky for a friendly chat 07786 407297.
Afternoon Tea – Heartfelt Vintage
Afternoon Tea makes for a fun activity for your Hen Party. Heartfelt Vintage does it in style, their passion is all things vintage with a good old-fashioned Afternoon Tea. They have 3 different packages. The most popular option is to simply take delivery at your accommodation and enjoy the freshly homemade baked scones with a choice of homemade clotted cream and jam, 4 different types of fingers sandwiches, a centrepiece cake decorated with flowers, 2 scrumptious traybakes and a selection of 3 different teas. You also have the option to have all the lovely things as described above as well as hiring their vintage china, which is delivered and collected. Or just go the whole shebang, let them do all the work, sit back and relax whilst they serve you and then clear up. Prices start from £17.95 per person. Visit the Website for more information.
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From today the much-anticipated opening day of The Wave, Bristol, is available to book. The first sessions for the general public start on 18th November 2019 and you can book them now. The Wave is an inland surf destination that allows people to surf on consistent safe waves all year round, without having to go to the sea.
Every aspect of The Wave has been designed to give the maximum amount of fun for everyone. Whether you are a beginner or an accomplished surfer this will be the safe place to go. The ground-breaking technology can create up to an amazing 1,000 quality waves per hour, that’s one every 10 seconds, ranging from 50cm to 2m in height in this massive 180 metres-long surfing lake.
The Wave will be at a beautiful site in Easter Compton, Bristol and will not only have a wave pool, but it will also include a natural swimming lake, barefoot trails, a rope and tunnels course, foraging areas and gardens of various types including sensory, healing, culinary and herbs gardens. There will also be a clubhouse serving delicious food and surf shop. Making it a great space where people can become happier by connecting with water, nature, each other and themselves.
All levels of ability can enjoy this great experience, whether it’s a child getting on a board for the first time or a professional surfer training for the Olympics. Sessions can be booked according to your experience.
Learn to surf in a supportive environment, with 2-hour sessions. Everything that you will need is provided – wetsuits, boots and surfboards. Learn about water safety, surf equipment, body positioning etc and then experience the fantastic rush of surfing along a wave. The coaches will be with you for the duration. Prices start from £55 – Adults, £45 – 6 – 16 years. Lessons for more advanced surfers are also available at these prices.
Or if you are more experienced they have sessions for intermediate and advanced surfers – just catch some waves with a 1-hour session. Prices start from £40 -Adults, £35 – 6 – 16 years. All the booking information is on the website.
Spectators are welcome to join you and watch the action. Prices are £5 – Adults, 6-16 years – £2.50 and under 6’s are free.
If you are interested in the History of The Wave, where the idea came from and how it works, where all the Wave locations are, watch this interesting video.
I can’t wait for this to be open. This is going to be a great asset to Bristol. I’ve already booked my session and I am really looking forward to it. The Wave is just 6.7 miles away from our Self-Catering Accommodation, Bury Hill Farm Bristol. If you are visiting and looking for accommodation check out our website www.buryhillfarmbristol.com or check availability
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Housed in one of Bristol’s historic Harbourside Buildings on Princes Street, you will find this super independently owned Spanish Tapas Restaurant which first opened back in 2002.
As you walk into the restaurant the rustic tiled floor, beamed ceilings, whitewashed walls, Spanish music and lively atmosphere, gives a very authentic Spanish feel. There is a nice choice of tables from cosy intimate corners for a romantic meal for two through to large tables for bigger parties or groups. Join them on Sunday evenings for live flamenco dancing, live Spanish music and traditional paella from 7.30 pm.
We visited in July with a couple of friends from out of town who were in Bristol for a Salsa dancing event. I suggested El Puerto as I have visited there many times over the years, always enjoyed the food and I hadn’t been there for at least a year or so.
The reservation was made for 8pm, when we arrived our friends were already enjoying a drink at the bar. We were shown to our table by a jolly fellow and our orders taken shortly afterwards. One of our friends had indicated he was looking to eat something fairly substantial so I suggest one of the main meals (fish, steak or mixed grill etc) but upon viewing the menu he also decided there was such a good choice of Tapas we should share a variety of these (a very good decision in my eyes).
Tapas dishes range from £4 – £7 each and in my opinion are good value for money, they are large enough that 3 per person is more than enough for even the hungriest of us, 10 or 12 between a group of four give a really varied selection. A separate gluten free menu and vegetarian options are also available. There is also a fairly large wine list, a very good selection of Spanish beers and of course Sangria. See their full Menu.
We ordered an array of dishes, including – Chorizo a la plancha (grilled chorizo sausage), Pollo Ajillo (chicken in garlic & white wine sauce), Costillas Crujientes (crispy pork ribs), Chuletitas de cordero (Lamb Chops marinated in garlic), Espeto de Sardinas (Sardines cooked over charcoal), Pescaditos (Whirebait), Patatas Bravas & Patatas Ali Oli (deep fried potatoes with spicy tomato sauce and with garlic mayonnaise), Abondigas (meatballs in tomato sauce), to name but a few (my mouth is seriously watering just writing these !) We were also served bread with aioli and olives while our tapas was being prepared.
The dishes were brought to the table freshly as they were prepared, a few at a time, which in my opinion is ideal as none get the chance to go cold whilst eating and makes for an extended period of chatting whilst eating and drinking. I opted for a bottle of wine recommended by the waiter and the boys had Estrella, both were going down very well.
After we finished the tapas only two of us decided that we had just enough space to fit one of the mouth-watering homemade desserts on offer. I went for the El Puerto Strawberry Mess (their take on an Eton Mess with Fresh Strawberries, Organic Cream, Ice Cream & Meringue) which was absolutely delightful.
To summarise our night out El Peurto was fantastic – good company in pleasant surroundings, lovely atmosphere, scrumptious food, nice cold beers and friendly attentive service.
El Puerto has changed management a few times over the years, the new owner “Kani” took over just a few months ago and is keeping up the reputation of being Bristol’s #1 Spanish Tapas Restaurant.
Not long to go now for Bristol’s International Balloon Fiesta. This is Europe’s largest annual meeting of hot air balloons, attracting over 130 Hot Air Balloons from across the world. So if you are looking for free things to do in Bristol this is the place for you. Tens of thousands of visitors from across the country and beyond come to celebrate this spectacular event. It is celebrating its 41st anniversary in 2019 and will be bigger and better than ever before.
The Fiesta is truly a sight that can only be seen in Bristol and is held over four days in August every year, at Ashton Court Estate. There is so much to keep you busy during the day including the mass ascents where as many as 100 balloons launch at the same time, twice per day at 6am and 6pm, subject to weather conditions. There are also shows and entertainment, fairground rides, food stalls, fantastic trade and craft stands and fireworks. It’s also a great opportunity to have a ride in a balloon.
The night glow is also something not to miss, the hot-air balloons light up their burners in time to music. Night glows are usually on the Thursday and Saturday from 9pm and usually last for an hour and is then followed with a firework finale. Some people see this as the highlight of the Fiesta.
The event was first held in 1970 and is now one of the largest in Europe and takes place in the Aston Court Estate annually. For it’s 40th Anniversary some of the most iconic shapes returned to mark this huge milestone. These included favourites like Superbike, the Michelin Man, a special huge birthday cake shaped balloon, a pair of Bertie Bassett’s.
What to Expect this year at Bristol Balloon Fiesta
Free entry to this amazing fun family 4 day event. Be prepared and bring your breaksfast, disposable bbqs are welcome or there is plenty on offer from hot food outlets. Enjoy browsing around lots of trade and craft stands, grab a drink from the public bars, relax and enjoy the entertainment and Live Music on offer throughout the Fiesta.
Thursday 8th August – 12.00 pm – Opening Day – Hot Air Balloons are tethered throughout the afternoon. After a weather briefing at 6pm (weather allowing), there will be the first mass ascent. At 9.00 pm this is followed by the very popular nightglow, 25 hot air balloons turn into light bulbs, glowing in time to the music and to finish an amazing firework display.
Friday 9th August – Two mass Hot Air Balloons ascents. The first is at 6.00 am. 8.00 am Model Hot Air Balloon Competitions. 12.00 pm Hot Air Balloon Tethering. 6.00 pm the second Hot Air Balloon mass ascent.
Saturday 10th August – Two mass Hot Air Balloons ascents. 6.00 am mass Hot Air Balloon ascent. 12.00 pm to 5.00 pm Entertainment in the Arena. 6.00 pm Another mass ascent. 9.00 pm The nightglow with firework finale.
Sunday 11th August – Two mass Hot Air Balloons ascents. 6.00 am mass Hot Air Balloon ascent. 12.00 pm to 5.00 pm Entertainment in the Arena. 6.00 pm Another mass ascent.
Entry to the Fiesta is free, but parking is charged from £9.14 to £27.69 depending on the parking area. Tickets must be purchased in advance. Last entry to the Fiesta car park is 5 pm each day, spaces are expected to sell out quickly, so you need to book asap. There are signs, which are yellow to guide travellers to the correct car park and it’s best not to follow your sat-nav directions as there is more than one entrance. Find out more and book TICKETS.
If you’re coming from the North, M5 Junction 19: take the A369 towards Bristol city centre.
From the South, M5 Junction 21: take the A370 towards Bristol.
From the East or West, M4 Junction 20: take the M5 southbound, leaving at junction 19 for the A369 towards Bristol city centre.
The First Bus Balloon Shuttle bus service is operated by First Bus, from Temple Meads Train Station and the City Centre – Metrobus Stop C2, Colston Avenue to the Balloon Fiesta. Tickets can be purchased on the bus with no need to pre-book. Buses will run every few minutes.
Tickets are just £3 single or £5 for a day ticket, with a special group ticket of £15 which allows up to five adults to travel together. We’ve introduced two new ticket features for 2019: up to two children (15 and under) can travel free with each fare-paying adult and you can buy discounted tickets in advance of the day on the First Bus mTicket app.
You can buy adult day and group shuttle bus tickets on the mTicket app and save money! Just download the First Bus app, click on the mTickets tab and select the Bristol area. Click on Special Events tickets and choose an adult day ticket for only £4 or group (up to 5 adults travelling together) for only £12 per day. This allows unlimited travel on the shuttle bus only for one day.
Address – Ashton Court Estate, Long Ashton, Bristol, BS41 9JN
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The Bristol Harbour Festival is back this weekend – Friday 19th July to Sunday 21st July. Celebrating its 47th year, this free festival brings over 250,000 people together and is held annually to celebrate the city’s maritime heritage and the importance of Bristol’s docks and harbour.
Most of the activities are free, including live music, street performances, dance acts, interactive theatre, international circus acts, daredevil stunts and a variety of other live entertainments which are held on or near the waterfront of Bristol Harbour.
The outside venues include Queen Square, Lloyds Amphitheatre, Narrow Quay, Merchants, Quay, Hannover Quay, Millennium Square and Cathedral Walk, with seagoing vessels moored nearby. The liveliest part of the festival is quayside and the main attractions are entertainment designed to engage all the communities of Bristol, as well as entertain the thousands of visitors to the city.
Find your way around the Bristol Harbour Festival’s Performance Areas – Downloadable Map See the program of events further down the page.
The City has hosted the festival since 1971, when it was started as part of an, ultimately successful, attempt to save the docks from being filled in. In 2012, the festival attracted over 200,000 visitors, its highest ever attendance at that time, with the Irene and the Matthew being two of the tall ships in attendance that year.
The festival is held every year in July over a weekend and many of the bar and restaurants put on extra entertainment to keep visitors happy during the late evenings. In 2018 visitors were be able to watch for the first time, the Power8 rowing sprints battle it out on the water, as teams from eight cities compete to be the best.
The highlight of this year’s festival will be the arrival of three very special tall ships – The Etoile Molence, Irene and Iris. Also Power8 Sprints will also be headlining with their 350 metre, high octane rowing action on the water.
More than 250 boats of varying shapes and sizes will be tied up at every available mooring along a four-mile stretch of the Harbourside, with familiar sights such as the SS Great Britain and the Matthew all set to appear.
There’s so much entertainment to keep you engaged, including music at the huge outdoor concert area “the Lloyds Amphitheatre”, top quality circus and street theatre acts from Circus Bijou. Western Boat Show, showcasing all kinds of sailing boats and power boats, rowing competitions, general fun and games in the water, dedicated family areas, plus the Continental Food Market at Queens Square, a fantastic line-up from across France, Italy, Spain and Germany providing olives, cheese, crepes and more, an experience for the taste buds together with traditional gifts and crafts and lots of Harbourside fun for everyone.
Travel – Head for the City Centre, follow signs for Harbour Festival. Further travel info Here.
There is plenty of parking and it is advised to arrive early to get as close as possible to the available Harbourside Parking. You will also find parking within a short walking distance of the Harbour at the following places –
Entertainment, fun for the family, food and Music all day from – 11.00 am – 4.00 pm.
Avon Wildlife Trust, Avon Valley Adventure and Wildlife Park, Bubblina – Family entertainment with bubbles, Sound right phonics Bristol, Circomedia – Circus Workshops – Great Family Fun, Traditional Japanese Drumming, A.P.E Project CIC – Mobile Adventure Playground, Marky Jay – Street Theatre, Bocadalupa Arts – Bee Garden and much more.
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La Grotta is situated in the very heart of Bristol’s City Center and Shopping area and is definitely a Family Affair – originally opened in 1981 by Alfonso Merlino and his wife Anita and passed on to their son Andrea in 2015, who has worked in the restaurant since a child, there are waiters and chefs that have also been working there for going on 30 years.
It is not just one of the oldest restaurants in Bristol but also the only independent Italian Restaurant in the City Centre serving both the residents of Bristol and visitors from far and wide authentic Italian cuisine for over 38 years !
Being on Union Street right in the Centre of Bristol La Grotta is perfectly situated for either lunchtime visits whilst shopping, early dinner after wandering Broadmead & Cabot Circus, Dinner before venturing out to one of a host of Bristol’s many night spots, pubs, clubs & Theatres etc or for a Special night out meal.
Once inside the arched ceilings, décor and ambience give the feeling that you could actually be Italy, with customers chatting & laughing making for a lively but comfortable atmosphere.
Winners of numerous awards including “Best Pizza in the Bristol Good Food Awards” and is a Trip Advisor Recommended Restaurant with over 500 reviews.
They have a very extensive menu, including the obvious Pasta & Pizzas but also a good range of Fish, Chicken, Meats & Steaks and Daily Specials with an array of homemade desserts to finish your meal. There is also a Lunchtime & Early Evening Special menu and a Children’s menu. La Grotta is very proud that all meals are prepared with the freshest locally sourced ingredients and all meals are prepared & cooked freshly to order.
We have visited La Grotta numerous times (we have been fairly regular customers since the late 1980’s) so upon our most recent visit, I knew what to expect, from the friendly welcome by waiters Romeo & Simone to the quality of the food prepared by the resident Chef Richard.
I opted for a bowl of olives and Garlic & Cheese Pizza and my wife her favourite Funghi Dolcelatte (Sautéed mushrooms in a creamy Dolcelatte sauce with a splash of white wine served on toasted Ciabatta bread) for starters, followed by Fillet Steak with Pepe Nero (pepper) sauce, with generous fresh side salad and Chips (this is one of very few places I will eat steak as we produce our own beef on the farm and find it very difficult to find anywhere that supplies steak anywhere near as good as our own).
As usual the steak was cooked to perfection, tender & juicy, the salad fresh & crispy, the pepper sauce tasty & peppery enough to make my lips tingle and the chips fresh & crunchy.
Fortunately there is such a comfortable relaxed atmosphere we were in no rush to leave, we sat happily chatting after our meal that there was enough time for the steak to go down making space for a dessert, this time one of Andrea’s fantastic Cheesecakes, which are homemade and different every week – this weeks was a tangy Apple Crumble Cheesecake, which although sounds a strange combination was absolutely delightful and we finished off the evening with a zesty Limoncello. If you are too full after your meal the Cheesecake is available as a takeaway, which I have done on several occasions and is recommended, you really don’t want to miss out on the opportunity to try the Cheesecake.
La Grotta is able to cater for larger groups as well as couples so are an ideal venue not only for a romantic dinner with a loved one, Hen Party, Birthday Party or Family Gathering and I would not hesitate to recommend them very highly.
A visit to La Grotta is more than a meal but more of an experience, Andrea and his staff are so friendly and welcoming they really do want you to have a great time and leave feeling like part of the family. Visit their website for more information.
Address – 9 Union Street, Broadmead, Bristol BS1 2DD Tel – 0117 9290466
Opening Hours – Monday to Friday – Lunch 11.45am – 2pm, Monday to Thursday – Evenings 5.15 pm – 10.30pm, Friday 5pm – Late, Saturday open all day until late. View Menu
Independent Review –2 months ago
Fantastic food at an attractive price at Bristols pizza gem. Went for a quick dinner before the cinema and wasn’t disappointed. The pizza was absolutely perfect as was the service. They have some great deals going on there all the time. There’s a reason this place has won an award for pizza place of the year! Recommend big time.
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