Earlier this month, we took a little bit of a weekend road trip down to Bristol. The drive is around 4 and a half hours but we stopped off in my old home of Birmingham along the way. I’d been kindly invited by Mercure Bristol Brigstow Hotel and the Buttermilk & Maple restaurant to come and visit the city, see all the sights and eat lots of delicious food. I’ve only visited Bristol once before around six years ago and I can’t really remember too much of it, except having a great night out and visiting Zaza Bazaar’s all you can eat buffet (which is life-changing).
We arrived in Bristol mid-Saturday morning but it did take us around an hour just to drive through the city as traffic was a nightmare. It’s definitely not a city to drive-in! First off, we headed to check-in at our the Mercure Bristol Brigstow Hotel which is right on the waterside and not too far from all the bars, restaurants and shops. Although it was only lunchtime, we got really lucky as there was a room available right away and even luckier that it was a side room with windows all around. I couldn’t fault the room as it was really spacious, lovely views and the bed was ever so comfortable.
After talking myself out of a nana nap, we heading towards the main shopping area. I wanted to have a little look around for some things for my upcoming holiday and their Primark is pretty big. The shopping in Bristol is actually pretty decent with the Cabot Circus Shopping Centre being the central hub of it all. There’s also Cribbs Causeway which is on the outskirts on the city and that’s pretty huge too! We spent a couple of hours perusing the shops, I wasn’t too successful with buying anything but Stefan picked up quite a few bits!
We headed back to our hotel where we were booked into the on-site restaurant; Buttermilk & Maple. This place is pretty dreamy and excellent for those Instagram snaps. This place offers all-day weekend brunches, Sunday roasts and a selection of craft cocktails. We were seated in a cosy little booth and I’m not going to lie, I was ready to have everything off the menu. First off, we ordered some cocktails and I obviously went for the Guinea Street Martini which is a gin-based drink with elderflower and apple juice. No matter where we are, Stefan will find the one cocktail on the menu that comes with fire and the Pirate Rum Punch was that one with a lit passion fruit shot.
I was very much ready for the food now. As we dined at 4pm, we had just missed the brunch menu which had all the classic breakfast items including pancakes! I’m not going to lie, the buttermilk chicken was calling my name but I did end up going for the Sirloin Steak served with fries, salad and peppercorn sauce and it was pretty damn incredible. I always think you judge a restaurant quite well on basics like such as steak and it definitely got my approval. Stefan went for the B&M Burger which had cheese and bacon with it and served with fries. It didn’t half look delicious and it was gone within minutes.
We had a few more drinks in Buttermilk & Maple as it was just such a lovely place to chill out in the city centre. As I said before, the decor certainly got my approval! I’d definitely go back and the Sunday Roasts looked amazing here too! After dinner, we headed towards the Harbour to meet some friends for drinks. There are so many different chain places around here and although it’s mega busy, you’ll find all the typical places for 2 for 1 cocktails. We ended the night in Revolution which I ended up getting what was claimed to be “most instagrammable cocktail” as it came with a little bird. I obviously got it for the gram.
The next morning, we were ready for another day of exploring after having breakfast in bed. One of the main places we had been recommended was the We are Curious Science Centre which was very inviting with the metallic planetarium. It sounded like an amazing place to visit but we decided to leave it for another visit and wander across Bristol Marina on Spike Island and visit Brunel’s SS Great Britain which is an impressive steamship on the waterfront.
Bristol is such a lovely place to wander around and it was lovely to see all the colourful houses and interesting sights. Further along, is Wapping Wharf where there are a few different food vendors (Kind of like Spark in York), everything looked so delicious including Pizzarova!
Our final stop was hunting down a famous piece by Banksy which I remember seeing on my previous visit. The well-hung lover is on Frogmore Street not too far from Bristol Cathedral and is a well-known piece from Banksy. There are quite a few Banksy’s around Bristol as this is known to be his hometown but we didn’t have much time to hunt down any others but there are Banksy Walking Tours you can do.
We couldn’t leave Bristol without visiting Zaza Bazaar. I know it’s not to the most foodie place in the world but I’m not turning my nose up at a £13.99 all you can eat buffet complete with a chocolate fountain. It’s safe to say we really made sure we ate our money worth as we could literally not move when we left. The food quality isn’t bad but it’s not Michelin star but it’s well worth it if you’re looking to feast upon many different cuisines around the world.
It was then time to leave Bristol and start our five-hour journey home. We decided to call on the Clifton Suspension Bridge on our way out of the city. It’s one of Bristol’s most famous sights and well worth stopping by. I wish we had more time to spend in Clifton as it looks like such a gorgeous place. I’ve also heard there are some amazing food places. To get the best view of the Clifton Suspension Bridge, we went to the Clifton Observatory. You’ll need to park nearby and walk up but the views are amazing and it’s also a lovely area to have a picnic! Well worth visiting!
We had an amazing time in Bristol, even if it was just a short weekend. Hopefully, we will be back soon to explore more and possibly head down to Bath too! A massive thank you to Mercure and Buttermilk & Maple for inviting me down.
Have you been to Bristol before?
*I was hosted by Mercure Bristow Bristol Hotel for a one night’s stay and by Buttermilk & Maple for an evening meal for the purpose of this review.