pilton pop festival

10 Hot Things In Bristol

I was *so* excited when I heard Grazia would be doing regional specials, where readers could show off the amazing things in their city. I love finding new things to do in my city – I’ve been here 4 years, but I still feel like there is so much more to explore. As soon as I heard it was on sale, I headed to the shop, picked up a copy and flicked straight to the Bristol section.

Firstly, Bristol is lumped in with Bath. This isn’t unusual, but what was annoying was that the majority of places were in Bath. This unfortunately is also not unusual. Magazines like Grazia and Stylist prefer to talk about Bath because it’s just oh so quaint – Bristol has areas that are prettier than Bath, more varied than Bath and – look, Bath is nice for an occational visit, but Bristol is just a nicer place to be.

With that in mind, I thought I would put together my own list of things you need to visit in Bristol…

Best speakeasy
I’m going to generalise this as BOOZE EMPORIUM (because I like the word emporium) and say that my favourite place for cocktails in Bristol is, hands down, Goldbrick House. They have a decent sized menu of cocktails, and have a gin list of 16 different gins, which I think is a reasonable amount. It’s been my favourite place to go on Park Street for food and drinks for a long time, and their fabulous food nights are pretty brilliant too.

Best Pop Up
This heading was about shops, but what we do well in Bristol is pop up restaurants. 40 Alfred Place is a permament popup venue which I visited last month for Gurrilla Burger with some Twitter friends for sliders. Look at them! They’re so teeny tiny!

Best cup of tea
I don’t feel like I have found the best cup of tea yet. If you’re looking for somewhere with a huge range of tea though, Lahloo Pantry in Clifton Village knows their tea, and also has some pretty good cakes to go along with them.

Best denim
The heading was used to talk about a boutique in Bath, but there are *so* many good boutiques in Bristol. The two main areas to check out would be Park Street and Gloucester Road – perfect way to kill a few hours is just wandering down the road and popping into the interesting shops!

Best for mooching
Clifton Village is a good place to start for a mooch – I could spend hours just wandering around there! Quakers Friars is also a good place, although perhaps a little small for a proper mooch.

Best cakes
Oh, well, now – THIS I know. I mean, erm, this I need to do a lot more research on. Ahem. My favourite place for cupcakes has to be Swinky Sweets, who do things like these cupcake bouquets (you’ve missed my birthday, but I’m sure you can buy them for Christmas) but a very close runner up has to be Cordial and Grace, which had to be my favourite discovery of the cake crawl we did earlier this year.

Best Diner
Perhaps this one is a bit obvious, but ooh, Rocotillos at the top of Park Street has been a long time favourite with my friends and I. Sit in a booth, drink a chocolate and hazelnut milkshake (so thick that your straw stands up in it!), and eat burgers and cheesy fries. (If you can manage it at least – the milkshake fills me up alone!)

Best for a Sunday stroll
The Downs is a lovely area to walk, or for a short stroll (a lunch time one is good!) I love Queens Square

Best Supermarket
I know, a weird heading that obviously wasn’t in Grazia’s version. But how can I say what is awesome about Bristol without talking about the talking supermarket who is a little bit crazy (or the craymart, as I prefer to call it now)? Wai Yee Hong isn’t just quite good at the Twittering though, but also sells seaweed crack and will bring it’s own snacks to a restaurant. (NOM)

Best Social Media Experiment
We do social media here quite a bit. The best way to see what is good about Bristol though is to follow @bristol52, where one citizen takes charge of the account each week and talks about whatever.

So, thats a small part of my Bristol. I know I’ve left stuff out here (I didn’t even touch on Grillstock, my new favourite lunch place – pulled pork baps omg) so what are your favourite things to do in my beautiful city?

A Looooooong Weekend

Hello hello! I’m back from my busy few days with lots to show you! Did you miss me? No? I don’t care, I’m STILL going to tell you about my weekend!

So on Thursday, I slept in (yum) and caught a train from Temple Meads to Newport, then one going all the way to Chester. A pretty uneventful journey, except for the old lady with the giant nail file (who looked like she’d used it as a weapon before), Cheal being on the same train (but not saying anything till just before his stop at Shrew) and seeing one of my cousins as I was getting off the train and she was getting on at Chester.

(Face of old lady pixelated to protect me, because LOOK AT HER she could have moidered me!)

The first thing I was greeted by when I left the station was this Elvis decorated rhino. A few cities around the country have had decorated animals in them and Chester for some reason had rhinos. Hmm.

So I caught the bus into town and went to my sisters current pub, then headed to Lloyds No 1 (which my sister LOVES because it’s on the site of a shit nightclub she used to steal my birth certificate as ID and sneak out of a window to go to!) where we met up with Helen and Gemma for curry. That’s Helen and me in the pic above. Please excuse the exhausted look on my face!

I then met up with Bryn for a few glasses of wine at Harkers before heading back to my old work for….er….more wine.

Next day, I headed back to the old work for tea and cake.

This cup pleased me.

Dad picked me up and we went over to my Nanas house where a few aunts and cousins descended as well. Back to Chester, where I escaped before the hell crowds of the races attacked.

Ugh, races.

Saturday morning, we had to get up early so we could head to Avonmouth to go go karting with Alexs colleagues. I’m sure go karting is awesome fun if you’re a boy who likes driving, but for a girl who can’t drive, it was bum. My hips wouldn’t even fit in some of the carts. (Couldn’t help thinking “man, I wish I were still in bed, writing about shoes”)

Thankfully, Avonmouth is also the home of Costco. Mmmm cheap things.

Sparkly glasses and giant cupcakes? Yes please.

I was far too excited to see Roberts bread down here in the scummy South. I may have hugged the bread. Also the name of this cookie dough did not make me laugh. I’m far too grown up for that.

Sunday was my actual birthday, and after a good breakfast at Rocotillos, we headed down to The Lanes which was amazing!

Here’s my amazing bowling action, ooh look at that. I also like it when you bowl from between your legs. It’s a good thing I don’t try to be glamourous.

Monday was my day off where I could do the laundry and read – bliss!

I shall post this now, because its half midnight and I’m up at half 6, but I wanted to get this posted!

This Week

I’ve been trying to take photos to show how my week has gone, and its only when I’ve put them all together like this that I’ve realised this week was about food!

In terms of lunch, I’ve been pretty good! I bought a new lunch box (oh the excitement) and filled it with salads, fresh fruit and sugar free jelly. Yum! Good work me.

…which was all undone quite quickly by another milkshake and a burger at Rocotillos. Sadly, the burgers don’t seem as fat as they used to be, they don’t drop grease everywhere and the chips were horrible french fries. Disappointing. I met up with Abbi, Amanda and Ella for milkshakes and a bit of a gossip. We all follow each other on Twitter, and who needs an excuse for a milkshake? I want one now actually.

Finally, Dominos has opened up south of the river. I can’t explain how excited I was by the flyer that dropped through our door. For the past 2 years, I’ve been Dominos-less. I’ve had to go round to peoples houses just to satisfy my Texas BBQ craving (and yes, I’ve ended up buying quite a few pots of their dip to take home with me. Sad? Possibly. Delicious? Definitely.)

I was so excited that we ordered Dominos for dinner on Friday night, because since I last ordered it for myself, they’ve brought in this new thing where you can see where the pizza is. HOW AMAZING IS THAT? I kept annoying Alex to refresh the page until it said it was out for delivery. I was slightly surprised that with all the tracking of the pizza, the drivers themselves don’t have something like Google Latitude to tell the customer where they are on the road!

We stocked up on the dip again because its too good not to eat with everything. If only it was sold in the supermarkets!

Alex went up to York on Thursday night to visit his old colleagues, so I took advantage of being home alone and plastered on the face masks, Biore nose strips (why, why is it so compelling to inspect the strip when you’ve pulled it off your nose and be disgusted yet slightly impressed with all the crap its pulled out of your pores? I know you lot do it as well.) and followed a tip that we were given at one of the Aussie events recently where instead of leaving the 3 Minute Miracle conditioner on your hair for the 3 minutes, leaving it on all night. My hair was so lovely and soft the next morning! While I was looking like a creature from the Black Lagoon, I dug out my styling products because I keep forgetting to use them. I didn’t realise I had so much stuff! (OK, yes I did, I realised that when I moved recently)

Yesterday I bought Wii Fit Plus and the Balance Board, in the hope that I’ll use it to do some exercise. The new version is so much fun, and you can even weigh the dog (see, theres Fern next to me!)

You might have noticed recently that a new little thing has popped up in the side bar (if you visit the site anyway!) Yes, I’ve set up a little Facebook page for the blog, which can be found (of course) at facebook.com/ceriselle.org

My best friend Helen has started blogging again, and has instantly made me jealous of her birthday trip to the Roberts Bakery in Northwich. This might sound like a weird thing to want to do, or be jealous of, to most people, but you’re weirdo southerners (who I like very much but still) but Roberts bread is one of the few things I miss from Chester (that is obviously not a person before anyone gets upset).

I managed to get to 30,000 tweets yesterday! Crazy!

Charity shops. I know so many people who adore a bit of charity shop shopping, but I hate it. I can never find anything that I like, and I’m also quite lazy. Thankfully, one of the local hospices in Bristol has set up their own eBay account so you can pick up a few bargains. St Peters Hospice cares for people in the Bristol area with incurable cancer and other life-limiting illnesses, so by buying something from their eBay shop, you’re helping!

I’ve mentioned it before, but Fuck Yeah Bristol is one of the best Tumblrs ever, celebrating the awesome city of Bristol. Check out the archive to see some really gorgeous and awesome pictures (my favourite is the grannys bopping each other on the head with their walking stick!

* all Amazon links in this entry are affiliate links, meaning if you click it and buy the item, I get a little percentage. I think.

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