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Stuff to Eat, Drink and Do in Brizzle That’s ‘Gert Lush’

Tasty treats, popping nightlife and cultural activities to explore in Banksy's hometown, according to creative Bristol locals

Stuff to Eat, Drink and Do in Brizzle That’s ‘Gert Lush’

With its mercantile and industrial history, layers upon layers of culture and influx of young people in recent years, Bristol is about as multifaceted a British city as you can imagine. With two universities and plenty of art and creative businesses in the city, Bristolians have unique and refined tastes and this is reflected in the many things you can chew, sip or immerse yourself in if you decide to visit Brizzle (as many of the locals pronounce it). The city’s got a unique and refined dialect too. We asked the city’s creative leaders to tell us what’s ‘gert lush’ - the highest form of praise a Bristolian can bestow upon something.


“Bristol has always had a bit of a punk ‘DIY’ attitude and an independent spirit and this attitude can be found in everything from its food and music scene, to its politics to creative industry.” 
- Sam Hearn, managing director at Omni Productions

Food

“There’s a seriously competitive local food scene developing in Bristol and its fierce independent nature seems to be driving lots of chains out of the city - this year has already seen the closure of Meat Liquor, CAU, Polpo and Byron Burger.”
- Sam Hearn, managing director at Omni Productions

“Bristol has a great foodie scene, with small independents thriving in what seems to be a difficult time for some. My personal favourite is Adelina’s Yard, but I also love anywhere on the new Wapping Wharf development down on the Harbourside. And a special shout out has to go to the wonderful Bulrush, which has just been awarded a much-deserved Michelin star. With 35 Bristol restaurants making it into the 2019 Good Food Guide, we’re spoilt for choice.”
- Pete Brown, CEO at Prophecy

“Bristol is very much a foodie city and has a massive independent food scene.”
- Tom Joyce, creative director at Sound Canvas

“I have to admit from having lived in New York where the food was insanely good and coming back to London’s food revolution I was worried that the South West might lack in terms of food. But I have to say it's unbelievably good. Bristol especially is a hub of thriving independents that are cutting edge.”
- Dean Robinson, head of VFX at Electric Theatre Collective, Bristol

Cheap

Matina at St Nick’s Market 
-  Andy Reid, managing director at McCann Bristol and chair of the IPA

“If you’re anywhere near St Nick’s market then you’ve got to get a Middle-Eastern wrap from Matina.”
- Chris Giddings, marketing manager at Synergy Creative

“Cheap: Canteen - Only uses local produce and is fully transparent about suppliers, a real hub for local politics and most dishes are under tenner!”
- Sam Hearn, managing director at Omni Productions

Suncraft vegan street food
- Scott Griffin, partner at nineteentwenty

Bristolian (Picton St), Gallimaufry (Gloucester Road)
- Tom Joyce, creative director at Sound Canvas


Quick

Baristas Coffee Collective 
-  Andy Reid, managing director at McCann Bristol and chair of the IPA

“Spoke and Stringer, across the harbour from us, is great for the quick snack. Plus, from the studio, you need to get the little ferry to it, which clients love, and gives them a quick Bristol fix! Much better than the Central Line.”
- Jason Fletcher-Bartholomew, head of new business and executive producer at Aardman Animations

“For a quick and delicious breakfast by Temple Meads train station get yourself to Hart’s Bakery for some amazing cinnamon rolls. If you’re around the Harbourside then get yourself to Wapping Wharf and take your pick of some great independent eateries. I love Gambas for some decent-value tapas.”
- Chris Giddings, marketing manager at Synergy Creative

“Quick: Gopal’s Curry Shack - Authentic South Indian Veg/Vegan Curry with a twist - based out of Cargo at Wapping Wharf - Bristol’s answer to BOX PARK.”
- Sam Hearn, managing director at Omni Productions

Eat a Pitta (Gloucester Road), Poco (Stokes Croft)
- Tom Joyce, creative director at Sound Canvas

“St Nicholas Market - Everyone knows it but there’s some quality pop-up stalls and some regulars such as the Matina Kebab/Flatbread place - fresh flatbread and insanley flavoured fillings.

“Round us in Stokes Croft there are loads as well
Chaiwalla makes epic Indian wraps.” 
- Dean Robinson, head of VFX at Electric Theatre Collective, Bristol


Expensive

Casamia
-  Andy Reid, managing director at McCann Bristol and chair of the IPA

“Bristol now boasts five Michelin-starred restaurants. If you’re looking for somewhere for a treat I would recommend Josh and Holly Eggleton’s The Pony And Trap in Chew Magna. Make sure you go for the tasting menu with wine flight.”
- Chris Giddings, marketing manager at Synergy Creative

Bar 44 and the Ivy Brassiere
- Scott Griffin, partner at nineteentwenty

Wilsons (Chandos Road), Box-E (Wapping Wharf) 
- Tom Joyce, creative director at Sound Canvas


“We love Paco round the corner from work. One of our friends Adam who is a real foodie claims it’s one of the best restaurants he’s ever eaten at!

Box-e is great as is all of Wapping Wharf in general.

“Great Tapas: Bar Buvette
- Dean Robinson, head of VFX at Electric Theatre Collective, Bristol


Misc

“Za Za Bazaar is a firm favourite, especially when our colleagues from the Lancaster office 
come down to visit! It has a huge variety of global dishes along with some great cocktails, what more do you need!?”
- Jenny Boyce, digital consultant at Fat Media

“Dinner with friends:
Rosemarino, Prego, Souk Kitchen”
-  Andy Reid, managing director at McCann Bristol and chair of the IPA

“Pasture, Root, Poco and Bravas (mid-range)

“...and Harts bakery for everything else!”
- Scott Griffin, partner at nineteentwenty

o Spoke and Stringer waterfront tapas and brunch
o flour & ash - pizza, Montpelier
o Divino Deli - Italian bakery deli  
o St Nicholas Market - stalls
o Sergio’s - Cheap BYO Italian
o Kathmandu - renowned indian
o Oowee Burger - Montpellier 
o Edna’s Kitchen - epic falafel - Castle Park
o Eat a Pitta - top-rated falafel
o Grillstock - meaty sandwiches - St Nicholas market
o Tiffins - Indian” 
- Dean Robinson, head of VFX at Electric Theatre Collective, Bristol

Drink

“I’m not a drinker but I’m a sucker for The Pump House. It is a great place to take clients, it has a huge selection of gins to entertain the most extreme tastes.”
- Jason Fletcher-Bartholomew, head of new business and executive producer at Aardman Animations

“Bristol is blessed with some great cocktail and wine bars as well as watering holes as well as loads of microbreweries for the craft beer crowd. Some of the places recommended by the team at Synergy include:
o Milk Thistle
o Hyde&Co
o Small bar
o Her Majesty’s Secret Service
o The Florist”
- Chris Giddings, marketing manager at Synergy Creative

“The Apple is always a favourite for after-work drinks! It has some great ciders and beers and is in an old Dutch barge in the heart of the city, so has a quirky interiors and some great outdoor space in summer.”
- Jenny Boyce, digital consultant at Fat Media

“There’s something to be said for the many hidden cocktail bars that are dotted around Bristol - Milk Thistle is listed at six in the Top 50 Cocktail Bars in the UK - you just need to know where to look. But for me, the Bristol bar I love the most is Yurt Lush. Tucked behind Temple Meads train station, just a few minutes’ walk from the office, it’s a café bar created in a Mongolian yurt. Relaxed surroundings and lovely food and drink. Just perfect.”
- Pete Brown, CEO at Prophecy

Volunteer Tavern (New Street), Gallimaufry (Gloucester Road), Small Bar (King St), Hillgrove Porter Stores (Hillgrove St)
- Tom Joyce, creative director at Sound Canvas

“Again loads of great bars and a great craft brew scene as you’d expect.
Try The Wild Beer Co. - Wapping Wharf. HMSS for cocktails.”
- Dean Robinson, head of VFX at Electric Theatre Collective, Bristol

“Some in the industry will know Sam Espensen as a journalist and PR expert, but in recent years she’s also been building her reputation as a craft distiller. Not only has she launched her own gin and vodka brand Espensen Spirit, she’s also building up a community of local aficionados with her bar and restaurant The Bristol Spirit. Situated in the city’s Redfield area, it hosts a regular film club and pop ups. And for design lovers, check out the brand’s deft combination of the Clifton Suspension Bridge and Sam’s adorable mini sausage dog (and co-landlord) Shecky.”
- Laura Swinton editor in chief and managing director at Little Black Book


Do

“It’s very accessible. It’s less than two hours on the train from London and it’s very close to Wales and the South Coast. The harbourside hosts some amazing events in the summer.”

“I gym every morning but a good swim at the Bristol Lido is always welcome. Bath Spa is a great one for luxury pampering. And of course, keep an eye on the Banksys. There’s even one within 100 yards of the studio.

“Cheddar Car boot on a Sunday gives Brick Lane market a run for its money any day. And Clevedon has some great places for breakfast.

“Bristol’s harbourside has been through quite a lot of re-development. I imagine it must have been bustling with trade in the '30, '40s and '50s but it’s more for tourists now. There are some amazing buildings along it that are being slowly being developed. The new Wharf area has seen huge redevelopment within the last two to three years.”
- Jason Fletcher-Bartholomew, head of new business and executive producer at Aardman Animations

“You’ll never be bored in Bristol. For art, culture, science and a snapshot of Bristol’s history you’ve got places like M Shed, The Arnolfini and We The Curious. And for nature you’ve got loads of places near the city centre to explore; like Leigh Woods nature reserve by Clifton Suspension Bridge, and Ashton Court, an 860-acre country estate where Bristol Balloon Fiesta is held every year.

“Every year Upfest, Europe’s largest street art festival comes to town and over 300 artists transform the walls of South Bristol. We’ve also got lots pop up restaurants, creative pace, Bristol Festival of Ideas and Bristol Old Vic theatre.”
- Chris Giddings, marketing manager at Synergy Creative

“The M Shed, a museum all about Bristol is a great rainy day activity in the heart of town, and what better way to get to know a little more about the Bristol scene past and present.”

“The city has some incredible creative venues, from dynamic art spaces like Arnolfini and Spike Island to arthouse cinemas like the Watershed. The city also has some unique creative events like Upfest, Europe’s largest street art and graffiti festival.

“While the maritime history doesn’t directly influence our industry or act as a major part of Bristol life anymore, it still feels like a core part of the city culture and a theme that carries through to the diverse mix of music, bars and events in Bristol. It was even the inspiration for our own office which features barrel tables in our break-out area, a breakfast bar in the shape of a hull and a Captain’s Quarters themed meeting room. A bit of fun, but a great nod to Bristol’s heritage and culture!”
- Jenny Boyce, digital consultant at Fat Media

“Bristol has thriving cultural scene within the city - Bristol Old Vic has just undergone a multi-million pound refurb. Bristol is built around water, with a strong history in shipping and a thriving port, the city has the River Avon at its heart. It’s natural then that there are many watersports right on our doorstep, rowing, sailing, kayaking and stand up paddleboarding among a few. Bristol’s also a gateway city, with easy and quick access to Wales, Devon, and Cornwall you can quickly and easily get to the coast for a surf. 

“In 2019, Bristol’s also inline to open England’s first Wave Garden, an inland surf park that can generate up to 1,000 quality waves per hour.”

“Open doors events, giant pillow fights, water slides down park street, graffiti events around the city, Banksy at Bristol Museum, Grayson Perry at Arnolfini, the balloon fiesta, open air screenings and loads more!”
- Sam Hearn, managing director at Omni Productions

“At Bristol stalwarts the RWA and Arnolfini, there is always something to see. The M-Shed museum of Bristol also hosts regular exhibitions. Then there are local, independent cinemas like the Watershed. So there’s always something to get your creative juices flowing. If you enjoy sport, you have two football teams to choose from, as well as top-flight rugby and cricket - and that’s all before you’ve even left the Bristol border. And the added beauty of Bristol is that whilst you can enjoy the big city amenities, with Queen’s Square or Brandon Hill nestled right in the centre and the wonderful Downs that spread out from Clifton you’re never far from greenery. Travel just a little further and you can enjoy the beautiful Bennett’s Patch nature reserve, getting up close with the two life-size whale sculptures, and Chew Valley Lake.

“You can’t go a weekend in Bristol without some kind of festival taking over a cultural corner or two. The stand out and globally-renowned Upfest is the pick of the bunch celebrating street art and creativity using the buildings around us as its gallery.”
- Pete Brown, CEO at Prophecy

“o Arnofini - Gallery
o Wapping Wharf - Foodie hub in shipping containers
o Harbourside - Lovely walk with lots going on
o Leigh Woods - Huge woods for walks
o Brewery Tours - Many local breweries open their doors for you to spend an afternoon sampling their craft ales
o Hamilton House - This is the heartbeat of Stokes Croft where artists and creative people come together to work and play. Sadly, like most good things, it looks like it’s being turned into flats.
o Ashley Vale - 26 self-built eco-houses in St Werburgh’s forming a beautiful and unique community.”
- Tom Joyce, creative director at Sound Canvas

Wapping Wharf is amazing, it’s been regenerated and there’s a great food scene there, M-Shed and SS Great Britain are down there which is fun to pop into. 


“Clifton village and suspension bridge is always nice to visit.

“Great mountain biking all about and Ashton Court has a rental place up there to get your nature on right in the city.  

“Bath is close by which is one of the UK’s most beautiful cities and has endless walks and pubs around there.

“You can do all sorts of outdoors swimming and paddle boarding on the river Avon.”
- Dean Robinson, head of VFX at Electric Theatre Collective, Bristol

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