How would you summarise Bristol?
Bristol is everyone’s home away from home. It’s got the hustle and bustle of city life, but also the serenity of the river and elements of small town charm. It’s everything you’ll ever need, all within walking distance.
Do you remember the first gig you saw in the city?
My first gig in Bristol was either Saint Raymond at the O2, or Mahalia at The Old Bookshop in Bedminster. My friend was supporting her, in this tiny quirky pub, and she owned the stage with just her and a guitar. Now, she’s killing it with her R&B soul tunes at Radio 1’s Biggest Weekend. Amazing to see her progress in such a short space of time!
And the last?
Technically it was Dot to Dot Festival, where I saw Mahalia (again!), Joe Probert, James Humphrys, Sports Team and many more in multiple venues. Before that, Rae Morris at The Marble Factory: what a performer, she absolutely aced it. I was lucky enough to interview her beforehand, she is such a lovely lady.
If you had someone visiting for 24 hours, where would you take them?
It would be a busy 24 hours! We’d walk around Clifton and see the Suspension Bridge, maybe visit the M-Shed and go on a graffiti tour around the city… after some food and a coffee at The Arnolfini, we’d finish off the day at the Watershed, my favourite independent cinema (only £5 a ticket in you’re under 24!).
What would you say is Bristol’s hidden gem?
The Bag of Nails: Bristol’s resident cat pub. Just off Hotwell Road, this place has cats (and sometimes kittens) year-round, ready to be cuddled and played with while you have a pint. Always full of fun and interesting locals, this pub is definitely the city’s hidden gem.
The best for…
A quick pint?
A quick pint in Bristol usually means cider, in which case you want The Apple cider boat located on Welsh Back. Otherwise, there’s some really good pubs and bars nearby on King Street. I would recommend Small Bar, good choice of drinks and a cool rustic-style decor.
A night out?
It might not be your typical night out, but you could start with drinks and bowling at The Lanes (plus, they often have live music at the weekends). Then you could move on to Mr Wolfs in town or the Canteen on Gloucester Road.
To see new music?
There’s so many places to see new music in Bristol; you can see some great acts at the Grain Barge’s weekly open mic (every Tuesday), and LeftBank showcase regular jazz and soul sessions which are awesome.
Grab a coffee?
The Crazy Fox in Broadmead do pretty good coffee, and there’s a really nice space upstairs to work or chill with your mates.
Boston Tea Party without a doubt. There’s loads of them all over Bristol, and their delicious breakfasts are served all day. Good tea, too!
Pieminister. You haven’t lived until you’ve eaten here, really. They’re up and down the country now, but they started in Bristol, opening in 2003 on Stokes Croft. Their motto is “Live and Eat Pie”, and I wholeheartedly agree with them on that one.
Hubbox on Whiteladies Road. Me and my flatmates get food from there all the time – their burgers are the best and the onion rings… can you marry an onion ring? They’re that good.
My favourite venue is The Crofter’s Rights on Gloucester Road. It’s got a great vibe to it and I’ve seen a lot of great bands play there, as well as some of my mates!
Taking a time out?
Go grab a snack from Mrs Potts Chocolate House on College Green (trust me, a visit there is so incredibly worth it), then take a wander and sit on the Green or walk down by the river. In summer, the river is gorgeous and really relaxing.
Park Street has a new massive vintage shop that’s reasonably priced and has a lot of unique stock. If you’re into high-street or designer brands, Cabot Circus in town is the place to go.
There’s a St Peters Hospice charity shop on the corner of Cotham Hill and Hampton Lane that has a downstairs room dedicated to music and books. It’s not a massive record collection, but you can find some gems there. The CLIC Sargent charity shop across the road also stocks loads of vinyl, so it’s worth trying your luck there.
I’m not big into art galleries myself, but Bristol is the home of Banksy so there’s no escaping art – it’s on the walls, everywhere you go! Park Street holds a few of Banksy’s works, but try and find a local tour that takes you around the city, so you can see it all.