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….
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.
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.
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.
4. Morris dancers.
Okay you might not see this regularly, but this occasionally happens.
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.
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.
Ideally when it’s not being used as a place to pass out on.
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.
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?
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?
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.
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.
12. All night raves.
Who said the Bearpit is intimidating?
13. Unusual marketing.
Like this guy…. Dressed in his own drawings attempting to sell it, unique marketing.
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.
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?
Want more like this? Head over to Best of Bristol photos.
15 Things You May Not Know About The Canteen
The Canteen, Bristol
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.
2. When did The Canteen first open?
The Canteen first opened for my birthday 30th July 2009.
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!
4. What’s behind the name?
Its because Hamilton House is an old office building and it is essentially the “Canteen” for the building.
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.
8. 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.
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.
13. Worst moment?
Bleeding madman throwing furniture and threatening to cut people on the front deck? Don’t worry, he hasn’t been back!
14. Craziest moment?
When we had an interactive comedy dance troop called Impermanence gyrating on the tables in sequins.
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.
10 Alternatives Now St Paul’s Carnival Is Cancelled
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.
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.
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.
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.
6. See lots of graffiti at Upfest, July 25 to 27.
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.
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.
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.
18 Brilliant Things Spotted In 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
2. This bloke hurting Stokes Croft’s clean cut image
3. Advertising Armani In St. Pauls
4. The time a child’s car got taken in for repair
5. One of the best pieces of Bristol graffiti ever
6. Stag do victim outside of the Arnos Manor hotel
7. The best Bristol City Council sign ever
8. Man getting a quick sleep in Costco
9. The brilliance of Turbo Island captured in one photo.
10. A big massive kinder egg in College Green
11. Tuesday morning Oompa loompa
12. This guy who proposed to his girlfriend in Millennium Square
13. Amazing windows during the ‘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.
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.
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