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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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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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Sampling The Lesser Known Ciders From Thatchers

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Thatchers Cider

Despite the recent rain, bbq season is upon us, and no camping trip or garden gathering is complete without a few ciders to sweeten the deal.

With honey notes and a golden colour, the medium-dry Thatchers Gold is the flagship cider from one of Somerset’s oldest cider makers – and it’s a great go-to cider on any occasion – but Thatchers Cider have been producing and pressing apples in the Somerset village of Sandford since 1905, and their selection these days is broad.

Thatchers Cider

Thatchers Katy, the 7.4% single variety cider well-known to Bristolians who want something a bit stronger than Gold or Dry..

An introduction to Thatchers Cider and Pasture

To showcase the full range of their cider offerings, the Thatchers Cider team descended on Pasture – the stylish new bar and restaurant near St Mary Redcliffe – last week.

With butcher Sam’s enthusiasm for local produce and Thatchers’ chief cider-maker Richard Johnson on hand, it was the perfect pairing.

Thatchers Cider

Thatchers Redstreak, a multi-award winning cider with accolades such as Supreme Champion at International Cider Challenge 2017, and World’s Best Sparkling Cider at the World Cider Awards 2017.

Richard introduced us to the Thatchers Cider story – starting over 100 years ago with farmer William Thatcher making cider to help pay his workers, and ending with William’s great grandson Martin (the current managing director) overseeing Thatchers Cider distribution throughout the UK. In between tastings, Pasture’s Sam talked us through the menu selections he’d made to bring out the best in the ciders chosen.

Thatchers Cider

Cured duck breast with juniper and orange marmalade, on a chai cracker.

Food and cider pairings

The Thatchers team opened with Katy, a light and softly sparkling cider made from Katy apples, and with it came Pasture’s scallop ceviche with pickled gooseberry and lime – the delicate seafood working beautifully with the light, bubbly cider. There followed five further mini-courses, each paired with a different Thatchers’ cider.

The meaty steak tartare with oyster mayonnaise met its match in Thatchers’ Old Rascal – a peppery 4.5% cider made with Tremlette and Somerset Redstreak apples for a bittersweet flavour. And Pasture’s short rib croquettes with delicate gochujang aioli balanced nicely with the bold and beautiful Thatchers’ Vintage – an oak-matured 7.4% cider with fruity aroma and crisp flavour. 

Thatchers Cider

Pasture’s Signature Short Rib Croquette with gouchong aoili and nasturtiums.

It was a great chance to try lesser-known Thatchers ciders you don’t regularly see in the big supermarkets, and clear to see the thought Sam had put into the food pairings he chose.

Thatchers Cider

Thatchers Family Reserve, a sparkling Somerset Apple Wine that rediscovers the recipe for champagne cider originally created by William Thatcher in the early 1900s.

If you’d like to give a few of Thatchers’ lesser-known ciders a try, take a look at the full range and buy online here. And for more details on the flame-grilled offerings over at Pasture, check out their website here.

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Bristol’s Biggest Food Festival Is Back

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Bristol Food Connections

Bristol Food Connections 2018 is nearly here, so it’s time to plan your festival!

Bristol Food Connections is one the highlights of Bristol’s food calendar, with a ridiculous amount of events (130 at the last count!) taking place across the city from 11-17th June.

It’s a fairly huge festival, covering everything from growing your own food to huge gala dinners and talks on sustainability. We’ve decided to break down what’s happening and pick out a few of our favourites from this year’s programme.

Bristol Food Connections

Booze it up

There are plenty of ways to hit the hard stuff (and find out more about it too)…

See more of Bristol

With events dotted in every far flung corner of Bristol, now is the time to get out and explore!

  • World Food Passport (All week, £8)
    Taste your way around the food businesses of Gloucester Road, collecting stamps as you go (or you can also do a guided food tour of Gloucester Road that week too).
  • Behind the Scenes of a Gin Distillery (Sat 16th, £25)
    Head out to Thornbury for this special tour of 6 O’clock Gin’s distillery to find out more about how their delectable spirit is made (with plenty of tasters along the way, obv).
  • Shroomshop (Sun 17th, £30)
    Get some hands-on tips about mushroom cultivation at this workshop in St Werbs.
  • Thyme Trail (Fri 15th, £15)
    Visit various vendors in Wapping Wharf, hearing the stories behind the businesses and getting tasters as you go.
  • TimeZone: Eat Your Way Around the World (Sat 16th, £4)
    Try a range of international cuisine in Easton, including Jamican, Indonesian and Spanish.
  • Eco day at Hartcliffe City Farm (Sun 17th, Free)
    Try your hand at pond dipping, searching for bugs and other activities.

Bristol Food Connections

Educate yourself

It’s not just about filling your face with food, there’s plenty of opportunity to learn a new skill or hear some interesting perspectives on the food we eat too:

Fantastical feasts

Some seriously special dinner events from well-known chefs and local producers…

  • FUTURE: FEAST (Mon 11th, £25)
    Star Trek meets Come Dine With Me in an ‘immersive dining experience’.
  • A Summer’s Feast (Fri 15th & Sat 16th, £30)
    The next generation of Bristol chefs serve up a seasonal feast.
  • It’s a Bristol Ting! (Sun 17th, Free)
    Celebrate Bristol’s Jamaican community with rum & jerk chicken at Lakota.
  • Chocolate Gala Dinner (Mon 11th, £35)
    A special dinner to kick-off festival week, with all 3 courses featuring chocolate.
  • Summer Dine & Vine Feast (Thu 14th, £30)
    A three-course tasting menu paired with bio-dynamic wines.
  • Homegrown Collective Supper Club (Fri 15th, £35)
    Three-courses of local, seasonal food accompanied by music.

 

There are also loads of free talks and demos at the Festival Hub (next to Watershed) throughout the week, so it’s worth stopping by to see what’s on!

 

See the full Bristol Food Connections Programme

 

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