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Exploring Bristol by Land and Wave



exploring bristol

With some of the UK’s most talented street artists in residence, centuries of history to dig through and winding waterways leading to remote corners of the West Country, Bristol is a city worth exploring. The question is, where best to start?

Bristol Walking Tour

Every day at 10.30am and 2.30pm, a young fella by the name of James can be found outside the Victoria Rooms (at the bottom of Whiteladies Road in the city centre) wearing a bright green t-shirt and a natty backpack. He’s a tour guide with two main aims; sharing insight into the city’s history and heritage, and sharing the love for his hometown.

college green

James in action on College Green 

James leads curious city-walkers up the hill into Clifton, over to the Clifton Suspension Bridge, down Park St to Cabot Tower, onward to College Green then across to the Floating Harbour — actual route may vary — all the while shedding light on the hidden corners of this amazing city. With a flip-book full of images from Bristol’s colorful history to hand, he brings the past to life with enthusiasm.

You don’t need to book to join James’ informative and relaxed tours. He doesn’t charge for his services, you simply pay what you think his tour was worth. Walks take place whatever the weather, and last around two hours.

clifton walking tour

Bringing Clifton’s history to life

Bristol Packet Tour

We’ve all seen ‘em… gorgeous boats of all shapes and sizes cruising along Bristol’s busy Floating Harbour. But do you ever wonder where they all go?

Bristol Packet is one of the city’s more traditional boat companies. Established in 1973, they run four boats from the Floating Harbour out along the waterways. You can follow the harbour past the lock gates toward the Bristol Channel — passing under the Suspension Bridge and following centuries of maritime history — or inland along the pretty Avon River to Beezy’s Tea Rooms.

Bristol river

Fine River Avon views from the bow of Tower Belle, on route to Beezy’s Tea Rooms for a pint.

Perhaps the best thing about Bristol Packet is the boats themselves, and the stories they tell. Bagheera is a sleek sightseeing vessel from Amsterdam, with cozy café-style seating and picture-windows.

The Flower of Bristol is a purpose-built boat bolted together in the early eighties right here in Bristol, with panelled saloon for up to 50 people. Redshank is a traditional narrowboat with a roll-down canopy and bags of character.

And then there’s Tower Belle… perhaps the most beautiful of all the boats in the fleet. She was constructed in the roaring twenties up in Newcastle-upon-Tyne (presumably as part of the War effort). Banked and abandoned on London’s Eel Pie Island, she was eventually rescued and brought to Bristol by lorry before being restored to her former glory. She now takes pride of place on the harbour, beaming elegantly at all who pass.

tower belle

Tower Belle, built in the twenties and once banked on the Thames

All of Bristol Packet’s varied vessels boast full bar and WC facilities, and are available for public, private and educational trips.

Further reading

For more details on James’ Bristol walking tours
For more details on the Bristol Packet’s boat tours
For more scribblings from @cjcallaghan




Bristol Pub Quizzes



bristol pub quizzes

It’s time for a good old fashioned Bristol pub quiz

There are endless places where you can find some good Bristol pub quizzes. Fridays and Saturdays are unlikely but here are loads of places Sunday – Thursday.

Monday Bristol Pub Quizzes

Tuesday Bristol Pub Quizzes

Wednesday Bristol Pub Quizzes

Thursday Bristol Pub Quizzes

Sunday Bristol Pub Quizzes


Blankety Quiz – Found across Bristol and voted the best pub quiz in Bristol

Got any that we’ve missed? Pop them in the comments below.



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Rosa Opens in Bristol



rosa tapas bar

Rosa Review

The rising chill of autumn had descended, and I was a Bristol girl in need of a stiff drink to warm my gills. Red coat on, black heels donned and a long overdue catch up with an old friend in the diary, we headed on over to the newly opened Rosa on Whiteladies Road for a night of tapas and prosecco.

Rosa has some big shoes to fill. Bristolians will remember the good old days of Rocinantes and Quartier Vert and more recently the Townhouse at this treasured venue.

tapas rosa

Credit: Ellis Fox

Spread over two floors, with candles, old typewriters and flowers galore, this new bar-come-eatery, which promises “world inspired food to share” is romantic, cosy and stylish.

If you can’t quite justify spending money on a round-the-world plane fare, a trip to Rosa will go some way to taking you on a global foodie adventure.

Chef Tim Denny – formerly of Totterdown’s Historical Dining Rooms – is at the kitchen helm and he’s created a menu that simultaneously tantalises, impresses and surprises.

Sharing dishes include mixed bread with salt and paprika butter (£4), spiced flatbread with curried chickpeas, yoghurt and fresh lime (£5.50), steamed bao with pulled oxtail, miso mayonnaise and crispy shallots (£6 and my personal favourite), as well as burrata mozzarella with picked mooli, radish and mint salad (£6.50).

rosa food

Credit: Ellis Fox

For meat lovers, there’s a sliced shoulder of Iberico pork option (£7) and a mouth-watering whole Galican beef rib (£25) cooked over hot coals and served on the bone with baby gem salad. Seafood fans can opt for hot seared salmon sashimi with sesame and soy (£7.50) or flame grilled octopus with crisp noodles and spring onions (£6.50). There’s also the classic Spanish tapas dish of patatas bravas (£5.50) up for the tasting, and its rich, spicy tomato  sauce, doesn’t disappointed.

rosa menu

Credit: Ellis Fox

For dessert, there’s churros with olive oil Nutella (£5.50) and BBQ salted milk ice cream with caramel coconut sponge (£6.50), among other options. What’s more there’s always a cheese of the month. Now we’re talking…

Alongside the main tapas menu, there is a fantastic value set lunch menu at £11.95 for two courses and £13.50 for three courses.

Fancy a tipple? There’s a large selection of wine available by the glass or carafe starting at £4.50 and going up to the most expensive £48 Bordeaux from Chateau Paveil de Luze. A generous cocktail selection is available, in addition to a plethora of local gins (Psychopomp), Spanish sherries, sparkling Japanese sake and beer from a range of local breweries including Wiper and True and Arbor Ales.

rosa wine

Credit: Ellis Fox

It’s unlikely you’ll get through the entire menu on your first visit. But don’t they say it’s always best to leave wanting more?

Rosa, 85 Whiteladies Road, Bristol, BS8 2DT. Tel: 0117 973 9302.



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9 Amazing Vans Spotted In Bristol



bristol van

Top 9 Vans of Bristol

Art galleries sometimes on the move sharing the art all over the city.

1. This is either very fresh or the van is a permanent feature (look at the back wheel)

montpellier van

2. Unusually the best work on this van in Easton is on the back. Looks like an anti surveillance grannie to me. Ironically I’m watching it though

bristol van

3. St Werburghs now, and it’s like a go faster type tag on the wall behind trying to photobomb this shot

st werburghs van

4.  It’s Easton again. Not a van, an ambulance but this stick on lettering is good enough to get it an entry here. It’s taken food to the needy and it’s earnt it’s place

easton van

5. Edge of Easton by the M32 and its festival food van me thinks, looking at the mud it’s picked up on the underside. Would be nice to snap it with the pizza smoking out the unseen chimney

another easton van

6. St Paul’s. This one was camouflaged for the area

van in st pauls

7. Same artist as Pizza truck so this one must be fam

van in bristol

8. St Werburghs again. This one really has some landscape length to it. Who does those dinos?

another st werburghs van in bristol

9. My fave, and popular with the owner. My dog sighs did this and instead of eyes following you round the room it’s eyes following you round the city. Kobra street art to the right from Upfest and of all the shots of vans this one is the most pleasing to my eye. Deffo a Basquiat thing going on here

kobra street art van

10? Go look around these postcodes and find it… Take your pick

Do you know any of the artists? Tell us in the comments or tweet me @MoodyColin and let me know



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