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11 Awesome Shots Of Bristol At Night

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bristol at night

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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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

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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