This is Caitlin writing again and I’m so excited for this post! Now on to my favourite city in England located in the South West, Bristol. It is the sixth most populous city in England and the eighth most populous in the UK. I won’t lie, I went to Bristol Uni and that makes me incredibly biased to this amazing cultural city. I had the best time studying for my master’s in maritime archaeology. I decided to come back and visit. I timed the trip perfectly to be there for the May Bank Holiday. A lot of my uni mates now work so it was great to spend that Monday with them.
Bristol is one of those cities that always seems to have something going on. If you want to do something you will find something. It’s incredible! I love the community and close-knit feeling to the city that is Bristol. It has such a great and open vibe to it. It’s not stuffy or overly posh. While I was there a few great festivals were going on: Eat Drink Bristol Fashion 2015 and Food Connections 2015. They were both awesome events. Eat Drink Bristol Fashion 2015 set up tepees in Queen’s Square and served tapas while a live band was going outside. While Food Connections 2015 took over College Green. I love any place that has food stalls and both of these events had plenty of food to try. Unfortunately, the Bank Holiday turned grey and it up raining (it was so England of it to be honest).
If you’ve never been to Bristol there a few iconic places you must at least visit. Wills Memorial Tower is an absolutely stunning piece of architecture. The first time I walked in I felt like I was on the set of Harry Potter. The stained glass is amazing and worth seeing in person. A walk to the harbour is completely necessary. I spent a lot of my time during my degree at Pitcher and Piano down at the harbour. You will always see a great fireworks show there during the Harbour Festival as well. While you’re in the harbour you should go and visit the SS Great Britain. I had many lectures for my degree there and it is a cool museum.
Another thing not to miss is the Stokes Croft area. Bristol isn’t home to Banksy for nothing. There’s always amazing works of street art blanketing the city. I always have to take a walk down Stokes Croft to see all of the new art. It’s what makes Stokes Croft, Stokes Croft. I always start my walk from the iconic Bear Pit and go from there to Attic Bar and along to The Canteen. If there’s one place I love to get a drink in Stokes Croft its The Canteen. I also enjoy No. 51 Stokes Croft. Although there’s many great places to go in the area.
Another area that’s worth exploring is Clifton. It might be the polar opposite of Stokes Croft in every way. It’s a bit more posh and cleaner but the views from the Clifton Suspension Bridge are always worth the walk over. I really enjoy the Mall and the Coronation Tap in Clifton. The Coronation Tap makes their own cider and it’s absolutely deadly and delicious. It’s probably the most potent cider in % of alcohol I’ve ever had and that’s why they only serve it as half pints.
Most of my time in Bristol was hanging out with my mates I met while living in England. I went to a great dinner at Alma Tavern (http://www.almataverntheatre.co.uk/). A place I’ve never been to before and had a great meal. I also had dinner at one of my favourite places the Burger Joint (http://www.theburgerjoint.co.uk/). Any place that serves gluten-free burgers is a place for me. I’m allergic to wheat and peanuts so this always make a restaurant skyrocket to the top of my list. Another amazing place for food is Townhouse (http://www.thetownhousebristol.co.uk/). There food is positively incredible!! I’ve never been disappointed and £10 for 3 courses is very hard to beat. Also their chocolate nemesis is to die for. It’s vegan and gluten-free and is complete chocolatey goodness. One of my mates and I hit up Brown’s for their great happy hour with cocktails (http://www.browns-restaurants.co.uk/locations/bristol/). I love their drink called “British Royal,” but I love anything with Prosecco in it.
As a post grad in the archaeology and anthropology department I’ve spent a lot of time at the Hawthorns and the Highbury Vaults drinking way too much Thatcher’s Gold. They are two places I could not miss on my week back in Bristol. Not to mention the department has a weekly lecture and we always head to those two places afterwards. I of course went to the lecture and all I really wanted was to just hug everyone while the speaker was talking on. It’s incredibly hard to maintain relationships over continents but it’s so worth it.
For our night out we stopped at OMG Bristol, a gay friendly dance club/bar for my mate’s birthday. It was good fun to get a dance in and hangout with all of my mates. They usually play some of the best music as well however this night wasn’t there best but we still danced our bums off. After that, as a staple of most graduates from Bristol I climbed in the Victoria Rooms fountain as my final send off from Briz.
As I said, I will not lie about Bristol being my favourite city in all of England. I love it and miss it every day.
My final day in England was spent in London as I was flying out of Heathrow. I met up with one of my mates who live in Battersea and we went out to the Magic Garden Pub in Battersea. They had a DJ playing amazing electro-swing and now I am completely in love with that genre of music. Not to mention that they had several bands from Bristol playing a mix of roots, reggae, funk, soul, and ska. It included: First Degree Burns and Mango Factory with DJ Jon Bongly and here’s the link to the event https://www.facebook.com/events/436013076547814/.
It was very hard to get on my flight the next morning. Trust me I almost stayed. The thought of how long my passport allows me to stay legally crossed my mind far too many times. However, this was a trip for the record books. I cannot wait to go back already!
Photos of all of my favourite street art in Stokes Croft commences, if you know any of the artists names let me know in the comments: