13 lovely things to do in Bristol

Poppy Loves Bristol

A couple of weeks ago, LM and I boarded a First Great Western Train at London Paddington to take us to the grand old city of Bristol for a weekend of culture and exploring. Bristol is a place I’ve been to a handful of times but have never really managed to get under the skin of…

If you follow me on Instagram, you will already know about many of the things I got up to, so I hope this helps to fill in some of the gaps!

We did many, MANY things and I should warn you that this post is rather long, so you might want to grab a cuppa and put your feet up before you embark on my journey…

I had put the word out amongst my pals that I was heading to Bristol, and my favourite local, Miss Magpie Fashion Spy, came back with some fantastic recommendations – many of which are below. Thank you Magpie!

I LOVE travelling by train – I love the ease and speed of it. And that you can do nothing. Trains seem to give you permission to switch off, which I did so with relish… (you may have seen  the pic of me asleep on Twitter…) We arrived early Friday evening and jumped in a cab to take us to our hotel – Hotel du Vin, which I will write about in more detail in a separate post…

Hotel du Vin

Our bedroom at Hotel du Vin, Bristol

Roll top bath in Hotel du Vin

Look. Just look. This was in our bathroom. ENORMOUS roll-top bath…

Hotel du Vin

We had a couple of cocktails at the bar before heading into dinner…

A couple of Dark and Stormies later, we headed into their warm and cosy bistro for a delicious Steak Frites supper… the perfect choice for after a long train journey… and the perfect beginning to our weekend in Bristol.

Steak Frites at Hotel du Vin

Steak Frites at Hotel du Vin

Haygrove English Strawberries with crème chantilly

And for dessert… Haygrove English Strawberries with crème chantilly

The meal was delicious, but before we new it, we were very, very tired. We padded upstairs to our room and conked out immediately in our enormous, super comfy bed.

We woke up on Saturday, ready and eager for our day of exploration… and almost equally excited about the prospect of breakfast. Hotel breakfasts are the best breakfasts in the world. Fact. There’s something so luxurious about being brought eggs, while you read the paper, knowing that you can just pop upstairs to your room. We ate very light – toast and fresh juice and we perused the map I’d bought at the train station the day before…. first stop was going to be St Werburghs City Farm and I couldn’t wait!

St Werburghs City Farm

St Werburghs City Farm


Oink oink

St-Werburghs-City-Farm-Bristol-2 St-Werburghs-City-Farm-Bristol-1 St-Werburghs-City-Farm-Bristol-4

“St Werburghs City Farm is a green oasis in the heart of Bristol that connects people to food, the environment and the local community. We care and oversee four different sites within the local area including the Farm site with the award winning City Farm Cafe, the Community Garden on Mina Road, Boiling Wells – our 2.5 acre wildlife woodland – and 13 acres of community allotments.”

We loved it. There were people there of every age – from tiny babies to grandparents and so many different animals! We fed the pigs, sang to the goats (ok, I sang. Well, I yodelled actually) quacked at the ducks and petted the sheep and lambs… such a treat. We then popped into their cafe for one of the best hot chocs I’ve had. There’s no skimping on marshmallows at St Werbughs City Farm… and I loved them even more for it.


Hot chocolate with marshmallows

We then headed over to Queen Square for lunch, where Eat Drink Bristol Fashion was being held…

Eat Drink Bristol Fashion

“Eat Drink Bristol Fashion puts high quality, sustainably sourced food in interesting spaces across Bristol and the South West.”

Eat Drink Bristol Fashion Eat Drink Bristol Fashion Eat Drink Bristol Fashion Lucille's Ice Cream Van Gopal's Curry Shack

South Indian Curry from Gopal's Curry Shack for lunch...

South Indian Curry from Gopal’s Curry Shack for lunch…

There were so many fantastic food vendors selling such a range of produce and it was difficult to decide what to have! In the end, we settled on Gopal’s Curry Shack and sat on the grass in the sunshine, eating our delicious curry while we listened to the gentle live music wafting over the square…

We then strolled round to Bristol’s Harbourside for a meander and a mooch in the Arnolfini Gallery…



Arnolfini Gallery

“Arnolfini is one of Europe’s leading centres for the contemporary arts, presenting innovative, experimental work in the visual arts, performance, dance, film, music and events, accompanied by a programme of learning and participation activities. Five exhibition spaces, a theatre/cinema auditorium, Reading Room and Light/Dark Studios are housed in the Grade II listed, fully accessible building. The converted warehouse also contains one of the country’s best arts Shops as well as a Café Bar serving the best in local and seasonal produce.”



Then onwards to Clifton Village… we had a beautifully sunny walk all the way up, up, up the hill to one of my favourite parts of Bristol… Clifton

Purple-Flowers-Clifton Bristol Bench-Grass Clifton-Houses-Bristol Clifton Hill


And by the time we got there, we were ready for a cup of tea and slice of amazing cake at the infamous Primrose cafe…



… and then we were ready for some more exploring around the neighbourhood…


“Papersmiths specialises in design-led stationery and paper goods. From notebooks to pencil sharpeners and fountain pens to scissors, we’ve handpicked items from our favourite designers and makers across the globe.”



I bought one of these gorgeous pencils – couldn’t resist!

Soma Gallery

“Soma opened in Clifton Arcade in June 2004 as a shop and gallery promoting contemporary art, design and illustration. Soma specialises in limited edition prints by illustrators and printmakers and has several exhibitions a year. Alongside the prints Soma sells a wide range of artworks, textiles, jewellery, ceramics, magazines and books.

In September 2010 Soma moved to new premises over the road from the Clifton Arcade space into 4 Boyces Avenue, a larger space with a dedicated gallery space on the first floor and a shop space on the ground floor. The majority of the work on display in Soma is from UK based artists with many coming from Bristol and the South West.”

Soma Gallery

Soma Gallery


Arch House Deli

We loved this gorgeous deli – in the heart of Clifton Village they sell everything you can imagine.. and even offer a picnic hamper service so you can spend your sunny days in style in the pretty gardens of Clifton…

Arch House Deli A beautiful public garden in Clifton...

Antique mooching...

Bric-a-brac mooching…

And we had just enough time to nip over to the Clifton Suspension Bridge, before dinner…

Clifton Suspension Bridge

“The Clifton Suspension Bridge, spanning the picturesque Avon Gorge, is the symbol of the city of Bristol. For almost 150 years this Grade I listed structure has attracted visitors from all over the world. The bridge joins Bristol and North Somerset and is owned and operated by Clifton Suspension Bridge Trust. It is entirely funded by tolls – which have paid for its upkeep since it first opened to the public on 8th December 1864.”

We then hopped on  the bus and whizzed down the road to The Spiny Lobster, where we’d booked a table for dins.

The Spiny Lobster Seafood Grill

“The Spiny Lobster is the creation of Mitch Tonks and was formerly known as The Rockfish Grill.  We’ve been on Whiteladies Road for 15 years with a restaurant and fishmonger and a great loyal following locally and from visitors to Bristol and to Clifton.”

The Spiny Lobster Oysters

The Spiny Lobster

The Spiny Lobster

Dover Sole at The Spiny Lobster

Fresh Dover Sole…

The Spiny Lobster

The meal was absolutely wonderful and I have been recommending the restaurant to everyone I meet every since…

We took a taxi back the hotel and again, fell asleep almost immediately – it had been such a busy day!

The following day, we took it much more easy and needed to rest our weary legs! So we went for a gentle walk after breakfast back towards Clifton…


Christmas Steps, Bristol

We walked up the Christmas Steps…

… and we walked all the way to the lido..

Bristol Lido

“Dating back to 1849, the Lido in Bristol is one of the oldest surviving Lido’s in the UK, allowing year round swimming.

Having closed in 1990, the Clifton Baths, were left to decay for nearly 20 years at which point Arne Ringner purchased the site following a local campaign to ‘save the Lido’. The campaign gained strength when English heritage issued a grade 2* listing to the building which protected it from demolition. Click here to see photos during the Lido’s restoration.

The Lido opened its doors to Bristol and beyond on the 13th December 2008 and has since become a venue for every occasion from daily swims, celebrations and holidays.”

The Lido offers more than just swimming, – there’s also a sauna, steam room, hot tub and lots of lovely spa treatments…

Bristol Lido, Clifton

Bristol Lido

Bristol Lido

I love the Scandi feel of the lido and especially these changing rooms – each with their own individual shower…

Bristol Lido

We had a delicious lunch in their restaurant…

We more or less stayed in the hot tub the entire time! Apart from a brief dip in the pool, a duck under the ice bucket (squeal!) a cup of tea in the cafe and a leisurely, yummy lunch up in the restaurant, overlooking the pool…

After we were suitably relaxed, we walked back to the hotel, picked up our luggage and grabbed a taxi to the station.

We were back in London in no time and had supper in front of the tellybox.

Coz that’s how we roll.

Thank you Bristol, for the most wonderful weekend – we’ll be back soon!

Poppy Loves - a London Lifestyle Blog


Thank you to First Great Western, for inviting us to explore Bristol.

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12 thoughts on “13 lovely things to do in Bristol

  1. I am heading to Bristol in a few weeks so definitely going to check out some of your recommendations! The lido looks amazing!x

  2. Brilliant post! I live in Bath and rarely come to Bristol at the weekend (as I commute here every.damn.day) but your post has inspired me to make the trip this Saturday.

    Sarah x

  3. Nice post. Loved all the pictures. Thos piggy’s lambs are so cute. I’ve always been thinking about adopting ducks.
    Damn those pictures of food made me hungry, definitely visiting Bristol sooner rather then later.

  4. Great post! I went to Bristol a few months ago and can really see it becoming the next Brighton – so many fashionable people and plenty of street food and little cafes to visit! If you go again, you have got to try Bagel Boys – so good! I’m definitely going to try the curry hut after your recommendation

  5. I live in Bath and my mum and I went to Clifton for the first time in years last weekend! We were quite enchanted by Papersmiths and the whole atmosphere is wonderful.

    Really enjoyed reading this post as we want to explore Bristol more! The harbourside also has a wonderful market with an old books stall – absolute bargains!

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