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15 Things You’ll Find In The Bearpit



It’s not all just people drinking.

Long neglected, the Bearpit has had a serious injection of funding over the last couple of years to begin slowly rejuvenating. The Bearpit Improvement Group are attempting to turn an area which people traditionally dreaded walking through, for fear of its Frosty Jacks wielding reprobates, into a fruit consuming, morris dancing bastion of Bristolian happiness. This vision has yet to become a complete reality, but it’s not done half bad so far….

1. Ursa.

Created by local artist Jamie Gillman this majestic 12ft sculpture greets commuters and Primarni revellers after a long hard day in Bristol city center. Fantastically it’s yet to be vandalised.

The Bear Pit Bear

 2. One of Bristol’s best fruit and veg shops.

From Bear Fruit Bristol, you can actually get your 5 a day without consuming a mountain of kale or breaking the bank. £1 for 5 pieces of fruit? Beats Tesco where you’ll struggle to get an apple for less than 50p.

Bear Pit Fruit

Bear Pit Fruit Stall

3. The happiest busker in Bristol.

Playing a jovial tune on his accordion, you’ll always be greeted with a smile and a big hello from this guy.

Bear Pit Busker

4. Morris dancers.

Okay you might not see this regularly, but this occasionally happens.

Bristol Morris Dancers In The Bear Pit

5. The amazing Bearpit sign

It’s a pretty darn good sign. Now if they could just make the toilets less like a scene from a crime drama than that would be great.

Bear Pit Sign

6. Table tennis

Admittedly this is no Kongs of Kings Street, but if you want a free game of table tennis get your blades out and head to the Bearpit.

Bear Pit Table Tennis

Ideally when it’s not being used as a place to pass out on.

Bear Pit Table Sleep

Want more table tennis in Bristol? Read our guide to the 18 places to play table tennis in Bristol.

7. Lovely street art

The board’s regularly get repainted into awesome street art pictures like those below. You have to make sure you see them quickly before the next point happens though.

Bear Pit Street Art

8. Lovely street art ruined by awful graffiti tagging

Could someone explain the point of tagging? Is there a master graffiti artist going around looking to take on his next apprentice based on the ability of a track suit wearing tool to write his own name in marker pen over something that it actually took some talent to create?

Bristol Minions Graffiti

9. Lovely art installations

Created by Hand In Glove, a group of artists and curators based in Bristol, this Pavilion looks great and has been used as a space where you can make crafts and eat cake! What could go wrong?

Bear Pit Art

(c) Hannah Clark

10. Lovely art installations occupied.

As the old saying goes, ‘throw a good looking art installation into the Bearpit and watch it get slept in.’ There’s not much arts and crafts happening within the Pavilion anymore as it’s currently being occupied by some of the Bearpit’s finest residents.

Bear Pit Buskers

11. History lessons.

This amazing piece on the the Bristol Bus Boycott of 1963 sits around on the Beefeater side of the Bearpit. Somehow it’s escaped the fate of other pieces in the Bearpit so try and see this before it’s ruined.

Bear Pit Bus

12. All night raves.

Who said the Bearpit is intimidating?

Bear Pit Rave

13. Unusual marketing.

Like this guy…. Dressed in his own drawings attempting to sell it, unique marketing.

Bear Pit Selling

14. An old school Bristol double decker bus that sells Mexican food.

Literally hoisted into the Bearpit, Burritos won the licence for this 1970s Bristol bus and have been an incredibly tasty addition to the Bearpit.

Bearpit Crane

Bearritos Bus

15. Some of the best coffee in Bristol

Brian Wogan wielding Bearpit Social. These guys do a mean coffee for a reasonable price so they’re a much better shout than the big chains. Plus you can live the Bristol dream by kicking back and people watch the unusual residents of the Bearpit whilst sipping a Flat White, what’s better than that?

Bearpit Social

Bearpit Social

Want more like this? Head over to Best of Bristol photos.





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15 Things You May Not Know About The Canteen



canteen outside

The Canteen, Bristol

Canteen Banksy

Now an institution of Stokes Croft, The Canteen is most commonly known for being the place where you’ll find the famous ‘Mild Mild West’ Banksy, some unusual Stokes Croft characters and an assortment of pretty tasty music. We spoke to Jamie Pike, one of its co-founders to find out just a little bit more about The Canteen.

1. What inspired The Canteen?

The Canteen came from a need for the Coexist project in Hamilton House to have a place to eat, drink and be merry. We imagined what kind of place we would like to go to at different times of the day and night and the vision for the Canteen was born! We wanted a place where we could eat delicious, locally sourced, globally inspired food without bankrupting ourselves. We wanted a place that sold great local beers and ciders and stocked our favourite teas, spirits and wines. And we wanted to hear brilliant live music every night for free…somehow we managed to get close. 

The canteen terrace bristol

2. When did The Canteen first open?

The Canteen first opened for my birthday 30th July 2009.

Canteen before it opened

Canteen before it opened…. note the surprisingly disapproving signs

3. How many beers are on tap and what’s the best drink you have to try?

There are 10 beers on tap, whilst you need to try Sharps Cornish Lager – voted best lager in the world this year! 

canteen beers

4. What’s behind the name?

Its because Hamilton House is an old office building and it is essentially the “Canteen” for the building. 

canteen outside

5. Who runs The Canteen?

We have an amazing team headed up in the front of house by Carolyn Hegg, and Christabel Courtauld in the kitchen. 

6. Why did you open in Stokes Croft?

When I was setting up the Coexist project we needed a place to eat, drink and be merry…so more about creating a link between Stokes Croft and Hamilton House.  


7. Favourite thing about Bristol?

The high concentration of open creative souls and the way that if you have a good idea in Bristol people really want to you realise your dream.

canteen bristol map8. What inspired the decor?

My brother Matt takes all the credit for that. He is an artist at heart and wanted to create a space in which everyone would feel relaxed, at home and a part of a buzzing community. 

canteen music

9. Who was the first act to play the Canteen?

My dear old friend Jack Pescod.

10. Any famous visitors?

Roger Waters from Pink Floyd playing on a Thursday lunchtime was memorable and Nigel Slater enjoyed dinner here.

11. Favourite character that pops into The Canteen? 

Not John The Baptist! Probably the Misfits Theatre Company.

12. Best moment for The Canteen?

That’s a hard question. Every time there is a really diverse crowd in, eating, drinking, dancing and being merry.

canteen dancing

13. Worst moment?

Bleeding madman throwing furniture and threatening to cut people on the front deck? Don’t worry, he hasn’t been back!

canteen dog

Attacker probably not pictured….

14. Craziest moment?

When we had an interactive comedy dance troop called Impermanence gyrating on the tables in sequins. 

canteen impermance


15. And any other things about The Canteen that people don’t know?

We are the proud holders of a three star award from the Sustainable Restaurant Association, their highest rating. Oh and its founding directors still can’t afford to buy a house in Bristol…

A big thanks to Lilja Photography for the spectacular Canteen photos. 

Want more good places to eat and drink? Head over to bars of bristol.



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10 Alternatives Now St Paul’s Carnival Is Cancelled



St Paul's Carnival Cancelled Bristol

St. Paul’s Carnival may be cancelled but there’s plenty to do instead

St Paul’s has been cancelled because of ‘ongoing challenges’ faced by the organisers. There will be a much smaller indoor event in September but nothing like the usual shenanigans. But all is not lost! There’s actually lots going on around Bristol so you can have just as good a time as you would have. Here’s 10 things you can do in Bristol instead of the St Paul’s Carnival.

1. Interrupt a news report about the cancellation of St Paul’s Carnival.

2. Go to Rice & Things on Stokes Croft and eat a Goat Curry.

Rice and things Bristol

Although not as adventurous as sampling goat curry from someone’s back garden, Rice & Things probably makes the best one in Bristol.

3. Sink a Red Stripe in The Criterion.

The Criterion

Sure it’s a bit dodgy looking on the outside, but rest assured it’s a magical wonderland on the inside.

4. Drink lots of cider at Bristol Harbour Festival from July 17th to 19th.

bristol harbour festival

Via Flickr

Probably one of the biggest events in Bristol. Running for 3 days they’ll be lots of music, drinking, heaps of food and a lot of rowdy youths.

5. Unwind with a quick massage in Stokes Croft.

Stokes Croft Massage Club

Via Flickr

Maybe not.

6. See lots of graffiti at Upfest, July 25 to 27.

Upfest Bristol

Via. Flickr

After a successful kickstarter campaign, Europe’s largest Street Art & Graffiti festival is back this year with 250 artists painting 28 venues throughout Bedminster & Southville, Bristol.

7. Listen to some Laid Blak and wander around Portland Square.

Because that’s pretty much what happens every year.

8. Start a new carnival in the Bearpit.

Bristol Morris Dancers In The Bear Pit

Go the full hog and make it a strictly Morris Dancing affair.

9. Eat all the meat at Bristol Grillstock Festival on July 11th – 12th.

grill stock bristol festival

Get your meat solution from the BBQ heavy Grillstock Festival. Filled with even more delicious music such as De La Soul & Goldie Looking Chain, tickets are running low so get one soon.

10. Have a quick rave on Turbo Island

Just incase you miss the drum n bass.

Whatever you do, just make sure it involves eating a little bit of jerk chicken, drinking a red stripe and wandering around St. Paul’s.

Find out more things to do in Bristol.



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18 Brilliant Things Spotted In Bristol



Spotted Bristol

There’s always lots of unusual stuff spotted in Bristol

Have you ever walked through Bristol and seen something ridiculous? Like a stag do gone wrong, a bloke in a bathtub in Stokes Croft, an unusual busker? We take a look at 18 brilliant things spotted in Bristol.

1. A drive through ATM on Corn Street

Corn Street ATM

Via. Imgur

2. This bloke hurting Stokes Croft’s clean cut image

3. Advertising Armani In St. Pauls

Advertising Armani In St. Pauls

Via. Imgur

4. The time a child’s car got taken in for repair

5. One of the best pieces of Bristol graffiti ever

Bristol Penis Graffiti

6. Stag do victim outside of the Arnos Manor hotel

7. The best Bristol City Council sign ever

Bristol City Council Warning

Via. Imgur

8. Man getting a quick sleep in Costco

9. The brilliance of Turbo Island captured in one photo.

The brilliance of Turbo Island captured in one photo

10. A big massive kinder egg in College Green

11. Tuesday morning Oompa loompa

Oompa loompa Bristol

12. This guy who proposed to his girlfriend in Millennium Square

Bristol Wedding Proposal

13. Amazing windows during the ‘Window Wanderland’Window Wanderland

14. Getting a quick sleep on the table tennis table in the Bearpit

15. This bloke advertising his drawings by wearing them in the Bearpit.Bear pit man

16. Jet packs in the Harbourside

17. One of the best Bristol buskers

18. This Bristol Google Street View capture of a very sleepy bicyclist.

Bristol google street view

Via. Imgur

Like this? You’ll probably enjoy 22 things you might have missed in Bristol or 10 of Bristol’s best Vines.



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