A couple of weeks ago I spotted that the sun was about to have his hat on for perhaps the final time this year, so I hopped into the car and took a jaunt west. TO BRISTOL, the land of cider and suspension bridges! AND BEAMING DOWN THAT SUN WAS! My dear old chum Charlie is lucky enough to live in a pretty little place right slap bang in the centre of Clifton, so we took a stroll down to the Observatory, hopping in and out of bookshops, charity shops and antiqueries along the way.
We eventually arrived at the Observatory which overlooks the mighty gorge and decided to take a trip (more like intrepid abseil) down into the cave. Carved into the cliff, the cave takes you right down into the depths before spitting you out at the most glorious view of the bridge and gorge. But lemme tell ya, it’s no mean feat in five inch heels. They’re meant for intrepid adventures of a different nature.
But the wobbling and tripping and wet walls were worth it because LOOK AT THAT VIEW SON!
Once we’d hauled ourselves up the slopes and practically vertical stairs, we were definitely in need of a pint, so stopped in at the Avon Gorge hotel for a slurp of cider and a hearty gaze at the gorge.
That evening, we made our way to the Three Tuns pub for their weekly folk night. OH WHAT A PLEASURE! Every Monday night, a group of folk lovers gather round the biggest table and jam away. At one point there was about twenty players, getting involved with everything from the accordion and guitars to concertinas, drums and fiddles.
The highlight of the entire evening was being hoicked out of my seat by an Irish pensioner (who’d been busy playing the spoons) and country dancing with him. Which we did with gusto. Despite the fact there was no-one else dancing. And I wasn’t wearing a sports bra. (HIGH DANGER.)
The folk night is definitey worth a peek if you’re Bristol way, the atmosphere is fantastic and they serve a good pint in there too. Plus if you get hungry you can indulge in a delicious pickled egg….
The next day, with slightly sore heads and the sound of spoon clacking still ringing in my ears, we shook off our hangovers by visiting The Mall Deli for huge mugs of coffee and the biggest slabs of cake I’d ever seen. They were so vast, one woman actually backtracked to have another look at them she was so shocked.
Appetites sated and sugar levels at a almost diabetes inducing high, we took a final peek at Clifton before heading down to the harbour. Along the way, we ran into a feline practically lifted out of the pages of Hogwarts. It turns out, CROOKSHANKS IS REAL GUYS.
With the sun beating down on us, teasing out the last freckles of the summer we ambled along the harbour and toyed with the idea of jumping on a ferry, before instead making the much more sensible decision of visiting the Grain Barge for a pint on deck. This converted barge bar is also a tap for the Bristol Beer Factory and have an EXCELLENT range of beers and ciders to choose from. We snagged a table right up on the top deck and settled in to enjoy our hair of the dogs.
When the temperature began to drop slightly (and we’d had enough of punching the wasps in the face- BEGONE YOU STRIPEY HELL-MONGRELS) we wandered home, darting in and out of shops along the way (including THE MOST EXCELLENT Last Bookshop on Park Street where every tome is only £3! SWOON.) That evening we ventured to The Brass Pig to take part in a cut-throat pub quiz. But I didn’t take any pictures of that because I was too busy definitely NOT cheating….ahem….
After a hearty breakfast the next morning (p.s chorizo in scrambled egg- my mind is blown), I had a quick gander at the pieces Charlie had been working on. She’s a wonderful artist, painting stunning landscapes and takes commissions for anything. I fell in love with her gorgeous papercuttings, all done by hand. This one in particular:
Have a sneaky peek at all her wares on her lovely website, here.
After a final quaff of tea, I said my farewells, jumped into the motor and bade a hearty farewell to Brizzle. What a joyful few days. BRISTOL I LOVE YOU. I’ll definitely be back soon you cider-slurping, Banksy-muralling, suspension-bridging, gorging, hilly beauty.