Bristol Venue Guide (Part 1)

Arnolfini Gallery, Bristol

All cities are unique, but some are more unique than others. Bristol is truly one of a kind, simultaneously a busy, buzzing city and a centre of beautiful open spaces, a city comprised of several uniquely diverse cultural quarters- the picturesque boutique village of Clifton, the Harbourside cradling SS Great Britain and the Arnolfini Gallery, the artsy quarter of Stokes Croft, the noisy Triangle – all making up the largest city in the South West. In this two-part series by Rozzy Unwin, SoBe Spirit shows you some of the best restaurants, bars and entertainment venues the city has to offer.

Bars & Restaurants

Check out The Big Chill Bar (also a cafe by daytime) in Bristol’s city centre for some seriously up-tempo music, regular DJs and the comfiest sofas in Bristol.  Last summer’s extension saw a Roof Top Terrace and second dance floor added, now making it one of the liveliest drinks and music venues in the city, with a warm, laid-back atmosphere.

For somewhere truly original, check out the basement bar Cosies in St Pauls, two minutes from Cabot Circus. By day, a charming wine bar, yet transformed after dark into an underground den, boasting brick vaults decor and an eclectic array of twinkling fairy lights.  Complete with a snack bar offering delicacies such as curried goat, and the legendary ‘Reggae Sundays’ – 9pm till late – this dub hub is certainly not to be missed.

Nowhere is more private and stylish than the elusive Hyde & Co, one of Bristol’s best kept secrets. A speakeasy cocktail bar nestled just a stone’s throw from the busy Bristol Triangle in Berkeley Crescent, its entrance is deceptive: sweep down a winding staircase and ring a doorbell, and wait for a charming barman decked out in a three piece suit to open up. Then enter a world of wonderful 1920s decor, a seemingly ceaseless cocktail menu and a bar with all the glamour and beauty of The Great Gatsby’s film set.

The smart, chic RockFish –Mitch Tonk’s very own fish restaurant – can be located at the Top of White Ladies Road. The menu is small and select; everything is divinely fresh and delicious – and the Prosecco is to die for. For a sophisticated lunch, head to the light, atmospheric Bordeaux Quay on the Harbourside for gourmet dishes and delightful waiting staff.

This is just a mere snapshot at what Bristol has to offer. Watch out for part two in the series.

About the author

Rozzy Unwin is an English Literature finalist at Bristol University, currently Arts Editor of the Student Newspaper, co-presenter of a weekly student radio show and extraordinarily fond of all things theatrical.

Image credit: Creative Commons

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  • About SoBe SPIRIT

    South Beach in Miami is known for its lively mix of culture, entertainment, music and art. Dedicated to discovering the South Beach vibe in a city near you, subscribe to this blog to keep suitably informed on the coolest and best places to hang out in the UK.
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