ahhhhh, this post is quite overdue. i’ve been working on it in bits and pieces over the months, but since i declared july as a catch up month, here we are!

i wasn’t exactly sure how i wanted to do my blog post on bristol. honestly, most of the time we were there, we didn’t have the camera out as much. we hung out with emi & james a lot, and wandered a little. so i thought i might just do this post as more of a tourist-y break-down, the things we tried and liked while in bristol.


the clifton suspension bridge– the iconic bristol landmark. we went at night, which i later appreciated when i saw exactly how high above the ground it is (yeah, i’m not super keen on heights).


boston tea party– a bristol-based chain of cafes with great coffee, good food, and a good atmosphere. we visited several locations, multiple times. their english breakfast was quite good! as a note: i *think* it might be mandatory for someone with pink dyed hair to be working in the cafe at all times. i saw at least three different pink haired employees. ^_^ please let me know if you find any reason to support my theory!

cider from the mall

the mall– a pub in clifton with really excellent aesthetics (loved their deep purple exterior paint, awesome victorian wallpaper, and overall mood), a pretty garden outside, and a good selection of cider.

at the mall

pie minister– julie told me this was a ‘must-do’, and it was so so so so good. turns out mushy minty peas aren’t really my thing, but the mashed potatoes & mini pies were outstanding!

clifton arcade

wandering around clifton village- fun. lots of shops to browse, from boutiques, bakeries, interior design, antiques, etc. shown above is the clifton arcade. there was a good sweets shop in there. which was good, because we needed something to tide us over til lunch. which ended up being pasties from one of the aforementioned bakeries. nom nom nom.


never let it be said that i am anything other than the epitome of feminine delicacy!

wandering around st. nicholas market- an indoor market with all kinds of stalls and shops. there was a great used book store, a little goth shop (where jake got some pretty rad glow in the dark skeleton fingerless gloves), a shop that sells vintage photographs of bristol (we bought an aerial view of the clifton suspension bridge to remind us of this trip), and all kinds of food stalls, though we ended up having lunch just around the corner at:

rummer hotel– i had the wookey hole rarebit, a name i found really amusing on the menu (i was channeling star wars), only to later discover that the nearby wookey hole caves are used for aging cheddar. but any way someone serves me warm cheese and toast i will be happy. no exception here!

this image is from wikimedia commons, as i did not take a picture while at the christmas steps. click through for the source

wandering down the christmas steps. a little street built down a hill, lined with shops & businesses. totally charming.

the thali cafe– indian cuisine. i lovelovelove the idea of their ‘tiffin takeaway’, where you can buy a reuseable stainless steel takeaway container, and bring it in any time, get it filled with nommy meals to take home. so much less to throw away, so much more to enjoy! we went out for jake’s birthday dinner here.

grounded cafe– good pizza, good english breakfasts, good croissants, good atmosphere. funnily enough, we had actually talked about trying to avoid british pizza before hopping the pond, as british pizza has a bit of a… repuation amongst many americans we know (including some of jake’s previous experiences). but this is one of emi & james’s favorite local eateries, and they were keen to bring us there, so of course we went! and it was really excellent!

watershed– cool cafe/bar/shop/movie theatre at the riverside.

hausbar– speak easy style bar. need i say more? their cocktail menu was so long, i was intimidated. but the bartender’s were knowledgeable and engaging, and very ready to make up the cocktail we wanted to drink. (for the record- i ended up drinking a rude cosmo. which was delicious AND it got rihanna stuck in my head! and it has been my ‘fancy occasion cocktail’ since!)

our lovely hosts and the first radish they ever grew!

and lastly, but never least (in fact, first for us) james & emi’s b&b- limited availability, by invite only. the bed is comfy, the amenities modern. the food & company are out of sight! i highly recommend: the veggie full english breakfast, jameson bones special stirfry (OR just plain anything james cooks). emi’s guided tours are beyond reproach, and custom tailored to the audience! she’s also just great to hang out with.

in case anyone happens to be planning a trip to bristol, and found this by googling around, let me also take a moment to direct you to design sponge’s bristol travel guide. in case you need more ideas of places to eat: slummy single mummy’s guide to bristol eateries.