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10 Amazing Bristol Photos From Jim Cossey

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Brilliant shots of Bristol

Self taught photographer Jim Cossey is absolutely brilliant, taking unique photos of Bristol that have even made the front cover of the Visit Bristol Guide 2015. We caught up with Jim about his photography, a little bit about Bristol and to check out 10 of his best Bristol photos.

On photography: 

Before moving to Bristol I spent 3 years living in the French Alps running ski/mountain bike chalets. I’m self taught, gaining a lot of knowledge from just experimenting with the camera and picking up tips along the way. Photography first started for me when I was 15, riding BMX with my mates with a basic point and shoot digital camera. But over the years I’ve now shifted to shooting landscape whilst more recently taking more long exposure and astrophotography shots. My favourite time to go out with the camera is around sunrise and sunset as I really love seeing the sky come alive and the soft light.

On Bristol: 
The best thing about Bristol for me is the diversity of the city, you can be rock climbing along the Portway, mountain biking in Leigh Woods or hitting up some of the best craft beer bars in the west. I love to shoot Bristol at Clifton Suspension Bridge as it’s pretty special especially when the mist comes in, and the Floating Harbour for all the colours and reflections you can capture. My favourite place in Bristol is along the Floating Harbour with the colourful houses of Hotwells behind.

1. Dockside

Bristol Floating Harbour

I’m really proud of this picture. This was my winning shot for the Visit Bristol cover prize category from the 24 Hours In Bristol photographic competition. This was actually my first time shooting Bristol as I had not yet moved up here. Now you can find this on the front cover of the Visit Bristol guide 2015.

2. Hotwell’s Sunrise

Hotwells Sunrise

Still one of my favourite views of the city, the colourful houses of Hotwells, with the gentle calm of the Floating Harbour and the warm glow of the early morning sun.

3. Clifton Suspension Bridge 150th Anniversary Fireworks

Clifton Suspension Bridge Fireworks

This was such a good night, though my legs where numb by the end of it after getting set up a few hours before the crowds came, but it was worth it! Still one of the best firework displays I’ve seen and what a setting to have them in.

4. BT Tower Star Trails

BT Tower Bristol

I love astrophotography and before moving here I spent time on the Dorset coast shooting the Milky Way, but luckily there are parts of Bristol where you can still see the stars. This is the pretty ugly or iconic (depending on which way you see it ), BT Tower at Purdwon. This is actually 60 individual photographs taken over a period of time stacked ontop of each over to create the star trails. I have recently collaborated with a french clothing company and you can now buy a t-shirt with this picture on it.

5. Wills Memorial Tower Tour Sunset

 Wills Memorial Tower Tour Sunset

I was pretty lucky to have been asked to go on a special tour of Wills Memorial by a friend who is good friends with Gary Nott, the tour guide who gave up his free time to show as around and got us up to the tower just around sunset. This is the view from the top of the tower looking over Clifton Triangle with the trails of traffic on the streets below. Thanks again Gary!

6. Ashton Avenue Bridge

Ashton Court

There are a few dark and dirty corners of Bristol that make for great subjects when photographing. The other side to my photography is long exposure, typically using steel wool to create different effects like this one taken on the Ashton Avenue Bridge. I really like its big steel girders that have rust and graffiti all over them.

7. Bridge Mist

Clifton Suspension Bridge Mist

I was never really into bridges before I moved to Bristol but I’ve grown very fond of Clifton Suspension Bridge, I ride under it most days and it’s always awesome to see it from the Portway. This was one of those shots I’d hope to get and one morning when the weather said ‘unusual Fog’ forecast I was up early and ready for it, luckily it all worked out.

8. Brandon Hill Park

Brandon Hill Park

I love Brandon Hill Park. It’s a great green space in the city and after saying hi to the cheeky squirrels it’s a trip up Cabot Tower to catch the views of the city.

9. Clifton Down

Clifton Down Mist

This was another misty morning in Bristol. This is the tree lined path along Clifton Down. I love the silhouettes of a family and people out jogging with the colours of autumn.

10. Different Views

Bristol Cabot Tower View

As with photography sometimes its hard to get a different shot of such a well documented city. I do like this view looking back over the floating towards Cabot Tower again . I’ll let you guess where I took it from.

That was 10 amazing photos of Bristol from Jim Cossey Photography. Jim is a member of the Bristol Art Collective, you can also find him on Facebook and Twitter.
Like this? You’ll definitely love Neil James Brain’s photos of Bristol.
If you’d like your photos featured on the Best of Bristol just send us an email to features@bestofbristol.co.

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Behind the Scenes at Thatchers Cider

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I have a confession to make… I’m a cider snob. I like it dry or medium-dry, and cloudy – with the heady scent of fermented apples still brimming in the glass. The kind of cider that’s been greasing the wheels of agriculture and industry in Somerset for centuries. Not for me, the sugary, sweet, supermarket stuff… I’ll have a pint of real zider, and you can leave the twigs and leaves in, too.

Spanning four generations in the same family, Thatchers is our region’s most famous cider-maker – and their range of produce is broad. Although most of their ciders are slightly over-processed for my liking, they do still make cider the traditional way. I’d say a visit to their orchards at Myrtle Farm in the heart of Somerset’s cider country is a must-do for any cider-lover in Bristol.

Exploring the orchards

Image courtesy of Natacha the Franglaise

My recent visit began in the Thatchers Exhibition Orchard, where manager Chris oversees over 450 different apple varieties. The weather conditions in Somerset offer the perfect conditions for growing apples – with cold winters allowing the trees to lie dormant, and temperate springs promoting bee pollination and blossom-growth. True to form for this time of year, it was pissing with rain as we strolled among the lines of fruit-laden trees – but the apples like a little of that, too.

Hearing how Chris and his team fuse new apple buds to young root stocks to produce varieties like Dabinett and Jonagold was insightful, and his ability to harness the power of nature to produce the finest harvests made for fascinating listening. Our tour continued past the huge apple vats and ancient fermentation tanks to the state-of-the-art canning plant, and it was a joy to hear the various Thatchers team members share their passion for the product.

To the tasting…

Thatchers brought a selection of their lovely cider to Bristol a few months ago, so this was a fortunate second tasting for me. We sampled diverse brews including Redstreak, Old Rascal, Vintage, Haze, Katy, and more – each offering a different balance of scent and flavour to the last. It turns out Old Rascal is the team’s overall favourite Thatchers’ cider – a very fine drop indeed.

Lunch at The Railway Inn

Image courtesy of Bristol Bloggers

The Railway Inn is Thatchers’ local pub, with a broad selection of beers and ciders alongside a full menu of delicious dishes sourced, of course, from in and around Somerset. The pub has been lovingly converted from its original stone structure to a warm and welcoming space – with traditional snug, open bar area and stylish oak-beamed dining room. There’s garden seating for summer visitors, and a seasonal menu that makes the very most of the region’s natural produce.

Take a tour

If all this talk of apples and cider has got your taste buds tingling, you can find details on Thatchers’ guided tours and tastings on their website here. October is Cider and Perry Month, so now’s the ideal time to celebrate and support our local orchards and cider-makers. Harvest season is upon us too, so if you visit Thatchers there’s a good chance you’ll get to see the trucks arriving from across Somerset – their fruity haul ready for pressing.

If you head over, do book a table at The Railway Inn – it makes a good visit great. I can recommend the Thatchers Gold-battered fish and chips, and the sticky toffee pud hits the spot. Cider’s not bad ‘n’ all. Cheers!

——————-

For more of @cjcallaghan’s reviews and write-ups, check out his Best of Bristol author page.

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Pata Negra Revamp Kitchen And Menu

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Pata Negra Steps It Up for the Autumn Season

Bristol’s proud independent streak is well-documented, and we’re lucky to have so many vibrant and exciting bars, restaurants and cafes to choose from in this city.

If you enjoy visiting and supporting Bristol’s varied independent venues, it’s likely you’ll have a list of places old and new that you’re just waiting for the right time to tick off.

The Ox on Corn Street had been sitting on my must-visit list for months when I went last month, and I was very, very impressed.

But from the style-savvy team behind The Milk Thistle and Hyde & Co, what else could I have expected?

Also on Corn Street, and also run by the same talented team, Pata Negra is another venue I’d been curious about for a while — but on those occasions when I’d peered in past the door, I’d never felt encouraged in. Despite the great location and classical décor, it somehow just didn’t feel tempting.

Fresh changes at Pata Negra

That’s all changed now. In the latest round of developments at Pata Negra, the kitchen has been brought up from the basement to take pride of place at the forefront of the room — and the difference is striking.

You step through the doorway to skilled chefs preparing delicious dishes in their new open-plan setting, with a fine haunch of cured Ibérico ham hanging from the wall.

Further towards the back of the room, welcoming window seats and banks of plush red-leather benches offer the perfect settings for intimate gatherings of friends.

A menu re-vamp for the autumn season

The engine-room of the restaurant is now fully on show, and a menu re-vamp has changed things up for autumn. Diners can expect seasonal twists on authentic Spanish classics alongside new dishes created to bring the best out of the kitchen’s open grills.

Meanwhile, the wine and sherry list showcases the best of the Iberian Peninsula — the perfect accompaniment to the delicious tapas dishes, fresh seafood and decadent desserts on offer.

For full details on Pata Negra’s refreshed autumn menu, head over to the website here.

For more of @cjcallaghan’s reviews and write-ups, check out his Best of Bristol author page.

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The Time I Beat Bristol’s Scariest Escape Room

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Hell in a cell Bristol

I’m put in many a tricky situation exploring the very ‘Best of Bristol’.

Usually up high, scaling buildings and cranes (#antimitchclimbs), but I didn’t think it would result in being locked in a prison cell with a psycho killer called Pig Face (pictured above). Welcome to Hell in a Cell, ay?

Now for some of you reading, Hell in the Cell will make you think of wrestling but I can promise you this is scarier than when Shane McMahon jumps off the top of that cell.

Probably..

Hell in a cell Bristol

The rather terrifying Pig Face.

Hidden beneath the old Crown Courts on Bridewell Street, within the cells, this has been dubbed “Bristol’s scariest attraction”. And so in the interest of research I took on Pig Face, and lived to tell the tale!

I can’t actually give away too much of the game, because this is an escape room and that just wouldn’t be cricket, would it?

What I can reveal though, should give you a taste of what to expect.

Hell in a cell bristol

You don’t know what you’re getting yourself in for until they handcuff you and throw a bag over your head..

Like any escape room, Hell in a Cell Bristol sets players challenges that they have to complete. Perhaps the first challenge is not backing out after you’re handcuffed with a sack placed over your head.

It’s then trying not to cack yourself as you’re led into the pitch black cells, where you know you’re not alone, but you can’t quite tell what’s there.

It’s that lovely fucker by the name of Pig Face.

Pig Face is reasonably fair at this point and allows you an hour to make your escape. It’s go time!

Oh, and all your belongings have been taken off you, so you can’t use your phone torch or ask Siri for help.

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You ok there hun?

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What I will say is that you bond pretty bastard quickly when you’re scrambling to find light and remove your handcuffs. I was with my good friend Colin Moody, but with three other people I did not know, and we came out of it with an unwavering sense of camaraderie.

That probably explains why this Bristol escape room has proven so popular with corporate clients in the city. Hell, it’s proven pretty popular with all but one reviewer on a popular site that rhymes with whip chastiser. That person claimed it wasn’t very scary. Ooooooo sorry ‘ard.

The game itself was challenging, terrifying and fun (if you like being scared). It will most certainly fill you with adrenaline and leave you in need of a celebratory drink if you do make it out.

This is NOT for the faint hearted. I don’t scare easy, and if you’re like me you won’t feel a sense of fear, but you’ll definitely be made to jump. Nobody is immune to that.

If you do scare easily, go to the bathroom beforehand. Or don’t, these are real holding cells so you could always have a pee in there..

Fancy it? Then click here to book.

Tag us in your psycho selfies on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook if you take on Pig Face

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