I know that this is going to sound slightly ironic when reading this; here we are, yet another non-Bristolian who moved here some years ago and never looked back, raving about why they love this city so much, yadda yadda yadda.
But, I’ve not travelled far. I came to Bristol six years ago from the quieter, smaller landscape of Exeter in Devon, so I’m keeping it within the South West. I’m not from London (can I say that?!) insert winking emoji here. I jest of course.
But what is it about Bristol that has me convinced I will probably (most certainly) never move myself back down to the shire? Why do I want to stay here? I thought I might write down some of the reasons why I FUCKING LOVE BRISTOL.
Well, let’s start with the obvious. I love to eat, but I never realised just how passionate I was about food and everything connected with it until I came here. There is a strong focus on sustainability, being ethical and supporting local and surrounding businesses – it’s collaborative, enthusiastic and extremely positive.
Bristol is surrounded by plentiful and beautiful greenery, perfect for foraging and collecting ingredients to be used in kitchens. It also means there are farms right on the city’s doorstep, providing us with a great selection of organic and free-range meats or poultry, vegetables and dairy. We really are situated within the West Country’s glorious larder. The food we enjoy in Bristol’s independent restaurants is fresh and of high quality, and it really doesn’t get much better.
No one is jostling and fighting for the spotlight, and if anything, restaurants, kitchens and bars actively promote each other across various platforms and encourage locals and visitors alike to give their city neighbours a try. We’ve got some strong offerings across this patch, all serving up quality and variety. I’ve always said if there is a certain cuisine, or dish that you fancy, you are most likely to find it somewhere in Bristol, and nine times out of ten, it won’t bankrupt your wallet. Growers, producers, farmers, restaurant owners and chefs all work together here collaboratively, and I fucking love it.
The Bristol Lingo
When I first moved to Bristol, I lived in Horfield and had the chore of commuting to and from the centre every day. Hearing the immortal words, ‘cheers drive’ has never grown old though, and now I don’t get the bus anymore I kind of miss it (not the bus journey, but the saying). The Bristolian lingo is one I love and I have learnt many new phrases since arriving here; who knew that getting your hair off meant you were in a pissy? Or the end of a loaf was the topper? I’m not sure I can get on board with smoothing the cat rather than stroking it, and I couldn’t get away with saying I was going to see ‘are muh’ but I love hearing it. Plus, I will never tire of being called ‘love’, ‘lover’ or ‘babber’ by friends and sweet strangers. There’s something so heart-warming about it.
I haven’t seen a city fully embrace creativity and freedom of expression like I have seen it in Bristol. Embraced so much so that, in fact no one bats an eyelid. There are often events happening that I just don’t think would go on in other places, and I’m not sure if this is because there is a much stronger independent offering here which allows more flexibility, or that there are just more creative minds in Bristol possessing quirky ideas (I’m going with the latter).
Whatever it is though, I’m not complaining. I’ve twerked to hip hop in an actual fish and chip shop, I’ve dressed up as a hero of Ancient Geese and ran from pub to pub like a madman with my teammates to complete challenges which included throwing crab sticks down each other’s pants, I’ve danced to Golden Lookin’ Chain at the amphitheatre and the one closest to my heart; I led the Big Bristol Burger Crawl with the help of some very special friends, restaurants and a wonderful group of enthusiastic eaters. I would never have been able to do this in my hometown, for various reasons but mainly because it’s on such a smaller scale. I’ve created hilarious memories and fucking enjoyed every minute whilst doing so. Friends and family often comment to me how jealous they are that I live in a city with so much going on all the time, it never gets boring and there is always something to do.
Power Ballads at the Fleece
The first Friday of every month sees this epic club night at The Fleece and no matter how many times I go it never gets old. It’s a no frills, no-holds barred karaoke session basically, with you and every other reveller on the dance floor. There have been many occasions when I have belted out 4 Non-Blondes and Whitney Houston whilst flaying about and being my own air guitar master; serenading complete strangers who also meant to only go out for ‘one’ after work on a Friday. It’s a bloody laugh innit.
I couldn’t write down the reasons I love Bristol and not mention the burger scene. For anyone who knows me knows how much joy I get from chowing down on a bap and we are truly spoilt for choice with options all over the city. Of course I understand the arguments for having too much of one thing, but I disagree. I believe each establishment offers us something different; there are places to takeaway, to sit in and have cocktails, restaurants that are better for families and venues which aren’t afraid to try something new. It would be pretty boring if they were all the same anyway right?
Through my love of eating, I’ve also managed to forge some lovely friendships with the teams behind the buns, and their enthusiasm for bringing the best to Bristol is wonderful to see. I often get tagged in burger photos on Instagram and on Twitter, and receive messages from friends and strangers asking for recommendations on where to get their next burger fix and this brings me no end of joy. I’ve been able to meet, communicate and discuss all things meaty with a bunch of new faces which I really love. It’s just another reason (aside from them being delicious) that I will always champion the Bristol burger gods and for some people to call me Bristol’s burger queen is beyond a compliment.
Action for Change
There are so many examples of initiatives and events I could shout out for this example of why Bristol is special, so big up to everyone championing to make a difference in any way they can. Not only do individuals recognise problems and the need for change here, but they actually roll up their sleeves and start doing something about it.
The 91 Ways events have proved hugely popular across the city, and the idea behind it is really quite simple; uniting people through the love of food. Bristol has a diverse range of communities that live together and these events are designed to fuse these different cultures and promote a healthier, more sustainable city. It also allows communities or people who may feel isolated or out on a limb to make connections with others and engage in important discussions. It is ideas like this that allow people from all walks of life the chance to come together.
There are also smaller scale (but no less important) projects, such as Incredible Edible Bristol which promotes the use of land (no matter how big or small) to grow food. The team here, made up of volunteers and partners have created over 30 edible gardens in spaces across Bristol and the food grown is free and for anyone to take away and eat. This initiative has also introduced a scheme to get schools involved, so that youngsters can see the importance first hand of being able to grow and eat sustainably.
As in every city there are charities designed to help the less fortunate, so this is not something new in Bristol, however the support and willingness of people to get stuck in and help knows no bounds here. People collecting donations of food and warm clothes to hand out to those sleeping on the streets, unwanted/unused scarfs tied to lampposts so that those who are homeless can take them to keep and fund raising events are just a small selection of ideas I have witnessed whilst living here. Care in the community has never had more of a profound meaning.
So Bristol, I love you, do you mind if I stay?
Don’t Be A F***ing No Show, Bristol
Don’t be a Fucking No Show
This is an article I’ve wanted to write for a long time, but the recent chaos that the snow caused in Bristol reminded me to get on with it – as apparently our lives had to stop and we all lost our minds. Restaurant no shows are becoming a real problem in Bristol, especially for our independents. They’re losing money, and if we’re not careful we’ll lose them.
I do understand that plans/life can change, I don’t want to hold a gun to your head and force you to stick to every plan you’ve ever made. However, there are some very easy rules to follow if you want to go out and enjoy a lovely meal at one of our restaurants. They’re called manners. Simple, basic manners.
1. If you book somewhere and then your plans change, maybe you were snowed in or you got sick? Call and fucking cancel!
If you were going to meet a mate and then you couldn’t make it would you just think “ah fuck it, they’ll work it out when I don’t turn up”. No, you’d call, apologise and make new plans (unless you’re a complete prick). If the restaurant knows you aren’t coming they can try and find someone to fill your place, especially if they are popular and have waiting lists – but they need to be allowed the time to do that.
2. Don’t make multiple bookings and then choose one closer to the date and cancel the rest.
This is still complete fuckery. How hard is it for you to make up your mind? Why does the restaurant have to pay for you being a complete wet flannel? It seems that this is quite a common “thing” for people to do and think it’s ok if they cancel far enough in advance, and fair that takes away some of your dickishness, however, there are lots of other people trying to book restaurants. What if they call and can’t book because you’re holding a table just because “you can’t decide” and then they go somewhere else and then you cancel – see how cuntish this is? You’re basically a German hogging a sun bed on holiday, even though you spend all of your time in the pool. (Sorry for the horrible stereotype to my German friends.)
3. You are a grown ass person, start acting like one. The restaurant does not need to call you to remind you of an appointment you made.
Put it in your diary and sort your life out. I am a self-confessed idiot when it comes to organising my life and I still know when I’m booked to eat somewhere (mainly because I get all the food feels and think about what I’m going to eat for days pre-booking). If you fuck up, and we all do it, call to apologise. If the restaurant calls you, apologise. Don’t hang up, or pretend like life isn’t happening outside of your bubble.
That’s it. Three simple points. In summary, if you make a restaurant booking turn up to it, if you can’t make it apologise and cancel, don’t book multiple restaurants and then select your chosen one closer to the date, if you fuck up make sure you apologise. BASIC FUCKING MANNERS.
Bristol’s First Ever Seabin Could Be Coming To Harbourside
Crowd funder for a Seabin in Bristol
You may not have noticed but Bristol’s harbourside is filled with rubbish, plastic and pollutants.
However ‘The Bristol Seabin Project’ is looking to increase clean up efforts by raising enough money for Bristol’s first ever Seabin.
What’s a Seabin I hear you ask?
Well it’s essentially a bin that can catch;
- 90,000 plastic bags/pieces of debris a year
- an estimated 1.5 Kgs of floating debris per day (depending on weather and debris volumes) including microplastics up to 2 mm small
And how does a Seabin work?
It will cost £3,000 to get Bristol it’s first Seabin and in the last few days over £2,585 has been raised and it’s looking likely that the target will be hit.
The project has managed to get the full go ahead from Bristol City Council, Harbourmaster and several other organisations now with more support coming in everyday.
More about Bristol SeaBin Project
The Downs Bristol Tickets Go On Sale
Forget the snow, this is the most Bristolian thing you’ll do all summer
Yep, it’s a winter wonderland out there. Bristol looks beautiful in the snow, people have been skiing down Park Street, making snowboards out of ironing boards, and being good Samaritans helping cars and people out of the snow. Bristol, you’re good in the snow. But, know what you’re also good at Bristol? The summer, with a pint of cider in hand and amazing music in your ears.
So, for one minute let’s delay that snow angel, hold fire on the snowball fight, put the toboggan fashioned from a bin lid down because tickets for The Downs are on sale- RIGHT NOW! And this year looks like the best one yet. We’ve got Noel Gallagher, Paul Weller, Orbital, Basement Jaxx, The Heavy and Goldie and the Heritage Ensemble all playing at what will be Bristol’s biggest outdoor music event. Sweet Bristol goodness!
If you are among the Bristol hardcore today then you can get your ticket in person from the Bristol Ticket Shop in Broadmead and The Love Inn at Stokes Croft.
Don’t Be A F***ing No Show, Bristol
Don’t be a Fucking No Show This is an article I’ve wanted to write for a long time, but the...
Bristol’s First Ever Seabin Could Be Coming To Harbourside
Crowd funder for a Seabin in Bristol You may not have noticed but Bristol’s harbourside is filled with rubbish, plastic...
The Downs Bristol Tickets Go On Sale
Forget the snow, this is the most Bristolian thing you’ll do all summer Yep, it’s a winter wonderland out there....
Phil Mitchell Bingo Is Coming To Bristol
Phil Mitchell is hosting a game of Bristol bingo Bingo Wings is exactly what it says on the tin: Bingo...
20 Bristol Pubs & Clubs That No Longer Exist
Old Bristol pubs and clubs Bristol didn’t use to be full of secret underground bars, swanky cocktail joints and hipster...
Happy Bird Comes to Roost in Bristol
Happy Bird Arrives In Bristol Taking flight this coming Friday (26th Jan), Happy Bird is the latest opening on Bristol’s...
Opinion4 months ago
Welcome To Bristol – As Long As You’re Not A C**t
Featured3 months ago
The Big Bristol 2017 Quiz
Bristol Guides7 months ago
74 Things To Do On Gloucester Road
Featured10 months ago
14 Abandoned & Derelict Places In Bristol
Places to Eat in Bristol3 months ago
The First British Dal Festival to Hit Bristol in 2018
Bars4 months ago
There’s A Website Reviewing Bristol’s Pub Toilets
Bars9 months ago
8 Awesome Places To Drink Gin In Bristol
Bristol Guides2 months ago
The 20 Best Bristol Street Art Pieces Of 2017