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11 Awesome Shots Of Bristol At Night

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Bristol at night from Bristol instagramer Kris Avery

Photography is something that I’ve been teased and taunted by for some time now.

I hadn’t owned my own camera until about three months ago and until then had relied on borrowing my brothers Canon 30D for holidays and trips. Every time I had it in my hands I’d love getting creative with it. It was only when he upgraded that I took him up on his offer of inheriting the old camera.

The major draw of photographing in and around Bristol is the variety of subjects – you have almost everything covered. From Ashton Court and the iconic Suspension Bridge, to a bustling night scene and an active harbourside. If you want to go a little further you have the Mendips, Cheddar Gorge and Bath all on the city doorstep.

Not only are you spoilt for choice – it’s the convenience that most of it is within walking distance from one place to the next.

But the one thing I love is the challenge of capturing something you and everyone else sees regularly, in an original or creative way that people remember the next time that they visit.

This is why the Instagram community in Bristol is so great – there’s a huge pool of talent putting out unique, creative and stunning photos daily! It’s hard not to be inspired and motivated by it.

I’ve only lived in Bristol for a year and a half, but by getting out with my camera and exploring, it’s starting to feel like home. What you see on my Instagram page is my learning curve and my exploration of the city.

So here’s a picture tour of Bristol at night, taken along a walk from the MShed to the Suspension Bridge.

1. Harbourside Cranes

harbourside cranes

The Harbourside Cranes are such a recognisable landmark, walked under daily by Bristol commuters. Though at night when they’re not lit, it’s easy to pass them by. This shot was taken on my first night outing with another Bristol Instagrammer Rob, who is featured in this photo (@rsbarton87). I was pleased with how this came out – it has a slightly eerie & imposing look to it. Someone said to me this image had a ‘War of the Worlds’ feel, and I completely agree.

2. The MShed

the m shed
The MShed glows away nicely at night – subtly reminding you of its presence across the harbour waters. It’s always fun to photograph something that has colour and vibrance to it – so I’ve got future plans for other shots in this area.

3. MV Balmoral

mv balmoral

Since I’ve had my camera, the Balmoral has been moored up for maintenance. It’s a great looking ship and photographed regularly in Bristol. I’m looking forward to catching it sailing this year to photograph it in action on the Avon.

You can donate to help get it out on the waters through their website here

4 & 5. St Mary Redcliffe Church

st mary redcliffe church from far away

A stunning church, inside and out – with a rich history. Definitely worth a visit if you’ve not been inside before. I really like it’s prominence on the Bristol skyline – and it looks even better when you have perfectly still water to catch its reflections in!

inside st mary redcliffe church

6. Arnolfini

arnolifini

A regular sight for anyone venturing into the city from the south, captured from the pontoon at night for a different angle on it. Free to visit, has a great bookshop and a popular cafe / bar! What’s not to like about the Arnolfini.

7. Pero’s Bridge Love Locks

peros bridge

I chose to include this purely because I love using my 50mm lens and the depth it gives – and I don’t tend to use it enough at night.

8. ZaZa Bazaar & SkyView Wheel

harbourside wheel

Another night where the waters were perfectly calm made it far too tempting a photo to resist. Framing the two together was trickier than it seemed, but I was happy with how it came out. I love the colours along the Harbourside at night – enhanced even more so by the reflections.

9. Colston Tower

colston tower

Standing on a traffic island in the middle of Bristol at night with a tripod and photographing cars can get you a few strange looks. I felt the shot was worth it though. One of the few light trails shots I’ve had a go at – and not the last (I need the practice).

10. Millennium Square

millenium square

Bristols sources of reflection and light at night are endless! Millennium Square gives you plenty of options with its enclosed design preventing the wind from disturbing the water too much.

11. Suspension Bridge

clifton suspension bridge at night

The Suspension Bridge is a difficult one to capture in an original way. There’s the option of getting creative with your angle and framing – or getting lucky with the lighting and weather conditions. I love seeing how other people capture it and they never cease to amaze me with their originality.

That was 11 awesome photos of Bristol at night from the brilliant Kris Avery.

Like this? Then be sure to follow @kris.avery on instagram.

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New Year Menu Twist at Woky Ko

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Woky Ko launch new menu

Nestled in Wapping Wharf on Bristol’s buzzing harbourside, Woky Ko: CARGO swung open its doors in late-October, 2016 – capturing attention with a bold menu of delicate flavours. Talented chef-owner Larkin Cen has recently added to the family with Park St’s Woky Ko: Kauto, and the two combined offer some of the finest Asian cuisine you’ll find anywhere in the South West.

Woky Ko: Kauto

Woky Ko: Kauto has perhaps become the flagship venue, offering a little more space and a stronger restaurant feel than its waterside cousin. Sleek lines, muted tones and a contemporary feel combine to create a warm and welcoming space, with a row of high stools offering hungry diners that intimate ‘kitchen table’ experience.

There’s a strong crossover of influence and flavour between the Cargo and Kauto menus – with dishes like noodles, sharing sides and baos featuring in both. But with a larger kitchen, Kauto offers a fuller range.

Photo credit: Larkin Ken

Ramen recommendations (Ramenations? No…)

On my most recent visit I broke with previous form and tried the Woky Ko ramen; a large bowl of steaming noodles swimming in an umami (look it up) broth based on the saltier shio recipe. Larkin has spent hours perfecting the balances of salt, soy and spices across his dishes, and, with delicate jamon bone and rich roasted garlic, Woky Ko ramen is simply stunning.

But yes, I do have form here. On my first Kauto visit I fell a bit in love with the KFC ramen. This show-stopping blend of Korean spices leaves you slurping from the bottom of the bowl – perhaps not very fitting for a stylish restaurant setting, but it’s all too easy to get carried away… 

Sichuan ox cheek and hot and sour aged tofu complete Kauto’s ramen offerings, complemented by a mouth-watering selection of sides like onglet steak, tiger prawn toast, crispy duck pancakes and tenderstem broccoli that will change the way you look at greens forever.

Photo credit: Paolo Ferla

New Year deals from Monday to Friday

Woky Ko’s new weekday deals started up recently, offering diners a little added value for money from 4.30pm to 6.30pm Monday to Friday.

Down on the harbourside, Woky Ko Cargo is offering either chicken vermicelli noodles or edamame bean and sunflower seed yakisoba noodles plus a Tsingtao beer for £10.

And on Park St, just opposite the Wills Memorial Building, Woky Ko Kauto’s early-evening deal brings you a free beer, glass of wine or soft drink with any of the four ramen dishes.

For an idea of the dishes available, check out Woky Ko’s sample menu. And to read more of @cjcallaghan’s write-ups and reviews, nabber over to his Best of Bristol page and fill your boots.

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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!

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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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