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A few weeks ago Mark and I fancied a little sojourn, a trip away somewhere new, see the sights, eat all the food and spend some time relaxing. We were all set, ready to go, except we didn’t know where to visit.
Since I’m not particularly great at making decisions, we decided to leave it up to fate aka a random letter generator and flipping a coin. After being presented with the letter B, we wrote down several places we’d like to go or have never been to before and used the cutthroat process of a simple penny flip to whittle them down to one. Heads or Tails? Here we go.
After some tense moments and a sigh of relief after Bradford came very close to being in the final (soz Bradford), we had a winner, Bristol!
It was hard work exploring a new city but for you guys, I’m willing to go that extra mile, so here is everything you need to make the most of 24 hours in Bristol.
Where to Stay…
We stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn, a handy ten minute walk from Temple Meads station and another short walk to the city centre itself. The rooms are lovely, super comfortable beds, tv, great shower and a kettle, which I think we can all agree should be a staple for your home away from home. Our room faced out over Temple Meads gardens, a lovely little park area, covered with bluebells and an old chapel. Very picturesque.
The best bit about the hotel is the breakfast. I don’t often include breakfast as part of my hotel stay but I’m so glad we did. Full English, cereals, meat, fish, cheese, yoghurt, fruit, pastries, even a waffle maker, breakfast included everything. Not only does it work out cheaper but I got to stick to my one holiday rule, Go Big or Go Home. I don’t want to hear anything about a slice of toast or grapefruit, this is a getaway, stuffing your face is a must.
So yes my eyes were bigger than my stomach but I fitted in as much as possible before heading out and fitting in a full day of seeing everything Bristol has to offer. Another pastry before I go please!
What to Do…
When I visit cities there’s always two questions I ask, Is there a cathedral and is there a museum (preferably with dinosaurs)? Bristol has both. The Bristol Museum & Art Gallery has to be *drumroll* the best museum I’ve ever been to. It has everything, real live dinosaur… skeletons, a mesmerising geology section, mummies, paintings and pottery. As well as coveting all the shiny gemstones, I also saw my first Banksy painting. It was an ideal way to spend the morning.
Next on the agenda, is the cathedral. I knew it was going to be impressive from the exterior but the inside was truly breathtaking. So many intricate stone carvings and rooms framed by beautifully vibrant stained glass windows. Warm lighting from the choir stands and gentle flickering of candles nearby makes it a soothing place to sit and take some time to enjoy the moment.
It would be rude of me not to do a bit of shopping and Bristol also has an amazing shopping scene. I love perusing stores I don’t have access to at home like Oliver Bonas, Harvey Nichols and & Other Stories, as well as discovering places unique to the city. There are several independent vintage style stores all along College Green, you might as well pop in on your way up to the museum.
After fitting in a nap (I did tell you they were comfortable beds!), we headed across the river to do what we do best… eat!
What to Eat…
About a twenty minute walk to Wells Road, you’ll find A cappella for my favourite food pizza. Made in Italian ovens using traditional Neapolitan techniques, their pizzas are delicious and the toppings exciting, smoked salmon and tarragon cream cheese accompanied by a milkshake? Yes please. It has to be noted that Mark had a butterscotch milkshake that was I guess slightly better than mine but I wasn’t jealous, not at all.
Time for another best I’ve ever visited and don’t be scared of the super saffron yellow exterior because Urban Tandoor is the place for curry. This Indian restaurants has won many awards and I can see why. Instead of your usual options, Urban Tandoor offers genuine Indian food from the homes and street stalls of India all skilfully cooked by chefs from that particular region. The food is boastfully flavourful with just enough heat you can still taste all the different spice notes. We recommend the butter chicken masala, Goan fish curry and the amazingly light garlic naan bread.
Finally, no trip is complete with another cup of tea but this time with a difference. Bird & Blend Tea Co. have so many interesting loose leaf teas, it’s like being in brew heaven. I really wished I lived in Bristol just for Bird & Blend alone, so I could steadily make my way through the 70 different teas they have on offer. Try a honey and lemon iced tea that’s delightfully refreshing on a hot spring day or their amazing lattes using steamed milk, adding a touch of creaminess making it the most luxurious cuppa ever.
Bristol is such a fantastic city to spend the weekend. Culture, cafes and comfort food, it has it all. It was exciting seeing what we could do in a short stay and makes me eager to do it more often. Afterall why not be adventurous, even just for 24 hours. So go for it, flip a coin and visit somewhere new. B x